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.