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LIBRARY OF CONGRESS.
Cliap;r.„... Copyright No.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
SKETCHES AND STORIES
LAKE ERIE ISLANDS
I. F. Mack & Brother^ Publishers.
I. F. MACK & BROTHER.
1898 REGISTER PRESS,
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
A Gem of Historic Setting, ... 7
Perry's Victory in the Light of Local
Reminiscence, . . ... 23
Put-in-Bay in Song and Verse, . . 35
Visitors from Another World: Story of
the Battle of Lake Erie, . . 47
A Notable Conspiracy: Capture of
Steamers Island Queen and Philo
Parsons by Confederate Plotters, . 68
Summertime Saunterings Among Island
Resorts. ...... 82
Hotel Victory, . . . . .94
Tent Life, . . ' . . . . . 100
Under a Steamer's Headlights: The Ad-
ventures OF Two Silly Girls, . . iii
Winter AT an Island Resort, . . . 119
An Icequake, or the Wreck of Herring-
town. (Story.) . . . '135
Romance of the Icy Plains. (Story.) . 146
Pen Sketches of Historical Characters:
No. I, Capt. John Brown, Jr., . . 159
No. 2, Owen Brown, .... 168
Autumn Etchings, . . . . .174
Fruit Harvest in the Archipelago, . 181
"Isle De Fleurs," . . . . . 189
Middle Bass and Her Attractions, . . 192
Experiences of an Old Doctor Among the
Islands, . . . , . . 198
Perilous Adventure: Trip With the Isl-
and Mail, ......
Kelley Island^and Her Resources, .
"Echo": The Iroquois Maiden. (Story.)
Everything Wrong, or the Trials of
Adventures in Quf.en Victoria's Dominions
(Point Au Pelee).
Beautiful Ballast, ....
"Uncle Jimmy," .....
Castled Gibraltar and its Lord,
Johnson's Island: Burial Ground of the
COxNFEDERATE DeAD. ...
"Brown Sugar:" Reminiscence of San-
dusky Bay. . . . • .
What the Drift Brought Ashore
The AovENTURifs of an Island "Family
Castaway: Romance of Rattlesnake,
Crusoe Islands of Erie, . ,
An Eventful Night. (Thrilling Story of
the Burning of Green Island Lighthouse
Some Interesting Geological Features:
The "Lost Atlantis" of Lake Erie.
Among the Fisheries, . . . .
Storm and Darkness, "1 .
Wreck of the Dean Richmond,
An Old Steamer's Farewell. (Word
Etching). . • __•
As a journalist and general newspaper contrib-
utor, resident for several years at Put-in-Bay, the
writer has been afforded ample opportunity of becom-
ing thoroughly acquainted with each individual island of
the Lake Erie group; and has frequently expressed sur-
prise that no literary delver has ever entered the field
with a view to the systematic working up of resources
so extensive and varied.
The object of the work here submitted is, there-
fore, to present in compact form a collection of inter-
esting and hitherto unutilized material; historical, rem-
iniscent, legendary, combined with story and romance,
tales of adventure and matter descriptive of the pict-
uresque and striking scenes in which the Islands
Though appearing in fictitious garniture, most of
the stories herein transcribed are founded upon fact;
and are true in detail to life and conditions as they ex-
ist in the archipelago.
While the compass of this volume is not sufficient
to contain all the material of interest and importance
which might be collected, the aim of the writer has
been to combine as much thereof as possible, and trusts
that the work may meet with a favorable reception.
A GEM OF HISTORIC SETTING,
" O, boatman, row me gently slow,
Into the golden sunset glow,
That crowns the dying day;
Out where the emerald islands lie,
In the crimson sea of the western sky,
Row me away, away "
Environed by an atmosphere of
poetic fancy and historic lore, the
Islands of Lake Erie hav-e fur-
nished from time to time the ba-
sis of man}' an entertaining sketch,
story and poem,enibodying the best
thoughts of some of America's
'^ gifted writers. The blendings of
fact and fancy, and the crisply
i touched word pictures employed
in the productions show an in-
spiration which only a meritorious
subject could infuse. That men
and women of genius have made
the locality a field for literarv
and historical research, coupled
with the fact that it is annually
visited by thousands of tourists
and excursionists, and is constantly
becoming more widely known and popular, establishes
its claim as especially worthy of note.
8 A GEM OF HISTORIC SETTING.
Since, however, all that has been written concerning
the archipelago by visiting journalists and literary con-
tributors, has been of a desultory and fragmentary
character, the idea of collecting for preservation within
the compass of a volume some of the loose material
so abundant, has been carried out by the writer
in the following sketches and stories.
Approaching by any of the marine highways mark-
edon the charts of lake navigators, the voyager, who
from deck of cruising yacht or steamer first sights the
archipelago, is charmed by the beauty which encircles
and pervades it. When the islands are bright with the
variegated greens of summer foliage, and the tranquil
waters mirror the deep blue of aerial heights, the
group seems a veritable emerald cluster in a setting of
sapphire. Its dreamy groves, its vine embowered
haunts and ethereal distances kindle the poetic fancy
and delight the eye.
Down through time's dim vistas have descended
traditions many concerning the dusky race which
formerly inhabited the islands. Thii-se date back as
far as the 17th century, when the Eries or Eric (wild
cat) tribe of aborigines still existed. The history of
these people is broken and imperfect. At the period
indicated, however, the southern shores of the lake, to-
gether with the islands, were undoubtedly the favorite
hunting grounds, and formed the stage where were
enacted the tragic scenes which closed the drama, and
ended the career of a fierce and war loving people. The
Eries were swept out of existence by the powerful "Five
Nations," forming the Iroquois, but they left their name
permanently established, the name that now designates
A GEM OF HISTORIC SETTING. 9
the waters of Erie, lake of the "Wild Cat." Uncertain
as are the records of this lost tribe, the antiquarian and
historian groping amid ruins of the past, finds, never-
theless, broken bits which fit into their history. No-
table among these may be mentioned "Inscription Rock"
at Kelley's Island, said to be the most extensive and
interesting relic of its kind in America.
At the opening of the present century, the islands
were overrun by nomadic tribes which have been
designated as "sojourners" rather than dwellers, rep-
resenting the Senecas, Miamis, Ottawas, Shawnees,
Potowotamies, and Wyandots; the latter being the
most numerous. Representatives of other tribes,
among which was that of the Mohawk, sometimes
visited the archipelago. Though supposed to have
been a favorite locality, the islands were not so much
the territory of any one tribe as a common stamping
ground for all. Thev came and went in a manner
similar to that of the modern summer excursionists; the
attractions of Put-in-Bay and her neighboring isles, as
a summer resort having been known and appreciated,
evidently, many thousand moons before the pale face
came to know them. When the waters were fettered
by ice, and withering blasts swept the island shores,
the Indians are supposed to have retired into the thick,
deep wilderness of the mainland; returning however
with spring flowers and sunshine to their island
The romantic element — so instinctive to these
children of nature— must have run rampant amid sur-
roundings so calculated to inspire sentiment. The
dim forests, the darkling waters; the shifting clouds
A GEM OF HISTORIC SETTING.
and night shadows; the gathering storm, the play of
Hghtning, and roll of thunder; the war of winds, and
rush of waves - all these things were invested b}^ the
savage with a wierd mysticism, end looking upon
Nature and listening to her myriad voices, wild fantasies
and strange beliefs took shape within his brain.
peopled with super-
natural beinifs the
caverned rocks, and
witchery dwelt in the
falling of a leaf, or
the flash of a sea-
In feudal days such
as existed in the ar-
paths of wandering
tribes so frequently
\ ere many which
gave rise to tales of
love and jealousy, of
A ROCK-BOUND SHORE. conqucstand adven-
ture. Thus touched by the subtle hue of poetry, and
romance as charming and as real as that which has
come down to us from the feudal da3's of "mediaeval"
Europe, was the life of tlie untamed island dweller.
Antedating the period of Indian supremacy , lived
and flourished in the archipelago, a people concerning
whom no scrap of history remains; yet in the earth, —
A GEM OF HISTORIC SETTING. 11
defying still the wear and corr osion of time — evidences
of former occupanc}^ by the " Mound Builders" are
found. Mingling heterogenously in the same earthy
treasure vault, these remains are often confounded with
those of the Indian; the practiced antiquarian alone
being able to assign each relic a place in the catalogue
Relics both of Indians and "Mound Builders" are
numerous at Put-in-Bay. Stone implements used by
the latter are frequently turned up by plow and spade.
Of these the stone ax is common. It is ground to a
sharp even edge. Axes have been found of a size so
small as to suggest their design as children's toys, or
for purposes of ornament rather than for use. Stone
pestles supposed to have been used for the pounding of
grain are abundant, and arrow heads of white and blue
flint are everywhere found.
A rude mausoleum of stone slabs, black in color,
and of a formation unknown on the islands, was dis-
covered some years ago directly beneath the roots of a
stump, four feet in diameter. Within the mound thus
enclosed, were eight human skeletons, one of which
measured over seven feet in height. Evidently "there
were giants those days." How long these relics of
mortality had reposed in their sepulchre of stone before
the tree became rooted upon it, is a matter of conject-
ure. Other mounds of a similar character have been
In the caverns of the island, human remains have
been found. In one instance a skeleton was discovered
in a position indicating that the luckless individual rep-
12 A GEM OF HISTORIC SETTING.
resented had become wedged between the rocks, and
had thus succumbed to death by inches.
On the southern shore of the ishind, near the gov-
ernment Hirht-house station, is a fissure in the Hmestone
extendmg to a considerable depth below the earths'
surface in which was discovered a large quantity of
Stumbling thus among the sepulchres of van-
ished races, we are led to conclude that though com-
paratively new to the modern investigntor, the isles
of Erie are as ancient in buried history, perhaps, as
Though ranging as third in size, Put-in-Bay has
from early daysranked first in importance among her
sister islands, and is eminently deserving of the term —
"Gem of Lake Erie."
In consideration of its position as the most southerly
island of the Bass group, geographers h?ve in a gen-
eral way marked it on maps as South Bass. It was
once known as "Ross Island." As to the origin of its
present name there is a division of opinion. It is stated
on the authority of a historian, that Put-in-Bay is a
corruption of "Pudding Bay," an appellation given it
by early navigators. A restoration of the old name
it has been suggested, might be advantageous to the
many summer hotels there located. Oihers assert that
the name originated from the fact, that prior to the
battle of Lake Erie, the ships of the American squadron
put into the wide and ample bay which indents the
shore, where they lay for several days. The latter
theory is the one generally accepted.
A GEM OF HISTORIC SETTIjXG.
VIEW ON THE BAY.
The bay from which the island derives its name is
a sheet of water enclosed by two projections, "East Point"
to the eastward, " Peach Point"' to the westward. Its
shores are encircled by stretches of gravel beach, or
girt b}^ rugged and picturesque rock; while its crystal
depths mirror the cloud lights and shadows which
play above them. Squaw harbor, forming a portion of
the inner bay, is a beautiful sheet of water.
In the early history of lake navigation, this bay was
known as a harbor of refuge; and while yet the savage
beached his canoe upon its sands, and muttered the
strange gutteral of his tribe before the camp fire red-
dening its shores, the white man's bark cut the still
waters and his anchor grappled the deeply hidden
The first vessel that ever spread canvas on Lake
Erie, we are told, was built at Fort Frontiac over 200
years ago by Robert De La Salle, a Frenchman, as
the name indicates. She sailed from Green Bay in
14 A GEM OF HISTORIC SETTING.
September, 1679, having on board a band ot mission-
aries, among whom was Father Lewis Hennisin. This
vessel — tradition informs us — cast anchor off the islands,
and inspired by its beautiful scenery, the missionaries
landed upon one of them, and within its green arched
temple, conducted devotional exercises. These men,
it is said, were the tirst of the white race to set foot
upon the archipelago.
In 1766, four trading vessels which plied the lakes
frequently cast anchor by its shores.
Concerning the early settlement of Pat-in-Bay, his-
torians are divided. Some obscurit}' evidentl}^ exists,
but the facts, as far as obtainable, date back to a period
shortlv before the war of 1812. At that date, Put-in-
Bay together with North and Middle Bass islands
became the property of Judge Ogden Edwards, for-
merly of Connecticut; these islands being included in the
Western Reserve grants to people of that state.
About the year 1810 two French squatters took
possession of the island. These adventurers engaged
mainly in hunting, trapping and fishing. Their tran-
quility, like that of the solitary exile of Juan Fernan-
dez, was frequently disturbed by the discovery of
"footprints on the sand," there indented by the moc-
casined feet of hostile red men. It is a natural pre-
sumption that these men felt relieved therefore when
they were reinforced by several families of French
Canadians. An individual, Seth Done, agent for the
Edwards property, also located on this island with a
view to clearing and improving it. Done employed a
number of laborers, and the little colony thus formed
turned attention to civilized pursuits. About 100 acres
A GEM OF HISTORIC SETTING. 15
were cleared and sown to wheat, the soil proving un-
usually fertile, and the first wheat crop grown was
harvested in 1812. The grain had all been stacked,
and the colonists were engaged in threshing it, when
they were surprised by British troops. The crop was
de^vtroyed, and the colony driven from the island. In
view of the troublous times, 2,000 bushels of wheat
had been boated across to the peninsula only two or
three days previous to the visitation above narrated
and St red for safe keeping in a commodious log pen.
This pen and its contents were likewise destroyed by
British and Indians. Thus disastrously ended the first
settlement of Put-in-Bay.
After the war intervened a period in which the
Bass islands almost relapsed into their former prim-
itive state. Save the occasional appearance of ad-
venturers from the mainland, or of sailors from vessels
anchored in the bay, they were left to solitude. Two
individuals are recorded as having, in the course of
time, made brief sojourns there — "Shell" Johnson and
one Captain Hill. Little thought of making the place
an abode of civilization seemed to suggest itself, how-
ever, up to the year 1822. About that time A. P.
Edwards, brother of Judge Edwards — then deceased —
came to look after the property, to the control or own-
ership of which he had succeeded.
Landing at Put-in-Bay, Mr. Edwards found there
a single squatter, one Ben Napier, a French Canadian,
living in a little cabin constructed of red cedar logs
near where the steamer wharves are now located. Ben
had taken full possession of the island, and evidently
considered himself "monarch of all he surveyed." He
16 A GEM OF HISTORIC SETTING.
vigorously disputed Edward's right, and the latter
was forced to visit Norwalk for the purpose of pro-
curing papers wherewith to establish his claim, the
islands being under the control of that judicial center.
Ben was finally ousted, and retired in disgust to look
for another "squatter's" claim.
The work of opening up and improving the island
now be£fan. A numerous band of laborers were trans-
ported thither, and the first movement was the erec-
tion of a building to serve as shop and warehouse; to-
gether with a commodious frame structure intended
both as a residence for the agent appointed to super-
intend operations and as a boarding place for the labor-
ers. These buildings were erected in 1823 upon the
site known in after years as the Put-in- Bay House.
This dwelling formed for many years the center of at-
traction and crowning glory of the island. Its grounds
were pleasantly laid out, and basking under a virgin
coat of white-wash, it came to be known as the
"White House." It was successively occupied by
agents representing the Edwards estate, chief among
whom were Pierpont, McGibbons, Scott and Van
Rassaler. McGibbjns finally rented the island, pay-
ing ^500 in cash. Cord wood and limestone were
thence shipped to Cleveland and Erie. No direct line
of vessels connected with the islands, but b}- special
agreement with the captains of schooners bound up
and down the lake they were signalled in by shots
fired from a cannon planted on shore when shipments
awaited transportation. These vessels also brought
supplies to the little maritime populace.
The only facilities afforded for reaching the main-
A GEM OF HISTORIC SETTING.
land at that period consisted of a small sloop — the A.
P. Edwards— and a large boat called a "Zig," rowed
by ten men, five on a side, something after the fashion
of an ancient galley. But the island pioneers grew
amphibious in their habits, and their exploits on ice
and water were marvelous; the details of which would
supply material for a whole series of "yellow backs."
A PRIZE WINNER.
Wishing to dispose of his island possessions as a
whole, Edwards declined selling a foot of land by par-
cel, refusing even a location for a government light-
house on Put-in-Bay, which in consequence was erected
on Green Island. As a result of Edward's policy,
the islands developed slowly, and at the end of two de-
cades were still comparatively wild and unsettled.
A GEM OF HISTORIC SETTING.
RESIDENCE OFTHE OLDEST INHABITANT.
In 1843 Phillip Vroman, the oldest survixdng res-
ident of the place at the present time, came to Put-in-
Bay from Cooperstown, N. Y. The "White House"
above described and a half-dozen log cabins were
then the only habitations, while Middle and North
Bass contained each a single cabin. At that time the
lake waters swarmed with fish. Game, such as water
fowl, fox and raccoon, was abundant. The squirrel
in his natural state, however, was never known to
exist on the Bass islands, and few deer vi^ere then seen
excepting occasional herds which crossed on the ice from
Pelee island and the mainland. Rattlesnakes were a
prolific crop, and gave the inhabitants some anno3'ance.
The woods became infested by hogs, which for years
had run wild and multiplied until very numerous. For
A GEM OF HISTORIC SETTING.
subsistence these brutes depended upon their own
grubbing. They were savage creatures and the isl-
anders were some times treed by them. When fresh
meat was required a squad of mounted men, with dogs
and guns, set out for the purpose of hunting them
down, and the sport is said to have been very exciting.
^ . ".
BLACK BASS SHOALS.
In spring and early summer the islands formed —
as they still do — a veritable Eden of bloom, wild
flowers of endless variety appearing in overwhelming
abundance and intermingled with native shrubbery, vines
and mosses belting and overhanging, in a manner most
picturesque and charming, the broken shore rocks. This
prodigality of nature may be more fully understood
when it is known that the island region forms the meet-
ing place — according to Prof. G. Frederick Wright —
of several botanical provinces, so that Canadian,
20 A GEM OF HISTORIC SETTING.
Southern, Atlantic and Rocky mountain species are
found together as nowhere else on the continent.
The island forests were literally alive with wild
songsters, and the eagle found here a congenial re-
treat, making the tall tree tops his home.
In 1S45 Gibraltar Island was occupied as the camp-
ing ground of a large party of surveyors and engin-
eers, employed by the government in making charts
and maps of ihe lake. In order to secure an unob-
structed sight, a strip forty feet in widih, running the
whole length of the island, was cut through the heav}'
timber of Put-in-Bay. Tliis strip afterwards became
the main island thoroughfare, and is slill known as the
"Sight road." Platforms seventy-five feet high were
also erected at various points on the shore from which
observations of the lake were taken.
Long before she had made her debut as a sum.rer
resort, Put-in-Bay had won many ardent admirers;
and in 1852 a Fourth of July celebration formed an event
such as the island had never before witnessed. The
anniversary coming on Sunday, the principal doings
were deferred until the following day, but a national
religious service was held Sunday afternoon at which
the first sermon ever preached on Put-in-Bay was de-
Hvered by Rev. Jewett of the M . E. church, San-
dusky. Monday came with a memorable blow-out.
The boom of cannon awoke the echoes. The burial
mound where rest the slain of Perry's victory was
decorated with the national colors. Military companies
from various points throughout the state participated,
and crowds from the lake towns and cities arrived by
special steamers. Sandusky grocers had erected lunch
A GEM OF HISTORIC SETTING. 21
stands and stocked them with bountiful supplies, by
means of which the hungry multitudes were fed. In-
spiriting music and eloquent oratory awoke an enthu-
siasm which reached white heat.
In 1854 ^'^^ islands, comprising the Edwards prop-
erty, were sold entire to Riveria De Sanjargo, a Span-
ish merchant of wealth and distinction then residing in
New York City. Up to this time, but a single frame
house had been erected on Put-in-Bay, but with a
change of proprietors, ils prospects brightened. Con-
tracts for buildings were issued by Riveria, and Mid-
dle Bass was disposed of to three purchasers — VVm.
Rehberg, a German count, Andrew Wehrle, and a
gentleman of fortune named Caldwell.
A steamer, the "Islander", began making trips from
Sandusky to Put-in-Bay. Improvements went rapidly
forward, and the islands as a body enjoyed that which
in modern times would be called a "boom." Many
visitors now began crowding toward Put-in-Bay,
drawn thither by the natural and historical attractions
of the place. Among the number was J. W. Gray,
then editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Realizing:
the need of suitable hotel accommodations, Gray pur-
chased the 'White House." Changes and additions
were made, and ere long a comfortable hotel opened
its doors. The island was now becoming famous as a
summer resort, and to meet the ever increasing de-
mand for accommodation, a grand summer hotel was
projected, built and christened — "The Put-in-Bay
House." The structure was 450 feet long. Its veran-
dahs extended the whole length of the building and
commanded a magnificent view of the bay near
22 A GEM OF HISTORIC SETTING.
OLD PUT-IN-BAY HOUSE.
which the hotel was located. The Beebe house,
a commodious structure, was erected on the site of an
old building known as the "Perry House." The Beebe
house was owned and is still operated by Henry
Beebe, the oldest hotel man in the state. Other hotels
rapidly sprung up, and owners of real estate in sizable
tracts suddenly found themselves wealthy. Not only
had the place become an attraction to tourists and
visitors in general, but the peculiar adaptability of the
soil rendered grape culture a prolific source of gain;
and Put-in-Bay and adjacent isles were soon covered
with thrifty vine3^ards.
The Put-in-Bay house was subsequently destr03ed
by fire, but was afterwards rebuili on a smaller scale
by Valentine Doller.
In size and magnificence, however, the old Put-in-
Bay house was finally eclipsed by the erection on Vic-
tory Bay of Hotel Victor}-, which enjoys the distinc-
tion of being the largest and most luxuriously appointed
summer hotel in the United States.
Such in brief is the history of a summer resort.
In the Light of Local Reminiscence.
"As bears the noble consort slowly down,
Portentous now her teeming cannon frown;
List to the volleys that incessant break
The ancient silence of this border lake."
"While Erie's currents lave her winding shore.
Or down the crags her rushing torrents pour,
While floats Columbia's standard to the breeze,
No blight shall wither laurels such as these."
— Harpek"s Magazine
"The chief products of Put-in"
Bay are fish, fiirlalions, limestone
md Perry's victory."
Thus facetiously comments an
observer after duly siting up the isl-
oiiver Hazard Perry, aud iu questioH. Thc latter com-
modity is especially abundant as may be divined from
the fact that it forms the primary consideration of al-
most every visitor of intelligence who for the first
time sets foot upon this historic bit of terra firma.
Among the crowds which annually visit the resort are
tourists from New England, from the land of the
orange and palmetto, from the isles of Britain and from
Continental Europe. As a rule, the farther traveled,
the deeper the interest exhibited by travelers in a con-
templation of the scene where occurred the great naval
contest which swept from American waters the Cross
24 PERRY'S VICTORY.
of St. George, and demonstiated the invalidity of Eng-
land's pretentions to being "mistress of the seas" — a
supremacy long the boast of this most invincible of
old world powers.
On almost any favorable da}' during the "guest
season" many loiterers mixy be observed near the
"lone willow" — beneath which lie the slain of Perry's
victory — leaning over the post and chain fence that
encircles it, or resting on the lawn adjacent, evi-
dently lost in retrospective cogitations. They have
many questions to ask of the islanders whom they
meet concerning points of history — local and general —
bearing upon events associated with the spot, and are
sometimes as easily gulled by the romancist as are
travelers in the holy land by the relic vender. The
burial mound, which thus forms a point of general in-
terest, is located on a level sweep of greensward, a
few rods from the bay shore, midway between the two
wharves at which incoming steamers land their pas-
sengers. This spot was denuded of timber before the
war of i8[2, and save the old willow contains only a
few second <;rowth trees.
In consideration of its isolated position, it became
known as the "lone willow" — an appellation given it
by early settlers, and which it still retains. Its
story as told by these pioneer dwellers runs as follows:
A few days succeeding the surrender of Barkiey's
fleet, a vessel hailing from the settlement now marked
by the town of Vermillion, arrived laden with supplies
for the American squadron. While anchored offshore,
the master of this vessel visited the island, where were
interred the slain officers of both fleets. In his hand
PERRY'S VICTORY. 25
he carried a walking stick cut from a green willow.
The earth which rounded the lonely graves was still
fresh, and into the yielding surface he imbedded the
shoot. It became rooted and grew into the goodly
tree which now marks the place.
This story is well authenticated, many of the old
residents having seen and conversed with the man who
planted the willow shoot, and who in subsequent years
visited the island. Within a comparatively recent
period the tree was encircled by the above mentioned
post and chain fence which encloses and renders con-
spicuous the otherwise neglected spot. The tree has
grown to stately proportions, but its trunk is becom-
ing gnarled, and its yellow twigs and clustering leaves
are oftimes broken by the hands of strangers and
carried away as mementoes. Two or three round,
white boulders lie partially imbedded in the sod at its
roots — the only monumental stones the enclosure con-
tains; whether originally placed there by Perry and
his men, is a matter concerning which the present in-
habitants seem devoid of knowledge.
There are persons still living on Put-in-Bay who
remember seeing the remains of an old scaffold cap-
ping a wall of rugged and precipitous rock near the
"Needle's Eye," Gibraltar Island, From this com-
manding station Commodore Perry and his officers
daily and hourly reconnoitered the lake, sweeping with
their marine glasses the horizon to west and north-
west for the first topsail of the British squadron, the
appearance of which was to be the signal for action.
A grass-grown path leading to this point of rocks
from the opposite side of the island off which lay at
36 PERRY'S VICTORY.
anchor the American fleet, is also remembered by
early pioneers. The scaffold long since disappeared,
but the spot upon which it stood is now commonly
known as "Perry's lookout." It is marked by a flag-
staff, and the neighboring scenery, as viewed from this
eminence, is the most rugged, picturesque and ro-
mantic known in the archipelago.
Near "Perry's Lookout," on Gibraltar, is placed a
monument intended to commemorate the battle of
Lake Erie. It was designed and erected by Jay
Cooke, the well known Philadelphia financier and
present owner of the island.
Within the entrance hall of Mr. Cooke's stately
summer villa — which occupies a central location on
Gibraltar — hangs an old painting representing the
scene of this famous engagement.
Several years ago a transportation vessel lost her
anchor, and while grappHng for it, her crew hauled up,
not that for which they were looking, but an old
wooden stock anchor, such as were used by navigators
in early days. The wood had rotted away, and the
iron was deeply corroded with rust. This anchor is
said to have been lost from one of the ships of Perry's
squadron. Other interesting relics of the troublous
times of i8 12-13, ^"^ of Perry's visit to Put in-Bay,
have been found at various times and in divers places.
Arms and military accoutrements bearing the United
States brand have been picked up, of which the wood
portions were rotted away and the iron deeply rust-
On Peach Point, which overlooks the battle scene,
was found a cannon ball imbedded in a mass of rock
PERRY'S VICTORY. 27
and debris. The ball corresponded in size and weight
with those used for the naval cannon of early days.
This relic came ultimately into the possession of Jay
Cooke, by whom it is highly prized.
For an indefinite period of years an old dismounted
cannon figured conspicuously in the history of Put-in-
Bay. This piece of ordnance — it is asserted — belonged
to one of Perry's ships, and was left on the island after
the fight in a disabled condition. The piece was re-
cently sold to the town of Port Clinton. The citizens
of that borough feel proud of their acquisition, fondly
cherishing the relic and bringing it forth with great
eclat and profuse decorations whenever a street pa-
rade or public jollification is given.
The anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie, Sep-
tember lOth, is recognized at Put-in -Bay as a holiday
of an importance as great as that which attaches lo
the Fourth of July in other portions of the country-
Whether any pubHc celebration is or is not held on the
island, the average islander suspends his daily occupa-
tions with the advent of the "tenth," and donning his
best, repairs to the "Bay," wliere he aims to get out
of the occasion all the glory there is in it. The res-
idents of adjacent islands are accustomed also to gather
at this common center, crossing in skiffs, yachts and
If no special features of interest are afforded, a
meeting with neighbors and friends in the Bay park, a
dish of ice cream at the restaurant, a glass of lager or
perchance of something stronger serves to round out
the day, and in the evening the islander goes home
with a serene sense of duty done.
28 PERI^rs IICTORY.
However, the advent of this anniversary rarely
fails to bring crowds by every steamer from lakeport
towns and cities, and often from points far inland. So-
cieties civic and military frequently parade the thor-
oughfares, bands discourse martial music, yards of
bunting stream from public buildings; and inspired by
the occasion, speeches full of hre and frenzy are pro-
jected by orators of every degree. Then, too, the
"lone willow" is wreathed, ribboned, flagged and
flowered in the most approved manner. On one of
these occasions a large and handsome portrait of Perry
garlanded with exquisite floral decorations, and
knots of red, white and blue ribbon, was suspended
against the tree. Directly beneath lettered in black on
a white ground appeared the words of th it brief but
significent dispatch, penned by the hero to Gen. Har-
rison — "We have met the enems' and they are ours "
At the tree roots lay the rusty anchor — that had been
fished from the bay — twined with evergreen, and its
chain clasped about the trunk. Upon each post hung
an evercrreen wreath and fluttered a flag, forming
about the mound a blight circle of color.
One of the most notable anniversaries of the battle
ever held at Put-in-Bay, occurred somewhere back in
the "fifties."' On this occasion, over 15,000 people were
in attendance, and so many steamers arrived that
scarcely room enough was afforded at the wharves to
land their passengers. In anticipation of the crowd,
bakers and restaurant keepers from adjacent mainland
towns had put up temporary lunch counters and eating
stands, and did a rushing business.
There were present at this anniversary nearly
PERRY'S VICTORY. 29
sixty survivors of the battle, among whom was Capt.
Elliott, who commanded the ship Niagara, which after
the Lawrence became disabled, was boarded b}^ Perry
and made flagship of the squadron.
A thrilling address was delivered by Capt. Elliott
in the grounds of the "White House." An old resident
of the island, Phillip V^roman, who was present, des-
cribes the speaker, as he then appeared, as a grey
bearded, but well preserved man of medium height,
slender build, and intelligent countenance.
Gen. Harrison who figures prominently in history,
both civic and military, was among the speakers; also
Gov. Cass of Michigan, together with many other
noted scholars and statesmen.
An incident which occurred in connection with this
particular celebration is related by Mr. Vroman. He
was standing near the old burial mound when he ob-
served in the cro^vd about him a man of worn and
grizzled appearance, with head inclined, and the tears
coursing slowly down his cheeks. Mr. Vroman kind-
ly inquired as to the cause of his grief. The man
lifted his head and, pointing to the mound, said:
"Here lie my comrades. Forty- five years ago to-
day we gathered at this spot to perform for them our
last services. Since then I have not seen the place
until now. Gazing once more upon it under circum-
stances so solemn and impressive brings back upon
me an overpowering flood of recollections."
In reply to inquiries, the old man gave some per-
sonal experiences of the battle, as follows:
"I was with a large detachment of our men on the
little rock island known as Gibraltar, when Barkley's
30 PERRY'S VICTORY.
fleet was sighted approaching from the northwest.
We lost no time in getting back to our vessels which
were idly swinging at anchor. Orders from command-
ing ofi^icers were given, quick and sharp. There was
a bustle of hasty preparation heard; a great straining
of blocks and cordage, and a flap of canvas as the sails
were unfurled. Our fleet passed out of the bay be-
tween Peach Point and Middle Bass Island. The
morning was as beautiful as any that I have ever seen.
When about five miles north of Put-in-Bay, we en-
countered the British squadron."
After giving a description of the fight, the narrator
closed with an account of the burial of the dead at
Put-in-Bay. According to his statement, six officers —
three Americans and three British, were buried on the
site marked by the willow; the sailors and marines, on
a beautiful treeless knoll near "Squaw Harbor."
Some historians tell us that the latter were sunk in
the lake by means of a cannon ball attached to the feet
of each. This, however, must be erroneous, as other
testimony to the effect that they were buried on the
island exists besides that of the old marine above
Had the fleet been sailingr the high seas instead of
lying in a quiet harbor, a disposition of the dead by
committal to the waves might appear more reasonable.
The spot pointed out as the burial ground in question
was afterwards used by the early settlers as a place
of interment, and in excavating, human bones were
unearthed. Nearly all the remains of island settlers
were subsequently removed to the present island cem-
etery. Greensward and vineyard sweep cover the
PERRY'S VICTORY. 31
site of the old burial ground at the present day, and
nothing is now left upon its surface to suggest that it
was ever used as such.
Another point upon which historians differ is in
reference to the exact location of the battle, its distance
from Put-in-Bay ranging, according to several accounts,
all the way from two to ten miles. Since, however, no
measurements were ever taken by the participants, the
exact distance in hnear miles will probably never be
There are aged persons still Hving who remember
having heard the cannon at the Battle of Lake Erie.
E, W. Barnum of Cleveland, who attended a recent
loth of September celebration at Put-in-Bay, saw,
when a boy of twelve years, the British fleet, before its
engagement with Perry, lying at King's Quay, Ft.
Maiden. He was also on board the Queen Charlotte
before her capture, and saw the identical cannon which
has frowned for so many years upon passersby in
Monumental Park, Cleveland.
At various times for years past, efforts have been
made to secure the erection of an appropriate Monu-
ment at Put-in-Bay, intended both to commemorate
this great naval achievement, and also to mark the
burial place of the slain, but up to the present time all
enterprises in this direction have met with signal
Many years ago a fund for the erection of a monu-
ment to Oliver Hazard Perry was largely contributed
to by island residents with the understanding that it
was to be located at Put-in-Bay. Photographs of the
PERRY'S LONE WILLOW.
"Lone Willow" were circulated and sold in large
quantities, and the proceeds donated to this fund. In
due time the monument took shape, and proved a suc-
cess, being an elaborately designed and exquisitel}' exe-
cuted piece of sculpture, surmounted by a life-like statue
of Commodore Perry. Instead of being erected at Put-
in-Bay, however, it was placed in Monumental Park»
Cleveland, where beside the old British cannon men-
tioned in this co::nection it formed for many years an
object of interest and admiration to the thousands who
dail ; thronged the paved thoroughfares near which it
stood. It was afterwards removed to Wade Park,
where it will no doubt remain till time shall crumble it.
MONUMENT COMMEMORATING THE BATTLE OF LAKE ERIE— GIBRALTAR.
34 PERRY'S VICTORY.
On September loth, 1891, the Maumee Valley
Monumental Association, with President Rutherford
B. Hayes at its head, held a meeting at Put-in-Bay,
Cassius M. Clay, of Kentucky, and other men of promi-
nence being present. At this meeting the Perry monu-
ment question was again agitated. As a result of this,
and various other movements, a congressional appro-
priation was solicited; and ever since, the congressional
body have been considering the expediency of granting
the same. Meantime, Rhode Island — Commodore
Perry's native state — has stepped to the front, and pro-
poses undertaking, on her own account, the building of
a monument at Put-in-Bay, and the islanders are pray-
ing that " Little Rhody's " good resolution may not
fail until her task is accomplished.
PUT-IN-BAY IN SONG AND POETRY.
EVENING ON THE WATER.
"Did you ever behold a more lovely scene?'
"Never ! It is superlatively beautiful,
The subject of discussion was a brilliant sunset
viewed from a rocky projection. The interrogator an
enthusiast who had never travelled far; the individual
addressed, an enthusiast who had travelled extensively
and viewed scenes and objects of famed attraction,
but only to return to his own country, and there to dis-
cover among the isles of Lake Erie the acme of all
36 PUTIN-BA YIN SONG AND POETRY,
artistic inspiration and poetic sentiment shown up in
one grand masterpiece. In its contemplation he grew
ecstatic, and straightway exhausted the whole vocab-
ulary of adjectives and terms synonymous expressive
of highest and mightiest appreciation; but nothing
could be too extravagant in the way of word garniture
for such a scene. The Master Painter seemed indeed
to have thrown into this stupendous effoit the full
power of creative genius. Such delicate pencillings;
such exquisite shadings; such clearness of outline in
the foreground; such films of haze and flecks of cloud
in the ('istances; such combinations of color; such fan-
tastic play of lights on wave and sky; such a glorious
reincarnation of beauty as a whole.
A breeze with breath of balm, just rippling the
channel waters. A murmur, just audible, of wavelets
among caverned rocks. Ledges abrupt and crags
overhung by riot-running vegetation. Cedar clumps
abristle and maples thick leaved scumbled with golden
bronze. To westward, the sun's divergent path; and
far and near winged sails catching the crimson glow of
the d3'ing da3^ Such in outline is the sketch of an
island sunset; and afloat upon a luminous sea of in-
spiration, poetic f<mcy awakens to "stir of waves and
dip of oars."
"O, boatman, row me gently, slow,
Into the golden sunset glow
That crowns the dying day;
Out where the white cloud islands lie,
In the ciimson sea of the western sky,
Row me away, away."
PUT-IN-BAY IN SONG AND POETRY. 37
"Purple and carmine and amethyst,
Waves that touching the sky unkissed,
Leave aluminous trail;
Across it floating a graceful thing;
Is it a bird with a shining wing,
Or a tiny glistening sail?"
However, not alone in sunset glories revels the
poet, the artist and the creator of symphonious meas-
ures, since throughout the whole panoramic progress
of the seasons, the shifting views on lake and land, and
A S'JMMLR SHORE. Geo. Kerry, Put-in-Bay.
the harmonious blendings of life and color contribute
to kindle and keep aflame the aesthetic fires. With the
"month of roses" is attained the climax of inspirational
fervor; when skies are bluest and nature at her best;
when dreamer and castle builder are busiest weaving
garlands of fancy and rearing architectural marvels,
towered and turretted and aglow with "a light that
never was on land or sea."
gg PUT-IN-BA V IN SONG AND POE TR Y.
Had our widely renowned American poets — Long-
fellow and Whittier — spent as large a share of their
natural lives at Put-in-Bay as along the New England
coast, every crook of the island shores, every wave-
worn rock and mirrored crag that girds them , every
quiet cove and dimpling bay which indents them
would have been invested with the charm of romance,
subtle and irresistable; for the natural beauty and his-
toric interest attaching thereto would have called
forth the noblest efforts of those gifted writers.
Howbeit, the island and its attractions, natural
and historical, have not been overlooked; since im-
mediately following the battle of Lake Erie in 1813,
poets of every degree, from fledgling versifiers to
hoary-headed bards all over the country, turned their
attention towards it, eager to immortalize in verse the
gallantry of Oliver Hazard Perry and the scene that
witnessed his brilliant achievements. Books published
shortly after the period above mentioned, containing
poems describing the event, are still found in old
Ablaze with fiery patriotism are these quaint ef-
fusions, though not always true to topographical detail
— a matter which excites no surprise when it is con-
sidered that most of them were written at long range,
imagination supplying material where facts were
A song, said to have been widely popular eighty
years ago, is still known and sung by elderly people.
Though not an example of perfect metrical composi-
tion, its long survival entitles it to notice in this con-
nection. The words are as follows:
P UT-IN-BA Y IN SONG AND POE TR V. 39
"Ye tars of Columbia, give ear to my story,
Who fought with brave Perry where cannon did roar;
Your valor has won you an immortal glory,
A fame that shall last until time is no more.
"Columbian tars are the true sons of Mars,
1 hey rake fore and aft when they fight on the deep;
On the bed of Lake Erie, commanded by Perry,
They caused many a Briton to take his last sleep.
"On the tenth of September, let all well remember,
As long as the world on its axis rolls round.
Our tars and marines on Lake Erie were seen,
To make the red flag of proud Britain haul down.
"The van of our fleet, the British to meet,
Commanded by Perry, the Lawrence bore down,
The guns they did roar with such terrible power.
The savages trembled at the horrible sound.
"The Lawrence was shattered, her rigging was tattered.
Her booms and her yards were all shot away;
And few men on deck, to manage the wreck,
Our hero on board, could no longer stay.
"In this situation, the pride of our nation.
Sure heaven had guarded unhurt all the while;
While many a hero maintaining his station,
Fell close by his side and was thrown on the pile.
"But mark ye and wonder, when the elements thunder.
And death and destruction are stalking around;
His flag he did carry, on board the Niagara,
Such valor on record was never yet found.
"There was one noble act of our gallant commander,
While writing my song, I must notice with pride;
When launched in a smack, which carried his standard,
A ball whistled through her, just at his side.
"Says Perry— 'Those villains intend for to drown us,
Push on my brave boys, you need never fear; '
And then with his coat, he plugged up the boat,
And through sulphur and fire away he did steer.
40 FUT-IA -BA YIN SONG AND POETR Y.
"The famous Niagara, now proud of her Perry,
Displayed all her colors in gallant array;
And twenty-five guns on her deck she did carry,
Which soon put an end to the bloody affray.
"The bold British lion now roared his last thunder,
While Perry attended him close in the rear;
Columbia's eagle soon made him crouch under,
And call out for quarter as you shall soon hear.
"Brave Elliott —whose valor must now be recorded, —
On board the Niagara had well played his part;
His gallant assistance to Perry afforded,
We place him the second on Lake Erie's chart.
"In the midst of the battle the guns they did rattle,
The Lawrence a wreck, and the men mostly slain;
Away he did steer, and brought up the rear.
And by this manuever the victory gained.
"Says Perry — 'Brave Elliott now give me your hand.
This day you have gained an immortal renown;
So long as Columbians Lake Erie com.nand.
Let the brave Captain Elliott with laurels be crowned.
"Great Britain may boast of her conquering heroes.
Her Kodneys and Nelsons, and all the whole crew;
And Rome in her glory ne'er told such a story,
Nor boasted such feats as Columbians do.
"Columbians sing and make the woods ring.
And toast those brave spirits by sea and by land;
While Britains drink sherry, Columbians drink Perry,
And toast it about with full glasses in hand."
As "distance lends enchantment," so with passing
years looms the historical importance of "Perry's vic-
tory," and every scion of poesy who visits Put-in-Bay,
experiences — as did his predecessors — an irrepressible
desire to pour into rhyme the thoughts thereby awak-
ened. Thus graphically described is the fray by
Henry T. Tuckerman of Newport, R. 1.:
'LION'S HEAD"— VICTORY PARK.
PUT-IN BA YIN SONG AND POETR Y. 41
'•Why to one point turns every graceful prow?
What scares the eagle from his lonely bough?
A bugle note far through the welkin rings,
From ship to ship its airy challenge flings.
Then round each hull the murky war clouds loom,
Her lightnings glare, her sullen thui-lers boom;
Peal follows peal with each lurid flash,
The tall masts shiver and the bulwarks crash.
The shrouds hang loose, the decks are wet with gore,
And dying shrieks resound along the shore;
As fall the bleeding victims one by one.
Their messmates rally to the smoking gun.
As the maimed forms are sadly borne away,
From the fierce carnage of that murderous fray,
A fitful joy lights up each drooping eye,
To see ihe starry banner floating high,
Or mark their unharmed leader's dauntless air,
His life enfolded in his loved one's prayer. (*)
Not o'er my head shall that bright flag descend:
With brief monition from the hulk he springs,
To a fresh deck his rapid transit wings.
Back to the strife exultant shapes his way.
Again to test the fortunes of the day:
As hears the noble consort slowly down.
Portentous now her teeming cannon frown;
List to the volleys that incessant break
The ancient silence of that border lake !
As lifts the smoke, what tongue can fitly tell.
The transports which those manly bosoms swell.
When Britain's ensign, down the reeling mast,
Sinks to proclaim the desperate struggle past."
One of the most interesting, yet saddest circum-
stances connected with the Battle of Lake Erie, was
undoubtedly that recorded in the words of still another
old song that has com^ down to us, "James Bird."
To a lady resident of Sandusky is the writer indebted
* Note:— Perry said after his miraculous escape that he owed his life
to his wife's prayers.
42 P UT-Ii\-BA Y IN SONG AND POE TR V.
for details of incidents from which this son^ took its
origin, and which contribute to form an additional rem-
inisence resurrected from a buried past. The story
which may serve as a prelude to the song, runs thus:
After the Battle of Lake Erie, in which James
Bird— -the hero commemorated in this connection —
distinguished himself, and which virtually ended the
war, the American fleet sailed for Erie, Upon its
arrival, Bird immediately set out for his home at
Kingston, anxious to see the dear ones he had left be-
hind. That a formal discharge was a necessary con-
dition of release from his country's service, when that
service was no longer required, never entered his mind.
After a happy meeting with his friends, the youthful
marine hired to a frontiersman and began the work of
clearing up timber, unconscious of having committed
any misdemeanor. Bird communicated freely with
his employer concerning his experiences under Perry's
command, revealing the fact that he had left the fleet
W'ithout a discharge. Soon after this the heartless
employer reported him as a deserter. He was con-
victed as such, and by the stern rigors of military dis-
cipline was sentenced to be shot. Perry having learned
the facts, hastened to the young man with a par-
don, but reached the place of execution just a moment
too late. One singular circumstance connected with
this trajric affair remains to be told. The land which
the unfortunate Bird had assisted in clearing for his
treacherous and unfeeling employer, never produced
aught of vegetable life, but remained a desert tract of
barren soil. The lady who kindly furnished the above,
and who is highly estimable and wholly trustworthy,
PUT-IN-BA YIN SONG AND POETR Y. 43
verifies the truth of this statement, having frequently
visited the spot thus strangely branded as with a curse.
The music which accompanies the song is as quaint
and as wierdly mournful as the words copied below :
"Sons of pleasure, listen to me;
And ye daughters too give ear;
For a sad, and mournful story,
As e'er was told you soon shall hear.
"Hull, you know his troops surrendered.
And defenceless left the West;
Then our forces quick assembled,
The invaders to resist.
" 'Mongst the troops that marched to Erie,
Were the Kingston volunteers;
Captain Thomas them commanded,
To protect our West frontiers.
"There was one among the number.
Tall, and graceful was his mein ;
Firm his step, his look undaunted.
Ne'er a nobler youth was seen.
"One sweet kiss he snatched from Mary,
Craved his mother's prayer once more ;
Pressed his father's hand, and left them
For Lake Erie's distant shore.
"Soon he came where noble Perry
Had assembled all his fleet;
There the gallant Bird enlisted,
Hoping soon the foe to meet.
"Now behold the battle rages.
Is he in the strife or no.''
Now the cannons roar tremendous,
Dare he meet the savage foe ?
44 P UT-IN-BA V IN SONG A ND P OE TR Y.
"Yes, behold him — see with Perry,
On the self same ship he fights;
Though his comrades fall around him,
Nothing doth his soul affright.
"Ah ! behold— a ball has struck him.
See the crimson current flow;
'Leave the deck !' exclaimed brave Perry,
" 'No', cried Bird, 'I will not go.'
" 'Here on deck I've took my station,
Here will Bird his colors fly:
I'll stand by you, galJant captain.
Till we conquer, or I die.'
"Still he fought, though faint, and bleeding,
Till the stars and stripes arose;
Victory having crowned our efforts
All triumphant o'er our foes.
"'Dearest parents, read the letter,
That will bring sad news to you ;
Do not mourn your first beloved.
Though this brings you his adieu.'
"'I must'suffer for desertion,
From the brig Niagara;
Read this letter brother, sister
T'is the last you'll hear from me.'
"Dark and gloomy was the morning,
Bird was ordered out to die ;
Where the heart not dead to pity,
But for him would heave a sigh.
"View him kneeling by his coffin,
Sure his death can do no good ;
'Spare him' ! hark— oh God! they've shot him,
See his bosom stream with blood!
"Farewell, Bird, farewell forever.
Friends and home he'll see no more;
For his mangled corpse lies buried.
On Lake Erie's distant shore."
PUT-IN-BA Y IN SONG AND POETR V. 45
Noteworthy among recent literary productions, was
a long descriptive poem read at the Cleveland Cen-
tennial Anniversary on *'Perry Victory Day," September
loth, 1896. The opening stanzas are as follows:
"The sparkling waters of Put-in-Bay
Are resting in placid peace to day;
But the silvery sheen of their ebbing flood,
Was once stained red with our grand sires' blood.
"And the dells and dales of the wooded shore,
Sent back the wild echo of cannon's roar;
While the drifting spars, and shattered hulls,
Formed a resting place for the white winged gulls.
"In one grave near the beach at Put in-Bay,
Our friends, and our foes were laid away;
It is three, and four score years ago,
Since Oliver Perry met the foe,
But the deeds heroic done that day,
Cast a halo of glory 'round Put in-Bay."
A "Forest City" pilgrim to the burial place of the
illustrious dead, breaks thus into rhyme:
"Where the white caverned rocks are reflected,
On the swell of the long curving billow.
Near where Perry's dead heroes neglected,
Lie nameless beneath the gaunt willow,
I dreamed of our dead and forgotten.
Marked "unknown" on the tablets of fame,
And a long line of heroes filed past me.
Who for us gave a life, and a name "
Further eulogized in a poem b}^ an unknown author,
are these old time martyrs; and further deprecated
the neglect that has thus far been accorded them :
"Their monument the willow tree,
Their requiem the waves,
Of old Lake Erie dashing free.
Around their nameless graves;
40 PUTIN-BA YIN SONG AND POETR Y.
Their epitaph, the withered grass
That marks their lowly beds,
Their eulogy, the moaning winds
That sigh above their heads.
"Neglected, and forgotten here.
Without a line or stone.
These brave defenders fill one grave,
Their very names unknown.
Four scores of springs have brought their bloom,
To this immortal isle,
Since friend and foe were buried here,
In one promiscuous pile.
"My country, not too late to raise,
A column to the brave.
Who brought a glory to the flag,
A victory to the wave.
Who drove the liriton from these shores,
Who gave this isle a name.
Who brought the country fresh renown,
To Perry, deathless fame."
So great an aftermath of Perr}- V^ictory song
and verse has been gleaned however, that further
mention of individual effort along this line would be
Though affording themes most favored, the Put-
in-Bay muse and musician leave frequently the beaten
paths of historical record and popular tradition, to re-
vel in dreams of fanc}', of love, and romance.
Poems of sentiment contribute a glamour of roman-
tic interest; and compositions such as the "Put-
in-Bay March" and "Put-in-Bay Polka" are known to
the musical world. Even the "Masher" and his ad-
ventures are not forgotten, since in a very spirited song
and dance issued by a sheet music publisher, both are
embalmed in measures rythmical under the title, "The
Girl of Put-in-Bay."
VISITORS FROM ANOTHER WORLD.
A Story of the Battle of Lake Erie.
The fleet had sailed, and the eight vessels, armed
and equipped as ships of war, were heading westward
up Lake Erie in search of the skulking squadron of
For some time previously, the red flag of Great
Britain had carried terror to the inhabitants of new
settlements along the southern borders of these disputed
waters, but the eagle of Columbia now spread her
wings to the breeze, and fluttered upon the pennons of
the ships which carried the heroic Perry and his
It was twilight. The western heavens and a wide
expanse of sea that blended were still aglow. The
moon had risen, and a few stars bolder and more
brilliant than their companions looked forth as if im-
patient at tne day's lingering departure. A freshening
breeze filled the bellying canvas of the vessels as they
swept silently onward. Presque Isle, from which the
squadron had cleared lay far behind, while to the left a
long, low belt of land marked the souther^ shores with
their dark interminable forests lit at intervals by Indian
On the deck of the flag-ship Lawrence, leaning
over the bulwarks, appeared a young man attired in
48 V/SnVRS FROM A NO THEN WORLD.
the uniform of an officer whom we will introduce to
the reader as Arthur Holmes.
Though still under twenty-five years, the unmistak-
able lines of some deep sorrow were already traced
upon his brow. Near the young officer a group of
tars and marines were discussing the prospective en-
gagement and its probable results. At the mast-head
a man was stationed to watch for the appearance of
the enemy, and a half suppressed buzz of expectation
extended to all the vessels of the fleet. The young
officer appeared too closely occupied b}' his own
thoughts at this moment, however, to join in specu-
lation regarding the expedition, and too calm to be
agitated by anything that might occur in the near future.
He seemed oblivious to all around, when approached
by a brother officer of about his own age and rank who
bore the name of Robert Reade.
"Don't brood," said Reade, placing his hand on
The latter turned toward his companion with a
smile so sad that it failed to illumine even for a moment
the settled gloom of his features.
"This will never do, Arthur," said Reade, speaking
in a kind but decisive manner, "You must get out of
yourself. You must drown past sorrow, by throwing
yourself into present activities. Surel}' we have enough
to occupy our minds at this time without brooding
over a dead and buried past. We shall soon stand
shoulder to shoulder in a combat that must result in
signal victory or defeat, and we should try to forget
everything except the issues of this glorious under-
A STOR Y OF THE BA TTLE OF LAKE ERIE. 49
"I cannot drown nor forget the past, but when the
time comes to fight — I am ready."
Holmes spoke with quiet firmness, and an expres-
sion of steady determination shone in his dark eyes.
Before proceeding, we will further introduce our
young hero b}' sketching a page or two of his previous
history. It was six months since a tragic occurrence
had seemed destined to overshadow all the remaining
years of his life.
A 3^ear previous he had become engaged to a
young and beautiful girl, Nellie Wilder, the daughter
of Connecticut paren s who had settled upon the lake
border. Arthur cherished a strong attachment for the
girl which was fully reciprocated, and forgetting the
dangers and privations incident to the pioneer, his life
grew into perfect happiness beneath the sunshine of
The parents of Nellie Wilder lived in a cabin near
the banks of a small river. On the opposite side had
settled the familv of a hunter, and an intimacy fostered
by the solitude of the situation sprang up be-
tween the two families. An Indian canoe served to
bridge the stream, and one afternoon in the early
spring, Nellie, wishing to visit the neighboring cabin,
crossed in the canoe and fastening it to a stake, proceeded
on foot through a strip of forest that lay between the
stream and the hunter's home.
