Browsing Tag: history

    Why the “wrong side of the tracks” is usually the east side of cities | Stephen DeBerry
    Articles, Blog

    Why the “wrong side of the tracks” is usually the east side of cities | Stephen DeBerry

    February 15, 2020


    I came to talk about first principles and communities that I love — especially East Palo Alto, California, which is full of amazing people. It’s also a community
    that’s oddly separated by the 101 freeway
    that runs through Silicon Valley. On the west side of the freeway
    in Palo Alto are the “haves,” on just about any dimension
    you can think of: education, income, access to water. On the east side of the freeway
    are the “have-nots.” And even if you don’t know East Palo Alto, you might know the story
    of eastside disparity, whether it’s the separation
    of the railroad tracks in East Pittsburgh or the Grosse Pointe Gate in East Detroit or East St. Louis,
    East Oakland, East Philly. Why is it that communities on the social,
    economic and environmental margin tend to be on the east sides of places? Turns out, it’s the wind. If you look at the Earth
    from the North Pole, you’d see that it rotates
    counterclockwise. The impact of this is that the winds in the northern
    and the southern hemispheres blow in the same direction
    as the rotation of the Earth — to the east. A way to think about this is: imagine you’re sitting around a campfire. You’ve got to seat 10 people,
    you’ve got to keep everyone warm. The question is: Who sits with
    the smoky wind blowing in their face? And the answer is: people with less power. This campfire dynamic
    is what’s playing out in cities, not just in the US,
    but all around the world: East London; the east side
    of Paris is this way; East Jerusalem. Even down the street from
    where we’re sitting right now, the marginalized community
    is East Vancouver. I’m not the only one to notice this. I nerded on this hard, for years. And I finally found a group
    of economic historians in the UK who modeled industrial-era
    smokestack dispersion. And they came to the same
    conclusion mathematically that I’d come to as an anthropologist, which is: wind and pollution are driving
    marginalized communities to the east. The dominant logic of the industrial era is about disparity. It’s about haves and have-nots,
    and that’s become part of our culture. That’s why you know exactly
    what I’m talking about if I tell you someone’s
    from the “wrong side of the tracks.” That phrase comes from the direction
    that wind would blow dirty train smoke — to the east, usually. I’m not saying every single community
    in the east is on the margin, or every community
    on the margin is in the east, but I’m trying to make a bigger point
    about disparity by design. So if you find yourself
    talking about any cardinal direction of a freeway, a river, some train tracks, you’re talking about
    an eastside community. Now, the wind is obviously
    a natural phenomenon. But the human design decisions
    that we make to separate ourselves is not natural. Consider the fact that every
    eastside community in the United States was built during the era
    of legal segregation. We clearly weren’t even trying to design
    for the benefit of everyone, so we ended up dealing
    with issues like redlining. This is where the government
    literally created maps to tell bankers where they shouldn’t lend. These are some of those actual maps. And you’ll notice how
    the red tends to be clustered on the east sides of these cities. Those financial design decisions
    became a self-fulfilling prophecy: no loans turned
    into low property tax base and that bled into worse schools
    and a less well-prepared workforce, and — lo and behold — lower incomes. It means that you
    can’t qualify for a loan. Just a vicious downward spiral. And that’s just the case with lending. We’ve made similarly sinister design
    decisions on any number of issues, from water infrastructure to where we decide to place
    grocery stores versus liquor stores, or even for whom and how
    we design and fund technology products. Collectively, this list of harms is the artifact of our more
    primitive selves. I don’t think this is how
    we’d want to be remembered, but this is basically
    what we’ve been doing to eastside communities
    for the last century. The good news is,
    it doesn’t have to be this way. We got ourselves into
    this eastside dilemma through bad design, and so we can get out of it
    with good design. And I believe the first principle
    of good design is actually really simple: we have to start with the commitment
    to design for the benefit of everyone. So, remember the campfire metaphor. If we want to benefit everyone,
    maybe we just sit in a horseshoe, so nobody gets the smoke in their face. I’ve got to make a note
    to the gentrifiers, because the point
    of this image is not to say you get to roll into eastside communities
    and just move people out of the way, because you don’t. (Applause) But the point is, if you start with this first principle
    of benefiting everyone, then elegant solutions may become
    more obvious than you assume. What are the elegant solutions
    to close this gap between Palo Alto and East Palo Alto
    in Silicon Valley? I’ve got to like the odds
    of starting with EPA [East Palo Alto]. It’s in the middle of Silicon Valley,
    the epicenter of innovation and wealth creation. If we can solve this problem anywhere,
    it ought to be here. And if we can solve the problems for EPA, we could apply those solutions
    to other eastside communities. If you think about it, it’s actually
    a massive investment opportunity and an opportunity to drive
    policy change and philanthropy. But at the core, it’s this
    fundamental design principle, this choice of whether we’re going
    to decide to take care of everyone. And it’s a choice we can make, loved ones. We’ve got the capital. We’ve got technology on our side, and it keeps getting better. We’ve got some of the best entrepreneurs
    in the world in this building and in these communities right now. But the fundamental question is:
    What are we designing for? More haves and have-nots? More disparity? Or parity, the choice to come together. Because the reality is,
    this is not the industrial era. We don’t live in the era
    of legal segregation. So the punchline is,
    there is no wrong side of the tracks. And all I’m saying is, we should design our economy
    and our communities with that in mind. Thank you. (Applause)

