Part 3 out of 7
An added beauty to the earth."
The motorist will find an ideal road from Baltimore to
Gettysburg. He will see a beautiful and fertile agricultural
country whose well kept homes speak of refinement and prosperity
among the people. It was over this wonderful highway that we
sped while on our way to the famous town.
We entered Gettysburg at nightfall, passing the house where
General Meade had his headquarters. The sky was overcast in the
early part of the evening and now the rain began to fall. It was
too dark to make out the flag as it rose and fell over the
little house. But as we peered through the uncertain light, a
flash of lightning revealed the banner, which at once spoke an
emblematic language too powerful for words. Darkness swallowed
it up again; but we knew that for those stars gleaming on their
field of blue, and for the purification of its white stripes
that had been blackened by slavery, these charming ridges about
us had been washed in the blood of thousands of our fair land.
We had to detour on account of the repair of sewers. Red
lanterns warned the traveler of danger, but it seemed as if they
spoke not of the dangers of the present but of those graver
dangers that once had been. We spent the night at the Eagle
Hotel. The rain continued to fall and by its soothing patter on
the leaves and roof above us we were ushered into the land of
The next morning we met the father of Lieutenant Ira Ellsworth
Lady who was one of the first of Pennsylvania's loyal sons from
Adams county to offer the supreme sacrifice in the World War.
The Post of the American Legion at Arendtsville is named in his
Alas! How poor, how futile are words to express the nobleness of
those young men, the fairest and purest our land could offer. In
cases like this there is not much to be said. As we picked up
the hat that dropped from trembling hands unnoticed to the
floor, we thought what a sad Christmas the year 1918 brought to
this home. Then we thought, too, how in the last moments of his
earthly sojourn Lieut. Lady had wandered back to the lovely
hills and the old homestead with its dear remembered faces in
his native county.
Our first meeting was in the Evacuation Hospital at Glorenx;
almost within the shadows of the frowning citadel of Verdun. How
well we remember the first day of his arrival in Ward E! The
litter bearers came and went on their ceaseless journeys,
bringing new patients still under the influence of ether or
transferring others who were sent by ambulance to base
hospitals. It was during those terrible days of the Meuse-
Argonne drive, while the air overhead hummed with those cruel
messengers of fate--coming from no one knew where--that the
litter bearers slowly and carefully lowered a patient to the
newly-made cot we had just prepared. Looking at the diagnosis
card that we found, we learned that the patient, Lieut. Ira
Ellsworth Lady, had had an amputation of his limb above the
knee, and that he also had been gassed.
The first question that he asked as we stood by his cot, when he
again regained consciousness was: "How am I wounded?" When we
told him the misfortune which had befallen him, a shudder ran
through his frame as he repeated: "It is bad enough, but it
might have been worse." A shade of sadness spread over those
noble features but it was only for a moment, and he appeared
utterly resigned to his cruel fate.
Always there was that smile of appreciation as we moved among
the numerous cots of the suffering and dying. Whether in the
morning upon inquiring how he had spent the night, or after the
thick curtains were lowered at the windows, that no gleam of
light might reveal our location to hostile planes, or when we
paused at his bedside to wish him a painless night and restful
slumber, we were always greeted by kind words of hope and cheer
and a pleasant smile. How those cheery good-nights softened the
roaring cannon, and screaming shells into a mere echo, and that
smiling countenance made radiant the grim halls of indescribable
suffering and death!
Well do we remember that Lieut. Lady's concern was not for
himself but only for the welfare of others. As he looked across
the way where Private Everson of Company A, in the 26th
Division, who had been wounded in such a manner as to make it
impossible for him to lie down, sat propped up with blankets, he
exclaimed, "I pity that poor fellow so! Oh, how I wish I could
help him!" How self vanished like a blighted thing as we heard
those words of pity coming from one whose suffering was beyond
human words to express. Truly, a life like this had caught a
glow of that redeeming light which radiates from the cross
Again, we recalled that awful night in November when we moved
with hurried yet silent tread among the cots on which lay
figures in many uneasy attitudes, some brokenly slumbering and
muttering through helpless delirium; others uttering suppressed
moans as they lay tossing upon their cots.
Just as we were preparing to leave the ward to the night men,
after the temperatures and pulse rates of all the patients had
been taken and registered, the gas alarm sounded. Instantly we
made ready to put onto the patients the gas masks which were in
readiness at the head of each cot. Just then the cry of fire was
whispered to the ward men, who at once began preparations for
the removal of the patients to the opposite side of the hospital
grounds. All out of doors was intense blackness--a blackness
only relieved by the flashes of guns that made the eastern sky
blaze with their crimson light.
Suddenly the flames leaped from the operating room, in the end
containing the sterilizer. Soon they cast a lurid glow upon the
dark clouds. Hurriedly, yet quietly, we removed the patients to
a place in which they would be safe. Two of the wards had
already caught fire on their sides nearest the operating room.
The many patients in this room along with those undergoing
operations on the thirteen operating tables were rushed into
another building where the work was immediately resumed. Each
patient who caught sight of the bright light that streamed in
through the open doors, was busy with many eager questions on
his perturbed mind. Yet no one spoke a word but watched in
suspense that was almost pain, the fiery glow that spread
around, until horror distorted many a face.
Suddenly, as if reflected from some unimaginable furnace the sky
was all aflame. What had happened or was happening those wounded
boys could only dimly imagine. Yet, how calm, how wonderful they
were in their utter helplessness. Rain began to fall as we were
removing the patients. Gradually the dreadful light faded from
the sky and the flames that had began to eat their way in the
walls of the nearest buildings were extinguished. Only the
operating room was burned to the ground.
As we moved among the patients, doing what little we could to
ease the pain and quiet the fears of those dear, noble boys, a
hand from one of the cots seized oars in a clinging firm embrace
and we recognized the voice of Lieut. Lady as he said, "I am so
glad you are with me tonight."
When that eventful day of the 11th of November came and the
bells from Regret and Verdun rang out the glorious news of the
armistice, how the hearts of all the boys in the wards were
stirred! It was a beautiful day resembling our American Indian
Summer, when we threw open the doors and windows to admit the
glorious message. It seemed that the prayers of not only France,
but of the world, were being said and the theme that ran through
them all was: "How beautiful are the feet of Him upon the
mountains that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace."
And chiming in with the music of the bells, the clear voice of
Lieut. Lady was heard, as he exclaimed, "I hope and pray God
that this will be the end of all wars." Let us sincerely hope
that the noble sacrifice of such men as this shall not have been
in vain. To many the bells that morning meant peace, home and
love, but alas, to others they had a sadder meaning!
When spring came again to the shell-torn fields near Verdun, we
saw how Nature in places was reclothing the meadows in their
mantles of green and around the ruined, tenantless homes along
the Meuse, how the primrose and violet were covering up the
scars made by unnumbered shells. The air was filled with the
joyous notes of the lark, and the linnet and the black-cap
warbled among the hedgerows. Here where once had dwelt the
peasant, the cuckoo called from the evergreens and nightingales
made the evening breeze vocal with their rapturous notes. This
wealth of flowers and song only served to call up bitter
memories for, alas! how many brave hearts lay sleeping in that
vast abode of the dead, all unmindful of the beauty of flower or
joy of song about them.
Slowly we made our way from the flower gardens to the French
cemetery, where thousands of valiant Poilus who had said: "they
shall not pass" were sleeping. We saw where the hand of
affection had planted the fleur-de-lis or hung beautiful bead-
wrought wreaths upon the crosses until this abode of the dead
resembled a vast flower garden.
Just to the west and divided by a narrow road, our own American
heroes were resting. Here we reverently paused and placed a
wreath of ivy inwrought with flowers, upon the grave of Lieut.
Lady and another on that of our own Ambrose Schank as a last
loving tribute to all who had so dearly purchased the peace we
now enjoy. While thinking of those other dear friends, Corporal
Edgar Browder, of Chicago, and Lieut. Erk Cottrell, of
Greenville, Ohio, who perished nobly upon the field of duty, we
felt the significance of the words of the poet:
"In Flanders fields the poppies grow,
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead; short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunsets glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe!
To you from falling hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high;
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep though poppies grow
In Flanders fields."
If you are approaching Gettysburg for the first time you cannot
help but admire those even swells that stretch away from South
Mountain like an emerald sea. No doubt you will begin to wonder
where the town is situated as you advance. Numerous low ridges
are crossed and at last the famous town lies before you.
What a charming situation it has! Vast waves of undulating
meadow and farm land appear with fields of gleaming grain and
clamps of elm, oak and maple to break its smoothly flowing
billows. Farther away rise higher treeless ridges or wooded
slopes, but all alike are smoothly flowing.
Looking out over the land in a northwestern direction on a
bright day you can see South Mountain, "forerunner of the
sierrated Alleghanies," looming up between the town and
Cumberland Valley. Back of it the serried ranks of the
Alleghanies rise in hazy indistinctness and blend imperceptibly
with the blue along the far horizon.
You will soon discover the two ridges that are so important from
a military point of view. These ridges are about one mile apart,
although in some places they approach much nearer each other.
Cemetery Ridge slopes very gently to a more level tract of
ground when you compare it to the undulating land about it. "You
will discover that the ridges have stopped short here, forming
headlands above the lower swells. Two roads ascend this hill and
the ascent is not difficult. It does not seem to you as being a
formidable stronghold." Gettysburg is located here; its houses
extend to the brow of the hill and the cemetery is located upon
the brow itself.
Looking across the valley you will see the western ridge with
its fringe of deciduous trees. These grow along the entire crest
of the hill. They effectually hide the view in that direction.
Rising from its setting of trees at a point opposite the town
you will observe the cupola of the Lutheran Seminary from which
the ridge took its name--Seminary Ridge.
Both ridges are comparatively level at the top and the
undulating slopes of both are very easy of ascent. Only far down
the valley will you find them cut up by ravines and water
Rising like giant sentinels off some distance from the ends of
Cemetery Ridge are those hills whose possession meant victory or
defeat. The northern-most group consists of that memorable trio
of Wolf's, McAllister's and Culp's Hills. There is a slender and
low ridge joining Cemetery Ridge and Culp's Hill which seems to
be thrown behind the ridge.
Between Culp's Hill and Wolf's Hill flows Rock Creek. It is very
shallow and winds through a wild ravine. What news it could tell
of those three days of fighting if we were able to interpret its
rippling music. But the vast numbers who listened to its softly
murmured notes have long since gone, borne down the rippling
stream of Time, from which there is no returning.
Here we learned why the soldiers made such a desperate attempt
to secure Culp's Hill, for what use would it have been to get
Cemetery Hill and leave a back door open, as it were, for the
enemy to pass through.
