Frances S Howe.

14000 miles : a carriage and two women online

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— Shelley.


Two Copies Received

NOV 26 i906

OCojyrlffht Entry

Copyright, 1906, by
Frances S. Howe.







This book is privately printed and
the edition is limited. It contains re-
ports of an unbroken series of annual
drives through New England, New York
State and Canada. Copies will be sent
on receipt of price, $1.50, and 15 cents
additional for express or postage.

Address, Leominster, Mass.

Miss F. S. Howe,

60 i\Tt. Pleasant Ave., or

Miss F. C. Allen,

5 Park Street.


Many of these informal reports of more than 14,000

miles' driving were written for the Boston Evening

Transcript some years ago, and the later letters for the

Leominster Daily Enterprise. They cover an unbroken

series of summer and autumn journeys, which have never

lost any of the freshness and charm of that first little trip

of two hundred miles along the Connecticut. A drive

across the continent, or even on the other side of the

water would seem less of an event to us now than that

first carriage journey. This volume is a response to

"You ought to make a book," from many who have been

interested in our rare experience.

F. C. A.

F. S. H.
Leominster, Mass.


I. Summer Travels in a Phaeton,
II. Chronicle of the Tenth Annual Drive

III. Old Orchard and Boston,


V. Connecticut, with side trip to New


VI. DixviLLE Notch and Old Orchard,
VII. Catskills, Lake George and Green


VIII. Narragansett Pier and Manomet Point
IX. White Mountains and Vermont,

(A Six Hundred Miles Drive.)

X. By Phaeton to Canada,

(Notes of a Seven Hundred Miles Trip.)

XI. Outings in Massachusetts,

XII. Bar Harbor and Boston, .

XIII. DixviLLE Notch and the North Shore

XIV. The Kennebec Journey,
XV. On Highways and Byways,

(1S94. TO 1904,.)

XVI. Lake Memphremagog.








POSTSCRIPT. Buggy Jottings of Seven Hundred
Miles Driving, 265

Circuit of the New Engl.knd States.

14000 MILES

14000 MILES



"We were a jolly pair, we two, and ladies at that ; and
we had decided to go, amid the protestations of the
towns-people and the remarks of Madam Grundy that it
was not proper, and that there were so many tramps it
was not prudent for two ladies to take a trip with their
horse and carriage along the North Shore. Nevertheless,
we take our lives in our hands, and 'do the trip' in a
large comfortable, roomy buggy," etc.

A letter in the Boston Evening Transcript, under the
heading "Along the North Shore," from which the para-
graph above is taken, so aptly describes a part of one of
our journeys, that we cannot resist the temptation to
tell you something of our travels, which our friends no
longer consider daring and experimental, but a thor-
oughly sensible and delightful way of combining rest and

In the summer of 1872, "we two, and ladies at that,"
made our trial trip, with the consent and approval of
family friends for our encouragement, and the misgiv-
ings and fears of those outside to inspire us with caution.
Tramps were not in fashion, and I have forgotten what
was the terror of those days. Like the "other two," we
were equipped with a pet horse — safe, but with no lack

14000 MILES

of spirit — a roomy phaeton, with lunch basket, wraps,
books, fancy work and writing materials all at hand.
Our bags, with rubber coverings, were strapped under-
neath the carriage. Some cautious reader may like to
know that we did not forget to put in the "box" a
wrench, a bottle of oil, strong cord, etc., for emergencies.
Of course we had a map, for geography was not taught
very practically in our school days, and we should be
lost without one. We made no definite plans beyond
the first day, but had vaguely in mind, if all went well,
to drive through the valley of the Connecticut River.

Our first day's ride took us around Wachusett. We
did not delay to climb its woody slopes, for we had
many times visited our little mountain, and knew its
charms by heart. It was new scenes we were seeking,
and we were eagerly anticipating the drive along the
Connecticut, fancying that much more beautiful and
romantic than the familiar hills. It was not until we
reached the hot, sandy roads, and were surrounded by
tobacco fields, with rarely a glimpse of the river, that
we realized that valleys are most enjoyable when seen
from the hill-tops. The peculiar charm of the view from
Mt. Holyoke we can never forget. A picture like that
of the Northampton meadows, with the silvery river
winding through them, we have found on no other hill
or mountain-top.

