The next Hemingway?

08 Jan

Dave, are you suggesting that you are on the same literary plane as the great Ernest Hemingway? Surely you jest! Yes, I am kidding. I am certainly no Hemingway…he wrote fiction. Come on, I’m more like Pierre Berton, probing the depths of 19th century Canadiana. I have the same hairdo…now I just my own T.V. mini-series!

Back to the reality that is my life, unfortunately the Christmas holidays are over. Yes, I have returned to work. Sigh. All good things must come to end right? It isn’t so bad, though it is a bit of a struggle to get into the routine of things. Isn’t that funny; when you go on vacation you’re tired from working, and when you come back you’re tired from being on vacation. Can’t ever win can you?

Anyway, things are rather busy and chaotic as there are only two and a half weeks before exams start. I still have a pile of marking to get through, marking that I did not get to on the break (because I was busy writing). There are exams to look at, and lessons to finish. I think I’m gonna need another break after I’m done all of this!

Unfortunately school is not the only thing that is keeping me busy for the foreseeable future. There are some projects around the house that need attention, swimming lessons have begun again and hopefully we can get some skating in there too. On top of that, I have a presentation on the railway at the beginning February to get ready for and I have some football related stuff to get to. Yikes!

So with all this other excitement going on, you’d figure I wouldn’t have railway time. Wrong! In reality I managed to get quite a bit done, more than I expected. Most of my efforts had been directed to writing, but I did get a little research in too. I managed to come across a few new railway time cards, one from 1906 and the other from 1910. I also landed myself an original railway document from eBay and was unfortunately outbid on another three. I was smart enough however to save the images for the ones I missed so I could use them as references!

Duluth Section Timecard, November 1906.

Duluth Section Timecard, November 1906.

North Lake Branch Timecard, June 1910.

North Lake Branch Timecard, June 1910.

Canadian Northern Railway map, 1906.

Canadian Northern Railway map, 1906.

I have been writing over the past few weeks about my attempts to finish my article on Leeblain. It was a tough slug, but I am done! Five thousand eight hundred and eighty-two words…by far the longest thing I’ve ever written! I am very proud of myself. Immersing myself in the history of the railway and this ghost town was a very gratifying experience. Certainly gives me a lot of confidence to move forward to bigger and better things.

I’ve submitted the article to the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society for inclusion in their annual Papers and Records publication. I am hoping that it is accepted. My work may have earned me another presentation date, this time at the Thunder Bay Museum. We’ll see what happens.

On a final note, last week saw some very important anniversaries in the history of the railway. January 4th 1893 was a special day; on that day the railway was completed all the way to Paulson Mine, Minnesota and toured by a train full of dignitaries. It also saw the incorporation of the aforementioned town of Leeblain on the shores of Gunflint Lake. I wonder what it would have been like to be a fly on the wall 120 years ago and witness those events! I really wish there were photos of the events, or better yet, I wish we could find them if there are.

Arthur B. Lee and Hugh Blain.

Arthur B. Lee and Hugh Blain.

Anyway, time to wrap things up. I have all that marking to get to! Until next week…

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Posted by on January 8, 2013 in History, Miscellaneous, Research, Writing


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