Here in spring the ravine is gay with the blossoming dogwood and
the redbud fills the place with its royal purple.
As we gazed at the many fine monuments on this, the best marked
and most beautiful of ail battlegrounds in the world, we thought
of the terrible waste of life. But then had it been wasted,
after all? As we passed down by the peach orchard, we saw a
battle between two robins being waged. Then we thought how each
spring, from remotest times this same battle-ground has been
used by Nature's children to settle questions of gravest import
to their race. Each season brings renewed conflicts. Down by the
Devil's Den ground squirrels wage their battles again and again.
Aerial battles, too, are fought by hawks above the tree tops.
In Nature, to the strongest usually comes the victory. For her
children cruel, relentless, bloody war seems inevitable. But is
it necessary that human life be sacrificed? What could be the
plan, the purpose of it all? Perhaps there was no plan, no
purpose; we do not know. But as we look across the changing
scenes that come and go with the changeless years, we seem to
see a plan, a purpose, and there are wars and bloodshed in them,
yet, they appear Divine. It seems that only the great principle
of the Universe is being fulfilled; that from the sacrifice of
life a richer, fuller life is gained.
Here the birds still come to bathe and drink and their songs
float to you from far and near. Among the branches of an oak
top, a red-eyed vireo is saying, "brigade, brigadier," and we
well know that he is not military and do not know where he
learned those military terms. But, he is destroying whole
battalions and even armies of caterpillars, those green coated
Boches and striped convicts of our forest trees; and we think
"brigadier" none too noble a title for the bravery he shows in
carolling all through the hot summer day. Someone has called him
a preacher, but we confess, we have listened to many a lengthy
discourse whose effect was slight in comparison to his wild
ringing text, so redolent of rustling leaves and murmuring
brooks--one of the sermons of God's great out-of-doors. Across
the "peach orchard" a cardinal, like a swiftly hurled firebrand,
comes toward us and utters his clear metallic Chip, then
alighting among some wild grape vines, plays several variations
on his clear, ringing flute. From an elm tree, an oriole answers
his bold challenge in his rich voice, while a band of chickadees
indulge in their querulous calls as they inspect each leaf and
twig for larva and eggs. Up in a linden tree, a blue jay is
crying "Salute me, salute me." Like a second lieutenant just
commissioned. He wears his close-fitting uniform and overseas
cap with a dignity that becomes one of that most enviable rank.
The bold bugle of the Carolina wren sounds through the leafy
encampment and like the colors ascending for retreat, the red,
white and blue of the red-headed woodpecker is seen rising
diagonally to a dead oak stub. Like a fine accompaniment the
music of the fluttering leaves blends with that of the rippling
stream and the many woodland voices mellow and supplement them
until the symphony rises a soothing and harmonious whole which
can never be forgotten.
>From Little Round Top a night hawk screams and comes booming
down to earth where squadrons of insects are manoeuvering; by
the Devil's Den a red squirrel is berating an unseen enemy,
hurling all sorts of abusive epithets at him in his wheezy,
Rising in strong relief at the southern edge of Cemetery Ridge
are the picturesque hills known as Little and Great Round Top.
They are wooded from base to summit. What mighty forces have
been at work here! Crevasses of broken ledges, immense boulders
cropping out on the slopes or lying here and there all show that
a battle royal has been here waged by Nature. Here, thrust out
from little Round Top, is a heap of "ripped up" ledges and
massive rocks where a great fissure leads back to a place where
the Southern sharpshooters hid while picking off the Union
officers on Little Round Top. It seemed that some great mass had
slipped from Little Round Top and had been hurled still farther
by some unknown force--a vast heap of stone deeply seamed by
rents and scars thick set with boulders and filled with holes
providing excellent hiding places for the men.
"All through that moonlight night while Buford kept watch the
roads leading to Gettysburg were lighted up by gleaming
campfires. How peacefully lay the little village slumbering in
the quiet moonlight, with never a thought of the coming battle
on the morrow. Soon the lovely valley of Willoughby Run with its
emerald meadows, flashing brooks and green woods would be
deformed by shot and shell."
It seems difficult even to imagine the terrible price that was
paid at Gettysburg--while wandering here in this charming spot,
where stretches a beautiful world of woodlands with their feast
of varying shades of green whose rare vistas open up to fields
of hay and grain.
Marry flowers and ferns grow here and, like the birds, they,
too, have their preacher. Jack in his pulpit of light green is
proclaiming wildwood messages to his flower brethren. If scarlet
represents sin among the flower family then in his congregation
are many sinners, for the vivid hues of the cardinal blossoms
burn like coals of fire against their setting of green shrubs
and vines. Joe Pye weeds blush at what they hear, as if guilty
of some flagrant wrong, although they took their name from Joe
Pye, the Indian who cured typhus fever in New England by means
of these plants. Elecampane stands up tall and straight as if
conscious of having been mentioned by Hippocrates, the father of
medicine, more than two thousand years ago, as being an
important stimulant to the brain and stomach. Fox gloves, those
Good Samaritans among the flowers, bend low their lovely heads
to catch Jack's text, and among the patron Saints John's wort
humbly rears its yellow flowers, unmindful that it was hung at
the doors and windows on St. John's Eve as a safeguard against
thunder and evil spirits. As if to destroy the good Jack wished
to do, the Devil's Paint Brush (European Hawk-weed) had been
busy among the brethren, sowing seeds of strife and contention
and the brilliant orange blotches interspersed among the other
members told how successful were his labors.
We have not told much about the battle of Gettysburg and the
observing historian may say that our time was wholly wasted, but
the wonderful words of Lincoln's Gettysburg Speech still ring in
our ears like heavenly music and as we turned to leave this
"hallowed"--this "consecrated"--spot, the lines repeated here by
Ella Wheeler Wilcox came to us like some grand triumphal strain
"We know that you died for Freedom,
To save our land from shame,
To rescue a periled Nation,
And we give you deathless fame.
'Twas the cause of Truth and Justice
That you fought and perished for,
And we say it, oh, so gently,
'Our boys who died in the war.'
Saviors of our Republic,
Heroes who wore the blue,
We owe the peace that surrounds us,
And our Nation's strength to you.
We owe it to you that our banner,
The fairest flag in the world,
Is today unstained, unsullied,
On the summer air unfurled.
We look on the stripes and spangles
And our hearts are filled the while
With love for the brave commanders
And the boys of the rank and file.
The grandest deeds of valor
Were never written out,
The noblest acts of virtue
The world knows nothing about.
And many a private soldier
Who walks his humble way,
With no sounding name or title,
Unknown to the world today,
In the eyes of God is a hero
As worthy of the bays,
As any mighty general
To whom the world gives praise.
For next to our God is our Nation,
And we cherish the honored name,
Of the bravest of all brave armies
Who fought for the Nation's fame."
O ye, who dwell in youth's inviting bowers,
Waste not, in useless joy, your fleeting hours,
But rather let the tears of sorrow roll,
And sad reflection fill the conscious soul.
For many a jocund spring has passed away,
And many a flower has blossomed to decay;
And human life, still hastening to a close,
Finds in the worthless dust its last repose.
Still the vain world abounds in strife and hate,
And sire and son provoke each other's fate;
And kindred blood by kindred hands is shed,
And vengeance sleeps not--dies not, with the dead.
All nature fades--the garden's treasures fall,
Young bud, and citron ripe--all perish--all.
--From the Persian.
"The excessive heat of the summer of 1921 made it the first
impulse of travelers to plunge straight into the cool, kindly
ocean, where they could wade and bathe in the surf, sprawl for
hours in the sand, or indulge in races and various games along
One is greatly impressed with the vast numbers of resorts on the
Atlantic coast. All along the Jersey shore from Bar Harbor to
Cape May you will find it almost as thickly settled as a town.
Here along this coast an amazing degree of congestion exists.
You will marvel to see all along the beach from Sandy Hook,
fifty miles of crowded street, of hotels, and houses, and behind
these still others. How this vast seaside population thrills
one, bringing visions of the "vastness and wealth of teeming
millions" of this great nation of ours. One author says, and
with truth, that Atlantic City could accommodate all of France
and still have room for more while Asbury Park would furnish
ample room as a seaside resort for Belgium and Holland.
Atlantic City, known throughout the world as a great all-the-
year resort, is situated upon Absecon Island off the Jersey
coast. Absecon is an Indian name given to this island, meaning
"Place of Swans." Great flocks of these graceful birds are said
to have frequented this spot, where they fed on clams and
oysters. The swans have long since gone, their place being taken
by less graceful and more richly attired birds, that at stated
times flock there in vast numbers. Its close proximity to the
large eastern centers of population give it an unrivaled
location. The climate is made equable by the Gulf Stream. It is
much warmer here in winter than at New York or Philadelphia and
weather records show sixty-two per cent sunshine. Motorists
visit the seashore metropolis by tens of thousands in all
seasons of the year.
Atlantic City has one thousand two hundred hotels and boarding
houses to meet every purse and entertains twenty million people
annually, the transient population reaching four hundred
thousand in August and never being less than fifty thousand.
For six miles along one of the finest bathing beaches on the
Atlantic seaboard extends the world-famed board walk, sixty feet
wide, topped with planking and built upon a steel and concrete
foundation, where promenade health and recreation seekers from
all parts of America and foreign climes. There are four great
piers varying in length from one thousand to three thousand
feet, with auditoriums and all kinds of amusements which are as
varied as the visitors are versatile. The shops of the board
walk are one of its most attractive features.
One's motto at Atlantic City as well as the world over should be
that of a certain medicine man who gave this advice to his
customers: "Let your eyes be your judge, your pocketbook your
guide, and your money the last thing you part with." But, alas!
how few heeded the free advice he gave them, but persisted in
buying his patent nostrums until their pocketbooks could
scarcely raise an audible jingle!
Money may befriend one at Atlantic City but it will never admit
him into real society where the passwords are wit, wisdom and
beauty of character; which, united, forma truly royal life.
There are people who care not whether their clothes come from
Paris or Mexico just so they are comfortable, serviceable and
becoming. Society of this type is not exclusive but admits alike
all worthy people.
"What space bath virgin's beauty to disclose
Her sweets, and triumph o'er the blooming rose.
Not even an hour!"
What a motley crowd of human beings throng the board walk! How
like the vast interminable deep is this thronging, surging mass
of humanity, where they, like restless waves, pause awhile on
the margin of the boundless sea until the ebb tide moves out in
the vast sea of life. "Here the fury of fashion ebbs and flows,
a constant stream, representing all the states of the Union."