    Mapping how railroads built America | Maptastic ep 3
    Articles, Blog

    Mapping how railroads built America | Maptastic ep 3

    February 13, 2020


    Welcome to Maptastic. Now you might think
    that you know the US. But we’re going to look
    at some maps that show it in a completely different light,
    looking at some new data that shows us how the US has built
    up over the last two centuries from East Coast to West Coast. Now cartographers love
    nothing more than new data to put on maps. And today, I’m with my
    colleague, Steve Bernard, who is our master
    cartographer at the FT, to look at some exciting
    new data recently released by some academics at the
    University of Colorado. And the first thing that
    I did with this data was load it up quickly into
    our computerised mapping software, our GIS. And I zoomed in to
    Phoenix, Arizona, just to have a little
    look at what the data says about how Phoenix has
    developed over time. And as you can see, in
    the early 20th century we start to see these
    little black dots, which are these individual pixels
    showing that that land has been built up, right? And as you can see, as we
    go through the 20th century, you get this amazing
    picture of sort of growth. And this city structure,
    the city shape of Phoenix, really starts to come out. And massive expansion
    in recent years. So this was a very
    crude first attempt at just looking at this
    data and thinking: does it offer us anything useful? Now I showed it to you, Steve. And you got similarly
    very excited about it. Yeah, the first time I saw it,
    I was looking over your shoulder at this. And I just thought,
    this is going to be great to do for
    the whole of the US. And this is all of
    this data showing how the US has been
    built up since 1810 running as an animation now. It’s almost impossible to see
    to start with because you have these very small little
    yellow pixels starting to light up on the East Coast. What just happened there? So this is the railways flashing
    up as they were developed. I got the data from the
    Library of Congress, which had these amazing old
    maps, which they had digitised. And I took these into
    the mapping software and essentially traced
    them, every single railroad from 1830s to 1890s. And I needed to
    do them in stages so I could show the development
    of the railroad from the East Coast all the way
    to the West Coast. So the yellow dots
    are the populated… The yellow dots are
    the populated areas. And the railroads
    are what you’ve just flashed up on there. That’s interesting by
    itself because now we’re looking at two
    different data sets. That’s one of the
    powerful things about this GIS, this
    computerised mapping software, is the way that you can
    layer information on top. So this might be a story that
    people are familiar with. But this is the first
    time that they’ve seen it. See it actually growing, yeah. Then there’s this
    whole pivotal moment in the late 1860s when the first
    railroad connected the West Coast to the East Coast. And then you’ll
    see the explosion of population along the West
    Coast from that point on. San Francisco, Los Angeles,
    further north into Seattle, they are growing exponentially
    from that point on. And the amount of railroads
    which are developed is phenomenal. Sort of unrelenting
    for the 60 years or so from the
    1830s to the 1890s. When people think about
    travelling around the US now, invariably people think
    about internal flights. But back in this
    period, the railroad, not only was it essential
    for getting about, just from looking
    at these maps, we can see that the
    railroad actually helped to define the
    geography of the US. So all of the areas
    that are building up are building up based
    on the connections that the railroad is making. I mean, one of the
    things I thought was very, very
    interesting looking at some of these old maps
    was just how important it was for people to have
    maps of these connections. I mean, some of these maps here
    are really, really beautiful maps. But they’re all talking
    about the connections. This map here, Baltimore
    and Ohio Railroad, is actually titled Shewing
    the Connection, this kind of joining up of the cities. It was an incredibly
    important part of America’s economic expansion. This one here, the map of the
    Canal and Railroads of the US, it’s almost like a still
    from your animation. It was painstaking
    tracing all of these because obviously each map was
    slightly different at slightly different projection,
    which means I had to what’s called
    georeferencing, which basically turns this map
    into a rubber sheet and allows me to stretch it
    inside the mapping software to get it exactly
    into the projection that we’re using in
    the final animation. After 1956, the US highways
    decided to build what is now known as all the interstates
    in the US and which again just enhanced the connections between
    the cities and made it easier for people to mobilise and… We’re seeing highways
    on the animation where although it’s still allowing
    us to go east to west, it’s actually connecting
    up more of the country. So the interstates
    are going to places that not even the railroads
    necessarily were going. So again, another
    layer of geography telling us something
    a little bit more about how the US was
    developing at that time. The really interesting
    thing at this stage as well, as you can
    already see, this is so looking at 1970,
    just that difference in density between
    the east and the west. And then that kind
    of the open road is really sort of the
    Midwest and out west. You can see that. And they look very, very
    sparse and isolated, the roads. Whereas a lot denser connections
    over on the East Coast – very, very stark. A lot of that has to do with
    farmland areas in the Midwest, which a lot of the area is given
    over to agriculture as opposed to large cities. So this is just showing
    exactly what areas of land have been developed since
    1810 through to 2015. I added another layer showing
    when each parcel of land was actually developed. So before, the yellow just
    meant it’s been built on. It’s been developed, yeah. Now the colour is
    showing us when. OK, so let’s just interpret that
    colour ramp a little bit for us here. So the very earliest
    settlements are coloured yellow. So we can see that’s over
    on the East Coast there. Massachusetts lighting
    up, for example. Then it becomes red, orange-red,
    and through to purple. So the more purple
    you see on the map that’s recent development. Yeah, so a lot of the
    southern states, you can see, are a lot more
    purple than obviously the East Coast, Massachusetts,
    Boston, New York. But still some of the
    orange on the West Coast where Los
    Angeles, San Francisco, were connected by
    those early railroads. Just it’s worth
    pointing out there is still a lot of
    this data set – that uncertainty is still
    a part of any big data set. But this one in particular,
    there’s still big chunks represented by this teal
    sort of colour there. Lots of a bit… Michigan. I guess some ambiguity. I don’t think that
    stops us thinking that this is a very interesting
    way of looking at the US. But it’s kind of
    important to know that no data set is perfect
    even when you put it on a map. The thing that’s
    fascinating for me about using these
    computerised mapping systems is that you can zoom
    in and zoom out freely. And so we’re going to
    go live into the GIS now to have a look
    at some of this data. So this is the application I
    used to create the animation and the maps is
    called QGIS, which is an open source software,
    which anyone can use for free. One thing I looked at
    initially was 40 metro areas, which had populations
    over a million, and seeing how they had changed
    individually over the 205 years that we have in the data set. Chicago just grabbed my
    attention immediately. A, because it’s sort
    of a famous city that everyone’s
    fairly familiar with. But the way that the city has
    grown in those early years, you can really see
    very clearly, if I just turn on the railways
    over the top, how the early developments
    and settlements were following along the railroads. So this is using the same colour
    scheme that we were looking at before. So the yellow areas
    are the older areas, the purple being more recent. So that is fascinating. You get this kind of… Sort of spidery. A spider’s web sort of structure
    building out of the centre of town. That’s instantly recognisable. Absolutely. Where else was interesting? So what we’re going
    to see here is going to be the population
    growth from 1810 to 2015 in the downtown area. It’s the whole metro
    area of Phoenix-Mesa because the census data
    doesn’t cover that whole area because obviously it’s
    expanding all the time. The map might show
    us when it was built. But it doesn’t actually
    show us an awful lot about what’s going on there. The population data is
    going to show us actually when did the people arrive. Yeah, exactly. Well, you’ll get a sense
    obviously in the beginning. As in your map, there’s
    not a lot going on… Dormant period for Phoenix. The odd thing pops
    up in the late 1800s. But after that, it’s just an… Now we start to see it go, yeah. Carefully at the population
    map at the bottom chart, that’s at the bottom. It really does grow
    exponentially in the past 40 years or so. So the really interesting
    thing looking at animation is actually there was a lot
    of growth in the built area before you started to
    notice a real increase in the population. And in fact, most
    of the area had been built on before
    the population density presumably really ramps up. So that’s fascinating,
    being able to see the sort of geographical
    spread of the city relative to the sort of
    density of population living in that area. The population has pretty
    much tripled since the 1970s, which is quite an explosion. There are other
    cities as well… There are indeed. …worth looking at. And in fact, the
    population charts that you’ve created there are
    really, really interesting because one of the things
    we see when we look at all of the US, those
    major metro areas, is that there’s an
    interesting pattern repeated across several cities. Indeed, yeah. A lot of the new cities like
    Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, San Jose, they’re
    the success stories of this urbanisation. But there are also some
    of the larger cities that are being left behind. If you look at this
    set of charts here, we’re basically
    showing cities in red that have seen a
    decline in recent years. And there is none more
    dramatic than Detroit, which was at one point the
    fourth most populous city in the US as recent
    as the 1940s. And is now seeing their
    population drop from 1.8m down to just over 700,000
    at the last census. That’s a huge
    proportionate drop and in absolute terms a big drop. The interesting thing
    looking at the chart there is that decline has
    been going on for a long time. So the peak was back in the
    middle of the 20th century. And there’s been a long-term
    decline since then. How can we map that
    back onto the city maps? Looking at Detroit… well, I’ve got a map on now
    is the bottom 20 per cent of income. So the poorest families and
    also the highest vacancy rates, where they
    coexist at the same time. And you’ll see a big hole
    appearing in the downtown area of the city. So these are areas with vacancy
    rates that are quite high. So a large proportion of sort
    of empty buildings and deprived areas. So what’s really interesting
    about doing that and showing it like this is that it is
    almost perforates that map that we have just built up. So you have this period
    of growth and expansion. And then in places like
    Detroit, it’s actually possible to visualise on
    the map how you… this has not gone
    back to obviously kind of pristine or virgin land. But it’s just… People have just vacated it. And they haven’t come back. This data is 2010 census data. There is a regeneration
    in Detroit underway. And people are now developing
    the downtown area, which should attract more people. But it is fascinating to see
    that a lot of these highly vacant areas and poor areas in
    the cities across the Rust Belt are predominately in
    the older part of town. If you look at the
    orangey, this whole area is basically where most of the
    deprived and poor areas are. The newer, more
    recent urbanised areas are not so badly affected. And that’s the story which is
    true across a lot the Rust Belt cities. So here we have Pittsburgh
    and Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis. So if you look at Cleveland,
    it’s a very similar story. In the older part of town, the
    poorest and most vacant areas are in the older
    parts of the city. It could be due to it being
    too expensive to develop these old buildings. So the pattern that
    you just mentioned that is really consistent is
    that those yellow areas, which are the older areas,
    are the ones that are more likely to be zapped
    by our perforated data. They’re the ones
    that are the oldest. But they are also,
    in some senses, the most challenging
    for policymakers today to deal with. And in fact, that leads
    me back to the value of these maps in general because
    just as these old maps were so incredibly valuable
    during that massive expansion period in the 19th century as
    the US built out westwards, these maps are equally
    valuable to people who are making decisions
    today about what to do. So you can imagine if you were
    a city planner in Cleveland or Detroit, this view of
    how the cities developed and the way that it is
    now is not something we’ve been able to do before. But this is not
    exactly what you’d want to see if you were
    looking to make interventions to turn things around. That’s the good thing
    about sort of seeing, taking in, say, this old data
    in terms of the historical value to it but also being out to
    map new data sets on top of it to sort of get a lot
    more value from it. And I guess the other thing with
    200 years’ worth of data here more or less, you can slice
    through that as well to really understand more recent things. So if we ignore the two
    centuries of change, we can do things like use
    this data to say, right, show me the only… only show
    me the areas that have been developed in the 21st century. So where is America
    growing right now? This is since 2000. So now the yellow pixels
    that we’re seeing are parcels of land in the US that
    have been developed… Since 2000. …for the first
    time since 2000. That is really fascinating. Can we see any patterns
    at a city level in here? I mean, how are some of our
    old friends like Phoenix faring on this data? So for Phoenix, this looks like
    a story of continuing growth, just looking at the extent of
    land that’s showing up here. Absolutely. Look at that. That’s really fascinating. So this general pattern that
    we’ve seen as cities grow is still happening in Phoenix. There’s still big
    expansion outwards. Now there’s data
    linked behind this map. That’s what this
    software is doing it’s using the data that we’ve
    got to draw the maps for us. Can we actually see what the
    data is telling us there? So our magic inspector tool. OK, so this is the tool
    that when you click anywhere on the map, it’s
    going to tell you what data is behind that point. To go to the exact layer. There we go. So this will tell us where we
    click on the map, what year it was first developed. And so this data set works
    in five-year age bands, if I recall correctly. So it’s not something that’s… It’s not day to
    day, month to month. It’s every five years. Steve, people might be
    looking at this video and seeing you having
    so much fun clicking and enjoying and
    exploring this data. How do people get
    started if they want to play with this themselves? Well, the data set is freely
    available from the Harvard website. So you can download it. And you’ll be able to have the
    same starting point that I did. The first thing you
    just need to get hold of is QGIS, which is an open
    source software, which allows you to take this data
    in and map it immediately. If you want to learn
    QGIS, I’ve actually done this series
    of 31 videos, which allow you to sort of slowly
    get to grips with how to use the software. It’s quite a vast
    piece of software. But you normally only need
    to use probably about 10 per cent of it to
    get to the stage where you can map
    something like this. You don’t need to know
    everything about it. The Library of Congress
    maps are free to download. Yeah, the highways… the Census
    Bureau has so much data on it. It’s a vast resource
    population data, deprivation data, vacancy data. All of this is freely available
    on the Census Bureau website. Fantastic. Thanks, Steve. You’re welcome.

