Joseph E. C. (Joseph Ellis Coffee) Farnham.

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J{ Brief Crip to the


Dallas «««



J\ Brief Crip to the Southwest







R 1919 L

IRespectfulls Unscribefc


Associate Brethren on the Grand Board,
Past and Present

k ff.

A Limited Number of Copies

Printed for

Private Distribution


Perhaps it was needless that this book should have been
made. The sketch herein narrated was first written for personal
pleasure. On reading the first part to the home circle, one ot
the family said, "Why don't you make a little book of it?"
Hence the reason for its appearance.

The account is written connectedly, as if our entire journey
was by daylight. The reader, however, comprehending the long
distance covered, will at once realize that a large part of it was
travelled by night. On the return home, we re-travelled by day
certain sections which were traversed in the darkness on the out-
ward trip. Thus were we afforded an opportunity for sight-
seeing nearly the entire way. Therefore the story is related
unitedly, in order to give a descriptive, connected, and pano-
ramic picture of the country en-route from " Providence to

Much of the story related is from observation and from mem-
ory ; the writer nevertheless acknowledges recourse to different
printed works for valuable data and facts woven into the narra-

j. e. c. F.

May i, 1897.


Providence to Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls to St. Louis.

St. Louis to Hot Springs.

Hot Springs to Dallas.

Providence to lliagara Tails

HE PLEASURE and delight of travel are alike
fascinating to him who is so fortunate as to
make frequent and long journeys, and to him
whose trips are less numerous and more limited.
But, aside from the pleasure and delight thus afforded,
the educative effect and mental development thereby-
secured are, to most people, beyond estimate. Charming
indeed, in anticipation and in realization, is a trip " across
the water " to visit the " mother country," and from thence
extending over the eastern continent, and penetrating
even into the Oriental lands, rich in ancient biblical lore,
and sacred with human and Divine touch of " Him
who spake as never man spake," and who, while " man-
ifest in the flesh," "went about doing good."

It is not, however, needful that one should go to the
fatherland in order to find delight and pleasure, and to be
educated and mentally helped by travel and adventure,
for fascinating and helpful to the amplest degree is the
charm of mountain and valley, of river and lake, of for-
est and prairie, of city and country, in our own beautiful,
extensive, and loved America.

In visiting different sections, interest and instruction
attaches at once and always to the varying customs and
manners of the people, to the ever changing variety of
the " make-up " of the town or the city, both as to archi-


tectum] effect and the dissimilar methods of business
and of trade. While the same general fundamental or
underlying principle governs in the life and business of
our entire American system of States, forming the grand
compact which we are pleased and proud to style the
Federation or National Union, yet in detail the every-
day experiences in the domestic and business career of
our people are essentially different. As varied and as
varying as is the life of our common citizenship, equally
so and more are the variety and change of the country
itself, spread out to view as we spin over the continent
in carriage, stage or car.

A trip in September, 1896, from Providence to the
beautiful southern city of Dallas in the " lone star State,"
afforded me not only intense delight, but also afforded
inestimable mental profit both in the journey to and the
sojourn in the objective city named.

Leaving Providence by the " Consolidated," we joined
our party at Worcester on the Boston and Albany train,
having our own chartered sleeping car through to Chi-
cago. Mutual greetings with friends occasionally seen
were at once exchanged, followed by introductions to
then strangers who immediately became friends, and we
settled down to a social acquaintance which became
almost equal to an endearing family tie, and which con-
tinued throughout our four days and nights of travel
together into the "southwest."