Here are men with silk plug hats and petite mustachios who seem
"straight from Paris!" Others whose ruddy faces and commanding
air proclaim them genial sons of the Emerald Isle, while still
others are the possessors of so many and varied characteristics
one might be justified in calling them mongrels. One would think
the lovely Pleiades themselves came every night on a long
journey to look at the board walk with an interrogation mark in
every twinkle. Here come youth and beauty seeking pleasure.
Here, too, you will see old age trying to recall their youthful
days "when the serious looking canes they so carefully carry
gave place to the foppish switches they so artfully carried in
their younger days." Here the gilded doors of idleness and
pleasure are ever ajar but they never lead to the halls of noble
aims and the palaces of worthy ambition. Here the entrances are
always crowded with that class of people whose motto is, "Things
are good enough as they are," or "Eat, drink and be merry," or
"We are weary of well doing."
Here beauty assembles, but it is ofttimes not the beauty of
life. It is the glaring show and tinsel array of society that
attracts great numbers, who, like the beautiful colored night
moths, are enamoured of the gleaming light, venturing nearer
until they scorch their wings, or blinded by the brilliant rays
plunge headlong into the flames and are burned to death. "The
allied army of fashion meets here." Here, then, is their
Thermopylae or Argonne, it may be.
The test here as elsewhere is the using of means already
acquired to some worthy end. Many can acquire wealth, but few
know how to use it wisely The art of spending is more readily
acquired than that of saving, as may be easily seen. An article
appeared in an American newspaper telling how the appearance of
the world's greatest spender startled London by blazing her way
into the Prince of Wale's box in Albert Hall--a literal walking
diamond mine. Her costume, which contained more than seventy-
five thousand diamonds and pearls, was insured for five million
dollars. The article stated that this person would visit the
United States to show us something real in the art of spending.
We as a people need no instruction in this art, but need to read
more our illustrious Franklin's advice on saving. One wonders
what this dressing may bring to the American home or how much
the common interests of mankind will be helped! What a blessing
is wealth when rightly used! True society looks inwardly and not
outwardly, and all that does not belong to it falls away as does
wheat fanned by a sheet; the trash and chaff being blown away.
One cannot tell the rich from the poor in their camouflage, but
the really rich in character are easily discernible, arrayed in
modest garbs as unostentatious and serviceable as those of the
nightingale or the thrush. Like all great people the melody of
their lives eclipses their array until only the soul-thrilling
memories of what they are or were remain to gladden the weary
pilgrim on life's road. The indigo bunting is arrayed in
splendid robes, yet his song is high pitched and rasping. But
the dull robed songsters delight the ear. Some people have not
yet learned that a fifty-dollar hat can never cover the
deficiency of a two-cent head. Ofttimes money only makes a mean
life more conspicuous. True, some of these people dress more
becomingly than they suspect for their slim, pointed-toed
English shoes admirably match their few ideas. They are much
persecuted for their belief, thinking that a number six shoe can
be worn on a number nine foot.
It is almost as interesting to watch people in the act of
scraping acquaintance as it is to see a group of flickers love-
making in early spring. Some one will purposely drop her
kerchief at just the right moment. If you would see the glaring
look given to some sprightly lady who picks it up before the
intended one arrives, you will leave kerchiefs alone, especially
if you belong to the feminine gender. There are others who take
a great interest in a dog or child while they examine a register
or look at the thermometer, if the master or more often mistress
of said dog strikes their fancy. If perchance they find they
have stopped in New York or Boston at hotels of notable
expensiveness, then it does not take much scraping until their
acquaintance is made.
On the famous board walk may be seen girls who were sixteen some
twenty years ago. They remind you of the man who has an old or
repainted Ford who advertises his machine not as old but
reconditioned. There are women riding in wheel chairs, being
pushed along by colored men. They see, not the magnificent
reaches of the vast ocean or the wild breakers that come rolling
in upon the beach, but ever anon caress the poodle they have
with them or notice the wart on the nose of a passer-by in the
place of his charming manners. Perhaps the poodles are taken to
the sea beach for their health but their vitality surely could
never become so low as that of their mistresses.
These very people may have toiled most of the summer so they
could feign riches by taking a few rides in the wheel chair.
There are idle poor as well as idle rich and both should receive
no commendation for not trying to better their lowly lot.
Rare flowers do not grow in great clumps. The orchids bloom in
gloomy swamps, far removed from the haunts of men; the morning
and evening hymn of the hermit thrush rises from solitary places-
-along wild lakes and among high mountains.
One old dame with a glowing face like an ocean sunset and a gown
that for richness of color and vivid contrast would have made
Joseph's coat of many colors appear very ordinary, remarked that
she came out on the board walk to study types. But types of
what? Perhaps she was observing the lilies of the board walk
whose raiment was so dazzling that Solomon would not have
arrayed himself like one of these even though he could. They are
true lilies for they toil not, neither do they spin, unless it
be a fabulous yarn about some fair rivals, and for this lack of
toil they lose the real meaning and significance of life.
Everything about them is toil, not that grinding toil with no
final goal to reach but that exhilarating joyful kind as seen in
the waves, in bees and flowers. The waves come running up to
shore sending silver reflections glinting along the beach,
always blending beauty and usefulness; the air about the linden
trees is melodious with multitudes of murmuring toilers
preparing for a winter's need; the purple fox-glove, that good
Samaritan among the flowers, in modest beauty holds aloft its
purple bells all unmindful of the cheer it brings to lonely
hearts or the hope it bears to thousands of sufferers.
It is surprising to see that by far the greater numbers of
people turn their backs on the ocean while they scan the daily
papers for sensational items or the latest styles. It seems a
cruel waste of glorious linden trees to say nothing of the
wealth of sweets that the bees have lost to record at least some
vamp's trial in a murder case or some miserably rich woman's
There are those who go to Europe who bring back to their native
land only the latest fashions of Paris with a little knowledge
of foreign profanity picked up from the cafes and boulevards.
They can tell nothing about the wonders of the Louvre; the
grandeur of Raphael's Madonnas; the beauty and charm of the
Mediterranean shores. Their souls perhaps have never been
touched by the grand sublimity of the Alps. What feasts they
have attended, taking away only the husks! Far away in some
foreign land they have spent years vainly seeking for pleasure
only to learn that:
"Pleasures are like poppies spread.
You seize the flower, its bloom is shed.
Or like the snowfall in the river
A moment white, then melts forever.
Or like the rainbow's lovely form
Evanishing amid the storm."
The first cool breeze blows away the froth of fashion, for it is
composed of delicate flowers that the first chill wind of
adversity causes to wilt and droop and lose their fragrance.
"Now the cool forenoon serenity of the ocean is no longer
profaned." They have followed the siren voices of this
bewildering region until they have arrived on some shoals that
hint of a coming winter, and emerge with duller plumes like
birds of passage, ready to flock to sunnier climes. They remind
one, too, of the gorgeous colored butterflies which flew about
all summer, at first things of beauty, dazzling the eye with
their brilliant colors; haunting the most fragrant flowers for
nectar, reveling in the sunshine the whole day long. Now they
appear in their torn and faded robes to hover over a few pale
flowers as if "loath to leave the scenes of their summer's
Only the more hardy remain to enjoy the grandeur of the winter
ocean like the chickadees and cardinal grosbeaks that enliven
our winter woods. The many flowered asters remain regal and
cheery though a thousands winds may blow. Those who see the real
beauty and indescribable grandeur of the ocean here, if they
cannot remain, will show evidences in their beneficent lives
that they have had a wonderful summer by the sea. Here amid the
most beautiful manifestations of Nature's power and grandeur
they have gained broader hopes, higher aspirations and a purer
life. They leave the frivolous things of life on its remotest
shores, where a few returning tides bury them in the sands of
forgetfulness or the receding waves wash them like clams far out
Look at the fate of summer flowers,
Which blow at daybreak, droop ere evensong
And, grieved for their brief date, confess that ours
Measured by what we are and ought to be,
Measured by all that, trembling we foresee,
Is not so long!
The deepest grove whose foliage hid
The happiest lovers' Arcady might boast,
Could not the entrance of this thought forbid:
O be thou wise as they, soul-gifted maid!
Nor rate too high what must so quickly fade,
So soon be lost!
Then shall love teach some virtuous youth
To draw out of the object of his eyes
The whilst they gaze on thee in simple truth
Hues more exalted a refined form,
That dreads not age, nor suffers from the worm,
And never dies! --Wordsworth.
HURRIED FLIGHT THROUGH NEW JERSEY
An eight-hour drive through the interior of New Jersey is
attended with much interest and some surprises. Leaving Camden,
which is reached by ferry across the Delaware from Philadelphia,
the road traverses many miles of level, sandy country which is
almost entirely given over to truck gardening and poultry
raising. To those who all their lives have been accustomed to
fields of wheat, oats and corn the almost interminable rows of
beets, beans, sweet potatoes and melons are very interesting.
Proceeding onward through this highly cultivated section by a
somewhat circuitous route, there was gradually entered as day
merged into night, a wild, sparsely cultivated region which
contrasted strangely with the orderly acres left behind.
The land here is flat, largely of a swampy nature, covered
mostly with a thick growth of saplings, ferns and bushes. Here
and there were also to be found some trees of fairly good size.
It was in the east but a few miles removed from the great
metropolitan district of New York and Philadelphia. There could
still be found many square miles of unimproved land. It was
surprising also to find excellent highways running throughout
this semi-wilderness, between almost impenetrable walls of
green, which though beautiful, produced a feeling of loneliness
under their weird shadows. Some distance ahead the country
appeared more rolling, the trees higher and the undergrowth less
dense. Vistas opened up, revealing an occasional farmstead.
Suddenly the scene changed for, instead of the emerald hues of
thrifty vegetation, there were seen the brown, seared forms as
of the desert; the charred ruins of buildings, the ashy outlines
of fences and blackened stumps. The reason for this devastation
was soon discovered, as exclamations arose simultaneously from
all sides--"Forest Fire." Upon penetrating the ruined district a
little farther the cause of this widespread destruction was soon
learned. On a large bulletin board by the roadside were
stenciled these words Forty thousand acres of timber, besides
crops, fences and buildings destroyed by fire, started from a
cigarette stub carelessly thrown away. Coupled with expressions
of sincere regret over the country's irreparable loss were heard
strong denunciations of the criminally careless smoker who
caused it. A terrible indictment cumulative in character is
being drawn against the cigarette habit, not only as being
responsible for the sad scene just witnessed, but for the
useless waste of money, the undermining of health, yea even to
the destruction of life itself, for that day was not destined to
close until there had been seen the ghastly ruins of the hotel
in Hoboken where twelve lives were snuffed out by fire started
from a cigarette.
