Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Saturday, Jan. 18

Rained again last night.  Some water in Kate's flower pit.  A disagreeable rainy day.  Lucy almost sick with headache. I finished a winter scene in India ink:  "Sheep Feeding" by Birket Foster.  John salted the pork.  The fire which we saw last night at Parkersburg destroyed six or eight frame houses and came near burning the N. W. V. R.R. Depot in which a quantity of Government stores were deposited.  Several families were burned out; houseless on a cold night.

Peggy's comments:
Birket Foster was a popular artist from Great Britain who specialized in gentle, country scenes. His media were water color and engraving.  Here's more information about Foster:
and a link to one of his watercolors:

Regarding the RR station:  The B&O Railroad line from Baltimore arrived in Parkersburg in 1857, and until the railroad bridge was built over the Ohio River, the city was a terminal from which all supplies and passengers had to be taken across by ferry or steamboat to connect with the Marietta & Cincinnati Railroad.  (

A railroad bridge across the Ohio River at Parkersburg was authorized by Congress in 1861 but was not completed until after the Civil War.
Before that time, passengers coming from the east would disembark the train at Parkersburg in western Virginia, board a steamer or ferry and be transported by water to Marietta where they could continue their train travel on the Marietta & Cincinnati Rail Road (William Cutler was an officer of that line).
B&O steam engine in Parkersburg

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