Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Up the River

The Marietta Register, June 17, 1875

Thursday morning last, ye Local having a little leisure time, paid a pastoral visit to the Register family in the "East End."  Taking the steamer Science, at 7 A.M., we arrived in Newport about 10 o'clock.  There, under direction of our good friend E. A. Jones, we were soon on the rounds; found collecting on foot in the blazing sun a warm business; but we visited all, not intentionally slighting any. 

Newport we found rather dull - business flattened out - everybody waiting for the "good time coming."  At the stores of E. A. Jones and J. M. Gano (the latter keeping the Post Office) considerable trading was going on, but nothing like it used to be.  The tobacco house of N. Little is in operation, employing about a dozen men, manufacturing tobacco and cigars.  The large flouring mill is in operation, a part of the time.  In addition to the above, a few small stores, groceries, shoe shops, &c., comprise the business of the place.  James White keeps the only hotel in the village - a nice, quiet, orderly place to stop. 

The farmers about Newport were very busy with their crops, hoping to make up for the failure of the fruit crop and other recent disasters by a large crop of other products.  The only product we saw brought in was tanbark.  This seems to have escaped the frost, if other things did suffer.  There were cords of it piled upon the bank awaiting shipment.  The strawberry crop is not a failure about Newport.  We assisted in stowing away a great many nice ones at the farm of I. H. Bosworth.  Afterwards visited the fruit and vegetable farm of Mr. A. B. Little.  Here everybody seemed on the go, preparing the ground, watering plants, and shipping berries and vegetables.  Mr. Little has shipped hundreds of gallons of strawberries this spring, the principal markets being Wheeling and Pittsburgh.  We were indebted to E. A. Jones, J. M. Gano, and Ebenezer Battelle, and several of the Bosworth family, for favors received.  We then took the steamer for


Here we were surprised, astonished, had the scales knocked off our eyes.  Why, if we in Marietta don't quit going under, Matamoras will overtaken and outstrip us in a business way.  We thought Matamoras was small red potatoes, and only a few to the hill!  And here we found a little town - not so very little either - all bustling with business, stores full of customers, three good hotels, two drays busy, streets lighted with lamps, and everybody as busy and happy as though there had never been a panic in America.  There has not been a failure - except the failure of the tobacco crop - in that vicinity for a long time. 

The dry goods stores of S. Hutchinson & Sons, and of Miller & Hanschumaker, will compare favorably with any we have in Marietta.  These both have very large grocery and provision stores connected with them, and are doing a heavy business.  There are others of lesser dimensions that are doing a flourishing business; there is a large flouring mill owned by Mr. Shannon & Son; a full furniture store, kept by Mr. Hansel; a number of clothing stores, tailor shops, shoe stores, &c., the owners of which were busy.  It was Saturday, and a great many people were "in from the country." 

The coopering business is the leading trade pursued in Matamoras and vicinity.  There are several extensive shops in Matamoras and vicinity; also two or more in Grandview, a mile below.  W. T. Stedman is the proprietor of one in the latter place, and we mention it to say that he is the liveliest man we met in our rounds.  He will make business, whether there is any business or not.  He is a good Democrat, and times are hard, but we talked 50 cents out of him in a twinkling; we happened to be in a good humor, too.  He mistook his calling - he ought to be the funny man on some city paper.

The people of Matamoras, Grandview, and all that region say if crops are good this season, they will be prosperous as usual, and Matamoras will continue to flourish.  The wheat crop promises well, much better than is reported from other portions of the county.  The first setting of tobacco plants, the main hold of farmers up there, were eaten by bugs or killed by frosts; but, as the crops can be made if the plants are set before the 1st of August, the farmers are yet hopeful.

We must not omit to mention a trip to the Yellow House, three miles back of Matamoras, where Democrats spring up like mushrooms, and where hundreds of the faithful can be called together in fifteen minutes by a blast from Way, McMillen, Collett, or any other orator.  The Yellow House is owned by Mr. George West, a jolly, fat, good-natured "king of the manor," and is situated on an elevation, overlooking all creation, and part of Monroe county.  The cross roads there made us think of Nasby's "Confederate cross roads, which is in the State of Kentucky."  Besides a fine mansion, Mr. West keeps a tip-top country store, grocery, tobacco packing house, cooper shop, blacksmith shop &c., and weighs 260.  He ought to be active.  We never felt our littleness - 222 lbs. - so much as when in his presence.

But we must stop.  We want to go to Matamoras again, they treat a good looking fellow so kindly.  We picked up subscribers fast - being assisted by Will Lamping, Rev. Mr. Stewart, S. H. Riggs, and others.  They, as well as all others, have our thanks.

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