    The Railway Garden & Depot
    Articles, Blog

    The Railway Garden & Depot

    February 13, 2020


    ON A JOURNEY AS RAILROAD HELPED TO SHAPE THE COUNTRY. ♪ ♪>>AFTER SIX YEARS OF PLANNING AND TWO YEARS OF CONSTRUCTION, TALL TREES AWARD WINNING RAILROAD GARDEN OPENED IN 2011, MAKING IT THE MOST INTENSIVELY GARDEN AT THE PARK. THE ACRE LARGE DISPLAY FEATURES 30 HAND CRAFTED BRIDGES, SIX WATER FEATURES AND NINE UNIQUE SCENES, ALL BUILT IN TRIBUTE TO THE STEAM LOCOMOTIVE ERA IN THE AMERICAN RAILROAD HISTORY, A TIME FROM 1860s TO THE 1920s. WE CONTINUALLY WANT TO IMPROVE THE DISPLAY AND KEEP IT GOING AND MAKE IT INTERESTING FOR PEOPLE TO SEE AND COMING BACK AND ENJOYING. IT ALL OF OUR SCENES WERE TAKEN FROM HISTORICAL REFERENCES. A LOT OF RESEARCH WAS DON’T DEVELOPING THIS, AND WE WANTED TO MAKE EVERYTHING AS HISTORICALLY ACCURATE AS POSSIBLE. SO NOT ONLY DO YOU ENJOY THE SCENERY AND YOU CAN REALLY UNDERSTAND THE HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RAILROAD IN THIS COUNTRY. WHAT WE HAVE IN THE RAILWAY GARDENS IS THE LARGEST DISPLAY IN THE MIDWEST, ONE OF THE LARGEST IN THE COUNTRY, AND WE HAVE 3,000 FEET OF TRACK. WE HAVE RUN ANY PLACE FROM SEVEN TO TEN LOCOMOTIVES AT A TIME.>>A BROAD RANGE OF LANDSCAPED ECOSYSTEMS ARE REPRESENTED IN THE GARDEN FROM BOGS AND PRAIRIES, TO ALPINE MEADOWS AND ROCKY BANKS, FEATURING MANY PLANTS THAT CAN ONLY BE SEEN AT THE RAILWAY’S SMALL SCALE HABITAT. INCLUDING BONSAI PLANTS.>>THE FIRST VIGNETTE IS THE BUILDING OF THE TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILROAD AND THEN THE SECOND VIGNETTE DEALS WITH THE CIVIL WAR, AND THEN IT GOES ON TO ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND THEN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE COUNTRY. WE PAID SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE QUARRY OF BEDFORD, INDIANA, AROUND 1910, AND HOW HISTORICALLY SIGNIFICANT THAT WAS FOR THIS COUNTRY. HOW MANY 35 STATE CAPITOLS WERE BUILT BY INDIANA LIMESTONE AND IT WAS MOSTLY DUG OUT FROM BEDFORD, INDIANA. AND SO WE HAVE A LARGE DISPLAY THAT SHOWS HOW THE TRAINS ACTUALLY RAN FROM THE QUARRY THROUGH THE TOWN, AND THEN THE OTHER VIGNETTES DEAL WITH THE COAL MINES AND THE LUMBERS WHICH WAS A BIG PART OF OUR HISTORY.>>TEN TRAINS RUN AT A TIME WITH MANY OTHERS, ALL G GAUGE STEAM ENGINE LOCOMOTIVES, WAITING THEIR TURN IN THE BASEMENT TRAIN YARD. A COMPLEX ELECTRONIC SYSTEM POWERS EACH UNIT, REMOTELY SWITCHING LOOPS AND TRIGGERING BELLS AND MONITORING SPEEDS. OVER 20 VOLUNTEERS FROM ELECTRICIANS TO COMPUTER SPECIALISTS KEEP THE TRAINS CHUGGING ALONG, ROTATING THE LOCOMOTIVES ON THE LOOP EVERY FOUR HOURS TO PREVENT THEM FROM OVERHEATING IN THE HOT INDIANA SUMMER SUN.>>I THINK A LOT OF PARENTS AND THE FATHERS BRING THEIR KIDS AS AN EXCUSE BECAUSE THEY WANT TO ENJOY IT AND THEY WANT TO REALLY UNDERSTAND IT. IT’S A DISPLAY THAT KIDS FROM THREE YEARS OLD ENJOY ALL THE WAY UP TO 85 YEARS OLD.

    Reminiscences: Maryborough Railway Station
    Articles, Blog

    Reminiscences: Maryborough Railway Station

    February 10, 2020


    WOMAN: I suppose one of the most
    famous visitors was Madame Melba. And she loved walking. And she walked all the way down from her hotel in the centre of Maryborough to the railway station
    when she was leaving after her concert. And when she was there, the ladies of the town
    were gathered around to farewell her, but then this rather tousled little
    young fellow raced up to Madame Melba and presented her
    with a bunch of flowers. And everyone was quite horrified. But Melba, very composed,
    asked for his name and address, and thanked him. And so the newspaper said he rose higher then than his status
    as apprentice to a saveloy merchant. My father joined up and went overseas in World War I, left behind a wife and six children. He eventually got home, and a good friend of his
    was the local bandmaster. And he marched the band
    up from the band hall. And everybody he met, ‘Come on,
    come on, Archie’s coming home!’ Archie Mason’s coming home. By the time he got to the station,
    there was a crowd. Besides the ones from out of town
    where Dad lived. And Mum said,
    ‘The station platform was crowded!’ I looked at her and I said, ‘Mum, the local station platform is…’ I knew how long it was.
    It was a long station platform. She looked at me, and Mum was very dignified
    and very much in control, and she said, ‘I have spoken.’ (Laughs) I said, ‘Sorry, dear.’ She said, ‘It was crowded.’ Packed. In 1947, I was transferred to Donald from Melbourne for the wheat season. And I… We stopped at Maryborough on our way to Donald. And it was at midnight, virtually,
    New Year’s Eve and there was a piper,
    a Scotchman playing the pipes, walking up and down the platform. When they had the 100 years of trains, I was stationmaster at the time and Mr Gibbs was the chairman and he hosted a dinner at Maryborough. And we had it
    on the old station restaurant. And it was rather unique. The whole dinner
    was cooked on the original stove. Before the dinner,
    about 48 hours before, I had my boys stoke it up,
    the fireplace. Because Maryborough was open all night and there was staff all night, they used to go in and stoke the stove. So when the ladies come to cook, they did a three-course dinner and it was rather unique
    to see it cooked on the old stove. And it was cooked perfectly. During the Depression years, a lot of young people,
    a lot of young men, would jump the rattler. In other words,
    they would climb onto the trains to get to a regional town, so that they could get food vouchers. They only lasted a week so therefore they tended
    to go from one place to another. And they used to jump off
    just before the station at Maryborough and then they’d go and they’d sit
    under the peppercorn trees in the stationmaster’s yard. He had a house
    just in front of the station. And there they would tidy themselves up before they’d go down to the town and then catch other food
    or work or whatever they could. We had some great fun when I was a kid, because we used to come down here and play in the yards and we’d go down the loco and we’d play. And as I was telling you before about the bridge that was over the end
    up at the Carisbrook end, we’d get up to the top there, and of course, the engines
    would go backwards and forwards shunting and they’d be blowing this black smoke
    up, up like that. And, of course, you’d have shorts on, and the black smoke
    used to go up the leg of your pants and around your undies and… (Laughs) Oh, we used to… Then we’d try and drop stones
    down through the funnel of the engine. Then the trains going up the hill
    on the Ballarat line… They used to go out slowly, you see, and we’d be down the bottom so we’d get on
    the back of the guard’s van and the guard
    wouldn’t know that we were there and we’d ride up to the top of the hill
    on the back of the guard’s van and as soon as it started to gain speed
    to go over the hill, we would jump off
    then walk home again, yeah. Oh, but we had a lot of fun.
    It was great. Great back in those days. And the other funny little thing, was one evening the train
    from Melbourne via Ballarat came in. It was a railmotor. After it went, I had the little lady
    and her partner came in and they wanted to see me. They had a delicate matter to discuss. And I said, ‘What’s your problem?’ And they said… She said, ‘I went to the toilet and I got my powder…’ She said, ‘I was doing my face and the draft from the toilet came up and it took my roll of $20 notes
    down through the loo, the chute.’ The chute, of course, in those days
    went straight onto the track, the permanent way. And she said, ‘Oh, I don’t know what… Could you arrange
    for someone to have a look and see if it’s still on the track?’ I said, ‘Oh, yeah. No problem.’ So I rang the stationmaster at Clunes, ’cause I knew he was an exercise bug
    and he used to take a jog every evening. And I said, ‘Well, tonight
    go for your jog along the track there and see if you can see
    a roll of $20 bills.’ Anyway, next morning when I went to work there was a value for me,
    which is, you’d say a registered letter from Clunes to me. And in it had the roll of $20 notes. Well, after I’d finished
    the morning passenger trains, I went up to the ladies’ house and they were just getting out of bed,
    it was about 9:30, and I presented them with their money
    and they were very, very happy.

