Abbildungen der Seite

stopped 011 Monday. Snow reported several feet deep in places."

''The snow blocked up the road on the Kingston mountain so that it Whs impossible to get the mails through to Northmoreland. The mail carrier reports from five to six feet of nnbroken snow. The team was stack fast and men had to be employed to shovel them out, after which further progress was given up."

A similar storm was reported from PottBville ao4 Reading.

The same paper records late storms in previous years. May 2, 1841, the week past been almost one oontinued storm—cold, snow, wet. April 20, 1843, last suow of winter disappeared. June 1, 1843, sharp froBt killed beans and apple crop. Other crops not injured. The editor remarks: "So there is hope. Seed time and harvest shall not fail, though our variable climate continue variable. And spring, all smiles, all tears, remains the battle ground between winter and summer for the mastery."


Ejc-Supt. Bound's Experience on the Pocono in the Heavy Snow Storm ot April, 1857—The Locomotives Nearly Burled.

The Record has already reported Ticket Agent J. M. Nicholson as saying the snow was 6 feet deep on the Pocono Mountain in April storm 30 years ago. Mr. Nicholson, feeling that his story was received with a little discredit wrote to Ex-Snpt. Bound of the L. & B. RR., who was on the Pocono at the time and whose reply will be read with general interest:

Apbii, 10—J. M. Nicholson, Kingston— Dear Sib; In April 1857, I was conductor of coal train, on Southern Division, D. L. & W. RR. At about 4 am. on April 20, 1857, I left Soranton for New Hampton Junction, with engine Vermont, (camel-back,) and David Hippenhamer engineer. We started with our usual train. (22 small oars,) but the snow being about eight inches deep and very heavy, we were compelled to back down and switch six cars. At Greenville we switched ten more; at Moscow we switched the remainder of our cars, and went on with engine and caboose. Were stalled several times between Moscow and Lehigh. In 1857 the Pocono Tunnel was not completed, and we ran around it, and over short trestle. At east end of this trestle we found Puterbangh, conductor, Mark Barnwell, engineer, with engino "Susquehanna" off the track. Puterbaugh had left Scranton a few moments ahoad of us with a freight train, and I think had switched nearly or quite all of his cars before leaving Moscow. If I re

member aright it was about 8 am., when we overtook Puterbaugh, and it took us until 8 pm. to get the "Susquehanna" off the track, and by this time the snow was up to my armpits on the level. You do not exaggerate when you say the snow was five feet deep on level at Pocono in April 1857. I was there. After we got engine on track, we coupled the two engines together, got up full head of steam, and took a run over the embankment near Paradise water tank, (wind had blown suow off this bank,) for Paradise switch, and if ever engine did their duty, this was the time. YVe just cleared main track, when we stalled, and we were happy, for we had expected to stall before clearing main track. And think of flagmen standing out in that storm for two days and two nights. On Paradise switch we found Gurnsey, conductor, Jim Harvey, engineer, with engine "Niagara" attaohed to west bound freight. We all (three crews) went to section house (Barlow's) and got our suppers. Next morning we got our breakfast at same place and ate up all they had except enough to last his family for two days. 1 took Gurnsey's way bills, looked them over and found car containing a barrel of crackers and a box of cheese, we were all right now for grub; but when could we get from Paradise to Scranton, was the question.

On' April 22, at about 4 pm., we were made happy by the arrival of a passenger train from the west. Supt. Brisbin was on it and stated to us that he, with all the men and engines at his command, had been working since morning of 20th to get passenger train from Scranton over Pocono, and said to us, "Boys, the snow is very deep in cut west of Tobyhanna. It is to tops of passenger cars: you can go to Soranton to-night if you think you cun get your engines there safe. I would prefer you would wait until morning." And his train started for Newhampton Junction. Soon after we held council of war and concluded to go to Scranton that night, which we did, arriving there about 9 pm. all right. I should have added that when we stalled in Paradise switch the snow was level with the head light on the "Susquehanna" and the foot boards alongside of "Vermont's" boiler. We had no injectors at that time and pumped water into our eigiues by slipping the drivers; this was the only way we oonld keep them alive, as they could not be moved until we shoveled them out on 22nd.

