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WHEN WE WATCHED
BY S. E. KISER, CHICAGO.
You have won some people's envy; servants hear you and obey;
In your private car you travel like an emperor to-day;
You are one of those empowered with the right to shape affairs;
You have riches, you have honor and a thousand weighty cares,
And I wonder if you ever recollect how you and I
Used to hurry to the depot to behold the trains go by?
Do you ever in the moments when you chance to be alone,
Think of those exciting moments ere our happy youth had flown,
When we stood upon the platform, when your name was simply "Jack,' And with eagerness we listened for the whistle down the track?
Do you ever have such visions any more as came to you
When we stood there with the others as the train went rushing through?
I remember that your hero was the grimy engineer;
How I longed to be the brakeman, standing fearless at the rear;
How we waved our hats and shouted at the people rushing past,
And what laughter there was wasted as we turned away, at last.
There were pranks and there was joking, there was much love-making, too, As we turned home in the gloaming when the train had hurried through.
You have gained a proud position, it is long since you've been there
Where we gathered at the depot, still too young to think of care;
But the little village nestles 'mid the trees upon the hill,
And the happy lads and maidens hurry
to the station still.
Oh, I wonder if you ever, since you're masterful and high,
Know such joy as we were given when we watched the trains go by?
IN THE ALLEGHENIES.
BY ELIHU S. RILEY, ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND.
NE afternoon last August, when nearing Keyser, in West Virginia, on No. 55 of the Baltimore & Ohio, an acquaintance on the way to the St. Louis Exposition, asked the writer: "Where are you going?"
"I am going," the writer replied, "to the Bramin's Heaven on Earth-a place where I know nobody and nobody knows me."
This restful spot, for my summer vacation, I found, when three hours later, I reached an old time road-side inn, situated along the Northwestern Pike, on the initial rise of the first slope of the Allegheny Mountains. Brought here to a place I had never seen before, by inquiries made, by mail, to the obliging and capable postmaster at New Creek, in Mineral County, West Virginia, I had viewed every yard of the nine miles of road and landscape that had to be traversed and seen before reaching my headquarters, with that profound enjoyment felt in beholding new and magnificent scenery. On every side of the singing brook, that runs through New Creek Valley, lofty and sublime mountains rose; and creek and mountains kept us company to the end of our ride, which brought us amongst the Alleghenies.
The Northwestern Pike, at this point, in a wonderfully scientific grade, for five miles, winds in and out amongst the deep gorges and rocky ridges of the mountains before it reaches their summit and begins the down grade westward. There may be a peer to this piece of mountain road in grade and equipment, but the writer, with no little experience, has never seen it.
This rural hostelry has a delightfully suggestive title for the summer tourist seeking the higher altitudes "The Mountain Breeze Hotel." It was not a sounding brass and a tinkling symbol, but a title to which it had a real and equitable right. The hotel stands with hills surrounded. On the south and east rise the lofty heights of the New Creek Mountains; on the north and west the Alleghenies bend in a magnificent fullness of unique contours and splendid heights. Between the two mountain ranges lies New Creek Valley-a vale of beautiful fields and cheery prosperity. Hard by the inn, the two ranges come
down on either side of the noisy little stream that gives name to this valley that nestles between the eternal granite.
The hostelry retains all the quaintness and quietude of the ancient colonial inn. The farm life, of which it is part, moves serenely on without let or hindrance from the hotel; the passing traveler arrives and departs, the summer tourist passes this way to enjoy a trip through the mountains, and the regular boarders receive their due share of attention while the latest swarm from the flourishing apiary is hived, the potatoes unearthed and the oats threshed. Amidst the exacting duties of the farm and inn, the landlord finds hospitable time to plan and make excursions with rod or by horse to entertain his guest.
The guests obtain, at a well supplied table, both brawn and zest to climb the rocky ridge at the creek where "the shaking rock" lifts its granite head, and to bend his way to the towering "Pinnacle."
