Posts Tagged ‘railroad’

Going beyond an antique or vintage postcard’s image can sometimes lead to some of the juiciest historical tidbits.  Insert a couple of quick eyebrow raises.  A rather stilted recitation of Manchester, NH  history (but still a good source of historical info), was where I found my juicy tidbits this time – Manchester, Hillsborough County, NH – History and Genealogy .

Antique train postcard of Manchester, NH railroad station

Antique train postcard of Manchester, NH railroad station

The page starts out in 1604, but let’s jump to 1839.  You ask, “What happened in September, 1839?”  I’ll tell you.  Jeremiah Johnson was killed by Elbridge Ford.  Elbridge was tried the next year and found guilty of manslaughter.  He was sentenced to five years in prison, but pardoned after three; not much justice for Jeremiah.  Why was this murder notable?  The page’s entry just previous to this tells of a vote to establish a system of police – in October, 1839!  There is nothing like a murder to light a fire under a town’s butt.  Unfortunately, this was too late for poor Jeremiah.

Let’s jump ahead to 1853 to when Bayley, Blood, and Company, or Vulcan Works, was established.  Sorry Trekki fans, no relation to Spock.  In 1854, Vulcan Works became Manchester Locomotive Works.  By 1875, Manchester Locomotive Works had turned out 786 locomotives (beyond capacity).  That’s a lot of trains.  I wonder if any of them are still around.

Where does Levi come into this story?  Around 1873, Levi Strauss started making what became their famous “blue jeans” or riveted clothing.  The denim for them was made at Manchester’s Amoskeag Manufacturing Company.  Cool.

* You can find more railroad station postcards in my store, Remember When Vintage Postcards.

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Railroad Depot Postcard, Pocatello, ID

Oregon Short Line Depot in Pocatello, Idaho. Built in 1884 in the second empire style; expanded and improved in 1915. This postcard was published by the Gray News Co. of Salt Lake City.

Pocatello, an Idaho railroad town established in 1892, held its first election in 1893.  This town of over 3ooo elected a mayor with quite an eventful history, Edward Stein.  

A Revolutionary’s Bribe

Edward’s grandfather, Baron Von Stein, was thrown in prison for following reformer (or revolutionary) Carl Schurz.  Edward was educated at the Prussian University.  His republican tendencies led him to become interested in America.  In 1871, he boarded a steamer for New York – without a passport.  A passport would have led to German military service for Edward. 

The steamer’s officers were warned he didn’t have a passport, but demanded to see one anyway.  After a rather vocal search, Edward had no choice but to hand over the “packet” in his pocket.  It contained the money his father had given him to start out in America.  The bribe worked.

A Highwayman’s Good Deed

Edward made it to Chicago, where his limited funds finally failed.  This resulted in pawning the last of his belongings.  While wondering the streets of Chicago, a highwayman stuck a gun in his face ordering “hands up”.  After learning Edward was penniless, the highwayman bought him a meal.  He also told Edward where to find a job.  This was ironic coming from a highwayman.

So in 1893- a man with a titled past, who bribed a steamer officer to avoid German military service, and got robbed by a highwayman with a conscience was elected the first mayor of Pocatello, Idaho.

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