David T. Bound.

April Thirty-three Years Ago.

(Williamsport Gazette and Bulletin.1 The following is an extract from John A. Otto's diary in 1854, Mr. Otto residing at that time in Schuylkill County: "April 14th, Good Friday—snowstorm; April 15th, rain and snow; 16th, Easter, very cold; 17th, snow til teen inches deep; found a half bushel dead birds in an old furnace stuck."

Another Spring Snow Morm. Editob Rkcobd: As our snow storm of April 18 has called forth numerous reminiscences concerning late spring snows from some of the "oldest inhabitants," permit me to mention one of an earlier date and of still more untimely occurrence. I think it was in the year 1833, or perhaps in 1834. I was then a small boy, and we, that is myself and one or two more of my brothers, were at work on the old home farm at Laurel Rnn on the 15th of May. planting corn in a field now covered by 50 feet or more of coal culm. The morning was fair, but towards noon it became so cold, that t inly clad as we were, we were obliged to leave off work and betake ourselves to the old fashioned chimney corner with its bright wood fire kindled on the h' arth. Snow commenced falling early in the evebiDg,and ne'it morting the ground was covered with four or five inches, l'each and plum trees were iu full bloom, and their branches were drooping with the weight of snow and hanging to the clusters of blossom, which in the case of the plum trees at least, rivaled the whiteness of the.untimely snow with which they were weighted down. I do not remember what effect this had on the fruitage but think it was not seriously damaged. w. j.

Another Untimely Snow Storm Now that the heavy snow storm of April 18 is recalling other unseasonable storms the following item will be of interest, it being copied from the manuscript diary of Jacob J. Dennis, father of Capt. James P. Dennis:

"Snow fell on the 4th day of May, 181:2, at Wilkes-Barre, nearly all day. l'each trees were in blossoms and apple trees; some gardens were made. The two mountains were covered with snow, and on Wilkes-Barre Mountain more than a foot deep."

Two Valuable Kellcs. Dr. W. H. Sharp, of Nanticoke, has presented the Historical Society with two valuable relics. ()ue is an iron hatchet or tomahawk, blade six inches loDg, 2,'., inches along cutting edge. It was found on the premises of Asa Cook in Pike Swamp, near the cabin of Abraui Pike, the celebrated Indian killer. The other is an aboriginal implement or ornament of stone, inches long, lj-j inches wide and having two conical shaped holes bored through near the rounded endB. It was found on the mountain in iiunlock Township by C. H. Sharp.

A Poem by Mrs. Sigourney. The following poem is handed the Rkcobd by Capt. James P. Dennis. It appeared first in the Hartford (Conn.) Covrant, and is undoubtedly from the pen of the distinguished poet, Mrs. Lydia Huntley Sigourney. She was born in Norwich, Conn., 1701, and in 1810 was married to Charles S. Sigourney, of Hartford. Her writings contain frequent references to the aboriginal inhabitants of America and to her native State. Naturally Wyoming, with its tragic story and its Connecticut associations, occupied a place in her writings. The present poem, which was an appeal for the building of a monument over the bones of the hero dead at Wyoming is not given in her published writings. Mrs. Sigourney died in Hartford in 1865.


Men of this happy land, if ye would have
That valor flourish, which did guard your homes
From foreign domination—haste to pay
I 'in* honor to the dead, who made their breast
A shield agai st the foe. and in the cause
Of holy liberty, lay down to die,
— Flow'd not their blood f rom the same glorious

That till'd your own? Why should they longer

sleep • In cold oblivion's tomb?

'J h^ir gather'd bones Are where the death-shaft fell, and the green


Of fair Wyoming's vale hath dope its best

To deck their sepulchre. Yea, Spring hath


Weeping like Itizpuh for her slanghter'd sr ns. And spread H mantle o'er them—and the flowers That Snnimor brings, have budded there ami died

These many lusirnms.

Friends and countrymenPlant ye a stone upon that hallow'd mound, Ami from its grave tablet teach yonr sons— Ami when its pillnr'd height goes up toward heaven,

Tell them from whence was drawn that fortitude

Which env'd their land Then if you see a tear Upon the bright cheeks of your listening boy, hasten with a precious seed—and charge him there

To love his country and to fear his (iod
Hartford, Conn. May 88. 1841.

