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A Tale of Two Towns: A Mining and a Farming Community in the by Duane A. Smith

By Duane A. Smith

The Nineties have been a tumultuous decade in American historical past, with fiscal melancholy, struggle, heated politics, and exertions conflicts surrounding AmericaÂ’s emergence as a global strength. in contrast chaotic history, existence within the rowdy western mining city of Durango, Colorado, and the quiet agricultural hamlet of Sandwich, Illinois, worlds aside.

In A story of 2 Towns, historian Duane Smith takes a comparative examine Durango and Sandwich on the way to ascertain what existence used to be like in those small groups.

His attention-grabbing learn, in line with a detailed exam of papers, municipal documents, and private correspondence, bargains a different portrait of lifestyle in those cities. A story of 2 Towns indicates how small city lifestyles a century in the past in those groups was once particularly related, and hauntingly well-known to lifestyles in every one city this day.

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Additional info for A Tale of Two Towns: A Mining and a Farming Community in the 1890s

Sample text

Most of these people lived the quiet life of middle-class America, hoping to make a living and give their children more opportunity than they themselves had. Even a century later, making their acquaintance will help reveal to us how and why the United States arrived where it is. Page xviii Come now, meet these people in the pages ahead with Nellie's enthusiasm, her adventuresome nature, and her inquisitiveness. Some of the people you meet will play only cameo roles, others will dominate their communities.

On September 13, 1880, farmers started the fall harvest in the fields around Sandwich, when the first survey stake was being driven for the new town of Durango, named after the town in Mexico that the railroad hoped to reach one day. In truth, there never should have been a Durango. Two miles north of it, the six-year-old farming village of Animas City had suffered the deadly consequences of misreading history. Its population grew at the same pace Sandwich's did, though to a smaller degree, reaching 286 people in 1880.

2 What the early settlers needed most was better transportation; stage and wagon travel proved slow and cumbersome, and it was hindered by the weather. Better transportation came in the form of the railroad, the wonder of the age. It automatically brought rural and urban areas closer together, lowered travel costs, and reduced time spent moving people and freight. Railroad lines could break radically with geographical contours, following the straightest possible route between markets, and could carry more people and goods than any other means of land transport.

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