Wednesday, April 15, 2015

City of Adelphi - 1788

The Marietta Register, March 15, 1887

Extracts of a letter from a gentleman at the Muskingum, to the printer of the Massachusetts Spy, written on the spot where the first city of that territory is to be built.

Adelphi, May 16, 1788.

Mr. Thomas:

I am much pleased with the purchase we have made, and am fully determined to fix my residence here. That part of the purchase I have been over far exceeds my expectations. From our eastern boundary to the Muskingum (a distance of about five miles), the intervals, or what the people of this country call bottoms, are from one-half to three-quarters of a mile wide; these, in richness and apparent fertility of soil, exceed anything I ever saw east of the Allegheny mountains. 

Next to these are what is called second bottoms, which are elevated plains, and gentle risings of the richest uplands and as free from stone as the lower first bottom, except in some few instances where these elevated plains consist of a shallow, light, and sometimes sandy soil, under which appears an open, loose earth. 

Back of these commence the hills which, in general, are considerably uneven and separated by deep hollow grounds, where flow innumerable rivulets which have their source from springs which rise among the hills, the most of which are free from stone, and consist of a rich and deep soil suited to the culture of wheat, grazing, etc. In this distance fall into the Ohio two very considerable creeks, called Little Muskingum and Duck Creek. In the spring these are navigable for boats more than twenty miles, and afford large tracts of the best bottoms and uplands for farming.

We have surveyed the lots of one mile square on both sides the Muskingum for fifteen miles up. A description of the lands in this distance would be only a repetition of that already given of that on the Ohio. The timber growing on the lands above described are of the kind mentioned by Mr. Hutchins and others, but I must confess the trees are larger and more numerous than I expected to find.

We have found plenty of limestone, as well as fine building stone at a small distance up the Muskingum, sufficient for building the city, or any other purpose for which they may be wanted. At present we go 20 miles up the river for pit-coal, but there is no doubt plenty will be found nearer; we have found several salt-licks within our surveys, and are assured there is a salt spring about 40 miles up the Muskingum, from which a sufficient quantity of salt for the supply of the country may be made. Some gentlemen at Fort Harmar doubt this information, but say a sufficient quantity may be made at a spring on the banks of the Scioto.

We have had no time yet to go in search of iron ore; but one of our people has brought in a small stone taken from one of the neighboring hills, which I found on trial, to contain a rich iron ore. We find the seasons here much more forward than even at Pittsburg; by the 7th of April there was as good feed for cattle on the banks of the Muskingum, as you will generally find by the middle of May in the best enclosures in the county of Worcester.

To give some idea of beginning a settlement in this country, compared with Vermont or any new country to the northward, I state the following fact: About a dozen families removed to this place about a year ago last March, and settled opposite Fort Harmar, on the Virginia side of the Ohio; these lands were the same as ours, and evidently new; they raised 1000 bushels of corn last season, and although the last winter was very severe, they wintered, without any hay (making use of their husks and stalks with some corn) between 60 and 70 horses and neat cattle, fatted a sufficient quantity of pork for their own consumption, besides wintering over a large number of swine.

From the plot of ground laid out for building the city of Adelphi, we have a most delightful prospect; from this ground you will have a full view of the waters of the Ohio, eight or nine miles up that river, and five below, and of the Muskingum from the mouth five or six miles up. The front line of house lots is 95 yards from the Muskingum and parallel thereto. All the space between them and the river is to remain an open space or common. The course of this street is north 40 degrees west, and extends in length one mile. All the streets are parallel or at right angles with that, but from some hollow ground and rivulets the city will not be parallelogram, although that figure has been aimed at as much as the situation would admit. 

The northeast end thereof is bordered by a beautiful brook, which I am informed, runs all the year; the southeast end and part of the rear is bounded by another creek larger than the former, which will afford a good canal for boats to pass up when the waters of the Muskingum are high. The house lots, in their nearest approach to the Ohio, are distant therefrom 25 perch and separated from it by the last mentioned creek and low interval lands of the first quality; a part of the house lots towards the rear are separated from the rest by a deep hollow ground, through which the last mentioned creek passes. These lots are situated on ground gently ascending toward the northeast, which further on terminates in very considerable hills, in which rise eight springs, the sources of the creek last mentioned. These, with a comparative small expense, may be collected into one great reservoir and conducted to any part of the city.

The city plot includes the ruins of some ancient town or works, of which the world has heard much of late. I have not had time to take an accurate survey of them all, therefore must omit a particular description thereof, but I must confess I was greatly surprised in finding those works so perfect as to put it beyond all doubt that they are the remains of a work erected at an amazing expense, perhaps some thousand years since, but a people who had very considerable knowledge in fortifications. In laying out our city we have preserved some of the work from becoming private property by including them within lots or squares appropriated to public uses, viz: An advanced work containing a mound of earth in the figure of a cone, the base of which is 376 feet in circumference and in thirty feet perpendicular, surrounded by a parapet 580 feet in circumference and 15 feet thick, having a ditch 15 feet wide, and at present about three feet deep, and on the side next the town, or principal works, an open space without parapet or ditch, where it is presumed was the gate or place of entrance.