The afternoon wore away. The sun went down^
and early twilight shadows gathered darkly in the
thick forest. Nellie had not returned, and the Wilder
family grew alarmed. Crossing the river on an impro-
vised raft, Mr. Wilder repaired to the hunter's cabin.
50 VISITORS FROM ANOTHER WORLD.
To his dismay he found that NelHe had not been there
and had not been seen. The news of her disappearance
spread rapidl}^ through the small settlement. When
it reached the ears of Arthur Holmes he instantly pro-
ceeded to organize a body of men for the purpose of
pursuing and overhauling a roving band of Indians
which had passed that day through the settlement.
Arthur had felt convinced that the Indians had captured
the girl and carried her away with them. Full of rest-
less anxiety, he was soon in hot pursuit at the head of
twenty armed men. They struck the trail of the fugi-
tives and pressed forward, but it was not until the
afternoon of the next day that they were overtaken.
The Indians were surprised and captured in a ravine
where they had camped for the purpose of roast-
ing game; but Nellie was not with them, and
no trace of her could be found. The Indians professed
total ignorance concerning her. They represented
themselves as peaceably disposed, and begged per-
mission to continue on their way. Arthur was bitterly
disappointed but persuaded that the statement made by
the Indians was correct, he allowed them to proceed.
A new apprehension now took possession of Arthur.
Perhaps Nellie had wandered into the forest and had
become the prey of wild beasts. The thought filled
him with agony, and he cursed his weak judgment
which had led him so far on this wild chase, when he
should have scoured the nearer forest. A solution of
the mystery awaited him when he reached the settle-
ment, and uncertainty gave place to horrible reality.
In his absence, search had been made along the
river bank. At a point where the trees grew thick
A STOR V OF THE BA TTLE OF LAKE ERIE. 51
and dark, twenty yards below where the canoe was
fastened, strips of clothing identical with that worn by
Nellie, spotted with blood, together with small wisps
of tangled hair were scattered promisciously about a
pool of clotted gore. The hair, soft and wav}'^, was of
a peculiar shade of auburn seldom seen, and all who
had known Nellie Wilder at once recognized it as hers.
At this revelation some of the settlers now remembered
having heard the howl of wolves west of the river on
the afternoon of the girl's disappearance. Nellie had
undoubtedly been killed and devoured by wild beasts.
A curl of the blood-stained hair and a locket containing
her miniature was all that remained to Arthur of one
who was dearer to him than life.
We will briefly pass over the months that followed
this occurrence. Arthur was at first stupefied and un-
able to comprehend the truth. When at last the ter-
rible reality came surging upon him, his brain reeled
and reason tottered. A violent fit of sickness followed,
his life hung in the balance, but he recovered and
w^ent out into the world a changed man, for all the
music and sunshine had departed from his life. When
in answer to a call to arms he entered the navy under
command of Perry, he cherished the secret wish that
should a sacrifice of life be required, his might be the
Such was the state of Arthur's mind, when the
reader first sees him in the person of a handsome, intel-
ligent, but sad faced young officer on board the man-
Two days after clearing from Presque Isle, the
squadron reached the head of Lake Erie without hav-
62 VISITORS FROM A NO THER WORLD.
ing encountered the enemy; and now lay within a se-
questered bay formed by the protecting shores of
clustering islands. Under the mellow light of dreamy
skies, and lapped by blue waves, these islands appeared
serenely beautiful, though no sight nor sound of visible
life disturbed the solitude of their forest covered shores
save the chattering of birds, or screaming of eagles as
they wheeled away over the topmasts of the vessels
at anchor. In this bay, the fleet lay for days and
weeks watching for that of the British. Meantime, the
officers and marines pulled ashore in straggling bands
in quest of amusement. There were recent traces of
Indians, but they had doubtless fled at the approach
of the battleships. Two or three indifferent looking
cabins in cleared spaces indicated that the whites
had also held a foothold there, but they too had
One afternoon, weary of life on shipboard, Arthur
Holmes had landed at one of the larger islands with the
intention of exploring its shores. He was accompanied by
Rudolph Gustave, an old marine commonly known as
"the bull-dog"— so called from his fighting quafities.
The two had spent the afternoon wandering about ad-
miring the romantic scenery and remarking the peculiar
roughness of the limestone upon every side. Numer-
ous caves and crevices had also attracted their atten-
tion, but warned at last by approaching night they
started for the shore where they had left their boat-
On the way thither Arthur halted to examine a curi-
ously formed specimen of rock over which he had
stumbled when attracted by an exclamation of surprise
from his companion.
A STOR Y OF THE BA TTLE OF LA KE ERIE . 53
"What have you found ? " queried Arthur stepping
"What say you ? " returned Rudolph.
"Witches, faries, spirits, or flesh and blood ? "
"What do you mean ? " exclaimed Arthur, noting
the look of amazement on the swarthy face of his com-
"Did'nt you see those two women ? "
"Women! There are no women on this forsaken
"Then they were spirits," replied Rudolph.
"It must have been imagination on your part, or an
"No imagination, no delusion. 1 saw them as
plainly as I see you."
"Then where did they go.'^ "
"That I don't know; they seemed to disappear be-
hind that clump of cedars, but may be they vanished
into the air."
"I see you are inclined to be superstitious."
"Call it superstition if you will," returned Rudolph
"Let us see if we can catch another glimpse of
them;" said Arthur walking toward the clump of cedars
in question. " What did they look like ? "
"One was a white woman; the other dark. I
hardly noticed the dark one, but I should know the
white face among ten thousand."
"Was there anything peculiar about the face?"
"There was everything peculiar. I can't exactly
explain in what w^ay, only it was the most beautiful
face that 1 ever saw. Dark curling hair with a glint
54 V/STTORS FROM ANOTHER WORLD.
of gold touching it, and blue eyes that looked as if they
belonged to an angel."
Arthur was visibly impress-id by this description
but said nothing. They searched among the thick
growths of underbrush, but found no trace of any liv-
ing creature. Arthur thought strange of the affair,
but inwardly laid it to the superstitious fancy of Rudolph
and as it was now growing late they hurriedly left the
spot and returned to the vessel.
That night when the moon shone brightly overhead,
Arthur Holmes looked about the deck for Rudolph.
He found the old soldier reclininij against the truck of
a cannon. Arthur wished to speak further concerning
the singular occurrence in the woods, but waited for
Rudolph to begin.
After a few common-places, the latter turned sud-
denly toward his companion.
"So }'ou don't belie\'e in spirits?" observed he.
"O yes! in then- places of course, but I should hardly
imajrine them stalkingr about deserted islands."
"That might depend upon what their errands
were," replied Rudolph.
"Young man," continued the latter after a mo-
ment's silence, "don't tell me there are no spirits, be-
cause I have felt their presence. Yes, and they can
travel between this and the other world just when
they have a mind to."
He drew from his pocket a metallic case, one side
of wl ich was partially shattered, and opened it.
"Look ! Here is a picture of my mother. She
died when I was a boy, and now let me tell you how
that case got shattered."
STOR 1 OF THE BA TTL E OF LA KE ERIE. 55
"It was the night before the battle of Trafalgar,
and I lay with my mess mates about me. I was
pretty tired and dropped into a sound sleep. I don't
know how long I had slept when I was suddenly
wakened by a voice close to my ear calling 'Dolphie'
- — that was what my mother used to call me, and it
was her voice just as 1 remembered it when a boy. I
started and looked around. My comrades were all
asleep and everything quiet. It must have been a
dream, I said to myself, and though it impressed me
a good deal, I lay down after a little and was just
dozing off when 1 felt the touch of a soft hand upon
my forehead, and heard that same voice again calling
my name. I was wide awake in an instant. My
comrades were still sleeping, and the silence around
made it seem strange and solemn. Then I felt and
knew that a visitor from another world had come to
me and that visitor was my mother.
" 'But why should she come to me now after these
many years?' thought I. 'Is there anything that dis-
turbs her rest?'
"I couldn't sleep, so I got up and took a few turns
up and down on a short beat, speculating on the
curious affair and thinking of my mother. After a
while I sat down and put my hand into my breast
pocket for this picture — I always carry it there. Then
I remembered that I had slipped it into my knapsack
when mending my blouse a few days before, and
hr.dn't thought to put it back in its place. I looked
at the picture a long while. My mother as she ap-
peared in life was a quiet, sad faced woman, but pretty
looking with mild brown eyes and fair hair. As I
56 VISITORS FROM ANOTHER WORLD.
gazed, old memories came crowding lo my mind, and
the picture of a church, a graveyard, and a Httle
marble cross bearing my mother's name — lying under
the shadow of mountains among which I was born
away in sunny France — came before me.
"I had grown up rough-like, but at that moment
my feelings got the better of me, and I cried like a
baby. I put the picture back in my pocket, close
where my heart could beat against it.
"Well, the next day when the battle was at its
height and shot and shell were showering about like
hail, a ball penetrated my clothing and struck the
miniature that lay over m}^ heart, shattering the case as
you see. That picture saved my life. Then it oc-
curred to me why my mother had come to me so
strangely at dead of night and jogged my memory.
But for the reminder, I shouldn't have thought to put
the picture in my pocket before the battle,
"Another time when the frijjate Marseilles — on
board of which I served — went to pieces off the Cape
of Good Hope, all through the storm and darkness of
that awful night, when the seas were sweeping our
decks fore and aft and the timbers were wrenching
apart and everything going by the board — that night
I could feel my mother's presence about me which
ever way I turned and when the vessel parted amid-
ships and went down, I reached land, clinging to a
broken spar, one of only three men saved from a crew
of eighty tars and marines."
At the conclusion of this narration Rudolph re-
lapsed into silence, while under the brilliant moonlight
Arthur examined the shattered case and studied the
A STOR V OF THE BA TTLE OF LAKE ERIE. 57
picture with interest. The wierdness of the old vet-
eran's storiCvS had strangely impressed him.
"You seem to think a great deal of this picture."
"Yes ! Wouldn't part with it for a kingdom."
"I too have a picture that I always carry, and that
I value as highly as you do this," observed Arthur,
handing back the miniature.
"Indeed !" exclaimed Rudolph brightening. "Your
"Sweetheart then, perhaps?"
Arthur nodded assent, and taking the picture of
Nellie Wilder from his pocket, passed it to the old
"1 don't wonder you value it," said Rudolph, hold-
ing the picture so that the moon's rays could fall full
"It's the face of a saint and no mistake."
Then suddenly, with a puzzled expression, Ru-
dolph bent over, scanning it still more closel}'; his
hand to his head as if trying to recall something which
he had forfjotten .
"I believe that I have seen that face somewhere
before," he said musingly.
Arthur shook his head.
"I think not," he replied.
"Then I have seen one exactly like it, I swear!"
replied Rudolph with increasing interest.
"I would go a long way to see a face like that;
who, and wheie could it have been?"
58 VISITORS FROM ANOTHER WORLD.
"That's just what I'm trying to get through my
"I know!" he exchumed, "1 know!" Then drop-
ping his voice to a low tone, he continued —
"It was the face that I saw this afternoon, over on
Arthur was not superstitious, but his imagination
had been deeply wrought upon during the afternoon,
and evening, and the color now left his cheeks and he
trembled with nervous excitement.
"You are fanciful," he said turning to Rudolph.
"May be I am, but what I see, I see." "You know
I told you that 1 would know that face among ten
"So you think the face that you saw was like the
one in this picture."
"I do," replied Rudolph emphatically.
"What did you say was the color of the hair?"
"It was dark with a shade of gold running through
t, and was wavy and curling like."
"Then the color must have been auburn," sug-
gested Arthur with quivering lip.
"Yes, I believe it was what would be called
Arthur took the picture from its case; as he did so
a curl of hair fell at his feet. He picked it up, and
laid it tenderly within his palm. There were stains of
blood upon it, but observable only on close examina-
tion. Catching the moonbeams a glint of light
mincrled with the darker shade.
"Was it anything like this?" queried Arthur,
handing Rudolph the lock of hair.
A S TOR Y OF THE BA TTLE OF LA KE ERIE. 59
"Aye, the very same; where did you get this?"
"It belonged to the girl in the picture."
Rudolph gazed at the curl of hair, and the minia-
ture and was silent.
"Young man," he said slowly at last. "I don't
w^ant to say anything to make you uneasy, but I am
afraid there is something wrong. This appearance
may be a token to you from your sweetheart. Some-
thing may have happened her."
"Something has happened her," replied Arthur,
choking with emotion.
"She has been dead these six months."
"Then it was her spirit that I saw."
"Well, but why should she appear to you, a
stranger, and not to me?"
"That is a question which I cannot answer."
Arthur related the circumstances of Nellie Wilder's
death, and the two friends remained in close conversa-
tion until the moon had passed her zenith and was
climbing down the western skies. The midnight stars
were looking down into the sleeping bay, and the wild
notes of the whip-poor-will re-echoed from adjacent
shores when Arthur turned into his hammock.
The strange problem presented by the incidents
narrated, together with other thoughts and emotions,
so occupied his mind that to sleep was impossible.
Questions to which he could find no answer recurred
to him again and again.
"Did the departed ever return? And had the spirit
of Nellie Wilder appeared to Rudolph Gustave; or
was this man the dupe of superstition, weakness and
60 r/SlTORS FROM ANOTHER WORLD.
ignorance? Superstitious he might be, but he was
neither weak nor ignorant.
"Why may not etlierealized beings traverse
measureless distances and become visible to mortal
"If this were so, then might not the spirit of his
loved and lost return to him ajjain?
"Oh, that she would come back to me now. That
I might feel the touch of her hand upon my forehead
and gaze once more upon the sweet face, though it
were that of spirit."
A Mystery Unravelled,
Two days after the events above related occurred
the battle of Lake Erie, the details of which have
passed into history and need no rehearsal in this con-
Arthur received a wound in the left arm, which
though comparatively slight, was very painful. The
next day after the battle he witnessed from the deck of
the Niagara the burial of the officers of both squadrons
slain in the engagement. The bodies were conveyed
in boats to the shores ot the larger island and interred
with fittintj ceremonials.
"By what strange providence?" questioned Arthur,
"By what strange providence has my life been
spared? I who have nothing for which to live, while
A STOR Y OF THE BA TTLE OF LA KE ERIE. 61
Others bound to existence by ties of love and tenderness
have fallen victims to the grim destroyer?"
His wound exempting him from further duty, Ar-
thur obtamed permission to remain in a small settle-
ment on the peninsula lying southwest of the islands,
the squadron having anchored off that place to prepare
for a transportation of troops to Canada.
At the expiration of two weeks the wound had so
far improved as to allow the young soldier freedom to
move about. He grew restless and finally became
possessed of a strange desire to return to the islands
off which the battle was fought, although he could
not have defined satisfactorily the motive which
prompted the desire. He felt a morbid longing to see
the spot where had occurred the singular adventure
with the old French soldier. The solitary island pos-
sessed for hi:i a fascination which grew as the days
went by. There were but a few intervening miles of
water between it and the peninsula, and yielding to a
freak of fancy he resolved to again visit the place.
Under pretext of reviewing the scene of the battle
and burial place of the slain, he persuaded two young
men to accompany him. Accordingly on a bright au-
tumnal morning, when scarlet-leaved sumachs drooped
over the rocks and were reflected in the calm blue
of Erie, a light, staunch boat containing the trio pulled
away toward the lone island in the distance. In less
than two hours they had reached their destination, and
finding a level beach landed and drew up the boat. On
proceeding along a bend of the shore, they discovered
two Indian canoes lying within a cove. The discovery
rather intimidated Arthur's companions, but they were
62 VISITORS FROM ANOTHER WORLD.
all well armed and he persuaded them to proceed,
having first secreted the boat among some bushes.
They advanced cautiously, Arthur leading the wa}'.
He remembered the spot where lay the Mecca of his
pilgrimage and moved eagerly toward it.
"Hist ! I thought I saw a shadow moving among
the trees," said one of the men in a low tone.
"Where?" queried Arthur.
"Beyond that bunch of cedars."
It was the very spot upon which Rudolph had
witnessed the unaccountable appearance. They paused
a moment, but seeing nothing crept silently forward,
when they came in view of an Indian camp.
From a heap of faggots the smoke curled lazily
upwards through the trees, and near the fire stood a
wigwam. An old squaw was stirring the contents of
a kettle suspended over the blaze, while two Indians
sat upon their haunches conversing in the broken jar-
gon of their native tongue.
The three men lay motionless in a thicket that
screened them, fearing to move lest they should be dis-
covered. In a few minutes, however, the two unsus-
pecting Indians arose, and taking their ritles that lay
across a fallen tree, left the camp.
"Now's our time," whispered one of the men." The
squaw will see us if we move and give the alarm."
"We must be cautious, for there may be Indians
enough in the vicinitv to outnumber us," observed
"That's true, but we must get out of this; suppose
we gag the woman and tie her to a tree."
A STOR V OF THE BA TTLE OF LA KE ERIE. 63
The woman stood with her back toward the thicket
where the men were concealed, and rising they ad-
vanced steahhily towards her.
While making his way through a mass of under-
growth Arthur's feet slipped from beneath him, and
he sank through an opening in the ground. He felt a
I'ush of cold air and stifling darkness about him, but
after descending several feet struck upon the floor of
a cavern. A torch was burning within, and half dazed
with his fall, and the discovery to which it had led he
groped his way toward the light. The cavern appeared
long and wide, and myriads of stalactites glistened
overhead. The farther extremity was apparently
bounded by a wall of abrupt rocks, beneath which a
crystal lake seemed to lead away into unexplored pas-
sages through and under the shelving wall. All this
he took in at a glance, and having recovered himself,
Arthur hastily retraced his steps toward the spot where
he had so abruptly descended. He saw a glimmer of
daylight, and by the aid of a pole let down by his
companions from above, clambered to the surface.
Unaware of danger, the squaw still bent over the
steaming pottage with her back toward the approach-
ing pale faces. She was seized, securely bound to
a tree, and a handkerchief tied over her mouth to pre-
vent an outcry. The men were turning to leave the
spot, when they saw two more squaws approaching.
"We'll have to nab them too, observed one of the
number or they'll make us trouble."
They crept once more into the bushes.
"One is a white woman — sure as fate!" he con-
tinued under his breath, peeping from the covert.
64 VISITORS I ROM ANOTHER WORLD.
Arthur looked cautiously over a lo^ behind which
"Great heavens!" he exclaimed. "The white spirit
— Nellie Wilder!" and forgetful of danger he sprang
to his feet.
Yes, it was indeed, her face and form, just as he had
known her in life: no change was observable excepting
in attire, her slight form being clothed in the Indian
"O, Arthur! Arthur!" she exclaimed, holding out
both hands while a glad, tumultuous light shone in her
eyes. "Don't you know me, Arthur?" for he stood
as if spell-bound.
He had wished, aye prayed to behold the spirit of
his lost love; was this the fulfilment of his wish — the
answer to his prayer?
But the hands that clasped his were pulsating with
the swift warm current of life; the form was not that of
an etherealized being, while a tint of rose touched the
rounded checks slightly browned by exposure.
"Nellie, in Heaven's name, tell me, is this you or
"It is I, Arthur, I have lived among the Indians
ever since I was stolen away, and oh, I am so glad that
you have found me at last."
Was it reality? Arthur drew his hand across bis
eyes, his brain whirled and he grew faint. During
this scene the squaw was secured by the two men who
now stood refjardinof with astonishment this meeting
between Arthur and the unknown beautiful girl who
had so mysteriously appeared amid that scene of wild-
ness and solitude.
A SIX) J? V OF THE BA TTLE OF LAKE ERIE. 65
"But Nellie," insisted Arthur, unable to grasp the
truth, "I thought you were devoured by wild beasts?"
"I will tell you all. But come, she said with sud-
den terror. If the Indians find you here they will kill
you. They are four times your number. Oh, what
shall we do?"
"Come with me." Arthur clasped the girl's hand,
and the whole party set out for the shore where the
boat was secured.
They had just shoved it into the water when a yell
broke from the forest. Their flight was discovered.
"Oh, haste ! Haste !" exclaimed Nellie.
"You will not let them take me, Arthur?"
"Not until they have first taken my life.
In a moment they were in the boat, and in answ'er
to long and vigorous strokes the light craft shot like
an arrow through the water. A crack of fire-arms
sounded from shore and several bullets struck the
water that swept by them. Another vollev soon fol-
lowed, but the bullets fell short. The boat had passed
beyond the enemy's line and was speeding toward the
peninsula. Though greatly disappointed at the loss
of their game, the savages showed no disposition to
follow, and the suspense was over.
"Now, Nellie, tell me how this has come about; I
cannot understand," said Arthur, holding closely her
hands, as if he feared that she might yet vanish from
"1 was captured by Indians while on my way to
the hunter's cabin," said Nellie. "They were travel-
ling towards the west and took me with them."
"Well, but we found a pool of blood with tangled
66 VISITORS FROM ANOTHER WORLD.
tresses of hair and shreds of clothing about it, which
we knew to be yours."
"Yes, they took away from me my clothing and
dressed me like an Indian maiden. They had killed a
deer, and the ground where it had fallen was satu-
rated with blood. They tore my clothing into strips,
cut off some of my hair, and trampled them into the
pool of blood. I saw and knew that it was done to
make it appear that I had been torn to pieces by wild
"But, Nellie, we overhauled that band of Indians the
next day, and you were not to be found among them."
"Yes," she replied, "but the band separated, part
going by another way and taking me along. I think
that it was done to get their white pursuers off the
track, for the two divisions afterwards came together.
"We travelled several days, finally camping upon
the shore of the lake, where we remained three or
four months, then crossed in canoes to the islands,
where they have kept me ever since,"
"I tried to escape, but found it impossible, so
closely watched was I.
"An old squaw took charge of me, and I grew
to regard her as a friend and protector. But the
chief of the band wished me to marry his son Che-
wipsa, a young warrior. I refused and Chewipsa
went away to fight the pale faces, but they made me
understand that when he returned, I was to be forced
into marriage with him. The time had come for his
return, and I cried and prayed every day that 1 might
be delivered from such a fate.
"One night 1 dreamed that I saw you on board a
A STOR V OF THE BA TTLE OF LAKE ERIE. 67
vessel bound up the lake. The next day a fleet bear-
ing the American colors put into the bay. I tried to
escape to those vessels, but my captors secreted
themselves and me in a large cave, near the place
where you found me — the entrance being concealed so
as not to be easily discovered.
"One day there was heavy firing and I knew that
a battle was being fought on the lake. We remained
several days in the cave, and when we came out the
vessels were gone."
Arthur in turn related his story, to which Nellie
listened with a look of wonder.
"Now you will not think it strange that I should
have regarded you as a visitor from another world
when I met you in the woods," he added after the nar-
"And, Nellie, i should never have known the joy
which I now po::sess, deep and unbounded, if I had not
"The same Providence that preserved my life, the
life that I fain would have cast away as broken and
useless, has brought us together, Nellie."
Thus speaking, a silent prayer of thankfulness
went upwards from the two united hearts to the great
Father of Mysteries.
But little more remains to be told. Arthur Holmes
and Nellie Wilder returned to their respective places
of abode, and with the dawn of national peace and
prosperity which followed Perry's victory on Lake
Erie, they were sealed in a solemn compact of love
and faith which through the sunshine and shadow of
their subsequent lives remained unbroken.
A NOTABLE CONSPIRACY.
Capture of the Steamers Philo Parsons and Island Queen.
Lying as they do on the boundary Hne of two
countries, the Lake Erie islands are destined to figure
conspicuously on the page of future history, and in
time may rival in tales of war and romance the cas-
tled and fortressed shores of Germany's famed Rhine
river and other renowned frontiers of countries and
kingdoms. In the event of war with Great Britain
these islands would fall an easy prey to British and Can-
adian cruisers, and would also afford convenient skulking
places for spies and plotters. Already have they be-
come historic, not only as the scene of Perry's victory
in I Si 3, but also as the hatching ground of plots and
conspiracies during the war of the rebellion.
Old residents of Put-in-Bay and neighboring' isles
still take interest in an occasional review of remin-
iscences connected with the notable conspiracy of John
Yates Beale and his abettors in 1864, the object of
w^hich was the liberation of rebel officers — -3,000 in
number — confined as prisoners on Johnson's Island;
the rading and capture of Sandusky and other lake
towns, and the devastation of Northern Ohio by armed
Confederates and their allies.- The plot, its attemped
fulfillment, its timely discovery and subsequent failure,
A NOTABLE COXSPIRACY. 69
are facts of historic record, a reiteration of which is
not the object of the following narration, excepting so
far as concerns their bearing on local incidents and
reminiscence. From a local point of view, therefore,
the event will here be considered, thus perhaps bring-
ing to light matter of interest which has escaped the
general delineator of history.
Very quiet for a summer resort was Put-in-Bay at
the time of which we write — a fact due in part to the
lateness of the season and consequent withdrawal of
summer guests, and partly to a deficit in the island's
male population occasioned by the absence of a large
proportion of able-bodied men, then doing duty in the
ranks of the Union army on Southern soil.
September 19th, 1864, dawned serenely over
stretches of purpling vineyard and orchards full
fruited. Old men and boys, women and children were
early at their work gathering the luscious clusters and
heaping the measure with orchard fruits.
The morning steamer cleared from the wharves on
her usual daily trip to Sandusky, and no suspicion of
brooding danger threatening the peace of island homes
or that of the nation entered the minds of island
dwellers. True, there had been reported among
visitors to the place, a few days before, individuals
who had acted strangely and said some queer things
concerning the war, its prospects and the relations of
North and South, hinting darkly of what 'might'
happen. These individuals were spotted as 'rebel
sympathizers,' if not as genuine rebels. No special
importance was attached to the circumstance of their
presence on the island, however, until afterwards.
70 A NOTABLE CONSPIRACY.
Late in the afternoon of the day above specified,
the steamer Phiio Parsons, of the Detroit, Island &
Sandusky hne, landed at Wehrle's dock. Middle
Bass, distant a mile or so from the "Bay." At the
latter place the usual crowd of interested parties and
dock loungers awaited the steamer's arrival, but as
she showed no signs of putting off from Middle Bass
some debate as to the .cause of her detention was ex-
cited. A little later the steamer Island Queen, which
had left Put-in-Bay in the morning, was seen thread-
ing her way through the channel to Wehrle's, and
soon the two steamers lay side by side.
Darkness fell and the crowd on the docks at Put-
in-Bay increased. Both the Philo Parsons and Island
Queen were expected to touch, one on her way to De-
troit, the other bound for Toledo. Both were long
overdue. No telephone or telegraph cable connected
the islands as now, and no messages could be ex-
changed. It was proposed to send a boat across with
a committee of investigation, but nobody volunteered
to go. Some were awaiting expected friends, others
the evening mail or parcels from the city. Weary of
delay, the less curious and anxious of the crowd
finally dispersed to their homes and turned in for the
night. Scarcely had they closed their eyes in slumber,
however, when each in turn was startled by a
thundering knock at his door.
To the query: "Who's there, and what's
wanted?" came the astounding reply:
"Get up ! The steamers Island Queen and Philo
Parsons are in the hands of the rebels ! Secrete your
money and valuables, and if you have any fire arms
A NOTABLE CONSPIRACY. 71
or ammunition in the house, get them together and
hurry to the Bay."
From house to house swiftly sped the messenger,
and silently stealing through the night from every part of
the island flitting shadows might have been seen of
men and often of women and children with frightened
faces all hurrying toward the bay center. The news
which had thus aroused the island from center to cir-
cumference was communicated by Capt. George
Magle, a passenger of the Island Queen, who, under
cover of darkness had crossed from Middle Bass.
Capt. Magle stated that a large force of men, armed
to the teeth, had taken possession of both steamers,
and that the officers, crew and passengers were held
as prisoners, though the latter were finally allowed to
go ashore at Middle Bass, after a promise had been
exacted from each to divulge nothing concerning the
occurrence for twenty-four hours — a promise which
in numerous instances was quickly broken.
Certain of the passengers had gathered from
words let fall by the conspirators, that their object
was th^ capture of the United States gunboat Mich-
igan, then lying in Sandusky Bay, and the liberation
of the prisoners on Johnson's Island. These move-
ments, together with the uncertainty of their results,
filled with foreboding the minds of island dwellers.
By comxon impulse, people gathered to the Bay from
Middle Bass and Isle St. George, and excitement
knew no bounds.
A military company was hastily organized, and
Capt. John Brown, jr., son of old John Brown, of Har-
per's Ferry fame, who resided on the island, was chosen
A NOTABLE CONSPIRACY.
its commander, and every available man was enrolled
withm its ranks. The members of this brigade were
variously a c c o u-
in his own right
quite an arsenal of
weapons, some of
which had been
used by his father
and other members
of the Brown fam-
ily in their raids
These were dis-
the men, together
with a nondescript
U, S. GUNBOAT MICHIGAN. Geo. Kerry. Springtield riflcS,
shot guns, revolvers and horse pistols.
The old "Perry victory" cannon — which ever
since the war of 1812 had kept watch and ward over
the island — was wheeled into position, commanding
the wharves and heavily charged with powder, gravel
and old iron.
Meantime wagons were driving about like "Jehu,"
conveying goods from stores and private dwellings to
the thick woodlands of the west shore, where they
were secreted. Old stumps and hollow logs were
A NOTABLE CONSPIRACY. 73
Utilized as banks of deposit for money, jewels and val-
uables of all sorts, while the numerous caves which
perforate the island's sub-strata of limestone afforded
refuge for the weak-kneed and faint of heart. Into
these retreats, it is said, crowded the "Copperheads"
as the southern sympathizers were then called — and
so demoralized with fright were thev, it is averred,
that they did not emerge for three days.
To the inhabitants of Put-in-Bay the night which
followed the first news of the plot was fraught with
all the tragedy of war. The air was filled with flying
and exaggerated rumors; the suspense was painful;
women grew nervous with apprehension and no
thought of sleep was entertained.
As soon as practicable, news of the capture was
sent to the commanding officer of the guard on John-
son's island — a deputation selected for the purpose
bearing the message and proceeding by boat across to
the peninsula, and thence to the island lying just be-
yond in Sandusky Bay.
During the time that Put-in-Bay was under arms,
two alarms were reported. The first occurred at the
old "South dock." In the distribution of guards, two
men had been picketed at that place. One was armed
with a rifle, the other brandished an old musket. The
men had been lying under a tree, when they per-
ceived a squad of men approaching. One of the
guards grew alarmed and wanted to run, but was
rallied by his comrade. Together they faced the
marauders, and in true military style demanded the
countersign. The strangers couldn't give the coun-
tersign, but the spokesman of the party reported as
74 A NOTABLE CONSPIRACY.
captain of a small trading vessel anchored off shore,
accompanied by his crew, and the new-comers were
allowed to pass without molestation.
The second alarm occurred in the early dawn of
morning, when a vessel entered the bay and cast
anchor under the shadow of Gibraltar Island. Imagi-
nation had played wild pranks during the night, and
become highly wrought. By its aid in the dim, uncer-
tain light, the strange craft was readily resolved into a
piratical cruiser upon evil intent. The shore battery
was brought to bear upon her, and other pieparations
made for a gallant defense. The guards felt shaky,
but anxious to ascertain the intruder's designs, a i^oat
was manned and sent out to hail her. The first coun-
tenance that appeared over the "cruiser's" railing as
they approached was that of a well known sailor and
fisherman — Meachem by name — a resident of the is-
land. By this sign they knew that their fears were
groundless, and that the vessel was an unoffending fre-
quenter of the island waters.
With the approach of day, all eyes were turned
expectantly in the direction of Johnson's Island and
Sandusky, and at 6 a. m. a report gained circulation
that during the night the steamer Parsons had been
sighted heading for the Detroit river; and from the
way that her chimneys threw smoke it was evident
that steam was being crowded. From this circum-
stance the islanders judged that the plot had failed, and
the conspirators were trying to make good their escape.
The island military now grew very brave, and dis-
banding, went home to breakfast, which was dis-
patched with a relish. Later in the day a tug arrived
A NOTABLE CONSPIRACY. 75
from Sandusky, bringing definite news of the plot and
its failure, and bearing dispatches stating that the
officers of the Island Queen, who had been carried
away as prisoners on the Parsons, were safe landed
and on their way home.
Concerning the capture of the boats, Capt, Geo. W.
Orr, master of the Island Queen, tells an interesting
story. Captain Orr is now a man of about eighty
years, though apparently younger, and still exhibits
the fire and energy which characterized his spirited re-
sistance of his captors, to whom at the muzzle of a
revolver he was forced to yield. Captain Orr is a
summer resident of Put-in-Bay at the present time,
owning and occupying with his family a pretty cottage
environed with shrubbery, orchard and vineyard.
Following is his account, as furnished the writer :
"I had no personal knowledge of the capture of the
steamer Philo Parsons by the same men a few hours
before the taking of the Queen, but according to the
statement made me by Captain Atwood, master of the
Parsons, the latter left Detroit on the morning of
September 19th. On her way down she stopped at
Sandwich, on the Canadian side, when some ten or
twelve men got on board as passengers for Sandusky.
Leaving there she touched at Amherstburg on the
same side, and there twelve or fifteen more men got on
board, also as passengers for Sandusky. Amongst the
baggage here taken on was a large, old fashioned
trunk covered with sole leather, which afterwards
proved to contain a quantity of revolvers, hatchets,
pistols and bowie knives. Leaving Amherstburg the
steamer came direct to Put-in-Bay, then to Middle
76 A NOTABLE CONSPIRACY.
Bass, where Captain Atwood got off, leaving the boat
in charge of the mate, his son-in-law. Continuing the
trip to Sandusky, the Parsons stopped at Kelley's
Island. Leaving Kelley's she had got about three-
fourths of the distance between that place and Cedar
Point when the men who came as passengers from
Canada opened the leather trunk and arming them-
selves at once took possession of the steamer, made
prisoners of the crew, and compelled them to navigate
the boat as their captors directed. Under their orders
the Parsons passed into Sandusky bay a little beyond
Cedar Point to where a fair view could be had of
Johnson's Island. A short stoppage was made, then
without proceeding further, for some reason, they put
about, and returned to Middle Bass. Before reaching
there they threw overboard several tons of pig iron
which had been consigned to Sandusky. At Middle
Bass, when wooding, the steamer Island Queen came
alongside on her way from Sandusky to Put-in-Bay
and Toledo. Forty or fifty soldiers— loo day men —
who were going to Toledo to be mustered out, were
on board the Queen, together with a large number of
island people, making nearly lOO passengers. Here
the Queen was taken possession of by the armed con-
spirators, who leaped aboard from the Parson's upper
decks. The men comprising crew and passengers of
the Queen were compelled to go into the Parson's
hold, while the ladies and children were all ordered
into her upper cabins.
Engineer Henry Haines was ordered out of the
engine room, and told that if he did not come they
would shoot him. He refused and they shot him in
A NOTABLE CONSPIRACY. 77
the face, causing a flesh wound and filling his face with
A few minutes later I was ordered up from the
hold and taken on board the Queen, where the leader
of the gang demanded the boat's papers.
'Whom am I giving them to?" I enquired.
"I am Lieutenant Beale of the Confederate Navy."
"What do you want with the papers.'^"
"We want to send them as trophies to Jeff Davis."
"You can't run the boat without the papers," I
"The boat isn't going to run much longer," was
"I told him that the papers were in the office,
which, when we reached, we found had been broken
open, the papers scattered about the floor and the
money drawer rifled."
"I asked him what he was going to do with the
women and children who were up in the Parsons
cabin. He said that they would be put ashore on
Middle Bass, and that he should require of them an
obligation not to divulge an3'thing in regard to the
matter for twenty-four hours. I told him that I had
three children in the cabin, that I knew most of the
others, and would like to go up and see them, and he
went with me. ,
" He then placed the clerk, William Hamilton, En-
gineer Haines and myself under guard, and calling
together all the prisoners, made them promise to say
nothing of the affair until after the time specified. I
wanted to go ashore with the others, but the guard
would not let me off.
78 A NOTABLE CONSPIRACY.
" The leader then ordered the Parsons to get under
way the Queen lashed to her side. When about half
a mile southeast of Ballast island the boats came to a
stop. Lieut. Beale thin ordered the Queen's yawl-
boat lowered and taken in charge of the Parsons; this
done, he ordered the former scuttled.
"I askt'd permission to go and get the Queen's '
books, as they would be of use to the owners.
" 'The books are all right where they are,' was the
"'They are going to destroy the boat,' 1 insisted
" 'I guess not,' answered the guard.
'•'•h. man then came up out of the hold and said that
he had cut the steamtr's feed pipe, and that the water
was coming in fast. Then the} cast off her lines and
let her go adrift in the darkness, and the Parsons was
headed for Sandusky. When within a mile of the
outside channel buoy, at the mouth of the bay, we
hove to. I was called out of the cabin, and Lieut.
Beale asked me whether I had heard of any report
that a raid from Canada was going to be made on
Johnson's Island. I told him I had not.
"It was then about lo p. m. The U. S. gunboat
Michigan lay off Johnson's Island, her black hull gloom-
ing through the night. The plotters were awaiting
signals evidently which failed to appear. Three or
four of the leaders went aside and held a consultation,
and I overheard Lieut. Beale say to the men :
" 'I have a notion to make the attempt, anyhow.'
"They waited about a half an hour longer, and
then headed back up the lake, and the Parsons was
put under crowded steam. There were lots of old
A NOTABLE COASPIRACV.
coal oil barrels aboard, and the boiler was kept in a
tremendous heat. The first halt was made in the
Detroit river just above Amherstburg; off that place
a number of men got into the Queen's yawl and went
ashore. The next stop was made about daylight at
"Fighting Island," a marshy strip of land about four
or five miles long, uninhabited at the time. There they
put us asho.e.
STEAMER ISLAND QUEEN.
"I told them we had rather be landed on the main
shore. They said they had rather we wouldn't."
"Leaving us, they continued on up the river to
Sandwich, where, after removing the piano and other
valuables, the Parsons was set adrift, but was afterward
picked up by a lug. The raiders then scattered into
Canada as fast as possible.
"Hamilton, Haines, and myself remained on Fight-
ing Island about two hours, when a fisherman passed
80 A NOTABLE CONSPIRACY.
in a boat. We signaled him in, and got him to set us
across upon the American side, where we took the cars
for Sandusky, going by the way of Monroeville, at
which place I learned on arriving thct the Island Queen
had grounded upon 'Chickanola reef.' I at once tele-
graphed to Detroit for a tug and steam pump,
"When we reached Sandusky, we found the place
wild with excitement. While waiting there, I had a
plug made three feet long, four inches in diameter, and
tapering to a point. Next morning we boarded the
tug Louise and started for 'Chickanola' reef, where we
found the Queen sunk in abut ten feet of water, which
just covered her lower decks. Had the steamer gone
down in deep water her whereabouts would never
have been known. The tug and pump arrived from
Detroit, and at once they began to lower the water.
When loA^ enough so that I could get under the deck,
I went with the .plug — knowing just where to find the
pipe — and driving it in, stopped the leak. After that
we soon had her pumped out and towed to Kelley
Island, and none too soon, for in an hour after reach-
ing there it began blowing a living gale from the
As described by Capt. Orr, John Yates Beale —
who was afterward captured at Toronto, sentenced
and shot as a spy on Governor's Island, New York —
was a youth of courageous and courteous bearing,
aged at the time of his execution twenty-two years.
A piece of paper — accidentally or intentionally drop-
ped — containing plans of the conspirators, putting on
their guard the officers of the gunboat Michigan and
the guards at Johnson's Island, were the agencies, it
CAPT GEO. W. ORR, of Steamer Island Queen.
A NOTABLE CONSPIRACY.
is said, which arrested in its incipient stages and
frustrated one of the deepest-laid plots of the civil
war — a plot, the success of which would undoubt-
edly have caused devastation to Northern homes, and
turned perhaps the chances of war in favor of the
Among Island Resorts. •
Photo hy Geo. Kerry.
As viewed during the guest and excursion season,
a livelier place would be hard to find than the little
center locally and generally known as the " Bay,"
which, notwithstanding its original incorporation as
"Put-in-Bay village," is never so called excepting in
connection with matters legal or municipal.
At the " Bay," on almost any day of the seven,
are vividly presented panoramic views of life as it ap-
pears at a summer resort — interesting alike to lovers
of gaiety, to sight-seekers, to observers of fashion's
fads, and to philosophical students of human nature.
A BIRDSEYE VIEW.
The simultaneous arrival from the big cities of the
large excursion steamers, representing the D. & C.
and C. & B. lines, furnishes occasion for an animated
scene. The gigantic black hulls of each, from lower
to hurricane decks, swarm with passengers, and the
mingling streams of humanity w hich pour upon the piers
EXCURSiONISTS DEPARTING. Photo ly Geo. Kerry.
from respective cities, the waiting throng of interested
spectators, the flutter of flags and handkerchiefs, the
flash of bright badges and gilded uniforms, the shouts
and hurrahs, mingled with the vociferations of hotel
criers, seen and heard amidst a flourish of whistles,
bursts of band music, and pouring clouds of smoke
from the great steamers, combine to form a Bedlamic,
yet inspiriting spectacle. The onsurging crowds set
the observer thinking, and Tennyson's "Brook" and
the stream of humanity get confusedly jumbled.
84 SUMMERTIME SAUNTERINGS.
"For men may come, and men may go.
But I go on forever,"
The song sings itself over and over, until you hardly
know whether it is the brook or the people that go on
in such an unetiding babble and rush.
Hailing as do these excursions from various por-
tions of the country, each representative party has its
special characteristics, its peculiarities of dress, man-
ners and general makeup. Cleveland and Detroit
crowds, for instance, bear with them an atmosphere
redolent of teeming streets and busy marts; of dim
courts and gilded palaces. Blank, /-'/('/■5^, individuals;
women with inartistic touches of powder on their
cheeks, and a proclivity for loudness; merchants, office
clerks, and salesmen; mechanics and artisans, and the
representatives of organizations civic, military, social,
and religious, are a part of the big city excursion — for
a glance over the throng reveals unmistakably the half-
concealed secret of individual character, origin, oc-
cupation, and belonging.
In excursions from the extensive farming districts
of Ohio and Michigan figures conspicuously the knight
of the plow and pruning hook. Bronzed hands and a
countenance ruddy and honest are his. Hints of live
stock, of stables and country mud may be gathered
from his appearance. There is a lingering suspicion of
hayseed upon his coat collar, and a suggestion of horse
hair clings to his Kentucky jeans. At his side, in
fluffy lawn and bright-ribboned hat, appears the rustic
belle, with eyes like dew spangles, cheeks that suggest
the pinks and peonies of country gardens, and an
atmosphere about her of shyness and sweet simplicity
born of country seclusion.
SUMMERTIME SAUNTERINGS. 85
Arrivals from the Dominion of her Majesty, Queen
Victoria, across the lake, are occasional. The "Ka-
nucks" have a style of their own. Wliile not exactly
foreign in appearance, their manners and speech are
somewhat Frenchified, and they are generally distin-
guishable from citizens of Uncle Sam's territorial
Excursions from central and southern Ohio, Ken-
tucky and points south arrive via Toledo and Port
Clinton steamers, by the Frank E. Kirby, or by the Ar-
row from Sandusk3\ Figuring distinctively as the
island steamer, the Arrow is an especial favorite. The
islanders particularly dote upon her and with reason,
since she is a model of beauty and strength, and a tri-
umph of marine architecture. She is built for speed,
and glides with yacht-like grace. Her cabins are
finished in mahogany, artistically decorated with paint-
ings, frescoes and gildings, and luxuriously furnished.
The steamer Kirby, known
as "the flyer of the lakes,"
operating on the Detroit, Isl-
and and Sandusky line, is
also magnificently appointed,
and is highly favored of the
island people and traveling
public generally. Her fleet-
ness makes her true to the
popular title the public has
Whether as season guests
or as sojourners for a wt-ek,
or only for a da}', summer
visitors all come for pleasure,
and many are fortunate in
finding this widely sought
treasure. The observer
nevertheless wonders wheth-
er all the apparent mirth and
gaiety are real, or only as-
sumed for the purpose of dis-
guising inward grief and
On a corner poses a sad-faced man. Above him a
suspended card bears the words: "Who will help the
blind ?" He has manipulated the keys of an accordeon
until tired of his own melodies, and now listens atten-
tively to other sounds which tell of a busy world that
he cannot see, while with head inclined he analyzes
them as they strike his ear — the hearty guffaw, the
gay repartee, the rumble of passing hacks, and the
STEAMER FRANK E. KIRBY-
buzz of the "merry-go-round." A lady bends over
him with a kindly word. A pleased expression illu-
mines the blind man's countenance, and we wonder
that anything so akin to light as a smile could animate
a gloom so settled. The lady drops into his hand a
dime, and receives a little yellow book, entitled "The
Blind Man's Robbery," detailing some adventures of
"TO THE CAVE.'
the vender's life. Even here among the pleasure
seekers we find them — '-the lame, the halt, and the
blind." The}' give no sign, but as they pass you can
read their unspoken history.
Along the crowded thoroughfares, and among
groups of park picnickers, an Italian laden with toy
balloons and brilliant-dyed Pampas plumes hawks his
wares, and a Jap, esconsed with Oriental merchandise
in a wav-side booth attracts a share of attention.
88 SUMMERTIME SAUNTERINGS.
The man with the camera presides in his tented
studio and smiles a welcome upon the spoony young
couples and newly made mashes that wait upon him,
eager to be tin-typed together. In response to "a
nickel in the slot," Edison's automatic phonograph
reels off some touching performances. Nor is there
lacking the professor of ps3'chological mysteries who
for a consideration lifts the veil of futurity and reveals
to anticipative youth approaching successes in love and
matrimony. Rows of wry-faced rag babies wait to be
knocked from their perches by successful cracksmen;
and the "wild man of Borneo" sits grinning in his
To the museum threads a numerous crowd, some to
see the large and diversified collection there displayed,
others to sample the "bottled goods" on exhibit.
Curio lovers experience also a drawing toward the
out-of-door novelty stands laden with exquisitely tinted
shells and corals, island specimens, birchen canoes
and articles of Indian manufacture, together with
glass and chinaware, artistically decorated with pic-
tured scenes from Perry's victor}-. Souvenirs and
novel bric-a-brac, such as toy alligators carven from
alligator's teeth, shell necklaces and brooches of agate,
moonstone, "catseye" pearl and scarlet sea beans.
Delicate fancies and pretty trifles of every description
are here seen, and any desired novelty may be pro-
cured, from a wire and worsted rooster, all complete
except the crow, to a patent squawker. Street-side
soda fountains beguile and ice creams and lemonades
are plentiful. Stands freighted with ham and cheese
sandwiches, fresh pastry and confections, offer seduc-
SUMMERTIME SAUNTERINGS. 89
tive delights, and the Bay restaurants are crowded oft
to an overflow by hungry excursionists.
The attractive grounds and breezy verandahs of
the Beebe House, Put-in-Bay and other hotels are filled
with guests, and strolling about the grove and along
the shore, drifting idly in gayly decked pleasure boats^
lingering over wine and card tables, one may see the
VIEW ON THE ELECTRIC ROAD.
votaries of pleasure flitting about like bevies of summer
butterflies. Yachting, camping and canoeing suits of
taking designs appear on the promenades and filmy
laces float by, with jewel flashes and a shimmer
of satin. Glimpses of rose and violet, embroideries of
gold and tracings of silver appear and disappear like
visions of fairy land.
Flirting is freely indulged and mashers of both sexes
go about seeking whom they may entangle. Hotel
orchestras fill the air with music and waltzers gather
90 SUMMERTIME SAUNTERINGS.
in hotel parlors or on open air platforms to join in the
A ride over the electric railway to Victory Park
and a visit to Hotel Victory on the west shore, are
treats which no excursionist can afford to lose, even
though his stay on the island be limited to two or three
hours, and the cars going thither are frequently over-
crowded. Midway on the electric line in the edge of
a little grove where the cars pass each other, is located
a little station house at which passengers for "Perry's
Cave" alight. Perry's Cave is the property of Geo.
E. Gascoyne. As a natural curiosity it is widely
famed, and is annually visited by thousands of people.
"Crystal Cave" recently opened is also attracting much
Ferry line steamers connecting hourly with the
Middle Bass club house and grounds, "Wehrle's
Landing," and Ballast Island afford opportunities for
delightful excursions. A trip to Kelley's Island, clas-
sic Lakeside or a yachting cruise to the "Hen and
Chickens," the "Sisters," or to other outlying islands
of the archipellachian group — when the day is fav-
orable and the breeze propitious — are experiences
fraught with pleasurable adventure.
Visits to the United States Fish^ Hatchery on
"Peach" Point, and to the governrAent lighthouse
station on "Parker's Point" are included among island
On afternoons when the mercury crowds close
upon 90 and the air quivers with heat, the bathing
beach affords a larger amount of live amusement,
probably, than any other specialty. Heading toward
PUT-IN-BAY LIGHT HOUSE.
this Mecca of aqueous delights on such afternoons,
may be observed a gay procession formed of hotel
guests and excursionists. In the throng appear coupled
youths and maidens, buxom matrons and pater families
of portly presence. There are romping misses and
children with sand pails and carriages; pugs with the
most approved wrinkle of nose and curl of tail, and
canine pets of every degree, silver collared and
The bathing beach is a semi-circle of sand, bor-
dered with clumps of willow and basswood. Its wide
SUMMERTIME SA UNTERINGS.
reaches are strewn with wreckaoe and afford a lovely
outlook toward Kelley island and the peninsula.
Two rival bathing establishments are here located.
The situations of both are delightfully cool and
breezy. Tree-sheltered porches and platforms are
1 amused specta-
tors, while the
water is full of
m e r ni e n a n k\
maids in pictui-
the steam t o
boggan are im-
juncts. Watching the antics of bathers forms a diver-
sion of which the spectator seldom tires. Swimming,
splashing and plunging are indulged, and screams and
laughter alternate, when a spanking breeze sends
tumbling ashore line after line of breakers.
Flirtations are carried on as successfully in the
water as upon land. Flirting is possible even on the
toboggan slide where patrons must hold their breath
to prevent losing it altogether. Descending with its
passengers, the toboggan increases in speed until
striking the water it rebounds, and leaping three or
d 1 VI n \i *J: ,
SCENESON THE BATHING BEACH.
PUT-INBAY DOCKS JN OTHER DAYS.
THE BATHING BEACH.
SUMMERTIME SA UNTERTNGS.
four times its length again strikes and glides away
amid spray showers, to stop when its momentum is
On the beach from time to time are seen many
well known and popular society women of our lake
and inland cities. Most of these fair patrons provide
pretty and expensive bathing suits of their own, and
wear them as gracefully as nymphs.
Such, in sunny summer time, is life at gay, giddy
BIRD'S-E.YE VIEW OF HOTEL VICTORY.
A famed attraction of Put-in-Bay, toward which
visitors from all portions of the United States turn at-
tention, is Hotel Victory; and in contemplation ol this
architectural marvel — its size, design and magnificence
— are they lost in wonder.
The hotel, which is said to be the largest summer
hostelry in America, occupies the highest site of land
on the island overlooking Victory park and the
waters of Victory bay and commanding a scene of un-
The main building is in the form of a square and is 600
feet long, by 300 feet deep; the main portion surround-
ing a court 300 feet square.
On one side forming a wing and connected with
the main building by a lobby are the main dining hall,
HOTEL VICTORY. 95
ordinary and kitchen, and back of these the servant's
The main dining hall is 155 feet long, 85 feet wide
and 52 feet high, wide galleries encompassing the
The ordinary is 50x100 feet, and the combined
dining capacity, including private banqueting halls and
D'STANT VIEW OF TH1 VICTORY-
children's and nurses' dining hall, is 1,200 guests at
one sitting. The guest chambers are 625 in number,
large, light, airy and elegantly furnished, including 80
suites with baths. Every room fronts upon some
lake view or toward the interior court, rendered
charming with luxurious floral adornment, gravelled
walks and other attractions.
There are three elevators, bell boy stations on
every floor, electric call bells, 6,000 incandescent elec-
96 HOTEL VICTORY.
trie lights, steam heating throughout the entire struc-
ture, and the most modern ec[uipped hotel kitchen, it is
said, in the world.
A ramble through the big hotel is almost equal to
that taken throuefh a small town
FOX'S DOCK — Landing of D. & C. Steanners and Steamer Metropolis.
Luxurious appointments are everywhere seen.
The parlors of the Victory are numerous. Showing
varied styles of furniture and embellishment, each a
model of elegance, comfort and luxury. Especially rich
in upholstering are the ladies' grand parlors.
The office, halls, lobbies and corridors are corres-
pondingly magnificent, and in extent the place seems
interminable, the combined lengtii of the corridors
alone being one mile, all handsomely carpeted.
The main lobby — having a seating capacity of
i,ooo persons —is a favored resort for hotel visitors.
Here the orchestra daily and nightly assembles, and
HOTEL VICTORY. 97
music, mirth and festivity rule the hour. However,
it is in the great ball room — by myriads of electric
lights arcaded, and rendered brilliant as noonday — that
representatives of social gaieties are more frequently
found, joining in the grand promenade and mazy
Others, again, seek the grand piazza, which extends
the whole length of the main structure, where by day,
or at night when illumined with electricity, is found a
breezy and most delightful place in which to doze and
dream, or to hold social converse. From this outlook
is afforded a scene upon which the eye may linger
long without becoming weary, so charmingly pic-
turesque, so restful and delightful, its environments.
