Travel Log

  • Day 61 of Jacob's Journey: Arrival in Cincinnati

    Posted on

    Cincinnati in 1841. Image via


    October 1, 1819


    Land ho! Today as the boat drifted down the Ohio, away from the grassy fields and leaf blanketed forests, we suddenly got a fizzing glimpse up ahead of a bustling weave of people, dirt streets, buildings and carriages. Could it be after four weeks on the waterway we've finally reached The Queen City of the West?


    First order of business is finding a boardinghouse with a stable for Pioneer until I can secure some land of my own. The second will be scouting the city streets for a suitable site for my factory. I've already named it. It will be called the The Bromwell Brush & Wire Goods Company. Catchy, no? And when there's enough supplies to be sold, I plan on peddling the wares up and down along the river to the folks who live along there.


    I wished my traveling companions fair thee well and I've told Benjamin and Stogie to look for the goods company so we can trade bourbon and riddles soon. Right now, I'm looking as thin as Job's turkey, so it's time for some grub!

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  • Day 54 of Jacob's Journey: A Wild and Woolly Winter

    Posted on October 17, 2012

    Image via Fox Haven Journal


    September 25, 1819


    It's now officially autumn and that means 'tis the season for Woolly Bear caterpillars, which turn into Tiger moths. With our flatboat stopped, we disembarked and I took Pioneer for a walk and some grass and found one of the little critters amongst the leaves. Brown, black and fuzzy, he instinctively curled up in the palm of my hand when I picked him up for a closer look. Legend has it that the brown band in their center can indicate what kind of winter we can expect. Less brown means a harsher winter, more brown a mild one, and then there's the combination that says we're smack in the middle.


    Snow in moderation seems to be the message the little fellow I picked up was telling me, but I'm taking no chances: when my factory is up and running, I'm producing plenty of items to keep those home fires burning bright, such as this Vintage Coal Hod. With this handy dandy hod by your hearth's side, you'll be able to keep your fireplace clean or a steady supply of firewood or wood chips nearby to keep those home fires burning bright. No matter what the woolly bear says.

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  • Day 49 of Jacob's Journey: Stogie's Smokies

    Posted on October 2, 2012

    American workers roll cigars in the 19th century. Image via Cigar Box Label Blog.


    September 12, 1819


    Today I learned that there's nothing quite like enjoying a smooth smoke with the river running beneath your feet as the sun says fare thee well to another day. That's because Samuel insisted on sharing some of his just-bought cigars with his flatboat comrades as an after-dinner treat.


    Right now cigars are not so common in America, although Sam seems to know where to sniff them out on our daily stops off the boat. That's literal sniffing, because these cylinders of tightly wound tobacco sure are pungent and not for the faint of heart. But one puff, and I could see why Sam, or Stogie as we call him, is fond of them. He claims he even averted a possible attack by Native Americans on his travels by courting them with his prized cigars; imagine that!


    Poor Benjamin didn't fare so well. A cough, a sputter, and a watering of the eyes ended with a slap to his back and Stogie chuckling, "Slow it down, son" as I offered him a swig of water from my canteen.


    Stogie tells me that the hardest part of being a cigar lover is keeping them fresh. I've assured him that when I reach Cincinnati and set up shop, that a stogie container and humidor will be at the tops of my product list.

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