We have also, in the same manner, secured for public use two elevated mounds of earth situated within the walls of the great oblong square, or principal fortification; one of them is nearly of a square figure, the sides measuring 153.45 feet by 135.7 feet, is raised about five feet above the common surface, and on the top a horizontal plain of the above dimensions, having on three sides thereof gentle ascents projecting out, of about 20 feet wide, in the form of glacis, for the convenience of walking up; and on the fourth side is an indented ascent of the same width. 

The other elevated square is an oblong of 200 feet by 124 feet, of about the same height, and as level on the top as the other, and regular projecting ascents on each side thereof. These appear to have been the foundation of some spacious public buildings, but however that may be, they are very convenient, and now reserved for that purpose. The rest of the works can remain, when the city is built, on paper only.

As to the natives, the ensuing treaty I trust will be conducted on principles of honor and justice and end to the satisfaction of that, as I conceive, much injured people. When we arrived at this place we fortunately found Captain Pipes, the chief of the Delaware tribe, with about 70 men, women and children, of that and the Wyandotte tribe, at Fort Harmar, who had come down to trade. We were introduced to them by the commanding officer. Capt. Pipes some days after, with about twenty others, came over and dined with me. We gave them to understand our business and that we hoped to live in friendship, and should be glad to see them or any of their friends at all times. Captain Pipes told us that they should be happy to live by us, but did not expect any people would come on to settle before the treaty. We told him we had brought no families, nor would any come until after the treaty, when we expected everything would be settled to their satisfaction. In the meantime it was necessary we should plant some corn. Captain Pipes appeared fully satisfied, and parted with avowing his friendship should continue as long as the sun and moon endured. 

Since making up his new acquaintance, we have more or less of our Indian friends to visit us almost every day, who appear in perfect good humor, and fully as happy as we in the new acquaintance, but nothing is said about our settlement, except one of their chiefs who is now at the fort, and appears to be a very sensible, sober old gentleman; on one of his visits to us told me that "he thanked God that the way was cleared so that they could come down with safety to trade. That Captain Pipes told him he and all the Indians were used exceedingly well by us; that he was very glad to see me here, but there was some things he should not speak of until they met in the great council, meaning the treaty." 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

April 7th Fireworks - 1858

The Marietta Intelligencer, April 13, 1858

Mr. Editor:

In order fully to explain why we set off the fire works on the evening of the 7th inst. before the exercises at the church were over, I submit the following statement:

The fire works were completed at about 5 o'clock p.m., and it required some two or three hands to place them properly.  We commenced arranging them, and while thus exposed it began to rain, and before we were able to pack them up again in boxes, they were more or less wet.  After the rain was over, we commenced again, and as soon as we did, it commenced raining again and continued so, more or less during the operation.  Having no time to lose in order to be ready by the appointed time, we went on, but we found that the rain was damaging the fuses of the fire works so much that it would entirely destroy the effect we intended to give by our arrangement.  In order to better understand this, I will detail our plan.

Our works formed an oblong square.  On each end we erected frames for the rockets, some 160 in number.  Parallel with these frames, but inside, and on the upper end, we placed frames for the Roman candles, 130 in number, which threw 544 fire balls.  We intended to burn off the Roman candles and rockets alternately, and from each end at the same time, so as to produce a cross fire and form an arch of living fire over the centre.  

The back ground, immediately on the river bank, we illumined with Greek fires of blue, red and white, interspersed with rockets, stars, fire balls and chasers.  In front of that a transparency lettered "7th of April, 1858."  In front of that again, all at proper distances, a frame for the large wheels, to be run at stated times, flanked on each side by pyramids, composed of flower pots, mines, stars, blue lights, and Bengal lights, connected throughout by fire crackers.  These pyramids were so arranged as to ignite at one flash.  In front of the whole square, a line was drawn for the flying pigeon to play on during the process of the exhibition.

If this plan could have been carried out to its full extent, it would have produced a brilliant effect on the spectators.  But all those fire works which were standing with fuse up were getting too damp to burn sufficiently to ignite the wet fuses of the fire works.  Fearing (as it proved itself afterwards) that the works would get so wet as to lose most of their explosive power, and knowing that the desired effect was already destroyed, we fired them off as best we could.  We trust that the subscribers will not attach any blame to the managers under such unfavorable circumstances, for I am fully satisfied that, had we waited till the exercises at the church were over, more than two-thirds of the fire works would not have exploded at all.

I think this explanation due to the subscribers to the fire works, and leave the matter for their consideration.

Respectfully,
Joseph Wildt

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Seventh of April, 1858

The Marietta Intelligencer, April 8, 1858

The seventieth anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers of the West was celebrated yesterday.  The day was favorable and the attendance larger than was anticipated.

