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    Glensheen & the Congdon Legacy – Full Documentary
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    Glensheen & the Congdon Legacy – Full Documentary

    August 12, 2019


    MALE VOICEOVER: Funding for
    Glensheen and the Congdon Legacy is provided by
    the Citizens of Minnesota through the Minnesota Arts
    and Cultural Heritage Fund. NARRATOR: A gentle slope
    leads to the water’s edge. The broad expanse
    of Lake Superior reaches far beyond the eye. The nearby cliffs are a reminder
    of the big lake’s power, yet on this stretch,
    access to the shoreline is across a pebbly beach. It’s here that Chester
    and Clara Congdon decided to put down roots, to
    build their home place, modeled after an English country estate. The Jacobean style
    mansion, Glensheen, built more than a
    century ago, stands today as a timeless tribute
    to the American dream, a dream built on hard
    work, fortunate timing, and a relentless
    pursuit of knowledge. TONY DIERCKINS:
    Basically, Chester Congdon spent his life becoming an
    expert at what he wanted to do. When he didn’t want to
    be a school principal, he became an expert lawyer. When he got into Oliver Mining,
    he became an expert in mines. NARRATOR: Glensheen Mansion
    is more than a structure of concrete and steel. It’s a connection to a city’s
    history and development. Through every season and
    the passing of years, Glensheen stands
    the test of time, a fitting tribute
    to a family that gave so much to the region. FEMALE SPEAKER: So he provided
    the money to get the land. He provided the
    landscape design for it, and so in 1908, the city named
    the park after Mr. Congdon. That’s why we have
    Congdon Park now. NARRATOR: Today thousands
    visit the house and its grounds every year, making Glensheen
    the number one house museum in Minnesota. The understated grace
    and beauty of the estate impresses as much today
    as it did 100 years ago. Well, you have a lot of
    grand homes in Minnesota, but there are a few
    that really showcase the talents of our state better
    than this grand mansion here. NARRATOR: More than a
    century after it was built, visitors continue to marvel at
    this true Minnesota original, and they want to learn
    more about the people who lived here, the staff
    who served them, and the continuing legacy
    of Glensheen and the Congdon family. In 1853, the Lake
    Superior region was the Western frontier,
    and Duluth, nothing more than a small settlement. That same year,
    Chester Adgate Congdon was born in this house
    in Rochester, New York. On the other side
    of the continent, Clara Bannister, Chester
    Congdon’s future wife, was born and spent
    her formative years in San Francisco, California. MARY VAN EVERA: Her
    father went west at the time of the gold
    rush, and he was a minister, a Methodist minister. His job out there was
    to be a clergyman, and he had a parish
    in San Francisco. NARRATOR: Chester
    Congdon’s father was also a Methodist minister,
    preaching at various New York parishes when scarlet
    fever struck the family. TONY DIERCKINS: Two of his
    siblings and his father died when he was
    about 14 years old, and he went to work
    in a local lumber yard where they lived in
    upstate New York. NARRATOR: Chester worked
    at the lumber yard to support his widowed
    mother and surviving siblings until 1871 when he enrolled
    in newly founded Syracuse University. Although he would have
    preferred going to Yale, tuition was too expensive. As the son of a minister,
    he could attend Syracuse at half tuition, a sum
    of just $10 per term. The first class
    at the university consisted of 41
    students, four of them women, including
    Clara Bannister. TONY DIERCKINS: They became
    sweethearts at school and both graduated in
    Syracuse’s first class together. She went on to become a
    school teacher in Ontario, and he tried his luck after
    sitting for the bar in New York as a principal, a high
    school principal in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. NARRATOR: The job in Chippewa
    Falls paid $900 a year, and it allowed
    Chester the chance to see what opportunities
    existed in the Upper Midwest. He moves out west
    like a lot of Americans do in hope of a better life. And at the time,
    Minnesota was kind of one of those further
    west territories. NARRATOR: Clara, meanwhile,
    followed her love of art to a teaching
    position in Ontario. MARY VAN EVERA:
    Taught in a school in Canada, a girls
    school, I believe, and also in Pennsylvania. And Grandfather wrote to
    her and knew her then, but didn’t feel that he
    could marry her until he could afford to support her. NARRATOR: Looking to
    further his law career, Chester left his position
    in Chippewa Falls for Saint Paul, Minnesota, where
    he passed the Minnesota bar exam and landed a job with
    an established law firm. While gaining experience
    in his chosen profession, Chester was still frustrated
    with his inability to earn enough money to
    afford to marry Clara. He outlined his financial
    position to her in a letter. MALE SPEAKER: “$9.67 in cash,
    $5 receivable from my law firm, amongst prepaid rent at $8,
    a meal ticket worth $5.75, two pounds of crackers,
    two pounds of canned meat, and one half pound of coffee.” Chester’s fortunes
    would soon change thanks to a
    professional friendship with William Billson,
    the US Attorney for the state of Minnesota. Billson was impressed
    with Congdon’s work and offered him a job as
    assistant US attorney. His spirits buoyed by the new
    position and a slight increase in pay, Chester sent word to
    Clara to set a wedding date. Chester Adgate Congdon and
    Clara Hesperia Bannister were married in Syracuse, New
    York on September 29, 1881, and boarded a train back to
    Saint Paul that same afternoon. The Congdons made to
    the best of their life in Minnesota’s capital city,
    and they began a family. Between 1882 and 1891, Clara
    gave birth to five children– Walter, Edward, Marjorie,
    Helen, and John. During this period,
    Congdon’s mentor, Billson, left the US Attorney’s Office
    and went into private practice in Duluth. TONY DIERCKINS: A lot of
    Congdon’s professional business took him to and from
    Duluth, and there, he would visit with his old boss
    and mentor, William Billson. Billson, in the meantime, had
    developed a lucrative practice in Duluth. He was considered one of the
    Zenith City’s top attorneys. NARRATOR: Congdon’s
    practice prospered, buoyed by the experience he
    had gained in the US Attorney’s Office. He also invested in
    Western mining stock and made some significant land
    deals in the Pacific Northwest. Just as it seemed
    he was building a practice for the long
    term in Saint Paul, Congdon received
    an enticing offer. TONY DIERCKINS: In 1892, Billson
    offered Congdon a partnership. He said, why don’t
    you come on up? Bring the family to Duluth. It was growing by then. And relocate here, and
    become Billson’s partner. NARRATOR: It was a
    difficult decision, but Billson’s offer was
    too good to let pass. Moving a family of seven
    was a daunting task, so Chester moved first to
    establish himself in Duluth, with Clara and the children
    following a few months later. The Congdons found
    a home to rent on East 1st Street in
    Duluth, and two more children were born to the couple–
    Elizabeth and Robert. Tragedy struck when their son,
    John, died at the age of two from scarlet fever. With six other children to care
    for, the Congdons needed space. TONY DIERCKINS: When the
    Congdons first moved to Duluth, they settled in Duluth’s
    Endion neighborhood, and they had a modest house
    they were renting then, and in 1895, Duluth’s premier
    architect, Oliver Traphagen, announced that he was
    closing up shop in Duluth and moving to Hawaii. And the Congdons bought
    the home that Traphagen had designed and built for himself. NARRATOR: The
    redstone building was one of Duluth’s most elegant
    and fashionable residences, and it was home to the
    Congdons for the next 13 years. The biggest break of
    Chester Congdon’s career came because his law partner
    was away from the office. Henry Oliver owned
    a steel company in Pittsburgh, which was
    second only to Carnegie Steel in its level of production. In 1892, Oliver came
    to northern Minnesota to see firsthand the discovery
    of iron ore on the Iron Range. He was so impressed with
    the Mesabi properties of Duluth’s Merritt
    Brothers, he struck a deal to mine their ore. On his return trip
    from the range, Oliver came through Duluth
    seeking a local attorney to represent him in future
    Minnesota business deals. He was told that William
    Billson had the sharpest legal mind in Duluth, and he
    went to visit Billson one day, and Billson was out. And he wouldn’t return before
    Oliver had to leave town, so his junior attorney, Chester
    Congdon, took the meeting. The two Republicans hit
    it off almost immediately, and it is said they
    became lifelong friends after that meeting. Before it ended, they decided to
    form the Oliver Mining Company with Chester Congdon as
    its chief legal counsel. NARRATOR: The formation of the
    Oliver Mining Company in 1892 started a chain of
    events that would result in a financial
    windfall for Congdon. There’s a financial
    panic the next year, and Oliver merges
    with Carnegie Steel. Carnegie takes over 50% of that. Meanwhile, JD Rockefeller
    takes over the Merritt Brothers holdings on the Iron Range. NARRATOR: The panic of
    1893 put Rockefeller in control of the railroad
    that Oliver Mining needed to transfer its ore. Rockefeller quickly
    increased his rail rates, forcing Oliver and
    Congdon to consider building their own railroad. Then Rockefeller
    increased the rates on his fleet of
    Great Lakes ships. The high stakes game put
    America’s very economy in peril, and got the attention
    of another 19th century business tycoon. TONY DIERCKINS: Then JP
    Morgan, who owns and runs most of the nation’s banks,
    it’s fair uncomfortable. So he forms US Steel, buying
    out Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Oliver, and this increases
    Congdon’s stock by 550%. NARRATOR: Chester Congdon’s
    partnership with Oliver continued as the two formed
    other mining companies, developed new mining
    techniques, and succeeded where others had failed. He was just in that frontier
    period of opening up the iron range, and that was
    very exciting to him, getting business going, and
    the development of the steel industry. NARRATOR: Chester traveled
    extensively through the years, looking for attractive
    investment opportunities in Minnesota and beyond. TONY DIERCKINS:
    Basically, Chester Congdon dealt in mining properties
    for the rest of his life. They not only had the iron
    mines in the Mesabi range, but they invested in copper
    mines in Arizona and mines elsewhere. NARRATOR: Chester’s
    successful mining ventures made the Congdons one of
    Minnesota’s wealthiest families, and soon, he and
    Clara turned their attention to building a family home. While wealthier
    Duluthians had begun moving further east at the
    turn of the 20th century, few were building near the
    shore of Lake Superior. But the idea of a lake home
    intrigued the Congdons. TONY DIERCKINS: Clara’s diary
    as early as 1900 or 1901 mentions looking for
    a site and finding a site along Tischer Creek. He was very interested in the
    north shore of Lake Superior. NARRATOR: Chester began to
    purchase the land in 1903, soon acquiring just over
    21 acres bordering the lake and reaching a quarter
    mile up the hillside. The Congdons hired noted
    Minnesota architect, Clarence Johnston, to design their home. Clarence Johnston in 1901
    had become the Minnesota state architect. He had done many buildings
    for the state, including many for the University of
    Minnesota over the years, considered Minnesota’s
    premier architect, one of the premier architects
    in the nation really. NARRATOR: The Congdons
    asked Johnston to design a manor that resembles
    an English country estate. They chose a name that reflected
    the mansion’s location. You can see it right here. It’s called Glensheen
    because of this glen that you see here, and then
    the shine off of Lake Superior, or the sheen, Glensheen. NARRATOR: In June
    of 1905, excavation began for the house
    foundation– 42 by 140 feet with the long side
    paralleling Lake Superior. Construction would
    continue that first year until winter closed in, then
    resume the following spring. Bricklayers were back on
    the job in April of 1906, and by that fall, all
    three floors and the attic had been finished. At the same time the manor
    house was being built, workmen also constructed
    a carriage house, gardener’s cottage with four
    greenhouses, and a boat house with an attached pier. All were constructed from
    the sturdiest materials under the Congdons’
    watchful eyes. DAN HARTMAN: Not only is this
    mansion built almost entirely on a steel beam and concrete,
    so was the carriage house, and so was even the
    little gardener’s cottage. Chester and Clara
    were both intimately involved with the
    design of the building, with the siting of it, with
    the landscape approval, with the implementation. NARRATOR: By 1907,
    work had begun on Glensheen’s interior
    mechanical systems and the pilasters, bricklayers,
    and interior wood finishers busied themselves completing
    the structure of the home. By February of 1908, the
    mansion was turned over to the company that
    would be responsible for interior decoration. Glensheen’s graceful
    restrained exterior design is a hallmark of
    Clarence Johnston’s work. Yet for all its classic beauty,
    the mansion’s Jacobethan revival facade only hints of
    the rich details found inside. Chester awarded the
    interior design contract to the William A French
    company of Minneapolis, a major commission that required
    the full attention of French. DAN HARTMAN: The interior
    designer, William A French, he was here constantly. He actually is repetitively
    showing up inside of Clara’s diary, and
    so they’re having tea. He’s showing things. They’re just making
    decisions, and it’s ongoing. William French was
    concerned that he didn’t have sufficient
    financial resources in order to manufacture all
    of the furniture in order to stockpile
    it to get it ready, because the order had to
    be placed a year and a half in advance. Chester actually became
    the vice president and one of the largest investors
    annoying in the William French company in order
    to ease that cash flow situation for William French. The vast, vast majority
    of the furniture you see throughout this
    house is all actually custom made for Glensheen. A lot of it is
    actually hand-sketched. The sketches are actually then
    brought to you, usually Clara, and then Clara would
    say up or down. NARRATOR: Elements of Clarence
    Johnston’s interior design mingle throughout the house
    with ideas from William French, making for a truly
    unique living space. DAN HARTMAN: You’ll
    see a lot of oddities through the house, where
    typically, the architect would have a little bit more leeway. But the designers clearly
    changed the design. And frankly, I
    think that’s partly why this house looks
    as great as it does, and you can definitely
    tell the Johnston elements, and then also the immediate
    interior designer elements. The very kind of
    classical Johnston element is our staircase with
    the leather strapwork design going up. That is Clarence Johnston. DENNIS LAMKIN: It wasn’t
    at all uncommon for when a mansion of this
    caliber and scale was being built to employ
    different decorators to do different areas so that
    you had some variety in your interior design. William French did the majority
    of the work in the house. He decorated– this
    is Chester’s room. He decorated this
    room, for example. But other rooms in the
    house were subcontracted by William French
    to John Bradstreet, and Bradstreet was