    Researching Ghost Towns
    Articles, Blog

    Researching Ghost Towns

    January 28, 2020


    Goodman: Researching Ghost Towns in Florida. All right, hello, everybody. My name’s Josh Goodman. I am the Archives Historian at the State
    Archives of Florida here in Tallahassee. This is my contact information. We will show this slide again at the end of the presentation, so if you’re furiously scribbling
    right now, don’t worry about it. We’ll have this up again. We certainly love to hear from you and any
    questions you have about the content of today’s presentation or some of the other records that we
    have here at the State Archives of Florida. So just a little bit, I notice we’ve got a big
    group today tuning into us, and that’s fantastic. So just a little bit about sort of who we are and
    what we do, the State Library and State Archives are all located in one great big building here two blocks behind the capital in
    Tallahassee at 500 S. Bronough Street. We are open much like any other public library from Monday through Friday, 9:00
    to 4:30, except for state holidays. And unlike, you know, a lot of folks feel like
    you have to have some kind of special permission to do work in the Archives or that you have to be an expert or
    something like that, but that’s not true. You don’t even have to have an appointment to come in. If you see records in this presentation that interest you or if you learn through some of the
    processes that we’ll go through today, if you find some records that you’d like to get a look at, you can just walk right on in when we’re open and we
    have a full Reference Desk staff that can help you. You can also call in to that Reference Desk and they’re certainly glad to help
    you with any questions that they have. So you do not have to be an expert to use the materials
    at the State Archives of Florida or the State Library. It all belongs to all of you as citizens of the state. Also if you do come and visit us, we have free parking. We’ve got a parking garage just
    down the street from the building. It’s adjoining the building so you can just
    park right there and we’ll get you in the building. All right, but we’re here to
    talk a little bit about ghost towns. As a matter of fact, I was just in the Reference Room today and someone came in talking about a town right here in
    Leon County called, I think he called it Hudsonville. Don’t hold me to that. But I think. And what it was, was an old turpentine town where a
    company had established sort of a little company town, just a camping place there for the people who
    were working in that particular turpentine operation, and it was there for a number of years and then it was gone. And so he had some questions for us about
    sort of how do you go about researching this town and what happened there and who lived there
    and when was it active and that sort of thing. And so that’s what we want to talk about today is when you run across these either
    through doing genealogical research or if you’re working in local
    county history or something like that and you know of some town or
    some settlement that used to exist but it’s gone now for whatever reason, you
    know, how do you go about researching that? So I thought we’d start out by talking just a
    little bit about how does a town become a ghost town. So there’s a lot of different ways that can
    happen, but let’s look at some of the most common. So for example, sometimes an industry that was sort of the reason a
    town existed can go away or maybe move to another place. And Florida has had several industries like this in the past that are particularly prone to producing ghost towns. The example I have up here on the screen, you’ll notice the red arrow is pointing to a
    little town here in Polk County called Brewster. And Brewster was essential built up from scratch
    by a company called The American Cyanamid Company. And what they did was they mined for
    phosphate rock down in Polk County. There’s a number of different places in Polk County that were in that situation
    where they mined for phosphate rock and then as soon as they ran out of the
    rock in that area they would abandon the town and then move on to some other place. So that’s also a big deal with turpentine because
    turpentine was really big in the extreme late 19th century and the first few decades of the 20th century. Especially in north Florida turpentine was real big. But then after World War II when
    synthetic turpentine kind of took over the market, those natural turpentine companies
    sort of started falling off the map. And so all of those places where they
    had established these big company towns with commissaries and hotels and even
    movie theaters and bowling alleys and stuff, they started to disappear into the
    woods because they were no longer needed. The timber industry is another one that does that because the way that the timber industry used to work
    before we had such a large network of paved highways is you would build a little tram railroad, just this little lightweight railroad into
    wherever the trees were that you wanted to cut. You would bring in the equipment,
    usually steam powered skidders they call them, and then you would log all of the
    trees in that little area right there while everybody camped out at a little temporary town. And then the logs would all get taken off on the railroad. Once the logs were all gone they would take everything. All the buildings would be gone. The railroad itself would be gone. And they’d move on to the next place. So yes, industry collapses or
    departures can produce ghost towns. A number of the map dots on the Florida map will
    have resulted from something along those lines. Another cause that is particularly
    prevalent here in Florida is natural disasters. And the version of that that I’ve kind of pulled up here is you’ll see the red arrow is
    pointing to a little town called Magnolia. Now this map has got it a little bit wrong. This is a little bit far inland for where
    Magnolia would’ve actually have been located. But hey, give them a break. This map was made in 1931. They’re going off the best data they can. Magnolia was located a little closer here to where the St. Marks and the Wakulla empty out into Appalachia Bay here. So Magnolia was destroyed by a
    hurricane during the Territorial Era. And there were other towns built in this area. Port Leon, that’s another one that was built in this same area around Fort St. Marks that was also destroyed by a hurricane. And then after both of those towns had been destroyed, then they created a third town
    called Newport which still exists. It’s a little bit of a map dot. It’s certainly much smaller than it was back in the days when cotton was actually being
    transferred from these plantations up here in what we call the Red Hills region and
    being taken down to the Appalachia Bay here. But still Magnolia and Port Leon, they were destroyed by a natural disaster
    so that’s another way that these get created. A third reason is that sometimes towns
    you’ve heard of or towns that you’ve seen on a map that you’re calling ghost towns,
    sometimes they’re not actually towns. And we’re going to talk a little bit
    today where mapmakers get their data from because I know that’s one of the questions
    we get the most on is people will be like, well, where did the mapmakers in the 1830’s and
    ’40’s, how did they know where to put the dots? And we’re going to talk a little bit about sort of
    why that is, and this is a good example right here. This is a map from 1902 of Taylor County,
    Florida, which happens to be where I’m from. And you’ll see on here they’ve got this
    nice, great, big circle here for Perry and then they’ve got all these little circles all around here. Believe it or not, none of these places, not even
    Perry at this time was actually an incorporated town. Now Perry was a town. It was the only thing out of all of this that
    really could be called an honest to God town with a street grid and with a vibrant
    business culture and all this sort of thing. What a lot of these other little map dots are, like Lake Bird and Blue and Waylonzo and particularly Colfax, Lake Joe
    and Register, they were post offices. They weren’t actually … some of them might have had maybe a general
    store or two but they were really just post offices. And so you’re thinking to yourself, well, why
    would, why would they just put post offices on the map? And the reason for that is because when the
    mapmakers were going to get the data to put on their maps, post offices produced some of the biggest paper trails. And so they could actually get
    location data for where these things should be in relation to some of the bigger places like Perry. And so they put these on the map because
    they could actually get information about them. You could actually … just for
    this county alone there’s probably at least a dozen or more named
    places that didn’t make it onto the map because unlike these post office locations
    they don’t produce the same kind of paper trail. So that’s another source of ghost towns
    is things that weren’t actually towns. They’re just post offices that happened
    to be in the middle of a neighborhood, sometimes named after somebody
    who lived in the area like this one. Waylonzo for example is named after the first
    postmaster, Waylonzo Johnson I think his name is or something like that. But it’s the postmaster’s first name. So what are the things that we can know about a ghost town? Because this is how we’re going to kind of arrange the talk. We can figure out in many cases the physical
    location in real space today of a ghost town, which obviously if you’re looking for, if you’re looking
    to figure out who might have owned land in a ghost town or if you’re wanting to actually go out
    and try to find the site of a ghost town, that’s obviously very valuable information. We can figure out who lived in a ghost
    town in many cases, or more precisely put, we can figure out who owned
    property where that ghost town was. We can also use some context clues to
    figure out when a ghost town was active. So let’s talk about some of those things. Let’s start with the most interesting one
    I think and that’s locating a ghost town. Now the most obvious source of
    information about that is going to be maps, but the caveat to that is to not just look at one
    map but to look at many, many, many different maps. And the reason for that has to do with again
    where mapmakers actually get their information. When somebody goes to make a map in the
    19th and early 20th centuries, you know, they get that data from several different places. They might get some of it from the U.S. Coastal Survey. They might get some of it from the geological survey. They might get a lot of it from the United
    States Postal Service and that sort of thing. OK, so you know, it’s going to
    come from lots of different places. If for some reason a place, like let’s say that a town that you’re looking for
    had a post office and that’s why it shows up on one map, if you were to look at some other map, it
    might not actually be on that other map. So for example, I’m looking here at
    two different maps of Marion County, and if you look at the two maps, many of the place names that are on one are
    also on the other but not all of them, you know. So you have to be willing to look at
    different kinds of maps to make sure that you’re actually going to get the one that shows
    you the location of the place you’re looking for. Now also if I look at this map
    right here, this is kind of handy. Let’s say for example that I was looking for this
    place Flemington up here in the corner here, Flemington. All right, this is going to help me a little bit because by looking at this I’m at least going
    to see what railroad it was kind of close to, and I can see that it’s kind of up in
    the northwestern corner of Marion County. But if I’m actually going to try to go to where Flemington is, then I’m going to need a little bit more precise information than just it’s in the northwestern corner of the county. All right, and so that’s why what you
    really, really want if you can get it is you want to get a map that has been
    divided up into townships and sections. Now that’s something … a lot of the
    resources that we talk about in today’s webinar are going to involve you being able to
    locate or needing to know the section, township and range of a particular
    piece of property or a particular location. And the system, it looks a little complicated at the outset, but I’m going to give you sort of the quick and
    dirty method for determining section, township and range, how to go from a listing and find that listing on a map so that you’ll be able to use a sectional map to the fullest. So but going back to my Flemington example,
    with this other map a couple ways to go, yeah, I can, I can tell that it was kind of close to this railroad. It’s kind of close to this town of Orange Lake. It’s kind of close to this Lockby thing, and
    it’s in the northwestern corner of the county. But if I get to this particular map, OK, this map has
    been divided up into the actual township grid system that was originally put in place in the
    state back in the 1820’s into the ’30’s and ’40’s to sort of describe where land is in real space. I can actually get a section, township
    and range number from this for Flemington, and that’s going to help me find out all kinds of things because once I know what section and
    township and range this place is in then I can go look for deeds that are in that same
    section, township and range to figure out who lived there. I can look for any record that is related to land usage, and I can figure out what was going on in that place ever since it was surveyed into the Public Land Survey System which is sort of the name for this
    whole section, township and range system, the Public Land Survey System or the PLSS. Anything that uses that system, I can figure
    out what was going on in the area of Flemington going all the way back into the early 19th century, maybe even before Flemington even existed, OK? So again we will talk a little bit about what,
    how to determine section, township and range, but just a quick little thing right now. What I’m talking about here is the
    state is divided up into this grid system. It is not, it is not the same thing as latitude and longitude. It has nothing to do with that. There are ways to sort of translate between
    latitude and longitude and the Public Land Survey System, and we will look at an engine called
    Earth Point for doing that a little later. But suffice it to say the Public Land Survey
    System grid that uses townships, ranges and sections, that is a completely separate imaginary
    grid separate from latitude and longitude. All right, another type of man that can be very
    useful is U.S. Geological Survey Quad Sheets, OK. These are produced by a separate group within
    the federal government that makes these maps, and these are actually based on latitude and longitude. They do use the Public Land Survey System
    sections and township numbers within it, but they also do the degrees, minutes and
    seconds that we find in latitude and longitude as well. So you kind of get both systems. And these are great because
    they’re what’s called topographical maps. These are based on aerial photography. So they had … the government would send people over to go and take aerial photographs of all over the United States, and then somebody would go behind
    them and use those aerial photographs to actually record what the texture of
    the land is and where there’s lots of trees. Those are the green areas. And where there’s not as many trees, that’s the whiter areas. Over here on the right we can see differences in
    elevation where they’re actually showing you hills. Where the lines are closer together,
    that’s a steeper incline, you know, whereas this is something that’s a little flatter. You see the lines that are kind of poking
    out to the inside of these circles here. That means it’s a depression. And also you can see these little black dots here. Those are actually buildings, inhabited buildings. The little black squares with no
    filling, those are uninhabited buildings. And then we’ve got a cemetery and a church here. They usually have a key to tell you
    what all the different symbols mean. But I say all of this just to say there’s a lot of
    different information that’s recorded on these maps. The other thing that’s really cool about them is that they’re available for free
    online as PDF’s and in other image formats. So I want to show you how to get to these real quick. All right, I’m going to jump over to my browser
    really quick, and they’re called USGS Quad Sheets, OK. So I’m going to look up USGS Quad Sheets and
    I’m going to put the word “historical” in there because that’s going to help me
    get to what I really want to see, which is this historical topographic map explorer. There’s a couple of different tools you can use. TopoView is another good one. If we have time, we’ll look at that one here in just a bit, but I want to use this one right now because it’s really cool. So it’s going to start you off in New
    Orleans because who doesn’t love New Orleans? All right, it’s going to show you. It’s going to show you this nice map of the United States, and you can go anywhere you want in here, and