The calm and peacefulness that mark the long, beautiful summer days, modified by the mountain breeze, is at eve followed by the inexpressibly delightful repose and serenity of night—whose quietude is almost holy in its profoundness. At nine the tired farmer and landlord retires to rest. His seven children are hours ago abed. Till five the next morning scarce a sound is heard to disturb the rest, in a silence that would be painful were it not blissful. many days had elapsed after my arrival in New Creek Valley before the staid residents had discovered that they had a visitor, who while he would not climb to the top of the shaking rock and mount it like a charging steed and make it quiver over a rocky chasm of nigh a hundred feet, as is the custom here, yet was one who loved to ascend the lofty domes of the surrounding mountains. So they said to the sojourner: You should go to the Pinnacle."
The suggestion was followed by more than one offer of pilotage-they were offers that did not materalize in time to please the visitor's limited stay, so he undertook the ascent aided by the uncertain descriptions of road and trail, that could be gathered from those who had never been to the towering pile itself. The meagre
But the attempt was made.
IN THE ALLEGHENIES.
directions were "to go up the hollow above Boseley's house to the Ashby road; then through the old field with the burnt house in it; then to the ridge; up the ridge to the top of the mountain, thence by the trail to the Pinnacle.”
All were found except the trail on the mountains. A climb up the pathless steep, through weeds, briars and bushes, head high; over rocks and fallen trees, that while they wearied arms and lower limbs, alike, gave always disagreeable suggestion of the rattlesnake lurking beneath and ready to strike with its deadly fangs. Ambition had well-nigh sunk to repentance over the venture, when the crest of the mountain came in view. On its top was the disagreeable jackoak, knitted and knotted together in so strong a web, that locomotion was made both painful and laborious. It was battle royal at each step. There was neither road, path, nor trail in view and the lofty Pinnacle a mile away. Bordering the inner rim of the rocks that formed a fortress of granite on the crest, were a few feet of earth. A dozen varieties of the most beautiful mountain flowers sparkled in the sun-light, and rimmed the whole crest around as though it had been a garden planted by the hand of man. They seemed things of life, happy to have one human being to see them arrayed in all their glory.
To reach the Pinnacle, was to climb the pathless rocks and trackless thickets of briar and bush. Only the feet and hands that have tried a half-hour and more of such work knows the work in it, that, to be undertaken, ought to be a labor of love. On the crest no trail appeared, with the Pinnacle a half-mile still farther northward, but now every step was a delight, for although the rocks were high and hard to climb, yet their beauty, their vastness, the ever-changing scene, made more than ample return for all that had been expended in pain and labor. The day was beautiful, the rocks grand in spectacle and suggestion, and success was now within reach.
It was now near high noon, and thirst began to assert itself vigorously; but in the many pockets cut by nature in the solid rock, was clear, limpid water, cool and delicious. Even on the very Pinnacle itself, next to the top-most rock, was a pocket that held several gallons of water.
When I had descended from the Pinnacle, and had learned that I had come to its top by the rear-stairway, and the right trail was on the side opposite from my climb, on the road between Keyser and Piedmont, that gave a fair path to the top, of only a half-mile from the public road, I understood why the way was so rough and the impossible became the possible. I had traveled five miles afoot to the summit.
IN THE ALLEGHENIES.
Mounting the topmost boulder of the rocky pile that creates the Pinnacle, labor, pain and bruises are forgotten in the sublime amphitheatre that outspreads to the delighted vision. To the southeast lay New Creek, Knobly, Patterson Creek, Mud Run, Mill Creek, South Branch, and the Shenandoah and Blue Ridge Mountains; to the northeast rise the Backbone Mountains of the Allegheny system-Savage and Dan's Mountain; and northward and westward, the Alleghenies rim the broad arena until mountain and sky meet. The vast vista, before the vision, includes an area of mountain and plain eighty miles in diameter.