    probably in many regards a bigger name
    than William French was as far as an interior designer. NARRATOR: Bradstreet design the
    famous Green Room at Glensheen, a longtime favorite of visitors. It’s where the Congdons
    took their breakfast. Bradstreet was heavily
    influenced by his many visits to Japan, as evidenced by his
    craft house in Minneapolis. Here, his clients could see
    his latest inspired designs, and here, he developed
    a process of treating wood that gives Chester’s
    smoking room a unique look. DAN HARTMAN: I love
    John Bradstreet’s jin-di-sugi process, where he
    actually physically torches the wood. He burns off the lighter
    grains, so you can really see– the cypress with the
    red and the wood just really pops out. NARRATOR: The
    jin-di-sugi method, developed by
    Bradstreet, accelerated the Japanese technique, which
    required the wood be buried for years to allow rock and
    decay to dissolve the softer pulp. Also in the smoking room,
    hand-hammered copper lighting shows off Minnesota
    craftsmanship, a point of emphasis for Congdon. DAN HARTMAN: The overall
    purpose of Glensheen is to show the talents that
    we have here in Minnesota. When Glensheen was being
    built, a lot of people out east didn’t know
    what we had over here. They didn’t know we
    had an outdoor element. They didn’t know that
    we had a craftsman who could to do anything. NARRATOR: Of all the
    rooms in Glensheen, the third floor bedroom
    of Walter Congdon holds a special place in
    American design history. DAN HARTMAN: And this room
    here is a John Bradstreet room. This is one of the
    very few– I think it’s the only set completely
    of arts and crafts that John Bradstreet left. I love that you have the
    desk, the chair, and notice that they all match together. But also, even the
    wastebasket matches. And I just love that all
    this stuff fits in together. It’s clearly a set. But I also love the inlay
    in the wood in this room, and it’s kind of hard to
    see, but right over here, there’s just this little
    decorative design of Bradstreet that is just so– that is
    one of his signature styles that you’ll see on his pieces,
    only his arts and crafts. This is one of our
    greatest things here is we can still show this
    time frame of American history, and I’d say, really,
    this is a moment in interior design
    in our country that is best showcased
    here at Glensheen. NARRATOR: Since
    his death in 1914, Bradstreet’s name
    has been mentioned with Tiffany, Stickley,
    and even Frank Lloyd Wright in the pantheon of
    American designers. His work, along with that
    of French and Johnston, make Glensheen a unique fusion
    of American design history. DAN HARTMAN: Usually, when you
    have a house of this nature, you’ll have one
    general style that’ll dominate the whole house. That’s not the case here. You have this third floor,
    which is very heavy on the arts and crafts. On this side, it’s
    done by Bradstreet. The other side is done
    by William A French. Well, the floor below us
    and the floor below that are Beaux-Arts style, which is
    a very different style, almost a little post-Gilded Age. You also have Helen’s
    room, which is actually an art nouveau style, and so
    you have these very differing elements that make up Glensheen. NARRATOR: Chester and Clara
    Congdon accented the design elements with fine
    carpets, objects collected on their many travels,
    and an extensive collection of art. DAN HARTMAN: One of the
    things I love about Glensheen from an art
    perspective is you go into a lot of these grand
    homes in the country, and it’s just filled with really
    famous international artists. And what I love
    about Glensheen is you have that, but
    immediately next to it is a regional artist, because
    Chester and Clara weren’t buying art just
    as an investment. They were buying art because
    they actually enjoyed it. DENNIS LAMKIN: They, together,
    would look at catalogs of art, and both would have
    comments in the Notes section of the artwork
    which pieces they liked. DAN HARTMAN: Chester, in
    particular, went on this trip through the Pacific,
    and there’s a lot of pieces throughout the
    home that are from that trip. You’ll see a lot of pieces
    from Australia, Japan. It’s kind of fun to see
    them throughout the house. NARRATOR: Even with its art
    work, fine craftsmanship, and highest quality
    materials, Glensheen was meant to be a
    respite, a place to get away from the
    worries of the world and relax with
    family and friends. [music playing] NARRATOR: With the house
    as its centerpiece, the landscape at Glensheen
    is patterned in the style of an English country estate. In a departure, the Congdon’s
    looked outside of Minnesota for their landscape architect,
    hiring Charles W. Leavitt from New York City. So you have Clarence
    Johnson, who’s a great architect
    here in Minnesota. You have the two interior
    designers– great Minnesotan. But for the landscape
    designer, he chose Charles Leavitt
    out of New York. Definitely, this is a little
    guy of national landscape fame. And you can really see
    that in the estate. NARRATOR: Leavitt’s plan
    for the estate’s 22 acres included formal garden areas, a
    large paddock for the Congdon’s livestock, and extensive use
    of the natural landscape. Sustainability was a
    major goal of the plan. But the formal garden is
    the focus of the grounds. DAN HARTMAN: This is
    something that visitors have enjoyed I think since
    the day we’ve opened. But really, it’s
    just a beautiful spot to showcase the beautiful
    gardens that we can have here in northern Minnesota. And this has been that constant
    photograph of Glensheen that we’ve seen in everyone’s
    photographs for 30 years. NARRATOR: At its center, a cool
    and beautiful marble fountain grace the formal garden. Glensheen’s original fountain
    featured four jets that shot an arching spray of water. That configuration
    was changed in 1913 when the current
    fountain was installed. DAN HARTMAN: And
    then, eventually, they decided with what see here,
    which is Italian marble. And it’s made by George Thrana,
    actually carved here in Duluth. He’s one of Duluth’s
    master stone carvers. And this is not George
    Thrana’s first design. He actually gave them
    a different design of a young woman
    riding an alligator. And the Congdon family
    said, ah, maybe not so much. And this is the second
    design which they did choose. NARRATOR: In the Northeastern
    portion of the landscape plan, a clay surface tennis court was
    built next to a bowling green. A beautiful flower garden is
    just below the tennis court. And vegetable gardens tear
    down toward the waterfront. The Gardener’s cottage
    stands in the lowest corner of the vegetable gardens. Adjacent to the cottage,
    four adjoining greenhouses marched up the hillside, an
    important part of the estate’s sustainable design. Some of the greenhouses
    were used to start flowers, including annuals and perennials
    for the estates formal gardens. And at the top of the
    hill, the Palm House contained a real treat for
    the Congdon grandchildren. We used to come down on
    my brother’s birthday, this would be in
    the ’30s and ’20s, to pick a banana
    from the banana tree down there, because they
    seemed to ripen right in April. So that’s part I remember most. NARRATOR: Sadly, the
    greenhouses no longer exist. They were dismantled in 1970
    after their coal burning heating plant failed. Just below the quaint
    gardener’s cottage stands a much larger
    building– the carriage house. DAN HARTMAN: This is kind of
    that overlapping period where carriages were still
    very heavily used here in the city of Duluth,
    while at the same time, the automobile is really
    starting to come on the scene. So here in this
    carriage house, you’ll have the horses that are
    carrying their carriages while immediately in
    the same building, we’ll have a garage for
    their new automobiles. NARRATOR: Along with space
    for the cars and carriages, some of the Congdon’s
    male servants lived in the carriage house. DAN HARTMAN: They
    had their own kitchen here– their own set
    of bathrooms here. This is where they lived. This is kind of their house. And you actually had a
    full-time staff member named a stableman
    who actually would be living in that quarter. You’d have the
    chauffeur– the coachman. NARRATOR: The carriage
    house had stalls for the estate’s
    award-winning Morgan horses along with space for
    a few Guernsey cows kept for their milk and butter. To the east of the gardens
    and carriage house, several acres of
    paddocks were set aside for the estate’s livestock. was a large boat house
    with a protective pier and breakwater extending
    well out into Lake Superior. The structure provided shelter
    for the Congdon’s yacht, the Hesperia. DAN HARTMAN: And a lot of the
    commercial maps for captains, you’d actually see the
    Glensheen pier on the map because it was just such
    a significant structure. NARRATOR: The boat
    house itself is made of rough cut stone
    similar to the stone bridge over Tischer Creek. More than 500
    loads of black soil were brought in to sculpt
    Glensheen’s landscape. And over 200 varieties
    of trees and vegetation were planted on the grounds. Today, the Congdon
    Estate’s 22 acres is a living testament to
    Charles Leavitt’s master plan and ongoing efforts to
    maintain his original intent from more than a century ago. DAN HARTMAN: We have
    the original 1907 map of where things are
    supposed to be planted. And it corresponds to a list
    of the plant that was planted. And so it was just kind of fun
    to be able to still go back in time and be able to point
    out this is the heritage tree or this is a new one. And it’s fun that we have
    so much of that history still available. So we can restore it to what
    it was meant to look like. [music playing] NARRATOR: On a
    beautiful summer day, Glensheen director
    Dan Hartman walks a neglected trail along the
    western edge of Tischer Creek. All but forgotten
    over the years, these trails are
    an original part of landscape architect Charles
    Leavitt’s ambitious plan for the property. DAN HARTMAN: One of the unknown
    parts of the trail system is this beautiful
    outlook of Lake Superior. And notice that the original
    stone staircase leading down to the outlook is still here. Oral history has it that
    this is where Chester came for his morning cup of coffee. NARRATOR: From the
    rock outcropping And visitors to the grounds
    came away impressed. DAN HARTMAN: And when this was
    completed in 1910 when guests came here, they didn’t
    walk away necessarily talking about the house. They mostly walked away talking
    about how beautiful this trail system was. And how it almost felt
    like mini North Shore here on the property. NARRATOR: The centerpiece
    of the trail system is the beautiful stone arch
    bridge over Tischer Creek. Its timeless design has made
    it one of Glensheen’s most iconic locations. DAN HARTMAN: On the
    family’s postcards, the picture wasn’t
    the house over here, it was actually the bridge and
    then the side of the house. That’s how important this
    landscape was to the family. So you think Chester had
    his own private hiking trail here on the property. And that beautiful stone bridge
    is that it actually connected you to that hiking trail. So many have referred to
    it as the bridge to nowhere in the past. But clearly, it is a
    bridge to something and is one of the more
    beautiful parts of the estate. NARRATOR: The
    extensive trail system wraps around the estate grounds
    on both sides of Tischer Creek. Getting up and down
    this steep creek banks required the construction
    of stone steps which were artfully
    carved into the slopes. So this is one of the
    completely unknown staircases here at Glensheen that
    we hope to bring back and that are not actually
    even available at all to the public today. But it’s the other
    side of the trail, kind of that eastern
    portion, which still has that great view
    of the stone bridge. And you can really
    see now how the trail system wraps around both
    sides of Tischer Creek. NARRATOR: Stepping stones
    that once led across the creek have been washed away. But the trail continues
    through an impressive tunnel to the Congdon property
    located above London Road. DAN HARTMAN: You have this
    beto Duluth’s Congdon Parkteny on land that Chester
    had donated to the city. It was a seamless
    transition to a park that complemented Glensheen’s
    Lake Superior location. DAN HARTMAN: What I think
    is really unique about going on the other side of London
    Road is you can really see that continuity of design. in merging land and building
    towas ahead of its time.l Visitors to Glensheen
    today once again see the mansion and grounds much
    as they were first imagined more than 100 years ago. We cleaCongdon’s visionw shed.
    NARRATOR: Chester for a trail system
    along Tischer Creek didn’t end at his property line. He had something
    more in mind that would benefit his adopted city. NANCY NELSON: He
    owned the property from the lake shore all
    the up to Graceland Road along Tischer Creek. So he proposed that the city
    acquire the land from Graceland Road all the way up to Vermilion
    Road along Tischer Creek and make that a city park. NARRATOR: The creek plunges and
    winds down the Duluth hillside, carving out impressive valleys
    and peaceful pools on its way to Lake Superior. A scenic canvas–
    it seemed perfect for an extension of the trail
    work planned for Glensheen. But it was also badly polluted. At the time, the
    people who lived up at the top of the hill
    in the Woodland area were using Tischer
    Creek as a sewer. So it was fairly contaminated. NARRATOR: Congdon made his
    donation of land and money contingent on the city
    redirecting the sewage into a holding tank. The park board accepted
    Congdon’s offer in 1905 and completed
    acquisition of another 30 acres of land for the
    park by the end of 1907. But Congdon’s generosity
    didn’t end there. He offered the services
    of his landscaping team to come up with a
    plan for the park. He had hired Charles
    Leavitt from New York to help design the
    landscaping for Glensheen. And Anthony Morrell and Arthur
    Nichols worked with Leavitt. And so then Congdon
    offered the services of Mr. Morrell and Mr.
    Leavitt to help develop a plan for the rest of the park once
    the city to acquired the land. NARRATOR: Leavitt
    and Morrell’s work in the park included stone steps
    and a series of wooden bridges that crossed Tischer Creek
    at various locations. Other elaborate plans for
    the park were never built. But the city honored Congdon for
    preserving the natural beauty of Tischer Creek. NANCY NELSON: So he provided
    the money to get the land. He provided the
    landscape design for it. And so in 1908, the city named
    the park after Mr. Congdon. That’s why we have
    Congdon Park now. NARRATOR: A 1909 article in
    the Duluth Herald newspaper called the new park, “the
    leading outdoor beauty spot of the city,”
    and went on to exclaim that, Tischer Creek lends
    an atmosphere of wildness such as is seldom met
    within a city park.” The park today still boasts
    its original stone steps and beautiful
    vistas of the creek much as it did 100 years ago. The wooden bridges have been
    replaced by modern versions. And the park remains
    a taste of wilderness in the midst of the city. Brought to Duluth by Leavitt to
    work on Glensheen’s landscape, Morrell and Nichols went on to
    make their mark on the Zenith City. NANCY NELSON: They made
    a plan for Lester Park. They designed all the stone
    bridges on Seven Bridges Road. They designed the bridge
    over the Lester River on London Road. Any place in Duluth you see that
    kind of nice stone arch bridge probably is something
    that was designed by a Morrell and Nichols. NARRATOR: The
    automobile was beginning to change the way Americans
    traveled in the early years of the 20th century. Chester Congdon saw the need