    if they’ve got a map of it, they will show you. All right, but let’s focus on Florida here. And if you want, you can search for a particular place, or you can zoom in to a particular part
    of a county that you’re interested in. And it’s actually … you’ll be able to. This is really where the streets and roads are at this time. So if you’re not exactly sure what the name of the
    place is that you’re looking or if maybe it’s not showing up because it was never actually a named place or something but you can find it in real space and you want to see
    what was going on in a particular area in real space, you just get the area that you want to go to, click one time and then it brings up this really cool timeline down here that’s going to show you all the different times that
    topo maps were made by the USGS for that exact spot. And sometimes you’ve got multiple ones
    that are available for a given time period, and they’ll show you the different sizes. So for example, these blue ones that we have here
    that say Valdosta, OK, that means that those are the ones where a single inch is going to equal 250,000
    (I’m not sure if that’s feet or how that goes). But anyway these are the ones that are going
    to show you the most stuff on a single map, OK, so it’s the smallest scale, or
    excuse me the largest scale rather. However if I go to one of these green
    ones, this one is zoomed in a lot more, OK, so an inch is only going to show
    me about 12,000 feet or square miles or whatever exactly, whatever exactly that thing means. So for this particular spot, I’ve got some choices. I can either look at a really big map that’s going
    to show me, you know, a little bit of detail, OK. And it’ll tell me the year that this is from. So this one, for example, this is a map, a
    topographical map of this area from 1959. I can also look on this smaller one down here, and this
    one is also from 1959 but it is much more detailed, OK. And it’s actually … look there. It’s showing me where inhabited places were in the ’50’s. And you can see that some of these are not right on the road. We might be able to go in and see where there
    might be some that … look at these back here, OK. These are way back in there on a road that’s not paved. So you know, you may be able to find
    traces of a ghost town by using these maps. Look at this. We’ve got, over here you’ve got a church and
    a school that are way off any major highway so that may be a clue to finding something there as well. You can also, you can also just use the search term here, and if it is a place name that’s actually been
    recorded by the USGS at some point then it’ll take you to it. I think Traxler in Alachua County was a place that
    I was showing on that PowerPoint slide for example. And look there, it found it. And so I can click on that spot, and it’s going to
    show me all the different maps that I could go to, to see what Traxler looked like. This is what it’s going to have looked like in 1962. And if I decide, huh, I’m not
    really seeing what I was expecting here, I wonder if maybe it’s, you know,
    we’re right here on the edge of a map. Maybe Traxler used to kind of exist a little more down here. Maybe I can click right in this area here. Boom. Ah, so ghost towns maybe move a little bit over time. That’s something else to keep in mind. So see, I’ve got all these
    buildings associated with Traxler here. So you get the idea. It’s something to play with. All right, let’s jump back into the PowerPoint. OK, another really great tool for
    finding out the location of a ghost town. As I mentioned a little earlier,
    oftentimes ghost towns weren’t really towns so much as just neighborhoods
    that happened to have a post office. And those mapmakers loved to put post offices on the
    maps because whenever a post office was established, they had to, you had to actually apply for that post office. And when you turn in that application, it’s
    going to actually have to have the section, township and range where that post office is located. Oftentimes it’s also going to have
    on that application for post office, it’s also going to have things like what’s the nearest creek. What’s the nearest river? What’s the nearest railroad? What are the three nearest post offices? And what road connects them? There’s all kinds of information like that on the application. And you’ll be able to use that information to triangulate the location of the post office that you’re looking for. So like for example, let’s take Frankland right here. This is in Alachua County near Gainesville. I hope we don’t have any … well, we won’t get into football. But anyway so here’s Frankland in Alachua County. Let’s say that I wanted to know a
    little bit more about Frankland. It doesn’t really have any roads going through it. It doesn’t have any railroads going through it. So from this map alone I’m not really able to get any data to help me figure out exactly where Frankland is located. But I can check to see if it was ever a post office. And if it was a post office, then that means that
    somebody from Frankland had to turn in an application to the United States Postal Service or the Post
    Office Department as they called it back in those days, telling the postmaster, hey, this is
    where I want this post office to be, and these are all the people who are
    going to use it, and here’s the location. Here’s the route it’s going to be on. And then the post office had to sign off on that. Luckily those post office applications have been
    microfilmed, and they are available for research. They’re available here at the State Library. They can be requested and
    purchased from the National Archives. I have the microfilm publication number down here. It’s NARA Microfilm Number M1126. By the way, you can also get the list of postmasters
    that was, that operated any particular post office. Those records are also available from the National
    Archives, and you can look that up on their website. But what I’ve pulled up here is I’ve
    actually gone on to NARA Microfilm Publication M1126 and it’s organized by state and then by
    county and then alphabetically by post office. And I’ve gone in and discovered that, yes, there was a post office at Frankland and
    they did have to apply to get that post office. And this is the form that they had to fill out. They had to say, all right, here’s
    the name of my post office that I want. This is … if it’s a town that
    already existed, here’s the name of it. Sometimes, and this is something to keep
    in mind when you’re researching ghost towns, it is very possible for a town and its post office to
    have different names, and that can be very confusing. For example in my own hometown,
    Perry, its post office for years, for even after it already had the name
    Perry, the post office was called Rosehead. And that’s caused tremendous confusion
    in writing the history of the county. Everybody thinks that Perry originally was
    called Rosehead and that’s not actually true. It’s just that for a while Perry
    had a post office called Rosehead before it ever actually had a post office named Perry. And that can happen with any town
    so it’s something to be aware of. And you can see that reflected in these forms. All right, so we’re getting some information
    in here and what I’ve highlighted in yellow. Notice that they’re saying this post office is situated in the southeastern quarter
    of Section Number 36 in Township 8 South, Range 16 East in the county of
    Alachua in the state of Florida. And you can see that they give all
    of this other interesting information, and you may find this useful when you’re looking for the town. But what we really can use to hone
    in on the location of this post office is this southeastern quarter of Section 36 of 8 South, Township 8 South, Range 16 East because once you’ve got that section, township, range number, if you know how to find that
    using the Public Land Survey System, you can get to within just a couple of acres of
    where that post office would have been located. All right, so kind of keep that in the back of your mind because I’m going to show you how to find section,
    township and range on a map here in just a moment. But there’s just a couple more
    things I want to show you first. This is another sheet that sometimes is
    included with those post office applications. They did not fill one out for Frankland for some reason, but this is another post office
    in Alachua County called Gracey. And you can see that they give the township range that that location is in, and
    every township has 36 sections in it. And so they’re showing you the location of the
    Gracey, of the Gracey post office here in that area. And so they give you a little diagram, and
    that can be helpful because you can actually find. Let’s see, this is section 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. You can find Section 7 of Township 8-18, 8 South, 18 East. You can find that on a modern map
    so you can use that as comparison. All right, another method that you can use
    to find the physical location of a ghost town is to triangulate that location
    using known residents who owned land, OK. And this is particularly useful for
    neighborhoods that may have been just a neighborhood but they never actually had a post office. And a good example from … we’re actually going
    to use a Taylor County example called Flat Creek. There’s a creek in Taylor County called
    Flat Creek which is sort of a dead giveaway, but really the neighborhood could’ve
    been located anywhere along that creek. There’s another little town, or excuse me not town
    but neighborhood in Taylor County called Deer Pass, probably so named because there
    are a lot of deer in that area. But Deer Pass never had a post office so
    you can’t use post office records to find it. It also, that I know of, never appears on any maps. So if you want to figure out where a location like that was, then you’re going to need some other
    source to tell you where the place was. And you can actually use land records relating
    to people who lived in a town or a neighborhood to figure out where that neighborhood was located. So for example, I’m using Flat Creek here from Taylor County. And I happen to know because of family
    histories and books that people have written that were written based off the
    memories of old-timers and stuff like that. You know the sources where your local Historical Society has got all these recollections of people who
    lived in certain places and different things. And if you can get a list of three or
    four or five, just as many as you can get, of people who lived in a certain named place, even if there was no post office or anything, you can still use records relating to those individuals to get a pretty good estimate of where the place was located. So let’s look at that example. These four guys, Oscar Agner, Zack
    Simpson, John Simmons and Solon Hendry, all lived in the Flat Creek neighborhood. I know this because of recollections from their families that show up in the records of the
    Taylor County Historical Society. Now I also happen to know where they all owned property. They all lived in Flat Creek and they all owned property. And even though Flat Creek, there are no records that
    tie Flat Creek to a specific section, township and range, these individuals who I know lived in Flat Creek, I can tie them to specific section, township and range in the Public Land Survey System because they all received land that
    they owned when they lived in that area. Now all of these that I have pulled up are patents where these individuals acquired this
    land directly from the federal government. You could also use private land transactions because not everybody got their land
    directly from the federal government. Many more individuals actually got their land from a
    private transaction between two private individuals. So to do that you would actually go to the
    County Courthouse where that land is located, and it would be indexed in the
    records of the County Clerk of Courts. Now we’ve got a whole other webinar that we’ve
    done on using land records for genealogical research. And if you go to that webinar, it’ll explain a little bit more about how
    you find these records of these individuals. But for now suffice it to say that we have these four guys. We’ve got land records from them all pointing out. If you look at, look at where they are. We’ve got Section 19 of 3-8, Section 20 of
    3-8, Section 18 of 3-8 and Section 31 of 3-8. You can already see that we’re starting
    to get a pretty good idea of the cluster. These guys are all kind of in a cluster. They’re all in different sections,
    but they’re all in the same township. So let me show you what it looks like
    when we actually plot that onto a map. OK, if we were to actually draw a plot of
    Township 3 South, 8 East, and then we were to put a star, knowing nothing more than just the section numbers, we could even get more exact than this if we wanted to, but for the sake of time we’re just doing it this way. If I plot a star in here where those guys,
    just those four guys have their property, then I can see within a few square miles of
    exactly where all these guys located, were located. And then if I were to use a modern
    map to figure out where this was, then it would locate Flat Creek to right about here. And notice how it overlaps this little town
    called Simmons which is actually just a post office. Notice that that’s actually the name of one of the settlers. Again many times post offices are
    named after settlers in the area, just like Simmons and Waylonzo Johnson from the other example. So that is another way that even if
    a town was never recorded on a map and was never, never had any records associated
    that will give you that section, township and range, if you can just figure out the names of some of the
    people who lived there or maybe a business that was there, if you can just get that, those Public Land Survey
    System coordinates, then you can figure it out from there. All right, so we’ve been talking a
    lot about this Public Land Survey System and you guys are thinking, well, that’s
    great but what if you don’t know anything about? What if you don’t have whatever software you need or you don’t have the right kind
    of map to take advantage of that? That doesn’t mean anything. Well, I’m going to show you how you
    can exploit the Public Land Survey System to find this information right from your own computer at home. But first a little explanation of what
    exactly the Public Land Survey System is. All right, when Florida first became a territory in 1821, one of the first priorities of the federal
    government and the territorial government here in Florida was to get as many people as possible into Florida to
    settle it and get an economy going and get a tax base so that they could afford to do things like build a capital, maybe build some roads and get some
    more settlers interested in coming in. So it was very important for the government to survey
    this state, or well, at that time a territory into blocks so that it could actually describe those blocks
    in legal deeds and start granting them to people. So the way they did that was the governor, William
    Pope Duval, picked a spot right here in Tallahassee. If you’ve ever been to Cascades Park in Tallahassee and
    you see that great big diagram of the state of Florida with this big thing in the middle, this big medallion, this is actually the spot in Cascades
    Park where the entire state of Florida, the whole, the whole grid system that all
    land in the state of Florida is surveyed into, it all starts right there in Cascades Park. This is the little, the little plaque where it starts. And they started, they surveyed out a line, then went all the way from Pensacola
    all the way over to the Atlantic Coast. That’s called the baseline. And then they surveyed another one called a meridian that went all the way up north to
    Georgia and all the way down to the Gulf. And then just like in geometry class in high school. they started surveying out these grid
    blocks called townships in every direction, OK. And then each one of those grid
    blocks was divided up into sections. Each grid block is called a township, and
    then each township is divided up into sections. So let’s see what that looks like. OK, so here’s a map showing what it looked
    like after the system was put into place, OK. So here’s all of the blocks here, all right. And these are all 36 miles square, 6 miles by 6 miles, OK. And each one of these is a township. And you can see the numbers that they’ve got here. All right, they’ve got numbers going
    this way and numbers going this way. All right, the numbers going up
    and down are the township number, OK. The numbers going left and right, west
    and east, those are the range numbers. So for example, this here is
    Township 1 South, Range 1 East, OK. This one over here, right here where Scotland is in
    Gadsden County, this would be Township 2 North, 2 West. All right, this one down here, all
    right, that one’s going to be, let’s see, Township 1, 2 South, Range 1, 2, 3, 4 West, all right. And then once you get inside of that
    township, OK, the sections are numbered, and they’re numbered exactly the same way in every section. It always starts in this
    northeastern corner and goes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and then down 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and then down and over this way, down and over that way. And if you want a diagram of kind of