The ride through western Massachusetts, amid the
forest-clad Berkshire hills, broken ever and anon by flow-


ing stream and enchanting water-fall, the homes he re and
there of our frugal and hard- working agriculturalists,
the large and busy populated centres, formed, in combina-
tion, a picture so winsome as to make lasting impres-
sions upon the memory, and prove a constant delight for
future reflection. Continuing on, hour after hour, with
ever changing natural panorama, the eye is feasted, while
the mind revels in an intellectual treat. Daylight gradu-
ally fades, darkness deepens, the panoramic outside picture
is lost, the gas is lighted, and we engage in a social even-
ing of conversation and of games. Bed-time arrives, we
seek rest in our " sleepers," Morpheus controls our intel-
lect and our powers, and so, day and night on and ever
on we roll, stopping only occasionally at a few of the
larger stations en route. A few brief hours, and the gray
tints of morning appear, daylight comes again, we arise
from our slumber, which, perchance, has not been as
refreshing as repose in our bed at home, yet we feel re-
vived, and after making our toilet, take observations to
find where we are, and re-enter upon our pleasurable
journey by daylight.

Although ours is a through car, yet we travel by differ-
ent routes, and, passing from the Boston and Albany to
the New York Central and Hudson River railroad, we
continue our way across the country of the majestic Em-
pire State, past city and town, mountain and vale, with
beautiful level stretches of cultivated land, rich in
harvest fruits, the corn ready for the garner, the exten-
sive, numerous and temptings vintages, with luscious


and appetizing bunches of grapes hanging in abundance
on the vines. At Syracuse our train waits for about
twenty-five minutes, and disembarking we enter the grace-
ful railway station, where we partake of a nice breakfast,
then resuming our trip fly on to the busy and attractive
city of Buffalo, from whence, after a brief tarry, we depart
for Niagara Falls, arriving at about noon and in good
time for dinner at the Tower House. Here we are to
stop for rest and prospecting until evening.

Niagara, — the Indian word for "thunder of the waters,"

— what a charming spot; who is able to describe it?
Much has been written, much will be written, of this
wonderful natural attraction, yet its wonders have never
been, never can be, fully disclosed. To appreciate Niag-
ara, — this whirling, rolling, tumbling river, with its
enchanting falls, its awe-inspiring chasms, its lovely
islands, its marvelous springs, its majestic wal ed-in-sides,

— this renowned stream, washing the shores of America
and of Canada, one must personally visit; and to visit
is but to admire and to be enraptured.

It has been said, and right truly, too, " The natural
beauty of many falls and cataracts command admiration,
but there is only one Niagara." Many are the delights
of this romantic spot. For miles amid these interesting
surroundings the tourist may wander spell-bound on
either hand and all about him. The famous American
Fall lies between Prospect Point and Goat Island. It is
1,000 feet across, and millions of gallons of water flow
constantly over it to a descent of one hundred and fifty-



eight feet ; this immense volume of water dashes on the
gigantic hidden rocks below, and reacting sends the silvery
spray and foam hundreds of feet in the air. It is a mag-
nificent spectacle, a constant delight to the eye, and is so
carefully and securely walled about at its extreme edge on
the American side that the tourist may stand at its very
brink at Prospect Point, with the huge sheet of falling
water close to his feet, shielded from harm by an iron bal-
ustrade or railing. Above the American Fall the turbu-
lent, swiftly-flowing Niagara river, tossed into perpetual
motion, comes tumbling down, the Rapids just above the
Fall having a descent of forty feet in half a mile.

The Horseshoe Fall, so named from its horseshoe
shape, and sometimes called the Canadian Fall, extends
from the side of Goat Island opposite to the American
shore across to the Dominion of Canada. The fall of
the water here is equally picturesque, and has about the
same descent as the American Fall. It is estimated that
15,000,000 cubic feet of water pass over the Falls every
minute, or about one cubic mile per week. Above the
Horseshoe Fall are the Cascade Rapids, having a seeth-
ing rolling descent of nearly fifty-five feet in three
quarters of a mile. The great chain of lakes above the
Falls, supplied by the streams from the valleys, the rains
and the melting snows from the mountains, are ever feed-
ing and never cease in their supply of this vast volume of
water, — so grand, so awful, so sublime, so magnificent, so
fascinating, in its varied flow and fall over these colossal
chasms and hidden rocks, on and ever on, out through



the neighborly lake, the contiguous streams, rivers and
water-ways, until it loses itself in the great ocean. The
entire system is a stately problem of nature, unsolved and
unsolvable, nevertheless man, with his genius, his science
and his mathematics, has been for ages working at this
problem, and many interesting facts of this marvelous,
unrivaled stream, have been adduced.