The grounds adjoining the hotel form a landscape
garden which nature and art combine to beautify. Pro-
fuse but tasteful and exquisite floral decorations appear.
Foliage plants and blooms of torrid richness blend
with paler hues; while climbing the white walls and
stone-pillared steps, masses of maderia, morning glory,
nasturtium and woodbine spread a mantle of blossom-
starred greenery. Care is taken to preserve natural
effects, and in the park, consisting of twenty-one acres,
extending to and along the shores of Victory bay,
revels a profusion of flowers, both wild and cultivated.
A rustic bridge of artistic design spans the park
ravine; rough ledges of lime rock outcrop, and hollow
stumps form receptacles for tender, blossoming plants
and vines. An electric fountain sends aloft its jetting
spray, and a cascaded board walk descends by gentle
slope to the shore five hundred feet distant.
The greatest charm of the park is its freedom, for
HOTEL VICTORY .
the shore upon which it opens is as picturesque as ever
conspired to woo the lover of Nature. Masses of beet-
hng rock, of rock cleft and riven as by volcanic action,
gird its broken line, while in the caverns indenting their
MERMAID'S CAVE, VICTORY PARK.
base echoes the sound of waves. As if to screen their
roughness, vines and mosses cover and shrubber}' and
cedar clumps edge and overdroop them.
Boat and bathing houses occupy an eligible site,
commanding a bet:ch of smooth sand reached by a
flight of steps. All the facilities for bathing are here
afforded. In addition to these, a newly constructed
Natatorium, or swimming pool, with canopied cover-
ing, wide platform, and comfortable seats for specta-
tors, is afforded. The place is lighted at night by
The hotel is connected with the bay and boat land-
ings by the Put-in-Bay Electric Railway.
such as envi-
rons the archi-
ers life under
can vas half
romance — so
say the many
who have test-
ed this happy-
go-lucky mode of existence and know its charms.
When vineyard and orchard lands are thrifty with
tender foliage and fair with promise, and every shore
stretch and creviced rock is exhuberant with wild
vegetation; then, too, the deep, cool shadow of grove
and forest belt invite the summer nomad, and tent and
pavilion whitens among the trees.
Reclining in a luxurious hammock among the
wood's arcaded aisles, gazing dreamily upward through
its green net work into ethereal depths, watching airy
cloud temples and palaces adrift, or the shifting sails of
vessels afar on the blue lake; listening to the notes of
birds, the chirp of crickets, the subdued splash of waves ;
TENT LIFE. 101
feeling the zephyr's breath soft upon the cheek, tis
heaven to swing and doze.
There is lots of romance, too, in a camp by moon-
light when a soft splendor bathes lake and land, and
silver pencils penetrate the dim forest. From out the
twinkling firmament the gazer may then single his star
of destiny, and the vocalist afloat upon the waters
pour forth his soul to the click of row-locks. All
this the average camper duly assimilates.
Life in camp brings the individual into close com-
munion with nature, enlarges his ideas and makes him
healthy and happy. Bugs, ants, spiders and ]une flies
dismay him not, and when fairly rilled up on poetry
and romance he may have recourse to other amuse-
ments, such as rowing, wrestling, bathing, foot-balling,
love-making and yarn spinning. That the crew of
every pas.sing craft may know how extravagantly
happy he feels, the summer nomad explodes, by way of
salutation, gun powder and torpedoes in endless quan-
tities, and ehouts himself hoarse, forcibly expressing
thereby his irrepressible jollity.
The denizens of summer camps hail mainly from
lake and inland town and city, and the change from
interminable walls and crowded streets with their in-
evitable heat, dust, dirt an.l discomfort, to the breezy
haunts of island shores is novel.
The first installment of campers puts in an appear-
ance about the latter part of June, others coming and
going from this date until the first of September.
Representing all classes, they arrive in parties of all
sizes. Romantic young couples sighing for "a lodge in
some vast wilderness," spend the honeymoon in tented
102 TENT LIFE.
seclusion, and family parties are common. Cliques of
college students, sporting clubs, social clubs and clubs
of divers sorts variously costumed and equipped are
numerous, and military organizations occasional. Each
encampment is rendered conspicuous by flag and other
diicorations, and to each is attached some strikingly
novel or romantically suggestive name usually blazoned
in black letters on a strip of white canvas stretched
from tree to tree. Exceedingly picturesque are the
scenes sketched from life in the woods. That it is not all
poetry and romance, however, and that its experiences
are not all of a dreamy, indolent nature, is frequently
demonstrated; the term "roughing it," having oftimes
a literal and unwonted signification.
"Taking it all through, you have a good deal to
contend with?" was asked of a tent dweller.
"Oh, yes indeed," he replied wearily, "We have
our ups and downs of course. For instance, last night
after we had got nicely settled in our straw mattress
beds, the rain was pattering soft upon the canvas roof
and we were just going off on an excursion to the poetic
nooks and crannies of Dreamland, when zip! down
came the tent, collapsed you know quicker'n a man
could say Jack Robinson, and there it lay fiat as a pan-
cake with us squirming under it, and the rain a pour-
ing. The worst feature of the whole business, though,
was the laughter that greeted us from the boys in an
adjoining tent, but that serves to illustrate the cruelty
of human nature and the readiness of its representatives
to laugh at misfortune."
"A speedy retribution awaited the game makers,
however, for the roars of merriment to which they
TENT LIFE. 103
gave utterance had not yet subsided, when down came
their tent amid the rain and darkness. Suppressed
groans were heard beneath the writhing heap of can-
vas, but we felt that for us the tables had turned and
naturally looked upon the last collapse as a just judg-
ment sent upon the unregenerate doers.
Investigations were continued in another direction,
"How do you make out in the culinary department ?
Suppose you are all good cooks?"
"Well, I don't know," he replied, slowly. "I sup-
pose there are just as good cooks to be found. The
fact is, we never have had very extensive experience in
"You ought to have a cook book."
"Oh, we liave a cook book and medical adviser
combined; but somehow we get Jenny Lind's cream
cake and Victoria fritters all mixed up with catarrh
remedies and rheumatic balsams. I don't see how
it is, but I believe that a woman can conjure from
her head in half an hour a better meal than we can
study out of a cook book in a week. We don't have
our meals regularly," he continued, plaintively, "be-
cause we can never decide who is to cook them. We
get up at 7 o'clock with sharp appetites, expecting to
sit down to a breakfast of French rolls, fricandelles
and omelet soiiffle, but instead we have to hold a council
of war to decide who is to be the projector of the enter-
prise. Every fellow wants his breakfast, but none of
'em wants to cook it. As a result, we don't get ready
to serve up till about 1 1 :3o, and that makes a late din-
ner, you know ; and then sometimes we don't get any
supper till the next day."
104 TENT LIFE.
Initiation to camp life is frequently made interesting
by the elements which arise to welcome the novice,
summoning for this occasion the whole fantastic band
of buglers, harpists and pipers at command; yEolius
and Boreas leading, with prelude and plaint, whoop and
howl, an extravaganza the weirdest and most magnifi-
cent in all Nature's collection.
On one occasion the arrival of a veteran military
organization at "Gamp Bowler," on East Point, was
thus notably greeted. All the tents having been staked
in position by an advance guard, the main body reached
the grounds just in time to render themselves "useful,
as well as ornamental," in holding them down. The
wind howled, trees were twisted into hard knots, spray
spouted up the rocks, and tent canvas flapped like the
sails of a frigate in a 13'phoon. For a time brawn and
muscle prevailed over the elements; then, with a sud-
denness appalling to onlookers, the steel ribs of the
dining hall tent gave way, and the whole concern
snapped togethei' like a rat-trap- Two or three men
narrowly escaped being caught in the wreck; dishes
innumerable were broken, and the quartermaster — so
mad w-as he, it is affirmed, that you could have heard
him swear from Put-in- Bay to Sandusky. The tent
was an elaborate affair, and had kept a dozen men
busy two days putting it up.
While all this was transpiring, old Neptune was
busily engaged in administering rites initiatory to other
members of the camp on their way thither in row
boats. The first boat, containing a party of ladies and
an oarsman, narrowly escaped swamping. They made
land after a hard struggle, but were drenched by rain
TENT LIFE. 105
and driving surf. The wreck of dry goods and milli-
nery was simply awful, and the half- drowned party
presented a pitiable but picturesque appearance. A
second boat went ashore upon the rocks and capsized;
its occupants were picked up, sustaining no damage
beyond a thorough wetting. While the storm was
making things lively at "Camp Bowler," the occupants
of an adjacent encampment were routed. They, too,
had arrived that day, and had just got their tents
fairly anchored when the gale struck, capsized and
tore them from their moorings. Descending floods of
rain quickly submerged the ladies and gentlemen of the
party, together with bedding, provisions and camp
equipment generally. Two immense trees close at
hand were blown down, the air was filled with flying
leaves and limbs, and the terrified party beat a hast}'"
retreat to the nearest house, the hospitalities of which
they were forced to solicit until the following day.
Within the past few years Put-in- Bay and adjacent
isles have formed the scenes of many notable encamp-
ments. Of the numerous military organizations which
have made the former place a rendezvous, the most
brilliant, as well as the largest and most rollicking, was
undoubtedly the First Regiment O. N. G., under com-
mand of Col. W. B. Smith of Cincinnati. From early
morning reveille until cannon thundered forth a parting
salute at sunset, the drum beat and bugle call, the sharp
word of command, the prolonged cheer, and bursts of
music from the grand military band resounded from
shore to shore, filling the day with a continued round
of excitement. The camp was thronged with visitors,
ladies and gentlemen, and the band, containing over
fort}' performers, furnished an abundance of inspiriting
music for the edification of hsteners. The arrival in
the bay of the U. S. gunboat Michigan was honored
by a salute of several guns from the First Regiment
camp and a storm of martial music by the regimental
band. The soldiers and marines and the officers of the
army and navy visited each otlier in camp and on board
CAMP GROUNDS ON THE EAST POINT SHORES.
Fewer in numbers but hardly less brilliant was the
camp of the Duquesne Grays, pitched on the shores of
"East Point," and a pleasant recollection here recalled
was an evening spent at their camp. As our party
approached the grounds, we were greeted by a brilliant
flood of light, which, bursting through the wood, pen-
etrated its dimmest recesses. A massive stand occupy-
ing a central position was encircled by flaming torches,
many more of which, fastened to trees, were inter-
TENT LIFE. 107
spersed through the grove. The tents were lighted
by swinging lamps and chandeliers, and the rays fall-
ing upon gnarly tree trunks, and flashing upward into
the leafy vaults overarching, produced an effect which
was both novel and beautiful. The tent floors were
tastefully carpeted and each was furnished according
to the tastes of the occupants, decorations of flags and
flowers appearing. Near the tent occupied by Col.
Campbell of the Mexican Veterans drooped the torn
and tattered folds of an old standard which had been
carried through the battles of Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo
and on other noted fields at the head of the Colonel's
command. Col. Campbell appeared hale and hearty,
though advanced in years, and on this occasion was
busy receiving and entertaining the man}' visitors who
thronged the camp.
At 8 o'clock the band, consisting of twenty-one
performers, took their positions, and the evening con-
cert began. Visitors to the number of 300 or there-
about crowded around the stand, many selections were
rendered in a brilliant manner, and for an hour the
audience was held under the witching power of music.
When the echoes of the last notes had died away, a
shrill whoop was heard resounding from a remote
part of the forest, it was speedily answered by other
whoops, and a band of Indians appeared leading by
the foretop a white man. They were hideous in war
paint, red blankets, feathers and fantastic ornaments.
"Big Injuns" were the}^ in every sense of the word,
besides whose gigantic proportions the unfortunate
pale face seemed a mere Lilliputian. With guttural
howl and broken jargon the man was lashed to a
108 TENT LIFE.
tree. His face was painted, and a pile of faggots
lighted about him. Midst ascending smoke and the
glare of flames, the savages circled 'round the tree in
a wild war dance, brandishing knives, guns and toma-
hawks. "Buffalo Bill" in bear skin suite, belt and
revolvers figured conspicuously in the scene, and a
rescue party and a horse appearing, the captive was
released and smuggled into the saddle. The horse,
after plunging and kicking at everybody in a manner
most extraordinary, escaped with his rider through
Scalping bees and "neck-tie parties" were amuse-
ments also indulged to th'e delight of spectators.
The Duquesne Greys, or "Pittsburgh Heavy s"
form an old military organization originally named in
honor of Old Fort ])uquesne.
"We're Tenting Tonight On the Old Camp-
Ground" is the song which more than any other finds
an echo in the hearts of comrades of the Seventh O.
V. 1. when gathered around their annual "campfire"
they note the absence of once familiar faces and the
changes which time has wrought; while in stor}^ and
reminiscence they live over again those memorable
events which so closely connect their history with
that of the nation.
"Banner regiment of Ohio," honored alike for past
deeds of heroism, as for the present staunch patriot-
ism and worthy citizenship of its members. For nearly
twenty five years East Point, Pul-in-Bay, has formed
the annual rendezvous of this famous regmient, and
its members entertain a natural and strong attachment
for the old camping ground which has witnessed all
these meetincTs. Its location is most charming. "Far
from the maddening crowd's ignoble strife" — it forms
a secluded retreat where naught is heard but wild
bird notes, and the swash and wear of waves. The
shores are clothed with natural forest, and girt by
picturesque rocks fantasticall}^ carven and covered
BY THE CAMP FIRE
with mosses rare, embroidered by wild blossoms and
festooned with drooping vines and Cedars. Detached
rocks, overhung by native vegetation, form tiny islets
in the blue water, and many other romantic bits of
natural scenery appear. From the camp grounds a
long pier projects into the lake, at which land the
dashing little steamers of the island ferry lines.
110 TENT LIFE.
Few veteran members now are left, but the fam-
ilies and friends of those who have passed away and
of those who survive fill the vacant places at yearly
gatherings, and the organization is commonly known
as the "Seventh Regiment association."
The old battle flags carried by this regiment
throutjrh a blaze of shot and shell at Lookout moun-
tain, at Winchester, at Port Republic and upon many
other noted fields, were formerly exhibited at these
encampments — blackened by smoke and so shredded
as to scarcel}^ bear unrolling. The "white banner" of
sheeny silk, elegantly wrought and bearing upon its
center the words: "First in valor; first in achieve-
ment," is also treasured with the regimental colors.
This trophy was presented the regiment by Ohio
ladies as a mark of highest appreciation for gallant
services rendered during the war. For safe keeping
these flags were recently placed in the rooms of the
Northern Ohio Historical society at Cleveland.
UNDER A STEAMER'S HEADLIGHTS.
Two Silly Girls and Their Adventures.
To begin, I may state incidental!}' tl at I was born
and bred in a section of countr}' ly'"& ^^'*^^^ inland, and
until a few weeks previous to the occurrence which I
am about to relate, had never seen a boat, save the
tiny models in toy shops, nor a body of water bigger
than "Taggart's mill pond." I experienced then a rap-
ture inexpressible when first I sighted Lake Erie, wide
rolling in all the reflected blue and golden glory of
summer skies. And when in amongst the sleeping
islands, emerald dotting her broad bosom, I was borne
and sighted the shifting sails, grey and white, of cruis-
ing vessels, and the pretty painted pleasure craft gently
rocking on the bay, the scene impressed me like a
dream. 1 questioned my reason as to whether the
pictures were real, and wondered whether the "Isles of
Greece," where "burning Sappho loved and sung,"
were lovelier than these. The bulk of my knowledge
concerning great waters had been gleaned from poetry
and fiction and I was proportionately susceptible to
romantic impressions. The depth and mystery of the
blue expanse where it met and blended with the horizon
was to me awe-inspiring, and when the skies darkened
and the waters turned green and black with storm,
and turbulent waves thundered among caverned rocks,
112 UNDER A STEAMER'S HEADLIGHTS.
I was fascinated by the sublimity of a scene so new
I loved, feared and venerated the JVeptune of the
inl'ind seas and felt anxious to be on a friendly footing
with this particular deity, hoping thereby to gain the
freedom of his wide domain. Sailing and rowing
afforded attractions irresistable which I was eager to
enjoy, but was afraid of the water. A thought of its
depth and the thinness of the boat's sides between it
it and me caused a choking sensation in my throat.
With a trusty oarsman 1 felt no especial timidity?
though still there remained an aching void which
could only be filled by a personal and practical knowl-
edge of boats and oars. To obtain complete satisfac-
tion I must learn to row. Once formed, the idea grew
and strengthened, and one afternoon 1 found myself on
a little wharf that projected into the waters of a quiet
cove. The spot was romantic. The surface dimples
were flashing gold and crimson from the westering sun
and the faintest of zephyrs stirred the shore trees.
Moored to the cribbmg was a skiff, blue and white
painted, in which lay a pair of oars.
"Now's your time," something whispered. I obedi-
ently loosened the chain which held it and slipped
down the cribbing into the boat. The water, as seen
by the pebbled bottom, was but two or three feet in
"Should 1 fall in or the boat capsize I can't very
well drown, because there isn't water enough." The
thought gave me courage.
Cautiously adjusting row-locks and oars, I was
soon in the midst of my experiment. I kept the boat
UNDER A STEAMER'S HEADLIGHTS. 113
for a time in water shallow enough to wade, in case of
wreckage. Having studied the movement of oarsmen
I now endeavored to imitate, but sometimes my right
oar struck bottom in a most provoking manner, while
the left barely skimmed the surface, and vice versa.
Still the boat moved and I was exultant, for I could
row. Little or nothing knew I, it is true, abouc feath-
ering, backing and curvetting, and having lived on a
farm, might have turned a two horse wagon in far less
tirre and space than I should have required to turn a
boat; still I got along amazingly — so I thought — diffi-
dence began evaporating and boldness grew apace. I re-
solved to pull into deep water, a daring venture, but the
boat showed no signs of treachery or insubordination.
Confidence in myself, and it became stronger, my
strokes bolder, if not more dextrous, and I ventured
still farther until the boat w^as lifted by the gentle roll
of undulating swells from the westward. How delight-
ful! The motion was like swinging, with space illimit-
able above and below. Read and his exquisite Neapol-
itan song came to mind, and a stanza went jingling
through my brain. I sang "Rocking on the Billows,"
"Song of the Sea," and "Life on the Ocean Wave,"
and thought of Grace Darling and in my soul emulated
her daring spirit. Thus I found myself luxuriating in
a heaven of my own creation, when a young woman,
an acquaintance, appeared on the shore. I invited her
to join me, and nothing loth, she accepted. With some
difficulty I got the boat headed landward, and later, we
together quaffed nectar to the fresh water Neptune.
Arra evinced a slight distrust of my abilities, when
she learned that I was handlinor the oars for the first
114 UNDER A STEAMER'S HEADLIGHTS.
time. However, I was the better of the two, since
she had never pulled an oar, and never had indulged
aspirations along the oar pulling line. There was no
danger, obviously, of Arra usurping my place, so I
laughed at her fears, sang "Bounding Billows," and
she became more courageous.
I was growing heroic to a painful degree, and
having like Alexander conquered the world, yearned
for more worlds to conquer, when an idea flashed
upon me dazzling with its brilliancy. I had long
wanted to visit an adjacent island lying in the dis-
tance; "why not now?"
My companion thought it a risky undertaking and
objected, but I overruled her objections and we
"We can easily get there and back again before
dark," I observed, and so thought, but had miscalcu-
lated both the distance and my ability as an oars wo-
man. Had our course been direct, we might have
progressed favorably, but I knew nothing about fixing
a point on shore by which to. keep the boat in line, so
Arra kept constantly bothering me with —
"You're too far to the right," or "You're too far
to the left" — until I ardently longed to box her ears,
but contented myself with the demand: "Who is row-
ing this boat?"
We thus described a course which might have
suggested the "worm" fence seen in rural districts.
Outside we encountered a passing steamer. 1 was
somewhat alarmed, having heard of small boats being
run down by larger craft; but we got by without dif-
UNDER A STEAMER'S HEADLIGHTS, 115
ficulty, and my fear of steamers was at once dis-
The sun went down under a cloud which rose to
meet it, and we missed the sunset scene which we had
previously anticipated. Other clouds came up and
overspread the sky. Twilight shades were gathering,,
and still we had not reached our destination.
"It seems as though we should never get there,"
"We're bound to get there," I replied, buckling in
energetically. It was beginning to get dark when we
reached the island,
"Let's not land," pleaded Arra nervously. "No-
body lives there but an old hermit, and I'm afraid,"
Now, on this bit of terra firma was an old tree
with a big eagle's nest. The nest was the nearest ap-
proach to an eagle I had ever known, and I could ill
brook the disappointment of not seeing it. Once more,
then, I overruled Arra's objections, and we quietly
beached the boat.
"We'll arm ourselves with sticks, and if the hermit
comes out of his hut yonder we'll go for him."
I seized a fragment of ship timber that had washed
ashore. Arra picked up a broken lath, also tossed up
by the waves, and we quietly stole along a gravelly
stretch, and were soon beneath the eagle tree. The
big nest in its top, outlined against the sky, was built
of twigs and small limbs of trees. After a moment's
contemplation thereof, we hastened back to our boat.
"Dear me, how dark it is getting, but never mind,
we're homeward bound."
116 UNDER A STEAMER'S HEADLIGHTS.
I adjusted the oars and we were off. There was
no moon, and only an occasional star appeared
through cloud rifts. The zephyr had freshened to a
breeze, a strong current was setting through the chan-
nel, and we made even slower progress than when
"I'd like to know what ails this old boat, I can't
keep it straight !'.' It did behav^e very badly with the
current against it. M}- hands, too, were blistered, and
I was getting very tired, but I steeied as well as I
could by a light gleaming from a cottage window in
the cove from which we had started. To while the
tedium, we began telling stories. I was in the midst
of a narration, when Arra interrupted me.
"Say, we had better hurry and get out of the way,
the Jay Cooke is coming."
"I don't care anything about the Jay Cooke," I re-
plied and resumed my story.
A few minutes passed, and i\rra again poked me
up with the remark :
"I think you'd belter keep the boat straight and row
faster; ihe steamer is not far off, and coming right this
"Do let her come; we're here first."
I would not deign a look, and so persistently re-
turned to my stor}'. I did not finish it, however, for
Arra again broke in :
"If vou don't row faster we'll be run down, just as
sure as the world ! It's so dark they can't see us, and
she's coming straight toward us."
The churning of the steamer's big wheels did sound
ominously near, and for the first time I turned and
UNDER A STEAMER'S HEADLIGHTS. 117
looked. She was indeed but a short distance away,
and 1 saw that we were directly in her course, her port
and starboard lights glaring full upon us, I felt a sud-
den alarm, but confident of being able to clear her,
began pulling with all my might. At that place, how-
ever, the channel curved visibly to avoid hidden rocks»
and veering to starboard, the steamer appeared to fol-
low us. My alarm grew, while strength began
failing. My hands trembled, and despite every ex-
ertion the progress of the boat was scarcely percep-
tible. The steamer was now but a few yards distant,
and coming at full speed. The thunder of her great
wheels sounded frightful, and her red and green eyes
blazed down upon us like those of a monster.
I spoke not a word, but my thoughts were all
"She is following us; we must turn and row the
opposite way !" flashed through my mind.
"No, there's but a moment left; before I can turn
the boat she will have passed over us !" flashed back-
I made another effort to send the boat forward, but
my hands were nerveless.
" 'Tis useless; we are lost ! Another instant and
we shall be under her wheels ! In the darkness her
crew will never know, and we shall be left to our
These were some of the thoughts that spun through
my brain while the red and green eyes of the monster
loomed above us, holding mine by the spell of their
fascination. Already life and consciousness seemed
slipping away. She was upon us. We were directly
under her bow and awaiting the final shock when —
118 UNDER A STEAMER'S HEADLIGHTS.
was it luck or Providence ? — she suddenly veered.
Whether by accident or whether the pilot sighted the
struggHng boat 1 will probably never know, but an
instant turn of the helm "hard a-port" saved us as by
a hair's breadth. The steamer passed us close; our
boat trembled and was nearly swamped by the great
waves from her wheels. It was some moments before
we fully recovered our senses. The steamer was then
far past, and taking the oars, which had fallen from
my hands, I headed the aimlessly drifting boat toward
"I hope after this experience you'll know better
than to toy with steamers."
Arra spoke wrathfulh' and reproachfully, but thor-
Qughly humiliated 1 answered never a word. I heard,
nevertheless, and heeded her wise counsel, and will
continue to heed it lo the end of my days.
WINTER AT AN ISLAND RESORT,
One may travel the country over without striking a
locaHty in which the contrast between winter and sum-
mer is so strongly marked as at an island resort, so
complete is the revolution from scenes of exuberant
life as witnessed during the gay season — to silence
and desertion entailed by the rigors of winter, that the
place seems almost to lose its identity. Such at least
is the impression received by individuals having occasion
to visit Put-in-Bay at both seasons of the year. Shut
in by icy fetters which interlock bay and channel,
communication by steamer with all lake towns and
cities, excepting that of Sandusky, is entirel}^ cut off,
and though comparatively near, even this place occas
ionally proves as inaccessible to island dwellers as the
north pole to Arctic navigators.
So uncertain are the chances of the journey that
but few of the class known as "land lubbers" seek the
island shores during the ice blockade. Those who ven-
ture across have experiences sometimes which intimi-
date them from future enterprises of the kind. The few
visitors seen at the island during the winter are mostly
those who come on urgent business, or are Jured to the
place by curiosity, both to see how its isolated inhabi-
tants live and how the place appears en dishabille. In
looking tor accommodations the stranger finds the
hotels deserted by guests not only, but frequently by
120 WINTER A T AN ISLAND RESORT.
the proprietors as well. Only the watchmen keep
daily and nightly vigil under the massive walls of Hotel
Victory, but a side door entrance may sometimes be
found into some of the smaller hostelries and a board-
ing house or two keep open doors for the benefit of
The tramp never seeks the winter attractions of
Put-in-Bay and peddlers, book agents and solicitors for
patents seldom show up to vex the islander's soul.
The pretty summ.er cottages and club resorts are all
vacant; the v, indows closely shuttered, the gates locked,
while the snow on the gravel walks lies unbroken save
by footprints of sparrows and of vagrant cats which
rendezvous about them.
At the ''Bay" dancing paviUions, bowling alleys,
boat houses, bathing houses, groves and gardens are
empty now as were "Tara's Hall," whence the soul of
music had fled.
During the day when the island denizens are busy
at their homes, or engaged in amusements and occupa-
tions on the ice, the observer may walk from end to end
of the main village street without meeting a person.
The distant ring of an ax or hammer, the barking of
some perturbed canine, the voice of chanticleer, or pos-
sibly the rattle of a wagon are about the only sounds
which break the otherwise oppressive silence. The
visitor, accustomed to the rush and roar of the cit}', is
especially struck by the absence of sound indicative of
life and enterprise, and wonder how people keep alive
in a place so dead. The inhabitant, grown accustomed
to quiet surroundings, however, assumes the winter to
be the gayest season of the year. After a busy sum-
WINTER A T AN ISLAND RESORT. 121
mer he rests contentedly, and if the ice closes in early
and remains solid until spring, his happiness is com-
plete. An iceless winter is to him an abommation and
little wonder, since upon good ice depend so largely
both his winter recreations and employments. The
inhabitants represent mixed classes and nationalities.
They are constitutionally and practically independent,
with other strongly marked characteristics.
In the wa}" of amusements on shore an amateur
theatrical, concert, dance or masquerade occasionally
varies the monotony.
The island church, St. Paul's Reformed Episcopal,
built and donated by Jay Cooke, the noted Philadelphia
banker, affords a school for religion and morals.
The provident islander always lays in ample supplies
for winter while the lake is unfrozen. His less wise
neighbor provisioned less bountifully, sometimes runs
short of the comforts and necessities of life at a time
when they are most difficult to procure. The most
calamitous thing that can happen during the season of
broken and dangerous ice, however, is when the beer
runs dry, with no way to obtain a fresh supply.
The island dweller is a great observer of the
weather. He always notes from which quarter the
wind blows, and by the depth of water in the ice open-
ing, from which he gets his household supply, marks the
daily rise and fall of the lake. When the more distant
islands loom up, and appear as if hung in space, with a
strip of sky under them, he predicts a nor'easter, which
rarely fails to materialize. He makes a daily study of
the weather map and watches the storm signals. The
central idea, however, around which revolve all other
122 WINTER AT AN ISLAND RESORT.
ideas, and which dominates during the winter season
the island dweller is comprehended in the three lettered
word, ice. The idea is omnipresent. It is obtrusive,
confronting him at every turn. It is a cold, hard fact
which deprecate as he may, he cannot ignore. It
thwarts or favors his purposes, and enters into nearly
everything that concerns his occupations and amuse-
ments, and with an interest unflagging he watches its
making and shifting, its coming and going. Ice in
quantities illimitable shuts him in on every side; ice
sufficient to swamp whole empires in cooling drinks and
iced creams, expands its trackless plains to the horizon
where ice and sk\' blend into one.
The resident islander is a sort of amphibian, and
excepting under extraordinary circumstances, to drown
him is among impossibilities. There are few enter-
prises on ice, apparently, too hazardous for him to
undertake, and during a single season he tempts Provi-
dence oftener than he has fingers and toes. He breaks
in frequently, but by some "hook or crook" usually
gets out again; while his associates treat the affair as
a good joke rather than as a mishap that might have
ended his earthly career. Occasionally, however, there
is a body to be fished from under the ice, if not car-
ried away by undercurrents, and a funeral varies the
By means of the "ice bridge" connection is made
with neighboring islands and the mainland, the inhabit-
ants passing to and fro on foot and with teams when
the ice is solid; with boats set upon sled runners when
it is broken and running. Under stress of circum.
stances may be seen imitators of "Eliza," "Uncle Tom's
WINTER A T AN ISLAND RESORT. 123
Cabin" celebrity, performing the somewhat stagey feat
of making both speed and distance on foot over the
Port Clinton, distant fourteen miles, is an objective
mainland point for islanders. Fish, wine and other
island products are conveyed thither by teams, which
on returning bring loads of farm produce, lumber and
supplies of various kinds. When the ice bridge is un-
certain, these teams travel near each other, so as to
render mutual assistance in case of accident. They
frequently break in with drivers and conveyances, but
by means of a hoisting apparatus, ropes and pike-poles,
always carried along, the luckless animals are extri-
cated. Sometimes the poor creatures refuse to make
an effort, and are drawn under and drift away beneath
the ice. The only way to induce a horse to help him-
self w^hen chilled and stupefied is by choking him with
a rope fastened tightly around the neck. He then
begins to struggle violently, and assisted by men and
ropes regains solid ice. In some instances teamsters
carry with them strong brandy or bourbon wherewith
to warm and encourage their horses in case of immer-
sion. If not required by equine representatives of the
party, said cordial is apt to find other ways of disposal.
As notable examples of native hardihood, sagacity
and experience in ice travel may be cited the U. S. mail
representatives of the island route. In accordance with
the present existing postal regulations, mails cross the
lake twice daily between Put-in-Bay and the peninsula,
with tri-weekly trips to and from Middle Bass and Isle
St. George. The individual selected for this task must
be a live man in every sense of the word. He must be
WIXTER AT AN ISLAND RESORT.
DEPARTURE OF THE ISLAND MAIL.
possessed of agility and alertness, unflinching courage
and physical endurance. He must thoroughly under-
stand the ice, its foibles and weaknesses; must know
where the undercurrents, which wear it, are strongest,
and be able to locate shoals and sunken reefs — danger-
ous to the ice navigator as to the mariner. With a
Hght horse and cutter, or with iron-sheeted boat made
expressly for the purpose, he daily traverses miles of
ice, precarious and uncertain, sometimes dragging the
boat, but often forcing it through by means of oars and
pike-poles; and he must work his cards well at times
to prevent being caught and crushed in the grinding
drifts that sweep down upon him.
The most dangerous period of travel is when violent
gales have extensively broken the ice and piled it in
WINTER AT AN ISLAND RESORT.
MAIL ON THE Vv'AY.
slushy gorges many feet in depth. On days when even
the hardiest knots among island denizens hug closely
the stove and incessantly smoke their pipes to keep
warm, the mail earner and his assistants are abroad
on the lake. On one occasion, when a terrific storm
of wind and snow swept Lake Erie, the mail cutter,
accompanied by that of an islander, was returning
home. Storm coats and collars notwithstanding, the
snow and sleet cut the men's faces until it seemed un-
bearable. They accordingly took turns in leading the
way, the slight protection afforded by the advance team
proving a relief to the one following. The greatest
danger lay in the snow, which covered alike the good
ice and the bad. Unable to choose their path, they
went hap-hazard, trusting to luck for solid footing. As
frequently happens, luck failed them; for when off
Green Island down went the carrier's horse, and in a
126 WINTER AT AN ISLAND RESORT.
moment it was floundering in the water. Aided by
the horse attached to the cutter following, the men
succeeded in dragging out of the water the unfortunate
leader. In consequence of hard tugging the animal
had been in a perspiration, and its sudden immersion
so benumbed the poor creature that it was at first
unable to stand. The horse was given a thorough
rubbing, and by the help of its equine friend, to which
it was fastened, was enabled at last to proceed, the
party finally reaching Put-in-Bay.
On another occasion a part}' had made the trip to
Port Clinton and were returninir laden with mer-
chandize, having left that place early in the afternoon.
The snow was deep and very compact, and the travel-
ling hard. When a mile or two on their way, the
horse having become jaded by its previous fourteen
miles of travel, succumbed to weariness and refused to
proceed farther. No other alternative presenting they
were obliged to unhitch the animal, and leaving the
sled and its unprotected wares, proceeded on foot.
Owinfj to the difficult walking the men soon became
very tired, and varied the tedium of the way by
mounting and riding the horse, each in turn. Even
with this help the journey grew more and more ex-
haustive, and before they were near their destination a
rising wind and a howling snow storm swept down,
blotting from view the point toward which they were
heading. Night came on, and a reahzation that they
were lost on the ice dawned upon them with uncom-
fortable suggestions, considering the fact that Lake
Erie is a big place for waifs and strays to get aboard
on a night of storm and darkness. In one place they
WINTER A T AX ISLAND RESORT. 127
Struck slush ice into which the horse sank to its sjirth
and the men to their waists. After serious difficuhy
they succeeded in floundering out of this unpleas-
ant predicament to solid footincr. Wet and bedrag-
crled and chilled to the marrow, man and beast
were obliged to keep moving to prevent being frozen
to death, even at the risk of their unguided course
It ading them out toward the open lake. Fortunately
as night advanced, the snow storm cleared sufficiently
so that a light became visible. Guided thereby they
finally reached home at a late hour. Meantime, friends
on the island becoming alarmed, had started out with
teams and lanterns to look for the missing party, but
finding no trace thereof returned with the intention of
enlisting other assistance and extending the search.
On arrival they found the party safely ashore, though
nenrlv dead with fatigue.
Probably one of the most hazardous experiences
ever endured on the island mail route, however, was
during the winter of '97 and '98 by the Hitchcock broth-
ers — U. S. mail representatives. Caught in a storm
and running ice, they were carried down the lake by
the resistless force of a drift in which they became
wedged. The boys were given up for lost by the
excited islanders who at various points thronged the
shores. A cablegram wired to Kelley Island read:
"Look out for the carriers; they are fast in the ice
and drifting that way."
How^beit, to the intense relief of all, the carriers
succeeded in escaping from the drift, and after a des-
perate struggle reached shore.
They were in an exhausted condition and so com-
WINTER AT AN ISLAND RESORT.
pletely covered and weighed down with ice as to be
perfectly helpless. Their caps were frozen fast to
their heads and their garments so loaded with ice
from the showering spray that the wearers were un-
able to bend.
On arrival at home their friends were obliged to
cut and tear from them their ice-armored clothing
STR. AMERICAN tAUiLE.
which they exchanged for warm, dry garments. After
changing more than a bushel of ice that had fallen off
in the process was swept from the floor.
The above serve as fair samples of adventures on
the ice plains annually taken by island dwellers. Space
permitting, scores of blood curdling, hair lifting ex-
periences of this kind might here be narrated, which
would afford material for a whole series of sensational
novels. In winter the steamer American Eagle may
WINTER A T AN ISLAND RESORT. 129
be justly termed "Queen of the Islands." Seen be-
side the magnificent steamers of the Cleveland and
Detroit lines when the excursion season is at its
height, the Eagle shrinks by comparison, but when
ice twelve to eighteen inches in thickness extends from
island to mainland, the superior prowess of this ice
battering monitor becomes apparent. The Eagle is a
craft of medium size, heavily clad in steel armor and is
built and ballasted in a manner which enables her to
keep her nose well out of water. Running thus upon
the ice, she cruslus it by her weight. The steamer is
sailed by Capt. Fied Magle, of Put-in-Bay, whose
skill is equalled only by his courage. Though cap-
able of breaking twenty-two inches of solid ice, the
running expenses are heavv, and as the winter freight
and passenger traffic is dull, the steamer, runs but a
part of the winter.
Line fishinjr through the ice has become an in-
dustry of no small importance among the islands.
Villages of tiny but comfortable fish houses dot the
lake surface at a distance of a mile or two from shore,
and during a sinole season fish from seventy-five to a
hundred tons are annually caught with hook and line
at Put-in-Bay alone. These are shipped over the ice
to mainland market towns where they bring a good
Occasionally when the ice weakens and becomes
precarious, these venturesome fishermen allow their
aquatic houses to remain a little too long exposed, and
an unlooked for parting of the ice carries some of
them away. The winter of 1S97 and '98 witnessed a
notable disaster of this kind. Following an extended
WINTER AT AX ISLAND RESORT.
period of mild weather, a gale struck suddenl}^ and
with great violence. The wind which was off shore
quickly seamed and parted the ice and sent adrift a
great fioe containing a whole village— nearly lOO
houses and about seventy-five people, among whom
were a number of women. Some of the airy domiciles
were blown over. White caps began surging around
the frail ice raft and fast the big fioe began drifting
down the lake. So liard blew the gale that the be-
leaguered villagers could scarcely keep their feet, and
were in imminent danger of b.iing blown into the
Consternation reigned not only on the drifting floe
but on shore, which was soon thronged with specta-
tors. As soon as boats could be procured and
launched, a rescue party pulled after the fugitive fish-
WINTER AT AN ISLAND RESORT.
ing village. After serious difficulty, some lively work
and many narrow escapes, the castaways were all
rescued, but many of the houses were caught and
crushed in the breaking ice or carried away bodily
with all their belongings.
The cutting and storing of ice affords extended oc-
cupation to day laborers. Immense quantities of this
commodity are stored annuall}' in the houses of the
Forest City company.
Winter recreations of the island young people are
mainly on the ice. They skate, sail and sleighride on
the ice and hold afternoon matinees and torch light
parties thereon. Skating is greatly in favor, but chief
among amusements is ice yachting. At one time
Put-in-Bay claimed the finest
fleet of ice yachts on the
whole chain of lakes, rank-
ing as second in the country^
being ortrivalled only by those
on the Hudson river. A com-
modore and other officers are
appointed to direct the fleet and
pretty and suggestive names,
such as "icicle," "Frost Fairy,"
"Winter King," and "North
Wind," are bestowed upon these
swift flyers. A large fleet of
ice yachts in motion is an inter-
A SAIL SKATER. estiug spectaclc, and with a
crisp breeze on smooth, solid ice, the speed of a mile a
minute is attained. Moving, as they do, swifter
than the wind, they sometimes sail away from it,
WINTER AT AN ISLAND RESORT.
AN ICL YACHT— THE "ICICLE."
and come almost to a dead stop for a second until
the wind "catches up." Strange as it may appear, the
yacht makes better speed with a quartering wind, than
when running directly before it. The sport is very ex-
citing, though not without its dangers, as yachtsmen are
venturesome, often sailing over ice so thin that only
the great speed at which they go prevents breaking
in. Accidents likewise occur on rough ice from
"bucking" yachts. "Bucking" is occasioned by the
yacht striking an obstruction, which causes an em-
phatic pause on its part, while the crew and passengers
travel on quite a distance in advance, and if they escape
without serious injury they may consider themselves
favored by the gods. Ladies of the courageous sort
enjoy ice yachting, but the timid ones prefer looking on.
WINTER A T AN ISLAND RESORT.
The breaking up
of the ice after a hard
winter and long
freeze involves chaos,
such, we imagine, as
must have brooded
over "the great void"
before the spirit of
creative power mov-
ed upon the face of
the waters. An in-
land sea seeking es-
cRYSTALLiEo 1 , cape from thralldom
presents ^ spectacle of grandeur, embod^'ing as it does
the warring elements. Advances and retreats are
mcde to the flourish of wind trumpets. Vast plains of
ice drive down with the weight of an avalanche; and
on- rushing waves, a force of equal power, meet the
icy foe and shatter and channel its solid line, send-
ing adrift towering masses, solitary burgs and crystal
islets, cragged and castellated. The waters foam and
spout and surging floes crash against each other, filling
the air with a roar like the thunder of battle.
On windless days when the waters rest the million
shaped ice fragments floating upon the surface show a
variety of beautiful tintings in neutral tones of grey and
white, steely blue and pearl, which, touched by the
sun's rays, flash with iridescent splendor, each glisten-
ing point a prism. With its pointed rays the sun
drills the ice through and through with tubular pores
until each solid mass becomes a veritable honey-
comb, which a slight blow shatters into hundreds of
WINTER AT AN ISLAND RESORT.
long icicle-like fragments. Thus, what the wind does
by force, the sun accomplishes by strategy; for when the
ice is once in this condition, the end is near and like a
wraith of mist at sunrise, it vanishes so suddenly that
observers wonder what became of it.
Or, The Wreck of Herringtown,
A novel place was Herringtown. Other villages
might boast greater wealth, finer architecture, and im-
provements of a more extensive and substantial char-
acter; but for location and the peculiarity of its general
get-up, this little burg took the medal.
Herringtown was an aquatic village, containing
about sixty houses. Like the proverbial mushroom, it
had sprung up in an incredibly brief period, and had
become a commercial center of no small importance.
It was situated on the frozen plains of Erie, two miles
from the nearest point of land, with a coldly desolate
yet magnificent prospect unrolling upon every side.
Ice, ice everywhere, stretching afar, forming rough
broken plains, apparently illimitable in extent. The
lake had frozen during a heavy blow, and the mottled
grey and white of shattered floe and crowded drift
flecking wide its surface merged into the grey and white
of bending skies which curved low at the horizon line
to meet it. The only breaks in this icy vastness were
the haze-scumbled dots and elongations outlining shapes
of islands, large and small, and a narrow strip of water,
black-blue, a few miles to eastward, where the lake
Herringtown was the exclusive resort of fisher-
men, who made a living during the winter by catching
136 AN ICEQUAKE.
fish through the ice. Contrary to the usual method of
building, the houses which they occupied were first
constructed, tlien moved to the locations selected, upon
runners, which formed the foundation of each. These
houses were necessarily small. Some were rudely fin-
ished; others triumplis, in their way, of the builder's art.
The framework of each was of wood; but while some
were boarded up in the conventional manner, others
appeared in exterior coverings of heavy canvas securely
tacked, and made impervious to wind and rain by coat-
ings of oil and paint. Each householder exhibited a
pardonable pride in his own individual domicile, and
vied with his neiijhbor in embellishin<r both interior
and exterior. Some of these structures vividly blushed
under liberal applications of Indian red and vermillion;
some basked in lemon and strawberry tints and sun-
flower yellow. A few wore unpretentious wood colors,
and one or two reveled in cream. Tiny windows with
real glass looked from the gable ends of each, and a
stovepipe chimney protruding from the roof sent up-
ward soft ringlets of smoke, telling of cosy warmth
True, there were no clearly defined plans as to the
laying out of Herringtown. Its streets were slightly
erratic as to course, and some of the houses turned
their backs upon these thoroughfares in the most un-
conventional manner. Pavings of good, solid ice did
away with every suggestion of mud; but as the inhab-
itants were too metropolitan in notions and too aris-
tocratic in tastes to tolerate fenced-m houses, there
were no restrictions as to dooryards. Since none of
the inhabitants engaged in gardening or poultry rais-
AN ICEQUAKE. 137
ing, however, there was no clashing of interests along
these lines, and peace and harmony reigned throughout
Here, as in other boroughs, was developed an ear
for poetical euphony, and Herringtown fairly reveled
in poetical appliances as to names of streets, avenues
and parks. Besides "Herringtown" proper, there were
"Herring Center," "Pickerel Station," "Catfish Cross-
ing," "Perchville," "Saugersville," and "Piketown" —
all suburban annexes.
In big letters done in white chalk across a brown
front at the corner of the principal street appeared a
sign which read :
BASS & TROUTMAN,
Wholesale and Retail Dealers in
To this emporium fish buyers from the surround-
ing islands came with teams each morning, and hav-
ing struck satisfactory bargains, loaded their sleds with
the commodity and set out for the market towns of
Such, in brief, was Herringtown in its palmiest
days; but at the period wherein opens our story,
rumors of gradually weakening ice came with a dis-
turbing effect to its inhabitants, the mild south winds
and beating sunshine having honeycombed it in many
places. Captain Dubb's mare and cutter and himself
and old woman broke in off shore, and would all
have been drowned but for other teams with their
138 AA' ICEQUAKE
VIEW IN HERRINGTOWN.
drivers going that way. They were safely fished
out, but the mare and the old woman got severely
chilled, and the latter had her fur fascinator and alliga-
tor skin satchel carried away under the ice.
Such was one of the many reports brought to Her-
ringtown concerning the treacherous condition of the
ice. Even skaters had broken in, and an ice ^^acht with
a party on board had narrowly escaped being engulfed.
Prophecies of an early break-up were rife, and some
of the Herringtown inhabitants began moving in nearer
shore their portable houses. But with the character-
istic recklessness and perverseness common to the
islanders, many of these denizens refused to budge,
insisting that the ice was "all right," and would be for
two weeks to come. They were having a good run
of pickerel and sauger, and receiving good prices for
the same, and disliked to abandon their excellent
AN ICEQUAKE. 139
grounds; and so, after a thinning-out had taken place
in the fishing village, quite a district was still left of
this "hub" of the archipelago.
Among those who remained was an islander known
as "The Shad," but whose real name was Tom Ste-
vens. Tom was tall and shadowy as to substance, but
an excellent man. He had run for mayor of Her-
ringtown, but was beaten by "Fishy" Finafiopper, a
solid citizen who tipped the scales at 280 pounds avoir-
dupois, and was likewise a manipulator of ponderous
and progressive fish stories. Tom had retired to pri-
vate life and his own domicile, known as "Shadburrow
Cottage," which stood in a side street, and to whom we
will now introduce the reader. The interior was com-
fortably furnished. From a tiny soft coal burner that
stood in one corner radiated a genial warmth. On
the stove steamed a coffee pot, and . the atmos-
phere was redolent of baked fish. A window six by
eight inches commanded a view of Mayor Finaflopper's
premises across the way. A colored chromo represent-
ing the battle of Lake Erie, together with some flam-
ing newspaper pictures, a storm signal card and an
Ayer's almanac adorned the walls. Ranged along a
rude shelf were a few dishes and cooking utensils, and
above it hung a cracked looking-glass. A locker and
three stools comprised the furniture. In the center of
the wooden floor was a large square hole, with a corre-
sponding aperture cut through the ice beneath it. On
opposite sides of this opening were seated the "Shad,"
otherwise Tom Stevens, and his hired man Jack, en-
gaged in operating the minnow-baited fines. A tin
pail containing minnows and a box filled with fishing
140 .4.V ICEQUAKE.
tackle stood near, while a litter of fish, comprising all
soits and sizts, flopped lustily on the floor.
Both fishermen looked down-in- the-mouth. Tom
had had very indifferent luck all day and was* just
then wrestiincr with a huge water lizard that had
caught the hook and woefully tangled his line.
He had "goldarned" the "pesky critter" until it
was nearly paral3'zed. Having finally disposed of the
nuisance he arose in disjxust.
"Guess I'll go home. MaA^ wants the stove pipe
cleaned, and the chickens want their feed before dark,
and other chores want doinof."
All afternoon there had been a whipping breeze.
Sharp cracks and nollow rumbles under the ice were
heard, with reverberations like distant thunder, and
the sky was gra}^ with clouds which thickened as
evening drew on.
"The wagons are coming across from Canada,"
muttered Tom, referring to a local legend, as he
listened to the hollow rumblings beneath his feet. He
adjusted to his feet a pair of "creepers" to prevent
slipping on the ice and loading a handsled with fish,
set out for shore.
"You can brin(j the <iirls home and the rest of the
fish," he called, looking back at Jack.
Jack muttered something in reply, which was not
quite intelligible, and Tom went his way. The girls
to whom he referred were his daughter Randa and
Dolly Finaflopper, who hiad come out to fish — as the
wives and daughters of Herringtovvn fishermen were
accustomed sometimes to do.
Now Jack and Randa were keeping "steady com-
AN ICEQUAKE. 141
pany," but Jack had caught his sweetheart in a fancied
flirtation that afternoon with Moses Horner and was
howling mad. He had spoken some hasty words,
and Randa had gone off in a pout to Mayor Finaflop-
per's estabhshment, accompanied by Dolly.
At any other time Jack would have jumped for
joy at the prospect of seeing the girls home and would
have made an early offer of his escort, but in his pres-
ent frame of mind he wrathfully repudiated the idea.
To himself he muttered, and jerked as savagely upon
the line as if he had got Moses Horner at the end
"They can see themselves home or get Mose
Horner to, I'll be blamed if I do. If they wait for i:.e
they'll wait till midnight."
Randa was too angry and too independent to ask
any favors of Jack, but still she watched and waited,
hoping that he might yet relent and come for them.
Twilight brought deepening shadows, but no Jack.
The rumbling sounds under the ice had increased,
when suddenly there was a roar and a jar that shook
Herringtown. The girls screamed.
It's nothing," said Mayor Finaflopper, hastening
to allay their fears.
"One of the wagons broke in coming across from
Canada, I reckon," he said, smiling at his little joke, but
he warned the girls that they must be off at once. The
wind was blowing strong and steady, the skies were
lowering and the night would be dark.
Mayor Finaflopper took Dolly and Randa under his
escort. They had not gone far when they were
startled by shouts of the fishermen, who had preceded
142 A.V ICEQUAKE.
them homeward and who were now some distance
"What's the matter?" yelled Finaflopper.
In a moment came back the answer: "The ice has
parted and we are adrift."
"Great Scott!" ejaculated the Mayor.
Consternation was depicted in the girls' faces.
"Oh, where is Jack?" moaned Randa: but Jack crouch-
ing like a great bear in the gathering gloom of "Shad-
burrow cottage," hugged himself and gloated over the
sweetness of revenge, all unconscious of impending
danger. He had resolved not to stir therefrom until
the girls were safely home and out of his way. True,
he heard the shouts of the fishermen who had gone on
ahead, but supposing it only "tomfoolery" on the part
of his comrades paid no attention.
A vast field of unknown extent had parted from the
shore ice. When discovered the breach was already
fifty yards wide. Under the irresistable force of a
strong wind this great floe was slowly, but perceptibly
moving eastward, gradually gaining a momentum that
threatened destruction to itself and to all other objects
within its power. The lake was in fact breaking up.
In the teeth of such a wind the floe could not long hold
togetlv^rand might in a short time break into a thousand
sections. There was every prospect of a violent storm,
and within an hour or two the solid foundation upon
which they now stood might be ground into powder.
The awful possibilities of the night were such in fact
as to cause a creeping at the hearts of even these hardy
fishermen, brave to recklessness as they were. It was
now too dark for friends on shore to perceive the danger
AN ICEQUAKE. 143
which threatened the castaways. All that remained
for them was to shout for help, but the wind was off
shore and the shore a mile distant, and though they
shouted themselves hoarse, no answer came back.
"Where is Jack?" again repeated Miranda.
The fishermen had niw gathered in a huddle, but
he was not with them.
"Ashore, I suppose," replied a grizzled fisherman.
"But how could he get ashore?"
"Went before the ice broke up, of course."
Randa wrung her hands.
"Oh, Jack! Jack! how could you be so cruel."
Another crack and a booming jar attracted the
"The floe has split somewhere," observed one.
Peering anxiously through the gloom they per-
ceived less than twenty yards away a long, dark rift,
which momentarily grew wider. The field had broken
Seated before the dying firelight of "Shadburrow
cottage," meditating profoundly upon his grievances.
Jack became dimly conscious of a lifting motion beneath
the floor like that of a smooth but irresistable swell.
At the same time he heard the coffee pot dance on the
stove. The warning was significant and an inkling of
the situation suddenly flashed upon him. With a
spring he darted from the place. At last he knew the
meaning of the shouts he had heard. In a few minutes
he was with the waiting group, arriving at the spot
where they had gathered, excited and breathless.
Terrified beyond measure, both the girls were on
the verge of hysterics. In a fatherly way Mayor
144 AN ICEQUAKE.
Finaflopper was trying to pacify one, while the other
was clasped protectingly in the arms of Moses Horner.
The "green-eyed monster again took possession of
Jack. He doubled his fist and was about to let drive
at Horner's nose, when he discovered his mistake — it
wasn't Randa at all that Moses held so lovingly; for
the next instant Randa pounced upon him with
"Oh Jack! Oh Jack; I'm so glad, I'm so glad."
Well, there was of course the usual scene, better
imagined than described, over which we will let fall
The high pitched voice of Mayor Finaflopper now
broke in with its inspiriting strain.
"Don't any of you be skeered and don't give up;
the folks on shore aint a goin' to let us go by the board.