    to improve the region’s system of roads and once again was
    willing to help foot the bill. MALE SPEAKER: He had a vision
    in fact for the Lake Superior International Highway that
    was stretched all the way up to the Pigeon River. And he purchased and
    donated all the land that is now the scenic
    Highway 61 from 60th Avenue east all the way
    up to Two Harbors. NANCY NELSON: I think
    he did a lot of his very quietly like purchasing some
    of the land for the Congdon Boulevard. He tried to do as much of
    that on his own as he could. And there’s a
    newspaper article that says that he was trying
    to do it quietly. And the newspaper was
    cooperating and not publishing anything
    about it until he finally came to the
    city council and asked for help getting land. NARRATOR: As they would
    have it, Chester Congdon did not live to see the dream of
    his Lake Superior International Highway completed. But the Congdon name was forever
    linked with the North Shore highway development. Later after his death,
    Clara and the Congdon estate paid for the Lester River
    Bridge, the historic bridge, that crosses the Lester
    River on this stretch. NANCY NELSON: So
    Congdon Boulevard became part of
    Highway Number 1 that went from Duluth up the shore. Now we know it pretty
    much as Scenic Highway 61. He really was a
    visionary in that sense, realizing that it was going to
    be an important transportation corridor to get
    people up the shore. [music playing] NARRATOR: The Congdons moved
    into their spacious new home in late November of 1908,
    though a small amount of finishing work remained. While the family
    settled in, workers completed the final details
    and the supervisor of the work declared end of
    house construction on February 1st, 1909. The final cost of building
    and equipping the estate was $854,000. The majority of that money
    was spent on the interior and furnishings. DENNIS LAMKIN: And it took
    33 train car loads, boxcars, of furniture to
    furnish the house, and that took about a
    month long period of time to install the
    furniture in the house and to get it placed properly. NARRATOR: In those first
    years, the Congdons employed about 30
    people at Glensheen in a variety of positions. DAN HARTMAN: The domestic
    service was the number one occupation in the
    country, and so to work at the number one
    house in the state at the time was kind of a big deal. SPEAKER 1: They did have
    a chauffeur at one time, then you had your houseman. The chauffeur lived
    upstairs and the houseman lived downstairs there. Well, they had a
    cook and I think they had a cook helper at one time. And then they have
    a housekeeper, she was in charge of the
    house and all the people that worked there. Then they’d have an upstairs
    girl, downstairs girl. NARRATOR: Permanent
    staff members had excellent living facilities,
    and the jobs at Glensheen were coveted. DAN HARTMAN: Imagine you’ve
    just come over from the seas, you come from terrible
    working conditions, and now you’re living on
    this beautiful property in a heated building with some
    really good food generally every meal, and frankly,
    you’re paid pretty good. NARRATOR: Even before
    it was completed, the Congdon engine
    was drawing attention as one of the finest
    homes in Minnesota. DAN HARTMAN: Glensheen
    is a sought after house. The architect, the
    interior designers, people want this job because
    they know it’s going to help show off what they do. NARRATOR: A year
    after the family moved in, a national magazine
    came to Duluth to do a feature story on the residence. DAN HARTMAN: Western
    Digest comes and does photo spreads of
    almost every room in the house, the
    landscape, they write up this great story of it and
    it goes into this national NARRATOR: The photos taken for
    The Western Architect in 1910 are a remarkable document,
    a curator’s dream, that illustrates how little
    the furnishings, artwork, and family mementos have
    changed in over a century. DAN HARTMAN: We just redid
    Robert’s room last year and it was the
    only reason we were able to identify
    the furniture that was meant to be in that room. NARRATOR: Though most
    of the Congdon children were already off to boarding
    school and college when the family moved
    in to Glensheen, each had their own
    bedroom in the mansion. And there were another
    half dozen guest bedrooms on the second and third
    floors of the Congdon home. Guests from far and near
    were welcomed at Glensheen, and the house hummed with
    activity in those early years. Summer was an
    especially busy time with the children
    home from school and friends and family visiting. And the estate took full
    advantage of its Lake Superior location with its fine
    peer and boathouse. TONY DIERCKINS: When
    they built the house, they imagined people arriving
    by coach in the front and by yacht in the back. In fact, they had their
    own yacht, the Hesperia. Alfred Bannister,
    Clara’s orphaned nephew, actually came to live with
    the Congdons in the 1890s, and in 1911, he and a
    friend piloted the Hesperia from Maine all the way through
    the Great Lakes to Duluth. It was the longest such
    journey by a motorized vessel of that size at its time. NARRATOR: Even with all the
    activity of a large family and staff at the estate,
    Glensheen still functioned as an oasis for Chester Congdon
    between his frequent business trips. TONY DIERCKINS: Chester in
    particularly enjoyed the west porch, where we have photos
    of him relaxing and sitting. They say that’s where he
    spent most of his time while at Glensheen. Of course, during those
    years from 1909 to 1916, while Glensheen
    was his residence, he didn’t spend much time here. NARRATOR: Chester Congdon’s
    foray into politics came relatively late in his
    life although he had long supported Republican
    candidates and causes. DAN HARTMAN: Chester was
    an extremely influential Republican in this region. He was the leader
    of the Republicans in northeast Minnesota. NARRATOR: Content to advocate
    for his beliefs of the party level, Congdon had never
    run for elected office, but that changed when
    he ran for and won a seat in the House of
    Representatives in 1908. TONY DIERCKINS: He
    represented Duluth in two different legislative sessions. He really entered politics
    because of a tonnage tax issue, a tax that was going
    to be put on iron ore. DAN HARTMAN: He was
    only in two sessions, and in one of the sessions, he’s
    the chair of the committee that actually decides the
    districts of the state for the next election. You don’t get that typically
    as a freshman represent. Chester got that. NARRATOR: Disillusioned by
    the legislative process, Chester left the state house
    when his second term ended. In 1914, he embarked on
    several month-long voyage through the Pacific
    Rim and continued to pursue his orchard
    interests in Washington State, building a large castle-like
    residence there known as Westhome. Congdon’s political advice was
    often sought by Republicans, and in 1916, he was elected the
    Republican National Committee man for the state of Minnesota. The party’s endorsement went
    to Charles Evans Hughes, and Congdon was confident
    the nation would oust President Wilson from office. TONY DIERCKINS: Chester Congdon
    did not like Woodrow Wilson. He thought his
    policies of staying out of what we now call
    the First World War made America look weak. He was so confident that
    Wilson would lose the election that he had the estate’s cook
    prepare a special celebratory dinner the night
    of the election. NARRATOR: To Congdon’s
    great disappointment, Wilson won reelection. 3 days later, while on
    business in St. Paul, he messaged Clara to tell
    her he wasn’t feeling well. DAN HARTMAN: He was in St. Paul. He was at the St. Paul
    Hotel, he sent a note that he was feeling sick. People thought he
    was getting better, and then it had a
    turn for the worse, but it all happened very quick. NARRATOR: The
    sudden heart attack that killed Chester
    Congdon at the age of 63 shocked the region and
    left a void in Duluth that would not easily be filled. TONY DIERCKINS: By all
    newspaper accounts, the community loved and
    appreciated Chester Congdon. His Duluth News Tribune
    obituary is gushing, really, over the wonderful things
    he did for this community, and they considered him
    fairly irreplaceable. DAN HARTMAN: And he
    was so heavily involved in so many things of
    Duluth at the time that there is this moment
    of what are we going to do? I mean, this is the
    guy who has been a major donor and the vision
    for so many different ideas in Duluth. NARRATOR: The untimely death
    of Chester Adgate Congdon was a blow not only
    for his family, but for the region has a whole. At the time of his
    death, Chester Congdon was reportedly the
    richest man in Minnesota. He was well able to
    afford frequent travels at home and abroad, and to
    keep the large staff that tended to the Congdon estate. But change was coming to
    Glensheen and its staff of domestic servants. DAN HARTMAN: Now,
    after World War I, that number gets cut
    in half immediately, and then after World
    War II, it drops down to around five or so,
    and frankly that’s really common nationally, as well. NARRATOR: One by one, the
    Congdons’ adult children married and moved
    out of Glensheen. Clara Congdon went about
    her business living in a much different style
    than her well-known husband. DAN HARTMAN: Here’s Chester who
    was this very proactive, very public person. He runs for state
    legislature, he builds a mansion on London Road. Clara, not so much. Clara believes really intensely
    in supporting her family and being more private, and
    that was her way of thinking. She was still a huge
    supporter of the community but she didn’t want to do
    it in such very public ways. NARRATOR: Clara was a firm
    but caring mother, encouraging the family trade of generosity
    and life-long commitment to the community. TONY DIERCKINS:
    The children were raised with what at
    the time was called a sense of noblesse oblige. It’s a French term, and those of
    us who are blessed with wealth are obliged to share it. NARRATOR: Clara was 62 years old
    when Chester died and burdened with a difficult hearing loss. As seen in this vintage
    Congdon family film, she tried a number of
    cumbersome hearing aids to keep up with conversation. Even though she
    didn’t hear well, she was always there
    for her grandchildren, often with gentle encouragement. MARY VAN EVERA: She had
    her own advice for us as if she were our
    mother, and we always came to see her before we went
    away to school or college. NARRATOR: Clara’s
    preference for privacy led to some subtle changes
    on the Congdon estate. It seemed like she
    asked the guard staff to plant pine trees and cedar
    trees throughout the property, kind of close up some
    of these viewing lanes so that this would be
    more of a private home. TONY DIERCKINS: She let the
    grounds grow wild a bit, and let things develop. And by 1930, the photograph
    shows this much more lush, full look to the grounds. NARRATOR: Throughout
    her long life, Clara Congdon
    never lost her love of art, a passion she practiced
    often and supported in others. DAN HARTMAN: David
    Erickson, who I’d say is easily one of the
    more popular painters around the turn of the
    century here in Duluth– it was her who actually paid for
    him to go overseas and actually study the arts. VERA DUNBAR: The
    one oil that she did was Reuben’s David
    that is in the library, and that, I think she did
    that when she was teaching art before she was married. NARRATOR: As the years
    went by, one constant with Clara at Glensheen was her
    youngest daughter Elisabeth, who was 14 years old when
    the Congdons moved in. Elisabeth dropped out of
    college when her father died and returned home
    to help her mother manage the estate while brothers
    Walter and Edward took over the varied
    business interests. By 1930, all of the Congdon
    children except Elisabeth were married and had moved
    out, but for many years, returning to the home
    place for Christmas remained a treasured
    family tradition. MARY VAN EVERA: My
    very earliest memories are I think around
    Christmas, riding in the sleigh,
    the Troika sleigh, on London Road with a horse in
    front of us pulling us along. There was lots of snow, and I
    was under a big buffalo robe, and there was a hot brick
    to keep our feet warm, and I thought that
    was very exciting. NARRATOR: In the 1930s,
    Elisabeth Congdon, still unmarried and in her late
    30s, adopted two daughters. She and the girls continued
    to live at Glensheen with her mother, who enjoyed
    good health for many more years. In July of 1950, Clara
    Bannister Congdon passed away at the age of 96. In the ensuing years
    with her children grown, Elisabeth Congdon split
    her time between Glensheen and other family homes. DAN HARTMAN: And
    after Clara dies, then Elisabeth really
    is here sparingly throughout the year,
    not nearly as much as her mother nor Chester. And so there’s stories of
    this entire floor just covered in sheets for weeks on end. And so it’s a very
    different era. NARRATOR: In 1964,
    a massive stroke left Miss Congdon disabled
    and in need of nursing care, but she continued to
    handle her own affairs with the aid of her personal
    manager, Vera Dunbar. VERA DUNBAR: Elisabeth
    had had this bad stroke and was partially paralyzed
    and in a wheelchair, and had difficulty
    talking sometimes. NARRATOR: In 1968,
    the family decided to donate Glensheen to the
    University of Minnesota with the stipulation that
    Elisabeth Congdon could stay until the end of her life. That life tragically ended
    the night of June 26th, 1977 when Elisabeth and her
    night nurse, Velma Pietila, were murdered. The story of that dreadful
    night and its connection to Miss Congdon’s adopted
    daughter Marjorie has been told many
    times, and it’s a story that is not
    ignored at Glensheen, but neither is it emphasized. DAN HARTMAN: That
    murder has overshadowed this much greater legacy of
    what the Congdon family has done for northeast
    Minnesota, and so part of what I feel like
    my mission here is to have everyone hear that
    broader story so they know that there’s more to
    what this family did than just this one day event. Several months after
    wayElizabeth’s death, the University of Minnesota
    took full ownership of the Congdon estate. In 1979, the mansion and
    grounds were open to the public. And today, Glensheen is one of
    the most visited house museums in the state of Minnesota. It provides a glimpse into
    an era and a lifestyle that can’t be found anywhere else. TONY DIERCKINS: The Congdons
    weren’t the only wealthy family to build a grand estate at the
    early part of the last century, but because it stayed in
    one family all these years, it’s filled with almost
    all original furnishings, and the same pictures
    are hanging on the wall. NARRATOR: When Chester
    Congdon built Glensheen on the shores of
    Lake Superior, he sent a message to his
    business colleagues in cities around America. DAN HARTMAN: I think he did
    a remarkable job of showing people in the eastern
    part of our country that there was more to
    Minnesota than the bitter cold. DENNIS LAMKIN: It also said
    the people of Duluth, I think, that it’s here to stay. That the wealth is not
    going to be a flash and it’s not going to
    disappear, that there’s going to be a sustainable
    future for the city. NARRATOR: From the mansion
    to the formal garden, to the impressive carriage house
    holding the Congdon’s original sleighs and carriages, Glensheen
    offers the visitor a rich experience that
    cannot be duplicated. DAN HARTMAN: The craftsmanship
    of this house you can’t beat, and the local element
    of it, especially, is just astonishing. You’ll go to some beautiful
    homes out in the east coast, but none of those
    homes will show the identity of their state or
    the region like Glensheen will.