    how that goes, look back at this here. You can see how it goes. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and then all the
    way to 12 and so on and so forth, OK. And that system of numbering
    sections is used for every township all the way from Pensacola all the way down to Key West. It’s absolutely incredible that they
    were able to do this starting in the 1820’s. It’s an incredible system and we still use it today. This is the system that land is surveyed into even today. Now once you get into an individual section, over here this colorful diagram
    I’ve got on the right-hand side here, this is showing you sort of how land is
    divided once you get into the section. The reason why they did it in this block
    system (it’s called the Aliquot Part System). The reason why they did it this way is because
    once you get down into this block, it turns … by selling somebody half of one of the
    blocks or a quarter of one of the blocks, it turns it into this sort of
    standardized system where you can, where you can give somebody a very standard amount of land and it’s very easy to describe to
    them where exactly it’s located. For example, you’ve probably seen if you’ve got ancestors who purchased land in Florida in the mid to late 19th century, it’s probably a very round number
    like 40 acres or 80 acres or 160 acres. And the reason for that is that those
    are very specific divisions of a section. If this is one section, one of these little squares
    within a township, half of that section is 320 acres. And it’s really easy to describe to somebody where that is. All right, 40 acres is going to be
    a quarter of a quarter of a section. A quarter of a section would be 160 acres so you get the idea. All right, so that’s kind of how
    the Public Land Survey System works. So let’s walk through one example of how you
    would locate a specifically described land. So this is what you do. When you’re researching your ghost town and you find
    a reference either through a post office application or through the land records of some
    specific individual who lived there, here’s how you go from having a written
    description of where that land is to finding it on a map. So this, for example, is a piece of, this is a land
    patent belonging to a guy named Nicholas Branch, all right. And in this patent from the federal
    government granting Nicholas Branch this land, it describes to us exactly where his land was located, OK. He was given the northwest quarter of the northeast
    quarter of Section 7 in Township 2 North, Range 2 East, OK, in the district of land subject
    to sale at Tallahassee, Florida. Now Tallahassee; you can’t use. When it says Tallahassee, that could be almost anything. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s
    really, really close to Tallahassee because there were not very many land offices in Florida. There was one in Tallahassee, one
    in Newnansville, a couple others. But just because it says that doesn’t mean
    it was necessarily that close to Tallahassee. All right, so here I’ve got my,
    my legal description over here, northwest quarter of northeast quarter of
    Section 7, Township 2 North, Range 2 East. Let’s find the township block first. OK, Township 2 North. Here’s my Township numbers. So 2 North, Range 2 East, 1, 2, so we know
    we’re going to be in this township somewhere. OK, let’s look next for the section, Section number 7. Look over here. I’ve got the, I’ve got the grid here. We know we’re looking for Section number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 so let’s go back to our township here, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 so we know that the piece of land described in
    Nicholas Branch’s deed there is in this section right here. And we know furthermore that he was granted
    the northwest quarter of the northeast quarter so it’s going to be, OK. All right, he’s over here. We’re in 2 North, 2 East. We’re in Section 7. It’s in the northeast quarter and then
    it’s in the northwest quarter of that. So it’s going to be roughly right about here. And we could get even more exact, which
    I’ve done right here if we were to zoom in. That’s essentially, that is the piece of
    property that Nicholas Branch was granted, OK. So you’re thinking to yourself, well, that’s great. But how do I find out where that’s located today? You’ve got some options. All right, if you’re really going to be
    focusing hard or if you’re going to be helping patrons in your library sort of figuring
    out where these things are located in real space, you may want to invest in Google
    Earth if you don’t already use it because Google Earth allows you
    to overlay what’s called a KML file with the Public Land Survey System already in it so
    that when you zoom in on any place on the map in Florida, it’s going to overlay the township
    lines (that’s the green lines here). It’s going to overlay the township lines and the
    section lines so that you’re going to be able to figure out. You’ll be able to zoom in all the way down to figure out what street you’d have to go on to get to
    that exact spot that your ancestor lived. It’s pretty cool. OK, there are a couple other methods you can
    use that don’t involve pulling down Google Earth although it is free to use so it’s a
    pretty good tool, pretty good investment. You can also use free maps that are provided
    by the Florida Department of Transportation. They provide a township and section grid that you can use to see where a piece
    of land is located in modern real space. And it’ll also, you’ll be able to see what’s there now and what road you would have to take to get to that spot. But one of my favorite quick and dirty
    versions is to use a tool called Earth Point, and what it’ll do is it’ll translate a
    section, township and range listing into, into real points that you can load into Google
    Maps without even having to download Google Earth. So we’ll do an example of that for you real fast
    because that’s one of the quickest, easiest ways to do this. So I’m going to write this down, jot this down real fast. OK, we’re looking for Section 7 of 2 North, 2 East. OK, and let’s go get into Earth Point really fast. All right, and I’m just going to Google it. It’s Earth Point. I’m going to write down PLSS. OK, township and range, very good. And what I want to do is I want to
    search by description, search by description. You can actually go backwards on this. You can have a … if you’ve got for
    some reason some source that you’re using gives you the lat and longs, the
    latitude and longitude for a location, you can figure out what section, township
    and range that’s located in by going here. But we’re actually going to put in a
    PLSS description and get a point from that. OK, so I’m going to fill out what it tells me. I want to look at some place in Florida. I’m going to use Tallahassee. That is almost always the meridian you want. Very, very rarely would you use
    St. Stephens, so always Tallahassee. All right, and my legal description says that I’m looking for a piece of land in Township 2 North, Range 2 East, Section 7. And now I want to view that, OK. All right, so it’s giving me two different options here. It’s giving me a set of coordinates that go to that township, but then it’s also giving me a set of options that
    goes to that specific section within that township. So this is like the bigger square, and this is the
    tiny square, one of those 36 squares within that township. This is the one I want because it’s going to get me the closest to where our buddy
    Nicholas Branch actually had his property. Now I’ve got some options here. It’s giving me all of the coordinates
    necessary to draw a box around that entire section, but it’s also giving me a convenient
    little one coordinate listing here, and what that’s going to do is let me put
    a dot right in the middle of that section, very handy for this sort of work. So I’m going to actually just copy that,
    Control “C”, or you can right click on it if you like. And then I’m just going to go to Google Maps, OK. And if you put that in there like
    this, all right, those coordinates, it’s going to actually be able to take you right to it. You notice that when we were doing the,
    when we were looking at it on the old map, remember that it was just to the west of
    Miccosukee, just to the west of Miccosukee. There it is. And see, now, now that I know the
    exact center point of that section, I can figure out what’s going on in that neighborhood. What does it look like now? I can maybe even turn on the satellite layer and I can
    get a sense of what kinds of features that that land had. And you can get even more specific than this, but
    this is a good tool, kind of a quick and dirty tool to get you right into trying to figure out
    where a piece of property is in real space. So had that section, township and range
    listing been taking me to a ghost town, I would know that this is the
    location I’m looking for, this area. All right, so let me jump back in the
    PowerPoint here for our last couple of minutes. So we’ve talked a lot about locating things here. Now the other two pieces to this, finding out who the residents were and
    finding out what was going on in a ghost town, really it’s all about doing the
    research that we just did in reverse. OK, so for example, if we find out
    the location of a place like Frankland, like back when we were looking
    at Frankland, way back here, OK. If we were to look at Frankland, once we’ve got
    that this section, township and range location, we can use that to compare it
    with other land records to figure out what’s going on in that area at any particular given time, OK. So for example, Frankland is in
    Section 36 of Township 8 South, 16 East. Now anytime somebody purchases land, either in a
    private transaction or from the federal government, then that’s going to produce a paper trail. There’s going to be deeds for that transfer of land. And so you can either go to tax
    rolls or to private deed records, or you can go to federal land patents and
    look for other property that’s from that area. What I have pulled up here is an example of a tax roll. Every year of course people are
    taxed on the property they own, and usually the way the tax assessor
    would record that information in the tax roll, at least the way they did it in
    the 19th and early 20th centuries is for every head of household they would write
    down the location of all the land that they had. See, here’s the section, township and range listing. And so you can use that. So anything that’s going to give you
    the locations of where people owned land, you can compare that up against the location that you know to be the location of the ghost town and
    figure out who might have lived in that area. Now if you’re trying to figure out what was going
    on in town, you’ve got a lot of choices for that. Gazetteers are one of the first places to check. Those are kind of like city directories but they tend to be published at the
    state level as opposed to the city level. Sometimes the same companies make those. For example, Polk, the Polk Publishing Company that
    makes a lot of the city directories that we use for Florida, they also made business, statewide business gazetteers. And what they would do is they would provide an
    alphabetical list of every map dot in the whole state. And whether they had lots and lots of stuff
    going on, like Mount Dora here in Orange County, or if maybe not quite as much is going on,
    like Moseley Hall here in Madison County, Moss Bluff, usually if there was even a
    post office there’ll be a listing there and you’ll actually get the names of
    what businesses were operating there and who was running them, population or an
    estimate of population, that sort of thing. Once you know the names of people who owned
    property in that area, you could look at census data. See what kind of property those people owned, you know, what kinds of businesses the people
    who lived in the town were running. Automobile registers, we have those on
    floridamemory.com that you can search for, and that’s something you could
    use, Muster Rolls, licensure records. You’ve got a lot of different choices once you
    kind of figure out the location of a ghost town. Wow, we’ve covered a lot of ground, lots of
    materials and I’m sure there are some questions. If not now, of course we’re certainly
    glad to take those later on down the line. But if there are any questions now, we’d certainly
    be glad to take those while we’ve got some time here. Robinson: And just as a reminder to you
    out there, if you want to ask your questions you can put them in the Chat panel or go ahead and
    raise your hand and we’d love to hear your voice. Goodman: I notice somebody said
    that they had three different people asking about ghost towns in Polk County just in the past week. I can certainly imagine so. Polk County has had a lot of towns that have
    sort of popped up and then disappeared again because of the phosphate industry and to some extent because of the citrus industry and
    truck farming and that sort of thing, residential areas that have grown and shrunk as those businesses fold or move and that sort
    of thing, so definitely big ghost town territory. Woman: We do have another question. Is the state capital normally
    where the grids start in each state? Goodman: That is an excellent
    question and the answer to that is no. I mean there are a number of Public Land Survey System
    states, and not every … a couple of pieces to that. First of all, there are a number of states where the
    Public Land Survey System was not used to describe, to legally describe land. Georgia for example uses a completely
    different systems called Metes and Bounds. And the reason for that is Georgia
    is one of the original 13 colonies so state officials needed to describe land in
    Georgia well before that system had even been invented. No, there are a number of states
    where there are multiple meridians. For example in Kansas and Arizona, Alaska has
    like four or five different meridians that they use. And the reason for that is that sometimes circumstances are such that the federal government is not
    able to complete the entire survey all at one time, or it may be that a particular meridian is
    because of a state being particularly large it’s just not convenient to continue
    doing the survey based on that meridian. Sometimes the work that was done on a particular
    meridian was substandard and so they had to come in and redo it. So no, that’s a very good question, no. In Florida we’re pretty lucky. Pretty much everything is on the
    Tallahassee meridian with a few very small exceptions, but not so in other states. Woman: How would you find out where
    the meridian starts for different states? Goodman: There is actually a map for that. Let’s see if I can find that map for you really quick. Let’s see, tab. Let’s see, map of PLSS meridians. I saw this map just the other day. Oh, here it is, here it is. Here it is, OK. So if you’ll run a search like what I just did for map
    of PLSS meridians, here’s a chunk of that map right here. So for example, look. Here’s ours. Here’s the Tallahassee meridian. Let’s see, yeah, OK, here’s, yeah, see,
    Alabama’s got two different ones going on here. They’ve got this St. Stephens meridian and then
    they’ve also got the Huntsville meridian here. Then their baseline is way up
    here at the top where Tennessee goes. I want to show you Alaska’s because theirs is just crazy. Let’s see if I can get to that. I’ve got to move this out of the way real quick. Here we go. All right, let me get just Alaska
    because Alaska will blow your mind. There’s like five or six different ones. Look at this. Look at this. They’ve got the Fairbanks meridian. They’ve got the Copper River meridian. They’ve got, there’s one called Seward, I think. There’s another one somewhere around here
    called, here it is, Seward meridian right here. Then there’s a fourth one up here. And again, you know, what that tells me is
    that these had to be done at different times. See, this one was done in 1956. This part of the survey was done in 1910, ’05. So yeah, if you just search for PLSS
    meridians map, that’s going to get it for you. This map appears to have all of them,
    and that should get you what you need. Robinson: Great questions. Any other questions for anyone today? Goodman: All right, and you guys
    know you can contact me anytime. Also if you have a question about a specific resource, the State Archives Reference Desk
    direct line is area code 850-245-6719, 6719. And I love getting your questions by email or phone, but if you’d like, you’re certainly
    welcome to contact Reference as well. They’re always happy to help. You know, we’ve got 50,000 cubic feet of
    records up here and access to lots more, and we love doing things for you. It’s yours to use so please take advantage of
    it and encourage your patrons to do the same. Robinson: And we are going to go ahead and stay
    online and see if any other questions come up. If not, thank you all so much for joining us today and we hope to see you online again real soon as well as be sure to check out our YouTube
    channel where all of these materials are archived, and there is a play list specifically
    for working with genealogy information.

