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Sep 22, 2023
Franklin County (MA) News Archive
The Franklin County Publication Archive Index

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Article Archives: Articles: Bicycles & Bicycling

Showing 14

Posted by stew - Tue, Feb 3, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 30, 1875
North Orange and Furnaceville

It is not many years ago - at a time when the secret order which derives its name from William, Prince of Orange, was the sensational theme of the day - that some journalistic wag started a paragraph to the effect that the inhabitants of a certain town in the good old Bay State were all Orangemen. A journal, not a thousand miles from the New England metropolis, startled by this grave announcement, published an editorial upon the dangers that slumbered in this pent-up volcano, ere it was aware, that the paragraph was playfully applied to the loyal and peaceful citizens of the town of Orange, in the northeasterly corner of Franklin County.

The town possesses more evidence of thrift and prosperity today than many of its immediate neighbors; and a comparison of its population today with the census of 1865, shows a gain of some 500 inhabitants for the past decade. Orange Center, or South Orange, the principal village of the town, is a beautiful villa as seen from the cars of the Vermont & Massachusetts road.

The clusters of white cottages sloping down from the hillside to the banks of Millers river, with the forest verdure of the picturesque hills for a background, forms a pleasing picture. All portions of the town are diversified by wooded hills, which command lovely views of the meadows and vales, bordering the lakes and streams, which beautify the landscapes and furnish water power for putting the abundant lumber in shape to command a ready sale in the market.

North Orange - A small village, with its white church spire located on a high ridge in the northeasterly part of the town, is a prominent point of the landscape for many miles. In former days it was doubtless a place of more commercial activity and importance than at present. The American House, whose architecture suggests the hospitality which was always on draught in a New England inn 50 years ago, has ceased to welcome the dust covered stranger as of old, and only a few "city boarders" loiter in the parlor or cheat at croquet on the lawn.

The principal business resort is the post office, grocery, and ’variety’ store, where busy gossip fills up the intervals of trade, and the latest arrival is a more important theme for discussion than politics or finance. It has its public library and its "reading club", and many of its young men and maidens gain more practical information and pick up as many crumbs of common sense as fall from the table of half the fashionable boarding schools in the land.

Furnaceville - A collection of a score or so of well-kept cottages on the banks of Tully Brook, nestles in the valley at the bottom of the steep hillside to the eastward. It derives its name from the casting furnace, which was one of the industries of the past, but is now no more.

A sawmill which, with the combined power of water and steam, furnishes employment when the demand for cabinet lumber is sufficiently brisk, is the only mechanical industry of the place; but the thrifty gardens and farms afford a more certain and escalant return.

The country bears mementoes of the primeval forest in the form of weird tree stumps, which cluster in great profusion around the pond, where irregular forest border and starry lily spangles make it picturesque and attractive, in spite of the trials which the snags cause the amateur boatman. Romance aside, paddling the air, while your staunch dory gyrates on a tree stump, high and dry above the water, though it may be perfectly safe, is not the most delightful mode of aerial navigation and falls far short of realizing the aquatic pleasures suggested by the popular refrain "Row, boatman, row".

The surrounding woods are said to be full of game, and the number of sportsmen who can be speedily summoned by the report of a rifle, has taught the birds of the air and beasts of the field that "Discretion is the better part of valor", and they exhibit a most retiring and reticent disposition. There is a tradition (of course it has no foundation in fact) that a flock of wild geese once rested on these waters, while winging their way to the warm climes of the South.

The inhabitants old and young, armed with all sorts of weapons of destruction, from the ancestral "Queen’s arm" to the modern rifle and juvenile pop-gun, rushed to see "The geese that on the water sot / Ez ef a waitin’ to be shot".

It was a scene of inspiration. It inspired the hunters with tremendous excitement. It inspired the geese with fear. The latter inspiration won the victory. The geese flopped their wings and made their aerial retreat in good order. The hunters beheld the flight with amazed admiration, and profiting by the advice of a sage old statesman, "kept their powder dry". So much for the gross libel which tradition has cast upon the ambitious skill of the marksmen of Furnaceville (Boston Journal).

Subjects: Bicycles & Bicycling

Posted by stew - Sun, Jan 18, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 30, 1875

Victoria Anderson, a rope dancer [tightrope walker], 23 years old, who once performed in Barnum's hippodrome, fell from a velocipede on a rope 80 ft. high during a performance at Berlin recently, and was killed.

Subjects: Bicycles & Bicycling, Circus, Dance, Germans, Obituaries, Show Business, Women, Stunt performers

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 14, 1875

Our street saw quite a novel sight one day of three rather uncommon methods of conveyance for a quiet country town: A dashing equipage, prancing bays, glittering harness, gay robes, with "negro driver". A youth guiding his velocipede swiftly and skillfully down the sidewalk, and an ox harnessed like a horse to a wagon, trotting briskly along with his load, truly "variety is the spice of life".