They'll miss us, and as soon as they find out what's
happened, they'll be out after us with boats."
The mayor was right. The absent ones not re-
turning, investigations were made, the situation dis-
covered and the alarm given. In a short time a rescue
party with boats, lanterns, ropes, pike poles, and
whatever was deemed necessary for the undertaking,
was on its way to the scene of distress.
Along the line of shore ice which still held intact,
twinkled a host of moving lights and the imperiled
fishermen knew that their friends were coming,
Once more a shout went up, and this time came
back an answer. A number of boats, which were
launched and manned, pulled after the fugitive floe with
long and rapid strokes, and within an hour the casta-
ways were all rescued. Quantities of fish and articles
of value from the fishing village were also removed and
AN ICEQUAKE. 145
several of the light, portable houses were towed
across the now widely open lake by means of ropes
and thus saved, but a number of these structures which
could not be reached were carried away in the general
break up. Among them was "Shadburrow" cottage
and all its belongings. Engrossed by his solicitude for
Randa, Jack never even thought of it. With its wreck
he lost a pair of new skates, his second best overcoat,
a hand sled and a lot of fish, but he didn't care for "the
whole durned outfit," as long as Randa was safe — so
at least he declared.
Not a vestige of Herringtow-n was visible the next
morning. As if by magic had it vanished in a night,
and over the spot where it had flourisned rolled a tur-
bulent sea, bearing upon its crested waves masses of
ice drift, which, shattered into a million shapes, pre-
sented a spectacle seeming the very personification of
ROMANCE OF THE ICE PLAINS.
A young country girl of poetic temperament and
romantic ideas was Nettie Blake. Anything real or
imaginary, combining in its make-up a semblance of
novelty or variety, appealed to her sensibility. With
these natural tendencies, she was fond, intensely fondj
of sight-seeing and adventure; but her poor little life
had been narrowed down to the limits of a very common-
place neighborhood, burrowed like a partridge nest in
the midst of an extensive farming district.
A little brown house on her father's little farm was
the only home that Nettie had ever known, and al-
though very conr.fortable, and she loved in a general
way its surroundings, the girl longed for a change — the
more ardently longed when the family newspaper made
its weekly visitations to inform her concerning the great
world and its doings; of its stir and enterprise, its
strange sights, its wide prospects, and its panoramic
scenes of beauty and magnificence. In novels, too, she
had read— while her mother softly chided — about the
great world's heroes and heroines; of its storied beauty
and bravery, bold adventure and tragic situation, chiv-
alrous deeds and daring — until two worlds instead of
one grew upon her consciousness: the one apparent to
outer sense, the other to an inner perception; the one
real, the other ideal.
ROMANCE OF THE ICE PLAINS. 147
The people of the neighborhood were old-fashioned,
slow, plodding rustics, prosaic in ideas, uncultured in
manners. They read little, and thought and cared less
concerning matters beyond the affairs of everyday life,
farm duties and neighborhood gossip.
Two or three little villages were within reach of
Nettie's home, but they were dull, poky places. Even
the largest and liveliest seemed half asleep. Only twice
could she remember having seen the place fully awake —
once when "Barnum's Greatest Show on Earth"
chanced to strike it like the tail of a great comet, driv-
ing the inhabitants nearly frantic with excitement; then
again when the governor of the state, an ex-member
of the legislature and the town mayor addressed a
political gathering on the square, and a brass band
played "Hail Columbia" and "Marching Through
Georgia." On these important occasions, as she re-
membered, all the farmers for miles around had flocked
to town with wives, children and sweethearts, and all
the roads approaching were lined with "buck-boards,"
piano box buggies and big grain wagons drawn by
heavy farm horses, and the country had virtually taken
possession of the town. People congregated upon the
streets, crowding densely the narrow pavements, and
forming a wondrous conglomeration, with rustic hu-
manity largely in preponderance. Country youths
appeared in every style of apparel, from blue drilling
overalls and cowhide boots to more pretentious suits,
showy neckwear and abundant jewelry. Lanky, wide-
mouthed specimens of the genus homo were there, with
frowsy locks and ha3'seed clinging to their coat collars.
They rolled from cheek to cheek prodigious quids and
148 ROMANCE OF THE ICE PLAINS.
expectorated freely — now and then sending up a vocif-
erous "hip, hip, hurrah."
"Look at the gosHngs!"
Nettie was in the crowd and her attention was
attracted by this uncomplimentary observation. The
"'goslings" indicated proved to be a neighbor's son?,
and she mentalh' compared them with her ideal heroes,
was disgusted at the contrast and went home more di^s-
satisfied than ever. How she detested these common
place "clodhoppers." True, they were good, ho. est
fellows, but she ached to see a real hero— one who
could achieve something gallant besides steering a cul-
tivator, hoeing corn and cracking a whip behind a team
of plow horses. For relief, Nettie turned to mother
Nature, but this usually beneficent dame had provided
but sparingly for hungry-eyed Nettie Blake, as the
scener}' about her home was tame and uninteresting.
Still there were a few redeeming traits in the landscape.
"Walnut Ridge" lay a mile to eastward, which, with
the morning sun touching its forests, and tinging its
vapors, formed to her a sort of inspiration. It over-
looked vast stretches of country upon the other side,
and she often climbed its summit to catch, as it were,
glimpses of the Beulah of her dreams. Beyond it swept
the waters of "Eagle Creek," a very quiet stream at its
ordinary level, but somewhat boisterous when on the
rampage. Nettie took as kindly to water as does the
wild duck, and "Eagle Creek" was to her a source of
solace in the summer season. With her girl compan-
ions she fished and bathed in its waters, and loitered
along its banks of pebble and shale, watching the swift
current and wishing that upon it she might drift, with
ROMANCE OF THE ICE PLAINS. 149
the sticks and leaves, out to the great ocean and the
^reat world which is encompassed. Poor little Nettie!
In winter when the stream was frozen and the trees
on "Walnut Ridge" were bare and colorless, her dis-
satisfaction grew apace. A meager suppl}^ of litera-
ture afforded some relief, and she liked to talk of what
she read, but Mistress Blake was too busy with house-
hold cares to listen, and old man Blake would, only
wrinkle his forehead, and say as how "gals ought to let
such rubbish alone an' 'tend to their work."
To her most intimate friend and associate, Mandy
Johns, who was several years older than she, Nettie
ventured to introduce a book of travels, but Mandy
was piecing a quilt of the "wild goose chase" pattern,
and lost all connection of what her companion was
Amanda had been piecing quilts for the last ten
years. Quilt-piecing was her especial fad, her one ac-
complishment, and she pursued it with astonishing
pertinacity — never so marked as since Ben Peters had
begun paying her attention. She was evidently in-
dulging hopes matrimonial — which if not realized
would be no fault of hers — and all that she could find
of any earthly interest to talk about was her quilts
and Ben Peters.
A vision of Ben's red hair, coarse hands, long legs
and number thirteen boots rose before Nettie, and in
disgust she turned to "old Gregory," the cat. He was
the only created being that showed her any apprecia-
tion. This patriarchal feline always listened to her
with at least respectful attention.
It was under these trying circumstances that Nettie
150 ROMANCE OF THE ICE PLAINS.
longed for "the wings of a dove that she miglu fly away
to some secluded isle where Mandy's quilts and Ben
Peters' big feet might never intrude," and, as if in re-
sponse to her wish, there came a letter from some dis-
tant relatives containing an invitation to visit them.
They lived on an island of the lake archipelago, and
now that the backbone of winter was nearly broken
and the steamer beginning to run, Nettie must come
and make them a visit- — so the letter read. After
some demur on the part of her parents, the girl
secured permission to go. She had never been over
fifteen miles from home and her heart was all aflutter
with expectation, though the undertaking seemed
formidable. "Two hundred miles to Lake Erie and a
trip by steamer. Just think of it !" Now she should
see something of the big world, its big waters and big
enterprises, and perhaps meet some of its big heroes.
Nettie required no very elaborate preparations for
her visit, and so after a fifteen miles' drive to the
nearest railway station, and a few hours' ride on the
through express, she found herself boarding a small
iron-clad steamer at Sandusky. She gazed in won-
der at this, the first object of the kind her e^'es
had ever beheld, and had she been informed that the
craft was a first-class ocean liner, never a suspicion of
the difference would have suggested itself, so impressed
was she with its size and dignity. Imagine her
astonishment, however, to find the lake a vast out-
reaching plain of ice with no apparent boundar}-. All
the ice that had ever formed on "Eagle Creek" was
not a circumstance compared with this gigantic sweep.
She had no idea that Lake Erie was so big — so un-
ROMANCE OF THE ICE PLAINS. 151
comfortably big — and yet it formed but a small part of
the big world. Then as the staunch cfaft under a full
head of steam drove into the great floes, and the cabin
windows rattled, and the strong timbers quivered
from bow to stern, and the chandeliers overhead
swung to and fro, Nettie became frightened. "What
if the steamer should stick fast or go down in this aw-
Poor little Nettie! So this was seeing the world.
Already a dreadful homesick feeling was creeping over
her. Had the gull's parents known the condition of
the lake they would not have permitted her to come —
of this she felt assured — and now she should probably
never see home again, nor parents, nor Eagle Creek,
nor "old Gregory." Even Mandy's quilts and Ben
Peters' ungainly presence would have been a solace to
Nettie in this awful crisis — poor little girl. She would
have cried had she not been too frightened to shed tears;
and how she lived through those long hours of sus-
pense she hardly knew, while heavy clouds of smoke
and rushing steam poured from the chimneys, blacken-
ing all the sky, and the powerful engines groaned with
their enforced labor, and the steamer's armored prow
butted heavily into masses of drift many feet in thick-
ness. Sometimes the steamer struck with such force,
and came to a stop with such a shock as to throw the
passengers from their seats. Then with reversed en-
gines she would back for some distance, and again
drive headlong into the obstruction, while the great
floes seamed and bulged and the water churned into
foam by her wheel spouted up the sides. At such
times Nettie would thrust her fingers into her ears to
152 ROMANCE OF THE ICE PLAINS.
shut out the horrible, crushing, grinding noises. They
touched at one of the islands where it was found neces-
sary to repair some slight damage sustained by the
steamer in her scrimmage with the ice. This done,
they continued on their way.
Nettie was approaching her destination, but when
still a half mile from shore, the steamer blew her
whistle and came to a sudden stop. The captain en-
tered the cabin. Said he:
"We shall not be able to make port, owing to the
heavy ice drifts, and will be obliged to put off passen-
gers and freight where we are."
A new and greater terror seized Nettie.
How dreadful to be put off on the treacherous ice
so far from shore !
What was to become of her? With palpitating
heart she followed the cabin passengers down a flight
of stairs to the lower deck. On reaching the gangway
she saw groups of islanders coming out over the ice to
meet the steamer, forming what seemed to her a strange
procession, some walking, others upon skates with
large triangular sails in their hands, by the aid of
which they moved very rapidly. There were objects
too that looked like great V shaped sleds, having masts
all aflap ivith white canvas and aflutter with bright
flags and streamers, the upper portion resembling the
boats she had seen in pictures; these were coming
towards them with astonishing swiftness. There were
sleighs too, and cutters with horses attached and men
and boys with large hand sleds. This spectacle was
reassuring and, assisted by one of the deck hands, Net-
ROMANCE OF THE ICE PLAINS. 153
tie passed down the wide plank to the frozen channel
"Are you Nettie Blake?" queried a young lady."
"I am, and you are — "
"Alice Benton, your cousin."
"Oh, I am so glad, I've had such an awful time! "
exclaimed Nettie cr3'ing for joy.
"This last cold snap has made the ice pretty
tough again; we meant to have written you to wait
until the ice broke up a little, but you got through all
right, so it don't make any difference. We thought
that you might come today, so we drove out to meet
you — here is the cutter."
On the front seat holding the reins was seated a
young man whom Alice introduced as her adopted
brother Fred. He had dark haii, fine dark eyes, an
intelligent countenance and pleasing manners, but so
queerl}' dressed. His attire was of pale yellow canvas,
with wide flapping trousers, loose, bagging blouse, and
a hat termed a "sou'wester." All sailors and fisher-
men wore them — Alice informed her — -and as Fred
had figured as mate on an upper lake transportation
vessel, his dress only signified his calling.
The "bold sailor boy" of the girl's romantic
dreams had become a living reality, and the ugly, yel-
low oil suit was proportionately transfigured.
What a refreshing change from plowmen in blue
drilling, wood choppers with brawny fists and farm
Nettie drew a sigh of relief when once again her
feet touched terra firma, but the thought of being so
154 ROMANCE OF THE ICE PLAINS.
far from home and upon a remote island caused a
queer sensation, and yet how romantic it all seemed.
She saw many objects which were new and novel to an
inland dweller, but being very tired was glad of the
rest afforded at the pleasant fireside and hospitable
board of her relatives.
During the evening Fred put aside his yellow over-
dress and appeared in a neat, well fitting suit of dark
grey. A very good looking young man he was, and
interesting withall, but to Nettie he seemed shorn of
his glor}'. She could think of him no longer as a "bold
sailor bo3\" He was like a soldier without his regi-
mentals, and she felt disappointed.
The next da}' Fred proposed taking the girls for a
ride upon his ice yacht, and the party set out for the
bay. Nettie had confidently expected to see Fred in
his oil suit and sou'wester on this momentous occasion,
but strangely enough, he had put these things aside,
and there was absolutely nothing in his make-up to in-
dicate that he had ever sailed the blue, except that he
let fall iwo or three sailor-like expressions, such as Net-
tie had heard only in sea stories. She was now intro-
duced to one of those queer looking objects — half sled,
half boat — which had so perplexed her the evening be-
fore. The lower part was painted a bright vermillion
with the name "Blizzard" emblazoned in big letters on
the bowsprit. The sails and jib were new and of
snowy whiteness. From the peak waved a handsome
edition of the stars and stripes and a long blue pen-
nant, star spangled, and edged with white whipped
from the mast-head.
"So this is an ice yacht," observed Nettie, regard-
ROMANCE OF THE ICE PLAINS. 155
ing with intense interest this strange but very pretty
"Yes, did vou never see one?"
"No, not until yesterday, and then I did not know
what they were, and they went so fast it made me
afraid of them."
"They are quite frisky, but perfectly harmless," he
With slight hesitation Nettie seated herself beside
Alice on the deck of the "Blizzard."
"Now look out for your heads and hold tight," ex-
A haul of the sheet and the boom swung around.
The canvas flapped and with a sudden bound the yacht
was in motion. How like a winged creature she flew.
The speed of the through express was nothing in com-
parison. It took one's breath.
"Hold tight," again repeated Fred as he spied a
stretch of rough ice ahead. A shift of the helm, a
swing of the boom, a swift curve, a slight jar, all as
quick as a flash, and the yacht was again speeding away
faster, f^r faster than the wind before which she flew.
The first shock of alarm at being shot over the lake
at such a rate soon subsided, and Nettie felt her nerves
beginning to thrill with the excitement.
Fred noted her animated face and shining eyes.
"You enjoy the sport?"
"O, it is glorious," she replied.
Fred was an ardent lover of ice and water and a
skilled navigator of both, and from Nettie he at once
caught a new enthusiasm. Moreover, he was anxious
156 ROMANCE OF THE ICE PLAINS.
that the '-Bh'zzard" should do her very prettiest for
Nettie's sake, so he put the yacht upon a course calru-
lated to give her every possible advantage of the stiff
breeze. He ought to have known better. He did
know better in fact than to allow the swift flyer to ven-
ture so far upon the course selected, being aware of the
unsafe cond.tion of the ice, but his sympathy and inter-
est in Nettie's enjoyment made him forgetful and even
"Fred, I don't think we had b( tter go any farther
out," said Alice anxiously.
But Fred was v atching the play of pleasurable
emotion over Nettie's fine features and heeded not, nor
scarcely heard indeed.
With eyes fixed upon the line where lake and sky
merged into a single seeming stretch of infinity, Nettie
felt as if borne forward upon the wings of a great bird
and wished that thus they might go on forever.
A scream from Alice awakened both these dream-
ers. She motioned toward a spot of open water several
feet across and edged around with thin white ice. In-
stantly Fred put the helm hard a-port, but it was too
late. Into the opening leaped the "Blizzard," capsiz-
ing, and crushing the ice for quite a distance around.
Fred and Alice maintained their hold upon the yacht,
which lay with the tip of her tall mast upon a rim of
the unbroken ice, but the concussion loosened Nettie's
grasp and into the water she went, disappearing be-
neath it. Fred jerked off his overcoat, threw it over
the mast and sprang in after her. He caught the girl
as she was going down under the ice and drew her to
the surface. It was the work of an instant. Climbing
ROMANCE OF THE ICE PLAINS. 157
with his burden to the mast he wrapped the drenched
and shivering form in the coat which he had just
thrown aside, though sadly needing it himself. He cut
a rope from the rigging and lashed her to the yacht,
while his wet garments clung to him, and his teeth
chattered with cold. They were safe from immediate
danger, but how were they to get out?^ How long
could they survive the cold and exposure.^ Was there'
any likelihood of being seen from shore and relieved?
These were questions with which Fred now wrestled.
He thought of trying to reach solid footing by means
of the mast which lay with its tip upon a projecting
point of thin ice, but the yacht was delicately poised,
and the slightest movement might disturb its equili-
brum and perhaps engulf both his sister and Nettie.
Had he been alone he would have had no hesitation as
to his plan of procedure, but under existing circum-
stances he knew not what to do. While his thoughts
were busy planning means of escape, he endeavored to
sooth the terrified girls, though the chill of his wet
clothing struck to his very heart.
Meantime, parties on shore, apprehensive that the
"Blizzard" was venturing too far, had been watching
her movements with a glass and saw the accident, and
another yacht with a rescue party was immediately
sent to her assistance. After some difficult and hazar-
dous work, the crew of the "Blizzard" were fished out
and brought ashore. Closely muffled in Fred's big
overcoat Nettie felt no ill effects from her involuntary
bath, but for the want of it Fred got badly chilled and
was sick for a week.
Nettie felt dreadfully, knowing that she was the
158 ROMANCE OF THE ICE PLAINS.
direct cause of his illness, but Fred only smiled and
assured the girl that ii was "only a sweet pleasure to
suffer for her sake." At last Nettie had found a real
However, after her experience on board the
steamer and her ice yachting exploit, she became very
distrustful of Lake Erie and of the world in general,
and was glad when the ice all broke up and the time
came for her to go home. She departed, how-be-it»
with the assurance of a visit from Fred at a very early
date, and now — so it is creditably affirmed — "bold,
sailor boy" Fred is going to seUle down to the com-
mon place life of a farmer, and Nettie is to be his
CAPT. JOHN BROWN, Jr.
CAPT. JOHN BROWN, JR.
Among interesting characters who at different
periods of its history have made the archipelago a
temporary place of sojourn or a permanent home, is one
well remembered both for personal traits and for the
bearing upon national events which his name sug-
gests. This individual to whom attention is directed
in the following sketch, was Capt. John Brown, jr.,
the eldest of a family whose records have become a
thrilling and important part of the nation's history
The details of the Kansas troubles and the Harper's
Ferry tragedy in which they so conspicuously figured
are too well known to be touched upon in this con-
nection, but a few glimpses of the every-day life^
character and environments of one of its chief actors
will undoubtedly prove of interest.
For a number of years the writer lived in the im-
mediate vicinity of Capt. John Brown's home, and
knew him personally and well.
It was in 1862, about three years after the execu-
tion of his father, that Capt. Brown located on Put-in-
Bay. This was before the island had become widely
known as a summer resort. It was then sparsely
settled, and quite out of the way of ordinary travel
and traffic, and its comparative issolation was prob-
ably one object which induced him to seek its shores,
for at that time public feeling North and South was at
flood-tide. The Browns had been hunted and hnunted^
and many rabid Southerners and Southern sympa-
HOME OF THE LATE CAPTAIN JOHN BROWN, JR.
rhnfo by Rev. W. Fred Allen.
thizers still thirsted for the blood of the sons and
allies of the martyred abolitionist, and their lives were
At the outbreak of the war Capt. Brown entered
the Federal service, but after twelve months' active
duty became disabled and was forced to retire.
In a beautiful, sequestered nook on the South
shore of Put-in-Bay, Capt. Brown made him a home.
CA P T. JOHN BRO IVJV, JR. 161
He had never sought notoriety; such a quest would
have been foreign to his nature. He had nevertheless
won it through unflinching adherence to that which he
believed right, and through strenuous defense of the
principles of liberty and humanity. Not only had he
gained notoriety, but he had also gained the warm
friendship, admiration and esteem of some of Amer-
ica's trusted and best men, many of whom sought and
found him in his solitude. '-Hero worshipers" of all
grades visited him, anxious to see and accord to him
due honor. Among thtse were scholars, statesmen
and philanthropists of national repute. On numerous
occasions he was visited by individual representatives
of the colored race, who in the old slave days had
been aided by the Brown family in escaping from
All this might have inflated with lofty conceit an
individual of less mental expansion, but Capt. Brown
cared not for flattery. Less of relf and more of
humanity seemed the rule and purpose of his life. He
was modest and unpretentious, never boasting of his
exploits and seldom indeed referring to them. He
revered honest toil, and though a man of education,
culture and fine sensibility, a close student and admirer
of nature, with a decided literary and scientific trend,
he chose to become a tiller of the soil and a grower of
fruits. He labored early and late, spending leisure
hours with his books, or in the society of congenial
friends. He was especially Interested in Geology,
Phrenology and Metaphysical science. Geometry
was also a hobby, and he taught at one time the
science to a class of island young people. His
162 HISTORICAL CHARACTERS.
views were broad, his opinions liberal. His only creed
was — "The fatherhood ot God; the brotherhood of
man." Though possessing no clearly defined religious
belief, his tendency was toward Spiritualism, and for a
number of years he was accustomed to meet with a few
spiritualistic investigators — residents of the island —
to discuss with them the problems and possibilities of
the life hereafter.
A thorough humanitarian in every respect, he took
a lively interest in philanthropic movements and re-
forms of every kind. He was fearless and unflinch-
ing in whatever he knew to be just and right, and
having once taken a position could not be swayed
In his neighbors he evinced a friendly interest,
sharing their joys, S3'mpathizing with their griefs —
and had for all whom he met in his daily walks a
He entertained a sincere appreciation of true worth
— whether existing in the higher walks of life or
struggling alone with poverty and obscurity.
He was open as day — so free indeed was he from
everything which flavored of hypocrisy that the petty
deceits and conceits of little minds excited more than
anything else his contempt. Such in brief was the
character of Capt.'John Brown, "who was the son of
John Brown" — as has been significantly observed — or
in other words, who inherited from his parent traits
which made the former a martyr and hero.
The wife of Capt. Brown was his congenial
companion and helper; a thrifty housekeeper, a sue-
CA P T. JOHN BRO WN, JR. 163
cessful homemaker, and an intelligent and cultured
Together they worked and in a few years were
surrounded by all that combines to make a cheerful
and a happy home.
Active was he in every worthy work until heart
disease began sapping the vigor of life, and for several
3'ears he was subject to attacks of great severity. On
the day preceding his demise he had worked in his
garden and was feeling better than usual, but when
seated for the evening meal experienced a sudden at-
tack. His wife led him to a rocking chair, where,
after two hours of suffering his spirit took its flight
into the great unknown.
He was buried in accordance with the rites of the
Masonic order, of which he was an honored repre-
sentative, May 5th, 1895, and a poem from the pen of
Prof. Coler, of Sanduskv, commemorates the impres-
sive occasion in lines as follows:
"Yonder on Erie's peaceful isle
Amid the scenes he loved so well,
Was laid to rest the hero of a cause
Of which all ages shall delight to tell."
"Great he was in his simplicity,
Great in his love for humanity,
Great, because for nature's laws he stood.
And dared to do,
What others only dared to think."
"Great, because his name we justly link
Forever with the world's reformers,
Great he was because for other's good
He dared to be
John the Baptist of Liberty."
164 HISTORICAL CHARACTERS.
"Bright was the 'day,
And sweet the breath of May,
With opening buds and flowers;
Maple and oak
In tender accents spoke
Of him who slept beneath their bowers."
"Cedar and pine,
With voices soft and fine.
Joined in the requiem of the dead;
The birds drew near.
As if they wished to hear
Every word that might be said."
"Humbly he lived and earned his daily bread.
By honest toil and with a cheerful heart,
He sought tor all things good and tru • ; content
Whate'er his lot might be, to do his part."
"Approach that silent mound,
No monument is there.
But nature whispers low,
This epitaph in air."
"Here rests beneath this sod
Till resurrection's dawn,
John Brown — the son of him
Whose soul goes marching on."
Those who participated in the funeral services of
its late owner will call to mind the roomy, hospitable
dwelling, as it then appeared, with its open verandahs
nestled deep amid native red cedars and orchard trees
all in a glory of pink and white bloom; the fenceless
lawn, green stretching to the lake, and edging a beach
of white sand and flat rock against which beat the
south cl annel waters; the fertile garden, with vine-
yard lands, and a thick foliaged grove of natural forest
trees; an old black horse, which for many years had
CAPT. JOHN BROWN, JR. 165
served faithfully his dead master and friend, cropping
leisurely the Maytime grasses; and Arbutus. Sweet
William, and other delicate wood blossoms every-
where besprinkling the sod. From environments
such as these, John Brown, Jr., was carried to his
last resting place.
In the grove, a short distance from the Brown
dwelling, is located "Brown's cave." Its mouth is wide
and high enough to admit a person entering it in an
erect position, but narrows away into mysterious pas-
sages unexplored, save by cats of the neighborhood.
During summer heats the grove forms a favorite ground
for campers and white tents spreading beneath dark
foliaged trees add romantic interest -to the scene. The
dwelling is approached from the main road by a drive
way deep bordered with red cedars. It is an ideal spot,
such as a man like its late owner would naturally choose
in which to live and die.
Everything which can add to the attraction and
comfort of home is found within the dwelling —books,
music, pictures and a tine collection of geological speci-
mens and other curiosities. In one room hangs an old
family picture — portrait of John Brown, sr. In an-
other apartment — a memorial presented the family
representing scenes from the life and adventures of John
Brown all the way from Kansas and Harper's Ferry to
his burial place among the picturesque hills of North
Elba, New York.
In a little building used by him as an office,
which he called his "den," John Brown, Jr., kept some
interesting family relics. The most interesting relic of
the Brown family ever brought to Put-in-Bay, how-
LOOKING FROM HIS DEN.
ever, was the mammified remains of Watson Brown,
who was killed at Harper's Ferry. Many years they
had been preserved in a medical college, but were finally
recovered by a friend of the Browns and sent to Put-
in-Bay, where they were viewed with great curiosity
by many persons, and afterwards forwardad to North
Elba and buried b}- the side of old John Brown.
Among the friends who honored John Brown, Jr.,
by their visits to his island home were the members of
his old command — Co. A, Kansas Volunteer Cavalry,
who met in a general reunion with their gallant captain
about eight 3'ears ago.
In local relations Captain Brown was recognized as
a leader, and was frequently called upon to head enter-
prises of various kinds.
CAPT. JOHN BROWN, JR.
Captain and Mrs. Brown had two children — a son
and daughter — the son bearing his father's name. The
daughter, Edith, is an accomplished musician. She is
the wife of T. B. Alexander.
Eloquent and beautiful words were spoken over
Captain Brown's grave in the little island cemetery, but
the most tender and touching eulogy pronounced was
perhaps that of his wife, as with tears in he.r eyes she
bent over his inanimate form, and gently stroking his
"John was alwa3's a kind and loving husband."
Put-in-Bay is notably honored in that she holds the
grave of such a man— having yielded for that purpose
one of the loveliest spots along the whole extent of her
BURIAL PLACE OF CAPT. JOHN BROWN, JR.
(Photo by Rev. W. Fred Allen.)
1G8 HISTORICAL CHARACTERS.
Under the heading of historical characters may be
fittingly placed the name of Owen Brown, a partici-
pator in the Harper's Ferry tragedy, son of its chief
hero and a brother of Capt. John Brown, Jr.
Owen Brown came to Put-in-Bay shortly after the
execution of his father. His object in seeking the
retirement here afforded at that time was owing partly
to his love of seclusion, but more ostensibly to
escape the intense animosity which the conspiracy to
liberate the southern bondsmen had engendered against
the Brown family and their allies in pro-slavery circles.
For over twenty years Owen made his home among
the islands. He was unmarried, and being much of a
recluse lived alone; at one time in a small house on the
premises of his brother, Capt. John Brown, near the
south shore of Put-in-Bay. At another time he was
owner and occupant of a house and vineyard lands on
the same island. His winters were sometimes spent
at the deserted summer villa of Jay Cooke, on Gibral-
tar, of which he had been left in charge by the owner.
The writer cherishes a vivid remembrance of Owen
Brown — as he appeared from time to time on the
streets of the Bay village — and was once privileged to
take him by the hand; and on this occasion noted his
kindliness and geniality of manner and the thought-
ful and intelligent expression of his countenance. He
was tall and slender, having blue eyes and a full sandy
beard, tinged with grey. He dressed plainly, his every-
day wear being similar often to that worn by w^orking-
O WEN BRO WN. 169
men; but however rough his attire, it was always
clean and neat, and the quiet courtesy and native re-
finement of the wearer stamped him unmistakably as
In his inquiries for the health and welfare of neigh-
bors he evinced the most friendly interest, while the
details of their afflictions or misfortunes elicited his
warmest sympathy. The islanders, all of whom knew
him well, remember him with tender regard and recall
his many virtues; especially remarking his modesty,
scrupulous honesty and generosity, the last mentioned
amounting almost to a fault.
Accustomed as he was to frugality and economy,
he yet saved little, because he could not resist the impulse
of giving. At the island stores he was frequently
known to purchase sugar, tea, coffee or other substan-
tials, which he distributed among families known to be
in need, while Indian meal made into bread formed the
staple article of his own hard and homely fare.
These small acts of kindness were but the outcroppings
of sympathies, which in breadth and depth were
measured only by the magnitude of human want
and distress. The spirit of self-sacrifice that prompted
the father to his death in behalf of an oppressed people
survived in the son and the life of Owen Brown,
dating from the thrilling events of Harper's Ferry and
the Kansas border to its closing struggle, was one long
round of self denial, which he practiced not as a pain-
ful penance, but as a means of the highest happiness.
Though the friendliest of men, who would not harm a
living creature for his own gratification, he was fearless
and aggressive where the wrongs and grievances of
170 HISTORICAL CHARACTERS.
others claimed redress. He aided his fatlier in con-
veyin<^ fuj^itive skives from the southern states to
Canada, and m 1857 accompanied him to Harper's
Owen never talked much of his personal adven-
tures unless urged, or when drawn out by skillful ques-
tioning. When he did consent to a repetition of his
history, and became interested himself in a retrospec-
tion of past experiences, he talked readily, and was
very precise in his descriptions and minute to the
smallest details. The account of his escape from Har-
per's Ferry after the capture of his father forms one of
the most thrilling narrations of danger, hardship and
privation ever recorded. Though lengthy, the narra.
tive is unflagging throughout in inteiest, and would
furnish material for a drama. The touching pathos of
many of its scenes grapples irresistibly the heart
chords and forces tears to the eyes. At other points
there are touches of quaint, dry *humor, which even
the rehearsal of reminiscences so painful could not sup-
press. This story, and the calm deliberation with
which it was told, is said to have impressed the listener
with the conviction that Owen was a man of such
make as old John Brown told the Massachusetts legis-
lature he wanted with him, namely: "Men who fear
God too much to fear anything human."
With a reward of $25,000 upon his head, and
minute descriptions of his person circulated over all
the land; with the whole country on the alert, and
bands of armed men and bloodhounds scouring in
every direction, Owen with a small company of follow-
ers made his exit from Harper's Ferry, through Mary-
OWEN BROWN. 171
land and Pennsylvania, traversing mountain ranges,
hiding in thickets by day and traveling at night, guided
by the north star. Many times his pursuers were close
upon him, but by some trifling circumstance were
thrown off the track. Twice was he identified, but^
as it chanced, by friendly eyes. During the three
weeks which occupied their escape, Owen and his
men were frequently chilled by the cold November
rains and snows which fell. They forded and swam
swollen creeks and rivers; climbed rugged mountain
sides; endured fatigues the most exhaustive, and slept
in wet clothing under the open sky.
They subsisted for the most part on hard, dry
corn and raw potatoes, gathered from fields through
which they passed. They had deemed it imprudent
to visit any human habitation, but on one occasion,
when driven to extreme measures, one of the number,
Cook by name, ventured to a farm house to buy pro-
visions for the nearly famished party, and was cap-
tured. The next day, when on the outskirts of Cham-
bersburg, lying among some bushes which concealed
them, they heard the sound of mr.rtial music played
by a band, as they afterward learned, which escorted
Cook to the depot, and saw the train move away that
bore him back to Harper's Ferry and the gallows.
That Owen should have succeeded in eluding his pur-
suers seems almost miraculous, a feat which he never-
theless accomplished with the loss of but one man, as
recorded. Physically disabled by the arduous cam-
paigns through which he had already passed, Owen
Brown was not eligible for military service at the out-
break of the rebellion. Being of a literary cast, much
172 HISTORICAL CHARACTERS.
of his time in later years was spent in readin^T^ writing
and in the study of nature. His eccentricities, mode
of life and habits of thought were remarked as corre-
sponding to those of Henry D. Thoreau. Though
lacking the scholarly attainments of this gifted stu-
dent and philosopher, Owen's delight in the most
trivial objects in nature was parallel.
Subsequently, Owen Brown removed from Pnt-in-
Bay to Pasadena, California, where, with his brother
Jason, he took up his abode on a mountain of the
Sierra Madre range, a lonely summit afterward named
"Brown's Peak," where he spent the remainder of his
Previous to Owen's death, Jason had written to
John Brown, Jr., at Pui-in Bay, concerning the oddities
and eccentricities of the former, complaining thereof
somewhat, but m the letter, which (]r;ive a touchingf
account of his brother's last hours, Jason says:
"When I spoke of Owen's faults, I never once
thought of my own, nor did I think of his good qual-
ities, which so far outbalanced mine."
Having occasion to visit a sister, Mrs. Ruth Thomp-
son, who lived in the valley below, and expecting to
be absent some weeks, Owen had said "Good-bye" at
starting. As Jason w itched him down the precipitous
path the thought strangely occurred :
"What if he never comes back alive ?"
Owen had often expressed a wish that at his death
he might be buried on the peak, and as if following
some unaccountable intuition, Jason cleared up a beau-
tiful retiied nook which he thought might at some
time be used as a burial site. He broke the ground
OWEN BROWN. 173
and sowed it to grass, which, watered by rains and
mountain dews, sprung up and in a short time covered
the spot with a carpet of tender green.
Ow^en never came back alive, but was carried up
the steep mountain side in his casket, followed by a
large concourse of mourners, among whom were men
of the first rank as scholars and statesmen. Owen
had died from an attack of pneumonia at the home of
his sister; and though the city of Pasadena offered an
eligible lot in her well-kept and exclusive cemetery for
his burial, the wish of the departed was remembered,
and Jason made the grave beneath a mountain tree in
the quiet, green nook which he had prepared. Said he:
"I never could have gone back to my lonely claim
upon the mountain had Owen been buried elsewhere;
but since it holds his grave, I am content."
As if the lower earth were too cold and damp, too
densely permeated with the malaria of human wrong
and wretchedness, Owen sought a place in the upper
atmosphere, nearer Heaven, where amidst freedom
untrammeled he found a Pisgah top upon which he
lived, and at death was buried, like Moses, within its
solemn and impressive environments.
Now throuijh the smoky atmosphere,
Fantastic lights and shades appear,
And vibrant echoes far and near.
The island shores awake.
By wayside path and thorny hedge,
Along the copse's tangled edge;
And midst the miry marshland's sedge,
Dieth the Golden Rod.
IN THE MARSH LAND.
By fences rude, and cottage gates,
The noxious burdock grimly waits
With bold intent and sinister hate,
The passer-by to seize;
And "beggar Jice," and "pitchforks" brown.
Bedeck the garb of fop and clown,
And ornament the maiden's gown,
In novel style and gay.
A UTUMN ETCHINGS. 175
Where erst the campers' tents were seen,
Beneath the woodland's glossy green,
And forest giants intervene
Their wide extended arms;
Now broken stakes, and trampled earth.
Which relics of the camp begirth,
A vanished season's festive mirth,
Alone is left to tell.
Here leafy showers, with gentle pour,
Have covered all the woodland o'er,
Frcm mossy glade to pebbled shore
With russet orown and gold.
Nestled within their earthy bed,
The leaflets rustle to my tread.
Or by the wind are briskly sped.
Over the channel wide.
Gone is the piquant summer girl.
With laughing eye and teeth of pearl,
And glowing cheek and glossy curl.
For summertime is o'er.
Dead are its myriad blossoms rare.
Vanished its day-dreams, bright and fair,
Faded the hopes that budded where
Dead leaves lie withering.
But why in tearful grief beside
The place where leaves and flowers have died;
And rest in common burial wide,
Thus sadly linger now ?
For leaves and flowers will come again
And joy spring forth from bitter pain.
And nothing shall have lived in vain,
That we have fondly known.
And cruel loss, and fruitless toil.
And grief that made our hearts recoil.
Shall in a more congenial soil,
Prove but the goodly seed;
A UTUMN ETCHINGS.
To germinate, and grow and thrive,
Till hope and. happiness revive,
For that fhey too shall e'er survive
Is universal law.
So turn we then from pensive themes
To where the wavelet brightly gleams.
And genial sunlight golden streams,
The vistaed groves among.
THE VISTAED GROVES.
Still brightly mid the trees which crown
Yon rugged bluffs that lakeward frown.
The tall oaks touched with reddish brown
A softened splendor shed;
And maple boughs, and cedars old,
Display a weHltliof green and gold,
While sumach flaunts in crimson bold.
Beside the naked thorn.
Full of its own deep mystery.
The sky soft blending with the sea,
A portion of eternity
• Vaguely suggestive seems.
Along its blue line pencilled black,
\ smoke trail marks the steamer's track)
And cruising vessels slowly tack
Against the channel breeze.
White sails upon our vision grow
And loom against the Western glow.
Then fading wraith-like from us go.
Into the distant haze.
A filmy veil enwraps the isles.
And each through gauze of purple smiles,
With all the captivating wiles
That youthful maidens know.
Fair "Middle Tlass" her greeting sends,
And "Rattlesnake" its length extends,
And rocky Gibraltar blends
To form a picture rare.
A UTUMN ETCHINGS.
Now rests in dreamy solitude,
The lonely isle where Perry stood,
While ballast from its surlace rude
Was taken for his ships.
But in Lake Erie's diadem,
And on her jewelled garment's hem,
The fairest and the brightest gem
Is storied Put-in-Bay.
Here resting in their earthy bed,
Where willow branches thickly spread.
And yellow leaflets freely shed.
Perry's dead heroes sleep.
Encircled wide by belting beach,
Inland the tranquil waters reach,
And bay and inlet mirror each,
The cragged, carven rocks.
Now freely run the gamy bass,
And in their light skiffs sportsmen pass,
With hooks of steel, and spoons of brass,
These finnys to beguile.
■THE GAMY BASS.'
ITS A UTUMN E TCHINGS.
Anon their voices blithely ring,
And wooded cliffs the echoes fling,
As outward bound they gayly sing.
The theme to them most dear.
BASS FISHERMEN'S SONG,
O, jolly are we.
And happy and free,
As the guhs that flap overhead,
We're lighter than air,
Since for worry and care,
We've taken our tackle instead
The feathery dash,
And musical plash.
Of the bending, pliable oar.
Our voices attune
To the song of the loon.
And our spirits ecstaticly soar.
We're pulling away
Toward far l^oint au Pelee,
Where thickly the bass fishes swim;
Though Lake Erie's pest.
O'er her sun lighted breast
Patrols the Canadian rim.
Now boatmen have care;
Of the Petrel beware.
For she's crammed with powder and lead,
But the line will we hug,
In spite of our natural dread.
For to tickle the nose.
While lapped in repose,
Of the lion rampaciously bold,
Is fun all alive,
From which we derive,
Diversion in measure untold.
A UTUMN E TCHINGS. 179
On Italy's soil, in sunny France,
Nor yet where Rhenish waters dance.
And golden sunbeams warmly glance,
Through skies of deepest blue,
Is found no spot more brightly fair,
With vintage grown so richly rare.
Sweet scenting all the dreamy air —
Than on Lake Erie's isles.
There witching views the sight commands,
Unbroken stretch the vineyard lands,
Enclosing with their purple bands,
The lovely pictured shores.
There interspersed with rows between.
And picturesquely clad are seen,
Athwart the mild October sheen,
The island maidens fair;
And blithely 'mid the foliage dun,
They gather grapes and have their fun,
And into mellow-rhymelets run,
With careless grace and free.
From early morn,
With ringers light,
And spirits gay.
And faces bright—
The clusters rare.
We deftly cull.
And heap with care
The baskets full.
But when at eve,
A crescent moon,
The shadows cleave.
And zephyrs croon;
180 AUTUMN ETCHINGS.
We haste away,
Where torches glance,
To join the gay
"Grape picker's dance."
And midst the din
And festive mirth,
All else on earth.
Serenely fair, the Autumn day,
Now softly melts from gold to grey,
And lengthened shadows thickly lay,
The vineyard rows among.
Slowly the evening steamer threads
Her course by "Ballast reef" and heads
Bayward, while sunset golden sheds
A brilliance over all.
So when for me life's sunset glow
Shall o'er my path its radiance throw.
Thus may I pass from all below,
And bid the world "Good Night."
In the Archipelag:©.
(Pboloby Rev. W. F. Allen.) PRUNING THE VINES,
— we read of
them in po-
etry and i n
history, i n
story and in
France are they found, and westward stretching toward
the fartherest outlying coasts of Brittany, They cover
the Castillian slopes and Andalusian valleys of Spain,
and run riot about the ivied castles and moss-grown
ruins of the historic Rhine. In the warm, sheltered
valleys of the Apennines and along the classic shores
of the Mediterranean they grow and thrive, and the
ripening clusters scent the dreamy air, while the red>
white, purple and gold of the many varieties paint the
landscape with diversified color.
Probably no spot within the Northern States east
of the Rockies more resembles these storied lands of
182 FRUIT HARVEST
poetry, sunshine and grapes than do the islands of
Lake Erie — a feature often remarked by foreign
tourists. However, not alone in grapes do they lux-
uriate, but in every variety of fruit native to the soil
and climate, and a never ceasing wonder to autumn
visitors are the overwhelming crops produced. Wher-
ever the steamer touches at any of the numerous land-
ings, and especially at the principal steamboat wharves
where cargoes of fruit are taken on board, the observer
is strongly impressed with the extent and importance of
the horticultural interests of the locality. Business
along the fruit line is seen to overshadow every other
concern including pound fishing which ranks second as
an island industr3\
The rich and bountiful exhibit of Pomona's treas-
ures becomes less of a marvel, however, when it is
known that the whole extent of available surface
on Put-in-Bay, Middle Bass and Isle St. George com-
prises each a magnificent sweep of vineyard and or-
chard lands without a solitary wheat, corn, oat or hay
field intervening, and only occasional small pasture lots,
gardens and truck patches appearing.
A grain reaper, mower or threshing machine are
things never seen among the Bass islands, and the
resident small boy would undoubtedly open his eyes as
widely at sight of one of these objects as a youthful
landlubber might open his at sight of a big lake
While the farmer's busy season is in mid-summer
when the grain is golden and the meadows are sweet
with new mown grasses, the island dweller begins his
harvest of vine and orchard products in early September,
IN THE ARCHIPELAGO.
until bleak No-
cheeks, and the
f r ost-bl ight
sears leaf and
(PhoiobyRev.W. F.Allen.) DRIVl N'G GRAPE POSTS. all thcSC WCCks
of fruit gathering, hauling and shipping, so busy is he
that the proverbial busy bee is left behind in the com-
Not only is the lord of the vineyard kept constantly
at work, but likewise all his help, male and female,
and his good wife, if she wills, and his sons and daugh-
ters and relatives near and distant, with goodness
knows how manv outsiders, are marshalled into ser-
vice. Housekeeping affairs must languish to a con-
siderable extent, of course. The bread gets away,
pies and cookies mysteriously disappear, carpets and
furniture get dusty, and the clothes basket becomes
piled with soiled clothes. The thrifty housewife chafes
and sometimes scolds over existing conditions, but is
powerless to cope successfully against such fearful
odds of dirt and disorder, and still do her part in fur-
thering the fruit gathering.
Callers who come unexpectedly are apt to find the
lady of the house in the vineyard arrayed in a ging-
184 FRUIT HARVEST
ham sunbonnet, her husband's cast off coat and pos-
sibly his shoes. She looks ruddy and picturesque,
and though slightly mortified and very profuse in apol-
ogies, laughs jocosely at being caught in "such an out-
Agents and peddlars bitterly complain of finding
"everybody in the vineyard and nobody at home," and
though affording them excellent opportunit}^ for
munching rich clusters, and flirting with the pretty
young girls who gather them, the vineyard is a bad
place to talk business, and their trade corresponding!}-
At the islands grape picking is regarded as an ex-
ceptionally genteel occupation, and young ladies who
scorn kitchen accomplishments, who eschew dining
room service and chamber work, take as kindly to
grape picking as fish take to water. Among the
pickers are found shop girls, dressmakers, salesladies
and book-keepers, and they sometimes go to work in
dainty sailor hats and beaver jackets; but most of them
don more picturesque attire. Though sickly and sal-
low at the beginning, the bracing breezes, the sun, the
live fun, and the luscious grapes contribute to give
tone, fiesh and color; and the picker soon begins con-
sulting the grocer's scales and to mark her rapidly in-
creasing weight. The girls who pick grapes are
usually witty and wise, as well as gay and piquant.
They are out for a good time and have it, and why
not? when the sunshine is so golden and sk}' and water
such a lovely tint, and the beauty, poetry and music of
nature are everywhere felt as well as seen and heard.
So through mellow afternoons while lights and shadows
IN THE ARCHIPELAGO.
THE VINEYARD LANDS.
the vines and
he aroma of
ters scents the
a i r — w h i 1 e
sea gulls dip
and fish i n g
and go, the
grape pickers are busy, and blithe and song, shout
and gay repartee are heard on every side. They
meet many pleasant acquaintances, form lasting friend-
ships and make some interesting "mashes" among
susceptible island youths. Many who come to
the island looking thin, pale and melancholy, go away
jolly, romping girls, a trifle sunbrowned and a bit
flreckled, of course, but healthy and happy.
"Anybody can pick grapes." So they can, but
know ye that it is an art to be studied, and to do the
work speedily and well requires extended practice.
There's quite a knack, for instance, in rounding up a
basket of grapes, and to do it perfectly requires almost
as much constructive skill and artistic ability as the
planning and execution of an elaborate floral piece.
Now, the grape shipper is very fastidious concern-
ing his baskets. They must be heaped to the handles,
yet so nicely rounded at the ends as to allow them to
be stacked up in tiers one upon the other without
bruising the contents. They must show to advantage
the delicate bloom of the beauty bunches nestling under
1 86 FR UIT HA R VEST
coverings of pink tarletan. They must look smooth
and even, and all imperfect fruit must be eliminated.
There's lots of character in basket building, so
much, indeed, that the local phrenologist can tell there-
from the general character of the builder. If the
basket has a mussy, topsy-turvy appearance; the
picker is dead sure to be slovenly and disorderly in
habits; if lop-sided and ill proportioned, generally the
individual lacks form, calculation, etc. If bad grapes
are found at the bottom with good ones on top, the
picker is disposed to be tricky. An honest basket in-
dicates an honest builder, and one symmetrically topped
proclaims a S3^mmetrical taste. Thus it transpires that
if a young man with an eye to business wants to learn
what kind of a housekeeper the girl who has been his
late vineyard partner will make, he examines the
basket she has tilled. In like manner the damsel in-
spects his, and reads as in a magic mirror as to
whether he will make a model husband or is likely to
enter the house without cleaning his boots, to spit
tobacco juice against the kitchen siove and to scratch
matches on the wall.
The results of a day's picking are a surprise to the
uninitiated. There are baskets and baskets by scores,
and hundreds brimming with sweetness, and it is quite
a trick to get the labels in place and the tarletan
corners pinioned down smooth and tight. This done,
they are loaded upon a fruit rack made to lit the
wagon and conveyed to the wharves.
In the height of the fruit season a novel spectacle
is presented at the Put-in-Bay docks. The ware-
houses everywhere are jam full of basketed products
IN THE ARCHIPELAGO. 187
— peaches, plums and grapes — the latter largely pre-
dominating. Loads are still being discharged and
billed, while a long line of fruit-laden wagons stand
waiting one upon another for opportunity to deposit
their contents. The observer wonders at the patience
of the drivers, for no matter how great his hurry, each
bides his time with stoical grace.
Nearly every wagon met on the island roads is
laden with grapes and other fruit for the steamer
wharves. Grapes for wine purposes are enclosed in
heavy wooden boxes. Fruit speculators abound, and
many a sharp dicker takes place between buyer and
Outgoing steamers of all the island lines carr}'-
cargoes of fruit, but the larger bulk is sent up the lakes
via Detroit, and the signal for a general rush at the
landing is the arrival of the Detroit steamer bound up,
which on account of taking fruit at other island points
does not reach the bay until late.
By the brilliant light of lamps and lanterns her
decks appear already heaped with the spoils of vine-
yard and orchard, but under the direction of their
superior officers the deck hands hustle on board the
large consignments still awaiting them. The scene is
a busy one. There are many spectators, and it is
sometimes quite late when the steamer whistles "off
lines" and heads away for Detroit.
A day spent in the island vineyards when conditions
are favorable is a day to be remembered, for the
sunny climes of foreign lands can furnish no fairer or
more enchanting scenes.
^qSLE DE FLEURS/^-
From a time obscure and olden,
Linked by chain of legends golden,
To the present day,
Comes to us a pleasing story,
Full of reminiscence hoary,
Down the ages grey.
'Tis about a lonely islet,
Stretching under skies of violet,
In the hazy west;
Brightly fair among the number
That together calmly slumber
On Lake Erie's breast.
Near it one propitious June day,
Anchored fast, a wave-worn brig lay.
After voyage long;
Over leagues of untried waters,
Where the dusky warrior's daughters
Sang their chieftain's song;
While upon the wavelets lightly,
Touched by silver moonbeams nightly,
Sped their bark canoes:
But the white-winged vessel lying
With her tattered pennon flying,
Resting from her cruise;
*NOTE. — 'According,' to historical account, the first sail craft that ever
cruised the island waters anchored off what is now known as Middle Bass,
in the latter part of the 17th century. The vessel, bound up the lake, carried
a party of French missionaries, aniong^ whom was Father Louis Hennesin.
Upon this island the missionaries landed, and there conducted the first
relif?ious service supposed ever to have been held in the archipelago by rep-
resentatives of the Christian faith. So delifrhted with the island and its
rich display of floral wealth were these early navig-ators, that they named
it Jsle de J^'/eurs—^^lsle of Flowers'.'
ISLE DE FLEURS. 189
Was the first sail of the white man
Ever risk of rock and reef ran,
On Lake Erie's wave;
And the painted island savage,
Used alone to war and ravage,
Fearful grew, and grave.
On the beach they quickly gathered,
Youthful brtave and warrior feathered,
At a sight so new,
And in silence there awaited
Small boats with intruders freighted.
From "the winged canoe."
Facino then the vessel's captain.
Quoth an aged, dusky chieftain:
"Wherefore art thou here ?
Pale-face, tell us: Cam'st thou hither
All the red man's hopes to wither,
By the breath of fear?"
"Cam'st thou to despoil our treasure,
Basely to enslave at pleasure
Youthful maidens fair.-"
Cam'st for bloody war and pillage.
Ruthlessly to burn our village.
And our braves ensnare V
Then a man of stately bearing,
Symbols sacred meekly wearing
On his priestly gown,
Rose to greet each dusky native.
While a heartfelt hymn oblative
Softly floated round.
Spake the priest — a Bible holding,
And its precepts there unfolding —
"Came we that strife may cease !
Fear not these, thy stranger brothers;
This our motto— 'Love toothers,'
And our mission — peace."
ISLE DE FLEURS.
Then he told the olden story,
Which, transcendent in its glory,
Gilds the sacred Word,
And the painted island savage,
Used alone to war and ravage,
Marveled as he heard.
THE PAINTED ISL^^ND SaVAGE.
All the green isle overspreading,
Widely iragrance r chly sheading
Through the balmy air ;
Bloomed in wild, unkempt profusion,
'Mid the tangled wood's seclusion,
Flow'rets brightly fair.
With the lovely shores delighted,
Which these voyagers had sighted,
And had early hailed —
Isle de Fleurs—'-'l^Xt of Flowers" —
Named they thus its pristine bowers
Ere again they sailed-
ISLE DE FLEURS.
Cent'ries now, with movement solemn,
Every trace has swept before them
Of these voyagers :
Yet this isle of pleasing story
Bears the name and blossomed glory
Which of old were hers.
And Her Attractions.
MIDDLE BASS CLUB GROUNDS
As one of the trip-
lets which comprise
the "Bass" group,
Middle Bass island
i s a section o f the
same emerald, so to
speak, as that from
was cut. Its coves
and shore lines are
pretty and pictur--
esque, and the place as a whole forms a natural
garden spot. The primitive name, "Isle de Fleurs," is
significant, and the blooms of field and forest not only;
but fruits, and foliage, and vegetation, both wild and
cultivated, unite in rendering it a perfect dream of
Middle Bass is shaped something like a duck —
minus the legs — the neck forming East Point, a long,
narrow projection luxuriant with tangles of wild
growths and picturescjue with rough rocks, and a
tumbled beach over which ranting storms rush and roar.