    A Brief History of Yellowstone National Park | National Geographic
    Articles, Blog

    A Brief History of Yellowstone National Park | National Geographic

    August 12, 2019


    (light music) – [Marielena] Yellowstone is epic, strange, and iconic. It is well-deserving of
    its protected status. But how did it come to be the worlds first National Park? (light music) Archeologists have found evidence of human activity in Yellowstone that dates back at least 11,000 years. Oral histories of Salish Native Americans suggest their ancestors were here 3,000 years ago. Today there are still 26
    Native American tribes that are connected to this land. Some of the first
    European visitors included fur traders and trackers
    in the late 1700s. But the first big incentive for settlers came in 1863, gold. (water sloshing) Prospectors flocked to Yellowstone in hopes of finding more. The Northern Pacific
    Railroad Company heard of the wonders of Yellowstone. A big attraction like this
    could help their plans to expand their railroad west. So they sponsored the
    Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition of 1870. As the first formal
    expedition of Yellowstone, they explored vast regions of the park. Including Tower Fall, Yellowstone Lake, and the geyser basins. Their most memorable achievement, naming Old Faithful. (light music) Painter Thomas Moran as
    well as a photographer and sketch artist were also on the expedition team. Their work introduced
    Yellowstone to the world. And captured the imagination of Congress. Then, on March 1st, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed an act establishing Yellowstone National Park. The country’s very first National Park. (light music) The Park is around two million acres. An expansive wilderness with places that even today few have seen. Filled with wildlife including 285 species of birds. And over 65 species of mammals. (wolf howling) But what’s on top of this park is nothing compared to the giant reserve of magma that lies below. Thermal power is what
    makes Yellowstone tick. Old Faithful remains true to its name. And to this day gushes
    up thousands of gallons of hot water every hour or so. (light music) It’s one of the most famous natural features in Yellowstone. But, it’s not the only one. There are over 10,000 thermal features in Yellowstone. Including hot springs, mud pots, and steam vents. They sit in one giant
    caldera of a super volcano. Some 45 miles across at its widest. 2.1 million years ago Yellowstone erupted and covered over 5,000
    square miles with ash. About 6,000 times the volume of material ejected from Mount St. Helens in 1980. It’s among the largest volcano eruptions known to man. Yellowstone is still active and another eruption is possible. But it probably won’t
    happen in the next thousand or even 10,000 years. In the meantime, Yellowstone hosts millions
    of guests every year. There are now 59 National Parks in the United States. But Yellowstone will always be the world’s first.