Hon. Thomas Ewing delivered the anniversary oration in the Congregational Church to an overflowing house.  The platform was crowded with grey-headed "pioneers."  Among them was Mr. Amos Porter, the sole surviving member of the little band that landed here seventy years ago.  He is now in his ninetieth year.  He was introduced to the audience by Mr. A. T. Nye, the presiding officer, and the assemblage rose to do the old man honor.  The most interesting and affecting spectacle of the whole day was the cordial greetings of the Pioneers on the stage.  The old men grasped each other by the hands with hearty and vociferous congratulations, as some old comrade was recognized.

Mr. Ewing, the orator of the day, was introduced to the audience in a very neat and appropriate speech, by Hon. Joseph Barker.  Mr. Ewing's speech was an able and eloquent production, worthy of the distinguished reputation of its honored author.

In the afternoon a large company sat down to a sumptuous dinner at the National House.  Among the guests, we noticed Gen. Brown and Judge Brown of Athens; Gen. Goddard, L. G. Converse of Morgan County, the second born white child in Ohio; Mr. Bradford and Mr. Mayberry of Parkersburg; Judge Hayward, Robert Warth and Phillip Cubbage of Gallipolis; Judge Dickey of the Ross and Highland district; James Dickey, one of our oldest settlers, formerly of Amestown; Amos Dunham of Pomeroy; D. B. Linn, editor of the McConnelsville Enquirer; and C. A. M'Gaw of the Herald.

At the close of the dinner, the following toasts were read:
1. The day we celebrate, April 7th, 1788.
2. The Orator of the Day.
3. The Ordinance of 1787 - The charter of freedom framed by the wisdom and patriotism of the founders of the Republic, and under which states have grown great and illustrious.  Response by Hon. C. B. Goddard of Zanesville.
4. The Ohio Company - Formed for the purpose of securing lands and homes for the Pioneer settlers.  Response by Judge Hayward of McConnelsville.
5. Gen. Rufus Putnam and the noble men who landed with him, April 7, 1788. The state they founded will ever do them honor.  Responded to by Prof. E. B. Andrews of Marietta College.
6. The last of the Pioneers, Mr. Amos Porter.  In boyhood he heard the booming guns of Bunker Hill - in his venerable age he hears the voice of a mighty Empire where 70 years ago all was a wilderness.  Responded to by G. M. Woodbridge, Esq.
7. Virginia, whose patriotic counsels in 1784 gave up her claim to the N.W. Territory and made it the heritage of the whole country.
8. Education of the people by Common School and College - recognized by the founders of the Territory in the Ohio University and free schools in every township.
9. The Pioneer Clergy of the North West.  Response by Pres. Andrews of Marietta College.

The reunion at Odd Fellow's Hall was a rich treat to the old veterans.  Their eyes will never look upon the like again.  In the evening Hon. William Woodbridge of Michigan was expected to be present and deliver an address, but owing to sickness, he could not be with us.  He sent an exceedingly interesting address, portions of which were read by Mr. T. C. H. Smith. Letters from various distinguished persons were also read, which will be found in our columns today.

The old Pioneers who were present gave interesting and entertaining reminiscences of the days of "Auld Lang Syne."

A select choir, during the intervals between the speeches, etc., sang some of those rare old songs, with fine effect.

The Guyscooters had a magnificent torch light procession during the evening, led by the band.  The pyrotechnics of Mr. Wildt "went off" in fine style.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Fire - Baptist Church Burned

Marietta Intelligencer, March 28, 1855

Thursday Evening, Mar. 22, 1855 - The Church building belonging to the Baptist Society of this place was destroyed by fire this morning.  The pulpit, most of the seats, and some of the doors and windows were removed in a damaged condition.

The fire was discovered about eight o'clock on the roof, and in a few moments the entire roof was in a blaze.  The walls of the lower story of the building were of stone, and were of course, but little injured.  The loss is about $1,000.  There was no insurance.

By most diligent efforts the fire was prevented from extending to the frame buildings near - some of them not more than 20 feet distant.  We are requested by Mr. L. Brigham to express his hearty thanks to the people for their vigorous and continued exertions to save his property from destruction.  His buildings were in imminent danger, but by most resolute efforts, no serious injury was done to them.

Before this fire was extinguished, another alarm was given, occasioned by the discovery of fire on the roof of O. Franks' warehouse, near his foundry.  It was extinguished without difficulty.

 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Streets Being Filled With Excess of Dirt

The Register-Leader, September 15, 1906

Third Street extension, which is being paved to the corporation line, is now closed to traffic, the contractors having found such a step necessary in order to carry out their work with any degree of satisfaction. They have, however, put in some extensive fills on Pennsylvania Avenue, and have opened an outlet to the lower end of that street in order to permit free traffic. A large amount of the dirt which it was found necessary to remove from Third and Front streets at the point where they are being paved has been hauled into the low ground of Riverview addition, where the streets were in need of extensive repairs and here it has been, and will be, used to an excellent advantage. 

Another big improvement to be made on the streets is the filling of Wooster and Washington streets, from the intersection of Seventh Street to Oak Grove Cemetery. This work is to be done with a portion of the dirt being removed from the streets where paving is in progress, and the remainder will be done with the excess dirt derived from the big sewer ditch which will be dug within the next few weeks.