Cap! John Fries, of Hucks. Editor Rkcobd: Will not some contributor furni»h a history of Capt. John Fries, of Bucks County, Pa., who in 1709 made a raid into Bethlehem, and liberated a number of prisoners, was tried for high treason and sentenced to death, and afterward pardoned by President Johu Adams. Will not some of our Northampton or Bucks County local historians write him up, his ancestry and descendants, etc. H.


Uow Mis Father's Blacksmith Shop Looked, and How Nails and » aim Tools Were Made <i5 Years Ago — Launch of the War Ship, "Luzerne." Editoe Record: On the last day of February, 1825, I left my home in WilkeB-Barrf and walked to Dundaff. I had previously made a contract with Col. Gould Phinny to work a year for him at my trade, (blacksmith.) I went tip the turnpike from Wilkes-Barre, through Pitt*ton to Hyde Park, and while there I looked over to Capouse (now Scranton, I and I saw the residence of Maj. Ebenezer Slocum aud eight or ten tenant houses in which his workhands resided, and there were apparently ten or twelve acres of cleared land where Scranton now is. Maj. Slocuin had a 1 orge there, and mannfactured what was called bloomer irons aud soon after the war of 1812 I used to go up with my father to purchase iron of Mr. Slocuin, my father being a blacksmith. Where Scranton now is, was then a dense wilderness with the exception of the lew acres around his house. I went on up the turnpike through Greenfield, aud arrived at the Dundaff Hotel about sundown. There I found an old Wilkes-Barre friend and his family with whom 1 was acquainted, Arohippus Parrish, whose horses 1 had shod from 1818 to 1822, at which time he moved with his family to Dundaff. He ran the hotel there a number of years and then moved back to Wilkes-Barre. I felt perfectly at home aud boarded with the family a year, and I can positively say that it was one of the happiest years of iny life.

I will now go back a tew years with the occurrences of my boyhood at WilkeB-Barre. When I was ten years old (1913) my father carried on the blacksmith business. In his shop were three tires. At that time there were no hardware stores in Wilkes-Barro and no edge tools could be found in either of the four or five stores there, except now aud then an old fashioned one bladed Bar low knife might be found at a huge price. Such an article as a cast iron plongu or a cut nail was not known, but about the close of the war a man by the name of Francis McShane started a cut nail machine, a very simple affair indeed, but himself aud his helper, (Shepard Marble, a Wilkes-Barre young man J could cut aud head about 20 pounds daily; this caused a great excitement in town, hundreds ot people Irom town and county came to see the nail factory. The price of wrought iron came down from 20 and 25 cents a pound to the price of twelve and a half cents. Cut nails were sold at ten cents. The three fires in my father's shop were used us follows: First, at his fire

were made all the edge tools, including cradle and grass scythes, chopping axes and various kinds of carpenters' tools. At another fire nothing but the various kinds of wrought iron nails were made, and the third tire was kept busy at the various kinds of customers' work as it was called for.

Duriug the war of 1812 the great ship Luzerne was built on the river bank-in front of John W. Robinson's stone house. I saw the launch. A thousand or more people were present. The war spirit was rampant at that time, and the people of our town expected that the noble Luzerne was going to assist in bringing the "Flag of Great Britain" down, A few days after the launch a sufficient flood arose and the ship was manned and started down the river towards the ocean, but in passing the Falls of Canawaga, she ran on to the rocks and lay there till the ice in the river broke np the next spring, when she was totally destroyed.

John P. Arndt was one of the stockholders —probably the largest one—in the vessel. Several others, including my father, had from three to five hundred dollars of the stock. There wns great excitement in Luzerne County about those days. The war spirit prevailed to a great extent. There were two recruiting stations at Wilkes-Barre and the reoruiting officers were very busy for one or two years. Business of every description was brisk, and all kinds of provisions were high—wheat two dollars and fifty cents per bushel; corn one dollar and twenty-five cents; pork eighteen to twenty dollars u barrel, aud everything else in the line of provisions proportionally huh.