It is not good, however, to dwell for a considerable time in the
valley of the shadow of death, even to adorn a tale or point a
moral, so the journey was continued toward fairer fields and
Again highly cultivated areas were entered though much more
rolling in character than upon first entering the state.
Beautiful scenes abounded upon every hand not unlike Lancaster
county, Pennsylvania, which seemed like a vast park under
cultivation. It is significant to note at this juncture that in
respect to value of agricultural products, Lancaster county
ranks first in America; this section of New Jersey second; and
we cannot pass this opportunity of stating that our own Darke
county, Ohio, is third.
There is abundant evidence that the larger portion of the state
was at the time of settlement by the white man heavily wooded.
Numerous ponds provided mill sites for manufacturing logs into
wood products for the use of the colonists. Most of these mills
are in varying stages of decay, but the ponds filled with
stagnant water remain. There are also numerous lakes and marshes
which are due to the fact that New Jersey has no drainage laws.
Ponds, lakes and marshes all propagate that well-known pest the
"Jersey skeeter." There can be no question of the truthfulness
of all that has been said of him in song and story. This was
fully attested by an erstwhile happy quintet of travelers. There
was apparently nothing in the wide world to mar that happiness
until the ominous growl of distant thunder gave warning of a
rapidly oncoming storm. With its nearer approach it was decided
to seek shelter, so upon seeing a short distance ahead the open
doors of a barn, its protecting walls were soon gained,
permission to enter having been readily given by the owner. It
was thought afterward that there was detected in the man's face
a dry sense of humor, provoked, no doubt, by the experience of
many a luckless traveler who had gone that way before. No sooner
had the shelter of the building been obtained and these same
grateful travelers ensconced themselves in comfortable positions
on the cushions of the car when from the right and the left, the
front and the rear and from the ground beneath and the air above
they were beset by whole companies, battalions, divisions,
armies, yea, tribes and nations of thick-set, sharp-billed
little devils who had come to torment them before their time and
whose every impact brought blood. There was needed no council of
war to determine the course to pursue, so a hasty retreat was
ordered--an ignominious flight, feeling that it were better to
face the perils of the storm without than go down to certain
defeat before this relentless enemy within. These blood-thirsty
villains began to probe eyelids, ears; in fact there was no part
of one's anatomy where they did not alight; and unlike other
members of their tribe that dwell farther north, who advance,
buzz, sting and retreat these "Jersey Skeeters" knew no retreat.
Hurriedly gaining the highway and cautiously proceeding there
was seen broad grins on the faces of a detachment of soldiers in
motor trucks drawn up beside the road. These boys seemed to
thoroughly enjoy witnessing this inglorious retreat, from what
they at first thought, a protecting smoke screen which they had
provided in the rear of their trucks. This smoke screen proved
to be only camouflage, for behind it were seen a number of the
boys with bleared countenances whose limbs were twitching as
though they had the St. Vitus dance.
It takes more than a little smouldering fire to route this pest
of the marshlands and it is doubtful whether all the smoke from
the forest fire, whose devastation had just been witnessed,
could have sufficed to drive these fine sopranoed prima donnas
of the marsh away. Preferring just mosquitoes to both smudge and
mosquitoes the more fortunate party in the auto left the jolly
soldiers amid many wavings of kerchiefs--those white flags of
Along the road was seen a man whose attire made one think that
perhaps he had started for a stroll and strayed away from
Atlantic City. He wore a scissor-tailed coat, once black but now
having a reddish brown tinge. His vest contained immense black
and white stripes across which a great silver chain dangled. His
hat had been struck so often that it resembled a battered sauce
pan. He seized a branch and beat the air wildly about him but
still the blood coursed in tine rivulets down his face and
hands. His little dog that had a bell attached to its collar
made numerous stops while he rang a suggestive peal as he
scratched his ear with his hind foot. Leaving them to their
tragic pantomimes and protracted agony a swift run for the
highlands was made and at last there was safety from the
plotting of such a fearsome foe as the "Jersey skeeter."
GLIMPSES ALONG THE HUDSON
NEW YORK CITY
You might as well leave France without seeing Paris as to travel
through the East and not make a visit to New York. But there is
so much to see in this great city that if you have not decided
before coming what you wish to see you will miss many places of
The Metropolitan Museum of Art should be visited, for it
contains the greatest art collection in America. It is located
within the borders of Central Park, its principal entrance being
on Fifth Avenue, between Eighty-second and Eighty-third streets.
A trip to Bronx park, where the beautiful botanical and
zoological gardens are located, should not be missed. It is
watered throughout its length by the Bronx river and is one of
the most beautiful parks in existence.
As we crossed the ferry over to this wonderful city we thought
how scarcely more than three centuries ago, when Paris and
London had been great for a thousand years, New York City with
its wonderful buildings rising before us was only a little
wooded island with here and there scattered tepees, and in place
of magnificent avenues and boulevards were found morasses
crossed by streams and presided over by wild beasts.
Civilization was old in Europe before Henry Hudson appeared on
this beautiful river.
Some one has described New York as a chaotic city, where huge
masses of masonry and iron rise mountain high with no
relationship existing between any of the structures. One views
their stupendous forms as he does the mountains along the
Hudson. "They are serrated, presenting ragged, irregular
outlines, which are lost in the accidental sky-line, giving one
at once the impression of power, wealth, and aggressiveness."
The vast, impenetrable wall of solid masonry along the river is
almost as wonderful as the Palisades.
The magnetic attraction of such an enormous amount of steel
concentrated in so small a space is said to be so great that it
frequently varies the points of the compass on boats in the
harbor as much as seven degrees. Here rises the Woolworth
building, towering seven hundred fifty feet above the level of
the street. It is the highest inhabited structure ever built by
How the ceaseless activity and seemingly untiring energy of this
great city thrills you! Here the sound of traffic rises
continually, not unlike the booming breakers of the ocean. Here
ebb and flow those vast throngs of humanity, drawn irresistibly
by some compelling force like the tides of the ocean. Think of
the lonely hearts among such a throng of people. Think, too, how
many hunger while the wharves may be choked with food. "What
lives and fates are foreshadowed here." What great souls have
toiled and striven and perhaps died unknown to the world.
Then, too, what associations gather here! What sacrifice, what
triumphs of the early settlers, and alas, what disasters! "Thick
clustered as are its walls and chimneys, are its grand
achievements, pageants, frivolities;" all interspersed with toil
The scene beheld by Hudson as he came up the river must have
been at once grand and of unrivaled wildness. When he made that
first memorable voyage up the river, no wonder he thought that
here at last was a grand passage leading to remote regions not
yet visited by man. Start by boat from New York for Albany today
and you, too, will feel as though you were bound for some
"A man by the name of Anthony VanCorlaer was dispatched on a war-
like mission to the patroon van Rennselaer. When he came to the
stream that forms the upper boundary of Manhattan Island, warned
not to cross, he still persisted in advancing, intending to gain
the other shore by swimming. "Spuyt den Duyvil," he shouted, "I
will reach Shoras kappock." But his challenge to the Duyvil was
his last, as at that moment his Satanic Majesty, in the form of
an enormous moss bunker, took him at his word. This phrase is
repeated a thousand times a day by men on the railroad with no
idea of invoking the evil spirit. Here it was that the Indians
came out to attack the men on the Half-Moon with bows and
arrows. Here, too, was the rendezvous of the Indians who menaced
Manhattan in early Colonial days. Nearly a thousand braves,
hideous in war-paint and feathers, came together and threatened
New York. Governor Stuyvesant was absent in the South. The
frightened burghers of the little city took to their forts like
deer. Fortunate indeed is the person who is privileged a trip
along the River Drive on a clear sunny day."
You will probably retain longest in memory those great imposing
masterpieces of nature, the Palisades, as seen from the Jersey
store. You are fascinated by the wonderful detail and color
effects in this picturesque mass of rocks quite as much as when
viewing Niagara. What a perpetual feast of beauty and grandeur
the dwellers along this river have before them. These rocks rise
like airy battlements from the river, their base laved by the
majestic stream, while cloud wreaths float round their emerald
Of all pleasant memories you carry with you of New York City,
that of your journeys along the Riverside Drive will return most
often to unroll its panorama before you.
There are few roads in the world that can compare with it, as it
not only has a wealth of natural beauty and noble grandeur, but
almost every hill has its historic associations no less than the
"Across to Fort Lee along the sheer wall of the Palisades or
down past the busy shipping, where Bartholdi's statue lifts her
unwearied arm, the outlook presents a display of exquisite
charm." The changing hues, evanescent shadows and glimpses of
the rising hills--who can ever forget them?
Many people who have looked on the wonderful scenery of the
Hudson still long for the time when they shall behold the
Rhineland. They will find that legends and traditions, more than
the wonderful scenery, give to the Rhine country an added charm.
Every hilltop there is surmounted by a storied castle, which is
falling into decay along with so many Old World institutions
that have been kept green by the ivy of custom and tradition,
which can scarcely keep them from tumbling.
It is not our object to belittle any natural scenery, but to
make Americans pause to consider the incomparable beauty of
their own land, before rushing to other countries.
We shall never forget our trip up the Moselle and Rhine. That
the scenery is very beautiful we shall not deny. It was in the
lovely month of May in the spring of 1919 that we were favored
with a free ride from Uncle Sam through the most beautiful
scenery to be found anywhere in Germany. We cast a farewell look
at the beautiful meadows of the Meuse and the old Roman towers
of Verdun and a nameless longing, a vague inexpressible sadness
seemed to take possession of us as our eyes rested for the last
time on the gray weather-stained buildings of Glorieux hospital.
In the clear sky a crystal shower of lark notes rippled above
us; from the fragrant box hedges nightingales sang their love
songs; the air was filled with the riotous notes of the linnet
and the loud, sweet phrases of the blackbirds, but we heard them
not. For our thoughts wandered back to that spot where many of
the buddies whom we had learned to love lay sleeping their long
sleep. Near the hospital where thousands of French soldiers had
at last found a glad relief from their pain and suffering,
straight rows of white crosses met our sight and we knew the
grim reaper Death had garnered his choicest sheaves. How quiet,
how peaceful was the morning! No thundering cannons or whistling
shells, no sputtering of machine guns or hum of hostile planes
was heard. Peace had again come to the valley. The poor peasants
were returning to their ruined homes, some carrying all their
earthly possessions in bundles. Yet as we looked at that vast
field of crosses and thought how the best blood of both France
and the United States had been spilled to bring about peace, we
shuddered at the awful price paid for it.