If this trial journey had proved our last, we would like
to recall it in detail ; but, as it has been succeeded by
others more extended, we must hastily pass by the nov-
elty of our first crossing the Connecticut by ferry, the
historic points of interest in old Deerfield, the terrific


14000 MILEvS

thunderstorm just after we left Greenfield, the Broad
Brook drive as we neared Brattleboro, the profuse quan-
tity of lovely maidenhair ferns by the roadside, dripping
with the morning rain, our lunch on the shore of Lake
Spofiford, and so on to Keene and Jafifrey.

How can we so hastily pass over the ascent of grand
old Monadnock? Perhaps we enjoyed it all the more
for the repeated protests of the youthful proprietor of
the Mountain House, who assured us the feat was im-
possible, as the heavy showers which we had so much
enjoyed in our morning drive had converted the path
into a series of cascades. The mists which had entirely
concealed the mountain were just breaking away, and we
made the ascent in the face of warnings and water, yield-
ing to no obstacles. Before we left the summit it was
mostly clear, and we thought little of our moist condi-
tion or the difficulties of the descent before us as we
feasted our eyes, watching the showers as they moved
on from village to village in the valley below, leaving a
burst of sunlight in their wake. Our descent was rapid,
notwithstanding difficulties, and when we reached the
hotel, so delightfully located on the side of the mountain,
we forthwith decided to prolong our stay. After a cosy
supper, for we were the only guests, we repaired to the
rocks to watch the sunset clouds, which are rarely finer.
It was mild, and we lingered while the darkness gath-
ered, until the mountain looked so black and lonely we
did not like to think we had stood on that peak alone
only a few hours before. While we watched, the clouds
began to brighten, and soon the moon appeared in her
full glory, making the whole scene one of indescribable


14000 MILES

beauty. The next day was Sunday, and a lovelier day
never dav^ned. The peculiar Sunday quiet pervaded the
very atmosphere, and we sat on the rocks reading, writ-
ing and musing all day, enjoying such a season of rest as
one seldom experiences.

Two days more passed, and we were safe at home,
after an absence of only ten days, and about two hun-
dred miles' driving, but with delightful recollections,
which cannot be forgotten in a lifetime. This trial trip
was so successful that when another summer came it was
taken for granted by our friends that we should try
again, and we started, equipped as before with map, but
no plan — only an inclination to face north. Following
this inclination took us through many thrifty towns and
villages, and gave us delightful drives over hills and
through valleys, until we found ourselves spending a
night with the Shakers on the top of a high hill in Can-
terbury, N. H. The brothers and sisters were unsparing
in their attentions, though strict in certain requirements.
We left them next morning, with a generous Shaker
lunch in our basket, and turned our horse toward Alton
Bay. As Brother George and Sister Philena assured us,
it was the longest, roughest and loneliest ten miles' drive
we had ever taken. The round trip on Lake Winnipi-
seogee the following day was a delightful contrast.

We now began to study our map, for we had not even
a vague idea where next. We started at last, not anx-
ious, but aimless ; and after wandering several days in
obedience to the will of the hour, landed on Wells
Beach ; we passed Sunday on York Beach ; then drove on
to Portsmouth, where we left our horse for a day to visit


14000 MILEvS

the Isles of Shoals. The places of resort and interest as
we followed the coast to Gloucester, Rye, Hampton, Sal-
isbury, etc., are well known. After refreshing ourselves
at Gloucester with rowing and moonlight bathing we
returned to Newburyport, where we saw the homes of
Lord Timothy Dexter, Harriet Prescott Spofford. and
others of note. An excursion on the Merrimac in a barge,
and the drive by the river road to Bradford and Haver-
hill, we found very pleasant. It was in this vicinity that,
for the first time, we were received ungraciously. The
good landlady of an old-fashioned inn reluctantly re-
ceived us, after rebuking us for the abuse of our horse,
little knowing how much more thoughtful we were of
him than of ourselves. He looked tired that night, for
the seashore had not agreed with him, and I think had
her knowledge extended so far, she would have reported
us to the S. F. T. P. O. C. T. A. However, after cross-
examination, she conducted us to a room spotlessly clean,
the floor covered with the choicest of braided mats, and
two beds mountain high, but expressly enjoined us "not
to tumble but one of them." We left the next morning
laden wath good advice, wdiich, carefully followed, re-
turned us safely home ere many days, with our horse in
better condition than when we started on our journey.