D. Yabinoton.

[ocr errors]

Now We Send One Ounce Anywhere In the United States for Two Cents. Fifty years ago the rales of postage in the United States were six cents for a letter, if not carried over 30 miles, 10 cents, if carried over 30 miles and not over 80 miles, 12>£ cents if over 80 and not over 150 miles, 18% cents between 150 and 400 miles, and 25 cents for any distance over 400 miles. Doublo letters, or letters composed of two pieces of paper, were double these rates. Every distinct piece of paper, if written on, was luible to single-rate letter postage. Envelopes were then unknown in this country. If used, they would have subjected letWs to double postage. The fourth page of the letter sheet was left vacant, and the letter was so folded as to bring a part of this page on the outside of the letter aud thus furnish a place for the superscription or address.

[blocks in formation]

£56 10 0"

This being Connecticut cnrrency, 6s. to the dollar wonld, in United States money, amount to 8188 33%.

This Elisha Blackman was the lieutenant of the old men, the "Reformadoes," that were in possession of the Wilkes-Barre fort, or stockade, on the day of the massacre at Wyoming, July 3, 1778. On the next day, the 4th, after the women and children, and all the other old men in Wilkes Barre and the neighborhood had fied across the mountain toward Htrondsbnrg, he left the fort abont 4 o'clock in the afternoou with his son, Elisha Blackman, Jr.—who had been in the battle at Wyoming the day before and had escaped—end fled down the river. and across the country by the Wapwallopeu Crefk to Stroudsburg. Elisha, Jr.. came bark to Wilkea-Barre early in August with Capt. Spalding's remnant of the two companies of the Wyoming or Westmoreland soldiers that had been in Washington's army. After saving such of the crops of his father's farm and others as he could and helping to bury the dead at Wyoming he enlisted in Washington's army and served to the end of the war -1783

The old gentleman, Elisha, Sr., went on to Connecticut with bis family, which he had found at Strondsburg, but returned to Wilkes- Barre the same year, 1778, and dis

posed of his crops, or some of them, to the government for the soldiers stationed at Wilkes Barre and the neighborhood. The potatoes and oats, corn and hay, or grass, could not be wholly destroyed by the Indians. But how could this pork have been saved? Was it buried in the ground? Young Elisha'a mother had buried Mb clothing to keep the Indians from getting it, before she, with the rest of the children, two boys, 13 and 16, and two girls older than these, fled to the mountain, and young Elisha never saw her after the massacre until the war ended in 178:). On his discharge from the army he went to Connecticut, not so very fa. from Newberg, where the army was disbanded, and when he returned to WilkesBurre in 178(1 his buried clothes were all rotten. (His father returned to Wilkes-Barre to reside in 1787.) But why had not his mother told his father where they were buried, sn that when he was here in 1778 he might have dug them up and saved them? It seems that some of the people had forethought and courage enough, the night and day after the battle and massacre, to bury their most valuable property that could not be carried away on their backs across the mountains and through the woods and the great swamp. There were no roads nor scarcely paths in that direction, for that was toward Pennsylvania and not New England settlements. H. B. Plumb.

Jones Family of Bethlehem. Mr. and Mrs. Geo. H. Jones went to Bethlehem April 18 to attend the golden wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Jones. There was a happy family reunion. The house wherein the wedding took place occupied the site of the old homestead bnilt by John Jones, who bought the whole tract lying between Bethlehem and Freemansburg 150 years ago. On this farm they lived 33 years, and here their eleven children were born, only five of whom are now living. The crandchild last born—a son of Mr. and Mrs. Geo ge H. Jones—was baptized on Monday evening, in the presence of the assembled family, by Rev. Robert W. Jones, Earl Andre was the baptismal name. The history and lineage of the Jones family of Bethlehem Township was traced and embodied in an article published in the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography for 1880, by Prof. Joseph Henry Dubbs, D. D., of LanaaRter, Pa., whose grandmother was a Jones. Griffith Jones, tho first of the line, was born in Wales, aud died in Montgomery County, Pa., in 1720. His son, John, was the first of the family in this vicinity, and the grandchildren of Mr. and Mrs. George Jones are the seventh generation.

Meteoric Shower of 183IJ.