    Importance of Railroads in Southwest Colorado
    Articles, Blog

    Importance of Railroads in Southwest Colorado

    August 11, 2019


    before the railroad came in 1881 the food had to be transported via wagon loads over the toll road to Silverton it took three days and there was no refrigeration to get fresh food up to the miners in Silverton now when the railroad opened in 1882 that three-day trip went to three and a half hours and the railroad had refrigeration they had boxcars that they could put five hundred pound blocks of ice in and and get fresh food into Silverton [Music] [Music] in October 27th 1870 William Jackson Palmer a former civil war General founded the Denver and Rio Grande railroad the Denver and Rio Grande competed to have the best route to connect to the mineral-rich San Juans by 1881 the railroad had extended southwest from Alamosa to Durango and was starting construction to Silverton when they arrived in the Animas Valley in 1881 the railroad brought commerce and infrastructure to Southwest Colorado after the removal of ute Indians to reservations in 1881 the San Juan Mountains became an important location for mining smelting lodging Commerce and other urban services but the economic development was dependent on the development of rail transportation there is a difference between most railroads you see in big cities and the railroads that once traveled over Southwest Colorado the primary difference between the two is the different sizes of track used when general Palmer was planning the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad he decided to build it with narrow gauge track the standard gauge track size is four feet and eight and a half inches narrow gauge track size is three feet and six inches Palmer liked narrow gauge because you can lay track up steep gradients and have sharper curves which worked better to the mountainous terrain later on as technology improved about 60% of the railroad had been converted to standard gauge before the railroads a human being could go about 20 miles a day and when the railroad came you could go 200 miles a day and that that sums it up I mean right there the loads that you could carry groceries getting food to Silverton over the toll road that took three days and and that that three-day trip went to three and a half hours and the amount of coal you could haul on the backs of animals was very minimal and now you could load gondolas that carried 20 tons each and you could put ten of them together and take 200 tons of coal to Silverton in one trip and instead of it taking seven days to get that coal up there it would only be three and a half hours yeah if the railroad hadn’t arrived Durango wouldn’t wouldn’t even exist there would be a little town called Animas City and and it consisted of a farming and ranching community that was what was here before the Rio Grande arrived in 1880 [Music] after the failure of the Silverton railroad Otto Mears and investors founded the Rio Grande Southern Railroad the railroad was dependent on its connections with the Denver and Rio Grande where they met at Ridgeway and Durango at Durango and Ridgeway they shared rail yards and Depot buildings the Rio Grande southern was the other railroad and it connected Durango with Ridgway and so the Rio Grande southern became operational in 1893 it was built by a Russian immigrant named Otto Mears the the Rio Grande southern went West out of Durango up Wildcat Canyon and through Hesperus and from Hesperus it went over to Mancos and from Mancos through Lost Canyon to Dolores and then up to Dolores River to Rico and over lizard head pass through Ophir then followed itself down the San Miguel River through Sawpit going over Dallas divide and ending up over in Ridgeway and Rio Grande Southern went bankrupt in 1953 it closed for good in 1953 so the railroad operated for for 60 years Otto Mears was an amazing man now he he operated three smaller narrow gauge lines that serviced the mines around Silverton the Silverton railroad the Silverton Northern and Gladstone Northerly railroad were also Otto Mears railroads now the Silverton railroad operated over Red Wountain Pass and it was Otto Mears was going to build that line all the way down to Ouray and it part of that never happened the the plans were laid for the Silverton railroad to to operate from Ironton down to Ouray and it even involved it was a cog a railroad and it involved a spiral tunnel that if had if it had been built there would have been a spiral tunnel that went down into Ouray and what a what an engineering feat that would have been if that had been completed but Otto Mears was a an amazing an amazing man of what he was able to accomplish in his lifetime the Rio Grande southern hauled all of the ore from Rico and Telluride to Durango to the smelter where the ore was processed the Rio Grande southern just like the Denver and Rio Grande railroad made it all possible to haul you know livestock they hauled a lot of cattle a lot of sheep a lot of there were a lot of crops that were hauled on there RGS there was a lot of lumber and that was hauled by the Rio Grande southern and and probably the most famous was was as that railroad struggled and it did struggle because of the the terrain that it traversed Mother Nature was always dealing blow after blow to the Rio Grande so there many snow storms and avalanches and washouts that would take away huge bridges and it would be months before they could get the track put back in and that was partially what caused the RGS to finally collapse the Rio Grande southern is famously known for rail buses known as the galloping geese these rail buses were built in the 1930s when the RGS was facing more financial problems the Geese were built out of automobiles like Buicks and pierce Arrows and they were cheaper to operate because they only required an operator rather than an engineer and a fireman and only needed gasoline to run on these Geese were the only rail cars to operate on a daily basis from the Year 1931 through 1949 in June 1931 the first motor was built by master mechanic Jack Odenbaugh and his crew at The Southern’s Ridgeway shops and eventually there was a fleet of seven in operation on the RGS even though originally built from Buicks and Pierce arrows they were serviceable and definitely fit their purpose to travel through the mountainous terrain originally called motors they got their nickname the galloping goose from the horns which could easily be mistaken for the call of a real goose and they would waddle down the tracks that were uneven and poorly maintained but what kept the railroad going for twenty years was the operation of the galloping goose galloping goose kept the mail contracts going and so therefore the railroad got federal money to keep those those geese operating and they hauled passengers they hauled groceries they hauled the mail and they kept the railroad going for another 20 years before it finally collapsed in 1953 when World War II started various railroads around the country helped out by donating rail equipment to help transport army supplies the Denver and Rio Grande Western the RGS and various other railroads in Colorado donated rail equipment for a rail line in Alaska taken over by the US Army known as the White Pass and Yukon railway during the war and when the war ended some of the railroads who had donated equipment to the army had filed for bankruptcy and were abandoned due to the automobiles gaining popularity and efficiency almost all railroads in the u.s. struggled to compete with automobiles and eventually closed down or resorted to something more profitable after World War two the RGS was struggling to remain profitable and only had a contract with the US Postal Service and small amounts of tourism to cling onto during its final years in 1952 the RGS lost the mail contract due to heavy snowfall that winter and filed for abandonment in 1953 the agreement for assumption of operations was signed by the director-general of railroads of the United States and its locomotives and cars were sold to other railroads meanwhile a huge oil and gas boom started in Farmington New Mexico and a pipeline needed to be installed the pipeline would have been shipped out on trucks but the roads in the area were not in the condition to service thousands of trucks the pipeline contractors approached the Denver and Rio Grande and made a deal the Denver and Rio Grande Western at the time was considering abandoning its narrow gauge lines but thanks to the pipeline shipment the Denver and Rio Grande Western’s life was extended for yet another decade after the shipment the Silverton branch started attracting tourism and once again extended the life of the railroad one more decade in 1968 the route from Durango to Alamosa became no longer profitable and was removed in 1971 the Silverton branch continued to operate serving the tourism industry of Durango for another 20 years until Charles Bradshaw jr. bought the railroad in 1981 and it has ran continuously ever since [Music] [Music] ever since these railroads have closed they have left various remains along their routes on the Denver and Rio Grande Western various Depots water tanks bridges most of the right of way tons of rolling stock and to successor railroads still remain to carry on the Denver and Rio Grande’s glory on the RGS there’s still some surviving rolling stock and equipment like the galloping geese but there aren’t as many remains on the right away on the RGS compared to the Denver and Rio Grande Western as the RGS closed 20 years earlier but we went to explore these remains of the right away we went from Dolores to Rico to document bridges water tanks and other remains of the Rio Grande southern [Music] behind me is the remnants of bridge 103 A this bridge was where the grade came out of lost canyon and headed into central Dolores the river it crossed with the Dolores River we are currently at the Dolores Depot which is a rebuild of the original Depot that once stood here today this is the home of galloping goose #5 [Music] behind me here is the original Rico water tank a standard water tank like this can hold 50,000 gallons of water [Music] behind me here is where the remains of the Gallagher trestle used to be where I’m standing would be the abutment on this side and all the way over there is where the ending abutment is [Music] we are currently at the Gallagher siding it is located it’s a few miles away from the Gallagher trestle on either side of me is the remainder of the ties from this signing it was probably used to store extra freight cars or to let trains past one another We’re currently at the Lizard Head Wye there’s currently no remains of this wye and it is located on top of Lizard Head pass one end of the wye used to head towards a stalk pen which used to be in this general area [Music] behind me here is the Trout Lake trestle it is the only trestle preserved on the RGS route this trestle has remained almost fully intact and if these barriers were here you could probably drive across it [Music] [Music] behind me here is the only remaining coal chute along the RGS grade a coal chute dumps pre-measured amounts of coal into the tenders of the trains down below behind the coal chute you can faintly see part of an old grade that went behind the coal chute where workers would shovel out piles of coal out of the cars into the chutes above a worker was called a coal heavy and were paid about 15 cents per ton [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music]

    Caltrain 150th Documentary – The San Francisco and San Jose Railroad
    Articles, Blog

    Caltrain 150th Documentary – The San Francisco and San Jose Railroad

    August 11, 2019


    It’s a very significant story for the Peninsula and really California and the West. If you can imagine California was only born 14 years before the railroad was extended down to San Jose. The actual railroad that started on the Peninsula was, of course, the San Francisco and San Jose railway. It had been on its fourth reorganization before work actually commenced in 1860. And the work started at Palo Alto both ways at San Francisquito Creek I believe. If you could imagine what the Peninsula and San Francisco looked like in 1850 this improvement by 1864 was not even imaginable. In that famous year of 1849 transportation down the Peninsula consisted of stage coach service, and some… paddle wheel boats that could maneuver down the Bay. The stage coach service was such that it was very expensive; $32 in that year of 1849, and also very slow. It would take nine hours to get from San Francisco to San Jose. And that was when conditions were pretty good. So the idea of a commute, of course, was completely out and even the basics of transportation were not in good order. San Jose was a long way from San Francisco the journey was not one to be lightly undertaken as there was no road worthy of the name. You might spend hours roaming around in search of a passable route and just when you thought you’d found one the fog would roll in. Then you had a gloomy choice to make: you could keep going and probably spend the night driving blindly around in circles. Or you could just stay put until the ceiling lifted the next morning. Such was El Camino Real between California’s metropolis and it’s new capital when the first legislature met in the close of 1849. The King’s Highway of the Spanish Days. Little work had been done on it since, furthermore any improvement seemed a matter for the far distant future. County treasuries had no funds for roads despite all California’s gold. That was going east almost as fast as it came down from the mountains. Even the legislature was something of a gamble, for California was not yet formally a state. “How grand it would be,” said the travel-worn solons as they assembled, were there only a railroad North to the big City. San Jose, you see, at the time, 1850, was state capital. And so there was a clamor in San Francisco and throughout California that there’d be a linkage of San Francisco and San Jose through rail. Rail was the most efficient transportation being pioneered now on the East Coast and some kind of transportation now was desirable for the West. Don’t forget, this is… the completion of San Francisco, San Jose Railroad was five years in front of the Transcontinental Railroad So this was progressive thinking. It began actually in that year of 1850 Business interests in San Francisco began to talk about the possibilities of linking San Francisco and San Jose. And there were three tries before finally the San Francisco, San Jose Railroad was incorporated in 1860 to get this moving. In july 1860 a fourth and final company was born. Again a president was provided by the bench; Judge Timothy Dame. But the real power in the new setup was the secretary Peter Donahue. Donahue was a 49er who had found more riches in iron than in gold. A few weeks in the gold fields had been quite enough for him. The close of 1849 found Peter Donahue back in San Francisco running California’s first foundry and machine shop in a tent on Montgomery Street. From this tiny air-conditioned start had grown the great Union Ironworks, humming with prosperity at First and Mission streets. Henry Newhall, his good friend, and the City’s leading auctioneer, joined him in the venture. These three; the mechanic, the auctioneer, and the judge, proceeded filing with a few associates to build the San Francisco and San Jose Railroad. They were able to get private subscription to construct the railroad but very importantly was some tax money that came their way. The people of San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara County voted bond monies for this project. $300,000 from San Francisco $100,000 from San Mateo and $200,000 from Santa Clara County. This made construction possible. At first construction went very well. Track was laid down pretty rapidly and many felt that there would be an early completion to the railroad but several things got in the way. Severe winters slowed down construction, but the most important aspect of delay was the Civil War. It made getting iron very difficult. Other kinds of materials were hard to get and this did delay construction a bit. But when you think that this this project still is completed within three years, well four years, that this is still pretty good progress. The San Francisco, San Jose Railroad experimented for the first time, in railroads anyways, with the use of Chinese labor and it proved successful. This was a lesson that Governor Stanford did not ignore. And then when it came time for him and his three partners, the “Big Four,” to put forward this Transcontinental Railroad the lessons learned by the San Francisco, San Jose Railroad and the usage of Chinese labor was well put. And you have to remember that the Civil War was going on and those that weren’t being taken up by the service were in various kinds of industries that were essential to not just the war effort, but to keep California’s economy going and so labor was difficult. When the San Francisco to San Jose Railroad was completed it was actually California’s third railroad, but really this San Francisco, San Jose Railroad was first to be a real substantial and probably the first that you could qualify as a commuter railroad. As those that were creating the industrial revolution desired to get their families out of the squalor of the 19th century city the railroad tracks were allowing them to do that. There was a party in October of 1863 to mark the occasion that the railroad had made it from San Francisco to Mayfield, which is in today’s Palo Alto, and then in January of 1864 Rails were completed to San Jose. The route is nearly straight. There are no formidable hills. The distance from the summit of the mountain to the Bay is not more than ten miles. And our climate is so dry that in ordinary years scarcely a stream which crossed by the road contains enough water to drive a mill. The principal creeks commencing at the North are Islis, Cupertino, San Mateo, Redwood, San Francisquito and Guadalupe. The latter is honored with the name of river While the road is not so crooked as most of the roads in the Eastern States It is still far from straight. In the first seven miles from the Mission the longest straight stretches a mile. For five miles out from the Mission the general course is a little west of south until the bank of the San Bruno Mountain is turned, to adopt a military phrase, and thence the course is southeast with many straight stretches three or four miles long. At the point of San Bruno Mountain the wide Pacific Ocean, distant two miles, is visible with its rolling surf from the cars and looking northward we see the steep coast and mountains beyond the Golden Gate. After passing the San Bruno Mountain we are almost constantly in sight of the Bay. The hills are entirely bare until we reached the 17-Mile House where chaparral and evergreen oak appear in the canyons and hollows. At San Mateo we see deciduous oaks and a few bay trees on the plain. Near Belmont you see the comb of the mountain, or Sierra, serrated with tall redwood trees. And beyond Redwood City we pass through a dense natural grove of deciduous oak trees hanging full of grey moss and mistletoe with an abundant undergrowth of the poison rhus, the leaves of which are now red and ready to fade. – Daily Alta California, October 18th, 1863. They got the railroad pretty much up and running about 1860 actually 1864, I’m sorry. Southern Pacific, well actually the Big Four; Huntington, Stanford, Crocker, and Hopkins, they had their finger in the pie quite early. By 1868 they are pretty much in control of the railroad, that was formalized in 1870. So from that point forward they were running this railroad between San Francisco and San Jose. And the railroad became a success. They did a freight service, and it’s the second oldest railroad in West of the Mississippi. The commuter service was established and it went from there to what we have today a double tracked line with a modern signal system and a railroad that’s carrying 50,000 passengers a day. When I commuted on it after World War II it was carrying 20,000 a day. So this railroad has come a long ways.