Of course we were ready to go again the next year,
this time starting southerly, spending nights in North-
boro, Franklin, Taunton and Tiverton Stone Bridge.
Thus far the scenery and roads do not compare favorably
with those in New^ Hampshire ; but when we reached
Newport, we were compensated for lack of interesting


14000 MILEvS

Margery Deane tells your readers all one needs to
know of this place of places. So we will find our way to
New Bedford, leave our horse and take a look at Mar-
tha's Vineyard for a few days. Our first impression of
the "Cottage City" was that of a miniature Newport ; but
this every one knows all about, so we will go on to
Plymouth, where we saw everything worth seeing.
Plymouth Rock Avould have satisfied us more fully had
it looked as it does in the pictures of the "Landing,"
instead of being out in the midst of dry land, with a
pagoda built over it, and inscriptions to remind one that
it is not an ordinary flagstone.

We found much that interested us in Marshfield,
Hingham, and Milton with its Blue Hills. We have not
forgotten a night at the homelike Norfolk House, and an
afternoon devoted to the famed residences in Water-
town. We drove to Point Shirley one morning during
our stay near Boston, and on returning gave our journey
another historic touch by going to the top of Bunker Hill
Monument ; and still another a few days later, as we
visited the old battle-grounds in Lexington and Concord,
on our way home.

Before another summer, whispers of tramps were
heard, and soon they were fully inaugurated, making us
tremble and sigh as we thought of the opposition that
threatened us. A revolver was suggested, in case we
persisted in facing this danger, and finally as go we
must, we condensed our baggage that it might be out of
sight, and confidently took the reins, having no fear of
anything ahead, so long as our greatest terror — a loaded
revolver — was close at hand, not "hidden away in one


14 AI I L E vS

corner under the seat," but in a little pocket made on
purpose, where it could be seized without delay when
our game appeared. As we shall not refer to our "com-
panion" again, never having had occasion to use it, we
will say here that it is no longer a terror but a sort of
chaperone, in whose care we rest secure.

Our driving this season was within the limits of our
own State, and we have yet to find anything more truly
beautiful than western Massachusetts, wuth its Berk-
shire hills and grand old towns, Stockbridge, Lee and
Lenox. Our map was on a small scale, and the distance
from Pittsfield to the Hudson River looked very short,
so we ordered good care for our horse, and took the six
o'clock train one morning for Hudson, where we met the
boat for New York. The day was perfect, and our
enjoyment complete. We reached the city at dusk, and
next thought to surprise a friend, twenty miles out, in
New Jersey, where we received a joyous welcome. The
next day we devoted to New York, returning by night
boat to Hudson, and before nine o'clock the following
morning, after forty miles by rail again, we resumed our
driving from Pittsfield, delighted with our side trip of
nearly four hundred miles, but oh ! so glad to be in our
cosy phaeton once more. The homeward route was full
of interesting details, which we must leave.

Centennial year came next, and we made our shortest
trip, driving only one hundred and fifty miles in New
Hampshire in early autumn.

The tramp terror increased at home and abroad, and
w'hen summer came again our "guardians" looked so
anxious, we said nothing, and went camping instead of


14000 MILES

driving. A party of twelve, on the shores of Lake
Wachusett, with royal accommodations in the number
and size of tents and hammocks and three boats at a
private landing', diverted us at the time. But, as the sea-
son waned, we pined, and before October was gone we
were permitted to revolve around the "Hub" for two
weeks, supposed to be quite safe, while so near the centre
of civilization. It was like a June day when we sat on
the rocks at Nahant, and like November when dreariest,
as we drove around Marblehead Neck, and watched the
ocean so dark and angry; while the chill winds pierced
our thickest wraps only a few days later. We shall not
soon forget our drive from Cambridge to Hingham in the
severest northeast storm of the season, or our delight
on the rocks at Nantasket, after this three-days' storm
cleared, and we felt the dashing spray. Our "Hub"
journey was none the less interesting for being familiar,
and we did not omit the attractions of W'ellesley on our
way home.