Subjects: African-Americans / Blacks, Animals / Reptiles, Bicycles & Bicycling, Conway (MA), Horses, Roads, Transportation

Posted by stew - Thu, Apr 1, 2004

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 10, 1874
"Real Folks"

"Real Folks" - The above is the title of one of the books of Mrs. A.D.T. Whitney [ http://www.whitneyge...ography/adeline.html Adeline Dutton Train Whitney ], who has written other books, each small in compass, but large in purpose, and alive with noble thought. One of the real folks in this large little book is Kenneth Kinkaid, a young man just beginning the struggle of life with no resources save his capacity, energy and manly aspirations. His uncle was a wealthy money broker, who seemed to be endowed with the fabled Touch of Midas, which changed everything it felt to gold. The uncle offered Kenneth a partnership in his business, which would have assured him of a life of ease and wealth, as Johnson said of Thrale's brewers' vats , beyond the dreams of avarice. Kenneth declined the offer, and to the uncle's astounded start at what he deemed such supreme folly and hopeless idiocy, replied: "Gold stands for work, and if I ever have any, I will buy it with work. I want to do some real thing". So her perfected himself in the profession of an architect and built houses, churches, edifices and private, social and public utilities, real things, positive values, that will remain after fancy stocks and all fraudulent pretense of value have been whirled away into the inanity they came from. A few such characters as Felix Holt, Kenneth Kinkaid and the "Silent Partner" might neutralize whole libraries of sensational novels and elevate fiction to its true function of a teacher of the higher moralities. Kenneth's words contain the pure essence of true political economy.

Subjects: Bicycles & Bicycling, Business Enterprises, Dreams / Sleep, Economics, Education, Family, Households, Libraries and Librarians, Literature / Web Pages, Masculinity (Machismo), Religion, Rich People, Women, Work, Architecture / Construction

Posted by stew - Sat, Jan 24, 2004

Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 15, 1874
Sunday's storm in western Massachusetts

Sunday's storm in western Massachusetts - At Pitsfield, the thunder storm of Sun. night was severe. The lightning struck the house of Lyman Read on Newell Street, knocking down the kitchen chimney, demolishing the stove, breaking an iron sink, and passing down the lead pipe into the cellar. Mrs. Read, her mother, and child were in the house, but although their blood was quickened, they escaped unharmed. Two young men walking in the streets during the storm of Sun. eve. were stunned by a shock of lightning. A 4 tenement dwelling belonging to Page, Harding & Co. of the http://www.iberkshir...aries.php?ob_id=3151 glassworks at Berkshire village was struck between two of the tenements, the fluid splitting a rafter and running down a tin spout into a hogshead of water, which it emptied by knocking off a stave, and left with nobody hurt, but a good many people got out of bed in a hurry. At Stockbridge, the storm was one of unprecedented violence. The flashes of lightning were almost incessant, and the rain fell in torrents, washing the roads very badly. On Mon. the river was over much of the interior land, submerging cornfields, and pouring a turbid tide, which at one time was within a few feet of the planking of the bridge. The house of Mr. E.W.B. Canning was struck by lightning, but not much injured. Thomas Kirkland's barn at Agawam was struck, but escaped with a single shattered post. In the vilage of http://www.thetruste...252_ashley_house.cfm Ashley Falls, in Sheffield , the chimneys fo the houses were mostly torn down, houses were unroofed, barns overturned, orchards uprooted, and large quantities of timber trees of large size were blown down and injured. The rye crop in the vicinity is a failure. The water rose so high as to flood the meadows, and many of the crops are under water. A large and new school house was utterly demolished.

Subjects: Accidents, Animals / Reptiles, Bicycles & Bicycling, Bridges, Business Enterprises, Charlemont (MA), Children, Education, Family, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Floods, Food, Glass / Windows, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Households, Lightning, Massachusetts, Roads, Trees, Widows and Widowers, Women, Berkshire County (MA)

Posted by stew - Fri, Sep 12, 2003

Gazette & Courier - Monday, March 9, 1874
(Greenfield) The trailing arbutus and velocipedes, robins and marble playing, with other harbingers of spring are prompt this year in putting in an appearance.

(Greenfield) The trailing arbutus and velocipedes, robins and marble playing, with other harbingers of spring are prompt this year in putting in an appearance.

Subjects: Bicycles & Bicycling, Birds, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Greenfield (MA), Toys

Posted by stew - Fri, Aug 29, 2003

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 14, 1873
(Shelburne Falls) Fri. aft. there was an exciting race on the iron bridge, between Allen Lamson [Allen G. Lamson, 14 at this time] on a

(Shelburne Falls) Fri. aft. there was an exciting race on the iron bridge, between Allen Lamson [ Allen G. Lamson , 14 at this time] on a velocipede and Frank Baker on foot. Baker won the soda water. Several velocipedes have appeared on the streets, delighting both men and boys.