    Railroad Collections at the Minnesota Historical Society
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    Railroad Collections at the Minnesota Historical Society

    August 10, 2019


    [ Sounds of a Railroad Steam Engine ]
    I’m Hampton Smith and I’m Matt Anderson. [ Hampton Smith ] Today we’re in the
    Minnehaha Depot in Minneapolis. [ Matt Anderson ] Minnesota has a
    rich railroad history. In addition to shipping its own agricultural,
    mineral and manufactured products, the state was a rail gateway
    to the Pacific Northwest. [ Hampton Smith ] Yes, the Great
    Northern, the Northern Pacific, and the Soo Line all maintained their
    headquarters here; in addition there were many trunk lines, regional lines,
    and short lines that operated in the state. These are all well documented
    in the Society’s collections. [ Matt Anderson ] Most prominent
    among the three-dimensional artifacts is the “William Crooks.” The “Crooks”
    was the first locomotive to operate in Minnesota when it made its
    inaugural ten-mile run between St. Paul and St. Anthony in 1862.
    Today, the �Crooks,� together with an early baggage car and coach,
    is on display at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum in Duluth. Smaller
    artifacts represent both the worker’s and the passenger’s experience on the
    railroad. This Soo Line flagman’s kit dates to the mid 1960s. In the event
    of an emergency, the kit’s flares and, of course, flag provided the flagman
    with visual warning signals signaling the following train to stop to avoid
    a collision. This padlock, stamped with a patent date of 1936 and the initials
    of the Chicago, St. Paul, Milwaukee and Pacific, was used to a secure
    track switch,to prevent vandals from tampering with it and possibly causing
    a derailment. The lantern, like this early 20th Century example issued by
    the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, might be the railroader’s most iconic
    tool. Its purpose isn’t so much to see, but to be seen. The lantern improves
    the nighttime visibility of hand signals used to communicate train movements
    between a crew member and the engineer, for example, when coupling or uncoupling
    cars. When hand signals are impossible, crews communicate with walkie-talkies,
    like this 1970s example used on the Soo Line. Few jobs were as desirable as that of
    conductor on a premier passenger train. Not only was it prestigious, it came with a regular schedule, something particularly
    prized among employees used to being called to work at all hours. This uniform,
    dating to the middle of the 20th Century, belonged to a conductor on the Chicago,
    St. Paul, Milwaukee and Pacific. Perhaps he wore it on one of the
    Milwaukee Road’s famed Hiawatha trains between Chicago and the Twin Cities.
    Many railroads were acclaimed for the quality of their dining service.
    This graceful plate, with flowers and a peacock at center, was used aboard
    the Milwaukee Road’s Hiawatha trains in the 1930s. This elegant mustard pot
    also has a Milwaukee Road lineage, as evidenced by its engraved initials.
    This box of Soo Line coasters dates to 1958. The Northern Pacific’s dining cars
    were best known for their oversized baked potatoes, as proudly advertised on this
    spoon. Railroads often promoted their proximity to National Parks to entice
    vacationers. The Northern Pacific dubbed itself the “Yellowstone Park Line” in this
    employee’s badge, while the Great Northern tied itself to Glacier National Park
    in this decal. This piece of the past may, in fact, be prologue. The sign was used
    on the Milwaukee Road’s main line between the Twin Cities and Chicago,
    the very same track currently under study for high-speed passenger
    service in the coming years. [ Hampton Smith ] In addition to 3D objects
    the Minnesota Historical Society has impressive holdings of records from the
    major railroads headquartered in the state. The Great Northern and Northern Pacific
    were primary lines connecting the Upper Midwest and through it the rest of
    the nation, to the Pacific Northwest. The lines also tapped the great
    agricultural, mining and timber resources of the Dakotas, Montana,
    Idaho, Washington, Oregon and British Columbia. The society’s railroad records
    encompass a vast variety of items including Timetables, detailed maps,
    drawings of equipment, building plans, personnel records, thousands of
    photographs promoting the railroads, and of course, records documenting
    the operation of these vast business enterprises that became the model
    for the modern corporation. Complementing these records
    are the personal letters, diaries and financial papers of James J. Hill,
    founder of the Great Northern, and the papers of his son Louis Hill who
    followed him as president of the GN. The personal lives of these men were very
    much intertwined with their business interest and their private papers include
    much detailed information on the railroads. [ Matt Anderson ] Minnesota’s railroads
    brought new residents into the state, and shipped its products out
    to the rest of the country. [ Hampton Smith ] Those important
    contributions are preserved and presented in the collections of the
    Minnesota Historical Society.

    Proga z Dušo (The Railroad with a Soul)
    Articles, Blog

    Proga z Dušo (The Railroad with a Soul)

    August 10, 2019


    My name is Ervin Sorč. I have been an engine driver for 30 years at Bohinjska railway line. To me this line is the most beautiful, because it has a soul. No matter how strange this sounds for a technical object. But all these bridges, all these tunnels are built almost entirely by hand with extraordinary sense for quality of construction and aesthetic which blends so well with the landscape. I think I can say I was born with enthusiasm for trains. Why? Because both my mother and father were working for the railway. They did not operate trains, but worked at the office. My uncle also worked for the railway. And my grand-grandfather gave up a part of his land when they were building the Bohinjska railway line. So, you can say that railway runs in my blood. When I was younger, less than 10, I was already traveling by myself from Nova Gorica to Bohinj and I would knock on the engine driver’s door and ask if I could spend at least part of the journey with him in the booth. And all these events, the nature I was observing, the fascinating work I witnessed slowly grew into me and the decision to become an engine driver grew more real. The feelings I had after getting the license and driving the train all by myself for the first time were truly majestic. Having a handle in my right hand which controls 2000 horsepower engine and driving a train that weighs 1500 or 1600 tons… not only getting it to start moving but also to control it and stop it correctly and on time… these feelings are really beautiful, very majestic and they give you a strong feeling of self-confidence. Being an engine driver is a profession that has great responsibility. I do not want to say that others do not but today many occupations include computers and keyboards and they have this button “delete” and “escape” which we use in case we make a mistake. The main difference between working on the railway and other professions with lower responsibility is that we don’t have the “delete” or “escape” button in case we make a mistake. I can thank god that I haven’t had any accidents in 30 years of my work. But I did have some very stressful and shocking encounters. I remember an incident when I was driving the faster regional train and a lady who was trying to commit suicide suddenly stepped on my rail. I still remember the moment when I stood up, honked the horn, used the breaks… but a train is not a car. The train can stop only after 250 or 300 meters and there is nothing else you can do but wait. I was certain I would hit her. I couldn’t see her anymore and I was just helplessly waiting for that millisecond of impact. But it never came. I was amazed and grateful but my hands were shaking very badly. I immediately called the traffic control to the next station. Luckily, I didn’t hit her, but as I was regrettably informed later, the lady committed suicide by jumping in front of the next train. Another case I will never forget was when a rock more than one cubic meter in size fell on the rails. I saw the huge rock and was able to decrease the speed but we still hit it. Again I remember those horrible moments before the impact… yelled to the passengers “hang on” here was terrible noise, but luckily the train stopped on the rails when we hit the rock. We didn’t derail…this is the most important thing and all ended well. When a young man is deciding about his future he must know that an engine driver is a very, very beautiful profession but it also brings great responsibility. He must know that he won’t be spending weekends and nights with his sweetheart and later on in life with his family. We work on Saturdays, Sundays and we also have the night shifts. This is important to consider. This job requires quite a lot of adjustments, but this is how it is to be railway man. It’s not an easy life. I can say that my friends and family respect my job and me. This doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally hear jokes at my expense. Of course, I laugh at them too and ask them which “way” is the most beautiful way in the world. Usually they don’t know and I tell them it is the railway We use humor to deal with such comments. I do a number of other things and have hobbies. I also do sports. One of my hobbies is the book titled “The mysteries of Bohinj tunnel” which I wrote and dedicated to the 100th anniversary of building the railway and of course to the tunnel. The Bohinj tunnel is the longest tunnel in Slovenia, including conventional roads and railway tracks. It has so many peculiar specifics that I have devoted a book to it – not only to the tunnel but also to the people who planned, built and also maintained it up to today and will continue to do so in the future. After all these years this job still makes me happy. But I have got to say that I don’t work only as an engine driver anymore but also as a supervisor of rail traction. It means I combine driving and working in the office. But every time I go on a drive I still experience a new adventure and new joy, so I continue to be an engine driver. Prevod v angleščino:
    Maja Grilc