Early in the following July, the New Hampshire tramp
law having come to our rescue, we once more turned our
faces toward the ever beautiful Lake Winnipiseogee.
We renevv^ed our acquaintance with the Canterbury
Shakers, and as we always avail ourselves of whatever
is new or interesting in our path, stopped over for a day
at Weirs Landing to witness the inauguration of the
Unitarian grove meetings. After the opening of this
feast of reason we were of one mind, and without delay
provided good board and care for our horse for a week,
and settled down to three and four services a day.
After the accomplishment of this feat we visited points

14 M I L E vS

of interest al)Oiit Centre Harbor. In accordance with our
usual good fortune we had a perfectly clear day on Red
Hill, and appreciated all Starr King has written of its
charms. The day spent at Ossipee Falls and Cascades
gave us unbounded pleasure. We reveled in the rough
walking and climbing, and after exploring above and
below the falls, we were all ready to enjoy the lunch our
hostess had prepared for our party, which we spread on
a huge rock in the narrow gap. Our horse rested while
we climbed, and the ten miles return drive to Centre
Harbor required our utmost skill. On the following day
we drove to Concord, N. H., a distance of forty miles.
After spending a few days with friends in this charming
place, we drove on, passing a night at the Mountain
House, Monadnock, to refresh the memories of our first
visit there, and breathing the pure air of Petersham,
Barre and Princeton as we journeyed towards our own
beautiful Leominster.

After these seven years' wanderings, we were con-
sidered virtually members of the great "Order of
Tramps," and from that time to the present we have had
full and free consent "to go to our own company" ; and
when we boldly proposed crossing the Green Moun-
tains to pay a visit to friends near Lake Champlain, all
agreed it would be a delightful thing for us to do. AVe
closely followed the familiar railroad route through
Keene. Bellows Falls and Rutland ; it was a glorious
drive all the way. At one time we seemed buried in the
mountains without any way of escape, but we had only
to follow our winding road, which after many twistings
and turnings brought us to Ludlow. The next night we

14000 MILES

were safely over the mountains, and soon were with our

Our week in the cosy town of Benson, surrounded by
high hills, must be left to your imagination. We will
only tell you of a visit to Lake George. A party of fifty,
we started at six o'clock one morning, in all sorts of
vehicles. Four miles' jolting up and down steep hills
took us to Benson Landing, Lake Champlain, and in
course of time (a dozen people in a heavy two-horse
wagon, and two other vehicles on a scow, towed by two
men in a rowboat, is by no means rapid transit.) the
several detachments of our party were safely landed on
the opposite side. And then, what a ride ! We never
dreamed that the narrow strip of land between Lake
Champlain and Lake George, only four miles across,
could give us so much pleasure. At first we held our
breath, but soon learned that the driver and horses were
quite at home, and gave our fears to the winds as they
galloped up hills almost perpendicular only to trot down
again to the sound of the grating brakes, the wheels
going over great rocks on one side one minute and
down in a deep rut on the other side the next. We
many times congratulated ourselves that we joined the
party in the big wagon, instead of driving our good
Charlie, as first planned. The steepest pitch of all
brought us at last to the shore of the beautiful Lake
George, at a point about ten miles south of Ticonderoga,
where the boat was to meet us by special arrangement.

Only those who have experienced it can realize what
we enjoyed on that bright day, as we glided over the



mirror-like waters, enraptured with the loveliness sur-
rounding us.

After a few hours' rest at Fort William Henry, we
were ready for the return sail. As we landed, our driver
stood by his horses, eager for a start ; a few of us
expressed our willingness to walk for a while, possibly
remembering the last fearful pitches in that rough road,
as well as the beautiful cardinal flowers and ferns we
desired to gather. After a walk and run of nearly two
miles, the driver summoned us to the wagon, just
before we reached the pitch we most dreaded and were
hastening to avoid. We obeyed, and now galloped on
until we reached Lake Champlain again, and took breath
while we slowly ferried across in the gathering twilight.
Our remaining four miles was a glorious moonlight drive.
As we entered the village it seemed impossible that we
had been away only since morning, for we had seen and
enjoyed so much.