A sort of "John O'Groat's house" occupies the ex-
treme point, rising boldly over creviced shore and
' '^^^^E 1
AND HER A TTRA CTIONS. 193
The tail of the duck is formed by the bobbed off
western portion of the island. Upon this caudle ap-
pendage is located the grounds of the Middle Bass club
with its buildings and improvements. That Middle
Bass holds, as a summer resort, an important place, is
due to its charminij location and convenience of access
not only, but also to the enterprise of this association,
which has expended a large amount of money in fitting
up for the use of its members and invited guests during
summer heats a most delightful rendezvous.
The approach thereto from the main landing at
Wehrlt^'s is by an angling road which cuts through rich
tracts of vineyard and orchard lands, while to left and
right appear the neat dwellings of islanders, with their
prttty yards and gardens.
The grounds are sheltered by natural forest trees
and the situ.itiofi is refreshingly cool and breezy. In
addition to the magnificent club house with massive
tower and wide, cool verandahs, . they also contain a
handsome pavilion and boat house, a Gothic chapel in
which religious services are conducted, and a large and
elegant hall, at which are held club parties and enter-
tainments. These attractions, together with a collec-
tion of artistically built cottages, shaded avenues and
carefull}^ kept lawns, form in themselves a village of un-
rivalled beauty and elegance. There are no fences to
give to the place an air of littleness or exclusiveness and
the lawns and grass plots reach unbroken to the gutter
and are miracles each of the gardener's skill. Every
beautiful and artistic effect is studied in the arranjje-
ment of vines, vases, plants and shrubbery, and every
194 MIDDLE BASS
detail is looked after with the most scrupulous neatness
Pavements of smooth, white stone, sawed into
blocks of uniform size and thickness, edge the main
avenues and connect the club grounds with the steam-
boat wharves and piers.
During the summer season a ferry line steamer —
Le Roy Brooks — runs between the club ground and
Put-in-Bay, and viewed from the steamer's decks as she
approaches the former place, presents an exceedingly
attractive appearance. Club resorters crowd the wide
pier, idly promenade the avenues, or recline in the
deep, cool shadows of spreading trees. Cots, ca.r.p
chairs, rockers and tete-a-tetes stand ready for occu-
pation, iind luxurious hammocks swing invitingly.
Thi club consists of 200 members, having been
limited to that number, and represents some of the
wealthiest and most influential families of Toledo,
Cleveland, Cincinnati, Springfield, Dayton, Chicago
and other cities.
In the club membership, or on the list of invited
guests, annually appear names of prominent men such
as Governor Asa Bushnell and representatives of his
staff; Senator Foraker, General J. Warren Keiffer,
Judge Haynes, ex-Secretary of the Treasury Charles
Foster, and Senator Hanna. These, and other dis-
tinguished public men, with their families, are members
or guests at this resort. Among society people of
prominence entertained there from time to time may be
mentioned the Misses Clay of Lexington, Kentucky;
Miss Rusk, daughter of Jeremiah Rusk, Mrs. Reese,
sister of Senator Sherman, and ladies of like prominence.
AND HER A TTRA CTIONS. 195
The cottage of John Berdan has won distinction as
the home, for two or three weeks during his pres-
idential campaign, of Benjamin Harrison and family,
who were then guests of the club.
Life at the club is delightful, and rest, recreation
and happiness are found in measure unrestricted.
Lawn tennis, bicycle riding, bathing, boating and other
pastimes occupy old and young. Music by the hotel or-
chestra, piano or mandolin may be heard during the
afternoon and evening. Singing by select solo and
quartette performers till the air with a medley of sweet
sounds, Rehberg's hall echoes to the feet of dancers,
gaily painted boats and swift winged yachts put out
from shore laden with pleasure parties. Prooellers,
cargo laden, and strings of barges bound up and down
the great highways of commerce, come and go, and
shadowy sails appear, to vanish again in the blending
haze of sea and sky. Such is life at this little earthly
Among resorts there is none which so strongly at-
tracts the ga3'er portion of visiting crowds than that
known as "Wenrle's Hall" where:
'•Youth and pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet."
For by day and night from the opening of the sea-
son to its close are heard the sounds of music and the
dance, and thousands come and go, as many as a
thousand persons having been on some occasions rep-
resented in the hall, the assemblage consisting of hotel
guests from Put-in-Bay, island dwellers and parties from
Sandusky and other points who arrive on moonlight
excursions. On such occasions the hall is a blaze of
light, the orchestra plays, the whistle of busy ferry
boats is heard — the ///«, a well known and favored
Httle steamer and other boats being represented — and
red and green lights twinkle across the channel
At a late hour when the entertainment is over, and
the steamers with their crowds move away, the band
strikes up a lively selection, a cannon mouths forth a
parting salute and shouts and cheers resound.
Wehrle's hall occupies the upper portion of an ex-
AND HER A TTRA CTIONS. 197
tensive building fronting the steamboat wharves, and
is reached from the outside by flights of stairs. A
wide balcony projects over the entire front and across
the end overlooking the residence and private grounds
of the late Andrew Wehrle. The hall is wainscotted
with Hght oak or maple. At one end is the music
platform, at the other end billiard and other tables.
From a side counter customers order refreshments of
all sorts, which may be had, from a dish of ice cream
to wines of every brand, and the tempting goblet with
its color and sparkle and seductive sweets goes round.
Under the hall are the vaults of the Wehrle Wine
company, which contains, it is said, some of the largest
casks in the world.
EXPERIENCES OF AN OLD DOCTOR
Among the Islands of Erie.
Thouorh small in area, North Bass— otherwise
known as "Isle St. George" — is great in importance;
so rendered by the man}^ heroes of adventure there
produced. This island lies four miles to the north of
Put-in-Bay. Isolated as they were, its early inhabit-
ants were prone to all sorts of ditficulties and discom-
forts which overtook them whenever they made an
attempt to get somewhere. Following is an old doc-
tor's description of his first visit to this remote isle and
subsequent adventures in the archipelago:
"I was practicing medicine in the city of Rochester,
N. Y., and having business in Sandusk}^, the owner of
Isle St. George, Henry Champion, presented me a power
of attorney to procure a lease of Roswell Nichols. He
occupied the island as a squatter. To get to the place
was a quandary — no steamboat. I got set over on
the peninsula in a row boat; from there I hired an
Indian to take me to Put-in-Bay in his canoe. Thence
I got passage to Isle St. George. I found the said
Nichols, his wife and two Scotts, brothers of Mrs.
Nichols, sole occupants. At a later date, however, I
became myself a resident of the island.
"A mail carrier and a doctor doing a traveling
business among these islands frequently have some
pretty tough experiences, and no mistake."
EXPERIENCES OF AN OLD DOCTOR. 199
The speaker spread his hands over the big base
burner, by the aid of which he was trying to warm
"The fact is," continued the doctor, after a moment's
reflection, "I .don't believe there is any class or condition
of men upon this terrestrial ball that see more of rough-
and-tumble experience than they, unless it be a Rocky
mountain stage coach driver or an Arctic explorer.
"I have roughed it on old Erie for years — not as a
sailor, but as a doctor, traveHng by steamer, skiff, sail,
team and on foot. Like the Flying Dutchman, I am
forever on the wing, beating about in all weathers, over
all creation and a part of Canada."
"Indeed ! So your practice extends to the Cana-
dian shores ?"
"Oh, yes; I have had practice in Leamington,
Kingsville and other places along the Canada main, as
well as at Point au Pelee Island, Kelley Island, the
three Bass Islands and the peninsula.
"I have traveled back and forth so much as to have
nearly lost my identity, and hardly know whether I
belong to the United States or Canada. When I'm
here Uncle Sam claims me, and when I go over the
lake they try to annex me to the Queen's dominions."
"I suppose you find it risky business, sometimes,
traveling over the ice ?"
"Oh yes, indeed ! It's all solid enough this winter,
but I have been called from one island to another, in
the pursuit of my avocation, when it wasn't fit for any
human being to cross. I have traveled for miles, from
one point to another, when I had to bridge the whole
distance, the ice being all broken up."
200 EXPERIENCES OF AN OLD DOCTOR.
"How did you do that ?"
"By means of two boards, one laid in front of tl e
other. When 1 stepped from one board, 1 pulled up the
board 1 stepped off and put it down in front, and so on
across. Once 1 remember I came pretty near going
down, boards and all. I tell you I had to lay my bridge
and get over it just about as lively as anything you
"I am not a church member, and j-et I have been
immersed in Lake Erie often enough to have made me
one several times over."
"I crossed the lake once when the ice was very
treacherous. I carried in my hand a long pike-pole,
and picked my way carefully for a time. At last,
I got careless, and being in a hurry did not
watch my footing, when all at once the ice gave way
beneath my feet and in I went. The long ends of the
pole saved me, catching on the ice and holding me waist
deep in the water. With the energy of desperation I
grasped the pike-pole and threw myself right over it,
landing upon the ice. The weather was intensely cold,
and when I reached shore my clothes were frozen stiff
and covered with ice like a coat of mail."
" 'You look as if you had been in the lake,' ob-
served a man whom I happened to meet."
" 'Maybe I have,' 1 replied, and hurried on to the
At this point the departure of the mail cutter for
Port Clinton caused a break in the narrative, and but-
toning up his overcoat the doctor hurried away to visit
a patient upon an adjacent island.
A PERILOUS ADVENTURE,
Trip With the Island Mail.
Most persons who read the newspapers take a
lively interest in exciting tales of dangers and escapes
told by adventurers in remote western wilds, in moun-
tain fastnesses, among Alaskan glaciers, or mayhap
with train robbers on the night express, with floods^
earthquakes, blow-ups and blow-outs of all descrip-
As "distance lends enchantment," so a glamour of
romance is thrown upon these distant occurrences,
investing each detail with an abnormal interest,
while oft-times within one's immediate neighbor-
hood perilous ventures and hair-breadth escapes
from danofer and death are made but never recorded.
No better illustration along this line could be cited
than is furnished by the United States mail service in
operation between the Lake Erie islands and points on
the mainland during the winter season. Few occupa-
tions, indeed, could be fraught with more real hard-
ship and precarious undertaking, and only the hardiest
of that hardy race of amphibians who inhabit
the archipelago, will incur the risk and respons-
ibility attaching to the position of mail carrier, despite
the very liberal pecuniar}- inducements offered by
The experience of a "landlubber" who once got
202 A PERILOUS ADVENTURE,
stranded upon the islands, is one among scores of
stories which might be related in connection with the
island mail service. The adventurer who lived in a
thriving inland city, had been necessitated by urgent
business to visit Isle St. George — the most northerly
of the Bass group.
Fresh from the noise and enterprise of busy streets
the little lone isle wrapped in its wintry environments
appeared to the stranger most desolate and forlorn.
He had intended remaining over night only, but in two
hours after his arrival a nor'easter, one of the heaviest
that ever struck the islands, swooped down with a
fury that sent people flying to their houses, birds and
animals to coverts wherever afforded, and made the
fisherman's cot, wherein the visitor had taken refuge,
rock upon its foundations. The wind blew a sixty
miles an hour gale, and the lake, which had been frozen
over, was broken up by the mighty sweep of the hur-
ricane. The sea was tremendous. By its force,
masses of ice w^re lifted and flung high upon the
shores to weatherward, when drenched by surf and
frozen together, they formed vast solid ridges and
ranges of ice hills, arched, pillared and corniced
like the facade of a northern iceberg, and rising in
places to a height of forty feet. Spray swept in
showers across adjacent lands, coating heavily with
ice rocks, trees, shrubbery and all objects within a
hundred yards of shore. Snow blew in horizontal
lines. The roar of the wind and crash of the ice were
terrific, and the scene presented was one of sub-
For three days the stranger was storm-bound upon
A PERILOUS ADVENTURE. 203
the island. Anxious ones at home awaited his return,
wondering at his long absence. Damaged by ice, the
wires of the telegraph cable would not work and he
could send them no message, and so on the third night
the storm having abated, he resolved to seize the first
opportunity of escape from his forced exile.
The carrier left on the following morning with the
mail— long delayed — and our adventurer was duly on
hand ready to accompany him as a "passenger" to the
mainland. The mail-boat, gotten up to order, was a
solidly built yawl with an exterior covering of sheet
iron, and furnished with short, narrow runners.
A motley crowd gathered at the island postofRce
to see the carrier off with his party, and down the
frozen ice banks they were soon plunging to the lake.
The passenger, U. S. mail pouch and expressage were
stowed in the stern, while the carrier and his as-
sistants attired in water-tight suits and rubber boots
managed the boat.
The entire network of inlets, bays and channels
was packed throughout with heavy ice drift. The
surface was frozen, but not sufficiently to bear a man,
so that a passage for the boat had to be broken and
cleared with pike poles. It was hard work and tedi-
ous and the distance between Isle St. George and
Middle Bass seemed interminable. Lines of drift four
or five feet deep barred the way at some points across
which — it being impossible to force a channel — the
boat was drawn and pushed, all the men disembarking
for the purpose, save the passenger, who being unused
to the situation was ordered to keep his seat as the
surest means of keeping out of the way.
204 A PER/LOUS ADVENTURE.
The ice was most treacherous. The waves had
broken, pulverized and rolled it into perfectly round
balls of all sizes from a lemon to immense spherical
bodies many feet in diameter. These ball-like masses
were liable to crumble beneath the feet at any mo-
ment. There were deep holes and fissures where
water appeared and crumbliiig ice obliged the men to
hastily grasp and climb into the boat. The surface,
too, was broken with icy knobs and sharp spines
rising high in places, and here even the passenger was
required to land that the boat might be gotten over
with less exertion. The experience was new and
novel to the stranger. It was likewise depressing and
made him wonder vaguely whether he would ever
see hom^ again. In fact he would have parted with a
snug sum to have been safe once more on the mainland.
Middle Bass was reached; two men and a team
were waiting to convey the party to the postoflice,
where another mail pouch and more expressage were
shipped. They were soon again on their way toward
the eastern extremity of Put-in-Bay. The channel
between these islands was even more difficult of pass-
age. The ice had been wildly tossed and deeply
drifted. Contorted images of mottled marble menaced,
and berg-like masses confronted them. Approaching
shore, the drift rose several feet above the lake
surface. It was full of seams and cavernous hollows,
and a mass giving way the boat suddenly reared and
plunged bow foremost into the opening. The pass-
enger, mailbags and express matter were as suddenly
shot from stern to stem, where they lay in a confused
mass. Two men went into the water to the girdle.
A PERILOUS ADVENTURE. 205
the other to his neck. Then and there was a squirm-
ing time, but men and boat subsequently fished each
other out, and got righted, and wet, cold and hungry,
they reached shore about noon. Here the mail boat,
by which they had crossed, was left for the return
trip. At this place a second iron-sheeted boat like the
first had been left on the beach, which ihe carrier had
purposed transporting to the opposite ^^ide of the isl-
and to connect between Put-in-Bay and the peninsula;
but the boat had disappeared, having been buried ten
feet deep under the drift ice which ridged the shore.
Fortunately the exact spot where it lay was known?
and although the men protested against the long,
laborious task the carrier insisted upon digging it out-
Axes, picks and shovels were procured from adjacent
houses, and after two hours' hard work the boat was
dragged forth. With mail bags, pike poles and pass-
enger, it was loaded upon an islander's wagon and con-
veyed to its destination.
At the Bay village the man who had taken an in-
voluntary bath exchanged some of his wet garments
for others furnished, and dinner with hot coffee was
partaken of with a relish. Here the third and heaviest
mail bag was received with more expressage. Two
more "passengers" anxious to reach the main shore
wished to join the carrier, but were intimidated by re-
ports of the bad going and gave it up. A crowd saw
them off. The day was wearing along and the carrier
hastened, realizing something of the difficulty yet
ahead. Several miles of lake were still to be gotten
over, with the prospect of having to break and force a
passage the most of the way.
206 A PERILOUS ADVENTURE.
The ice was found to be in a most precarious con-
dition, In many places it was loo tough to break
without great effort, yet not solid enough to bear men
and boat, and was constantl}^ crumbling beneath their
To make matters worse, the wind freshened and
began blowing a strong gale from the west. Clouds
which had skurried about early in the day thickened,
and snow began flying with prospects of more to fol-
low. The passenger grew seriously alarmed; he was
also benumbed with cold, and to keep from freezing
begged to be allowed a part in wielding the pike poles
and propelling the boat. The wind continued and the
ice broke and began running heavily before it. Angu-
lar masses ground their sharp points against the boat's
sides with a force, which, but for its iron mailing,
would have shattered it. Midway of the channel they
got fast in a running drift and were carried eastward
several miles before they could extricate themselves.
One of the men had broken in and was wet to the
shoulders, while the others were nearly exhausted. To
intensify the unpleasantness snow began falling so
thickly as to entirely blot from view the land. The
carrier felt in all his pockets for the compass which he
usually carried, but found that he had forgotten to
bring it. Twilight was then falling and darkness came
on apace. Lights were invisible from shore and the
party realized that they were lost on the running ice,
in the night and whirling snow. They were nearly
dead from fatigue but struggled on, not knowing
whether they headed shoreward or out into the open
lake. While assisting in working the boat through a
A PERILOUS ADVENTURE. 207
tough gorge our hero, the landlubber, got into the
water over head and ears, and being less dexterous
than his companions narrowly escaped being carried
away under the ice. He was badly frightened and
more dead than alive, but a heavy dose ot brandy from
a pocket flask served to restore him. There was no
moon. Clouds shut out the starlight and wind and
snow cut painfully. In this sad dilemma an idea struck
the carrier. The wind had been blowing from the
west and was probably in the same direction.
"Why not steer by the wind.^ " This suggestion
was acted upon. Another hour passed when to their
intense relief the snow ceased falling and a light became
visible. Shouts were sent up and soon an answer came
back and lanterns twinkled close by. The carrier and
his party were helped ashore by men who came out to
meet them. They did not know their whereabouts,
but found that they had landed a few miles beyond the
point for which they had aimed.
A steaming hot supper served before a rolhcking
fire in a shore dweller's kitchen reanimated the ex-
hausted party, and an hour later they were whirled
away to the nearest depot, arriving just in time to
catch the outgoing express.
Our landlubber was undoubtedly the happiest and
most thankful man on the train, but the island mail
reached Sandusky too late that night for delivery.
And Her Resources.
A condensed yet comprehensive history of Kelley
Island, once given by an old resident of the Bass
group, runs as follows:
"In the beginning Kelley Island was eaten up by
rattlesnakes. You could harvest them by the wagon
load, and the varmints held high carnival. Then came
old Ben Napier, the pioneer of the archipelago. Old
Ben turned loose a drove of hogs on the island, and
the hogs ate up the rattlesnakes. Next, the Kelley
family alighted on the spot, and the Kelleys ate up the
hogs. Then came the Dutch, and the Dutch ate up
This, according to the narrator, completed the
history of Kelley Island. It is sincerely hoped that
this bit of pleasantry, or unpleasantry, on the part of
a cynical punster may not be laid up against the per-
petrator, as he is now dead and gone to his reward.
The above historical representation is in reality a
compliment in disguise, marking, as it does, the varied
stages through which the island has passed, and indi-
cating like a steam gauge the irrepressible energy and
enterprise which has distinguished from early days its
inhabitants. A more detailed account of the island,
its history and progress, will be interesting neverthe-
less in this connection, for like her sister isles, much of
KELLEY ISLAND. 209
reminiscent interest and pleasing romance attaches
Kelley Island enjoys the distinction of being the
largest of the lake group belonging to Uncle Sam. It
lies in a southeasterly direction about eight miles from
Put-in-Bay, and almost directl}^ north of Sandusky-
The bay-indented shores and rock-ribbed surface'
diversified by vineyards, orchards and natural forest,
as seen at Kelley Island, afford ample stretches of
strikingly picturesque and beautiful scenery. Her re-
sources are varied and profitable, and her population
intelligent and thrifty.
Several separate series of early settlers are recorded
as having made at various times the island their home-
competing with the dusky aborigines for its possession,
each in turn yielding to its prioi claimants or succumb-
ing to other incidental difficulties, and retiring to give
place to new batcnes of adventurers. This, it seems,
continued up to the war of '12, when the few white
settlers then represented were driven away by the
menacing attitude of hostile Indians, During the war
the island, it is recorded, was made a military rendez-
vous, Gen. Harrison, then commanding the Army of
the Northwest, having stationed on the west shore a
guard for the purpose of reconnoitering the move-
ments of the British and Indians on the lake. As late
as 1828 the cedar tent-stakes marking the encampment
of this guard were still standing.
According to historians, the squadron of Commo-
dore Perry lay for a time in the harbor south of the
island previous to its engagement with the British.
While there. Perry received on board his flagship Gen.
210 KELLEY TSLAhW.
Harrison and Gens. Cass and McArthur, who came to
consult the naval commander concerning his plan of
action. The battle of Lake Erie in 1813 practically
ended the war, and permanently settled at the same
time both the British and hidians. The red-skins
skulked away in alarm after the defeat of their allies,
and as far as authentic records show never ajxain re-
turned on sinister motives bent.
With tiie passing of the red man and his supremacy
in the archipelago came more adventurers.
The pretentions of modern aristocracy were then
unknown to the Kelley islander; his dwelling, never-
theless, was solidly and entirely constructed of red
cedar, and the cutting and shipping of this rare and
valuable wood formed an industry of no mean import-
In the interests of Kelley Island prominently figured
about that time a primitively constructed steamer, the
"Walk-in-the-Water." This steamer, built in 1818,
was the first that ever plowed the waters of the lake,
and not only as a marvel of inventive genius, but as a
most important adjunct of his commercial interests,
was she regarded by the Kelley Island denizen. There
were no docks to facilitate the landing of vessels, and
the then reigning prince of the isle — Killam by name —
carried in his sailboat loads of red cedar to the Walk-
in-the-Water as she lay at anchor. Some of this
timber, cut into suitable lengths, was used to fire the
steamer's engine, for in those days there was cedar "to
The career of the Walk-in-the-Water was, how-
ever, brief. After two vears' service she was wrecked
A GLIMPSE OF SHORE.
and lost off Point Albino. This destroyed the cedar
trade at Kelley Island and disheartened Killam, who
soon after left with all his belongings. After Killam's
departure followed a period cf six 3'ears in which the
island, as far as known, was destitute of any perma-
nent inhabitants, though adventurers occasionally vis-
Notwithstanding its almost complete desertion, the
island became productiv^e cif a tragedy during this period,
a review of which caused to contract with horror the
spinal vertebree of occupants who came after. The
parties to this affair were Grummets and Barnum.
These companions in solitude quarreled. Barnum shot
and killed Grummets, and disposed of the mangled
body by placing it in a leaky skiff and setting it adrift.
The wind carried the boat out into the open lake, where
it sank with its ghastly freight.
Ante-dating this occurrence, according to local tra-
212 KELLEY ISLAND.
dition, an adventurer lived on the island with his wife
and boy, the only inhabitants, but in mid winter, wife
and child were suddenly stricken by death. The solitary
mourner performed for them unaided the last sad rites,
rounding with his own hands their graves; after which,
unable in his grief and loneliness to endure the spot, he
left it, never to return.
In 1826 Elisha Ellis and his wife effected a settle-
ment on the island. A little later they were joined by
Samuel Beardsley and wife. They occupied one house,
and were the sole inhabitants up to 1828, when Mrs.
Beardsley died. She was buried on the shore, but her
grave was afterward washed away by the rising waters
of the lake, with that of a young woman — -one Mary
Kellogg — who came to the island in 1829, died soon
after and was buried beside Mrs. Beardsley.
During the winter of 1829 and '30 Mr. and Mrs.
Ellis, Henry Elithorpe and an individual known as
"Tinker Smith" formed, it is said, the total population
of the island. It was therefore a decided boom for the
place when in the summer of 1S30 three additional
families moved thereon.
Somewhere about the 3'ear 1833 a mimic lord, in
the person of a French trapper named Ben Napier,
tried to appropriate the archipelago, or that portion at
least included in Put-in-Bay and Kelley Islands. By
what fancied right this pioneer squatter sought to assert
and maintain his monarchical reign does not now ap-
pear; suffice to say that he made himself very much
at home and very numerous in both places, and gave
the individuals who afterward came into possession of
these islands a lot of trouble.
KELLEY ISLAND. 218
According to local legend, old Ben lived on the
flesh of swine, fowls of the air and fish. The fowls
and fish were supplied by the woods and waters, while
the swine were bred in large droves by the squatter,
and led a "root-hog^or-die" existence, fattening upon
acorns and other forage, or growing lean, hungry and
savage when the desired grub was lacking. When-
ever Ben wanted meat he climbed a tree, taking with
him his gun, and ensconced among the branches awaited
the appearance of these wild porkers, and when a drove
came within range he blazed away at the largest and
plumpest. He thus kept his table supplied with fresh
pork cutlets, ham and spare ribs, and grew corre-
spondingly fat and saucy, and neither by threats nor
coaxing could he be induced to relinquish his luxurious
mode of life, nor to depart from the island. Like the
hogs which he ate, he became very pugnacious. He
appropriated to himself in high-handed style the prop-
erty of his neighbors, and only by legal measures was
he finally ousted.
For the first time since its occupation by whites
the island was then permanently settled, having become
after some litigation the property of Irad Kelley, of
Cleveland, and Datus Kelley, of Rockport.
With the days of primitive savagery and lawless
piracy at an end, dawned a new era of individual but
legalized prosperity. Up to this date the island had
been known as "Cunningham Island," so called after
its first occupant, an Indian trader who flourished there
before the war of 1812; but vvith its survey and final
transfer, it was rechristened and placed upon the record
books as Kelley Island — a name which has become as
STREET LOOKING NORTH.
widely known and as permanently established as that
of the famil}' from which it was derived.
Impressed with the belief that the place was destined
to figure as a prominent commercial center, the Kelley
brothers began at once making improvements in the
way of dock building, in order to facilitate the landing
of vessels and the shipment of building stone, lime and
red cedar- — the island being rich in these natural prod-
ucts. They sought also to encourage an extension of
its population by settlement of lands, and with this
object in view placed on sale at fair prices, lots and
parcels of their possessions. Many purchases of homes
were made, and the island speedily became settled by a
class of people whose chief characteristics were saga-
city, industry, and thrift.
The ample bay on the south shore afforded a safe
KELLEY ISLAND. 215
anchorage for vessels passing up and down the lake,
and the docks and warehouses were filled with mer-
chandise of divers sorts. Cosy cottages appeared
which in time gave place to more pretentious dwell-
ings; and churches, school houses, hotels and other
buildings, both public and private, arose to attest the
The forests of cedar long siwce disappeared before
the woodman's ax. With them the trade in cedar
wood became a reminiscence, but not until it had'
materially contributed to the wealth of the island
inhabitants. However, ihe stone and lime interests
have since developed into large proportions. Derricks
are numerous, large forces of men are employed in the
quarries, and the Kelley Island Lime & Transport
Company carries on' extensive operations along these
lines. After a glance at the vast areas of quarried and
corded stone, and the outcropping ledges remaining,
the island as a whole suggests itself as a single big
lime rock, with a layer of earth spread over it.
The culture of grapes and manufacture of wine are
carried on extensively. Among horticulturists of prom-
inence are mentioned the names of the Kelleys, Charles
Carpenter and others.
Like adjacent members of the group, Kelley Island
has latterly become prominent as a summer reeort,
which is shown by her summer hotels and cottages
for the entertainment of summer people.
The island is likewise noted for its important geo-
logical formations, as well as for its Indian antiquities,
either of which would be sufficient in itself to render
the island famous. A description of the former is
in this volume
under the head-
in<j: " Some In-
latter, the re-
searches of anti-
BAYSiDE COTTAGE. resultcd in some
important discoveries. That the island formed a fav-
ored haunt o f the red tribes i s evidenced by the
ancient mounds, fortifications and other remains.
The grounds now occupied by the residence of
Addison Kelley are supposed to have formed anciently
the site of an extensive Indian village; pottery, pipes
and other articles, and implements of Indian manufac
ture, such as ancient grindstones, tomahawks and
hatchets, being there found in abundance.
Remains of earthworks are numerous, the most
extensive being found on the Huntington property,
inclosing an area of nearly seven acres.
The most interesting relics of this vanished race,
however, take shape in what are known as "Inscrip-
tion Rocks" — two in number — one of which, located
on the north shore, contains sculptured pipe-smoking
figures. The second and most famous lies in the
water's edge, near the steamboat wharves. The rock
is 32 feet long, 21 wide, and rises about 11 feet above
the water. It was originally discovered in 1833 by
Charles Olmstead of Connecticut, while studying the
glacial grooves. Concerning this rock we copy an
authority as follows:
"It is a part of the same stratification as the island
from which it has been separated by lake action. The
top presents a smooth and polished surface, like all the
Hmestone of this section when the soil is removed, sug-
gesting the idea of glacial action. Upon this the in-
scriptions are cut. The figures and devices are deeply
sunk in the rock. Schoolcraft's Indian ^Antiquities says
INSCRlPI ION BOCK.
" 'It is b}' far the most extensive, best sculptured and
best preserved inscription of tlie antiquarian period
ever found in America. It is in the picture-<jraphic
character of the natives. Its leading symbols are
readil}^ interpreted. The human figures, the pipe-
smoking groups and other figures denote tribes, nego-
tiations, crimes and turmoils which tell a story of
thrilling interest connected with the occupation of this
section by the Eries, of the coming of the VVyandots,
of the final triumph of the Iroquois and flight of the
people who have left their name on the lake. In 1851
drawings of these inscriptions were made by Col.
Eastman, U. S. Army, who was detailed by the gov-
ernment at Washington to examine them, on the rep-
resentation of Gen. Meigs, who had previously ex-
amined them. Copies of the inscriptions were made
and submitted to Sliuwvauh, an Indian learned in
KELLEY ISLAND. 219
Indian picturegrapby, and who had interpreted prior
inscriptions submitted to him.' "
Through the aid of a chart kindly furnished the
writer of this sketch by a lady resident of the island,
many characters on the great rock were plainly de-
ciphered, but the action of the elements and footsteps
of the many adventurers and curio hunters who for
years have made it the Mecca of their pilgrimages
have worn its pictured surface; and unless some means
are taken for their restoration and preservation, these
inscriptions will in time be obliterated.
^ECHO:" THE IROQUOIS MAIDEN.
The Untutored Savage and His Haunts.
At that period of American history when all the
vast country to the South, North and West of Lake
Erie formed a wilderness almost untrodden by the
white man, opens our story. Where busy marts of
trade and thriving villages now stand, then appeared
the wigwa ::s of tribal chiefs and burned their council
fires. Where fertile farming lands and orchards
stretch, and cosy cots and pretentious dwellings are
seen, slept undisturbed by echoes of civilized life
The wind's solemn roar in the mighty woods,
the howl and bark, the snap and snarl of wild beasts,
and the savage warrior's whoop were sounds then
most familiar. Reptiles swarmed in the dark swamps.
Tall grasses and underbrush formed a rendezvous for
crouching panthers, and strange Ijirds, congregated in
flocks innumerable amongst thickly crowding branches,
set everything agog with their shrieking notes.
Painted, feathered and picturesquely attired in the
barbaric costume of his race, the red savage watched
from his accustomed hilltops year by year the sun rise
and set, and the moons come and go, still holding in
undisputed possession his title as "Monarch of the
''ECHOr THE IROQUOIS MAIDEN. 221
About this time there lived a chieftain named
Tawapsett, a representative of the Seneca tribe, and a
branch of the once powerful Iroquois.
Tawapsett was skilled in war, and so true his aim
that a bird on the wing could he cleave with his feath-
ered arrow. For many years on the banks of a stream
he had pitched his wigwam; he was honored by his
followers and many braves of other tribes smoked by
his campfire the pipe of peace, and listened with interest
and admiration to the thrilling stories of adventure told
by him of his ancestors.
Tawapsett had an only daughter, of whom he was
very proud, who bore the name Wineska. In that rare
type of beauty peculiar to her race, the maiden was per-
fect. None among all the women of the tribe were
deemed as beautiful as she. Black as night, her long
hair fell in shining masses over shapely shoulders.
Faultless were her features, with a complexion bright
and glowing, and a flash in her dark eyes like that of
an eagle. A lithe form and a step light as a fawn's were
hers. A robe of scarlet covered with beaded decora-
tions fell in folds about her, and a necklace and brace-
lets richly wrought encircled neck and arms. The
maiden possessed various accomplishments. She was
skillful at beadwork, embroidery, and the forming of
strange and novel designs in colored quills of the por-
cupine. She was gifted also with a clear and richly
modulated voice and the songs which she sang entranced
the listener and awoke among the hills the fc//*?. Thus
it transpired that her father, the chieftain, resolved to
change her name, and henceforth she was known as
222 ''ECHOr THE IROQUOIS MAIDEN.
Among the many admirers of this lovely maiden
was a youthful chief — an Algonquin — named MoI<ego.
Having once been subjugated by the Iroquois, the two
tribes were on no very amicable footing, and Mokego^
the young Algonquin, was strictly prohibited from
making advances toward the daughter of Tawapsett.
To mak^ matters worse, "Echo" manifested a positive
dislike for Mokego, and in a fit of rage and despair the
chieftain resolved by fair means or foul to possess the
With a body of warriors he stealthily approached
the camp of the Iroquois chief, near which they secreted
themselves in a dense thicket. Here Mokego recon-
noitered, awaiting a favorable opportunity of making a
descent, or still better, of kidnapping the daughter of
Tawapsett and bearing her away to his tribe.
Tawapsett and his sons, together with the warriors
by whom he was surrounded, combined so much of
courage and strength, however, that the heart of
Mokego failed. He dared not attack the Iroquois and
so he lay m ambush watching when and how he might
carry out his designs. On the second day, accompanied
by a number of squaws, Echo was seen wending her
way along the banks of the stream. Its course led near
the ambuscade. They were at some distance from the
camp of Tawapsett, and wholly ignorant of danger,
were conversing in their native tongue, when a rustle
of leaves startled them. Several Algonquins sprang
from among the trees and seizing Echo bore her away.
The outcry of the frightened women aroused the camp,
and immediately the war cry of Tawapsett and his men
resounded through the forest. It was answered defi-
''ECHO:'' THE IROQUOIS MAIDEN. 223
antly by the band of Mokego, as mounted on swift
ponies they dashed away with their prize. For several
hours they rode at the highest rate of speed possible
over the rough ground and through the thick under-
brush. Discerning no signs of pursuit and believing
themselves entirely out of the enemy's way, they finally
halted to rest their ponies. They secured Echo by
fastening her with cords to a tree, built a fire of dry
limbs and prep ired to roast a deer slain by their arrows.
With characteristic cunning Tawapsett had fol-
lowed them stealthily but closely. So guarded were
his movements that not a suspicion thereof was enter-
tained by the pursued party.
The latter had finished their repast of venison and
were about to retake themselves to their ponies when
a terrific yell burst from the forest. They were sur-
rounded upon all sides, and a shower of leaden bullets
and arrows began pouring upon them. A desperate
fight ensued, in which nearly all of Mokego's band
were killed and scalped; himself and two or three war-
riors only escaping. Echo was borne back to her
father's wigwam, while the vanquished Mokego vowed
vengeance upon the Iroquois, resolving to have at
sometime the chieftain's scalp and to secure at any cost
the beautiful maiden. In this manner began a feud
between the Iroquois and Algonquins which had lasted
for more than seventy moons and was still bitter, when
through that portion of the Indian country began cir-
culating rumors that the aggressive "pale faces" had
appeared; that hordes of them were coming from be-
yond the Alleghenies of the east and were settling
almost in their midst, that they were levelling the
224 "ECHOr THE IROQUOIS MAIDEN.
forests, dispersing the game and encroaching in various
ways. At campfire and council meetings these move-
ments were fully discussed and many of the older and
more sagacious received the intelligence with many
grimaces and dubious shakes of the head.
Time passed, and still the ax of the pioneer continued
its ravages. Small villages and trading posts sprang up
as if by magic, and the red man trembled for his title of
supremacy held by him through unnumbered centuries.
Then came additional rumors of war and commotion,
penetrating the dim wilderness and awakening new
wonder and appiehension. A powerful nation, it was
said, on the further side of the Atlantic had sent over
its fleets and armies for the purpose of conquering the
white nation on this side. Soon from end to end of the
lake came news of muslerings. Regiments and brigades
of armed whites — British and American — were on the .
march, and great ships swarming with men and laden
with terrible munitions of war were seen on the lake.
Regarding as the red man's natural enemy the whites,
whose customs so differed from their own, and whose
interests were so antagonistic, Tawapsett cherished for
them only jealousy and hatred, and gathering about
him his braves he thus addressed them :
"Sons of the Storm Cloud and Tempest: — You
have heard of the great chiefs who command the two
nations of pale faces now at war. One has come eagle-
winged over the waters of the rising sun. He is soar-
ing in the sky and soon will swoop down upon the vul-
ture chief who>e subjects overrun our lands and spoil
our hunting grounds."
"While they mangle and destroy each other let the
''ECHO:'' THE IROQUOIS MAIDEN. 225
Sons of the Storm Cloud and Tempest swear by our
own great chieftains whose spirits have flown to the
happy hunting grounds, to stand ready when the time
comes to kill, burn and disperse from among us the
carrion fiends of the vulture chief."
"The Great Spirit, source of life, will provide for
the squaw and papoose of the red man and will charm
away the evil spirit of Defeat. Let us follow the war
path wherever it leads, and with us carry death and
confusion to the pale faces."
At the conclusion of this harangue there arose a
general murmur of approbation, followed by the bran-
dishing of war clubs and tomahawks, as with pro-
longed yells they joined in a war dance around the
campfire. While thus excited and occupied, Tawapsett
had unconsciously relaxed the vigilance with which he
had been accustomed to guard his daughter from the
*"Fire water," then a new and favored beverage, was
freely dealt, and thereby stimulated, the dance became
wild and weird. It was brought to an abrupt close,
however, by the discovery that Echo was missing from
the camp — for the maiden still lived in the wig^vam of
her father, though the hand and heart of many a brave
had been offered her.
"The vile Algonquin has stolen her away," mut-
lered Tawapsett. "Let us pursue !"
It was not long before the cunning Iroquois and
his followers struck the trail of Mokego. Through
stretches of tall prairie grasses and wild rice, forest
and swamp land, northward they traced him to the
shores of Lake Erie. While his followers dispersed
226 "ECHOr' THE IROQUOIS MAIDEN.
in different directions, Mokego had placed the captive
in a canoe there waiting and was ah-eady far out on the
waters, swiftly paddling toward a long blue stretch that
outlined a distant island.
Life in the Log Cabin of an Island Pioneer.
Amidst dense, dark thickets of red cedar, which
intermingled with (ther native forest growths covered
from end to end the lonely island, appeared a small
clearing. Surrounded by stumps, log-heaps and
brush piles, were two or three rude but newly built
cabins forming the homes of French squatters who
had worked their way thither from Canada. The
representatives of this tiny colony were hunters
and traders, and at that period comprised the entire
white population of the island, although its shores
were made the rendezvous from time to time of In-
dians bearing half a dozen different tribal names, who
came and went in their bark canoes on fishing and
hunting excursions. From the clearing with its log
habitations led a path to a niche in the shore, belted at
its base by sand and gravel and edged with wild
shrubbery forming a thick covert into which were
drawn up and secreted boats belonging to the settlers.
The cabin of an individual who earned a livelihood
by trading with the Indians formed a shelter for his
family not only, but a storehouse in a small way for
''ECHO:'' THE IROQUOIS MAIDEN. •I'in
articles and commodities of Indian commerce, as well
as for those of the white man's production, the former
consisting in part of bear and deer skins, furs, wamp-
um, maple sugar, beads and peltry; the latter, of
blankets, flaxen and w oolen fabrics, rice, coffee and
The chinks between the unhewn logs of the cabin
were daubed with mortar made from island lime which
there abounded, and the chimney . built of native lime
rock was a massive affair. The rafters were formed
of poles cut from straight saplings and the roof of un-
dressed slabs. A huge slab turning upon hinges of
wood and fastened by a wooden latch served as the
front and only door. The flooring was of puncheon,
roughly rived from oaken timber. A single window,
high and narrow, opened upon a patch of growing
corn and vegetables, and admitted the light through
paper oiled to render it transparent. Rough stools and
benches served as seats. A bed decorated with red
and yellow patch work stood in one corner and a
puncheon table covered with a cloth of homespun linen
occupied the middle of the cabin. An open cup-
board contamed the household stock of earthen-ware,
cutlery, pewter and pottery — a limited but invaluable
collection. Shelves ranged along one side of the apart-
were laden with the merchandise of which mention
has been made.
The walls fairly bristled with pegs which were
hung with garments of "linsey-woolsey," deer skin
and fur, together with an array of various articles,
such as powder horns, stag antlers, fishing rods and
rifles. A few rude ornaments decorated the rude
''ECHOr THE IROQUOIS MAIDEN.
mantel-piece, and above it in an oaken frame hung an
old print representing William Penn's treaty with the
Indians. Another household article — of too great im-
portance to be overlooked — was the spinning wheel.
ney blazed a fire
which was never
permitted to die.
Dav and night it
smoked in accord
with its varying
moods and con-
ditions. A sooty
crane swung in
the center, and a
pair of straddling,
THE CABIN HEARTH.
formed well their duty in holding up the "fore- log.''
A long-handled shovel and a pair of massive tongs
reclined against the "jamb," and a tinder box with
steel and flint lay on the mantel. Hams of smoked
venison, bunches of dried herbs and other articles
and edibles dangled from the ceiling, and a long-
legged "Dutch oven" in which was baked the ap-
petizing "Johnny Cake" — smoked upon the hearth.
In this little world the good wife toiled day by day
frying, roasting, baking, brewing, spinning, reeling.
Every day in answer to her conjuring, platters full of
''ECHOr THE IROQUOIS MAIDEN. 229
wild fowl, fish and venison, steamed upon the table
with swimming gravies, "pone," hominy and "slap-
jacks." Her broad shouldered husband and his two
strapping sons sai down to this feast with ravenous
appetites, which having appeased they drank a cup
each of spice wood tea or roasted rye coffee; partook
sparingly of the pumpkin butter, or crab-apple jelly
set before them as after relishes, and rose up to loosen
their buckskin belts and give expression in deep-drawn
breaths to the satisfaction which was theirs.
"Trader John," as he was called, bartered with
the Indians who came and went in their canoes.
Sometimes in a "dug out," rigged with a bear-skin
sail and accompanied by one of his sons, he made trips
across to the peninsula, where he visited the wigwams
of the Ottawas and Ojibwa3's. Sometimes he directed
his course to the camp of the chieftain Ogontz by
•'Clearwater Bay." Sometimes to Venice, then the
chief trading center of the shore settlers, where he ex-
changed his Indian wares for the products of pioneer
Father and sons were on amicable terms with
most of the Indians who frequented tl ese places, and
so familiar bad they become with Indian customs,
habits and manners as to be quite at home among
them. They had learned sufficiently the varied dia-
lects and signs in use b}' the different tribes, to be
able to hold converse with any and all individual rep-
resentatives thereof, and were thus fitted for their
During the absence of "Trader John," and the son
who accompanied him, the son who remained behind
230 "ECHOr THE IROQUOIS MAIDEN.
worked in the clearing, hoed the corn and cut cedar
wood for transportation down the lake.
On one of these occasions Anatola, the eldest, was
left behind. Anatola was a young man of athletic but
graceful build, and singularly handsome features.
Having wielded the ax until weary, the 3'oung man
took his rifle and started out in quest of game with
which to replenish the family board. He had tramped
for some time about the island, stumbling over rocks
and crowding through tangles, but had dislodged
nothing excepting a nest of rattlesnakes. Both the
snakes and himself had had a hot time. He had left
about fifty dead upon the field, and fatigued and
thirsty was on h:s way to the adjacent shore for a
drink of water. He was just emerging from the
woods upon a stretch of level beach when an ap-
proaching canoe containing a man and woman at-
tracted his attention.
With that caution which, born of necessity, grew to
be a second nature to the early pioneer, Anatola drew
hastily back and secreted himself behind some bushes.
Peering through a small opening, he closel}' scanned
the canoe and its occupants.
A stalwart savage leaped ashore and seized the
woman whose hands were bound. Though at a
distance of fifty yards, Anatola could see that she was
an Indian maiden of rare beauty and a captive, for she
cried piteously and begged to be allowed to return to
her tribe. Save an occasional gruff response, her
raptor paid no attention to these supplications, but
from the broken and fragmentary sentences let fall,
Anatola correctly inferred that he was taking her to a
''ECHOr THE IROQUOIS MAIDEN. 231
camp of Algonquins on another part of the island,
intending there to make her his wife.
The twain were Mokego and the daughter of
A Desperate Struggle,
Indignation at the perpetration of such an outrage,
burned in the heart of Anatola, and sent the blood
surging to his temples. With rifle levelled he ap-
proached the savage. The latter was leading away
the dispairing girl, one hand clutching her arm, the
other a flint-lock musket.
"Release her !" commanded the white man, his
rifle aimed at Mokeg^o's head.
"She big Indian's wife," remonstrated the latter.
"No, no; 1 am not his wife !" wailed the captive.
"Release her this instant or you're a dead man."
Anatola nervously fingered the trigger. The ugly,
painted face of the savage scowled with rage and
terror, but he let go his hold.
"Throw down that gun."
The wily Indian hesitated. By a rapid and
dextrous movement, he could bring his piece to bear
upon the pale face, but the latter read his thoughts
and kept his searching eyes upon him. Anatola's
finger was beginning to press the trigger.
With a half surpressed ejaculation of wrath, Mo-
kego threw down the gun.
232 ''ECHOr THE IROQUOIS MAIDEN.
" Now take yourself off, you red devil !"
This command was immediately obeyed, and
lowering his rifle, Anatola advanced to where cowered
the Indian girl.
Overwhelmed with gratitude to her deliverer,
Echo knelt before the white hunter, clasping his
hands, and kissing, and moistening them with tears of
In a few words she told the story of htr abduc-
tion, and Anatola listened with a thrill of interest, for
her brilliant beauty filled him with admiration.
•'I will take you to my mother," he said.
'•Nay, but to mv father would I return."
"To your father will I take you, fair one, but not
today, for see a storm is gathering. He pointtd to
masses of clouds which were sweeping up from the
horizon and to the lake, which had assumed a grass-
"Yonder canoe could not live for a minute in a
tempest such as that which approaches."
"Haste ! let me take you to my mother."
The girl looked up into his face, reading there
naught but kindness and compassion, and placing her
hand trustfully in his, submitted to his guidance.
Not far had they gone before the storm struck
with terrific force. In an instant the air was filled
with flying limbs and trunks of trees, and rain poured
in sheets so that they could not see their way.
Unable to proceed, they took refuge beneath a pro-
jecting ledge of rocks. After a drenching shower the
rain ceased. The wind still blew a gale, but they
were now enabled to go forward and were leaving the
''ECHO r' THE IROQUOIS MAIDEN. 233
covert, when with a backward glance the girl uttered
a startled cry. Her companion abruptly turned.
With features working in a frenzy of diabolism
frightful to behold and tomahawk uplifted, Mokego
stood within six feet of the pale-face. The savage had
stealthily followed, and in another instant his gleaming
weapon would have buried itself in Anatola's skull.
Quick as thought he parried with his rifle the descend-
ing stroke. The two then clutched each other. Unable
to use his rifle Anatola flung it from him and gripped
Mokego made several lunges at his adversary with
the tomahawk, but the latter managed to parry them.
Closely clutching each other, they were nov\'^ upon the
edge of a rocky shore. Anatola lost his footing, and
together they rolled to the beach below, still locked in
a vice-like embrace.
More cunningly skillful than Anatola was the
Algonquin, and the former now found his strength
fast failing. With one arm about his neck and pressed
tightly against the windpipe, the savage was slowly
exhausting his victim by sti-angulation. The white
hunter felt as one might feel with the tentacles of a
devil-fish clasped about him.
He struggled desperately, the sweat drops beading
his forehead, but was powerless against superior skill
and strength. All would soon be over.
Echo had stood by, a silent and horrified spectator.
Seized at last by a sudden impulse, she darted forward
and with both hands began loosening one by one the
fingers that clutched the throat of Anatola. By a
mighty effort she succeeded in releasing from that
234 ''ECHO : " THE IROQUOIS MAIDEN.
awful death grip the pale face, and he regained his
breath. Echo clung desperately to the great sinewy
hand, with its bare, tattooed arm exposed. Thus re-
lieved Anatola managed to shift his position to one
more advantageous. Fast in his girdle hung the
scalping knife of Mokego. For an instant as they
struggled it touched Anatola's hand. Quick as thought
he seized it, and while the savage was endeavoring to
free himself fiom Echo's grasp the former plunged
the knife into Mokego's bosom. With a fiendish
howl fell the Algonquin. The blade had struck to the
heart's center, and in a few moments he was dead.
It was now Anatola's turn for gratitude to the In-
dian maiden, but for whom he, instead of Mokego,
would have been weltering upon the ground. He
clasped the girl's hands, and looking into each other's
faces, each felt that the friendship thus formed be-
tween them was destined to be life-long.
The white victor forebore taking ihe scalp of the
dead chieftain, but he removed from the waist of his
fallen foe a girdle — composed of human hair of vari-
ous shades and textures, cut from the scalps secured
by its owner. With this ghastly relic, Anatola and
his companion left the spot.
To the Indian girl this island was familiar ground
as in the company of her father, as it chanced, she had
frequently visited it, and she now pointed out to the
white hunter — who at once became her lover — ancient
sites of Indir,n villages and forts, and a massive rock-
tablet extensively covered with characters and sym-
bols centuries old sculptured on its face. These, as
she explained, told the story of the ancient Eries, who
''ECHOr' THE TROQUOIS MAIDEN. 235
had g-iven their name to the lake and the wars in
which they had engaged ; of the coming of the Wyandots,
their dispersion and the final triumph of her people, the
So attached to the maiden had Anatola grown
that within a few hours after their first meeting he
asked her to become his wife. Echo hesitated.
"The white hunter's people will not receive me,"
"Many French-Canadian hunters, and traders take
Indian wives," returned Anatola,
"Then be it as you say." Thus plighted was
For three days raged the gale that had struck the
island immediately after Mokego and his captive had
landed upon it. At the end of that period came a lull,
and while Echo remained in the cabin, her white
lover went abroad to hunt and to fish. On his return
he found the little settlement in violent commotion.
During his absence a party of Indians, headed by Ta-
wapsett had visited the trader's cabin, and though the
old chief had refrained from molesting those who had
given his daughter protection, her request to see and
bid farewell to Anatola was refused, and despite her
tears and protestations the maiden was carried away.
Their canoes were then fast receding toward the penin-
sula and the intrepid and half-crazed lover declared his
intention of following. The mother expostulated, and
while discussing the matter, the captain and crew of a
trading vessel — which unnoticed had stolen into the
bay — appeared at the door. Their faces were flushed
and excited, and they hastened to inform the settlers
236 ''ECHO:'' THE IROQUOIS AfATDEN.
of the news just received in the mainsl ore settlements
of Hull's surrender in the Northwest, and probable
uprising of the Indians which was expected to im-
"White settlers must now flee for their lives," said
The vessel was bound for a small trading post
near the mouth of the Huron river, and the captain
kindly offered to carry thither the cabin dwellers.
Anatola could not leave his mother unprotected,
and to visit alone at that time the peninsula in quest of
his betrothed bride would have been madness. With
the settlers, therefore, who had hastily collected their
valuables, he proceeded on board the vessel to the
Huron trading post, and thence to the fort a short
distance up the river.
Learning on arrival that a military company was
about to take its departure for the peninsula on an ex-
pedition against the Indians, who had already attacked
the white settlers, he joined it, and fully armed and
equipped the company made their way thither. A
fierce skirmish between a body of militia and a band of
Indians had taken place. The former had been greatly
outnumbered and compelled to retreat to a log house,
which they had defended for three days. Wearied by
their lack of success or learning of the approach from
the Huron river port of reinforcements, the Indians
finally dispersed, and with the arrival of the company
the b.'leaguered garrison were set at liberty.
Several dead bodies of whites and red skins at-
tested the closeness of the combat. Among the num-
ber \2iy a swarthy Iroquois chieftain who — as Anatola
ECHO:'' THE IROQUOIS MAIDEN. 237
afterwards learned — was Tawapsett, the father of his
While scouring about the peninsula a day or two
after their arrival, a party of soldiers captured a small
band of Indians caught depredating. They were
brought into camp, and with them was found the
chieftain's daughter. Anatola received her with
transport, and Echo wept tears of joy at beholding
Together the twain proceeded to the Huron river
fort where they were legall}' united — a missionary
A small monument erected on the spot by its sole
survivor — then remaining — the distinguised congres-
sional representative, Joshua R. Giddings, just fifty
years after the date of the memorable battle in which fell
Tawapsett, the Iroquois chieftain, is all that remains at
the present day to commemorate the struggle.
As to what became of Anatola and his dusky bride
it is not definitely known, eight3'-six years having
merged in oblivion their subsequent history.