    North Korean Labor Camps – VICE NEWS – Part 1 of 7
    Articles, Blog

    North Korean Labor Camps – VICE NEWS – Part 1 of 7

    August 10, 2019


    [MODEM NOISE] [CEREMONIAL MUSIC] SHANE SMITH: I’ve
    been to the most fucked up place on Earth– twice. The Hermit Kingdom
    of North Korea. (WHISPERING) It’s
    totally insane. The thing is, when you
    go to North Korea, you’re not a tourist. You’re on a
    government-sanctioned tour. And you can’t go anywhere
    outside your hotel without your guide, your translator,
    and your secret police. You’re also not allowed
    cellphones, radios, or computers of any kind, and are
    taken on a tightly scheduled, highly orchestrated tour– only of the sites and
    monuments that they want you to see. So you end up travelling for
    hours and hours on empty roads only to see the Palace of the
    People, or the Library of the People, or the Soccer
    Team of the People. The only thing you never get to
    actually meet is the people of the people. In fact, you’re not allowed to
    talk to anyone unless they’re officially sanctioned
    as part of the tour. [VOCAL MUSIC] So when I heard that North Korea
    was actually exporting its own people as a way to
    generate much-needed hard currency, I wanted to go and see
    if I could actually talk to them and maybe find out what
    it’s actually like to live inside the Hermit
    Kingdom. We found out from one of our
    correspondents in Russia that there were actually secret
    North Korean labor camps hidden in the depths
    of Siberia. So we flew to the far eastern
    region of Russia and hopped on the Trans-Siberian railway,
    which is essentially the only lifeline for Siberia and
    the Far East region. Her bum was hanging
    out of her shorts. We’re here in Khabarovsk in
    Siberia, we’re about to get on this train for about
    28 hours to go to the middle of nowhere. And we’re going to go check out
    the secret North Korean labor camps in Siberia. It’s hot as shit. [MUSIC PLAYING] SHANE SMITH: Simon, hi. SIMON OSTROVSKY: Hi. SHANE SMITH: My name is Shane. I’m from America. We’re here with our
    friend Simon. We’ve been on the train
    for a long time. We’re going a bit goofy. Where are we going? SIMON OSTROVSKY: We’re going to
    Tynda, in the Amur region of Russia, in the Far East to
    look for the North Koreans. SHANE SMITH: The thing about
    this is, it’s mind boggling that North Korea, the most
    hermetic state in the world, the Hermit Kingdom it’s
    actually called, is outsourcing its labor. But they outsource their labor
    into miniature North Korean villages so that you don’t ever
    lose the North Korean experience. So it’s like North Korean-type
    buildings, North Korean propaganda, North Korean
    pictures, North Korean songs. They wake up and sing the
    North Korean anthem. SIMON OSTROVSKY: They bring
    North Koreans in for three-year contracts. After they’re done working here,
    they get sent back to North Korea. They spend a month in a
    reintegration camp to get all of the propaganda that
    they’ve missed. Most of the workers are over 40
    years old, so they all have families back home. So they know that if they try to
    run away, then their family back home gets in trouble. SHANE SMITH: The North Koreans
    are making money to support the regime. And these poor dudes are out
    there in the middle of nowhere singing “God save Kim Jong-Il”
    and working in near-slave conditions. SIMON OSTROVSKY: This is kind
    of the only place where you can actually have an entre into
    how they actually live day-to-day. SHANE SMITH: Question– are we going to get assassinated
    for going to talk to the North Koreans? SIMON OSTROVSKY:
    Quite possibly. People aren’t going to
    be happy to see us. That’s for sure. SHANE SMITH: Why is it that the
    best stories always take so long to get to? SIMON OSTROVSKY: Because all
    of the easy-to-get-to ones have been done by programs
    better than yours. SHANE SMITH: [LAUGH] He’s a prickly pear, this guy. He’s a prickly pear. You should be British because
    you’re a cunt. [LAUGH] Now, you have to remember that
    everything in Siberia, almost without exception, is very,
    very fucking far away from everything else. And even though it was the
    height of summer and 100 degrees outside, because it’s
    Russia, the heat gauge on the train had been turned on full
    and then broken off– probably circa 1971. So the experience is essentially
    like being trapped on a boiling-hot, reeking,
    drunken sauna 24 hours a day. Oh shit, hello. Now we’ve got crazy dude here. MALE SPEAKER: [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] [LAUGHS] SHANE SMITH: It’s a very good
    thing I’ve taken a Xanax. [MUSIC PLAYING]

    The “Secret” Underground Railroad in Indiana
    Articles, Blog

    The “Secret” Underground Railroad in Indiana

    August 10, 2019


    bjbjVwVw m searching for a road that shouldn
    t exist. I m looking for a path that is unknown to others. I m looking for a cemetery that
    might be an illusion of what it truly is. I m searching for a man that is more than
    what he appears. I am looking for an Underground Railroad cemetery in Indiana. Since I was
    a kid, I have grown up and heard stories about an old cemetery that was full of run-a-way
    slaves. That was located a couple of miles North of Lexington, Indiana. Dr. Hutchings
    use to take care of the sick for the run-a-way slaves on the railroad and the ones that would
    die he would bury them right in his back yard off of his farm. We re here today in search
    of that cemetery and the old location of the old farmhouse. The only problem is how do
    you find something that shouldn t be there? Where do you begin? What do you look for?
    Hello, Pam, Travis. Hi, Travis I m Pam Peters. An historian, who has devoted her life seeking
    the truth of the Underground Railroad, might be able to help me with my own discovery.
    The Underground Railroad wasn t really, it was a movement. It wasn t an organize system
    where there were three houses all along the way. I mean sometimes maybe that happened
    as you got further north, but down here you really couldn t say there was a system of
    safe house because they had to get out of this area. Even though Indiana was a free
    state, bounty hunters made it difficult for the African Americans to use anything other
    than the Underground Railroad. The one that went up through Watson and Charlestown headed
    a little bit further Northeast towards Otisco and headed through towards Lexington, that
    was the Louisville branch, but at the time of the Civil War they had to stop building
    because they needed the men for the war. So the entire unfinished, unused train track
    ran through Kentucky, to Indianapolis and up to Michigan. I m here in Lexington, Indiana
    talking to local historian Joe Gibson about this find. Could this be the path that led
    many to freedom? Hey Joe, what do we have back here? Well, this is one of the stone
    arches built by the Irish starting in the 1850 s when they were building the railroad
    track through Lexington and it started in Jeffersonville and past through all of Scott
    County, Eastern part of it all the way up to Vernon, Indiana. What year did it start?
    1850s? They started in the early 1850s and they started and had some financial problems
    and stopped it for a while and they picked it back up and again stopped because of the
    Civil War that intervened with them and after the civil war they started it back up and
    finished the track. So the railroad ceased production during the Civil War time. Yeah,
    it was just an open bed just sitting there where they had been working. Now Joe is it
    possible during this time of the Civil War, I mean you got a line running from Jeffersonville
    which was basically just like Kentucky all the way up here. Is it possible, it s a straight
    shot that you had run-a-way slaves coming up this way? I would say they probably did
    use that. It was an open road, at the time no tracks on it, no trains, it would have
    been an ideal situation for them to use. Right and this same railroad system goes up straight
    north up to, close by to Dr. Hatchings house doesn t it? Yes, its right along the edge
    of Dr. Hutchings place. So if I want to find his place I m going to need to get on this
    and head north? That s right. All right. You had a clear shot from Jeffersonville which
    is close to Louisville, Kentucky straight due north. All they had to do is walk and
    this railroad supposedly goes right towards Dr. Hutchings place. Dr. William Hutchings
    moved to Madison, Indiana after the civil war to raise a family. Not much is know about
    his life in Lexington and his involvement in the Underground Railroad, which is still
    theoretical. The problem is we really don t know where this cemetery is, its somewhere
    a mile or two miles north of Lexington. All we have to go on is that supposedly there
    s a double Colbert bridge that there s a creek that runs east straight to the old Dr. s farmhouse.
    So we re here trying to find that bridge right now. We have some great evidence of a creek
    near by and that might possibly mean a bridge as well. Right over here across the field
    we have Sycamores that are lining the edge of the field. Sycamores always grow close
    to water, they take a lot of water to grow and as you can see they are lining that field
    possibly meaning that there is a creek right there and when there s a creek and we re walking
    on the railroad, to get across the creek someone has to build a bridge. So let s see if there
    is a bridge that we can find. Could this Colbert Bridge really be evidence that this story
    is true? It is almost exactly one mile north of Lexington, right where it should be according
    to the record. Could this bridge signify shelter and protection to those who sought their freedom?
    How can I truly walk in the footsteps of legends? Will I find what I m looking for? The problem
    with these local stories are that the directions are really vague, we have been walking for
    a good 15 minutes up, got to be a mile within up stream and still no sign of any cemetery
    or foundation of a house. We re just going to have to keep on looking, see if we can
    find it. As I press on, the fading of the day creates despair. Am I chasing a rainbow?
    Is there truly and end to my search? Only, I am left in the presence of nature and its
    inhabitants but yet, I find hope. Great thing about March is in Southern Indiana Easter
    Lilies come out early. The thing interesting about Easter Lilies is that there not wild,
    these things have been planted, buy say they planted them a hundred and something years
    ago, even if a location is gone, these things will still spread out in the area. That means
    there was a house of some sort around in this location. So lets follow the Easter Lilies
    and we ll see if we can find where they lead to. I believe, this is a theory of mine but
    I believe that this is an old road. These things probably just like a horse and, horse
    and wagon trail probably led them right up to his house and he had Easter Lilies planted
    on both sides of the road, as you can tell we are going up some sort of flat area, it
    s kind of overgrown now but these Easter Lilies are still here. Oh wow! Look at this. We have
    an entire bed of Easter Lilies that is amazing, out in the middle of nowhere. Let see where
    this goes to. That could be the front yard. We got, we got foundation. We got a big hill
    of rubble right in front of us. Let s check that out. If I can recall right his house
    was a brick house and that would explain why there is so much brick around in this area.
    We have a tin roof here, this is tin, they had tin roofs back then. What happen was this
    house probably fell down and someone came in here with a bulldozer and just kind of
    pushed it all together, but I believe this is it. Now if we can find the old, if we can
    find the old cemetery then we ll be right on the mark. Alright, we have the old rubble
    of the house up on that hill, we got a little clear field, this was probably his farmland
    because he did own a farm as well as being a doctor. Still looking for the cemetery.
    Is a pile of bricks and tin enough proof Dr. Hutchings lived there? The evidence is building
    but I still need to find the cemetery to make my theory a fact. Will I find it in the twilight
    of the evening? What do those look like to you? Do those look like, do those look like
    tombstones? Those do. I think we found this thing. Row after row of bedrock commands an
    isolated hill in an empty forest. You can almost feel the historical presence. Why so
    many unmarked graves? Why here? I heard there was around 20 unmarked graves up here. We
    ve already uncovered around 40 and those are the ones we can visually see on the surface,
    no telling how many more are underneath all the rubble. But, what are they doing here?
    Why in the middle of the woods you have 40 some unmarked graves. The sad truth is that
    these are the ones that didn t make it north. This is their final resting place. This is
    their story. Well we found the old Dr. Hutchings farm, we found the cemetery, this is a historic
    day in Indiana. Thanks for joining us with Indiana Outdoors, I m Travis James. Man, look
    at that view. urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags place urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags
    State urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags City urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags
    PlaceName urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags PlaceType m searching for a road that shouldn
    t exist tjames Normal tjames Microsoft Office Word IES Dan Agust n de Guadalix m searching
    for a road that shouldn t exist tulo Documento Microsoft Office Word MSWordDoc Word.Document.8

    The New Silk Road by Peter Frankopan – VPRO documentary
    Articles, Blog

    The New Silk Road by Peter Frankopan – VPRO documentary

    August 9, 2019


    My task in this patrol
    is to provide medical care. First of all to our own people,
    but also to win the civilians over. For instance,
    by dressing wounds quickly… …we build goodwill
    among the civilians. bringers of justice and security America, America
    death to your deceit you’re full of hatred and envy
    devoid of love and loyalty you’re full of pain and misery
    devoid of healing powers all over the world
    you trample on everyone we have the right to nuclear energy I just want to say to the US:
    You should be worried. Because our leading nuclear
    physicist is only forty years old. It’s not a battle between Al-Qaeda
    and the international crusaders. It’s a battle between Islam
    and the crusaders.