In response to the Reoobd's inquiry if any of its readers could describe the meteoric shower of 1833, A. G. Stilwell sends the following reminiscence:

The writer was twenty years of age at that date, Nov. 12, 1833, a resident of Susquehanna County. The day previous, preparations were being made by his father and self to start early for Philadelphia. Abont 3 am. we were astir to feed and hitch up dobbin, it was before the days of railroads. Upon looking out doors a sight new and dazzling was presented. In the East, West, North and Booth appeared, filling the air by the millions softly and quietly falling towards the earth, particles of fire, like snowflakes; but none of them by very close examination could be seen to touch the earth. None fell at the feet: bnt like the foot of the rain-bow, when approached receded. The morning was cool and very plensaut weather followed into October. The recollection of the'phenomenon is very vivid, but what it was I do not know; probably it was gas, having the appearance of fire and yet with out heat. Singular as it may appear, no effort made to secure or touch the fire with the hand was successful. When within a few feet of the earth it seemed to dissolve. HON. H. B. Plumb's Beoollection.

The author of the History of Hanover Township thus writes:

In the Record of April 27 you ask who among your readers can recall the wonderful meteoric display of Nov. 12, 1833. I, for one, can recall it.

On the morning of the 13th, about 4 o'clock, my mother awoke me and had me get up and go to the door with her. There she told me to look up at the sky. I looked up, facing the south. I probably looked in every direction from the door toward the south, but I have a reoollectiou only of looking at the sky towards the south. The sky was all brightly lighted up by the flashing shooting stars. According to my recollection they all shot towards the west. The tail- were not quite as long, according to my recollection, as that of an ordinary shooting star, but they were constantly, incessantly flashing, wherever I looked, all going the same way—the same direction—towards the west. There was not in any direction, from any flashing star a vacant space, without any shooting star in it, as wide or great as two diameters of the fall moon. The tails seem to me to have been told long as five or six diameters of the fall moon. My mother told me to remember that I was four years old that day. That day was my birthday. I was too young to be frightened at it, and I have just asked my mother about it, and she was not frightened, because her father was

there looking at tbem, and he did not seem afraid and so she wasn't. She says she did not know but he was used to such sights, and had seen them often before, and knew all about it. The next day, that is the same day after it got light, she went to Wilkes-Barre, and there was great excitement there. The Methodists had heid prayers during the night, she learned, and some had prayed all night.

See also Plumb's history of Hanover, page 292. H. B. Plumb.


Col. Meginness' Historical Journal, published at Williamsport, gives the following reminiscence of an ei e-witness:

"A single glance from the window convinced us that either the stars were falling or that some strange phenomenon was taking place. The air seemed to be filled with falling fire, each separate particle of which was apparently as large as the big flakes of snow that sometimes fall on a soft day in winter. The falling fire, or whatever it was. made it as light as when the full moon is shining on a clear night, and looking far up towards the sky we could fix our eyes upon a single one of the falling meteors and trace it until it almost reached the ground, upon which none of them could be seen to alight. Some of the meteors assumed fantastic shapes and our fears were terrible. When fie finally calmed ourselves enough to reason together, we found that by fixing our gaze upon the real stars, that were shining brightly in the heavens, we could see that they were not falling. This allayed our fears, and from the moment that discovery was made, we feasted our eyes upon the falling meteors until daylight shut them from our view. Bnt few of our neighbors witnessed the strange sight, and those who did not were loth to believe the occurrence as we related it to be real. We, however, were pleased to know, when we saw the newspapers, that the singular phenomenon had been witnessed all over the world, and that we had seen the wonderful sight of that remarkable night of November 12, 1833."

By the death of Col. James Boone, of Lancaster, Montgomery County now claims that she has living within her limits, the oldest Odd Fellow in PennsjWania, in the person of Geo. F. Schaeff, who was initiated ear y in March, 1828, in Philadelphia. He is now living at Blue Bell, in robust health, and is a member of Centre Square Lodge, No. 2&i. — Norristovm Herald.

Major W. P. Elliott, an account of whom appeared in the March Historical Record as being the oldest printer in the United States, died at Lewiston, April 2, 1887, aged 94.

« ZurückWeiter »