Subjects: Beverages, Bicycles & Bicycling, Bridges, Contests, Roads, Shelburne and Shelburne Falls (MA)

Posted by stew - Tue, Jul 22, 2003

Gazette & Courier - Monday, March 2, 1874
A one mile velocipede race for 100 pounds and championship of England, between A one mile http://homepages.ihu...y/industry/bike.html velocipede race for 100 pounds and championship of England, between http://www.geocities...ycling/guinness.html John Moore, the French champion , and Fred Cooper, the English champion, took place at Wolverhampton on Sat. Over 5000 persons were present.

Subjects: Bicycles & Bicycling, Contests, English (and England), French

Posted by stew - Tue, May 27, 2003

Gazette & Courier - Monday, April 4, 1870
A pedespede is the name of the latest Yankee notion for increasing man's natural speed. The velocipede having played out, e

A pedespede is the name of the latest Yankee notion for increasing man's natural speed. The velocipede having played out, except as a device to increase labor, the pedespede consists of two wheels, 14 or 15 inches in diameter, attached firmly to each foot by means of a stirruplike contrivance and supposedly possesses all the capabilities of the http://www.memorialh...nced&transcription=0 skate

Subjects: Amusements, Bicycles & Bicycling, Inventions, Transportation

Posted by stew - Mon, Mar 31, 2003

Gazette & Courier - Monday, April 28, 1873
(Greenfield) There are slight indications of the velocipede fever in our midst. We hope we shall be spared fr

(Greenfield) There are slight indications of the's%20boy%20with%20high%20wheeler.jpg velocipede fever in our midst. We hope we shall be spared from the epidemic which raged so fearfully a few years ago.

Subjects: Amusements, Bicycles & Bicycling, Greenfield (MA)

Posted by stew - Mon, Mar 31, 2003

Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 12, 1873
How they die

How they die - The last publication of the British death rate and its causes is curious reading. One man died from the bite of a cat; and two more from the bites respectively of a ferret and an adder. Another was stung to death by bees. A man and a boy died from falling from's%20dude%20with%20highwheeler.jpg velocipedes , and an old lady was killed by injuries inflicted by that agreeable machine. The swallowing of a shell, a screw, and a cherry stone put a period to the lives of three infants, while two died of putting one a stone, the other a bead into the ear. Swallowing bones sent 3 people out of the world, swallowing coins finished two, and swallowing a pin quickly picked on grim Death for one. A scratch from a thorn killed a woman of middle age; improper medicine poisoned 8 people; and improper food 5. 444 children were smothered by bed clothes; and 930 people during the year lost their lives in railway accidents. The proportion of suicides to every million of the population is 70 - the deaths by hanging, the knife and drowning being most numerous. Heart disease, the year's record shows to be increasing - a state of things which is said by eminent physicians to be caused by the greater wear and tear of business and the increased mental activity of the age.

Subjects: Accident Victims, Animals / Reptiles, Bicycles & Bicycling, Business Enterprises, Businesspeople, Children, Curiosities and Wonders, Diseases, Economics, English (and England), Food, Households, Insects, Medical Personnel, Medicine / Hospitals, Obituaries, Old Age, Poisoning, Suicide, Trains, Women

Posted by stew - Mon, Mar 31, 2003

Gazette & Courier - Monday, April 4, 1870
A letter carrier in Indianapolis traverses his route on a velocipede

A letter carrier in Indianapolis traverses his route on a's%20bike.jpg velocipede

Subjects: Bicycles & Bicycling, Mail, Transportation

Posted by stew - Mon, Mar 31, 2003

Gazette & Courier - Monday, December 19, 1870
(Shelburne) Our friend George Powers has had the hardihood to ride a velocipede up and down the streets the past week. We may all perhaps rem

(Shelburne) Our friend George Powers has had the hardihood to ride a velocipede up and down the streets the past week. We may all perhaps remember back to the time (and with some sorrow) when it was thought by all that velocipede locomotion would be practical and popular. But a peep into the attics and store houses of former velocipedists will reveal the solemn fact that our former ideas were visionary.

Subjects: Amusements, Bicycles & Bicycling, Horses, Roads, Shelburne and Shelburne Falls (MA)

Posted by stew - Thu, Jan 16, 2003

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 11, 1873
(Greenfield) And now the little boys have got it bad

(Greenfield) And now the little boys have got it bad - velocipede fever.

Subjects: Bicycles & Bicycling, Children, Greenfield (MA), Transportation

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