Many are the points of interest in and about Niagara.
So numerous are they that to detail them would be to
write a book of many pages ; a brief mention of some of
these, however, will be of interest.

Prospect Park is a State reservation, containing
twelve acres, with an extended frontage on the gorge and
on the river just above the American Fall. Here stands
the Library Building, where one may " examine charts of
all the great lakes and the source of the water down the
Niagara and St. Lawrence rivers."

From Goat Island Bridge one of the finest of the many
attractive views of Niagara is afforded. As you stand
here you may discover, at your left, Brig Island and Ship
Island, while at your right you may behold Avery's Rocks,
Chapin Island, Robinson Island, Blackbird Island, and
Crow Island, to which "there is no access as it is felt
that they are far more attractive in appearance than they
would be bridged. Lovers of natural scenery, who admire
the perfection of these green islands removed from the
touch of man, will rejoice to see them remain in their
present isolated condition, illustrations of the beauty and
harmony of nature's handiwork."


Passing on we come to "Bath Island, so named from
the fact that years ago there were bath-houses located
there." On this island is the office of the Commissioners
of the State Reservation at Niagara.

Still passing on, across another bridge, and we come
to Goat Island with its adjacent smaller islands, which
together embrace about eighty acres. This island ob-
tained the name which it bears from the fact "that, in 1779,
John Steadman having cleared a portion of the upper
end, placed some goats upon it, and afterwards neglected
to care for them. The coldness of the ensuing winter
killed them," and thus arose the name Goat Island. This
spot " is to-day a temple of nature, at whose shrine thou-
sands of people from all over the world annually pay
their tribute of praise." It is, indeed, sacred ground
from the lavishness of nature in the sublimity of its

Picturesque " Luna Island is reached by a substantial
stairway and bridge which spans a graceful sheet of
water sixty feet wide. The island derives its name from
the fact that the Lunar bow is seen here to the best advan-
tage." " The island trembles from the fearful force of
the falling water. It was while standing here, on Sunday,
October 13, 1889, that a member of the Pan-American
party observed that it was standing as near death as pos-
sible. The view here is a very desirable one, and espec-
ially is this true while standing at the top of the stairway
leading to the island. The American Fall is seen in all
of its magnificence, and the eye follows the gorge for fully


two miles." Between Luna Island and Goat Island is a
pretty water-fall called the Central Fall.

From Goat Island, on its westerly side, are the Biddle
Stairs, which were built in 1829, to enable visitors to
descend to the Cave of the Winds. A visit to this won-
derful Cave necessitates the donning of a water-proof
dress, and it is essential, too, that one has an experienced
guide, as such a visit is not unattended with danger.
" Standing in the Cave the beautiful sheet of water falls
before you, and the outer world is curtained from view."
This remarkable Cave is a sublime sight, and has been
"formed wholly by the action of the water washing away
the soft substratum of the precipice, and the hard lime-
stone rock is left arching above."

At the top of the cliff, after proceeding a little fur-
ther in the midst of the beautiful surroundings Terrapin
Point is reached. From here, standing right at the
edge of the Fall, just where it pours over the precipice,
one has a grand view. <( A more imposing sight cannot
be imagined. In the gorge below, the Niagara continues
toward Lake Ontario, boiling and seething, after the
plunge, and for fully 1,000 feet from the base of the Falls
is as white as milk. Above are the Rapids, rushing
towards you, and it is in the midst of such surroundings
that the weakness of man is most apparent."

A charm amid this charming locality is the Three Sis-
ter Islands. From here you have an unsurpassed view
of the Canadian Rapids, which run at the rate of twenty-
eight miles per hour. Here before you are the beautiful


Upper Rapids, and the spot is truly entrancing. Pass
from one to the other of these islands, and from each the
view is admirable. " From the head of the Third Sister
Island may be seen one continuous cascade, extending
from Goat Island to the Canadian shore, varying from
ten to twenty feet in height. But a short distance along
this line of breakers is Spouting Rock, so named from its
frequent tossing of the water high in the air."