    Trans-Siberian Railway 🚂🇷🇺 History!
    Articles, Blog

    Trans-Siberian Railway 🚂🇷🇺 History!

    January 25, 2020


    The Trans-Siberian Railway, at over 9,000 kilometres and eight time zones, is the single longest railway line in the world. And its journey begins… in the late 1800s. Because with Russia having already established a rail network in the European part of Russia, the impetus to extend was due to, first, wanting to exploit Siberia’s natural resources second, wanting more emigration to Siberia due to the overpopulation of European Russia and third, the fear of Chinese invasion. So in Vladivostok in 1891, the future Tsar Nicholas II, emptied a wheelbarrow of soil, ceremoniously marking the Trans-Siberian Railway’s construction, thereupon labourers, many of whom were prisons worked simultaneously on different segments of the track, cutting through forests, building bridges over rivers, and blowing up mountains. Finally after 25 years, in 1916, the completion of the Khabarovsk bridge connected Moscow to Vladivostok via
    one continuous train track, and the journey that had previously taken 11 months on horseback could now be done in two weeks. Russia was forever changed due to goods like coal, grain, and timber being transported east to west, whilst people, such as migrants soldiers and tourists traveled west to east. Today, the Trans-Siberian Railway journey has three other popular variations. They are: The Trans-Manchurian, which cuts into China. The Trans-Mongolian, which drops down into Mongolia. And the Baikal-Amur Mainline, which heads into slightly more northern Russia. Having chosen the classic route, I was now on this segment of the journey that was branching into its own Trans-Siberian character. So on my journey this far, this has been… the best view.