We passed a number of ruined villages on our way to Toul. From
there we had a most delightful trip, motoring through Metz and
Luxemburg and arriving at Coblentz late in the evening.
The scenery along the Moselle is in many places just as
beautiful as that along the Rhine. The steep hills that ran down
to the river were cultivated in many places to near their tops.
All along the railroad track lay plats of vegetables, and the
neat homes that nestled at the foot of the hills among
blossoming pear trees looked as if "neither care nor want had
ever crossed their threshold." The foliage had not yet clothed
the vines that rose in terraces far above the houses. At Kochem
we beheld the ruins of a splendid castle and monastery. The old
cities of Kardon and Treves were seen through a sunlit rain, and
the level rays of the descending sun produced an effect of the
most singular beauty.
We spent the night in Coblentz and on the following morning set
out to see Ehrenbreitstein. The view from this place is very
fine. At our feet lay the town with its zigzag fortifications
clasped by the silver fork of the two streams that were spanned
by four bridges. The great outworks of the fortress reach far
beyond, while to the right rise the dark, frowning mass Of
volcanic rocks known as the "Eifel." Far away our eyes rested
upon vineyards not yet clothed in verdure.
But the most delightful part of our journey was that from
Coblentz to Cologne. Here we passed through the lovely region of
the Seven Mountains where the old castles "still look down from
their heights as if musing on the spirit of the past."
Even after viewing these medieval castles the scenery along the
Hudson loses none of its charm. But what a contrast! In place of
low vineyard-clad hills, as you see along the Rhine, the
majestic Hudson winds in leisurely fashion among its primeval
forests, the bases of its mountains laved by its current, while
their summits are often shrouded in clouds. You see a grandeur
in the majestic sweep of this beautiful river that you will miss
in the Rhine. The latter is beautiful, we will admit, but it
seems to be swallowed up in detail which detracts rather than
adds to the beauty of it. Whoever has seen both rivers will see,
if he looks with an impartial eye, the points of excellence
found in each. But, standing above the Hudson and gazing out
over the wonderful scene from West Point, you forget your
Rhenish raptures and exclaim with the traveler "Few spots in the
world are as beautiful as this."
As we passed through Tarrytown we thought of Stephen Henry
Thayer's many "sweet transcripts" redolent with the siren voices
of woods and waters of Sleepy Hollow. Like some faint, far-off
lullaby we seemed to hear floating across the opposite shores of
the Tappan-Zee the tranquil evening reverie of his "Nyack
"The lurking shadows, dim and mute,
Fall vaguely on the dusky river;
Vexed breezes play a phantom lute,
Athwart the waves that curl and quiver
And hedged against an amber light,
The lone hills cling, in vain endeavor
To touch the curtained clouds of night,
That, weird-like, form and fade forever.
Then break upon the blessed calm,--
Deep dying melodies of even,--
Those Nyack Bells; like some sweet psalm,
They float along the fields of heaven.
Now laden with a nameless balm,
Now musical with song thou art,
I tune thee by an inward charm
And make thee minstrel of my heart.
O bells of Nyack, faintly toll
Across the starry lighted sea.
Thy murmurs thrill a thirsty soul,
And wing a heavenly hymn to me."
How wonderfully beautiful appeared Tarrytown on that quiet
Sabbath afternoon of July. The fine homes embowered in a
landscape which "for two centuries had known human cultivation
seemed to have that touch of ripe old world-beauty which comes
from man's long association with Nature; a beauty that revealed
to us its depth in warm tones, fullness of foliage of its
ancient trees, and velvety smoothness of the lawns which had the
appearance of being long loved and cultivated." One is strangely
reminded of some charming villas of Nice and, clothed in that
dreamy haze, viewed front a distance they need only the
blossoming orange trees, mimosas and palms to lift their royal
forms about them, to make them a reality. The town rises from
the water's edge to the summit of a low hill that runs parallel
with the eastern shore of the Hudson. The one main road with
many laterals coming into it, is almost buried in masses of
According to Irving, Tarrytown owes its name to the fact that
the farmers who used to bring their produce here found the kind
hospitality of its taverns so beguiling that they tarried in
town until their wives gave it the name. We, after beholding its
quiet air of repose and superb charm, did not blame those old
Dutch farmers for tarrying in a spot so romantic.
The Hudson here is singularly beautiful and the tranquil waters
flow past many legendary and historical places. This town lay in
the path of both armies during the Revolution and knew the
uncertain terrors of war. It was harried alike by friend and
foe. There is a monument near the west side of Broadway, marking
the spot where the three patriots, Williams, Paulding and Van
Wert, captured Major Andre, the British spy. He was returning
from an interview with Benedict Arnold, carrying papers of a
treasonable nature for the surrender of West Point to Sir Henry
A stone memorial bridge to Irving was presented to the town by
William Rockefeller, replacing the bridge over Pocantico brook,
at North Tarrytown, over which the headless horsemen of Sleepy
Hollow rode. On the east side of the road just north of the
bridge is the old Dutch church, built probably in 1697 or
possibly earlier. It is no doubt the oldest church in New York
state, now holding regular services. Washington Irving is buried
in the cemetery of this church, where the river almost unseen
flows under its canopy of foliage, while to the north and
sloping gently down to the brook lies this ancient burying
ground. This peaceful spot, whose gentle slope is dotted with
ancient graves, is protected on the northeast by wooded heights,
crowned with high old trees. It has a commanding view of the
west of the Tappan Zee, the tree embowered town and gleaming
river, also the distant front of the Palisades. Andrew Carnegie,
Whitelaw Reid and other men of note are buried here. It indeed
seems as if when walking here you are treading upon hallowed
ground, for how much the world owes to these great souls, Irving
and Carnegie. Irving, whose genius combined with toil gave the
people the choicest flowers of his fertile brain, and Carnegie
who made it possible for millions to enjoy those treasures, make
this spot, aside from its quiet beauty, a place of inspiration.
Sunnyside, the home of Washington Irving, is still kept in its
original condition, and visitors are welcome certain days of the
week. Mrs. Helen Gould Shepard owns a large and beautiful estate
here. The Rockefellers also live here.
The glimpses of the broad blue river, the wonderful shrubs and
trees and the tranquil and romantic beauty of the hills seen
through the blue veil had in them faint suggestions of Indian
Summer. This stanza from Hofflnan, who was a life-long friend of
Irving, glided from the dim portals of memory:
Light as love's smiles, the silvery mist at morn
Floats in loose flakes along the limpid river,
The blue-bird notes upon the soft breeze born,
As high in air he carols, faintly quiver.
The weeping birch like banners idly waving,
Bends to the stream, its spicy branches laving,
Beaded with dew, the witch elms' tassels shiver,
The timid rabbit from the furze is peeping,
And from the springing spray the squirrels gaily leaping.
At Fishkill is located the old Dutch church, erected in 1731,
which housed the provincial convention of 1776. The blacksmith
who forged Washington's sword lived and worked here. The house
referred to in Cooper's Spy is also located here. Back of the
town rises a ridge of lofty hills covered in many places by
forests. Here if you go to the summit a remarkably fine view of
vast extent and most pleasing variety may be obtained. How often
here on Beacon Hill the lurid glare of great signal fires
painted the ebon curtains of the night with their ominous glow.
How often they warned the warriors on distant hillsides of the
approach of an enemy or their crimson glow spoke with many fiery
tongues that peace had been declared. It was viewed by many a
weary patriot or fierce Indian warrior from the wooded peaks of
the Catskills to the high elevations of the Alleghenies, or more
distant heights of Mount Graylock in Massachusetts, or Mount
Washington in New Hampshire.
Here at the base of these glorious hills the American army at
one time camped and fortifications were thrown up upon hills
that command an approach to the spot. Here, too, were brought
from the battle of White Plains the wounded and dying soldiers
who lie in unidentified graves above the place. But their graves
need no headstones to tell of the valor, nobleness of purpose,
and self-sacrifice that our nation might live and breathe the
pure air of freedom. As we gazed with tear-stained eyes at these
nameless graves we felt that exaltation of spirit which comes
when some grand triumphant strain of music fills the soul. White
anemones nod on their slender stems and blood root still sheds
its white petals upon the mounds as if to hallow the sacred
>From New Hamburg you see a curious projection on the west shore
of the river known as the Duyvil's Dans Kamer (Devil's Dance
Chamber). On this projecting rock, containing about one-half
acre, the Indians used to hold their powwows. Here by the glow
of their fires, that brought out weird, spectral shadows they
If you could behold this place as it appeared in their day, when
owls sent their mysterious greetings and the melancholy plaint
of the whippoorwill, like voices from wandering spirits, mingled
with the wail of night winds, you would not wonder why the red
man chose this spot to practice his strange rites with wild,
savage ceremonies to invoke the Evil Spirit. "Here the Medicine
Men worked themselves into a frenzy by their violent and strange
dances." Here, while the strange cries of night birds and frogs
rose like weird incantations it is easy to see how the
imaginative mind of the Indian could believe in this place as
the abode of evil spirits.
"The Military Academy at West Point was an idea of the fertile
mind of Washington. The plan was his but it was not built until
1802. The training of the officers who took part in the Mexican
War was received here. What a test their training received
beneath the fervid heat in an unhealthy land 'where they
conquered the enemy without the loss of a single battle.
"The chapel at West Point is decorated with flags, cannon, and
war trophies. Tablets honoring the memory of Washington's
generals are placed upon the walls, one alone being remarkable
from the fact that the name is erased leaving only the date of
his birth and death. That place could have been filled by the
name of Benedict Arnold."
How beautiful and far-reaching the scenery here at West Point.
One finds it almost as difficult to get past these highlands as
in the days when we found British men of war on the Hudson, for
the ringing notes of the red coated cardinal again come like a
renewed challenge from his fortress of grapevines to every lover
of Nature to linger here, and the note of the thrush with his
bell-like notes takes captive many a traveler.
Imagine, if you can, a wide vista opening before you, in the far
distance faint blue peaks that seem to blend with the horizon
scarcely discernible; within the nearer circle of your vision
smoothly flowing hills, rising in soft and graceful curves, and
from their summits to near their bases, thick with dark pine,
hemlock and balsam fir, interspersed with birch, mountain maple
and oak resembling a vast sea of emerald; within the rising
hills a large space with velvety meadows, rich with the color of
the Oxeye daisy and first golden rods; and brooding over it all,
that indescribable misty veil of purplish blue, and you still
have only a faint idea of the grandeur and majesty of these
hills along the Hudson.
>From the superb highways with their lovely maples and elms
overreaching them, one never tires of the magic of those deep,
delicious hues that enfold the sunny landscape as with a mantle.