The still of the lofty mountain height crowns the adventure with the charm of the sanctuary. In the presence of the splendid altitude and vast solitude there is inspiration to the soul, infusion of vigor to the mind, and recuperation to the body. The sublime hush is broken only by the buzzing of the flies and the faint swish of the wings of butterflies as they chase each other in the golden hours of their happy existence.
The ridge on which the Pinnacle is located is magnificent in its granite roof, that, with many a modillion and cornice piece stretches away in miles of beautiful grotesqueness. Three miles from the Pinnacle rises Betty's Rock that disputes with the Pinnacle its march to the clouds.
Between the grand array of mountain ranges, valleys, farms, hamlets, towns and cities lie. Oakland, Cumberland, Keyser and Piedmont; and Elk Garden nettles between, or at the foot of the long ranges, that fill the periphery of landscape from the capstone of the Pinnacle.
The Pinnacle, taking the current data of the neighborhood, rises 2,000 feet above the plain on which it is situated. The inscriptions in the rocks bear witness of its many visitors. The summit is a deluge of rocks, furrowed and battle-scarred by many a fierce conflict with time and tempest.
This summit attracts many visitors, and several years ago, for three Fourths of July in succession, a Dunkard preacher, from the Pinnacle as his pulpit, preached a patriotic sermon to a hundred auditors who gathered to hear the address. The Stars and Stripes floated from a staff planted above and between the highest rocks. These pilgrims came up the popular trail and not by the rear-stairway passage.
Eight hours were consumed, with the rests between, in making the ascent and descent. The pains and penalties of the adventure are over, but the angel-guard of memory will ever cherish with delightful sensations the recollection of pleasant hours spent upon one of those sublime domes on earth where God and His august presence seem divinely near in the wonders of His creation.
The management of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company has at all times desired the highest standard of efficiency among its officers, agents and employes, particularly impressing upon them the importance of politeness and courtesy to patrons.
To effect this high standard, the co-operation of the traveling public is necessary. Acknowledged appreciation now and then, when the occasion justifies, will greatly encourage the railroad company and assist towards the consummation of their desire to please.
It is, therefore, a great pleasure to print the following letters, which fully explain themselves:
MR. D. B. MARTIN,
Manager Passenger Traffic,
SACRAMENTO, CAL., September 15, 1904,
The "Baltimore & Ohio Special" which bore the Sir Knights of Maryland and the District of Columbia with their ladies and their friends to San Francisco to attend the Twenty-ninth Triennial Conclave of the Grand Encampment, Knights Templar, of the United States is now on its way homeward after nearly a week's travel through Southern California, amid scenes that have charmed and greatly interested our party, and in accordance with the excellent itinerary prepared for our pilgrimage and as at this point the routes diverge and some of the Sir Knights and their ladies will continue their journey eastward apart from the main body. the members of the Joint Committee representing the Grand Commanderies of Maryland and the District of Columbia in the making of the arrangements for the tour, speaking for every Sir Knight and lady on the train, desire to thank you for the good fortune we have enjoyed in having assigned to our special as the representative of your company, its Pacific Coast Agent, Mr. Peter Harvey, who joined us at Salt Lake City on the way out, and who is to continue with us on our return as far as Ogden. In season and out of season since he came on board the train he has been constant in his efforts to add to the comfort of every passenger, carefully looking after all connections so that the schedule laid down might be observed and seeing that the side trips were carried out as planned. He seems also to have anticipated the wants of every member of the party. Though the target of every inquiry concerning the variety of subjects pertaining to the arrangements for the trip, his never failing patience, politeness, and anxiety only to please the patrons of your company have endeared him to the hearts of all our people and we doubt if a more competent of painstaking official could have been selected to perform the duties that have devolved upon him.
This tribute of respect for the recognition of the service performed by Mr. Harvey is prompted solely by our admiration of his skill in his chosen calling and by our desire that a knowledge of this feeling on our part may be communicated to you, knowing that we cannot speak too highly of him as a man and as the faithful representative of the best interests of your company.