    The Railroad Journey and the Industrial Revolution: Crash Course World History 214
    Articles, Blog

    The Railroad Journey and the Industrial Revolution: Crash Course World History 214

    August 9, 2019


    Hi, I’m John Green, this is Crash Course
    World History and today we’re returning to a subject that, could have an entire Crash Course
    series all of its own: the Industrial Revolution. Mr. Green, Mr. Green, are you going to do
    a whole series on the Industrial Revolution? Because that actually sounds really boring. Yeah, Me From the Past, no. I’m a little bit
    busy. I’ve got this movie that’s about to film. So yeah, no. But, uh, we are going
    to talk about like a specific and essential slice of the Industrial Revolution, that also
    like pleases my four year old self a lot: Railroads! Choooga chooga choooga chooga choo choo! We’re going to be talking about a small book by
    Wolfgang Schivelbusch called “The Railway Journey.” So in this Crash Course World History series
    we’re talking a lot about a lot of different history books so that we can approach subjects
    from a variety of angles. We want to try to introduce you to how exciting
    history can be and also how unsettled it is. How many arguments there still are. So to be clear, I’m not saying I agree with
    everything in this book – it’s one interpretation of a series of events. But it contains a ton
    of interesting ideas, and it’s one of those books that makes you think differently about
    the world. And it’s vitally important that we think
    about the role technology plays in our lives including the technology of railroads. So railroads were these big, loud machines
    that people hadn’t seen before, which makes them a pretty good metaphor for industrialization. Also, since not everyone worked in factories,
    railways were one of the few places that both middle and upper class people came face to
    face with industrial machinery. You know, if you were a factory worker that
    stuff was around you all day everyday slowly killing your soul. But if you were, say, a
    mortgage broker your work life hadn’t changed – it’s not like you had a computer. But the presence of railroads reminded you
    that you were in a different world from that of your parents or grandparents. It wasn’t
    just locomotion though, the railway itself changed the idea of an industrial machine
    to include its surrounding infrastructure, right? You needed rails and these huge engines. You
    needed timetables and organization. That encompassed everything that industrialization was about. And since railways changed the lives of middle
    and upper class people, who tend to write a lot, we know a lot about them. And the change was definitely seen as radical.
    For instance the phrase, “annihilation of time and space” was a pretty popular one
    when talking about railways. This wasn’t just a fancy way of talking
    about how railways sped up travel, but also the way that the railroad destroyed traditional
    relationships with nature. I mean sometimes nature was literally annihilated
    as when tunnels were cut through hills and depressions were graded to make the railroad as
    straight as possible, “as if drawn with a ruler.” But railroads also shaped space and time in
    a manner totally unprecedented in human history by, for instance, speeding up travel times
    which shrunk the world. And then they expanded space by creating suburbs
    and new towns. In a positive development for 99% of the population,
    railroads changed space too by opening up previously inaccessible like vacation spots
    of the wealthy. Then the wealthy migrated further away to
    places only accessible by air travel like, I don’t know, Ibiza. But now Ibiza’s full
    of Eurotrash because of inexpensive airlines. Where will the 1% vacation! Poor rich people that have to go to the Hamptons
    which aren’t even that nice, they’re just really expensive.
    And then there’s the fact that railroads literally changed time, or at least created
    the standardization of time. Like before railroads, time in London was 4 minutes ahead of Reading,
    and 14 minutes ahead of time in Bridgwater. Then in 1847 The Railway Clearing House – an
    organization established to regulate rail travel – established Greenwich mean time
    as the standard time on all rail lines, and in 1880 it became general standard time in
    England. So to be clear, time as you know it is about as
    old as the oldest living person in the world. But, the most obvious way that railroads changed
    things was travel. Until railroads, all travel was powered by muscles – either animal or
    human – so we had a sense of distance as defined by fatigue. Like when your horse died,
    you had gone a long way. Or your horse like sprained a leg going down
    a hill and you had to shoot it. Point being, for 250,000 years all power was
    muscle power and unless you could like ride a cheetah you weren’t going to go faster
    than about 20 mph. So babies could go really fast because they
    can ride cheetahs, but adults, there’s no way, cheetahs weigh like 20 lbs. As Thomas
    De Quincey put it: “When we are travelling by stage-coach at
    the rate of eight or ten miles an hour, we can understand the nature of the force which
    sets the vehicle in motion … and in the course of a day’s journey we can appreciate
    the enormous succession of efforts required to transport a loaded vehicle from London
    to a distant town.” Although to be fair, De Quincey’s ideas
    about enormous effort may have been a bit skewed as he also wrote Confessions of an
    Opium Eater Anyway, People were so comfortable with horses
    that some even argued that horsepower was superior to mechanical locomotion because
    horses relied more on renewable and easily obtained fuel. By the way, as you may see in comments there
    is still a debate about whether horse power or railroads are more carbon efficient. Anyway, the romantics at the time saw railroad
    travel as a “loss of a communicative relationship between man and nature.” And some also saw
    the old technology – horses – as having like more soul. Mechanical travel was generally seen as a
    definite economic win since it “rendered all transportation calculable,” and economists
    love to calculate. Railroads also changed the way we looked at the world, like literally
    through a window, with nature being this blur. And you can argue that like watching the world
    go by through a static window kind of prepared people for motion pictures and television
    where we stare at a screen that doesn’t move and watch a world that does. Now these noisy, coal powered trains affected
    all the senses, but especially vision. As Victor Hugo described it in 1837, “the flowers by the side of the road are
    no longer flowers but fleck, or rather streaks of red and white; there are no longer any
    points, everything becomes a streak.” So many people experienced this landscape
    as a monotonous blur, but for others it was something new and exciting. For Benjamin Gastineau,
    the constantly changing view was thrilling: “in quick succession it presents the astonished
    traveler with happy scenes, sad scenes, burlesque interludes, brilliant fireworks, all visions
    that disappear as soon as they are seen.” That sounds like a great movie. All I see when I
    look out the train window is the infinite abyss of meaninglessness, and then I pull out my phone and
    open Floppy Bird and everything is okay again. And railroad travel also changed human behavior.
    Okay let’s go to the Thought Bubble. Since looking at the landscape was no longer
    the same experience, and, according to the medical journal The Lancet, “The rapidity
    and variety of the impressions necessarily fatigue both the eye and the brain.” many
    people turned to reading books on railroads. For starters, reading was a way for upper
    class passengers to avoid having to talk with each other. European first and second class
    rail cars were designed to mimic stage coaches, with passengers facing each other. Now, in
    pre-railroad travel, you knew you were going to be stuck with whoever else was in your
    stagecoach, so it was important to try to be nice and strike up a conversation. But
    the short duration of railroad journeys discouraged the formation of rapport between travellers,
    changing our habits and turning reading on the train into a necessity.
    Rail travel also brought new fears, like when travelling at the speed of a cannonball, it
    was hard to overcome one’s terror of a possible derailment. As Thomas Creevy put it: “It is really flying, and it is impossible
    to divest yourself of the notion of instant death to all upon the least accident happening.” So that’s why I’m afraid of flying. And
    to be fair railway accidents were common enough that physicians began to document cases of
    “railway spine” a condition suffered by people who had come through railway accidents
    with complaints of pain, but few or no signs of physical injury. By the end of the 1880s,
    however, railway spine gave way as a diagnosis to “traumatic neurosis” reflecting new
    ideas in psychology. Eventually, pathological explanations for what looks a lot like nervous shock
    slipped away and only the psychological ones were left. Thanks, Thought Bubble. So new technologies
    often bring new anxieties because change is terrifying. Remember how the internet was
    going to bring an end to reading books? Remember how “e-learning” was going to
    replace classrooms and there were going to be all of these “e-teachers” who would
    replace your real teachers? But yeah, no, it turns out that real life
    teachers are pretty great. Like Heinrich Heins wrote that railroads produced “tremendous foreboding such as we always
    feel when there comes an enormous, an unheard-of event whose consequences are imponderable
    an incalculable.” Fortunately, our new industrial world view
    associated change with progress. Like this notion that humans move forward,
    that children will have a better life than their parents did – that’s new. As… oh it’s time for the Open letter! But first let’s see what’s in the globe
    today – oh no, it’s change. I hate change. An Open Letter to Progress: One of the reasons,
    I think, we’re afraid of change is that change doesn’t really mean progress. For the vast majority of human history the
    lives of children could be much worse than the lives of their parents. It depended on disease and
    weather and kings – mostly on disease and weather. There was no idea that moving forward also
    meant moving up. And I would argue that certainly innovation
    has given us much to be grateful for, but there’s something to a reluctance to change. I love you progress and you have given me
    much to be grateful for, but a gentle reminder: change doesn’t always mean progress. Best wishes, John Green. So as Schivelbusch puts it “new modes of
    behavior and perception enabled the traveler to lose the fear that he formerly felt towards
    the new conveyance.” “The sinister aspect of the machinery that
    first was so evident and frightening gradually disappeared, and with this disappearance,
    fear waned and was replaced by a feeling of security based on familiarity.” Huh, that sounds precisely like my relationship
    with a phone that always knows where I am. New technologies often change the way people
    live and perceive the world. Like one example would be the printing press. It made knowledge
    and information available as never before. But it only really affected a small segment
    of the population, at least initially. Industrialization was different in that it
    had a profound effect on large numbers of people in a very short time. And since the
    dawn of industrialization, the pace of this change and the enormity of its impact has only
    increased like, well, like a speeding train I guess. Except it’s like a speeding train that gets
    faster and faster until it reaches the speed of light – oh my gosh what a wonderful idea.
    Somebody call Elon Musk. So for most of us the Internet is a technology
    very much like the railroad. Like the railroad, the Internet in its earliest stages was both frightening
    to detractors and exhilarating to its boosters. And like railroads it has both shrunk the
    world, enabling me to communicate with you via, you know, the tubes – I don’t really
    know how the Internet works. And it’s also changed our perception of time. Think about how much sooner you expect a response
    to an email or text message vs a letter or even a phone call.
    Think about the fact that you can order a phone from China and have it arrive at your door in a
    week and that still feels like kind of a long time. In the age of the railroads to get a phone,
    which didn’t exist, from China to Indianapolis would’ve taken months. To get that same
    nonexistent phone from China to Indianapolis in 1700 would’ve taken more than a year.
    And then you turn it on and there’s not even a cell network. And you’re like “This
    is essentially just a brick. I waited more than a year and I can’t do anything with
    it!” And once the battery dies you’re going to go to plug it in and oh right there’s
    no freaking electricity! So yeah, the world is different. Now like
    railroads there’s plenty of nostalgia about the time before the Internet when people supposedly
    consumed less and talked to each other more because they weren’t constantly on their phones. But if railroad reading is any indication
    we’ve been looking for ways to use technology to avoid interacting with each other in real
    life for a long time. And we shouldn’t forget that railroads made
    travel easier and opened up new vistas and made goods less expensive and brought people
    closer together. And they also helped create the idea of nostalgia.
    I mean without industrial production the nostalgia for pre-industrial methods of travel and manufacture
    couldn’t exist. One of the best things about books like “The
    Railway Journey,” is that they help us to draw parallels between the past and the present
    and get us to focus on overlooked aspects of history, like what it meant for people
    to ride on trains for the first time. Now our study of history shouldn’t be focused
    too much on what we in the present can learn from the past, but trying to glimpse innovation
    and change as those who lived through it saw it, well I think that can be very useful to those of us
    living through a new technological revolution. Thanks for watching. I’ll see you next week. Crash Course is filmed here in the Chad and
    Stacey Emigholz studio in Indianapolis, it’s possible because of all these nice people
    who make it, and because of our Subbable subscribers. Subbable is a voluntary subscription service
    that allows you to support Crash Course directly so we can keep it free for everyone forever.
    Also you can get like, I don’t know, Mongol t-shirts, posters, DVD’s if you want to
    support us. Regardless, thanks for watching and as we
    say in my hometown, “thanks for being awesome. Wait, no, we say, “don’t forget to be
    awesome.”