Poughkeepsie is said to be derived from the Mohican, "Apo-keep-
sinck," meaning "a safe and pleasant harbor." How appropriate it
is, for with the lordly Hudson at its feet, the sparkling
Fallkill creek containing numerous falls and cascades flowing
through the eastern and northern parts, the wonderful bridge
across the Hudson, and its numerous educational facilities, this
half-way city between New York and Albany has been to many weary
travelers a "safe and pleasant harbor."
"F. B. Morse, inventor of the telegraph, lived at Locust Grove,
two miles below the city, and in the process of his experiments
built wires into Poughkeepsie two years before they were
extended to New York City."
Just north of the city the wonderful cantilever bridge, six
thousand seven hundred and thirty-eight feet in length and two
hundred and twelve feet in height, spans the Hudson. It is the
highest bridge in the world built over navigable waters. As we
gazed at the marvelous structure a train crossed the long bridge
with muffled roar and disappeared in the heavily tree-clad
hillsides. Just above the city there is a bend in the river and
a fine prospect may be had. The foreground for the most part
consists of cultivated fields, and hills well wooded with trees
of great variety and graceful outline, growing higher as they
recede from it, until they range and rise in grand sublimity in
the Catskill mountains. Before and below the point where the
bridge spans the river, the dim outlines of vessels melt into
hazy indistinctness in the gathering twilight.
One of the sights of the city is the circular panoramic view of
the Hudson river valley, obtained from the top of College Hill
park. The winding automobile roadway on North Clinton street,
leading to the summit, is about two hundred feet above the
Poughkeepsie bridge. Fancy yourself, if you can, on the summit
of this hill, gay with bright colored flowers, fine maples and
elms; whose base slopes down to the sparkling Hudson. Beyond
you, terrace like, rises hill upon hill, stretching away
unbroken for many miles, covered thickly with verdant meadows
and oat fields and bounded by long lines of stone fences. The
varying shades of the undulations grow gradually dimmer until
they mingle with the Catskills on the far horizon.
Between the bases of the hills winds the leisurely, majestic
current of the river, clothed in those deep sunny hues that seem
like some lovely dream in place of a reality. To the southeast
the same green hills, with the same deep hues and mysterious
veils, lead your enraptured sight to where the distant peaks of
the Adirondacks with their hazy indistinctness seem like the far-
off shores of another world. Before and below you lies the city
with her sea of spires and dark smokestacks and the steamers
coming up the river, "filling the air with their dark breath or
the mournful sound of their voices."
After beholding so beautiful a scene as this, one loves to
remember Poughkeepsie, not for its beauty alone, but for the
beneficence of a great man--Matthew Vassar. Mr. Vassar wanted to
do something worthy with his money and at first thought of
erecting a great monument commemorating the discovery of the
Hudson river. "It was to be a monument of unsurpassing beauty;
one that should cause the people to marvel at its magnificence."
But the people of Poughkeepsie were not enthusiastic over his
project, whereupon Mr. Vassar decided to use his money for
something far more worthy. Here is located Vassar college,
occupying about eight hundred acres, and is the first
institution in the world devoted exclusively to the higher
education of women. It solved in a practical way the question
that had been discussed in many lands for ages: "Could women be
granted equal intellectual privileges with men without
shattering the social life?" Therefore, Matthew Vassar, because
he was blessed with vast wealth, has taught the world the all-
important fact that "ignorance is the curse of God and knowledge
the wings whereby we fly to heaven," a statement as applicable
to women as to men.
Had the countries of Europe spent their money for a cause as
worthy as this in place of building such expensive monuments in
memory of tyrannical rulers of the Hohenzollern type, the world
might never have witnessed the indescribable horrors of a world
war. What matters it if Russia and Italy contain such marvelous
cathedrals as long as ignorance holds sway among the peasant?
Mr. Vassar shall long live in the memory of a grateful people,
and he erected a monument so vast and magnificent that only
Eternity will rightly gauge its proportions, for he built not
for a dead past, but a bright and glorious future.
We spent a never-to-be-forgotten evening near the base of Mount
Treluper at the Howland House. How cool and quiet the place was,
with only the rippling melody of a mountain stream to disturb
We walked along the highway that led through the most charming
scenery of this lovely region and glimpsed pictures just as
beautiful as many places of Europe that have an international
As we strolled along the babbling stream that flowed over its
rock-strewn bottom, we thought of Bryant's words:
"The river sends forth glad sounds and tripping o'er its
Of pebbly sands or leaping down the rocks,
Seems with continuous laughter to rejoice
In its own being."
How these songful streams beguile you to the woodland and
through tangles of tall ferns and grasses, until they emerge in
some meadow where they loiter among the tall sedges and iris or
"lose themselves in a tangle of alder to emerge again in sweet
surprise, then as if remembering an important errand, they bound
away like a school boy who has loitered along the road all
morning until he hears the last bell ring."
We have heard of Artists' brook in the Saco valley in New
England, but here every stream is clothed in exquisite tangles
of foliage and light. The pleasant reaches and graceful curves
through charming glens that are part in shadow and part in
light, what artist ever caught their subtile charm? Over the
rough boulders draped with moss and lichens we catch the mellow
gleam of light as it filters through the fluttering birch leaves
or falls upon the lovely gray bolls of aged beech trees. Then
they flow more slowly over some level stretch or stop to cool
themselves in the shadows of some graceful elms that rear their
green fountains of verdure above them. What joy it brings to you
as you sit musing by their sides, listening to their songs.
They all are excellent musicians, but we fear they are very poor
mathematicians, for how little they seem to know about straight
lines. But all are expert landscape gardeners, making graceful
loops and curves as they go meandering on their songful way. How
like a mountain road they are, "sinuous as a swallow's flight."
Often we have followed them as the sycamores and willows do,
drawn by an irresistible charm and found new and rare delight in
every turn. In places they rest in shady pools or pour their
wealth of sparkling waters over ledges of rocks or seek deep
coverts where tall ferns wave and the birch "dreams golden
dreams where no sunlight comes."
In regions as lovely as the highlands of New York, you are
reminded many times of that sweet singer who dwelt at Sunnyside,
and wrought the legends of these hills into the most exquisite
forms of beauty.
Out over the hills we beheld one of Nature's poems of twilight.
The vapors seemed to be gathering over the high ridges, but the
western sky was almost clear. It was evident that Nature was
preparing for a magnificent farewell today. Soon the west was
overrun with a golden flush that began to reveal a pink as
delicate as peach bloom and the vapors began to glow with
As we watched the fantastic cloud-wreathed summits whose colors
were altogether indescribable, we noted the intensity of
coloring and rapid kaleidoscopic changes they underwent.
Suddenly a veil of mist would shut out the view for a time, then
grow luminous in the evening light, then fade; revealing new and
more glorious combinations of color until the clear outlines of
the mountains were etched against the sky. Again we asked
ourselves the perplexing question, which mountain scene is
loveliest? Before us rose visions of the airy forms of the Alps,
the beautiful and majestic wall of the Pyranees, the dark,
forbidding masses of the Eifel, and then the various ranges of
The answer was that all are beautiful, each possessing its own
peculiar charm. All are ours to enjoy as long as we behold their
outlines; yes, longer, for no one can erase them from our
memory. Each is loveliest for the place it occupies. The
Catskills could not well change places with the White mountains
or the Berkshire hills with the Blue ridge, for the Creator has
fashioned woodland, valley, and river to harmonize. Why choose
between the melody of the hermit and woodthrush? Both are gifted
singers whose notes, rising serene in far mountain haunts, touch
our spirits like a prayer. The melody of the woodthrush is not
so wild, so ethereal and so far away as the hermit's, but when
he rings his vesper bell in his divine contralto voice, no other
sound in Nature can excel it. We have heard many nightingales
and skylarks singing, but their songs do not attain that depth
of soul-thrilling harmony found alone in the song of the thrush.
So, too, here in the lovely Catskill region, you will see a kind
of beauty that nowhere else can be obtained.
The hostess told us how on a mild March morning, she had
witnessed the funeral procession escorting the mortal remains of
John Burroughs over this scenic highway. She said she saw Thomas
A. Edison and Henry Ford gazing out over the lovely hills their
dear departed friend loved so well. It was not with sadness we
listened to her words, for we know this gentle lover of Nature
had only wandered a little farther to lovelier hills and fairer
Morning dawned, bringing the mingled blessings of sunlight and
song to this lovely glen. Rain had fallen during the night,
making the grass take on new life and washing the leaves of
every particle of dust. How they reflected the morning light!
How fresh and new all Nature appeared after the cleansing she
The Genii of the mountains seemed to be casting their magic
spell over the soft, sunny landscape. Those troops of workers,
early sunbeams and crystal dewdrops, hung the curtains of. the
forest with moist, scintillating pearls, whose brilliancy seen
through the transparent veil of blue seemed another twilight
sky, trembling with groups of silver stars. The air was pure and
unpolluted; the birds sang from every field and forest. Flowers
nodded good morning as we passed. Brilliant spikes of cardinal
blossoms burned like coals against the green shrubs; foxgloves
rang their purple bells with no one to hear; campanulas bluer
than the sky decked the rocky ledges; where the wood lily, like
a reigning queen, "seemed to have caught all the sunbeams of
summer and treasured them in her heart of gold."
A thin layer of white mist still hid fair lakes that were
waiting to mirror the sky. Down the blue mistiness of the
valleys we beheld a far-flashing stream, whose silver course
grew fainter and at last disappeared around the purple
headlands. Far as the eye could see, the undulating masses of
green hills stretched away until they towered far upward,
printing their graceful flowing outlines on the distant horizon.
The nearer hills rose on all sides like a billowy sea, with
outcropping of gray stone breakers along their green crests. On
the lower levels we saw thickets of young birch, hemlock and
"Miles upon miles of verdant meadows, farms and forests seem to
hang upon the sides of the mountains like a vast canvas or
repose peacefully across the long sloping hills; pictures of
sunny contentment and domestic serenity, scarcely conceivable in
the lowlands." There are winding roads that rise as do the old
stone buildings, one above the other until they are lost in the
purple distance. What a wealth of cultivated fields and sunny
pastures rise terrace-like on slopes far up their summits. There
is always farmland enough to give picturesque variety, and
woodland enough to give a wild touch and mellow charm when
viewed from a distance.
Endless lines of old stone fences appear in the valleys and
disappear over the rough hillside. Some are falling into ruin,
others are firm and high, adding their charm to the picture. Old
apple orchards were scattered here and there. The mossy trunks
and decayed limbs told that many seasons had passed over their
branches. Their owners have long since "gone the way of all the
world." Not only the masters who planted those trees, but the
houses that sheltered them have passed away forever. The trees
no longer bear much fruit, but are still the homes of vast
numbers of shy wood-folk.
