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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 76, April 12, 1851

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Identifier: DX01007369

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 76, April 12, 1851

Description: Describes his arrival at New Rochelle to visit Henry Hart and Dillon Mapother, who are doing surveying work for a new town called Pelhamville.


covered novel for consolation. Partly inside, partly out, at length, at 10 or thereabouts arrived at New Rochelle, whereat in a pretty depot. Turned my face backwards and walked along the rail merrily; rock cuttings on each side, or a deep declivity, shewing miles of country, bare brushwood, stone fences, and here and there a white farm house. A colloquy with a workroom on the railroad, I making inquiry as to the site for the new village, he, after responding, asking “from what part of England I came?” [words crossed out] “How did you know my country?” “Why, by your speech.” He was Cheshire born, had known America before railroads, and evidently relished a gossip. Arrived at the spot destined for the site of “Pelhamville [Pelham],” descended the deep declivity and making my way through a little copse to two men busied in chopping down trees, inquired of them; — skirting the copse, passing through treed fields with surveyors poles in it, and at length joined them, sunburnt enough. Strolled to and fro with them, through the orchard, about the barns, the [unclear word], and at noon to the timber-built, comfortable farm house, to dinner. Mr Wolf the owner, sturdy, brown lined, good humored and country spoken; wife pleasant, daughter yclept Phoebe buxom, and comely, sons and visitor. After a good substantial dinner, seeing them [Henry Hart and Dillon Mapother] at their work, wandered on to a little winding stream yclept Hutchinson’s river or brook, tall trees and coppice around it, few birds in the branches, and a vegetable resembling a lettuce, possessing withal an evil smell, and known as skunk cabbage. Taking my station on the rails of a sort of gate crossing the river, with the clear water bubbling and sparkling most musically beneath my feet, sky above, and a wilderness of twigs around me, sketched awhile the trees and twigs at the farther end of a little island fronting me. That done wandered back, and Dillon accompanying me to the stream again, where a prettier sketch was getatable.

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1851-04-12

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Surveying
Railroad travel


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