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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 23 Jun 2021 23:51:38 -0700
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
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Scott Holmes <[log in to unmask]>
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Thank you for confirming the identity of the railroad.  You mention that 
the Whittlesey Hall building now has a Chinese restaurant.  Would this 
be the "Peking House" on Whittlesey Avenue?  Along with railroads I am 
attempting to locate Twain's venues.

On 6/23/21 4:10 PM, Philip Bauer wrote:
> Scott and others:
> Mark Twain spoke in Norwalk OH  (near where I now live)  on Jan. 21, 
> 1869 on his American Vandal speaking tour.  The previous night (20th) 
> ) he had lectured in Toledo and the next night (22nd), he returned to 
> his Cleveland base for another engagement.
> At the time, the existing railroad that would have connected the three 
> cities was the Cleveland & Toledo Railroad.  It also had a locomotive 
> facility in Norwalk which became the town's largest employer.
> The brick building where Twain spoke still stands as a two-story 
> building with a Chinese restaurant on the lower level.  The third 
> floor was a large community room where Twain spoke and it was removed  
> some time later after wind damage.
> Twain, of course, was not widely known at the time so he warranted 
> only a squib in the weekly Norwalk Reflector  five days later:
> "Whittlesey Hall was crowded to its sitting capacity on Thursday 
> evening, on the occasion of the lecture by "Mark Twain."  His 
> discourse was a fine one of its kind. ---- Its humorous points 
> convulsing the audience with frequent laughter  --- while its 
> occasional burst of eloquence showed the author to be a prolific 
> writer and one thoroughly conversant with the subject which he 
> treated.  On the whole, Mr. Twain's lecture was a decided success."
> Nowalk's local historian has told me that during the day before the 
> lecture,  Twain had visited the home of a prominent local banker but 
> found no one  home so he left his calling card on the porch.      
> Another interesting coincidence is that Henry Wheeler Shaw  (later 
> known as Josh Billings) lived with an uncle in Norwalk for a time when 
> he was about 20 years old.
> Philip Bauer, Sandusky OH
> On 6/11/2021 2:18 PM, Scott Holmes wrote:
>> For those interested in such things, I have been trying to map 
>> Twain's travels associated with his 1868-69 American Vandals Tour.  
>> The University of Nebraska has a collection of kmz files for 
>> railroads up to 1870 and it is these that I have most relied on.  
>> Many segments don't have names and many are approximations of routes. 
>> It's not possible to accurately compare these with the USGS maps of 
>> the regions as the government maps are more recent and railroad 
>> companies have been unstable in regards to ownership and locations.  
>> Many of these reported railroads do not seem to be known to Google.
>> I have often seen remarks on Mark Twain becoming 
>> fatigued/disenchanted with touring.  Examining these maps may provide 
>> some indication just why this happened.  He covered a lot of miles.  
>> I have divided the tour up into 6 arbitrary sections for my Twain's 
>> Geography site, mainly to lessen confusion with the maps.