What a ringing medley greeted us as we passed. The cuckoo was
calling amid his caterpillar feasting. An indigo bunting from a
tall maple sang his clear, sweet notes. The silvery phrases of
the orchard oriole fell on the ear like a shower of "liquid
pearls." No other songster save the vireo is so prodigal of his
minstrelsy. Occasionally we caught the loud, querulous notes of
the great crested flycatcher. Maryland yellow throats sang,
"witchery, witchery, witchery" down among the bushy fence rows.
Wren notes fell like silvery drops of water through the sunlit
air, and redstarts made the place ring with their rich clear
notes. Nature here was throbbing with warm, full life, gleaming
with rich tints, and her exuberant energy and persistent force
were daily working new miracles.
"Every clod feels a stir of might,
An instinct within it that reaches and towers
And groping blindly above it for light,
Climbs to a soul in the grass and flowers."
Along the road at various places people have balsam pillows for
sale. We made no purchase, for why buy a pillow when the whole
forest is ours to enjoy? We need only to smell the fragrance of
balsam buds and our cares are smothered, and we pace along some
mountain brook with buoyant step and happy heart that keeps time
to its purling, liquid voice. Often we see these lovely
murmuring trout brooks gleaming in hollows where quiet pools or
glistening falls await the coming of the happy youth with a
fishing rod across his shoulder. Old men, too, have found them
out and grow young again when they spend a few days along their
shady banks. They are wiser than Ponce de Leon, for they have
found the Fountain of Youth among their native hills without
going on a long journey.
We passed through Phoenicia, a small village in the valley of
Esopus creek at the southern end of the famous Stony cove.
"Stony cove has steep sides, whose frequent knife-like edges
have been carved out by erosion; on either side are crags and
high, serrated mountain peaks. Slide mountain, about ten miles
southwest from Phoenicia, has an elevation of four thousand two
hundred and thirty feet; being the highest in the Catskills.
About six miles from Phoenicia lies the village of Shandaken.
Its altitude is one thousand and sixty-four feet. The village.
takes its name from an early Indian settlement and valley,
meaning in the Indian language, "Rushing Waters." It is here
that the Bushkill and Esopus join, giving a reason for the name.
The Shandaken tunnel is to be located here. This tunnel,
contracted for by the city of New York, will cost twelve
millions of dollars. It will connect the Schoharie river and the
Gilboa reservoir with the Esopus and Ashokan reservoir."
We next entered a very picturesque country. True, the mountains
did not rise so high, as mountains go, and did not affect one as
do the sublimity and grandeur of the snow-clad Alps, yet the
warm light falling here and there in streaks and bars on
beautiful fern gardens that nodded and swayed in the cool forest
depths, where springs gushed forth in crystal clearness,
"brought that tone that all mountains have." We passed through
Arkville, a village of six hundred people.
Our curiosity was aroused concerning the name. On making inquiry
we learned that one fall there had been a freshet which carried
vast numbers of pumpkins down the east branch of the Delaware.
The house of Colonel Noah Dimmick was untouched by the water,
and his home was given the name of Noah's Ark, "from which the
name of Arkville was suggested. The summer residence of George
C. Gould, Jay Gould and Anthony J. Drexel, Jr., are located near
here. Francis J. Murphy, the noted landscape painter, owns an
ideal estate in the woods adjoining the village. The studio of
Alexander H. Wyant, who was considered one of America's best
landscape artists, is still to be seen amid its picturesque
surroundings." No wonder the place was chosen by the artists,
for they never would lack for sketches of the most picturesque
and sublime character. The work of Indians may be seen on the
inner walls of high caves, known as the Indian Rocks, rudely
carved with strange hieroglyphics.
This forenoon we feel as if we were treading hallowed ground,
for all through this beautiful region are trails that were used
by America's most beloved naturalist, John Burroughs. What a
wealth of woodland lore, fresh as these dew gemmed meadows, pure
as these crystal flowing streams, serene and high as these
beautiful hills, he has left us. How much of our enjoyment in
birds and flowers we owe to this gentle lover of the true and
beautiful in Nature. How many lives he has helped, by showing
them wherein lies the real gold of these hills. On reading his
pages, redolent with the spirit of the out-of-doors, one is
conscious of a feeling of grandeur and solemnity as when
listening to a sonata by Beethoven.
The beautiful village of Roxbury is the birthplace of this
gentle Nature lover and enthusiast. Here too, Jay Gould, the
great railroad magnate, was born. Both grew up in the same town,
amid the same sublime mountain scenery. These boys both lived on
the farm, and attended the same school, but how different the
product! Both found the work for which they were fitted. Here
the mountains are comparatively graceful and gentle in contour.
Their loveliness is unsurpassed. No wonder Mr. Burroughs was
contented to dwell here, no matter how far he traveled. Even on
his last day he was found with his face turned toward his native
hills, which afforded him such a wealth of beauty and natural
scenery and such a free and glorious life. "Mr. and Mrs. Finley
J. Shepard (Helen Gould) spend two or three months each year at
'Kirkside,' their modest summer home on the west side of Main
street, near Gould Memorial church just north of village
About three miles from Roxbury is a small village called Grand
Gorge. One and one-half miles from the village Irish and Bald
mountains tower three thousand feet, and crowd river, railroad
and highway into a narrow pass. The Gilboa reservoir is located
three miles northeast of the village, and the Shandaken tunnel
three miles east. The purpose of both the reservoir and tunnel
is to augment the great Ashokan supply. The view of the
Catskills through Grand Gorge is most beautiful. Here you
lookout over a vast mountainous landscape; the foliage of the
maples sheers regularly down, covering the mountain sides with
their leafy terraces. Far away stretches the landscape, checked
red with patches of grain or velvety meadows, marked faintly
with stone fences, giving it the appearance of a vast domain all
dreamy beneath its luminous veil.
One of the finest touring centers in the Catskills region is
Stamford, a town with a population of one thousand, situated at
the foot of Mount Utsayantha. On this mountain which is three
thousand three hundred feet above the sea, is an observation
tower, from which an unobstructed view of all the Catskills
opens up before you. Truly, Nature has been lavish in her
bestowal of rare gifts of scenic beauty at this place.
Standing there and looking out over the magnificent panorama
before us, we thought how often the eyes of that gentle lover of
Nature gazed in admiration out over the rolling hills or rested
lovingly upon some rare flower or strange bird until he gained
You will see many wonderful orchards in New York state and much
of the land is given over to the raising of fruit, for which it
seems admirably adapted. You will also notice other less
inviting regions, where the old homesteads have gone into decay.
In several places we saw many vacant homes around which crowded
whole armies of weeds, while scraggly, mossgrown apple trees
still managed to send forth a few green branches. It must have
been a scene like this which Shakespeare saw, when he wrote:
"The whole land is full of weeds; her fairest flowers
Her fruit trees all unpruned, her hedges ruined."
The crumbling moss-grown stones of the fences over which poison
vines were clambering and the myriads of wild carrot, chicory,
and ox-eye daisies added to the desolateness of the scene.
While crossing New York travelers will find it worth while to
make a journey to the Mohawk Valley, which is one of the most
beautiful in the state.
Go with us and stand on a crest of upland and you will see where
the plain abruptly ends. Here lies a rich and verdant lowland,
perhaps one hundred and fifty miles in length, spread out before
you; a vast expanse of green meadow through which the Mohawk
winds slowly and majestically to join the Hudson. You glimpse
from here a distant gap in the mountain through which the river
has worn a gorge. "Here you see a long freight train (one of the
tireless servants of the New York Central) coming from the
Mississippi valley." You are amazed that it does not have to
climb the foothills. Here you find the only level pass between
the Gulf of Mexico and the St. Lawrence, in the Appalachian
mountains. Here was the historic capital of the Five Nations.
The great castle was surrounded by numerous wigwams of the
tribe. Hiawatha lived and ruled here two centuries before. He
was the founder of the Five Nations. "He developed their life
for the good of the people. He taught them to live noble and
better lives, and was finally borne in the flesh to the happy
Who has heard of Trenton falls? We had heard much concerning
their beauty, but were not sure as to their location. After
consulting several maps and guide books which gave us no
information whatever on the subject, we decided to ask
information from the manager of the hotel, with a feeling of
certainty that we would soon be planning for the morrow's
enjoyment. Our host, who was a stout old man having a
cosmopolitan face, on being asked the location of Trenton falls,
threw his head on one shoulder and, after inspecting us for a
few moments with a "remarkably knowing air," said, "There is no
such place around here." Then brushing the ashes from his cigar
and with a nod of satisfaction at his own astuteness, he
replied, "I have been in Utica many years and never heard the
Finally one of those generous souls who always supply the
missing information appeared, just at the moment when we felt
like giving up in despair. He said, "I think there is a Trenton
falls some place hereabouts, but can't tell you where." Now the
"where" was the most important thing to us. Seeing the look of
disappointment spread over our faces, he quickly said, "I am
almost certain the tall man with the palm beach suit and straw
hat can tell you about its location."
Sherlock Holmes could not have traced a fleeing fugitive from
justice with more ardor than we the location of Trenton falls;
and like children playing a game in which the boys guess where
an object is hidden, we thought many times we were quite warm,
only to awaken to the stern realization that we were very cold.
When we summoned enough courage for an interview with the other
gentleman, it was with the feeling of a person who has an
appointment with the dentist.
The more we attempted to locate Trenton the more of a mystery it
became, and we confess this only heightened our interest the
more. The very act of locating a spot represented as famous and
now seemingly forgotten had a fascination about it that excited
our imagination; we fell into conjectures regarding the scenery,
vegetation, and above all, the location of this forgotten place.
"Trenton falls," we repeated to ourselves, is a poem of color
and a softly singing cataract that is embowered in the most
romantic landscape we have ever seen--we learned that from a
book of travel. "It is a mere echo of Niagara with the subtile
beauty and delicate charm, yet lacking the noisy, tumultuous
demonstrations of the greater cataract." What else? It may be
conveniently reached in a short time from Utica. The blue-book,
"beloved of tourists," did not deign to notice its existence if
it ever had one. We were not so sure but that it was only a
fanciful creation in the brain of some romantic writer. The more
we inquired concerning its location, the more we became aware
that here was a little spot of beauty for some reason forgotten,
lying within easy reach of Utica, yet unknown to the eyes of
After a time, we were made bold enough to venture a talk with
the tall man, who at once furnished us with the desired
information, which was as welcome to us as sight to the blind.