All traces of the island cabin which they once oc-
cupied have now disappeared, but the pictured face of
"Inscription Rock" still bears symbolic records of the
island's primeval dwellers — the red tribes — now passed
to their "Happy Hunting Grounds."
Or the Trials of Nicholas Beetlebrow.
An old resident was Nicholas Beetlebrow. He
lived in a flat, squarely built house situated on an ex-
tremity of the island known as "Land's End." This
house had once been new, and Mr. Beetlebrow had
once been young, but house and owner were now
growing old together. Both were getting weather
beaten in appearance, and crank}' and rheumatic gen-
When it stormed, and the wind swept in gusts off
the lake the old house shook; its doors, and windows
rattled, while "Old Nick" — as Mr. Beetlebrow was
familiarly called — -sat in a corner of the brown painted
kitchen, poked the lire, shoved in the coal, grumbled
at the weather and exhibited a chronic dissatisfaction
As every community has among its individual
members, odd and eccentric specimens of the genus
/lomo, so the peculiarities of Mr. Beetlebrow had classed
him amonfj island novelties. Grumbling was his
specialty. He grumbled at the heat, the cold, the
rain, the sunshine. In fair weather and in foul his
tongue seemed constantly shaping new forms of ex-
pression for new grievances. There was always some-
EVERYTHING WRONG. 239
thing wrong. Wherever he looked, he beheld germs
of evil sprouting, blossoming, and running up to seed.
In the sun and moon he read all sorts of evil omens,
while disaster and ruin blazed in the shootingr stars of
the midnight sky. So long and so persistently had he
grumbled, and so fixed had become the grumbling
habit, that to have broken off suddenly would have
proven, doubtless, as calamitous to Mr. Beetlebrow, as
total abstinence to the "arsenic eaters" of the T3T0I.
So constantly had he kept the corners of his mouth
drawn down and his brow contracted that they had so
grown, apparently ; and the stereotyped expression of
his face reminded one of a foggy morning in the month
Betsy Beetlebrow, the wife of our hero, was the
direct antipode of her "liege lord." Her sanguine
temperament never permitted her to court the dampness
and gloom of melancholy. She took the world, and
the people and things in it just about as she found
them, never borrowed trouble and appeared alwa3-s
the personification of easy, good nature. Increasing
years had rounded to fullness the matronly form, but
the rose flush of youth still d3'ed her plump cheeks,
while a suspicion of mischief twinkled in the grey
eyes, and played in mirthful curves about her mouth.
"Spring sunshine linked to a November snow
squall" — was Aunt Polly Jones' comment on this
strangely matched couple.
It was nearing the close of winter. Spring had al-
ready come, in fact; and following the ordinary course
of nature, blue birds and robins should have been har-
monizing their songs in the tree-tops; and blue-bells,
240 EVERYTHING WRONG.
and "bare-foot blows," opening in sheltered glades.
But the tardy songsters still lingered among the orange
groves of the sunny South, while the blue-bells and
"bare-foot blows" were still in embryo. There were
circles of bare ground about the orchard trees, and the
knolls showed many bald spots. Aside from these, the
ground was still covered with snow and ice. A line
of drifts appeared on the east side of Mr. Beetlebrow's
dwelling, and since the preceding December had been
an eyesore to that gentleman. At present, these snow
hills were covered with sooty siftings from the
chimney top, shakings of the table cloth and dribbings
of dish water. The ice in the lake was still solid and
the winds sweeping across it biting cold.
Mr. Beetlebrow sat in his accustomed corner. His
brow wrinkled and the corner curves of his mouth ap-
peared more decided than usual. He was cogitating,
evidently, upon some absorbing topic, for he stared
hard at the Are and from his pursed up lips came in-
articulate mutterings addressed, supposititiously, to
some offending object that intruded upon his imagi-
Betsy Beetlebrow was mixing pie crust at the
kitchen table. Her sleeves were rolled to the elbows,
and as she kneaded up the dough sang a lively ditty.
"Betsy, I don't see how you can go round singing,
and laffin' and carryin' on when everything's to pay,"
exclaimed Mr. Beetlebrow.
"Why, what's to pa}' now. Daddy?" enquired she,
flourishing the rolling pin over a lump of dough.
"What a'int to pay, you'd better ask," retorted he.
EVERYTHING WRONG. 241
"The kentry is goin' to the dogs jist as fast as it kin ;
I'spose we'll have to go to the dogs with it."
"All you kin read about, or hear tell of, is dynam-
iters, strikers, political plotters, snow-slides, mine
horrors, railroad smash ups, wars, and rumors of wars
and everything by the ears ginaly."
"Between the Klondike and the Spaniards every-
body is goin' crazy as loons; and now that grape
raisin don't pay any more, I wish that some of them
fellers what blew up the Maine 'ud touch off a torpedo
underneath this island, and blow it into kmgdom
"Well," replied Betsy thoughtfully greasing her pie
tins. "It might be a good plan."
Mr. Beetlebrow sat silent.
"Daddy, 1 wish you'd put a little more coal in the
stove," said Betsy turning about.
"Yis, that makes me think, I've got to go over to
the mainland for a load of coal in a day or two. The
bin's most empty. If it had'ent been for havin' sech a
raven'us coal-eater of a stove, we'd had enough to
keep us goin' till the boat run; but that's jest my luck;"
and Mr. Beetlebrow rattled the stove as if angry at the
amount of fuel it had consumed.
"I'll have to be on the ice all day, goin' and comin'
with that pesky boss; an' I'd jest about as soon think
of hitchin' up a rantin buffalo."
"I wish old Jake Flutterbudget had his boss agin,
and I had my fifty dollars back. I never see a meaner
hoss than old Ripsnorter."
"What makes you call the animile such a hard
name, Daddy ?" queried his wife.
242 EVERYTHING WRONG.
"'Cause I can't think of any that fits him better.
I've sized up all the names, from Noah down to the
present gineration, and I can't light on anything that
suits him better than that. You jest ought to see the
hay he mows away; and he kin demolish as much corn
in a week as it 'ud take to fatten a whole sty full of
hogs, 'n still he's so thin you kin most see daylight
through him. I expect if I should lean him up agin
the fence the crows 'ud take him for a carrion carcase
and go pickin' him to pieces. Then of all the mulish^
contrary creeturs in the shape of boss flesh, Ripsnorter
takes the cake.
"Yis, and he has an offul temper — shows the whites
of his eyes; and he's got soused to the layin' of his
ears back, that 'pears as if they'd growled that way.
This mornin' when I was puttin' hay in the manger,
the old dragon reached over and grabbed my arm be-
tween his teeth. Glory ! I thought a crocodile had
grabbed me. With my other hand I fetched the fork
handle 'round, and he concluded to let go. I com-
menced to lam him with the fork, and would have
taken the hide clean off of him, but happened to think
that the handle was splintered, and shaky like. No, I
don't know any name that suits him better than jest
"You ought to call him some of them tony names,
like 'Goldsmith Maid' or "
"Why, he's a boss; you don't want to give him a
female name, Betsy !"
"Well, then, call him after some of the presidents —
George Washington, James Garfield, Grover Cleve-
EVERYTHING WRONG. 243
"Grover Cleveland !" vociferated Mr. Beetlebrow.
"Betsy, I'd jist as soon think o' namin' that hoss Beel-
zebub as namin' him after a dimycrat president, and
you know it. If I could git along without the hoss, I'd
hire somebody to shoot him, and then he wouldn't need
In justice to Mr. Beetlebrow, it must here be re-
marked that the worst part of his nature, the surface,
always boiled over and sizzled away in highly seasoned
language, and that he was never known to do anything
half as savage as his words indicated.
"If you had him shot, what would you do for a
carriage horse ?"
"I guess we don't want no kerridge hoss when we
hain't got no kerridge, " replied Beetlebrow, savagely.
"Betsy, I don't see why you allers will make hght of
serious matters. I b'leeve if we wus goin' to be turned
out of house an' home you'd want to celebrate the
occasion with a dance or frolic of some kind.
"Thare ain't no tellin'; we may find ourselves in
that fix yit, and it's the worst of all my trouble. That's
what I commenced to talk about, then we got switched
off onto the hoss question.
"You know that two hundred dollar mortgage I
gave Jerry Johnston on the place ? Well, I thought it
wasn't due till the last of May, but come to look at the
papers I find it due day after tomorrow, and I hain't
got twenty dollars to spare toward it. So I wouldn't
wonder if we'd be booked for the poorhouse afore
"Maybe we can borrow money to pay off the mort-
gage. Daddy," returned his wife. "Then you will
244 EVERYTHING WRONG.
have fishing to fall back on, besides raising vegetables
to keep up the house, and all the other crops. Spite
of the late cold snap, the peaches didn't get killed,
"They ain't killed, no; but the bugs, and the blight,
and the San Jose scale will clean 'em all out, of course.
No, it ain't no use talkin'; we might as well slip our
cables and lay our course for the happy land o' Canaan?
the hull raft on us, as to lay still expectin' any good to
come out of this Jericho. This world is nothin' but a
howlin' wilderness of woe and a valley of tribulation.
It's all bottomside up and inside out, and nobody as has
as much sense as a last year's bird's nest will take any
stock in it."
"If Molly wasn't so bent and determined on makin'
a fool of herself," continued Beetlebrow, "she'd ship
that lamber legged lumpkins that's runnin' after her
and take Fritzhannes, that rich Pennsylvania farmer-
He's got two or three big farms, and hull droves of
cattle, bosses, sheep and hogs, and any amount of ready
chink, they say. He could make her a first-rate home,
and maybe help us with the mortgage."
"Well, but Fritzhannes is old enough to be Molly's
father; then he's so awfully Dutch. He's lived so long
among the Berks county hills that I don't believe he
could ever learn to talk English so that Molly could
"Women must always have their say, and their
way," grumbled J^eellebrow; "but I think a gal a fool
to let a fortune slip through her fingers all for the sake
of a young coxcomb who ain't worth the powder to
blow him up,"
EVERYTHING WRONG. 245
"That's ^hat my father thought when I had a
chance to marry that wealthy old merchant and took
you instead," returned Betsy.
Mr. Beetlebrow winced perceptibly, and his wife
"I think Wilbur Wilson a real nice young man, and
if I was a young woman I don't know but I'd go for
him myself. He's sober, honest, works hard and puts
by his earnings, they say. If a gal is fool enough to
git married, she'd better take a young man like that
than a great, greasy old fellow like Fritzhannes, even if
he is made of gold. You know what the Bible says
about worshipin' golden calves } Ot course Mr. Fritz-
hannes is too big for a calf, but to use a figger of
At this moment Molly Beetlebrow, the subject of
these remarks, appeared upon the scene, having just
returned from a neighboring house, where slie had
spent the afternoon. Molly was a pretty, round-faced
girl, with dark hair and elfish eyes, like those of her
mother. She was merry as a bird and bright as a sun-
beam—so thought, at least, Wilbur Wilson, the young
man who paid her attention.
"Well, I should think vou'd got your visit out,"
growled Beetlebrow. "I didn't know but what you
was goin' to stay all night."
"Why, what's the difference if I did stay, Daddy?"
queried the girl. "I'm sure I had my work with me;"
246 EVERYTHING WRONG.
and she took from her pocket a roll of lac^ upon which
she was knitting and sat down by the lire.
"If you call that work, then I'd Hke to know what
you call play. When I was young, gals used to knit
stockings and mittens, and things that was some ac-
count; they didn't have time for such tomfooler}-."
"Well, I can knit stockings, and mittens, too, and
make lace besides; so I'm that much ahead of those
old-fashioned girls," replied Molly.
"Oh, yis; gals air a heap smarter nowadays, 'spe-
cially with their tongues," retorted Beetlebrow.
With a smile of amusement Molly continued her
work. She was too accustomed to her querulous old
father to feel annoyed. Presently she began studying
the figures amidst the glowing coals of the grate, then
she stole a look at her father.
"Daddy," she began after some hesitation : "Wil-
bur Wilson is going to the main-shore to-morrow, and
he said I should ask if there was anything you wanted
to send for."
"O, I'spose you've been off sparkm' up the young
I only met him on the road when I was coming
frDm Spencer's," answered Molly with a blush.
"No, 1 can be my own waiter yet awhile," replied
the old man.
"I'm a'goin' to the mainland myself to-morrow, and
I can do my own errands. A purty accomodalin' set
these young fellers are, if they happen to hev an axe to
grind." Mr. Beetlebrow shut the door with a bang,
and walked away toward the barn muttering to himself.
The following morning when the sun arose, illumin-
EVERYTHING WRONG. 247
ating with flash and glitter the frozen lake, Nicholas
Beetlebrow with horse and sled was heading toward
the blue line of the peninsula some miles distant.
Long before day, Betsy and her daughter had been
bustling in and out. While Molly prepared breakfast,
her mother busied herself putting up lunch for "Dad-
dy," packing some butter for market, and attending to
Having let loose a whole swarm of doubts, and
misgivings concerning the weather and the ice. Beetle-
brow took his departure. His wife and daughter
looked after him until a point of land hid him from
view. Betsy felt just the least bit anxious, and won-
dered if there was any danger of the ice breaking up
before "Daddy" returned — for she was just as fond of
this wry-faced, curumdgeon of a husband as are other
women of husbands who are good looking, and good
The day wore on, evening came, and Mrs. Beetle-
brow and her daughter were beginning to feel alarmed
at the long absence of the husband and father, when
they saw him approaching afoot, and alone.
"Why, Daddy, what's the matter, and where is
the horse, and sled?"
"In Davy Jones' locker — least ways the boss is."
"O, I hope the poor horse hasn't got into the lake!"
"Well, 1 didn't see him go in, but he run off, and
the last I see of him he was streakin' it round Birch
Pint, goin' right fer a stretch of open water, and I
expect he's in by this time."
Maybe he' gone ashore on the point — " suggested
248 EVERYTHING WRONG.
Betsy feeling relieved that the animal was not known
to be positively drowned.
"No, Ripsnorter is too tarnal contrary fer that.
He'd go and dump hisself in jest fer spite. 1 don't
cackerlate on ever seein' him agin."
"How did he happen to get away;" queried Betsy.
"Well you see when I was jest about a mile off Birch
Pint, the boss took one of his streaks o' cussedness.
He wanted to turn in on the pint instead of comin'
home. When I tried to touch him up a little, he stop-
Ded short, an J there he stood, and do you think 1 could
budge him out of his tracks. I labored with him fer
about half an hour tryin' to persuade him to move on>
but he wouldn't, then I commenced to lam him with
the ends of the lines — course I hadn't the shadder of
a whip along, or even a strap. The lines wus short,
and I had to git purty close to him, and fust thing I
knew, the pesky creetur's heels flew up, and he blazed
away like a hull charge of Roman candles. He didn't
hit me square, or I 'spose I'd a got my everlastin' Jack.
He knocked my hat off though, and knocked me down.
I felt a good deal stunned, but scrabbled to my feet
agin. Jest as this was happenin' Nap Davis come
along. He said he felt awfully sorry fer me, but I
don't 'bleve it 'cause he was laffin' all the time. He
said if he had sech a boss, he'd tan his hide, and sell the
carcase to a glue factory; then he passed by on the
other side — like the priest, and the Levite — and left
me in the lurch."
"Well, I didn't know what to do, so I set down to
think. While I wus thinkin', and contrivin' that there
Wilbur Wilson drove up. He had a long whip, so I
EVERYTHING IVRONG. 249
borried it and played it over old Ripsnorter's shanks
awhile. But it wasn't no use, the old humbug jest
stood there and laved back his ears, and kicked till you
could see blue blazes. Then that Wilson chap said I'd
better onhitch him, and he'd fasten the sled onto his'n,
and we'd lead the boss home. While I was standin'
by old Ripsnorter after he was onhitched, a gust of
wind took away my hat. I thought the old snipe
would stand till I got it agin, 'cause he didn't want to
go anyhow, but he happened to find out that I wanted
him to stand still, so he jest gave a snort, threw his
heels into the air, and off he went on full gallop. I was
lame from the rheumatiz and kick together, so Wilson
said I should drive his team home, and he'd go and
look fer Ripsnorter. So he started; but the boss was
headin' fer open water ^nd I know that'll be the end
"Mavbe he's gone and committed suicide by drown-
ing 'cause you said such hard things about him yester-
"There 'tis agin, Betsy, you're allers pokin' fun in-
stead of sympathisin' with my sorrows and troubles. I
bleve if I was dead, and lyin' in my coffin you'd poke
fun at me. There's the boss gone, and the mortgage
hangin' over our heads — that's $250. worth of trouble
— and still you talk as if it wus all a good joke."
"O well, the horse wasn't good for anything you
know. Daddy, only to keep hay, and corn from spoil-
ing," returned Betsy provokingly.
Nicholas Beetlebrow was utterly inconsolable that
night. After supper was over, the dishes washed and
250 EVERYTHING WRONG.
put away in the big, red cupboard, Bets}' took from
her bureau drawer a small box. Said she:
•'Daddy, I've got a little present for you, I was going
to keep it till to-morrow but I guess I'll let you have
it to sleep on to night."
"One of them blasted monkeys, or baboons what
jump up and scare folks, I'll bet," said Beetlebrow tak-
ing the box and eyeing it suspiciously. Betsy smiled.
"It would be jest like one of your aggravatin'
tricks." He proceeded very cautiously to open the
box. To his astonishment he discovered within, a
ntst full of shining coins, all ten dollar gold pieces.
"Jerusalem! where did you get this?" exclaimed
"Count it, and see how much there is."
"Just $200." replied he, thinking of the mortgage —
"but where did you get it?"
"Well, Daddy, I'll tell you," replied his wife, "you
know that I have had all the butter and Q.^g money for
the past four years. Well, I was real saving because
I knew that you was hard up. So I put away in small
bits all except what I needed to buy calico dresses,
aprons, thread and things, and when I got a lot of
small pieces I had them changed into eagles and laid
them away in this box. So there is $200 to clear off
the mortgage, then I have fifteen dollars left, that's
going to be the nest egg for anothei brood of golden
"Glory Hallelujah! " vociferated Beetlebrow.
"Betsy, if you aint a woman that's worth havin'
now ! "
EVERYTHING WRONG. 251
At that moment a sound of footsteps and a scrap-
ing of boots was heard outside and Molly became sud-
denly flushed while she took a hasty peep into the
glass to see if her bangs were all right.
"Come in," said Beetlebrow, in answer to a modest
knock. The door opened and Wilbur Wilson entered.
"I have brought home your horse and sled, Mr.
Beetlebrow," said the young man, after bowing to
Molly and her mother.
"Then you found the boss? "
"Yes, 1 found him with the man you bought him of
a few weeks ago on Birch Point."
"Oh, I 'spose that's why he was so alfired anxious
to go in that direction, he wanted to see his old home.
Well, I don't know as I kin blame him much. You
brought the sled home too, did you?"
"Yes, sir; I left the sled by the wagon shed, and
put the horse in the barn."
"By jocks, young man, you're as much help as a
second pair of legs. You're a tip-top feller after all,
and I don't know but you'll answer about as well for
Molly as that old cub from Pennsylvany."
"O, father ! " exclaimed Molly, her cheeks growing
red as June roses.
"What's the use beatin' round the bush," continued
the old man, apparently unconscious of the confusion
he had created.
"Don't you 'spose I kin see how the land lays.
You think a heap of the young man and he thinks a
heap of you, or else he would't go to so much bother
to get on the right side of the old man."
262 EVERYTHING WRONG.
Turning to Wilbur he said: "Look here, would
you like to marry my girl? "
The young man blushed to the roots of his hair.
"I — I don't know if — if — whether she wants me."
"O, then you haint come to an understandin'.^ "
"Would you marry her if you could get her? "
continued Beetlebrow, pursuing his investigations.
Wilbur was reduced to the extremity of dispair.
Had he been a mouse he might have crept through a
knot hole in the floor upon which his eyes were resting,
but as a b:oad shouldered young man standing six feet
in his rubber boots, the undertaking would have been im-
practicable. For some time he had thought of popping
the question to Molly, but had never dreamed of having
it popped to him. Forced to look the matter squarely
in the face, Wilbur rallied his fleeing wits, and muster-
ing all his courage, replied with a show of firmness —
"I think more of Molly than of any one else, and if
she likes me well enough to have me, I will marry her."
"That's business," commented Beetlebrow.
"Now Molly, how is it, will you have the young
Molly looked straight down at her feet, nervously
fumbhng the hem of her apron; covertly, but eagerly
watched by Wilbur Wilson.
"Come, speak out," urged Beetlebrow.
"Molly's lips shaped an inaudible "yes" and she
nodded an affirmative.
"All right then; its settled," exclaimed Beetlebrow.
"Now Betsey," he said, turning to his wife, "I've
given Molly leave to make a fool of herself the same as
EVERYTHING WRONG. 253
you did when you married your old crank of a husband,
and I'm glad you did make a fool of yourself." Thus
saying he kissed her.
"Well, Daddy, you generall}' complain about every
thing being wrong, but I'm glad you've found some-
thing that's right at last," and she kissed him back.
So the mortgage was paid off and the wedding was
set for the following June.
In Queen Vic^s Domains.
An occasion of pleasing memory was the writer's
first visit to Point au Pelee island some years ago,
with a party of friends on board a small sail craft.
For two reasons this island was of especial interest
to me. First, owing to its distinction as the largest of
the Lake Erie group; and second, because of its po-
sition as an outpost on British territorial boundaries.
It was my first cruise under canvas. A head wind
whipped us soundly, and though long and tedious, the
tacks which the little vessel made were lively, so ren-
dered by her pitching and rolling.
The wind too, made music, singing and whistling
through the rigging. This, with the creak of blocks
and strain of cordage, and the swash of waves under
our weather bow, afforded exhilarating interest.
But one incident occurred to startle, and destroyed
for a moment our pleasurable emotions. The occasion
was the giving way of a block at the mainmast he^d,
causing a sudden collapse of the mainsail and a corres-
ponding commotion on deck.
The big black section of canvas loaded with tarry
sheets, booms, and tackle, and wet with surf suddenly
descending, buried us beneath its heavy folds. An
ancient mariner a-doze, with head upon a pile of junk»
ADVENTURES IN QUEEN VICS DOMAINS. 255
narrrowly escaped having his perceptive faculties
knocked out. When at last w^e succeeded in extricat-
ing ourselves from the promiscuous pile, the Mohican,
our restive craft, was tossing in the trough of the sea
— the steersman having m his excitement let go the til-
ler. Sail and tackle were dragging over the side, her
starboard rail lay on a level with the water and spray
showered freely over us.
For a moment we imatrined ourselves going
straight to "Davy Jones' locker," and one or two of
our lady passengers were almost frightened into hys-
terics. Fortunately "Middle Island" was near at
hand and the Mohican's crew worked her under the
lee and finally ashore, where repairs were made.
Here we first set foot upon Queen Victoria's do-
mains the island lying within the dominion waters.
We visited the lighthouse and were entertained at the
dwelling of the keeper.
Twilight shadows were thickly falling over the dark
forests of Point au Pelee, when at last the Mohican
made fast her lines at the old "south dock." The party
were received and entertained beneath the hospitable
roof of friends, and wearied from tossing on the billows
and the nausea it had occasioned, we were early to bed.
But the Pelee mosquito; we had been informed con-
cerning this island specialty. To learn that said insect,
or animal, cracked hickory nuts with its teeth, and
that many of them weighed a pound was not so much
of a surprise, however, as the onslaught which there on
the borders of the Pelee marshlands it made upon us.
The night was "filled with music," but the cares that
infested the day stubbornly refused to "fold their tents,"
256 ADVEXTURES FN QUEEN VICS DOMAINS.
In addition to the mosquito fleet, we were assailed by a
chorus of frogs, night-hawks, screech-owls and cata-
mounts, also on the warpath. Just how we got through
that awful night I hardly know, but we survived it at any
rate, and next morning after bathing our bites in a solu-
tion of soda, we started out to view the land, very little
of which was visible, however, on account of the thick
woods and thicker undergrowths running rampart over
tracts of land which had once been clearings. VVe had
taken passage in a "one boss shay" affair, the wheels
of which gave forth an unearthly screech with every
The road was a mere wagon track deeply worn
into parallel ruts close crowded b}^ trees, and notwith-
standing the evaporative heats of July weather, the
mud at some points was deep and sticky and it was
necessary to keep going as fast as conditions would
allow, to prevent ourselves and nag being devoured by
That road — the "rocky road to Dublin"- wasn't a
circumstance in comparison; its ruts and roots, holes
and humps through and over which we were bounced
made memorable the ride.
"Wild cats were common and herds of horses were
running wild through the woods, just as in early days
hogs ran wild at Put-in-Bay.
A remnant of the red race still held a foothold on
the island, and by request we were introduced to a
family, representing as descendants the ancient Mo-
Black raspberries hanging rich and ripe were every-
where found through the clearings, and a few denizens
A D VENTURES IN (1 UEEN VICS DO MA INS. 257
of the island were observed gathering them by pailsfull.
The sight was templing, and provided with suitable
receptacles, we started in to try our luck. Inexhaust-
able in quantity were the berries, and snakes of various
kinds were also prolific. Black snakes of immense size
and length were especially numerous and could be seen
whisking under and about rotting logs and hollow
stumps, or gliding in and out a:r.ong the bushes, caus_
ing a creepy sensation along the spinal column; and
would have stampeded us all from the place undoubt-
edly, had we then known what we have since learned
namely — that the mysterious and unexplored deptns
of the island's land-locked bays and inlets are supposed
to form the abiding place of that terrible, but elusive
creature known as the "sea serpent."
According to the statements of reputable residents
of the island, two specimens of this monster have there
been seen, one of which was declared to be lOO feet in
length. On one occasion, these reptiles ran afoul of a
fisherman's pounds and chewed up and destroyed all
the twine, even pulling up some of the stakes to which
it was moored.
In harvest time these big snakes amuse themselves
by coming ashore, chasing the harvesters from the
field and tearing down the grain shocks.
Those of our readers who have been wont to regard
the sea serpent as a mythical creation, should visit Pelee
Island and get the testimony of its inhabitants. Know-
ing nothing of these sea monsters, however, ignorance
to us proved blissful on the occasion described
With an area of about 13,000 acres, a length of ten
miles and a breadth of four, the island afforded ample
258 ADVENTURES lA QUEEN VICS DOMAINS.
space in wliich strangers might lose themselves, and
we were careful in our explorations not to get too far
away from our guide.
While thus scouring the wilds of Pelee, a smart
gale smote the Mohican. She dragged her anchor^
drove ashora and stove a hole through her side. The
breach was repaired, and fearing lest some calamity
still more direful overtake us, we shook the Pelee dust,
as well as mud, from our feet, and boarding the Mo-
hican sailed for Put-in-Bay, which we fortunately,
reached without serious mishap.
A second trip to Pelee Island at a later date was
taken with a party comprising the membership of a
newspaper correspondents' association, our objective
point being the famous Pelee club house and grounds
at Point Sheridan on the north shore.
We took passage on a trim, little Sandusky steamer,
the Elsa. The day was glorious, the company choice,
and as we headed for the north pole we were met by
a breeze delightfully cool.
We had just disposed of a sumptuous dinner, or as
much thereof as seemed prudent, served on the
steamer's roomy decks, when the island was reached,
and edging carefuU}' along a precarious looking pier,
her passengers suixeeded in getting ashore.
A short walk brought us to the club house, a
commodious structure; its olive-green exterior and red
roof showing advantageously against a broad hem of
dark foliajjed oaks and elms.
Curiously and with a species of veneration gazed
we upon the spot, since within its environments had as-
AD VENTURES IN QUEEN VICS DOMAINS. 259
sembled for years some of the most distinguished men
of America, such as Robert T. Lincoln, ex-President
Arthur, General Schofield, Gen. Phil Sheridan, Mar-
shall Field, ex-Secretary Gresham, Larry Jerome of
New York, Geo. M. Pullman, Anson Stager, Bishop
McLaren of Chicago, C. \\. Thompkins, Harry Dur-
and of New York, and many others of corresponding
The club corporation, we were told, represented
somewhere between |8o,ooo,ooo and $100,000,000 and
its appointments were all that might be expected —
elegance and luxury everywhere, combining with com-
fort and convenience to render the place an ideal resort*
Each club member had placed at his disposal a
servant to do his bidding, with a corps of oarsmen and
lackeys awaiting orders.
These representative men of brains and capital have
been accustomed to meet semi-annually at their chosen
rendezvous to fish for black bass —Canadian waters
being more prolific in this game fish than those of the
States. However, the recent restrictions placed by
the Canadian govertmient on bass and other fishing,
have now curtailed to some extent the enjoyment here
afforded adepts of the rod and reel.
A lar^e enterprise concerning which the Pelee is-
lander talked volubly, was the successful drainage of
the great Pelee marsh consisting of about 5000 acres.
This extensive marsh was literally pumped dry by
means of a massive steam pump run by an eighty horse
power engine. The land, once submerged beneath
malaria breeding swamp waters, now annually pro-
duces splendid crops of wheat, corn and potatoes,
260 AD VENTURE. "^ IN (1 UEEN VICS D OMA INS.
while the domination of the mosquito has been ma-
From Pelee we sighted the Canadian main, with
many vessels and barges cruising in the "North pass-
age," and after an hour's sojourn again boarded the
Elsa and bid farewell to this very interesting bit of
Queen Victoria's possessions.
Though no calamity befell any of our party on this
occasion, it may not be out of place to state incident-
ally that after a long voyage — -taken the following
year — and a series of thrilling adventures, the little
steamer Elsa was lost on "Colorado Reefs," off the
coast of South America.
Among- the numerous resorts for summer visitors
and tourists scattered among the islands of the archi-
pelago, Ballast resort holds a prominent place. The
island itself is a romantic bit of nature, consisting of
picturesque rock, native forest trees and vineyard and
Numerous cottages, artistically built and vine em-
bowered, with winding walks and smooth lawns, adorn
the spot, and overlooking precipitous rocks to north-
ward is located the Ballast club house, an airy structure.
An ample wharf, boat house and other improvements
"Home of the Western Canoe Association" is the
term. by which Ballast island is best known to its pa-
262 BEAUTIFUL BALLAST.
trons, having formed for years the resort at which this
organization has held its annual meets, and a newly
erected club house on the gravelly stretch of the south
shore furnishes excellent accommodations to its mem-
bership. In addition to the club house of the canoe as-
sociation, the canoer's camp —as seen during the sum-
mer — with its tents of white and striped canvas, and its
line of birchen canoes crowding the beach, forms a
pretty picture, which the photographer, camera in hand,
has not been slow to discover. Ballast Island was so
named in consideration of the fact that just before the
battle of Lake Erie the ships of Perry's squadron were
provided with ballast in the shape of stone brought from
the shores of this island. History does not locate the
exact spot where the gallant commodore obtained his
supply, but he must have found it without looking far,
as lime rock, gravel stone and boulders are there found
in inexhaustable quantity.
The island contains about nine acres of land and is
owned by a stock company, among whom are ex Mayor
Geo. W. Gardner and Gen. James Barnett of Cleveland,
Colonel Bartlett of Fremont and many other gentlemen
of prominence who, with their famiHes and friends,
patronize the resort.
Nature's rugged wildness and art's refining touch
here combine to form a scene most charming.
Notable among summer cottages may be mentioned
the Gardner "log cabin," a romantic picture, a rustic
poem, from its old fashioned chimney, furniture and
spinning wheel within, to the seal}' bank of its unhewn
logs and ivy-clad gables without.
At this resort the Cleveland Canoe association was
THE GARDNER "LOG CABIN."
organized nearly twenty years ago, W. Scott Robinson,
of the Cleveland Recorder, and Geo. W. Gardner being
its chief sustainers.
In 1S85 invitations were extended to all Western
canoers to become guests of the Cleveland club at Bal-
last. These invitations were accepted and from this
friendly alliance blossomed a new organization known
as the Western Canoe association.
An extended program of races in sailing and pad-
dling are arranged for each season and prize cups of
chaste and costly design are annually competed for;
each meet lasting about ten days.
Speaking of canoers, they are all extravagantly
fond of juf t such a romantic situation as this little island
affords. They are fond, too, of brisk breezes, flapping
sails and dashing surf. They worship a canoe as a
Hindoo his gods, or an Arab his horse, and little won-
der, for the willowy masted, swift-winged canoe of
modern construction is the prettiest and most agile thing
ever designed to float upon water.
Many of these canoes are trimmed in nickel and
silver plating, with delicately wrought tiller chains and
rudder of shining nickel. They are decked with flags
and pennons of unique designs and their furnishings are
novel and pretty.
A CANOE RACE.
The canoe is an expensive toy and fit to grace a
parlor mantel — only that it is just a trifle too big for this
purpose. Its color is a pale birch-brown. It has two
sails, but is also propelled, when desired, by a single
paddle, after the manner of aboriginal canoers.
The canoer appears as strikingl}' picturesque as the
canoe which he sails, for his costume is natty and novel.
Beside the trophy cups sailed for, flags are awarded
winners, together with other prizes, both pretty and
BEAUTIFUL BALLAST. 265
appropriate, consisting of articles such as silk blankets,
silver soap cases, traveling drinking cups, fishing boxes,
camp lanterns, canoe rugs and other novelties.
The families and friends of club members occupy
the cottages, taking their meals in the dining hall. A
manager is appointed to furnish supplies and to look
after the interests of the island. This position is filled
at the present time by S. M. Johahnsen.
The Ballast resorter is a lover of nature, finding
"sermons in stones and tongues in trees," and beneath
his umbrageous screen of elms, maples, cedars and syc-
amores the days of summer speed like a dream. One
especial favorite known as the "umbrella," or "eagle
tree," contained for many years a large eagle's nest.
Within it every returning season a pair of old eagles
reared their young, and some of the brood were domes-
ticated by the islanders. The nest and the eagles have
now disappeared, but the tree still remains.
The Ballast patrons are individuals of quiet, refined
tastes, but unconventional withal, and prefer easy but
substantial comfort to stiff formality.
They dress as they like and do as they please,
bathing, boating, dozing, dreaming. They are all
thoroughly in love with their pretty isle, and money
would not tempt them to part with it.
The Ballast Island hermit, commonly known as
"Uncle Jimmy" was a man with a history — suppositi-
tiously at least— -though the haps and mishaps of his
career were never quite clear to the public. However,
as the old man was a bachelor and ijiven to solitude,
observers who took romantic views of existence, sur-
mised that a love affair was somehow tangled up in the
web of his life. Though averse to general society,
old Jimmy was mild tempered, and kindly disposed
toward any whom he chanced to meet.
At the period when he first took up his abode on
Ballast Island, and for many years afterward, his
weather beaten cabin was the only human habitation
there existing, save the shattered remains of an old
shed that had once been used by gillnetters as a ren-
dezvous. His only companions were the proverbisl
dog and cat which found a snug abiding place beneath
his roof, and a horse and cow sheltered in a roughly
improvised stable. A portion of the island was cleared
land, affording opportunity for tillage and pasturage.
The remainder formed a picturesque tangle of Bass-
wood and elm, cedar growths, wild grape vines and
other undomesticated shrubberry. Eagles built their
nests undisturbed in the tall trees, and when the heavens
were black with clouds and storms swept by, mad with
delight sea gulls screamed, and wildly plunged into the
" UNCLE jimmy:' aeT
breakers which whitened on the reef. Waves mount-
ed the rocky walls of weather-ward shores, flinging
foam flecks into overhanging boughs and filling
caverned niches with a bellowing thunder. With
spring time came troops of the scarlet-winged black-
bird, thrush, and whip-poor-will, the wood was reson-
ant with song, while the turf formed a carpet of wild
wood bloom. Summer unveiled pictures of gold, and
the trees covered with abundant foliage cast over the
cabin roof shadows cool and deep. The birds nested,
and short winged fledgelings hopped about on the
mossy ridge pole chirping their delight.
With fading summer, autumnal fires kindled the
maples until they flamed with scarlet and gold.
Sumachs reddened and wild grapes purpled on the
vines. With winter's advent the trees were bared of
all save empty nests. Dismantled vines swung listless.
The Canadian blasts swept down flurries of snow, and
rigid ice plains glistened where blue waves had dash-
ed. Such were the scenes which environed this soli-
tary but charming retreat.
Excepting when a party of fishermen or pleasure
seekers beached their boats upon the gravelled shore,
or when the owner came to look after the place, few
changes save those wrought by the changing seasons
varied the monotony of the hermit's life. Having
voluntarily chosen this mode of existence however.
Uncle Jimmy was presumably satisfied with his choice,
finding in solitiude a species of happiness unattainable
As years went by and the natural attractions of the
archipelago came to be more and more appreciated by
268 " UNCLE jimmy:'
visitors from abroad, Ballast Island was purchased by
city capitalists. A club house and numerous cottages
were built, and in a little while our hero found himself
surrounded by gay crowds from the very center of city
life and fashion. This innovation must have cost the
old man some pangs of bitterness, but the invaders
were kindly disposed toward their predecessor, placing
upon him but few restrictions. Warmed by courteous
treatment the old man exhibited so many good traits,
that he eventually became a great favorite among
guests during their summer sojourn at the island.
Uncle Jimmy had been accustomed to procuring
supplies, consisting of provision, wearing apparel, and
notions, in the shops and stores of Put-in-Bay, rowing
across the channel in a small boat and carrying with
him — by way of barter cat-fish, which he had taken on
his hooks, or products of the soil. His wants, being
few and simple, were fully supplied in this way and
these trips to the ''Bay" were. said to have been his
only excursions. For years he had not set foot on any
of the steamers which constantly plied between island
and mainland. One day, however, seized by some un-
accountable impulse, or driven by some unusual busi-
ness transaction. Uncle Jimmy boarded one of the is-
land steamers for Sandusky.
Commanded b}- a throughbred captain who knew
and could handle her as deftly as a lady handles a fan,
this staunch steamer had for years made her accustom-
ed trips day after day, had threaded narrow island
passages, dodging rock and reef, unscathed in daylight
and darkness, in storm and calm.
The steamer had proven thoroughly trustworthy,
" UNCLE JIMMYr 269
and on ihat beautiful morning when Uncle Jimmy
leaned over the railing and gazed upon the fast reced-
ing shores of Ballast Island, his mind was as calm
and unruffed as the still blue waters, nor among the
passengers was there any premonition of danger. How-
ever, in the afternoon of that day people of the sur-
rounding islands were startled by a jarring report which
came echoing over intervening miles of water. Men
at work in vineyard and orchard paused to listen.
"A blast in the limestone quarries of the peninsula"
was the explanation suggested and received, and the
men continued their work.
At Put-in Bay a knot of men lounged at the door of
the telegraph office while the instrument clicked off a
message. The operator scanned the cablegram re-
ceived and an excited exclamation burst from his lips.
'What is it?" and the gaping crowd closed quickly
about him. The message read as follows :
Sandusky, O., May i8th, i8— .
"At 3:30 P. M. the island steamer blew up
off Kelley Island. Nearly all on board are injured or
At Sandusky ihe wharves were black with crowds
of people when the wrecked steamer was towed back
to the harbor from whence she had departed but an
Scalded, blistered, disfigured by escaping steam,
the dead and disabled were carried ashore. Among
the number was Uncle Jimmy, not dead, but scalded
almost beyond the consciousness of pain. All was done
that human skill could do to kindle anew the failing
life spark but to no purpose, and one night a clergy-
" UNCLE JTMMVr
man summoned to his bedside administered the holy
sacrament, and while a prayer breathed from the lips
of the dying man, the failing eyes fastened upon the
crucifix, held before him and so remained until the
light in them faded — a life unobtrusive yet full of un-
spoken patnos was ended.
The re'Tiains were conveyed for interment to the
little burial ground at Put-in-Bay. The deceased was
without relatives to attend him in his last moments, or
to dii-ect his final obsequies, but among the Ballast
Island summer patrons were found friends who, though
representatives of wealth and social position, esteemed
it a piivilege to gather at the grave of the humble
hermit, to scatter choice flowers about the casket, and
to mingle tears of tenderness and sympathy with the
earth that fell upon it.
Among these friends was a prominent represent-
ative of Ballast resort, by whom a slab of solid marble
was afterwards placed above the mound. Upon it the
visitor who may chance to wander through the beau-
tiful and picturesque island cemetery may read:
TO THE MEMORY OF
OF BALLAST ISLAND.
ERECTED BY HIS FRIEND
CASTLED GIBRALTAR AND ITS LORD,
Peculiarly appropriate as applied to the island in
question is the name Gibraltar, since forming a mass
of rugged rock and poised above the surface of Lake
Erie within hailing distance of Put-in-Bay, it occupies
a conspicuous position in the group — its boldness
rendering it an object of striking interest.
Gibraltar lies opposite "Peach Point," and aids in
forming the placid sheet of water known as "Squaw
With natural forest and exhuberant vegetation
both wild and cultivated clothing its rocks and cover-
ing its whole extent, like an emerald gem in a setting
of blue appears the island.
In its quiet, yet picturesque and striking scenery,
Gibraltar takes unquestionably the first place among the
islands of the lake — a fact clearly evident to its present
proprietor when about thirty years ago it came into
his possession, and with the multi-millions at his com-
mand he set about fitting it up as the ideal summer
abode which it has since become. Especially noted
as the summer residence of Jay Cooke — one of Ameri-
ca's most noted financiers — is Gibraltar, and his stately
villa, crowning castle-like the island's highest eleva-
tion, overlooks the treetops, forming a picturesque
point in the landscape.
CASTLED GIBRALTAR AND ITS LORD.
"PERRY'S LOOKOUT'' AND ''NEEDLE'S EYE."
All that wealth and cultured taste can su<;cjest
combine with natural attractions, and the effect is
The surface is broken by rock ledges. Ro'mantic
paths wind in and out among trees and shrubbery.
Floral arbors, niches and caverns, natural and arti-
ficial, with rustic huts, bridges and rockeries, appear.
There are boats and boat houses, and ample wharves
and ornamental structures of various kinds scattered
about the crounds.
CASTLED GIBRALTAR AND ITS LORD. 273
The shore scenery is marvelously beautiful. Es-
pecially interesting are the "Needle's Eye" and the
precipitous bluff, from which Commodore Perry
watched and waited for the British fleet. The latter,
known as "Perry's Lookout," is capped by a flagstaff,
and near it is observed a fine monumental design in
sculptured granite, commemorating Perry's victory,
together with an old cannon used in this historic en-
Probably no portion of the visitor's experience at
Put in Bay is so dream like and enchanting as a row
around Gibraltar when the harvest moon — newly
risen — traces its wide pathway across the wateis,
silvering its waves, intensifying the shadows among
arched and cavcrned rocks, and bringing into bold
prominence every jutting crag.
Wierdly white among huge fallen- rocks lie the
moonbeams. They thread the "Needle's Eye," pen-
etrate the watery cavern at its base and silver the
heights of "Perry's Lookout." They Hood the white
beaches of cloven shore niches and soften the rugged
outlines of the rock masses seamed and rent by vol-
canic action an prehistoric times. With a faint breeze
astir, may be heard within the chambered passages far
under the rocks the reverberations of breaking swells.
The tree-clad slope of Gibraltar appears sharply out-
lined against the clear sky, and the lights in and
around its sheltered villa twinkle through the foliage.
Both the public and private career of Jay Cooke
has been remarkable. As a "Napoleon of finance" he
appears on record as having lost and regained a for-
tune within the period of five years.
CASTLED GIBRALTAR AND ITS LORD.
VILLA OF JAY COOK E-GlBRALTAR.
During the war of the rebelHonJay Cooke figured
more prominently in the monetary affairs of the
nation, undoubtedly, than any other man, and his
skillful financiering for the government during its
serious embarrassment were such as had never before
and has never since been equalled. He was intimately
associated in governmental transactions with Secre-
tary Chase of the United States treasury, as with his
successor Secretary Fessenden, and through his
agency the administrations of both were materially
CASTLED GIBRALTAR AND ITS LORD.
ST. PAUL'S REFORMED EPISCOPAL CHURCh — PUT-IN-BAY.
Photo by Rev. W. Fred Alleo.
Gibraltar and his Philadelphia country seat were
bought back. The latter valued at |i,ooc,ooo and
still in his possession, is known as "Ogontz," named
after a Seneca chieftain of Sandusky bay with whom
Mr. Cooke played when a child.
The benefactions of Jay Cooke are many, a certain
percentage of his annual income being systematically set
aside for religious work and charities. A monument
of the banker's beneficence along this line is seen in
the Put-in-Bay R. E. church and rectory, built several
years ago through his efforts. Large quantities of
books and pictures are from time to time distributed
by him among members of the church and Sunday
school, and among the island people generally.
276 CASTLED GIBRALTAR AND ITS LORD.
At one time when the government was sorely
pressed for the where-with-all to pay its mihtary rep-
resentatives in the field, the division known as the
Army of the Potomac was paid off with money
advanced by Jay Cooke, who received in exchange
United States bonds covering the amount.
Of Mr. Cooke it is related that once in company
with Gen. Bates, Secretary Chase and President Lincoln,
he went to see reviewed by Gen. McClelland the
Penns3'lvania Reserve corps, which to organize and
equip he h-id advanced the money.
On another occasion before the fall of Richmond,
Jay Cooke, Jr., visited Gen. Grant. Referring to Mr.
Cooke's many favors to the government the latter ob-
"I want you to tell your father for me, that it is to
him moie than to an}^ other man that the people of this
country will be indebted for the continued life of the
One of the great enterprises undertaken by Mr.
Cooke was the building of the Northern Pacific rail-
road but before the work was fully begun, and the
^50,000,000 bonds for the same deposited in Europe,
the Franco-Prussian war broke out, and compli-
cations in European finances arising, forced Mr. Cooke
into bankruptcy. To his creditors he turned over
every dollar of his property, including his Philadelphia
homestead and his summer residence at Gibraltar.
However, through native sagacity, energy and enter-
prise, the unfortunate banker regained all that was lost,
and was again upon his feet, having paid every dollar
of his indebtedness.
CASTLED GIBRALTAR AND ITS LORD. 277
SPHINX HEAD— GIBRALTAR.
Twice a year during the spring and fall bass fish-
ing seasons, Jay Cooke visits Gibraltar for the purpose
of indulging his piscatorial fanc}'. He is known as a
veteran at the rod and reel, and can catch more bass in
a day than any patron who visits Put-in-Bay. Un-
like the average bass fisherman. Jay Cooke never fishes
on Sunday, but may always be found in his pew in the
Put-in-Bay church. Excepting when on piscatorial
excursions, he seldom visits his island resort, but its
doors are nevertheless open throughout the summer
2'78 CASTLED GIBRALTAR AND ITS LORD,
season to his children, grandchildren and friends, in-
cluding the Barney and Butler families and the families
of Rev. Harry Cooke and Jay Cooke Jr. Rev. Cooke
is a devoted young man who is giving his life to the
ministry, not because of its returns as a means of sup-
port, but because his heart is in the work.
Burial Gtound of the Confederate Dead*
Next in historical importance to Put-in-Bay ranks
Johnson's Island, rendered famous during the Southern
rebellion as a place for the confinement of Confederate
prisoners, 3,000 of whom — all commissioned officers —
representing the flower of the Southern army, were
held in serveillance.
Johnson's Island is a strip of land one and one-half
miles in length, and containing about 275 acres, lying
near the mouth of Sandusky bay and three miles from
In early days this body of land was known as
"Bull's" Island, E. W. Bull, a pioneer of the lake region,
having been its original owner. In 1852 it became the
property of Leonard B. Johnson, and from that date has
borne its present name.
During the war with the British and Indians in 1812,
and in the struggle of the Canadian "patriots" in 1838,
Johnson's Island figured more or less conspicuously,
but it was not until the war of the rebellion that the
place achieved historical prominence of a national char-
In 1862 the island was first used as a military prison
post. The extensive grounds serving this purpose
were enclosed by a fence or wall twelve feet high, with
a parapet around the top, along which sentinels paced
night and day.
280 JOHNSON'S ISLAND.
Lines of barracks for the prisoners, headquarters for
officers of the <^uard, a fort, a prison hospital, and last,
but not least in melancholy importance, a burial ground,
became adjuncts to the military occupation of Johnson's
In addition to a strong guard of Federal troops
placed over the prisoners, the United States gunboat
Michigan was detailed for duty and la}' at anchor in the
bay with her guns primed and ready at a moment's alarm
to sweep the prison grounds with a full broadside.
No complete history in detail of prison life at John-
son's Island has ever been written, but judging from the
many articles and sketches of a fragmentary character
which have appeared from time to time in newspapers
and periodicals, a narration of the reminiscences to
which its possession by the United States government
as a military prison gave rise, would fill a volume.
The one absorbing thought naturally uppermost in
the minds of prisoners thus exiled, was comprehended
in the word — freedom. The remote little isle, lav^ed
upon every side by the bay waters, afforded meager
chance of escape, for were the prisoners success-
ful in evading the guards and in scaling the stock-
ade, they could get no farther than the shores. The
only possible opportunity afforded for reaching the
mainland was in winter when bay and lake were frozen.
Inventive genius was then exhausted in devising plans
of escape, but which, though cleverly laid, miscarried
in almost every instance. An exceptional case is re-
corded as follows:
"The frigidly cold night of Jan. i, 1864, is remem-
bered by the prisoners, when the mercury sank to 26
JOHNSON'S ISLAND. 281
degrees below zero. The coal oil in the lamps lighting
the prison grounds froze and the lights were all extin-
"The five daring men are also recalled who that
night mounted the walls and crossed over the ice to San-
dusky city, three miles distant. Two of the men were
so nearly frozen to death as to be compelled to lie over
at the houses of citizens and be recaptured, the remain-
ing three having reached British possessions, thereTay
achieving liberty. They then traveled 500 miles over
deep snows to the mouth of the St. Lawrence, where
they set sail for Havana, from which point they ran the
blockade at Wilmington and joined their commands.
Col. John R. Winston of North Carolina was the leader
of this adventure.''
At Johnson's Island, in 1864, was enacted the lead-
ing events of a notable conspiracy to which reference
has already been made in this work, namely: The at-
tempt on the part of the Southern Confederacy through
its agents to capture the United States gunboat Michi-
gan and lake transports of the Detroit, Island and San-
dusky lines, and the simultaneous release of the rebel
prisoners confined at Johnson's Island, at Camp Chase
near Columbus, at Camp Douglass near Chicago, and
at Camp Morton near Indianapolis —in all about 26,000
Hatched at the Confederate capitol, this plot was
carried forward by a few sworn adherents, chief of
whom were Colonel Cole, an officer in the army of Gen-
eral Lee, and John Yates Beall. The former was
called to Richmond and there entrusted with this secret
service. Colonel Cole "is said to have been a man of
282 /0/LVSOJV'S ISLAND.
wonderful coolness and courage, as well as of ample re-
sources, though to all appearances a coarse, uncultured
man. Beall on the contrary was a handsome, well
educated young man, a West Virginian, and an officer
in the Confederate vidi\y.
The "woman in the case" was Annie Davis, a fe-
male spy, who played skillfully her part in the drama.
The first move on the part of Cole was to open a
correspondence with one of the Johnson's Island prison-
ers — Major Trimble. This correspondence was car-
ried on throujjh ink-written letters interlined with im-
portant messages written in starch, and afterwards
rendered visible by an application of iodine.
Through Major Trimble was organized among the
prisoners a society known as "The Southern Cross,"
having for its emblem a wooden cross twined with the
Confederate colors. Its members were bound by iron-
clad oaths, administered on the open Bible, to hold
themselves in readiness, when the time came, to strike
at once a blow for personal liberty and the Southern
cause. They were also bound to the most solemn
While Beall and about twenty picked men were
detailed to capture by strategy the steamers Island
Queen and Philo Parsons, Annie Davis, then located
at the West House, Sandusky, was industriously work-
ing up the plot's initial feature — the capture of the
Michigan — by first capturing by the wiles of coquetry
her officers and eliciting from them information con-
cerning matters military at Johnson's Island and San-
Woman, no<^ only, but wine was employed by
JOHA'SOiVS ISLAND. 283
sagacious Colonel Cole in addling the brains and draw-
ing into his meshes the unsuspecting naval officers, and
a champagne supper served by him aboard the Michi-
gan on the night set for the culmination of the con-
spiracy came within an ace of placing the vessel and
her command in the hands oi the rebels.
The convivial cup had gone its rounds until as the
hours of night wore on, the party had become mellow
and merry. For the closing draught, however, was
reserved a potion heavily drugged, which Cole was
about to deal out, when suddenly confronted by the
commanding officer, who had been absent during this
time at Johnson's Island.
Advancing, the officer laid his hand upon Cole's
"You d — n rebel spy! You are my prisoner!" he
"Sergeant-of-m irines, arrest this man and put him
Had a torpedo suddenly exploded under the Mich-
igan her officers could scarcely have been more com-
Having successfully performed his allotted task
and obtained possession of the two island steamers,
Beall on board the Philo Parsons awaited off Cedar
Point the signal agreed upon — a cannon shot from the
Michigan — to attack and capture the gunboat and to
assist the prisoners at the island, who were to rise at
the same time in insurrection, overpower the guards and
make good their escape.
The signal came not, however, and realizing that
THE REMAINING BLOCK HOUSE,
the plot had failed, the Parsons, at Beall's command,
was put about and headed with all speed for Canada.
Up to the afternoon of that day every part of the
bold project had worked like a charm, but as after-
wards generally learned, the plans of the conspirators
were given away when nearly completed by one of the
Cole was closely confined and guarded at Johnson's
Island, and later was tried by a military court martial
and sentenced to be shot, but ultimately through influ-
ential friends obtained pardon. While leader of the
conspirac}', and as such more deserving of punishment,
Cole went free, while his abettor, cultured and
courteous Beall, was executed as a spy at Gouverneur's
Island in New York bay.
