Coming of Age in Brookville: A Pennsylvania Tale

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Coming of Age in Brookville: A Pennsylvania Tale

Brookville in 1840
"And this also," said Marlow suddenly, "has been one of the dark places of the earth."

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Brookville, Pennsylvania, is a quaint little town by Redbank Creek, with a definite Gilded Age charm about it. (There's even an old opera house.) But back in 1844, Brookville was on the edge of civilisation – beyond lay the Far West. (Ohio.) Its infrastructure was rude, and the locals were ruder. Wolves could be heard howling in the woods at night. Irishmen could be heard howling in the taverns, of which there were a surprising number. Monongahela whiskey was the tipple of choice, at three cents the glass, and even the Presbyterians drank it. Hogs roamed free, and cows were milked at the front door come daybreak. The place was wild and woolly, and the call of the wild turkey could be heard in the land.

The world passed through Brookville, in the form of 'emigrant trains' headed into the Great Unknown (Ohio), stages with four-horse teams, freight hauled by oxen and sixteen-foot Conestoga wagons (the original long-haul truckers), and horse- and foot-traffic of all kinds. People stayed informed: politics was unusually divisive in 1844 (not like now, har har), which was a presidential election year. Pretend you don't know who's going to win – you do, right? – and enjoy the fussing between Whigs and Democrats along with the rest of the town. Or will America go rogue and vote for the Mormon candidate? (Is anything new, ever?)

From timber rafting to militia training, there will be a lot to see and do this month as Jim Tanner and Brookville come of age.


November 2020 – Coming of Age in Brookville

1
Chapter #1: Hail the Conquering Heroes

2
Chapter #2: The Emigrant Train

3
Chapter #3: Some Guests Drop In

4
Chapter #4: Turkeys and Locofoco Matches

5
Chapter #5: Academic Discussions

6
Chapter #6: An Entertaining Evening

7
Chapter #7: An Inspirational Morning

8
Chapter #8: Timber Rafting

9
Chapter #9: The Long Way Home

10
Chapter #10: Cherry Is Heroic

11
Chapter #11: The Arkansas Traveller

12
Chapter #12: An Old-Fashioned Fourth of July

13
Chapter #13: Wars and Rumours of Wars

14
Chapter #14: How to Read a Political Cartoon

15
Chapter #15: Summer Idyll

16
Chapter #16: Illegal Activity

17
Chapter #17: More Illegal Activity, and Its Consequences

18
Chapter #18: Fireside Tales

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Chapter #19: Musical Innovation

20
Chapter #20: Halloween, and Apocalypse Postponed

21
Chapter #21: More Inspiration

22
Chapter 22: Election Day Hijinks

23
Chapter #23: Christmas Fun

24
Chapter #24: Woodchuck Day

25
Chapter #25: Coming of Age

26
Chapter #26: A Little Local History

27
Chapter #27: Fishing for Memories

28
Chapter #28: A Serious Setback

29
Chapter #29: A Delayed Departure

30
Chapter #30: What Became of Them All

Dmitri Gheorgheni

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