The next day we turned our thoughts homeward. Not
wishing to return by the same route, we ventured into
New York State, and after two or three days reached
Saratoga Springs. All frequenters of this resort can
easily imagine our routine there — the drive to the lake at
the approved time, etc. The roving spirit so possessed
us that we left the scene of gayety without regret, and
on we went over the hills to take a look at Bennington on
our way to North Adams. We drove over Hoosac
Mountain, but have yet to see its charms; the mist con-
cealed everything but our horse. We waited two hours
at a farmhouse near the summit for fair weather, but in


14 M I L E vS

vain. As we started in despair the clouds parted for an
instant, giving us glimpses into the valley, then united
and came down upon us in a deluging rain. Our
dripping horse carefully picked his way down the steep
mountain, and when we reached the level road the water
was nearly a foot in depth for some distance. We
splashed along quite happy, for this was not half so
aggravating as the fitful mist of the morning, which
every moment promised to clear away. The rest of our
journey was pleasant, but uneventful.

As we reviewed the drive of four hundred miles, we
felt we must have reached the climax within our limits.
But no! we added another hundred miles, and extended
our time to nearly a month on our next trip.

Lacking definite plans as usual, we drove to Lake
Winnipiseogee once more, thinking another session of
the Grove meeting at Weirs would be a good beginning.
When the glorious week ended, there was seemingly an
adjournment to the White Mountains, and as we had
faithfully attended these meetings from the first, it was
clearly our duty to follow ; so on we drove, resting our
horse at Plymouth, spending the night at Campton
Village, and next day visiting in turn the attractions of
the Pemigewasset Valley, the Flume, Pool, Basin,
Profile and Echo Lake. Passing on through the beau-
tiful Notch, night overtook us at Franconia. On our
way to Bethlehem, the following morning, we left our
horse for an hour and walked up J\It. Agassiz, which well
repaid the effort. With the aid of a glass we traced the
drive before us, through Bethlehem's one long street,
past the Twin Mountain House and along the Cherry



Mountain road, turning until it nearly described a half-
circle, and finally reaching Jefferson.

We realized far more than Mt. Agassiz promised. We
were leaving the beauties of the Franconia ^fountains
and nearing the grandeur of the White Mountain range,
and in many respects it was the most impressive drive of
our journey. The last four miles from Jefferson to the
Highlands, just at sunset facing Mts. Washington,
Jefferson, Adams and Madison, was beyond description.
Here we spent several days ; for three reasons : We had
surely found the headquarters of the "adjournment,"
for we met many Weirs friends ; then, too, we were
floating about on the northerly margin of our map, and
could go no farther in that direction, and lastly, we were
waiting for a favorable day for Mt. Washington.

One of these waiting days we spent on Mt. Adams ;
two of us, out of our party of seven, registering our
names in the "little tin box" at the summit.

It was an exhausting climb of four miles, up the
roughest and most beautiful path imaginable, marked
out by the Appalachian Club. We encountered four
hailstorms, and suffered extremely from cold on that
August day, but the five minutes' perfectly clear view
more than compensated. The gathering mist, which had
cleared just for our glimpse, warned us to seek our path,
and we rapidly descended to the Appalachian camp,
where we found our friends and a glowing fire. After a
rest and lunch we continued our descent. An hour's ride
after we reached the base brought us to our Jefferson
"home" again, delighted with the day's experience. The
sun went down in great glory, and the weather


14000 MILES

authorities declared the morrow would be a fine day for
Mt. Washington ; so, despite stiffened and aching joints,
we took our breakfast at halfpast five, and at six o'clock
we were snugly packed in our phaeton, with blankets and
wraps all in use, for it was cold. Our good horse felt the
inspiration of the morning, and we started ofif briskly on
our thirteen miles' drive over Cherry Mountain to the
Fabyan House, where we took the early train up Mt.
Washington. Everybody does this, so we will leave
without comment, except on the unusual clearness of the
view, and hasten to our driving.

We reached Fabyan's again after the slow descent at
half-past four. Our carriage was ready; and in less than

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