JOHIVSOA'S ISLAND. 285
Not much now remains on Johnson's Island to re-
mind the visitor of the tragic scenes there enacted, save
a few stragghng remnants of the prison buildings and
the cemeter}' where lie buried 206 Confederate dead.
Georgia marble headstones, inscribed with the name,
age, company and regiment of each, were erected
over these graves in 1890 through the instrumentality
of Mr. John T. Mack, of Sandusky, and a party of
Georgia newspaper rrien and prominent horticulturists
who visited the place in 1889 and saw its neglected
Previous to that time the burial site presented a
scene of neglect. The writer was privileged once to
view the spot before the ertction of these tablets, the
occasion beincr the decoration of the irraves on Memorial
day by a detachment of McMeens Post, G. A. R. of
After a run of twenty minutes the steamer upon
which we took passage landed her passengers at a little
dock that put out from shore. Headed by a drum corps
and a flag bearer, the detachment took up its line of
march for the ^burial place, distant nearly a mile, fol-
lowed by a procession of people. There was no path,
save that trodden by those who led. Following the
shore bend, with the blue waters of Erie to the right, on
the left a sloping sweep of grass land rolled its billowy
verdure to the edge of a distant timber belt. This grassy
plain was the site upon which had once been located
the prison grounds. Remnants of the old barracks and
other buildings were pointed out. The windows were
broken and their exterior appeared weather beaten and
ghostly. Startled by clang of drums and flap of flags,
> •^**- h^m'-'"
a few horses and cattle grazing amidst the deep grass
scurried away to the farthest bounds of the pasture.
The procession continued its march, beating through
rank grass and over piles of drift wood and ridges of
gravel, which the high seas of recent storms had lodged
in the edge of the meadow.
Leaving the shore line the path swerved a little to
the left, leading throfigh a thicket so dense that a
passage would not have been practicable but for the
opening previously made with ax and scythe. The
underbrush finally merged into a strip of forest and here
in a spot as lonely as was ever selected for the burial of
the dead, under branches low bending, amid shadows
and silence, appeared long rows of sodden mounds,
marked only by wooden headboards bearing each the
name and age of deceased, together with the number of
the command to which he had belonged. These head-
^ V'^ '"•■ 1 ■■ ■— ■ 'i
nB^T*^ — j-'jf — ^
v\. V ,0^
^ \ \ r^ .:
^f Tj^jter^ *, .-
si V /
V - -V ft
// y ,
1 ^^^MHW-' '
BURIAL GROUND, SHOWING WOODEN HEADSTONES ORIGINALLY ERECTED.
boards had been pcinted white, but the storms of more
than a quarter ot a centur}^ had worn them grey, and
most of them had fallen to the ground. Though dim,
nearly all tlie inscriptions were still legible and a mourn-
ful pathos breathed in the language thereby spoken-
Gazing upon the scene, visions of homes amid the orange
and magnolia groves of the sunn}- southland appeared,
desolated by the removal of those who rest in this little
isle far from the ministering hands of kindred and friends,
with only the northern tempest's beat and the breaking
waves of a northern sea lulling them to the sleep that
knows no waking.
288 JOHNSOA'S ISLAND.
With uncovered heads, in which the grey freely
mingled, the veteran band gathered about the graves
of those with whom they had once closed in deadly
conflict. There were empty sleeves and scars that told
of bitter strife and bloodshed, but the bitterness was
gone, the blood stains wiped out, and only peace and
charity and a feeling of common brotherhood now
dwelt within the hearts of the survivors.
The stars and stripes waved not triumphantly in the
still air, but drooped silently, lettmg fall its silken folds
where slept the brave but misguided sons of the South.
Fair flowers were placed by fair hands upon the
mounds already sprinkled with wildwood blossoms.
A prayer, a brief address, a benediction, and the dead
were again left to the shadows and the silence.
A Reminiscense of Sandusky Bay.
On a tiny projection an isolated dwelling reared
its unpretentious walls. Though deeply sequestered,
the spot was highly romantic. Above low levels of
swamp land and stretches of black water, the point
rose perceptibly with suggestions of an island, which
it had undoubtedly been at no very remote period
when the bay extended farther inland.
The broken edges of the little plateau were edged
about with the tall, feathery plumes of the wild rice
plant, intermixed with rank reeds, rushes and "cat-
tails." Willow copses and a few forest and orchard
trees covered most of the remaining portion and seen
through foliage of mixed greens, the black roof and
weather-stained walls of the dwelling appeared strik-
ingly picturesque. It was deeply banked with Golden
Rod, now all aflame, and wild Rose of Sharon in full
bloom, and the brilliancy and prodigality of color dis-
played blended in pleasing effect with the surrounding
Close by the house a winding pathway led to a
rude dock beside which two or three boats rocked in
the sunshine. Directly ahead and to left and right
glinted the still dark waters, broken near and far by
numerous small capes and promontories everywhere
clothed with the rankest vegetation. Acres of wild
290 '• BROWN SUGAR''
rice and reeds piicked above the surface, and vast
floating islands of water lillies bowed gracefully their
broad leaves and creamy blossoms to the incoming
swell, which like a gentle tide rolled far up the bay
when the wind was easterly and Lake Erie m com-
motion. Marine plants flourished luxuriantly under
the water, and trailing masses of weed, vivid green in
color, floated to the surface and frequently impeded
the paddle wheels of the small tugs and steamers that
ventured through the upper bay to the river beyond.
A line of buoys marked the winding, deep water
channel without which these craft would have been
lost in the mtricate maze.
The waters were alive with fish, and turtles, tad-
poles, snakes and frogs abounded. The dense tangles
formed a rendezvous for wild duck, marsh hen, loon
and bittern. Troops of birds frequented the shores,
and game of every description was plentiful. Tlie
whole region up and down the bay formed a favored
resort for hunters and anglers, and boat loads of these
sportsmen were constantly abroad.
The house on the little promontory was the only
human habitation visible. It was the home of Pete
Mathews, a bay shore farmer. Mathews owned a
large tract of rich farming lands adjacent, but had
chosen to build in this lonely place. Of neighbors,
such as they were, he had plenty. Gulls and eagles '
screamed over his roof by day, and owls hooted him
to sleep at night, but he had prospered, and from
humble beginnings had evoluted into a producer on a
large scale of wheat, corn and potatoes which an-
nually yielded him abundant crops.
" BRO WN SUGA R." 291
He kept a hired man the year round, and his wife
a hired girl during the summer months; for a thrifty-
housewife was Mistress Mathews, and she made
stacks of butter, besides entertaining summer boarders
— sportsmen and rusticators — from the cities who
came to hunt, to fish and to run wild.
The weather had been wet, with intermitting hot
sunshine, and the weeds were threatening to choke
out the garden vegetables, and Pete's wife had been
trying to head them off. Weary and overheated she
turned at last toward the house, left in charge of
Cassie, the hired girl. She found the screen door
open, the kitchen full of flies and mosquitoes, a kettle
of bean porridge scorching on the stove, but no
Cassie. It was twenty minutes to six, Mr. Bronson,
the boarder, Pete the householder and husbandman,
and Philander, the hired man, would soon be in to
supper and not even the kettle over.
"I declare to goodness if it don't beat all with' that
"I don't see what's comin' over her to be so
ker'less and shiftless all to once."
"She's out front flirtin' with them city fellers" —
said Pete enterinij at that moment.
For half an hour, Cassie had watched so intently
the path leading to the dock as to completely forget
her household duties. Going to and fro between the
place where their boats lay, and "Walton" Hotel at
which they sojourned, — a mile back from shore, —
two sportsmen had passed the house frequently of late.
To all appearances they were gentlemen. Both were
292 " BRO WN SUGA Rr
extremely polite, and one of the number had paid esoe-
cial deference to Cassie.
Now Cassie — pretty, piquant, and saucy — was not
averse to an occasional flirtation. Though of irreproach-
able character, a simple, unsophisticated country
girl was she, easily flattered and imposed upon, and the
smiles and graceful gallantries bestowed by Mr. Frank.
Harrow were most effective in turning her little head
besides giving Philander a world of trouble, since for
months past the poor fellow had been assiduous in his
attentions to the girl and she had given him reason to
Having put over the tea kettle, Mistress Mathews
stepped to the front window.
"Cassie, Cassie !" she called.
The girl was leaning against the pump, her blonde
frizzes fivinnr all about, her cheeks a rich bloom.
In a lively tilt with Harrow she was flinging shrewd
repartees with rapidity and effect.
"I must go" — Mrs. Mathews' im.pierative voice had
at last recalled Cassie's wandering-thoughts.
"Take this then with my compliments" — said
Harrow tossing her a water lily. He lifted his hat,
and with a smile and graceful wave of the hand pass-
Hiding the flower under her apron, Cassie hurried
into the house where she made peace with her mis-
tress as best she could.
Tenderly nurtured, that lily continued for several
days to exhale its fragrance, Cassie having placed it in
a vase of water in her room.
Again and again they met, he the handsome,
" BRO WN sugar:' 293
faultlessly dressed, affable, and agreeable city man, she
the pretty, but crude and inexperienced country girl.
One day while hanging out the week's wash, a boy
from Walton Hotel delivered to her a letter. The
missive was scented with Attar of Roses and enclosed
within a dainty envelope. Hastily opening, she read
as follows :
Walton Hotel, Sept. i8th, i8 — .
My Dear Lit lie Girl:
"You will doubtless think strange that I should ad-
dress you, but the fact is I am writing because 1 can't
help it. If you could only realize what a lovely little
witch you are and how perfectly irresistible to me you
have become, you would understand and excuse lan-
guage which might otherwise seem extravagant."
"Now that you have so completely charmed me,
my bonny bird, I must beg the pleasure of your further
"When the moon casts her pale light over the bay
and the stars blink forth, will you not meet me down
at the boat landing about eight o'clock, say. To-
gether we will row over the glistening waters and for-
get all else save each other, then will I tell you of all
that is in my heart. Yours devotedly,
With puzzled look and flushing cheeks Cassie
entered the house. A few hours later Harrow and
Duffree, his companion, passed by on their way to the
dock. Harrow cast furtive glances toward the house
but failed to get sight of Cassie. He looked disap-
pointed, and on reaching the willow thickets proposed
halting under the cool shadow, for the day was sultry.
294 " BRO WN SUGAR."
Seate.l on a log in full view of the house, each lit a
cigar, but Cassie very obstinately kept out of sight.
"What's amiss up yonder, Harrow?" queried Duf-
"Oh, the pretty dove is 1 iding out of sheer modesty,
that's all," i-eplied the other carelessly.
"You are really mashed on her then?"
"Well, yes I suppose that I might as well make the
"And how about the dreamy eyed Creole. You
don't propose this little rustic to take her place?"
"Of course, Nita and I have had frequent quarrels
of late, and to tell the truth she has lost her hold upon
me. But there'll be hearts enough open to receive a
woman of her imposing style."
"But don't you know that a bird in the hand is
worth two in the bush. You might experience some
difficulty in gaining this girl's confidence."
"Leave me alone for that, Duffree; she is is of a
simple and confiding nature, you know. It would be
quite an easy matter to make her believe the moon
is made of "green cheese."
"By the way, I've just thought of a name that ad-
mirably fits my new divmity."
"And what might it be?"
"And the application, or signification?"
Don't you comprehend?"
"I call her Brown Sugar because she's sweet but
"Ah !" and Duffree laughed.
"How about your wife, Harrow?"
'^BROIVN SUGARr 295
"Arn't you afraid she'll get an inkling of your
little escapades some time?"
"Oh no, I guess there'll be no danger. I've
always posed as a dutiful and indulgent husband and
she's a trusting creature."
"You dog !"
"Well, if I'm a dog you're another."
"Yes, but I have no wife."
"But for existing circumstances I should be glad if
I had none, but my wife holds the ducats, you know,
and to kick out of the matrimonial traces would make
it bad for a fellow who has nothing of his own, see?"
"I will find some agreeable position for my little
country girl and my wife will be none the wiser."
"First catch your bird/' returned Duffree.
"Oh, there'll be no trouble. These green country
girls are the most credulous beings in the world, as
well as the most devoted,"
"I'm not so sure of what you say. It strikes me
that your new fancy has a mind and will of her own."
This was part of a conversation, supposed to be
confidential, held between the two sports. They little
dreamed of a listener, but by chance it happened that
Philander was on the opposite side of the copse mend-
ing gill nets and had heard all. As soon as the men
left the place he hastened to Cassie with his newly
acquired information. When he had concluded the re-
cital Cassie went up stairs and threw the unoffending
water lily out of the window.
That night at eight o'clock when the moon rose
over the bay, Frank Harrow paced back and forth over
the rough planking of the dock, but Cassie did not
296 " BRO WN SUGA Rr
come. A long time he waited, but finally retired vexed
For successive days he saw nothing of the girl, but
not to be outwitted, he resolved to make her a call.
Supper was over at Pete Mathews'. Cassie had
washed and put away the dishes, and arrayed in a blue
gingham sunbonnet was starting for the barn to feed
a late spring calf there ensconsed. With a pail of bran
and milk, thickly stirred together, in her hand, the
rustic beauty was suddenly transfixed by hearing Frank
Harrow speak her name.
"How do you do. Miss Cassie, I hope you are well."
There was an ominous pause.
"Not having seen you for some time, I thought I
would call and inquire for your health."
A sudden redness flashed over Cassie's features.
For answer her pretty, but athletic arm gave a convul-
sive swing and the contents of the pail went full into
Harrow's face and ran down his enamelled shirt front.
Splashes of the mixture decorated his beaver and
coursed sluggishl}^ down his coat sleeves, vest front and
Never in all his experience had Harrow received so
complete a surprise and he was struck speechless with
amazement. Having rubbed the gluten from his eyes
and dripping moustache he at last found his tongue.
"What in thunder do you mean?" he roared.
"What have I done to deserve such villainous
treatment? You hussy, how dare 3'ou perpetrate such
an infernal outrage? "
"That comes of mashin round 'green country'
girls," said Philander significantly.
" BRO IV N sugar:' 297
"Next time you and your pal talk over j'our love
affairs, you'd better look on 'tother side of the copse to
see if there be any to hear."
The air of offended dignity which Harrow had as-
sumed now gave way to a look of blank dismay.
"Better take yourself off, mister, fast as yer legs'll
let you, ef you don't want damages to the extent of a
Harrow took one look at the burly six footer and
hastily quitted the scene.
The next morning he bade adieu to Walton Hotel.
"Business," he explained, called him back to the city.
"How's sporting up the bay, Harrow? " queried an
acquaintance whom he met on reaching his destination.
"Tame— played out, in fact," was the moody reply.
"Ah, indeed ! " Then assuming a confidential tone :
"By the wav, pard, what's wrong between you and
your wife? "
"Me and my wife?"
"Not anything, man!"
"Then I guess you haven't heard the news. She's
filed a petition for divorce."
"What! no, that can't be possible!"
"But it is possible."
"On what grounds?"
"Don't know. I hear there's a woman in the case
as usual, also a letter; that's all I know."
It was with some misgivings, cloaked under an out-
ward guise of nonchalance, that Harrow reached his
home on the avenue and confronted his wife. That
Nita had made trouble was his inward thought. To
his wife, however, he coolly put the question :
208 ''Brown suGARr
"What's the row?"
For answer she quietly handed him a letter which
read as follows:
"Wild Duck Point, Sept. 2, 18 — .
'■'Dere Mrs. Harroiu:
"I write these few lines to let you know something
what I think you ought to kn.w. Our border, Mr.
Bronson, says he knows you and Mr. Harrow both:
He says you live close to where he does and that you
air a real nice woman, and he is sorry that you have
such a skalawag for a man.
"I send you a letter what Mr. Harrow wrote me
yesterday, by which you can see how he carries sail
when he's away from home. If you want to know
any more. Philander Smith, our hired man, can tell you
a lot about him. Yours truly,
Harrow was visibly agitated when he had finished
"And where is the letter enclosed? " he asked.
"In the hands of my attorney; but here's a copy."
Harrow was thus afforded an opportunity of pe-
rusing a reproduction. of his epistle to Cassie.
The next outing season Frank Harrow was not
among the guests at Walton Hotel. With the assist-
ance of Philander and Cassie as principal witnesses,
Mrs. Harrow had procured a divorce and with all her
possessions had forsaken her lord. As a second rate
clerk in a lawyer's office Harrow was now afforded an
opportunity of making himself "useful as well as orna-
" BRO WN sugar:' 299
As to morals, he finds it easier living up to the com-
mon standard of virtue on a small salary than it had
been with an unlimited supply of "ducats" at command;
but any reference to "Brown Sugar" makes him visibly
Cassie's summer time fancy was effectually dissi-
pated and she returned at once to her allegiance. A
month later Philander and Cassie were legally and
WHAT THE DRIFT BROUGHT ASHORE
A fog— the densest ever known in the archipelago
— shrouded lake and land, shutting from view sur-
rounding objects. Condensing vapors dripped drearily
from grey gables and naked boughs; and a silence
impressive and profound as if all the world were dead
It was early spring and the ice was breaking and
sluggishly running in the island passages, carried along
by shifting currents though scarce a breath of wind
A more dismal day had never dawned upon "Wil-
low Point" — so at least thought Mittie McKay, while
seated by the kitchen window she knit lace, and watch-
ed her father at work as with ax aswing he whacked
away at the long, strong bolts and oaken timbers of
an old wreck — a dismasted schooner — that lay amidst
the driftwood and debris brought in by the waves and
piled into winrows.
In vain had Mittie tried to pierce with her sharp
eyes the obscurity. She could not see even the big,
black buoy on Chenook reef. So nicely scumbled
and blended by the fog were sky and water that the
whole perspective seemed a single sweep of sky that
reached to earth, and the only animate objects visible
in all the illimitable expanse were the nearer floes
adrift in the dark water and appearing like white
WHAT THE DRIFT BROUGHT ASHORE. 301
clouds on a leaden background. The effect was strik-
ing, but too devoid of life for a girl like Mittie, and she
withdrew her gaze from the colorless scene to that in the
foreground representing her father, his swinging ax,
and the broken and denuded ribs of the wrecked
Mittie's mouth had a perceptible droop at the
corners, and her eyes a misty expression borrowed from
the fog, and once when the thread kinked form-
ing an obstinate knot, a frown wrinklfed her smooth
brow. Mittie's feelings were evidently in sympathy
with the weather. For her on this dun colored day the
old wreck had a peculiar fascination.
Nameless, it had come ashore about a year pre-
vious, on the sweep of a mighty storm, from whence
"What a fit emblem of life is that old hulk" — soli-
loquized the girl.
"We launch forth with fair prospects, and further-
ing gales only to fetch up on some desolate shore hope-
lessly broken and battered."
The sad case of the beached wreck seemed anal-
agous to her own, and her eyes filled with tears at its
Now, considering the fact that Mittie was a bright,
pretty girl of only twenty 3'ears, the idea of comparing
herself to that old bare-boned carcass seemed absurd.
Nevertheless, she was just now very, very miserable.
It was all in consequence of a quarrel between her and
Santa Smith. Mittie and the young man had been af-
fianced lovers when ;; xisunderstanding occurred.
Pride and resentment on both sides widened the breach
303 IVHA T THE DRIFT BROUGHT ASHORE.
finally resulting in complete enstranfjement. To make
matters worse, Santa had begun paying attention to
Stella Pierce, the Willow Point school mistress — a-flip,
flirty, frizzle headed girl of eighteen; smart enough and
good enough looking, but given to gush and a pro-
This girl, who had gained the young man's prefer-
ence, was two whole years younger than Mittie — a
circumstance which caused the latter to feel very
much like an old maid, and probably suggested the
doleful analogy between herself and the old wreck.
As the thread continued to knot, Mittie continued
to frown, until she suddenly caught a reflection of her face
in a mirror. What a fright she was making of herself!
Petulance then gave way to more tender feelings and
she began to cry. She couldn't help it with the day so
dull and her heart so heavy, for in spite of her linger-
ing resentment she still loved Santa truly, devotedly,
and he cared naught for her.
While in this tearful plight, her father, Mike Mc-
Kay, entered with an armful of firewood.
J, A March fog
Will freeze a May dog'" —
Sagely quoted the old man.
"My, what nasty weather!"
He was damp and shivering from the chill fog
without, and cramming the stove with wood spread
his hands in front of the open hearth.
"Hullo there, what's the matter.'^" he queried catch-
ing a view of Mittie's tear stained countenance.
"Mourning over Santa Smith, Santa Mariah or
some other Santa— as I live.
WHAT THE DRIFT BROUGHT ASHORE. 303
"No. I a'int,"— she replied testily.
"But I know you are."
"Never mourn over such a circumstance, girl, for
don't you know — "
'There's plenty of fish in the sea,
As good as ever were caught."
Seeing that the subject was painful to his daughter,
Mike thought best to change it.
"Heigh oh! we're getting a breeze at last. Hear
the wind roar. Now I hope the fog '11 lift."
At this moment the sound of a bell was borne to the
ears of father and daughter. It was a church bell at
the port a mile distant. Its tones were sonorous, and as
it continued ringing the listeners looked inquisitively at
"Some one lost in the fog," suggested Mittie.
"Must be so," returned the father,
"Most like it's the mail carrier and party. Pete
Mooney said the mail hadn't arrived yet when he left
the harbor and it was then two hours overdue. Pete
went by about fifteen minutes ago."
"The carrier had a compass along, of course, but
what with the currents and running ice, it might do
him little good; for should the boat drift out of her
course so as to miss the island, the compass would only
guide him out into the open lake."
"How dreadful to be lost in such a fog and the ice
a running and night coming on," observed Mittie
with a shudder.
An early twihght was perceptibly deepening the
gloom which had hung all day long over land and
water; and the prospects of a night of blackness, such as
304 WHAT THE DRIFT BROUGHT ASHORE.
no gleam of beacon light could penetrate, served to in-
crease the anxiety felt by Mike McKay and his daugh-
ter and was shared by most of the dwellers on that
lonely isle. It was now definitely known that the car-
rier and party were astray on the lake and what might
be their fate none could determine.
At regular intervals the bell pealed forth its signals,
but the sound fell with a dirge-like cadence.
Vaguely seen through the fog-veil and darkness,
trees, rocks and other objects near the isolated old
dwelling appeared strangly wierd to Mittie'. The
naked ribs of the wrecked schooner suggested the
skeleton of some huge animal, and the dead-white
floes piHng the beach reminded her of marble slabs
and shafts swept together from some abandoned
graveyard. A nameless dread possessed her and a
foreboding which she could not control.
In hours of melancholy such as these Santa's genial
presence had often cheered the motherless girl and
dispersed the gloom of her surroundings, but all that
was now in the past. Her lover and friend had left
her and she knew not where he then was. Some
said that he had gone to Michigan, there to remain for
a year or more. Had he been on the opposite side of
the globe he could not have seemed more distant.
Darkness came on apace and shut out the fog
phantoms. The wind had continued to freshen until it
blew a gale, and the gale increased until it blew a hur-
ricane. This caused the fog to lift and lights became
visible, though inky blackness covered all the sky.
In more than one cottage on Willow Point lamp-
light gleamed from windows looking lakeward, placed
WHAT THE DRIFT BROUGHT ASHORE. 305
there by anxious watchers with the hope that the rays
shed abroad might guide landward the carrier's craft,
if happily it were still afloat and able to outride the
storm and crushing ice.
Within the McKay abode well seasoned driftwood
crackled briskl}', the kitchen stove grew ruddy with
heat and the room was cozy and comfortable.
Seated at a table Mittie knit lace, but showed little
interest in her work.
Mike McKay divided his attention between some
torn gill net twine — which he was stitching up with a
wooden needle— and the weather. The old man felt
anxious concerning the missing boat and opened the
door many times to scan the sky and the tumultuous
sea rushing on the beach. The wind's howl over chim-
ney and tree tops and the crash and grind of ice on the
shore were terrific, and he shook his head as he calcu-
lated the slim chances of any boat or crew on such a
Nine o'clock was late bed time for Mike McKay;
anxiety had kept him up, however, until after that time;
but realizing the futility of further watching, he pre-
pared to retire, first repairing to the beach to again
look at the lake.
Ice in pulverized masses and in floes big as the side
of a house — tossed up by the waves — formed a wide,
whijte ridge covering all the beach and still piling
higher. The wind blew with a violence which the old
man cared not to withstand. It cut his face and chilled
He had turned toward the house, wh^n above the
crash and roar he thought he heard a shout. V^ery
306 WHAT THE DRIFT BROUGHT ASHORE.
faint indeed; perhaps he was mistaken for the voices of
contending elements pitched in myriad keys strangely
commingled and were liable to deceive.
Mike was about to enter his dwelling when he
again heard an outcr3\ This time he made no mistake.
It was close at hand and came from the lake. Rush-
ing into the house he hastily lighted a lantern and hur-
ried to the beach whither he was quickly followed by
Over bristling ridges and through pommaced heaps
of ice the}' clambered until near the line where break-
ers gleamed white in the lantern's glare. At a short
distance from shore a large mass of ice had grounded
upon sunken rocks, and through the gloom was dis-
cerned the outlines of a boat fast upon the obstruction
and a yeast of waves breaking over it.
"Hulloa there! Give us a line — for (Jod's sake be
"Aye, aye," answered Mike.
He turned to Mittie.
"Run and get that coil of rope which hangs above
the locker. Fly! Your limbs are more supple than
Mittie started on her errand, instantly returning
with a long, strong rope to one end of which was at-
tached a piece of lead.
Having given the signal, Mike with well directed
r.im flung the lead and line into the boat. He was then
directed to make fast the shore end, which he did by
carrN'ing it over the ice ridge and tying it to a tree. By
this means tlit boat was freed from her precarious sit-
uation and gotten ashore, but would have been crushed
WHA T THE DRIFT BROUGHT ASHORE. 307
in the operation had it not been especially built for con-
tact with ice. It was armored with steel and proved
to be the island mail boat. After a hazardous exper-
ience the carrier and his assistants had gained the
shore, but were so numbed with the cold wind and
dashing spray that they could hardly walk.
"Come right up to my house !" exclaimed McKay
"No, no, not yet," returned the carrier, "We've
lost a man overboard — a passenger — we must look for
"He was standing at the stern, helping us with a
pike pole to shove the boat off yonder rocks, when a
big wave heavy with ice drift carried him into the
"I'm afraid its all day with him. He was nearly
dead from cold and fatigue before he went over and
would hardly be able to make much of a fight."
"Who was the man?" queried Mike.
"It was Santa Smith."
The words rang confusedly through Mittie's brain.
She was dazed but uttered no sound, and only for an
instant paused with hands uplifted.
"Let us look for him, let us find him !" she ex-
The wind was driving everything shoreward, and
dead or alive the man might be brought in on the
breakers. A dark object floating in the water soon
attracted attention. The object was gotten ashore. It
proved to be the inanimate form of Santa Smith.
The lantern flashed into the white, upturned face
as they gathered about to examine the body.
308 WHA T THE DRIFT BROUGHT ASHORE.
"He is dead," said one of the men reirretfullv.
"There may be Hte in him yet, bring him into the
house," suggested McKay.
Santa was stretched upon a lounge, vigorous
stimulants were applied to the skin and administered
internally, but as no responsive sign was visible they
sadly shook their heads.
Just as the last hope had been abandoned, how-
ever, a faint movement of the heart was detected.
Efforts were renewed, and the men were speedily
cheered by indications still more hopeful.
Mittie was tremulous with emotion as she flew
about procuring towels, blankets and other articles
called for by the workers.
After a time Santa opened his eyes. At that mo-
ment Mittie was hovering near; the first face that he
recognized was hers, and the tirst word that passed his
lips was her name.
She came near and in a moment their hands were
clasped and she was weeping for joy.
The carrier and his men had now performed their
part, and after partaking of some needed refresh-
ments, they loaded upon a wagon procured for the
purpose the U. S. mail bags and other matter in their
possession, and hastened on, leaving Mike McKay and
his daughter to nurse the resuscitated Santa into full
activity. Said the young man when he and the girl
"I was on my way home with the mail when we
got astray in the fog. I came back because I couldn't
stay any longer and wanted to make up with you^
will you forgive me?"
IVHA T THE DRIFT BROUGHT ASHORE. 309
"But how about Stella Pierce?"
"O, I just went with her because 1 was mad at
you and wanted to show my independence. Stella
knew it and accepted my company because she
thought it fun to make you jealous."
"The hussy!" exclaimed Mittie.
"Will you forgive me?"
For answer Mittie kissed his brow, and the old
sweet confidence was restored.
AN ISLAND ^^ FAMILY ROBINSON/^
A mere speck on the bosom of Lake Erie
lay the little island where opens the scene of our story.
It contained but a few acres and the rough limestone
which girt its irregular shores was carveninto grotesque
shapes by the action of waves. Huge rocks split
off from shore lifted their heads capped by gnarled
cedars, the roots of which had taken so firm a hold that
the fierce storms of wind and dashing surf had seemed
to render them only more tenacious. Straggling trees
and low scrubby bushes feathered the shores and in
many places overhung them.
From the far mainland shores west and north, blue
lying in the haz}' distance, to eastward, far as the eye
could reach, stretched the great ice plains, undulating
and rough with their white and grey drift piled in con-
fused masses. The scene presented was at once grand,
yet bleak and desolate.
In the center of the island was a single dwelling
sheltered from raking winds by a thicket of trees.
Within a cove, approached by a rock}' path, stood a
roughly built shanty used for storing nets, buoys, ropes
and other articles belonging to fishermen's tackle, and
drawn up on the beach lay a boat. These two
buildings were all that the island contained. Its in-
AN ISLAND ''FAMILY Robinson:' ■ 311
habitants were a fisherman, William Gerald, and
family consisting of a wife, a grown daughter and a
little child. A man who had been employed to assist
in fishing operations during the preceding autumn lived
None of the adjacent islands were at that time inhab-
ited and very often in stormy weather and when the ice
was unsafe these people were entirely cut off from the
world and communication therewith. Though they had
suffered man}' disadvantages and even hardships and
had resolved never to spend another winter on the lonely
spot, yet undoubtedly they had been as happy and as
contented as mankind in general.
However, a shadow had crossed the cottage thres-
hold and darkened its hearthstone. Little Charley, the
pet of the household, was taken suddenly ill. The
anxious parents did all that lay in their power,
administering such medicines as they had, which
they thought might prove beneficial, but their efforts
were unavailing and the boy grew rapidly worse.
"In the morning," said Gerald — for the child was
taken ill in the night — "In the morning I will start for
the mainland and try to procure a doctor."
"I fear that it will be hard to find a doctor willing
to risk traveling so far upon the ice," replied the wife.
"I do not think the risk great, as the ice appears
quite solid," answered the husband.
When, however, the first beams of the winter sun
illuminated the eastern verge of the great ice plains and
shone through the cedars into the window, they fell
upon the rigid face of a dead child. Little Charley had
breathed his last.
312 AN ISLAND ''FAMILY ROBINSONr
The parents were stricken with grief. Isolated as
they were, death had found and had borne awa}- almost
without warning their treasure.
Long and dreary was the day following that night
of anxious watching by the bedside of sickness and of
death. The sun veiled itself in clouds and the skies
bent in cold solemnity. Dressed in a robe of spotless
white the dead child lay in his crib. The room was
partially darkened and through the house, which had
echoed his ringing laugh and childish prattle, reigned
a silence unbroken save by soft footfalls and low voices,
mingled with a sound of weeping.
To the hearts of the mourning parents now came the
"Where shall we find a grave for our boy? "
"Shall we bury him in this desert little isle which
holds no other grave and leave it alone and neg-
lected with only the rain and dew to weep over it,
and the voice of wind and wave alone hushing it to the
sleep that waketh not?"
"No," the thought was unbearable. Then they re-
membered a burial site with white headstones, envir-
oned amidst shrubbery, flowers and drooping willows
across on the Canadian main where rested friends and
relatives. In this spot they resolved to inter the re-
mains of little Charley.
"If we carry him to A -," observed Mr. Gerald,
it will be necessary to set out as soon as possible. The
trip over and back will take two days. The ice seems
solid, but it is uncertain how long it will remain so."
"Reuben will be ready and willing to accompany
me and I think it best to start early tomorrow morning."
AN ISLAND ''FA MIL Y ROBINSONS 313
"I hardly dare think of your going. What if any-
thing should happen you?" said Mrs. Gerald. Then
she thought of the void soon to be made by the removal
of little Charley.
"Oh! how desolate would be the darkened home."
Mingled with her grief were misgivings con-
cerning the safety of her husband, such as she
had never before felt, for she was a courageous
woman and seldom gave way to feelings of timidity.
Long hours must elapse before she should again see her
husband. He would be exposed to danger in crossing
the bleak ice desert, yet this danger would not be
greater than others to which he had often been exposed
on previous occasions. Calling to the test all her forti-
tude, she refused to listen to the promptings of fears
which she endeavored to persuade herself were ground-
less, and quietly acquiesced in her husband's plans.
A strange funeral procession was that which earl}^
the next morning moved from the door of the fisher-
man's home down to the cove where lay the boat. In
his arms Gerald carried the dead child, wrapped in a
blanket. He was followed by his wife and daughter
and his hired man, Reuben Starr.
The boat had been provided with runners and ropes
fastened to the bow, so that it could be drawn like a
hand sled. Reuben Starr carried a small box which he
placed in the boat's stern, and within it was laid the
body. The little group gathered around it and re-
mained standing for a few minutes, while the mother
and sister took a last look at the dead boy. Tears
flowed freely and the silence of the parting was broken
only by sobs. The sky was covered with sombre
314 AN ISLAND ''FAMIL V ROBINSON:'
clouds; a settled gloom rested upon the underlying
shores and pervaded the hearts of the stricken family.
The little face was then covered away from sight.
With a few parting words to those left behind Ger-
ald took his place beside Reuben Starr, who held the
ropes, and together they set forward drawing between
them the boat and its burden. Once again an indefin-
able dread of some ill befalling the two adventurers took
possession of Mrs. Gerald and divided the grief she felt
at the death of her child. She said nothing to her
daughter in regard to these feelings and sought to drive
them from her mind.
Over the lake toiled the two men. There were
smooth, slippery places where the ice looked blue and
firm. Then they cime to narrow seams where
water appeared. In one place a long rift of open water
about fifty feet wide obstructed the way. Here they
were obliged to launch the boat and pull across to the
opposite side. In some places great cakes of ice lay
heaped in confused masses. At other points they were
gorged together in shattered, splintered confusion.
Meantime the clouds grew darker and the air
warmer. Gerald, with a slight feeling of uneasiness,
glanced at the lowering sky, while Reuben wet his
finger and held it up in the wind to note its direction.
"I wish that we had brought a pocket compass,"
observed the latter.
Gerald made no reply and the men pushed forward
as rapidly as the peculiar roughness of the way and the
dragging weight of the boat would permit, toward the
faint, blue line which marked the Canadian shores.
However, the men were apprehensive of a danger
A N IS LA ND ''FA MIL Y ROBINSONr 3 1 5
which those of less experience might not have foreseen.
The wind was not blowing hard, but it had changed
from the northeast to due west and the dense, black
clouds along the western horizon had turned to a whitish
grey. There were indications of a storm. Nearly
three hours had they been on their way and the shores
of the island were growing dim m the distance. Once
they stopped and deliberated as to whether they had
not better abandon the undertaking. Gerald seemed
inclined to turn back, but Reuben Starr, who was auj.
old sailor and had roughed it for many a year, insisted
upon going forward. He had become hardened by ex-
posure, was reckless of danger and his reputation for
bravery was now at stake. After a moment's hesitation
Gerald yielded to the old sailor's wishes and again they
pressed forward with an energy that brought the per-
spiration to their faces.
Suddenly the wind arose. The heavy, grey clouds
swept up from the horizon in a solid body, preceded by
clouds as black as night, broken and flying in wild con-
"Look yonder!" exclaimed Gerald, pointing west-
A dense, filmy line of snow was sweeping toward
them over the lake. The men came to a sudden stop.
Gerald's face was pale and anxious, and that of his
companion showed deeper concern than he cared to
express in words. In a few moments the storm burst
upon them. The air was filled with whirling snow
flakes driven before the fierce blast. It enveloped them
as with a shroud. The island which they had left be-
hind and the shore line toward which they had traveled
316 AJV ISLAND 'TAMIL V ROBINSON. "
were entirely blotted from view. Not a point or land-
mark remained whereby they could determine their
"If we only had brought a compass," repeated Reu-
ben, but they had not and now what was to be done? If
they journeyed on without a guide they would in all pro-
bability lose the direclion of the shore and perhaps wan-
der from the confines of the islands- out toward the
open sea. They decided to remain where they were.
The storm might soon abate and they could then pro-
ceed. But there were no indications of the storm
abating. Not a break appeared in the solid mass of
clcuds that covered the sky. The wind blew a steady
gale. Their situation was becoming perilous, for if the
wind continued at its present violence the ice was liable
to part and break up at any time. A knowledge of
this fact was the principal cause of anxiety on the part
of the two men.
Buttoning closely about them their overcoats they
seated themselves on the edge of the boat. Having
eaten nothing since early morning, Gerald opened a
basket he had brought with him containing provisions,
set it between them, and the two partook of its con-
tents in silence. With the snow whirling around them
they finished their repast, after which ihe time was oc-
cupied in watching the sky and in pacing backward
and forward near the boat's side. The hours dragged
wearily, and impatient of their length, Reuben asked
for the time. Gerald took out his watch. It was just
half past two. Dropping it into his pocket, he once
more glanced at the sky. It looked sullen and the wind
A.V ISLAND 'TAMIL V ROBINSOX:' 317
In the Clutch of the Tempest,
The winter days ware short, and by five o'clock it
would be dark. Had the storm then cleared the re-
mainder of the afternoon would not have been more
than sufficent for them to have reached their destin-
ation. What if it continued snowing, and they should
be compelled to remain all night in their present ex-
posed situation. With such a wind it seemed no ques-
tion with Gerald but that the ice must break up be-
"Should the snow cease falling might they not be
able even in the dark to find their way by the aid of
some friendly light," was the thought of Gerald. Then
he remembered how wild was that portion of the Can-
adian shore, and how few inhabitants it contained. He
could not remember having ever seen a light upon them.
Gerald glanced at the snow covered heap in the stern
of the boat, thought of his dead child, and wondered
if they might not find a grave together in the cruel
waters that lay beneath.
Still the snow descended, the wind increased and
hope grew faint in the hearts of the solitary watchers.
The suspense became unendurable.
"It seems useless to wait," said Gerald. There
may be a chance of making land at some point, and if
we do not, we can certainly make our situation no
worse than it is.
Reuben expressed the same opinion, and they con-
tinued on in the direction towards which the boat still
headed, but as to whether they kept their course or
318 AN ISLAND ''FAMIL Y ROBINSONS
gradually deviated and wandered from it they never
Wearily onward they trudged through the snow
which was getting quite deep, but thought not of rest,
nor lingered for a moment. The increasing gloom
warned them that night was coming on. Thick and
fast fell the shades. They stumbled blindly over
rough surfaces, with the relentless flakes flying about
them like vultures. Who could tell, perhaps each
moment bore them farther away from the shore which
they were striving to reach, out toward the open where
storm and darkness centered.
Suddenly, an ominous grinding roar was heard.
The men glanced quickly at each other and stopped to
listen. Again the sound was repeated.
"It is coming," said Gerald.
•'We may as well prepare for the worst."
Night impenetrable with snow, and darkness shut
in this desolate scene. The demons of the storm were
abroad and unrestrained were their orgies. The
travelers had come to a dead halt, when they felt the
ice lift beneath their feet. There were grating,
crushing noises upon every side. The worst had come.
The ice had parted and they were adrift.
Reuben seized a hammer, loosened the temporary
runners from the boat, and got it in readiness for use
at a moment's notice. The din of crashing ice grew
louder. They could not determine the size of the floe
upon which they stood, but it was moving rapidly; ris-
ing, falHng, quivering beneath them, like the deck of a
storm tossed vessel. They drifted for an hour or more
when the floe upon which they were, broke, but a com-
AN ISLAND "FAMIL Y ROBINSON'' 319
paratively small piece holding intact. They took their
places at the oars, and prepared for a contest with the
crushing ice and thundering waves. Showers of spray
filled the air. They were lifted upcn the crest of a gi-
gantic billow, then plunged again into the trough of the
sea. The remainder of the floe was shivered to pieces
and the boat nearly capsized. When it righted again
they were tossing in the midst of the waves.
It would be aifficult to describe the fierce struggle
that ensued, or to recount the horrors of the long night
that followed, durmg which the frail boat was driven
by the tempest and threatened momentarily with de-
struction by the drifting ice. As by a miracle, how-
ever, they weathered the storm until the dawn of
morning. About mid-night the snow had ceased
falling, and stars came out into the sky, but the wind
continued blowing as furiously as ever. They had
been drifting with the ice down the lake all night; and
now clearly outlined made out the rough, dark shores
of a projecting headland some two miles distant.
The oil suits of the two men were covered thick
with frozen spray. The water had penetrated their
undergarments, they were numbed with cold, and al-
most exhausted. With their fast failing strength was
it possible to pull through the gleaming white breakers
and icy drift and reach shore? The wind was in their
favor, though the sea was tremendous. Sighting
a low sandy beach indenting a line of broken rocks,
they exerted all their remaining strength, and pulled
towards it. About half the distance was accomplish-
ed, when they were struck by a huge wave, ice loaded.
There was a crash, and the shattered boat capsized.
320 AN ISLAND ''FA MIL Y ROBINSONr
A cry rose from the water. The men were struggling
m the merciless waves.
Gerald seized the railing of the boat and looked
for his companion, but saw only the shrouded form of
his dead child float away and disappear beneath the
wav^es. The stark, white face was turned towards
him, and in that instant Gerald realized that the living
and the dead had alike found graves beneath the
relentless waves. A chill of horror froze the blood in
his veins and his heart stood still. He clutched the
boat with both hands, and his stiffening fingers held on
with the terrible grip of the drowning. Blindness
came over him. A confused din was in his ears which
growing fainter died away. Gerald was unconscious.
^ ^ ^ -l^ ^ ^
On the etremity of L Point stood a hut where
lived an aged hermit. The morning after the storm the
old man had risen early and repaired to the shore for
a pail of water. The rocks were high and the waves
beat up against their base. With a rope he let down
the pail and drew it up filled with water. He set it
down for a moment to watch the driving surf, when
his attention was attracted by a broken boat washed
upon a narrow beach at the foot of the cliffs. A strange,
dark object was fastened to it. Clambering down the
icy rocks, he approached the boat.
Clinging to it with both hands was the apparently
lifeless body of a man. On examination, the old man
thought that he detected a faint flutter about the heart
indicating that life was not altogether extinct. There
was an ugly cut on the side of the head, and blood had
frozen in the hair.
He unfastened the closely locked fingers from the
AN ISLAND ''FAMILY ROBINSONy 321
boat, and half carried, half dragged the man up the
rocks, stopping at intervals to rest for the ascent was
A hot fire blazed on the cabin hearth, and the old
man laid his burden on a couch close beside it. For
some time he worked over his charge, using every re-
storative at command, and by degrees the patient re-
vived and began breathing regularly. He opened feebly
his eyes and spoke a few words, but they were discon-
nected and denoted mental derangement. For twelve
weeks William Gerald —for he it was — lay in a critical
condition, suffering from injuries that threatened both
life and reason. He raved day and night, and talked in-
cessantly and incoherently.
At last there came a lime when the fevered state of
his mind grew more calm, and a deep, long sleep sue"
ceec'ed. When he awoke, reason was restored and
with it the remembrance of events which had occurred?
and through which he had been brought to his present
condition. His first inquiry was for Reuben Starr, but
they could tell him nothing concerning his companion's
On the following day a child's remains, with the
tattered fragments of a white shroud clinging to them
were washed ashore. They were brought to the cabin,
and although much disfigured were recognized by
Gerald as those of little Charley, and subsequently
buried in a little graveyard on the point.
Despite his restlessness, the invalid grew stronger
each day, for he was deeply concerned about his wife
and daughter alone and in exile all those dreary weeks
322 AN ISLAND ''FAMILY ROBINSONr
Yielding to t^ e continued petitions of liis patient,
the attending physcian gave him permission at last to
return to his island home, after cautioning him to be
Before starting, Gerald visited the new made grave
and planted flowers upon it and a tree at its head, for
spring had come.
* * * * * * *
The anxiety and suspense endured by the two
women in their lonely situation during those long, winter
months, can well be imagined.
The terrible snow-storm, with the breaking up of
the ice coming when ii did, had aroused serious appre-
hension for the safety of the absent ones.
As days went by and weeks succeeded, the fears
that haunted the two women increased. That the
men were lost in the ice grew into an awful certainty.
Had they been living they could and would have re-
turned. All hope of ever seeing her husband died
from the heart of Mrs. Gerald, and now as their
winter's stock of provisions was nearly exhausted, how
were they to obtain help? Not a sail as yet had come
One bright Aiay morning at last, on glancing from
the window, Mrs, Gerald sighted a small schooner
standing directly for the island. She was overjoyed,
but after a moment's reflection concluded that the ves-
sel must be on a long tack and would soon shift her
course. Fastening a white cloth to a pole the woman
ran to the shore, determined, if possible, to signal those
on board. The schooner was still several miles distant,
but the wind was fair and blowing fresh and sharp and
AN ISLAND ''FAMILY ROBINSONr 323
she bore down without deviating a single point. In a
short time she lay just off the island. The white cloth
fluttered from shore. The ves'sel hove to, let go
her anchor and lowering a boat, a number of men
climbed into it and pulled for the island.
Did her eyes deceive her? Who was the man in
the bow of the yawl bearing so strong a resemblance
to her dead husband? With her daughter she hurried
to the spot where the boat was about to land. As it
touched, the man in the bow sprang ashore.
"William!" Mrs. Gerald rushed toward her hus-
band — for it was he — and fell fainting into his arms.
Gerald had taken passage on a vessel bound for the
upper lakes. Having previously stated his story to the
kind hearted captain, the latter, touched with sym-
pathy, agrd*ed to land him upon this island, although it
lay wide of the vessel's course. However, the joy of
the meeting between those so long separated by cir-
cumstances, so fraught with danger and uncertainty,
more than compensated the good captain for his trouble-
As soon as he could make the necessary arrange-
ments, William Gerald removed his famil}^ and effects to
Canada. Trusting no longer to the uncertain chances
of wind and wave, he became a well-to-do farmer.
The family liv'ed happy and contented among relatives
and friends, but the recollection of experiences here
narrated sometimes came back in hideous night-mare
forms to haunt their sleeping visions.
Since then many a long year has passed. Times
have changed and life seems everywhere; yet, lying on
the bosom of this inland sea, the little island remains
the same isolated speck, lonely and desolate as of yore.
A Story of Rattlesnake Island.
It is remarkable what large sized romances small
bits of territory are capable of producing under favorable
conditions. Though containing but ten or twelve acres,
Rattle><nake island forms the scene of quite an interest-
ing episode along this line.
The island lies about two miles to the northeast of
Put-in-Bay. Its surface, partially covered with forest
fringe and red cedar, is broken by outcropping beds of
limestone. In shape it is elongated with a hump in
the middle, and two islets — mere dots — at the tail end,
known as the "rattles." V^iewed from a distance, a
lively imagination may readily resolve this dark couch-
ant body of land outlined against the turquoise blue of
Erie into a gigantic rattlesnake, with head erect and
rattles in working order. From its peculiar form-
ation the island is generally supposed to have derived
its name, though some assert that the appellation was
bestowed in consequence of the illimitable quantities of
rattlesnakes which rendezvoused in and among the
creviced and broken rocks. From these fastnesses
they were wont to wriggle forth into aggressive promi-
nence, hissing and clicking their spite, and whipping
the earth and surrounding vegetation, until everything
looked blue. Many "vets" were numbered among
the reptilian hosts, regular old sockers with whole
CASTA WA V. 325
strings of rattles. So thick were they it is avowed —
that a man couldn't walk without treading upon three
or four of the "varmints" at every step — this in the
halcyon days of yore. At a later date the enterprising
community of snakes here represented materially les-
sened in numbers, until comparatively few remain to
adorn the spot named in their honor.
An able accessory in the dispersion of this reptile
colony was undoubtedly vested in the brawn and
muscle of the proprietor, whom for convenience we will
call "Hank Smith," who with his family located on the
island. Old Hank wasn't afraid of rattlesnakes evi-
dently, and prided himself manifestly on owning and
occupying with his household gods a whole island,
which if not very big, was at least far enough re-
moved from adjacent isles to afford ample seclusion.
So at least he imagined, and so in reality it might
have proven but for the obstrusive fact that the old
codger possessed several comely daughters, and since
"love laughs at locksmiths," traverses distances im-
measurable and achieves impossibilities of all sorts,
this blind but ever active imp was not long in finding
his way to Rattlesnake island.
Celia, the eldest, was an attractive maiden with
eyes that matched the color of the sea and sky and
hair a fluff of golden brown. She was lithe and active,
free and fearless, revelling like a duck in adventures on
the water. She was an expert at fishing and fowling,
could manipulate a pair of oars with admirable skill,
and with a light skiff was accustomed to cross fre-
quently the two miles stretch that intervened between
Rattlesnake and Put-in-Bay.
At the latter place she speedily became the attrac-
tion of a youthful fisherman who crossed her path —
whom we will call Tom Taylor. After this there was
no more peace for Rattlesnake. From time to time it
was haunted by a spectral sail which circled about
the island, edging nearer and nearer at each cruise,
until one day it lay beached close by the "grout"
house of Hank Smith. At beck of the little winged
god Tom Taylor and his boat had followed the charmer
to her rocky retreat. This being his first experience in
courtship, however, Tom proved a bit fresh and his
bashfulness was excruciating. His feeble advances
were regarded with apparent disfavor, the coy maiden
turning a deaf ear to his importunities, until in blank
despair he shook the dust of Rattlesnake from his feet.
The spectral sail retreated over the water returning
no more that season to haunt the mirrored coves of
the little, lone isle.
Tom Taylor "darned" and "gol-darned" his luck
and the girl, and wished himself and her in — well, in
a clime too hot for health and comfort.
Having thus abandoned schemes matrimonial, he
returned to his work of inveigling into nets of tarred
twine the unsuspecting finny tribes, an occupation with
which he was more familiar than that of love making.
One early spring day, some months following the
collapse of Tom's love affair, a terrible squall, such as
sometimes swoops down unannounced upon the islands,
struck Put-in-Bay with a force that twisted limbs from
the trees and sent the tumbled seas spouting up the
Lookino; from her window an old woman who oc-
cupied a cottage on East Point thought she espied a
small boat far out on the lake driving eastward before
the gale. From a shelf she snatched a pair of marine
glasses through which she took a second observation.
Yes, the boat was evidently drifting at the mercy of the
wind and current. Not an oar was in motion. Only
a single occupant could be discerned and that was a
female. With breathless haste the old woman rushed
to a little cove where stood a fish shanty. Within an
angle of the L shaped dock several boats lay moored,
and two fishermen attired in 3'ellow oil skins and Sou'-
westers were coal tarring twine over a smoking kettle.
One of these individuals proved to be our friend Tom
Taylor. Tom took the marine glasses proffered by
the scared old woman, and through them examined
the drifting boat.
"Blast my buttons if it aint a woman!" he ex-
claimed. With two or three long strides he reached
and began unfastening a boat.
"What you goin' to do ?" demanded his companion.
"Going to pick up that skiff; come on Jim."
Jim demurred, urging that no boat could live long
in such a sea, and that it was foolhardy to venture-
Tom, however, would take no denial, and with
serious misgivings Jim was finally persuaded to take a
hand at the oars. Under the double pull the boat
plunged into the boiling surf. It was a hard struggle
and many times the boat barely escaped swamping in
the heavy sea that struck her, but at last the castaway
was overtaken. As they approached the woman
stretched appealing hands toward them and Tom turned
in his seat to get a square look at her.
328 CASTA IVA K ^
"Great Scott!" The beaded perspiration on his
brow now began streaming down his cheeks. It was
Celia, she who had so cruelly jilted him. But all dif-
ferences were forgotten when life and death hung poised
in the balance. The drifting boat was nearly filled
with water and it seemed as if every sea would sub-
merge it, but the boat and Celia were both rescued
and landed upon the lee side of a projecting headland.
Celia was drenched through and through. Her hair
hung in strings, her clothing clung closely about her,
and altogether she looked as picturesque as a ducked
'You may thank Tom here for your salvation," re-
marked Jim, turning to the fair but dilapidated Celia.
"I never see a woman yit that I thought more of
than I do of my own individual self, an' if Tom hadn't
shamed me out, I expect he'd awent alone and you'd
both gone to Davy Jones."
Now that they had reached land, the rough old
fisherman had removed his boots and was draining off
the water that had collected in them.
The girl made no reply, but from under dripping
locks she beamed upon Tom a smile the most heart-
some and approving that he had ever received.
In answer to anxious questions Celia explained that
when midway between the two islands a rowlock
had become detached and fallen overboard, rendering
the oars useless, and being overtaken by the squall she
had drifted until discovered and rescued.
Celia found shelter with some friends at Put-in-Bay
until the next morning, when the gale having died, she
was restored to her anxious parents by Tom Taylor in
person. She was not much worse for the wetting and
scare received and was appropriately subdued in man-
ner, treating Tom with uniform kindness and evidently
regarding him as a hero.