Returning to the head of Goat Island, reached by
following the road to the east, we obtain a fine view of
the upper portion of Niagara river, which is broad,
quiet, and placid, failing in the slightest degree to convey
the announcement of the fearful rough waters below.
Rambling about the island, before crossing the bridges
to return to the mainland, the tourist will find captivating
scenes innumerable to hold him in admiration and in awe.

To derive the most possible from a visit to Niagara,
and to make sure that none of the almost countless beau-
ties and attractions are passed by unnoticed and unknown,
it is not only desirable but absolutely needful that you
provide yourself with an experienced guide and a conven-
ient conveyance.

To meet the requirements of visitors of moderate means,
and afford to them an opportunity for sight seeing at a
small cost, there has been constructed and is now in suc-
cessful operation on the American side of the river an elec-
tric railway, called The Great Gorge Route, running from
the city of Niagara Falls to Lewiston, a distance of seven
miles. This ride, for natural scenery, grandeur, and con-


stant absorbing interest, is unexcelled by any similar
stretch of railroad in the world. Journeying by this road,
which is equipped with as fine electric cars as have ever
been built, we are soon at the river, and as we travel
down through the gorge, closely following the river's side,
every moment is one of pleasure with its ever dissolving
and entertaining views. Prominent of these is The
Whirlpool Rapids, about two miles below the Falls. Here



" the quiet surface of the river is broken as the waters
plunge in their maddening course to the lower lake
through the narrow gorge only three hundred feet wide."
Lashed and tumbled into a milky whiteness, the terrific
force of this ponderous mass of water would produce vast
havoc but for the formidable banks on either side which
hold it in supreme check. These Rapids, in all their
beauty and majesty, can be viewed and admired in per-
fect safety while standing at the very river's edge. Ele-
vators have been constructed, on both the American and
Canadian sides of the river, by which the tourist may
descend about three hundred feet and thus more closely
gaze upon this lovely and sublime sight. In these Rap-
ids the water eddys and circles with immense whirling
force, and it is so tenacious in its grasp that various ob-
jects, dead bodies of men and of animals, who have
unfortunately become victims to its embrace, are held
for days and even for weeks almost in a given spot with-
out passing further down the river.

A conspicuous object witnessed on our ride through
the gorge is the famous Brock's Monument, located at
Queenston Heights, on the Canadian side, seven miles
below the Falls. This is a handsome and imposing shaft,
" erected to perpetuate the memory of General Isaac
Brock, who fell here in 1813." In 1826 the first monu-
ment was built, was one hundred and twenty-six feet high,
and on the night of April 17, 1840, was destroyed by an
explosion. This " was replaced by the present structure
in 1853. It is one hundred and eighty-five feet in height,



the base being forty feet square and thirty feet high."
It is exceedingly grand in its mechanism, and is sur-
mounted by a statute of General Brock. A spiral stair-
case of two hundred and fifty steps, starting from the inte-
rior of the base, enables visitors to reach its summit.


At various points on our ride, as we make numerous
bends and turns in the road, looking up through the
gorge at this ever interesting river, nothing but enchant-
ment and delight greets the eye.

We arrive at length at Lewiston, an historic village


nestling beneath the mountain. It derives its name from,
and thus perpetually memorializes, Governor Lewis of
New York. As far as Lewiston the Niagara river is nav-
igable, and the boats of the Niagara Steam Navigation
Company ply between here and Toronto. On our arrival
at Lewiston, we have reached the end of this new but
famous electric road, and the trolley is reversed for the
return trip. Previous to the start, however, "our party"
take positions at the ends of the seats and on the side
foot-boards of the car, and our picture is taken by our
attendant photographer. Again we are off, returning by
the same route by which we came, and review the pict-
uresque panorama of the trip down with as much satis-
faction as we at first beheld it.

