29 October 2014
Bankable cigars. I'm not even sure what that means. But it's patented and belonged to the N. N. Smith Company out of Frankfort, Indiana. In a recent research project in Lebanon, just down the road from Frankfort, I came across a handsome building near its courthouse square that had the company name engraved high above its entry.
I had never heard of the company before, and so I went googling, as I often do just to see what's out there while researching and suddenly a number of photos of old cigar boxes popped up. Mr. Noah Smith's "bankable cigar" was patented in 1917. He built a cigar manufacturing facility in Frankfort in 1919, "the Bankable Building", and then expanded with a second building, remarkably similar to his Frankfort plant, in Lebanon in about 1926. The production capacity of the company reached 125,000 cigars daily. That just seems crazy.
Smith sold his interest to an intermediate manufacturer, until it was sold again to a firm known as the National Cigar Company in 1943. That company began production of a few cigar lines with names tied to Indiana including the "Lincoln Highway" and the "Hoosier Poet" which featured James Whitcomb Riley on the box. The company still exists in Frankfort, running production out of the old Bankable Building: http://www.broadleafcigars.com/tour.htm.
I can't help but think of my grandpa and the smell of cigar smoke writing this one.
22 October 2014
Earlier this year my aunt handed down to me a few family heirlooms, books mostly, that belonged to my Moore ancestors. Of the small collection, the oldest is a chunky little book of Methodist hymns printed in 1829 from the collection of John Wesley. It is well-worn with a leather cover and tiny print. There are a total of 606 hymns packed into this tiny book, of which I know but a small handful-maybe a half-dozen. There is no music, only lyrics, which causes me to wonder what the unknown hymns sound like. It makes me imagine my great x4 grandfather, Andrew Moore, standing and leading his congregation from this little book on the edge of the Indiana prairie in the 1830s.
Scouring the index for hymns I would know, I noticed that they are categorized into themes including birthdays, funerals, and Christmas. And since this is my birthday-time-of-the-year, I thought I would include one of the two birthday hymns in my blog post today. So, in celebrating 46 years in this my 900th post, a hymn I make my prayer.
Hymn 520, verses 1, 3, 6
God of my life, to Thee
My cheerful soul I raise!
Thy goodness bade me be,
And still prolongs my days
I see my natal hour return,
And bless the day that I was born.
Long as I live beneath,
To Thee O let me live!
To Thee my every breath
In thanks and praises give!
Whate'er I have, whate'er I am,
Shall magnify my Maker's Name.
Then when the work is done,
The work of faith and power,
Receive thy favour'd son,
In death's triumphant hour,
Like Moses to thyself convey,
And kiss my raptur'd soul away.
15 October 2014
|The first two (and only two) apples produced from Sycamore Hill Orchard this year-they tasted better than they looked|
|A few of last year's peach crop-none this year|
|2013 vintage grape juice|
|Believed to be the caretaker's cottage steps on the former Vonnegut Orchard|
|Our 2009 trip to the orchard|
08 October 2014
|A view along the Pennsylvania Railroad and Jefferson Street, in Warsaw, in c. 1910. The depot is on the right and the Haines Hotel is on the left.|
|The viaduct at Columbia Street. A plaque in the upper right corner indicates it was built in 1929.|
|Detail of the 1929 bridge|
|Same view as the old post card, but from the opposite direction|
|The Penn Depot, 1893, in Warsaw today.|
|Another possible railroad boarding house, c. 1865, west of Columbia Street.|
01 October 2014
I have a problem purely of my own making. At times I can get a bit bored so I like to give myself "projects". I have a lot of these, and often they go unfinished. Such was the case when I decided to complete a survey of all of the Pennsylvania Railroad structures across Indiana. This would have been from the 1856 line that largely parallels U.S. 30 today. I worked with a budding historian, began in the middle of the route (Plymouth) and worked our way east to the state line. We came up a few miles short before it was time to turn around and head home.
The survey yielded some great architectural finds. We documented nearly 40 railroad-related structures on this line. However, my biggest interest was in the stone bridge work that dominated the Pennsy line during their reconstruction of the route in about 1900. The massive rusticated stone abutments and arches have always held a certain charm and engineering interest for me. So, I was all in.
|The legacy bridge between Atwood and Etna Green|
|Creating a stone bridge for a railroad, 1890|
I couldn't have imagined how hard it was to find a photo of bridge-building by railroads!
|A Baltimore & Ohio Railroad-building crew from c. 1920.|
I found that he was Truman S. Turney, born near Accident, Maryland in 1877 to a farming family. He appeared in the 1880 census with his family and then reappeared in the 1900 census in Antelope, Nebraska as a laborer for the railroad. He was single and probably lived in a boarding house or hotel as the crew was passing through. Mr. Turney disappeared from the 1910 census, though I think it is likely he was on a crew passing through and was missed by census takers. He was also married about that time and made it all the way to Greybull, Wyoming where he lived out the rest of his life. He enlisted for the draft in 1918, though I'm not certain he was called to active service. He worked for the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad which went through Greybull in 1905. He became an engineer for the railroad and retired from it in 1945. He died in 1947. His obituary stated that he "went west at the age of 19 and began railroad work in 1911". My guess is that was when he was employed by the railroad versus a contractor building bridges for the Pennsy.
|Greybull, Wyoming in 1909|