Old Hank received him with effusive demonstra-
tions and insisted upon his remaining for the day as an
honored guest, placing before him in the way of enter-
tainment the best that his larder afforded.
Celia behaved beautifully and it will hardly be
necessary to tell of all the little flirtations successfully
prosecuted by the young couple during that brief day.
In the evening as Tom was about taking his depar-
ture, his host clapped him on the shoulder and said:
"Young man, if it hadn't been for you my girl
would now be drifting down Lake Erie a corpse instead
of sitting here. You've saved her life and now I don't
know how I am to pay you for the trouble, unless
you're willin' to take her."
A wave of scarlet suddenly swept over Tom's face,
extending clear to the roots of his red hair, while the
girl looked the picture of confusion.
"Why, dad! " she exclaimed.
Tom succeeded after a mighty effort in gaining his
composure, and after clearing his throat said that if the
old man was "willin' " and the girl was "wiUin' " he
guessed he'd call it "square." The girl nodded; the
old man said "all right," and promised to throw in the
boat as a part of the bargain. So before the ice fields
blocked the island passages there was a wedding on
Rattlesnake and Tom bore away his bride in triumph.
One by one old Hank Smith was robbed of his
daughters and he eventually left the island himself,
330 CASTA WA Y.
and another "Family Robinson" who succeeded him
now occupies the place.
Tom Taylor multiplied and increased as years
swept on and now rejoices, with his "better half" in
an ample share of this world's emoluments.
CRUSOE" ISLANDS OF ERIE.
As a field for the development of novel and enter-
taining adventures like those of "Robinson Crusoe,"
and the "Swiss Family Robinson," or a fancy tickling
bit of romance like that of "Foul Play," a Httle, lone
island in the sea is quite the thing, and in material for
productions of this kind the Erie archipelago is
Mere dots as they are on the broad bosom of an
inland sea, the reminiscent lore attaching to the
smaller islets dating from their early history is in-
While too limited in extent to afford room for more
than a few occupants at a time, the fact that so many
individuals singly, or as families, should have sought
at various times the seclusion of bounds so narrow^ is
a matter of surprise. Instances of the occupation of
each by single families have been numerous, while
correspondingly marked has been the tendency toward
As will be seen on reference to the map, the
islands in question are scattered promiscuously among
the larger members of the group, and may be enum-
erated as East, West and Middle Sisters, Green Island,
Rattlesnake, "Gull," "Sugar," "Mouse," "Lost Bal-
last," "Hen and Chickens," North Harbor, Middle
Island, "Buckeye," and "Starve" islands.
332 ''CRl/SOr' ISLANDS OF ERIE.
As a light-house station, Middle island, situated in
Canadian waters south of Point Au Pelee and contain-
ing but a few acres, has formed for many years the
abode of a whole series of government employes
whose main occupation it has been to kindle and keep
burning through nights of storm and darkness the
lights within its grey old tower, occupying in turn
with their families or alone the one modest dwelling
which the island contains.
Drawing from their personal experiences, the light-
keepers of Middle island have contributed in ample
measure to stories of adventure, and often of hardship
and privation incidental to a life so isolated.
On one occasion a bass fishing party on an ex-
tended cruise approached the shores of Middle island.
The party had observed two women watching from
the shore and giving signs of distress. On landing
they found near the stone-towered light-house a dwell-
ing occupied by the keeper and his family. The
former was suffering tortures from a broken ankle —
the result of an accident three weeks previous. When
first broken, the limb had been bandaged and treated
by a mainland physician, but had since received no
medical attention, and from appearances the case was
Hkely to involve a sacrifice either of life or Hmb.
The family were in reduced circumstances and, cut
off from communication with the outside world, no
help could be obtained. The party did what they
could toward temporarily relieving the unfortunate
man and in supplying the wants of his family, and as
soon as it could \)e procured, the necessary medical aid
was dispatched to the sufferer.
'•■CRUSOE'" ISLANDS OF ERIE. 333
On yet another occasion a solitary occupant of the
island during the winter season was taken seriously ill
and lay for several days uncared for, his only medi-
cines comprising a few simple herbs, his only com-
panion a dog.
In like manner the keepers of Green island light
have had during the years intervening, since the build-
ing of the first light-house upon its shores, many haps
and mishaps which if woven into story would make
interesting reading. An occurrence most notable in
the history of Green Island was the burning in 1864 of
the light-house above mentioned, an account of which
is elsewhere given in this volume.
A fine, new structure since erected has been for
several years under the superintendence of Joseph
Gibeaut and family, who by means of a snug little
naphtha launch — The "Twilight" — make connection
between its shores and Put-in-Ba}-. The island has
had also its Crusoe dwellers.
For a number of years rocky little Rattlesnake
was inhabited by a family bearing the name of Ham-
mond, but now forms the summer residence of Capt.
Freyense, of Sandusky, who annually repairs thither
with his famil^^ A romantic interest attaches to the
The "Sister" islands have rejoiced each in its
solitary occupation from time to time by one or more
individuals, and the past history of the trio is redolent
of reminiscent lore, the repetition of which sounds like
According to tradition there lived on one of the
Sisters in early days a fisherman and his family, to-
334 ''CRUSOE'' ISLANDS OF ERIE.
gether with a man employed by the former. They
endeavored to accommodate themselves to the situa-
tion, and no serious difficulty had as yet overtaken
them until in the midst of a long, tedious winter a
child was taken suddenly and seriously ill, and died
before medical aid could be procured.
Unwilling to bury their little one uncoffined upon
the lonely isle were the parents, and accoidingly the
two men set out across the ice, bearing with them the
dead child. On the way they were struck by a heavy
gale, the ice broke up, the adverturers were caught
and lost in the running ice and together the three bodies
were swept down the lake.
Left alone on the island mother and daughter
awaited anxiously the return of the absent ones, but
waited in vain.
Two or three months afterward with opening nav-
igation a vessel chanced to be cruising near the island
and was signalled by the distressed women. They
were found to be in destitute circumstances, and the
story of their desolate sojourn under circumstances so
fraught with anxiety and grief, was one of harrowing
For many years after the settlement of the princi-
pal islands, the "Hen and Chickens," lying north of
the Bass group, were uninhabited. The "Hen" was
finally settled by one Captain Blanchard, who came to
be known as "the hermit of the old Hen." Unlike the
proverbial recluse. Captain Blanchard was an able man
financially and his hermitage formed a quiet, but very
comfortable retreat, in which during the summer season
he received and entertained many friends from a dis-
CRUSOE'' ISLANDS OF ERIE.
tance. Tired at last of his solitary life Captain Blan-
chard sold cl e "Hen" and her brood to a party of San-
dusky gentlemen. An elegant and commodious struc-
ture was erected near the site of the hermitage and
christened — "Quinnebog Club House," and semi an-
nually its members repair thither to fish for black bass
and run wild.
VIEW ON OLD HEN ISLAM D- QUI NNEBOG CLUB HOUSE.
Photo by Joo, Die!z, Sandusky,
For a time the onl}-^ inhabitant of "Ballast" was
"Uncle Jimmy," who occupied a humble cot and posed
as monarch of all he surveyed, until after the pui chase
of the island by Cleveland parties and subsequent
erection of a club house and cottages.
"Sugar," containing an area of about fourteen acres
lying between Middle and North Bass, possesses varied
336 ''CRUSOE" ISLANDS OF ERIE.
attractions and is favored as the resort of camping
and fishing parties.
Concerning "Mouse" island a visiting journalist
thus writes :
♦'It is a little crem of an island on the south shore of
Lake Erie just a stone's throw from Catawba Island.
May it be your good fortune to see it by moonlightj
with Green island light blinking sleepily over the port
quarter. Then see it with each leaf in the gentle
silhouette. Here are bays and capes in miniature, and
pretty little harbors where fairy fleets might an-
"From Catawba Island the telegraph cable takes a
long leap — stops a moment at "Mouse" island and
then plunges into the lake to go to Put-in-Bay. The
happy swallows gather on the wire in August before
their trip to the South and talk over the coming jour-
ney, all unconscious of the messages under their feet,
messages of births and deaths and marriages that shall
make the heart flutter, many a cheek to pale or flush
at Put-in-Bay. What do the swallows care? Robins
too shall sing a sunset carol for you on the wire, and
you may sink to sleep with the echo of his gentle ves-
per in your ears."
"You might have seen Perry start out from here
several years ago with his fleet. How queer those
old vessels would look now!"
"On this shelving beach many and many a time has
the bark canoe of the Indian grated. Here he was ab-
sorbed in thoughts of his spirit, and here too he pro-
bably absorbed a great deal too much spirit, after the
white man came."
''CRUSOE'' ISLANDS OF ERIE. ' 337
' "If you do go to Mouse island this summer, the
memory of it shall have its halo for you."
Mouse island — it may be added — has won distinc-
tion as having once been the property of ex-Prest.
Rutherford B. Hayes-
Concerning " Catawba island " — it may here
be stated that it is not an island, but rather a peninsula.
It is therefore outside the territorial boundaries in-
cluded in this volume. However, it may not be out
of place to state incidentally that the locality is noted
for its interesting reminiscences of aboriginal occupancy
and early pioneer days, as well as for its extensive
orchards, especially peaches, and for its desirability as
a quiet, restful summer resort.
"Gull" formed in early days a resort both for
sea-gulls which repaired thither in flocks to lay their
eggs in the sand, and for adventurers who went to
"Buckeye" and "Lost Ballast" are gems in mini-
ature. Only fifteen or twenty years ago the latter was
an extension of Ballast island proper, from which it
was cut by the wear of waves, and is now separated by
a sweep of water. Covered with trees and shrub-
berry, this tiny islet — subsequenlly named "Lost Bal-
last" — forms an emerald setting in the blue water.
"Starve" island is said to have taken its name from
the melancholy fact that somewhere about the open-
ing of the present century a sailor got stranded there-
on, where he starved to death. The skeleton of the
unfortunate man was afterwards found bleaching upon
its barren shore.
338 ''CRUSOE'' ISLANDS OF ERIE.
Starve island forms a mass of rock and scant veg-
etation and its adjacent reefs are known as danger
points and carefully shunned by cruising vtssels. It
boasts not even a Crusoe, and was recently purchased
by Cincinnati capitalists, who, it is said, propose es-
tablishing thereon an asylum for decayed politicans.
AN EVENTFUL NIGHT,
Thrilling: Story of the Burningf of Green Island Light
House in ^64.
"That cold New Year's night," is the
way the old folks put it when they refer
to the time wherein occurred the events
here narrated. The night was that of
the outgoing of '63 and the incoming of
'64, and is remembered as the coldest ever
known in this country. Among the is-
lands, exposed as they are to the fierce blasts which
sweep Lake Erie, this particular cold snap was
December 31, 1863, was mild as an April day^
Heavy rains had fallen, filling ditches and lowlands
with water, while the lake was entirely free from ice.
With the cessation of the rain, however, a gale sprang
up from the Northwest which steadily increased in
violence. As darkness fell and night advanced,
the sea rose in its strength and swept the shores with
a deafening roar. The gale became terrific in force
and its breath cut like daggers, so that pedestrians
along the island roads could scarcely face it. Within a
few hours the mercury dropped from 60 degrees above
to 25 degrees below zero.
At Doller's Hall on Put-in-Bay, a party of young
340 AN EVENTFUL NIGHT.
people had assembled to dance "the old year out, and
the new in," but owing to the extreme cold they had
deserted the dancing floor and had formed a gathering
around the stove. Suddenly the group was startled by
a glimmer which shot up over the tree-tops, faintly
illuminating the windows of the hall.
"It's the moon, rising," suggested one. But no,
there was no moon, and in a moment a bright flame
arose, mounting higher and higher, while the sky was
a lurid glare of light. A few moments later came the
"Green Island light-house is on fire!"
This intelligence struck a chill to the hearts of all who
realized its import to the isolated keeper and his family
on that bitter night; for in the wild storm raging
without, the boiling sea and the midnight darkness,
no human aid could reach them.
While at Put-in-Bay the alarm was spreading, Col-
onel Drake, the light-keeper at Green Island, and his
family were gathered in the sitting-room of the cottage
which flanked the tower, and formed a part of the
structure. The hour was late. They were watching
the old year out. No apprehension of danger came to
them until above the roar of the wind they heard the
crackling of flames. A moment later the whole upper
portion of the building was discovered to be all ablaze.
With characteristic coolness Colonel Drake attired
himself in boots, hat, and overcoat before making iny
attempt to fight the fire, but seized with consternation
his wife and daughter rushed at once from the house —
the latter bareheaded, barearmed, and with feet pro-
tected only by thin stockmgs and slippers.
AN EVENTFUL NIGHT. 341
By means of a ladder Colonel Drake mounted to
the roof with a pail of water. Miss Drake caught up a
pail in each hand, and filling them from the lake
passed them to her mother by whom they were carried
up the ladder to the burning roof where the keeper
was making a brave effort to stay the flames.
Over thirty pails of water were in this manner
transferred to the roof, but though they worked with
the energy of despair the fire steadily gained and Col-
onel Drake was forced to beat a retreat down the
The family now turned their attention to the saving
of their valuables, some of which were secured, but
already the interior of the house was burning and
smoke met them at the door in stifling volumes. A
sudden thought of his family's precarious condition
almost turned the brain of Colonel Drake. Unless he
could succeed in saving a bed or two with which to
protect them from the intense cold, they must inevitably
perish, since no assistance could reach them from ad-
jacent islands until the sea went down. He darted
into the burning structure. Tongues of flame licked
his face, singed hair and beard, and the smoke blinded
and choked him. With a desperate bound he gained
the door of an adjacent room. The flames had already
communicated to this apartment, but the bed was still
untouched. Upon it was a tick filled with feathers
and another with straw. Hsstily rolling them into a
comforter, he shouldered the bundle and succeeded
narrowly in making an exit from his perilous situation.
The scene now presented was one of the wildest
grandeur. Blown by the howling blast, the fire surged,
342 AN E VENTFUL NIGHT.
and roared, and by its vivid light could be seen
line after line of white breasted waves rushing
tumultuously shoreward, and breaking with a thunder-
ing sound at the base of the tower. Clouds of blind-
ing surf mounted thirty feet into the air and showered
upon the steps, freezing as it fell, and forming a glar-
ing pavement of ice upon the very threshold of the
burning structure. Wind and sea, fire and darkness
had united, and seemed to vie each with each other in
painting a picture of savage sublimity.
To the houseless family the situation was one of
horror. Under strong, nervous pressure Miss Drake
had exhibited unwonted endurance, but when nothing
more could be done, strength deserted her and she
sank into an almost insensible condition. An exami-
nation revealed the fact that her ears, arms and legs
were frozen stiff. The bed was removed to an out-
house which remained standing, and with father and
mother the girl was tucked carefully between the ticks,
and thus through the remaining hours of the night
they endeavored to keep each other warm.
Pitt Drake, son of the light-keeper, was at Put-in-
Bay, having formed one of the party assembled at
Doller's Hall. Frenzied with apprehension concern-
ing the fate of his kindred, the young man could hardly
be restrained during the night from setting out by boat
for Green Island — an undertaking which could have
resulted only in his being drowned.
With the dawn of New Year's day came a lull in
the storm. The unprecedented cold had thickened the
waters of the channel with slush ice and frozen drift,
and although a heavy sea was still rolling a few miles
AN EVENTFUL NIGHT. 343
beyond, the channel between the two islands was be-
coming rapidly crusted with thin ice.
Pitt Drake was now determined to hazard a passage
to Green Island, two miles distant, and in the enter-
prise was re-inforced by a number of hardy and coura-
geous men. Two cutters were procured, together
with ropes, pike poles and several long planks. The
ice was not sufficiently strong to bear men and cutters,
and the way was bridged with planks which were pro-
jected forward and each as it was passed over was
taken up to be again placed in position. Several times
the shifting and sinking of these planks threatened
disaster, but the party reached their destiuation with-
out serious mishap.
With a feeling of dread Pitt Drake now approached
the smoldering ruins of the light house. No signs of
life were visible: the liitle island seemed empty and
Had the family perished in the flames, or had they
suffered the slower agony of death b}^ freezing?
While with a beating heart he sought for a solution
of this problem, a shout was heard from the outbuild-
ing — the only one which the island now contained. The
unfortunates had been discovered, and in a moment
young Drake had clasped the hands of his kindred and
was shedding tears of gladness and relief unspeak-
able. The family was removed to Put-in-Bay — by
means of the cutters employed — where they were
taken in and cared for at the nearest habitation. They
were all more or less prostrated, and medical aid was
summoned for Miss Drake whose sufferings from the
exposure of the previous night were terrible. Col.
344 AN EVENTFUL NIGHT.
Drake also suffered both from the cold and from burns
The Drake family subsequently removed to the
mainland. Thirty-five years have passed since the oc-
currence here recorded. Green Island lighthouse was
substantially rebuilt at a later date by the U. S. gov-
ernment, but the old residents of neighboring islands
have never forgocten the night when the original
structure went up in flame and smoke.
SOME INTERESTING GEOLOGICAL FEATURES:
The ^^Lost Atlantis" of Lake Erie,
GLACIAL ROCKS— KELLEY ISLAND.
Photo by J. J.Stran»hati.
While cogitating over the strange but not impos-
sible story told by Ignatius Donnelly of a "Lost At-
lantis," it is a question whether the average island
dweller of the present generation realizes that within
the Nineteenth century a Lake Erie "Atlantis" has
disappeared, neck and heels beneath the waves.
Through local reminiscence and scientific record
346 INTERESTING GEOLOGICAL FEATURES.
we are informed that an island more than a mile long,
one half mile wide and from twenty to twenty-five feet
high, formerly extended across the mouth of Sandusky
bay. Fertile meadow was there seen and trees meas-
urinsf two and one-half feet in diameter. But where
once flourished the island and its products now roll the
billows of Erie.
From this and other circumstances, naturally lead-
ing to such a conclusion, Prof. Moseley of Sanduv^ky,
who has thoroughly studied the lake region, deduces
the theory that the lake bed is gradually becoming
tilted, or elevated at its eastern extremity, causing a
rise in the average level of its head waters and corres-
ponding submergence as indicated. Since, however,
old navigators and others are inclined to ascribe this
island's disappearance to the wear of strong currents
and beat of storms. Prof. Moseley seeks to establish his
theory by the results of further investigation, calling
attention to the well known fact that in the caves of
Put-in-Bay, the subterranean waters of which rise and
fall with the lake, stalagmites not only but stalacites
are found attached to the floor and roofs of submerged
caverns; the latter five feet below the present lake level.
For these to form in water would be an impossibility
and their position as indicated show, according to Prof.
Moseley, a rise of the water, though other theorists
might ascribe the circumstance to a shifting and settling
of the honey combed rocks.
Large quantities of submerged timber found in the
extensive marshlands bordering the lake shores in the
vicinity of the islands likewise indicate a rise of at least
eight feet, and the submerged channels of rivers and
. INTERESTING GEOIOGICAL FEATURES. 347
Streams in the same vicinity show a rise of at least
thirty-two feet. These facts are given by Prof. Mose-
ley as proofs of a gradual rise of the waters. If the
above theory is correct, then instead of wearing away
and draining Lake Erie to the compass of a stream, as
certain other theorists have predicted, Niagara Falls
may become tilted to such a degree as to finally pre-
clude the egress of the lake waters, which in conse-
quence will continue rising and extending, submerging
the lowlands along its shores and the islands at its cen-
ter until, filled to overflowing, they will seek an outlet
southward from the lake basin to the valley of the
This then seems the fate in store for both island and
mainland at the head of Lake Erie, unless averted by
a change in the earth's structural program. However,
in the event of such a calamity, it is safe to infer that
the present inhabitants will not be there to suffer from
the consequent drowning out.
Concerning the lake archipelago. Prof. G. Frederick
Wright, the noted scientist of Oberlin college, refers to
the region as "one of the most interesting on the
American continent," forming as it does a most im-
portant geological boundary.
Prominent among features of interest may be noted
the fact that the islands are what remain above the
present lake level of a long, narrow upheaval known as
the "Cincinnati Anti-Clinal," which appeared when all
the rest of the United States was still under the ocean.
Further concerning this formation, an authority states
"A local and peculiar upheaval in this ridge, of which
348 INTERESTING GEOLOGICAL FEATURES.
Put- in-Bay is near the center, brought up a formation
of the rocky structure geologically lower than the sur-
rounding portions of the ridge. The portion thus
brought up and which constitutes the under rocks of
Put-in-Bay island, is known as the water line of the
Niagara group, and is literally honeycombed with
caves. It is no exaggeration to say that under almost
every acre of this island exists one of these cavernous
places. The upheaval-formed arches and the settling
down of unsupported strata formed rooms with roofs
Since in the past the lake islands have formed the
center of subterranean disturbances of a local character,
so they may and probably do still form such, as evi-
denced by a slight, but very perceptible earthquake
shock which visited them only a half dozen years ago.
On this occasion the disturbance proved local, center-
ing as near as could be ascertained at Isle St. George^
but extending across the lake and touching the shores
on both sides. In view of these conditions, residents of
the more nervous and imaginative sort have at times
fancied themselves dwelling over Tophet and have lived
in fear of an early collapse of the islands and submerg-
ence beneath the waters of Erie.
The caves of Put-in-Bay area never ceasing wonder
alike to the scientist and lover of adventure, both of
whom seek from time to time to explore their mysteries
and whole chapters might be written of the thrilling
experiences in the Plutonian darkness of chambers and
passages leading —nobody knows whither. All, or
nearly all, of these caverns contain miniature lakes and
channels of cold, clear water, connecting with Lake
INTERESTING GEOLOGICAL FEATURES.
GLACIAL MARKED ROCKS OF " STARVE " ISLAND.
Photo b.v J. J. Straimhan.
Erie and are generally conceded to be ancient water
The subterranean drainage of the island is remarked
in the caverns not only, but in the cellars and wells, the
former becoming flooded when the wind is east and the
lake level high; the latter regularly rising and falling
with the lake.
So far as revealed by exploration. Perry's cave is the
largest on the island. This cave is nearly forty feet
below the surface. It is 200 feet long, 165 feet wide,
and has an average height of seven feet. Though
spanned by a single arch the interior has standing
room upon its floors for 8,000 persons. The roof was
550 INTERESTING GEOLOGICAL FEATURES.
formerly studded thick with stalactites, but these have
nearly all been broken off and carried away by speci-
men collectors and venders, but the stalagmite floor —
formed by century droppings of water holding in solu-
tion calcium carbonate — forms a study of interest.
At the further extremity, and extending back under
cleft and caverned rocks, stretches a lake of crystal
clearness and viewed by torchlight the scene at this
point is wierdly beautiful. For a number of years
Perry's cave has been regularly opened each season to
summer visitors, thousands of whom annually view it.
An annex to this cave is known as "Perry's Bedroom."
"Crystal Cave," newly discovered and opened to
visitors, is now attracting attention. Though not as
large as the former, "Crystal Cave" combines so much
of novelty and interest that even the oldest inhabitant
now wonders how it has been kept so long in the dark.
Its discovery in connection with extensive strontia de-
posits, of which it forms a part, is a matter of especial
During the winter of '97 and '98 newspapers all
over the country recorded as an important item the dis-
covery of strontia at Put-in-Bay and quite a wave of
interest was sent through the country, setting on the
qiilvlve mineralogists, chemists and scientists generally.
As a matter of fact the discovery is new only to the
outside world, as it was originally made in 1859 ^"^
the existence of strontia deposits has since been gener-
ally known to the islanders. Much interest was mani-
fested by visitors of a scientific trend, among whom was
State Geologist Newberry, whose attention was at-
tracted thereto while visiting the island.
INTERESTING GEOIOGICAL FEATURES. 351
In 1882 a European tourist, Lieut. Emiel Vanador,
then on leave of absence from his post in the German
army, chanced to visit the archipelago. He was a man
of extensive learning and while at Put-in-Bay made the
acquaintance of the late Capt. John Brown, Jr., of whom
he became an intimate friend. Both being interested
in geological research, they together explored the
rocks and caves of the island, and in this way the dis-
tinguished foreigner soon learned of the strontia de-
posits. He began prospecting on his own account,
ending by leasing for a period of tw^enty-five years
grounds near Perry's Cave. A shaft was sunk and
mining at once begun. About seventy-five tons of the
product were dug out, but on learning that the cost of
shipment to Germany via Atlantic ports would be
heavy, Lieut. Vanador decided to abandon for a time
his enterprise, especially as the company which he re-
presented was then working a strontia mine in Italy
at less cost for transportation. That at Put-in-Bay
was therefore closed, until the Italian deposits should
have become exhausted. A rude, but strongly built
structure was erected over the 1 ine, the tools enclosed
and the door securely barred. A power of attorney
was committed by Venador to Captain Brown together
with the keys of the mine, and the stranger took his
departure leaving the islanders in a state of wonder as
to the purpose of his visit, his movements having been
Since for a number of years nothing was heard of
Vanador, and as the lease had not been paid up to time,
the present owner of the land finally adopted legal
measures to have the contract annulled and in this way
352 LYTE RESTING GEOLOGICAL FEATURES.
gained possession. For the first time since its closing
the mine was thrown open to the Hght, and the shipping
away of several tons of strontia formed the agency
which spread abroad the supposed new discovery.
The strontia vein struck by Venador in 1882 is of
great thickness, and the mineral is remarkable for its
purity. In close connection with the mine is "Crystal
Cave." It was at first difficult of access, and little was
known on the island concerning it, until fully opened
up by the new owner, Gustav Heinemann, during
the winter and spring of 1S9S. The cave is 22 feet be-
low the surface, and is now descended by a flight of
stairs, and viewed under electric lights by which it is
illuminated the place resembles a "fairy grotio." It has
also been referred to as "a jewel casket of the nymphs."
The interior comprises several chambers and the
side walls of each are of solid strontia — dazzling, flash-
ing in their crystalline whiteness. The ceilings are arch-
ed and hung with prismitically formed crystals, emit-
ting all the colors of the rainbow with a fascinating
brilliancy not unlike that of the clearest cut diamonds.
The owner, who up to the present time has earned his
bread as a common day laborer, possesses, evidently, a
fortune in Crystal Cave and in the mine coimecting
In the dim past, the islands were alternately sub-
merged or drained according to existing conditions of
the earth's formative forces. Says Prof. Newberry:
"We have evidence that the country about the is-
lands was once all dry land, and a large river then flow-
ed down the present bed of the lake and emptied near
New York City."
INTERESTING GEOLOGICAL FEATURES.
GLACIAL GROOVES OF THE SOUTH SHORE— PU T-IN-BAY.
Prof. Moseley observes as follows:
"If there were dwellers on Marblehead at the time
of the building of the pyramids, they might have walk-
ed to Kelle}' island or Putin-Bay at any time of the
At that period the ishmd cave passages were sup-
posed to be tributary to surface streams emptying into
the river above mentioned.
A period concerning which notable evidences exist
on the islands was that of the great ice age, when
glaciers looo feet high scooped out the bed of Lake
Erie and left their ineffaceable groovings upon the
In very many places at Put-in- Bay, Kelley Inland,
354 INTERESTING GEOLOGICAL FEATURES.
Middle Bass, Isle St. George, "Starve," and other is-
lands, scoring the flat rocks and extending under the
water of the lake, are seen these glacial marks, too in-
delibly graven to be mistaken. Their course runs uni-
forml}^ from Northeast to Southwest, and the scratch-
ed stones and granite boulders left behind are heaped
in terminal moraines, or scattered promiscuously over
Especially famous are the glacial rocks of Kelley
island, which, formimg the terminus of a line of bluffs
overlooking "North Bay," represent one of the island's
greatest attractions. "Glacial Rocks" comprise a re-
servat'on rescued from the quarryman's pick and der-
rick, and set aside by gift of the late Mr. Younglove, of
Cleveland, to the Western Reserve Historical Society,
for preservation as a scientific marvel.
As an example of the stupendous carvings wrought
by the "granite chisels" of the drift period, these rocks
have probably no parallel in the United States, and the
regular outlines and polished smoothness thereof sug-
gest the idea and produce the effect of some gigantic
piece of sculpture. To view them, parties represent-
ing members of scientific circles, classes from our uni-
versities, curio hunters and adventurers make special
pilgrimages to the island.
The geological formation of Kelley island is dis-
tinct from that of Put-in-Bay, being of Cornrfererous
limestone, blue in tint and lying in strata of varied
The Kelley island quarries are productive of many
rare fossils, those of extinct fishes being especially
numerous. The fossilized jaws of the Onychodus a. foot
INTERESTING GEOLOGICAI FEATURES 355
long, and studded with sharp pointed teeth, have there
been unearthed with other interesting relics of by-gone
An ancient shore line, which angles across the is-
land, forming a zigzig wall of precipitous and water-
worn rock, and overlooking wide levels where once
rolled the waters of Erie, forms also an interesting
geological feature of Kelley island.
AMONG THE FISHERIES.
INCOMING OF THE FISHING BOATS.
Photo by Rev. W. Fred Allen.
It is a fact generally conceded that the Lake Erie
archipelago, with 'ts extended network of channels,
together with the bays and inlets of adjacent mainland
shores, formed in past years the most extensive fresh
water fishing grounds in the world. This was what
made Sandusky the first city of importance as a mar-
ket for fresh fish, more of the product being there
handled by various firms dealing in the commodity, it
AMONG THE FISHERIES. 357
is said, than at any other commercial center on either
continent. The archipelago and its environment thus
achieved world-wide fame, and the once sleepy old city
on Sandusky bay outshone— along one line at least — all
competitors, and might have with fitness emblazoned
'•Excelsior" upon her banners. Some idea of the Lake
Erie fishing industry as carried on a few years ago
might have been formed by a cruise over its waters.
A trip between Sandusky and the islands, or in almost
any direction from the island center, would have served
as an illustration. Everywhere stretching through
the shoal waters lor which the lake is noted, might
have been seen lines and lines of gill nets, with the
more compHcated combination of "cribs," "hearts"
and "leads," comprising the poundmen's outfit. Ob-
servers who had the means of knowing state that the
shores from Sandusky to Buffalo were strung all
along with pounds and gill nets, and at that place the
latter extended across the lake to the Canadian main
— the twine being buoyed to the surface in the deep
water intervening. Gill nets were especially numer-
ous, and It is safe to say that gill net twine on the lake
might have been measured by hundred mile lengths.
At the head of the lake and around the islands, how-
ever, centered the main business of entrapping the un-
suspecting Hnnys. Down on the mud bottoms where
flourished the herring and other representatives of the
race reached the fatal meshes, and to a fate sad and
inexorable yielded the poor scaly coats. None so re •
morseless as the fishermen, and once within his grip
'twas useless for the captive to flop even a fin. With
so many plotters against his peace, it became a query
AMOAC THE FISHERIES.
UNLOADING THE CARGO,
Photo br Rev. W. Fred Allen.
oft how any denizen of the deep managed to reach
maturity, and whether he ever did get old enough to
vote. The prospect of an early consignment to the
frying-pan did not materially affect his spirits or appe-
tite, however. He lived on present opportunity, with
no thought of the morrow.
At Put-in-Bay, then, appeared many strange faces.
Groups of men at the shipping docks, before the post-
office and saloon, or going and coming along the side-
walks. They were variously attired, with a prepon-
derance of cheese-colored oil coats, sou-westers and
high water boots with straps which trailed the ground.
These men were gill netters from up and down the
AMONG THE FISHERIES. 359
lake who were making the island a temporary ren-
dezvous. Their boats were seen at the piers — tugs,
sometimes six or eight in at one time lying together
in a single fleet, and representing Cleveland, Buffalo,
Erie, Huron and Detroit, with the nearer home ports.
The dock presented a busy scene filled with gill
net reels upon which fishermen wound their nets,
while boxes filled with flopping fishes stood awaiting
consignment. With early dawn the boats were off for
the fishing grounds east, west, north, south, and sun-
up saw the blue lake flecked with the sails of pound
boats, and trailed by the smoke of tugs.
The steamer doing duty on the " fish route"
reached Put-in-Bay early in the forenoon, and began
her daily round among the islands, collecting the flop-
ping products as they were unloaded from the return-
ing fishing boats. Such in brief was a fishing season
among the islands during the palmiest days of this in-
dustry. Little wonder that the lake should suffer from
a drainage so heavy.
With the complaint that its waters were becoming
depopulated, and with the restrictions placed on gill
netting and other methods of fishing the scene changed.
Fewer nets, boats and fishermen have appeared lat-
terly, and the profits to those interested have been cor-
respondingly smaller. True, the business carried on
is still extensive and the depopulation of the waters
continues, but on a less scale.
As a means of restocking the lakes, the govern-
ment work projected through the United States Fish
Commission bids fair to compass the object. The
location at Put-in-Bay of the United Stales Fish
AMONG THE FISHERIES.
DRYING THE NETS,
Plioto by Rev \V. tred Allen.
Hatchery was the first step in this direction, and its
successful operation is a matter of general interest.
But for the products of this establishment already
planted in the lake, the white fish and pickerel, it is be-
lieved, would now be almost extinct.
An appropriation of |2o,coo was origiually made
by Congress for the erection of the hatchery, though
the cost of additions and improvements since made
aggregate considerably more.
The structure is located on the shores of " Squaw
Harbor," commanding a fine view of Gibraltar Island,
the bay and its shipping. It is artistically and ele-
gantly planned and forms, it is said, the largest and
best equipped establishment of the kind in the world.
U. S, FISH HATCHERY-INTERIOR VIEW.
AMONG THE FISHERIES. 361
Fronting the buildings are ample piers at which
may be seen the steamer Sheer water ^ built for the use
of the United States Fish Commission at a cost of
The interior of the hatchery was originally planned
as follows : Midway between the floor and a high
arched ceiling, ascended by a flight of stairs, appeared
a wide platform bearing two large tanks containing
each 6,000 gallons, which were filled from the lake by
means of pipes connecting. Descending from these tanks
ran a system of pipes to the batteries. Here within
glass jars were placed the eggs in process of hatching.
From the main pipes smaller ones extended, reaching
nearly to the bottom of each jar; and through them ran
constantly a stream of fresh water, causing a boiling
movement within, which kept the eggs in a chronic
state of commotion; the jar thus forming a small, but
energetic whirlpool. As fast as the water poured in,
it was collected and carried away by a trough.
Since the improvements recently introduced, the
old system of water supply has given place to more
economical methods of keeping the necessary amount
of water in circulation. The batteries which contain
the jars are so regulated by pipes and other apparatus
that water from the main supply circulates eight times
through the whole system before passing into the
To operate the establishment on the new system
requires about one-fourth less the amount of fuel pre-
Each jar contains 140,000 white fish eggs, but
362 AMONG THE FISHERIES.
counting on other staple varieties of fish eggs which
are smaller, — the capacity of the hatcher}^ is about
560,000,000 eggs. This, however, is more than the
lake fisheries have yet been able to supply at one
When running at full capacity 1,250,000 gallons of
water were originally poured through the pipes and
reservoirs every twenty- four hours.
Suction pipes connect with both sides of the point
on which the hatchery is located; and if one becomes
damaged by storm or ice, water may be supplied from
the opposite side. Westward of Peach Point the pipe
extends 150 feet into the lake, and is held in place by
immense anchor bolts drilled into the solid rock bot-
tom. This is found a necessary precaution owing to
the heavy ice drifts which have a terrific force in tear-
ing things to pieces.
White, and other varieties of fish eggs aie supplied
from fisheries near and far, to collect which a large
force of men are employed. The price usually paid
for the same is forty cents per quart.
The general work of the establishment is directed
by Supt. J. J. Stranahan, appointed by the U. S. Fish
Commission, with Capt. J. C. Fox, assistant; while
the pumping plant is under the supervision of Chief
Engineer W. H. Wollett.
Some interesting specimens of aqueous products
are seen at the office of the Fish Commission, together
with some excellent photographs of fish eggs in various
stages of development taken by Supt. Stranahan from
AMONG THE FISHERIES.
U. S FIbH COMMISSION STREAMER SHEERWATER.
Lake trout, bass, herring, and pickerel are annually
propagated at this establishment.
Having emerged from the ^^^■, the youthful finny
soon wearies of his whirlpool home, and seeks and
finds an outlet through other aqueducts into an im-
mense tank of fresh water. He is verv tinv, but is af-
forded room to grow ; and when he gets too big for the
hatchery he is given the freedom of Lake Erie, or
shipped away to some of the lakes and rivers of other
To the uninitiated the "setting" and lifting of
fishing pounds are interesting processes. The ar-
rangement and anchorage of the twine is elaborate,
and its manipulation in rough weather is difficult and
AMONG THE FISHERIES.
Fishing through the ice, else-
where described in this volume, is
carried on both for pleasure and
Of all piscatorial pastimes, bass
fishing is the most popular and
includes among its votaries some
of the most distinguished men of
America, from ex- Presidential re-
presentatives to financiers, di-
directors of business enter-
prises and men of prominence gen-
Early in the glad month of
May, or early in September — -as
the case may be — these devotees
of the rod and reel put in an ap-
pearance, and are received with
At their disposal are placed whole fleets of boats,
and hotel doors swing wide to greet them. On the Bay
wharves they assemble each morning, forming with
their oarsmen a picturesque group: the nondescript
assortment of pails, lunch-baskets and fishing tackle,
the rubber coats, boots, umbrellas, and demijohns sur-
rounding them making an interesting jumble.
The ba}' tugs and small steamers find daily employ-
ment in carrying these parties to and from the fishing
grounds, and in the evening when the boats return, the
hotel grounds and porticoes are crowded with sports-
men — a spirited assemblage.
Strings of bass taken during the cruise are triumph-
PLAN CF A FISHING PCUND.
AMONG THE FISHERIES. 365
antly exhibited and ardently admired, and the success-
ful sportsmen regale each other with freshly improvis-
ed fish stories.
A taste for "forbidden fruit" sometimes draws the
bass fisher a "leetle" too near the Canadian "preserves."
and not until surprised by the frowning guns of the
Dominion cruiser Petrel does he realize his where-
A notable occurrence facetiously dubbed — "The
second battle of Lake Erie," took place in recent years,
in which the island steamers Visitor and Brooks with
their parties were captured and held for a time as prizes
by the Petrel, thereby setting the whole countr}^ in a
fever of excitement.
STORM AND DARKNESS.
" The North wind blew at night off the sea,
Saying sorrowful, sorrowful all of me ;
I bring in the wave with the broken spar
And tie grey seas curling over the bar.''
"I sing the piercing hurricane's breath,
I sing the horror of death ;
And the tempest's shriek in the rigging black)
And the spinthrift's wrath in the rolling wrack,
And the boat that never again came back.
Sorrowful, sorrowful all of me."
"There's a storm in the air," observed the bronze
browed fisherman, as touching his finger to the tip of
his tongue he held it aloft, intently regarding it as if it
were a sort of barometer.
"By wetting your finger you can always tell from
STORM AND DARKNESS. 367
which direction the wind blows — cold on the side from
which it strikes, you know."
With this bit of information gratuitously imparted,
the speaker adjusted his tarry "sou'- wester," lighted a
strongly scented pipe, and taking up a basket of torn
and slimy gill-nets strung with block buoys, proceeded
on his way along the beach, his angular form costumed
in fisherman's "oilers," yellow outlined against the
All day long the sun had waded through filmy Cir-
rus and his stare had grown dull and watery. He was
nearing the horizon, when from a cloud cleft he shone
luridly forth. A fringe of scarlet leaved maples cap-
ping an adjacent bluff, flushed for a moment with still
deeper color, and the gray walls of an old house in the
cove were red-scumbled with its glow. Out of the
western waters there arose a vast cloud bank, and the
pall of its bl;.ckness received the day-god.
The zenith became a medley of broken clouds —
black, white, and grey — tumultuously tossed as if the
upper airs were all at cross-currents. Clouds took the
shape of hideous monsters, and writhed like masses
of black snakes nested together; or like evil spirits
affrighted at their malign intentions, flew confusedly
about in quest of hiding places. A breeze sprung up
and mcmentarily freshened, curling into white-caps
the channel waters and sending adrift showers of
Hilarious with delight the storm loving gull flap-
ped his broad wings, circled, and piroutted in air, and
with an exultant cry dove where breakers gleamed
368 STORM AND DARKNESS.
Along a path leading by the old house down to the
circling beach beyond, came at twilight a chore boy
leading his horse to water, but the ring of iron hoofs
striking upon rough boulders and gravel stones was
drowned by the roar of wind and wave.
From her seat by the kitchen window Aunt Deb-
by complained largely of "rheumatiz," her corns,
bunions and other ailments. The cat came howling
to the door with broadened tail and bristles erect, and
when admitted glared wildly into every corner as if
seeking refuge from some impending danger -all
portends of a storm, they say, and Aunt Debby "reck-
oned," we were going to have "a reg'lar old snorter,"
which forecast was destined to prove as correct as if
it had been projected by the chief clerk of the weather
bureau at Washington.
As night closed in, the wind rose in all its strength,
and with it the sea. The roar among the trees out-
side the house, and the boom of waves on the shore
were terrific. Limbs were torn from their trunks and
detached twigs blown against the windows. Latches
rattled and doors creaked as if invisible spirits were
seeking admittance, while the wind over the chimne}'^
shrieked a refrain wildly weird yet strangely fascinat-
ing. Of such a night it was Byron who wrote :
"Thou wast not sent for slumber,
Let me be a sharer in thy fierce and far delights;
A portion of the tempest, and of thee."
Out into the storm then I sallied intent upon catch-
ing its wild spirit.
Lashed by cyclonic violence, Lake Erie formed ^
STORM AND DARKNESS. 369
vast sheeted plain glistening white through the dark-
ness, and even at a distance from shore I felt its spray
fine as mist blown against my face. Cavern ed niches
were filled with a seething rush of waves and the
shore woods echoed their hollow reverberations. Surf
swept the rocks, and spray wreaths — like dim astrals
— were outlined among the trees.
Far off to westward I caught a glimmer — the star-
board light of some vessel out in the withering gale.
I tried to reach a bluff overlooking the sweep of
waters but the wind beat me back. Unable to face
it, cut by its keen it^g^t and chilled by its breath, I re-
turned to my roof shelter fully satisfised with the grip
I had experienced with the storm and darkness.
A feeling of anxiety possessed me, however, and
my mind was filled with thoughts of those "that go
down to the sea in ships," and when at a later hour I
retired for the night and lay listening to the warring
elements, I fancied that I heard the distress signal of a
steamer in trouble. I held my breath to listen but the
sounds multiplied until a dozen steamers seemed blow-
ing distress signals. Only the many tongued tempest
aided by imagination it proved; but the wind's shriek
grew wilder and ^ more maniacal as midnight ap-
proached, and the waves voiced senti.r.ents of sadness
in their incessant beat.
" Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, oh sea !
And I would that my tongue could utter,
The thoughts that arise in me."
Words once sent out by the dead poet laureate
from his ocean-swept home came to me unbidden;
while appeared visions of plunging wrecks, of wrecks
370 STORM AND DARKNESS.
aground upon rock and reef, going to pieces in the
midnight blackness; of shredded canvas, of yielding
planks, inrushing seas and drifting wreckage — of ex-
hausted seamen feebl}^ clinging to toppling spars, of
hopeless seamen struggling in the awful grip of death
on the billow.
I thought of the occupants of homes far scattered
over island and mainland, who would lie awake listen-
ing to the wind's ravings and anxious for dear ones
abroad on the lakes. How long to them must seem
the hours until dawn should bring with it returns of
weal or woe.
Dropping into a half slumber, through which was
retained a consciousness of the howling storm, I saw in
a confused dream a wrecked vessel going to pieces.
The struggle between life and death was agonizing,
and just as the vessel and crew were sinking in a
yeast of waves I awoke. The grey dawn looked in
through the window; night and its terrors had passed,
and now to the telegraph and daily papers was left its
doubtful record. Messages from near and far
grouped together in the news column told of wreck-
ajje and death.
"Schooner ashore at Eagle Point in great
"Schooner foundeted on Lake Huron; five
of her crew lost."
"Barge parted from her consort, and is
"Schooner aground on Buzzard's reef.
Main and mizzen masts carried away, and two sailors
STORM AND DARKNESS. 371
The list lengthened until the names of a dozen or
more vessels had been included among those wiped
from existence or partially wrecked, or that had met
with loss of life, or damage to cargo, until the details
grew sickening. For the last, however, was reserved
the saddest. Reported as missing was a steamer of
powerful build and magnificent proportions, which in
the pride of her beauty and strength had sailed from
a neighboring port. Invincible she had seemed to any
storm that might blow, and with all the misgivings
concerning her disappearance, were mingled hopes
that somewhere the missing steamer was still afioat.
But as hours lengthed into days and no tidings came,
hope grew fainter until at last came the definite but
crushing intelligence broadly headlining the daily news
*' WRECKED ! ! ''
** And Not a Soul Left to TeU the Tale."
The great steamer and her crew of seventeen sea-
man had gone down to unknown graves. Glancing
over the list of those comprising the ill-fated crew, I
read and pondered over the dire calamity. The visions
of wreck and disaster that had come to me sleeping
and waking seemed to take shape as tangible reality.
" God's winds have 'whelmed them under the foam,
God's waters have clasped them round" —
And mothers, wives and sisters will await in vain
the return of loved ones.
Is God then a monster, that calamities so fearful
and heart-rendings so agonizing should be by Him per-
372 STORM AND DARKNESS.
mitted to afflict the children of men; or is it only the
precipitation and magnitude of the event that appalls ?
Is that fate more harsh which plunges to sudden
drowning in a midnight sea, than that which dooms its
victims to death inch by inch from lingering disease ?
Who, after sober reflection, would not choose the
•* God. who maketh the winds to blow,
And the waters to roll amain;
God, he maketh our thoughts to fllow,
And he calleth them back again."
" And he calleth the glory back to thee,
Oh, ship forgotten and drowned I
He calleth the souls deep down in the sea,
God breaketh the still profound."
Is it worse in reality, or only in seeming, that fifty
or a hundred souls should perish together instead of
falling one by one?
Human perspective is limited, but God is infinite,
and to Him is known the whys and wherefores which
pass our comprehension. JMay not death be but the
initiative to larger spheres of life and action; of hope
and happiness, and prove as such but mercy in disguise?
'Oh death, O life, the winsome and bright,
Twins in the bosom of time.
Death is the shadow that brides the light;
Life is the light sublime."
WRECK OF THE ^^DEAN RICHMOND.'^
Weather fairer, milder, ne'er tempered Autumn tide,
With zephyr's balm and sunshine richly spread ;
Than had touched the walls and shipping of an old Lake Erie port.
And far and wide its smile benignly shed.
A blue more softly tinted, wide torching cloudless space
On famed Italian sky was never seen;
And the amethystine shimmer of waters everywhere.
Commingled glints of mid October sheen.
Light-hearted were the sailors of that old Lake Erie port.
As with song and jest and m.rry repartee,
They hastened with their duties and ready made their craft
For cruising late the treacherous inland sea.
For fair winds hoped the skipper, to speed his onward trip,
And for luck to Autumn commerce on the wave;
While with Bible 'neath his pillow, and horseshoe on the wall,
To his bunk turned in the sailor bluff and brave.
But morning broke dolorous, with dull and vapid stare,
And clouds that draped the sky with sable pall;
The smoke lay low and heavy, and sails hung limp and gray.
And a melancholy gloom was over all.
And yet, with early dawning, to life the harbor woke,
And sound of straining windlass then was heard ;
With creak of blocks and tackle, and shriek af fishing tugs,
'Till with enterprise the waking river stirred.
Then slowly down the harbor, passed vessels large and small,
And on their sep'rate courses soon were bound;
Some to the straits and rivers, some to points beyond.
With sailboats for the nearer fishing grounds.
374 WRECK OF THE ''DEAN RICHMONDr
STR. "DEAN RICHMOND"
But in all the fleet of vessels that sailed away from port,
None stronger ribbed, or stauncher built appeared
Than the queenly craft '"Dean Richmond," as down the bay she
And to eastward over Erie boldly steered.
A braver, better seaman, deck of steamer never trod,
Than her master, gallant Stoddard oft had proved;
And too hardy and too fearless were his crew of stalwart men,
By any threatened danger to be moved!
And though the clouds hung heavy, and rain beat drearily,
And the waters had a dark and sullen leer;
No dread of pending evil came to loved ones left behind,
As they saw her round the head-lands disappear
But at ;ridnight from its caverns the hurricane awoke,
And withal! the sinister legions of the air,
Wide swept the face of Erie, and with wild and savage glee,
Encompassed hopeless vessels cruising there.
Ah, the Bible neath his pillow, or horseshoe on the wall,
Evil luck to charm away would not avail;
For wreckage and disaster menaced the sailor lad,
And death in awful triumph rode the gale.
And by the Maumee river, night sleepers were aroused,
By the rush and roar of tempest sweeping past;
But for the craft "Dean Richmond," all contidence had they
I n her prowess to outride the shrieking blast.
WRECK OF THE ''DEAN RICHMOND." 375
But out upon the waters in the dark and starless night,
The deadly cyclone held her in his clutch;
His breath— a withering terror; insane his revelry,
And her strong heart quailed and quivered at his touch.
"Last seen" — the staunch "Dean Richmond" tossed in a yeast of
Her chimneys gone, her decks swept by the sea,
But powerless to aid, the half wrecked vessel proved,
That struggled past to seek some friendly lee.
"Lost with all hands" — the steamer, down to a black abyss.
Plunged in the storm and darkness with her crew;
"None left the tale to tell"— the closing tragic scene,
Forceful and real ; its actors only knew
Now by the Maumee river, in the old Lake Erie port,
Wives and children, mot*iers, sisters sadly mourn.
The unreturning steamer, and in waxen wreaths entwine,
Amaranthns for the dear ones from them torn.
AN OLD STEAMER'S FAREWELL
From early spring until late autumn, year by year,
for over a quarter of a century, the good steamer had
followed the blue stretch of Erie that lay between
island and mainland and threaded the intricate channel
passages by treacherous reefs and outlying shoals.
The broadside of many a nor'easter had she en-
countered. Through fogs and sheeted snow she had
crept and cautiously felt her way over shallows when the
wind blew down the lake and the water was low. On
nights when the weather was thick and darkness im-
penetrable lay upon lake and land; when Boreas mar-
shalled his trumpeters and the meeting currents of
Marblehead drove upwards the water into towering
pyramids of foam, the staunch craft bared her breast
to ihe storm and steamed blithely homeward.
Though chopping seas wrenched her timbersj and
onsetting billows struck with a shock that sent furni-
ture and merchandise spinning through her cabins and
waves rushing across her decks — guided by the friendly
lighthouse beacon — she made her island port in safety,
with never a mishap through all these years of hazar-
Upon her prowess and capacity depended the mara-
time inhabitants of the archipelago. For more than a
quarter of a century the island folk had paced her
AA^ OLD STEAMER'S FAREWELE. 377
decks. Wee toddlers and children in arms — when
they took their initial ride — had now become strong
men and mature women; and young men and maidens,
when first they walked her gang plank, were now old
men and matrons with frosted hair and stooping forms.
Faithful to every trust was the brave steamer, ar-
riving and departing day by day with interruptions
few. Carrying mainland generous fruits of the soil
and products of the fisheries and returning with goods,
merchandise and supplies of every kind, suited to the
wants of island dwellers.
Letters and messages she brought from absent
friends and news from the great world beyond. Even
the caskets in which the dead were laid formed from
time to time a portion of her cargo, likewise the marble
headstones and chiselled granites which mark their
resting places in the island burial ground.
Wedding and funeral parties the steamer's decks
have trodden. Many a happy greeting, many a part-
ing tear has she witnessed and many a thrilling episode
from life's histories might she relate were she gifted
The preponderance of human joy, of grief, of
pleasure and of pain which she had borne, seemed in-
deed to have permeated her until she appeared a
thing of human instinct, a sentient being, a creature
of feeling and fancy. On holidays when decked with
bright flags that whipped the breeze, she seemed
the personification of gaiety, accenting her mood
by jocular salutes to sister steamers that passed,
and to camps and crowds along shore.
378 A.V OLD STEAMER'S FAREWELL.
In times of National calamity and mourning when
her half masted flags drooped limply to the deck, she
assumed an air of sar'ness, and her whistle expressed
volumes of pathos, as if she felt the general woe and
her great heart of fire and steel beat sympathetic with
that of humanity.
All this, however, is now in the past, with faded
memories, and other dead things. Grown old with
years and service has the faithful steamer. She
has shipped her last excursion, carried her last
coffin. She has rounded for the last time the outreach-
ing sands of Cedar Point and the lii,rhts of Marble-
head. For the last time she has threaded the channels
by treacherous reef and rock ribbed shore to the
When spring returns, and the robins, a new craft of
modern build will take her route, and so the old steam-
er is to be dismantled. She will return to the port
from whence she sailed young and strong a quarter of
a century ago, to come again no more.
How inexpressibly sad are X^o. finales of life's ex-
periences, and so while the old steamer whistles "off
lines," and passes forever from her accustomed moor-
ings, and the crowd on shore wave parting salutes —
tears which cannot be repressed dim the vision.
"Farewell, farewell" — all the whistles on lake, and
land ring out the sad refrain. A parting salute to each
and to all she returns; and echo takes up her last and
longest whistle, prolonging the sound until it reverber-
ates like that of a tolling bell — "Farewell, farewell !"
AN OLD STEAA/EJ?'S FAREWELL.
We watch her receding hull as the red sun il-
lumines her westward track ; then swerving to North-
ward, she passes beyond the wooded angle of the
shore — and is gone.