While my last article for the H&H column appeared in the Page News and Courier today… and this will be the last post for this blog site… an enhanced journey in history continues… just click here.
After over 13 years, my weekly history column for the Page News and Courier (Heritage & Heraldry) is coming to an end. The last article will appear in the last paper of the month. Details forthcoming.
Just an FYI for those who happen to stop by here… I’m tossing-in a number of tales about witches, ghosts, etc. from Page County in my main blog. Those that have been posted so far can be found here, here (both of these relate to the story of Charles Robert Hilliard and the witch’s curse on his second wife), here (Doc Amiss’ ghost story), here (more on witches in Page County), here (19th century burial customs from the area), and here (Coffman, the “fire witch”). More to follow during the month.
Yes, some of these have appeared in previous articles for my column, but I’m able to do a little more with them on the Web…
It’s been quiet here for a bit, mostly because I was surprised to see that those who read the article in the newspaper weren’t interacting with the content here. I figured that I would drop back a bit and figure out another way to make this work. Still looking for interaction with the readers, especially as new material appears in the articles in the PN&C, but I might change-up in what I put online here. Instead of following the print articles weekly, I may put supplemental material on here. We’ll see. In the meantime, take a look at the new chronological list of articles (you can also find a link to the chronology just under the header on this blog) that have appeared in the column since 1997. I am currently working on volumes 3, 4, and 5 of Short Historical Sketches of Page County and It People, compiling the articles through rather recently, and indexing the individual volumes. Ultimately, I would like to put a master index online, here, for those who are looking for specific persons, subjects, etc. that might be of interest in all five volumes.
The focus this week… farmers of Page County during the 19th century. We only get a snippit of their lives from the census records (agricultural data), but, in this week’s article, I offer-up a sampling of what they engaged in during the years since Page’s founding, through the 1890 census. Livestock seems to be the big feature of the years prior to the Civil War, though I’m pretty sure grain was just as big (it’s just that the census doesn’t offer a good deal to help clarify just how much grain was being produced). Grain certainly shows up in the years after the war, with significant production of Indian corn and wheat. Yet, the stats are just stats. The real focus is on the farmer, his wife, and children and what they had to endure to make the products of the farm a factor in the growth and development of Page County.This is why farmers are in a category unto themselves and should be recognized with those who made a difference in Page County in the 19th century.
Next week… the merchants of the 19th century in Page County.
The focus of this week’s article was on a grouping (grouping #5, so far) of iron ore industrialists who truly made the town of Shenandoah a reality; the parties of Daniel Forrer, Samuel Gibbons, Henry Forrer… and William Milnes, Sr., John Milnes, William Milnes, Jr. and Thomas Johns and John Fields. In retrospect, however, while we know the names of these men and what they did, we really know very little about them. As I mention in the article, “In an effort to recognize people who made a difference, I think that’s the difficult part in this entire affair. We know them by name (and often forget most of them), but we know very little about the people themselves. Who were they? It almost seems like a rather tenuous foothold in history. We know them for helping to make a difference, but we know very little about them. All-in-all, it’s a sad void in our understanding of the past. Obviously, we need more contributions of biographical sketches (perhaps a cue for me to do more work in that area).”