    Why Roller Coaster Track is Filled with Sand
    Articles, Blog

    Why Roller Coaster Track is Filled with Sand

    January 17, 2020


    For the past century, theme parks all over
    the world have been battling one another to construct taller, faster, and more exhilarating
    thrill machines in order to outshine the competition and attract the largest crowds. Driving this battle forward are the engineers
    and roller coaster designers who have developed innovative ways to build these towering structures
    so that they are both safe and reliable. Over the years, each roller coaster design
    company has established their own signature design style with recognizable characteristics
    that set their coasters apart from the rest. A few examples include the I-beam design of
    Rocky Mountain Construction, or RMC, which consists of a continuous steel I-section with
    integrated rails; The truss design of Intamin, which consists
    of small steel tubes that are welded together to form a 3-dimensional truss;
    And the box beam design of Bolliger and Mabillard, or B&M, which consists of a continuous steel
    box section that supports two rails using fin plates. Although the various design styles are quite
    unique, they all accomplish the same task of supporting high-speed roller coaster trains
    as they hurtle through the air. If you have ever been to a major theme park,
    you may have noticed that in addition to having a unique visual appearance, each track design
    also produces a distinct sound as the trains speed over them. The sound produced by a given roller coaster
    is directly related to the design of the track, and of all the various track styles, the box
    beam design produces one of the loudest and most recognizable sounds. The box beam track design developed by B&M
    has a continuous steel spine that is formed by a hollow rectangular cross-section. Steel fin plates are welded to the top of
    the spine at regular intervals, and these fin plates support the two rails which are
    made from circular steel tubes. When trains travel along the rails at high
    speeds, vibrations are induced in the track which propagate throughout the entire cross-section. These vibrations generate sound that we can
    hear, and the large hollow box beams actually amplify the sound due to their size and geometry. Although the roar of a B&M roller coaster
    is iconic and downright intimidating, the noise can be a problem in certain situations,
    particularly when theme parks are located adjacent to residential areas. A prime example of this is Canada’s Wonderland,
    which is a theme park located in Ontario, Canada. The park first opened in the early 1980’s,
    and at that time it was surrounded only by farm land. However, that farm land was gradually overtaken
    by urban sprawl as the nearby city expanded, and a large residential area was eventually
    constructed adjacent to the park. Now perhaps you shouldn’t move into a house
    located across the street from a theme park if you don’t like the sound of roller coasters,
    but a lot people may have overlooked this issue at the time. In 2006, Canada’s Wonderland was purchased
    by the Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, which invested millions of dollars into the park
    to build numerous world-class thrill rides. The biggest of them all came 2012, when Canada’s
    Wonderland introduced Leviathan; The tallest roller coaster that B&M had ever built to
    date, standing at 93 m tall and reaching speeds of nearly 150 km/hr. The giga coaster was constructed right at
    the front of the park, and it extended out into the parking lot just a few hundred meters
    away from the neighboring residential area. And was this coaster ever loud. Every time a train dived down the first drop,
    the sound could clearly be heard by the residents across the street, and this obviously led
    to numerous noise complaints. The park hired an acoustical consultant to
    perform an assessment of the sound produced by the ride, and it was determined that something
    had to be done to quiet down the Leviathan. In the end, it was decided that the best way
    to reduce the noise produced by the roller coaster would be to fill the track with sand. Since the first drop was the primary culprit
    of the noise problem, attention was focused only on this part of the ride. It was not possible to fill the rails with
    sand because this would require the rails to be cut open and welded closed, which would
    be detrimental to the smoothness of the ride, however they could cut open and fill the box
    beams. Once engineers determined that the structure
    and its foundations could support the additional weight, the park moved forward with their
    plan. First, a hole was cut into each box beam section
    of the first drop by workers on a large boom lift. Sand was then blown into each section using
    an aggregate blower, which used compressed air to deliver the sand to the required height
    through a long tube. Since each section of track is sealed at both
    ends where the individual pieces are bolted together, sand had to be blown into each track
    section individually rather than filling the entire box beam at once. After the entire drop was filled, the holes
    in the box beams were welded shut and the work was complete. This method of noise reduction was successful,
    and the noise produced by the roller coaster was greatly reduced. The sand inside the track works by damping
    the vibration of the steel which reduces the amplitude of the resulting sound waves. As the steel walls of the box beam vibrate
    against the sand, the walls push against the sand and move the individual particles, which
    transfers energy away from the steel. This loss of energy translates to a reduction
    in the amplitude of the vibrations, and the volume of the sound is therefore reduced. The same technique has been used for a number
    of other roller coasters as well, including Gatekeeper at Cedar Point in Ohio, and Yukon
    Striker at Canada’s Wonderland. However, for these two coasters, it was known
    in advance that noise could be a potential problem, and so the rails were filled with
    sand during track fabrication before the roller coasters were erected. It’s likely that the engineers decided to
    fill the rails and not the box beams in these two cases because a smaller volume of sand
    is required, and it would have been very difficult to transport and install the track pieces
    if they were completely filled with sand due to the huge increase in weight. Even though less sand is used, filling the
    rails alone is still an effective method for reducing the level of sound produced by a
    roller coaster. Filling roller coaster track with sand has
    been shown to be a good solution to the noisy roller coaster problem, and it can be used
    for both new roller coasters as well as existing roller coasters. It is a clever yet simple technique, and perhaps
    we will see it implemented more frequently in the future. Hey everyone, thank you for watching this
    video, I really hope you enjoyed it. Don’t forget to subscribe if you would like
    to see more videos from this channel, and please consider supporting me on Patreon using
    the link in the description so I can continue to improve my content and grow the channel. I also invite you to leave suggestions in
    the comments below for topics that you want to see in future videos. Again, thanks for watching, and I’ll see
    you in the next one.

    Transportation Interpretive Center at the Port of Kalama
    Articles, Blog

    Transportation Interpretive Center at the Port of Kalama

    January 17, 2020


    My name’s Mark Wilson. I’m the Executive
    Director for the Port of Kalama. As the Executive Director, I’m responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Port under the guidance and the policy set by
    the Port Commission. About 15 years ago, the community did a
    community planning effort and it was one of those things where everybody comes
    together, brainstorms all the little things that they think that would make the
    community a better place to live and and then you’ve developed this list of
    projects that you go out and execute and one of those was a museum about the
    history of our community. We have a really rich history here for a relatively small town, and a pretty diverse history. Well, we frequently have folks that
    live here will bring family that comes to, comes to town down and walk them
    through this and then take him to lunch next door at McMenamins and then they
    walk the halls at McMenamins and look at all of the other history that’s on the
    walls. So it’s become a place of pride I think for the community to become, to be
    able to come down, tell, show the history of the community and with real items,
    some of them life-size so you can actually see what they look like and
    touch them. There’s just these funny collections of
    things that happened here that are tied to a lot of bigger things that went on in
    the greater development of the Northwest and the changes that happened. The wagon here is a representation of
    the Meeker wagon that Ezra used when he went to went back across the Oregon
    Trail when he was retracing it so the photograph here is Ezra Meeker in Kalama. He was the very first homesteader in Kalama. He had a cabin right here also
    near the spot of that first rail. They drove the first spike of the
    Northern Pacific on the western end was here in Kalama and so that was the the
    beginning of the Northern Pacific Railways presence in the Pacific
    Northwest. First mainline rail was just a few
    hundred yards from where we stand. The Tacoma Ferry was a designed to shuttle entire trains across the river and so these steam locomotives would come into town, they would break the trains down with a switching locomotive, load onto
    three rail sets across the deck of the ferry, steamer would paddle across the
    river, and then they’d offload it on the other side. The story of the ship being
    built or the boat being built clear over on the East Coast, taken apart, shipped
    clear around the Horn, and reassembled in Portland before it was put into service
    so it ran for about 25 years I think was roughly 1884 to 1908. Last run was right after Christmas of 1908 and then they then they shut it
    down. And this exhibit we talk a little bit
    about the the different countries that we currently trade with all over the
    globe. So Port of Kalama’s connected to the Pacific Rim. We ship over 13 million tons
    of cargo a year all over the globe, primarily wheat, corn and soybeans so
    we’re feeding a lot of people around the world. When we were developing the
    interpretative center we contacted the Cowlitz Tribe about providing a canoe for
    this because that was one of the very earliest forms of transportation and
    technologies for trade. This is carved from a cedar log but this is only half
    of the log. The other half of the log has a sister canoe that the tribe made
    for themselves so we’re able to get this carved and it shows an example of the
    kinds of canoes that would have moved up and down the Columbia River where they
    would be out hunting, gathering, doing their their other activities and then
    engaging in trade with the other tribes nearby or anybody else that was moving
    through the area. This story is kind of fun too because
    the person that found it was a commercial fisherman that lives here in
    the community and he was clearing his drifts so that he could drift his net
    through a stretch of the river and so they were down there with divers they
    found this piece of wood sticking out on the bed they hooked onto it to move it
    and discovered that there was an anchor attached to the piece of wood. I figured
    well nobody just leaves an anchor behind so I started digging into it and
    discovered that there was a ship accident almost identical to the
    location where we found the vessel. 1889, two ships collided in the river one
    was at anchor and one was coming downstream. Fortunately for us it was
    tied up in a big legal battle and went all the way to the US Supreme Court
    so there’s Supreme Court records that describe in great detail how the ship
    accident happened its exact location and the fisherman’s description of where he
    found the anchor and where the ship accident happened were within a couple
    hundred yards of one another so I can’t say for sure that that’s where it came
    from but I found a picture of the vessel that sunk and they had the same kind of
    anchor so we think we could tie it together it’s pretty pretty plausible
    but I can’t guarantee that because there’s no there’s no markings on it. There’s a lot more here than meets the eye. We’re a small community but we’re
    at the crossroads of trade routes and it’s brought a lot of people here over
    time, a lot of people that you wouldn’t think would be here. you

    Why did they build a railway for the dead?
    Articles, Blog

    Why did they build a railway for the dead?

    January 14, 2020


    Between 1801 and 1851 the population of London
    more than doubled. With the growth in the number of people living in the city, the number
    of dead quickly grew too. The usual burial sites in the local churches
    were so full that even recent burials were being exhumed to make space for new ones,
    scattering decaying remains around the Graveyards. This overflow of corpses ended up contaminating
    the water supply, contributing to outbreaks of disease and even more deaths. Some entrepreneurs saw a money making opportunity
    and in 1852 the London Necropolis company was formed. They proposed a huge cemetery in the Surrey
    countryside. Far enough from London’s expansion to protect the living. Which would be accessible
    with the fairly new technology of the steam train. The first train for the London Necropolis
    Railway ran in 1854, you were able to buy first second and third class funeral services. The railway operated for nearly 90 years up
    until 1941 when the London terminal for the railway was mostly destroyed in a World War
    2 air raid. The London Necropolis company decided not
    to rebuild but the first class entrance to the station, and the office building above
    it survived the bombing and is still standing on Westminster Bridge rd near Waterloo station
    today.