Joy and wonder never cease at this famous locality,
ind the eye does not weary of repeated visions of these
superior natural pictures, but on the contrary is con-
stantly feasted and gladdened,

On the Canadian side of the river there are many, very
many, equally enchanting wonders and delights, but space
forbids narration.

Added to what nature has so richly provided at this
renowned resort, a visitor would be blind indeed, and
basely ungrateful, did he not notice and admire what the
genius and mechanical skill of man has also placed here
for his use and for his appreciation. Notable amid the
attractions of Niagara are the massive bridges spanning
the river, uniting not only the two opposite shores, but
also uniting two important nations, each of whom are


proud in all that Niagara affords, whether it be awe-
inspiring natural phenomena or the outcome of the inge-
nuity of the human brain. Engineering skill is here demon-
strated to almost if not quite the acme of human perfec-
tion. No grander or more sublime locality can any-
where be found, so rich in its facilities for setting forth
man's talents and giving to his inventive intellect full and
unlimited sway, than is afforded by this marvellous gorge
through which flows this magnetic and restless river.
Hung high in mid-air, stretching across emptiness, these
majestic bridges convey, in perfect safety, pedestrians, car-
riages, and railroad trains from one shore to the other.
One writer has well said, referring to the three noted
bridges spanning this river, " Even if the Falls did not
exist as a greater attraction, these bridges would be worth
a journey of many miles to see."

The New Suspension Bridge, so stately and grand in
its construction, was built " to replace the bridge blown
down by the great wind storm of January 10, 1889." The
bridge destroyed was comparatively a new one, was 1,268
feet long, was of immense weight, and of apparent great
strength. So severe was the storm which demolished this
bridge, that its destruction was total, and its splendid pro-
portions and solidity yielded completely to the force of the
gale. From each of the towers, on either side of the
river, the immense cables were severed with the cleanness
of cut of some sharp instrument deftly employed, and the
bridge of beauty and of utility was swept into the raging
torrent below. Projecting beyond either of the opposite


cliffs not an inch of the bridge remained, and the great
mass of it lies to-day hidden from sight far below the
deep and swiftly-flowing river. Only the bridge proper
was destroyed, the huge cables and stately towers remain-


ing intact. The storm which swept away this bridge was
one of the fiercest yet known, the wind was from the
southwest, and so loud and terrific was the gale, combined
with the roar of the angry waters, that the gate-keeper
in the office within twenty feet of the end of the bridge


did not know until daylight that the structure had fallen.
On March 22, 1889, the present new, graceful, and sub-
stantial bridge was commenced, and, amazing as it may
appear, it was finished on the 7th of the following May.
Its length is the same as its predecessor, — 1,268 feet.
On the American side the tower is ninety-seven feet
and six inches in height ; the one on the Canadian side
one hundred and three feet and seven inches. Variation
in the opposite banks of the river accounts for the differ-
ence in the height of these towers. " The width of the
structure is seventeen feet six inches between the centres
of chords. The weight of the bridge is three hundred and
nineteen tons. It is suspended from four cables, each of
which is six and one-half inches in diameter, and formed
by seven wire ropes, whose diameter is two and one-fourth
inches, and in each of which there are one hundred and
thirty-three wires. Each of these seven is capable of sus-
taining one hundred and fifty-five tons, thereby making
the sustaining power twenty-eight times one hundred and
fifty-five tons,"= 4,340 tons. From this description some
conception may be had of the immensity of this excellent
bridge, in its strength and in its completeness of con-
struction. It is located furthest up the river, near the
Falls, and is adapted to the use of pedestrians and car-

Two miles from the Falls, down the river, near the
Whirlpool Rapids, is the Railway Suspension Bridge.
This, too, is an equally imposing and impressive structure.
Over it pass the trains of the Grand Trunk Railroad and


of the Erie Railroad. A stock company owns and controls
this " noble viaduct." In 1852 it was commenced, and it
was not until March 8, 1855, that the first train passed

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Online LibraryJoseph E. C. (Joseph Ellis Coffee) FarnhamProvidence to Dallas, a brief trip to the Southwest → online text (page 1 of 6)