"Oh, yes," he said. "I have been there often, and always found
in it a certain charm not found in Niagara." Thanking him for
mapping out the road we were to take, we went to our rooms to
dream of the pleasures that awaited us on the morrow.
Several times during the night we were awakened by loud peals of
thunder, whose terrific explosions sounded at close intervals.
The sharp flashes of lightning leaped and darted their fiery
tongues across the sky, giving us a fine display of electric
signs upon the ebon curtains of the flying clouds.
Dawn came at last with a gray and murky sky, and an atmosphere
filled with mist in which there seemed no promise of relenting;
yet neither the leaden sky, nor the mist-drenched air dampened
our spirits in the least, and we started on our morning journey
with the lines of Riley ringing in our memory:
"There is ever a song somewhere, my dear,
There is ever a song somewhere,
There's the song of the lark when the skies are clear
And the song of the thrush when the skies are gray."
Whether the thrush sang or not, it mattered little to us, for
somewhere, falling from gray rocks, hidden away among deep
shadows of pine and maple, its voice hushed to a soothing murmur
as of wind among the pines, Trenton falls was singing its age-
old songs. Then, too, we felt the wordless melody of our own
joyous hearts filled with morning's enthusiasm.
The country around Utica is very beautiful. Toward the north a
short distance beyond the Mohawk river lay the picturesque
Deerfield hills, beginning of the scenic highlands which stretch
away toward the Adirondack mountains and the St. Lawrence river.
A few miles south, the Oriskany and Saquoit valleys opened up
through a beautiful rolling country, which reminded us of the
hills near Verdun, France. To the southeast are Canandaigua and
Otsego lakes, like bits of fallen sky in their pleasant setting
of hills and forests.
"Old Fort Schuyler, erected during the French and Indian war at
a ford in the Mohawk, in what is now the old northeastern part
of the city, determined the location of Utica." Not far from
here lies the main trail of the Iroquois. Here it divided; one
part went to Ft. Stanwix, now Rome, and the other led to Oneida.
Castle. General Herkimer, August, 1777, on his march from what
is Herkimer county to the battle of Oriskany, forded the Mohawk
near the site of the old fort, and though wounded, stopped there
on the return journey. But what about Trenton?
As we were trying to recall our history, which seemed to have
suddenly been forgotten, like Trenton falls, we saw that the sky
was being overcast with dark colored clouds. We were determined
to push on regardless of weather prospects, and thought how we
should soon learn the reason for Trenton's neglect.
We were hailed by a boy wearing a soldier's uniform whom we
learned was going to New York City for the purpose of procuring
a job on the boat on which he had previously served. He was an
intelligent lad, but had lost his job in a factory where he was
employed. He was only one of the thousands of ex-service men who
left the country amid the ringing cries of the politicians, who
said, "When you get back from war, the country is yours." The
country was this lad's all right, but it was such a large one in
which to be tramping in search of work. We were only too glad to
give him a lift, and when we bade him adieu, it was with a
fervent hope that he got to New York in time to get the job he
so well merited.
About fifteen miles from Utica in a wondrously picturesque
section of the Mohawk valley, we came into the town of Herkimer,
named after the hero of the battle of Oriskany. It is situated
near the mouth of Canada creek, and was originally settled by
Germans from the Rhine country.
It was here among the beautiful rolling hills, not far from
Oriskany, that Brant, the Mohawk chief, and Johnson, the Tory
leader, hid men in a ravine through which the American men would
have to pass on a line over a causeway of logs. Nearly all the
rangers and Indians in Burgoyne's army went out to waylay this
gallant little band of true Americans.
"Pressing forth eagerly to the relief of their comrades' rescue,
all ordinary precautions were neglected. When the van entered
the ravine, a terrible fire mowed down the front ranks by
scores; those in the rear fled panic-stricken from the woods.
Some of the Americans rallied and formed a defense, but it cost
them dearly. Herkimer, their brave leader, had been hit by a
bullet among the first, but in spite of the fact that his wound
was a disabling one, he continued to direct his men and
encourage them by his firm demeanor to fight on. This bravery
caused the enemy to retire, leaving the little band of heroes to
withdraw unmolested from the field. Two hundred men were killed,
and Herkimer soon died of wounds."
The town of Herkimer is very attractive. It still is full of the
undying name and fame of the gallant hero of the Revolution.
There is a statue of General Herkimer in Myers park. "To the
west of the town is Fort Herkimer church, on the site of an
ancient fortification, which was a refuge prior to the
Revolution, and a base of supplies during the war." While
thinking over those stirring days, we forgot Trenton falls for a
time. We were speedily reminded, however, that our journey was
not completed. A vivid flash of lightning and a loud crash of
thunder told us an older than British or American artillery was
in action. We left the scenes of a hero's glory under a black
and hopeless sky, from which the rain was dismally falling. The
road became very slippery and our progress was very slow. To
make matters worse, a bridge was missing and we were obliged to
go another way.
On inquiring from an old lady the nearest way to the falls, she
said, "Oh, the nearest way to the falls is to take the road you
see passing along the woods at your left; it is the next best
thing to try if you have failed in an attempt at committing
We very quickly told the old lady in unmistakable words that we
never had attempted suicide and had no inclinations along that
line yet. We were directed another way, however, and started on
once more. Several times we met people going to church in
automobiles and many wore the grave look of those who wished
they had kept their life insurance policies paid up. At one
place in the road near a steep declivity where a large machine
skidded, we saw that several devoutly crossed themselves, and
forgetting the "joined three fingers, which is symbolical of the
Trinity," they used all ten, and doubtless murmured a prayer for
the propitious completion of their journey, to which I am sure
we all could have readily echoed the amen.
All along the route we saw nothing but draggled people splashing
through the mud, their faces suggestive of fear, yellow mud, and
kindred abominations. Perhaps we were not things of beauty
either, seen through the dim perspective of rain and mud. No
doubt our faces had the appearance of sailors huddled up on
quarter-deck benches, silent and fearful of seasickness. At
last, after many vicissitudes and narrow escapes, we reached a
fine macadam road and breathed more easily and enjoyed the
scenery a bit better.
We followed a stream whose sudden and continued windings was a
never-ending delight. Its clear, cold, foam-flecked water, seen
through fringes of elm, maple and willow trees, compensated in
great measure for the discomforts we endured. It was not fringed
with reeds and lush grass, but its full flow rolled forth
undiminished, going to its source as surely as we were bound to
arrive at our destination. We discovered many points of beauty
all along the way which were not blotted out by rain or cloud,
and which shone freshly and winningly under the touch of the sun
that peeped from behind the flying clouds.
The banks of the stream were draped with clumps of foliage
overrun with wild grape and bittersweet, making fantastic
pergolas from which the clear ringing challenge of the cardinal
or the bold bugle of the Carolina wren came to us above the rush
of the waters. Just a tantalizing struggle between mist and
sunshine for perhaps an hour revealed bits of fair blue sky
overhead and clouds of vapor resting on the long wooded hills.
Far ahead the land rose in gentle undulations like a many
colored sea. When the sun shone forth for a little while we saw
a picture against the dark clouds as a background that was
almost unreal in its ethereal beauty. One rarely sees a picture
so bright and at the same time clothed in alluring distance as
these perspectives where hill rose above hill and mingled their
various hues of vegetation in clustering abysses of verdure
through which the flashing stream pursued its winding course
under mounds of foliage. The beech, maple, elm and oak sprinkled
now and then with evergreens, revealed a richness in coloring
unsurpassed. It was indeed a fairy landscape, leaving little for
the imagination; luring us on toward it with a glamour we could
not resist. Over the stone walls the groups of shrubbery lifted
their wealth of foliage; and the sumac sprinkled against this
background were like coals of fire.
The distance from Utica to Trenton cannot be more than twenty
miles, yet traveling as we did, making detours around roads with
missing bridges, it seemed six times as far.
The varied features of the landscape began to change but still
appeared quiet and lonely. Soon we saw a spacious hotel standing
on the edge of a wood that overhung a precipice. The broken
window-panes, through which twittering swallows darted, the gray
weather-beaten sides end unpatched moss-covered roof proclaimed
that Trenton falls had had its day. Nature was making the old
place a part of the landscape, and the birds were now the sole
proprietors--gay summer tourists who never grow tired of lovely
natural haunts like their human cogeners, because they are far
removed from the dust and din of travel. Here every year they
return from a tour of thousands of miles and gladden the quiet
place with their cheery songs. We met no pedestrians on the
road; no anglers were casting for fish in the stream; no boat
was anchored on its swift current--only far away like a huge
worm our field glasses revealed a monstrous flume along the
rocky bank. This solved the mystery of this once famous summer
resort. The electricity for the lights in the hotel at Utica had
their origin here in Trenton falls, and yet the proprietor had
never heard of such a place.
As we drew round a wooded point, we reached a road that led up a
short raise of ground, then through a woods where we heard the
falling water, and looking forward, all at once, a white gleam
through the undergrowth struck our eyes; another turn and a
series of dainty falls flashed splendidly in the sunlight! Not
the least of our many surprises was this. The water seemed to
hang poised before us like glorious amber curtains; the delicate
fineness of their gauzy folds gloriously revealed in irised
spray by the sunlight. "We hailed it as a charming idyl--a poem
of Nature that she cherished and hid from all but the most
"In the warm noon sunshine, with the singular luxuriance of
vegetation that clothed the terraces of rock on either side of
the stream, we could have fancied ourselves entering some
radiant landscape gardens. This gray masonry was covered with
bright blue campanula, dainty fronded ferns, light green in
color; and the air, wonderfully pure and sweet in itself from
the recent rain, was filled with delicate woodland odors." Light
exhalations seemed to rise from the steaming mould and drift
toward us; and over all like the spirit of the place, rose the
bell-like tones of the wood-thrush, while the murmur of the
falls sang a mellow accompaniment. Truly, as the poet has said,
"There is ever a song somewhere," and dull indeed are the ears
that fail to hear it. Looking out over the woods filled with the
murmur of the falls, we wondered what people listened to its
voice before the white man's foot was planted among this vast
solitude. Here the war songs of the Oneidas had arisen or smoke
from their camp fires curled among the tree tops.
The larger falls are seen to best advantage from a rocky ledge,
where you can watch the waters calmly bending over the
precipice. You at once notice that the stream is lined with
glacier polished rocks, and that somber evergreens cling
tenaciously to the bank or ledges above the river, wherever they
can gain a foothold. "How hardy they are, like the virile tribes
of the North, healthy and flourishing in an environment where
less vigorous species would perish."
At the opposite side from us there had been a landslide and many
evergreens had met their death, yet a few now clung to the small