Stuff Happens – on a sleigh ride!

In Jonathan and Mary Clark’s era, if you needed to get somewhere during the winter—for business or for pleasure—you probably rode in a a horse-drawn sleigh. Travel in a sleigh could be fun, even exhilarating, but was not without its perils, most of which came from inadequately maintained roads and trails:

Bennett, W. J. , Engraver, and George Harvey. Winter. No. 5., Impeded Travelers in a Pine Forest, Upper Canada / engraved from the original painting by G. Harvey A.N.A., New York, 1841. Color aquatint. Library of Congress. Click to open larger image in new window.

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Much of this post appeared last year, but since we—finally!— got some snow in southeast Wisconsin last night, I thought I’d share it again, with a few additions and revisions, and a new, hand-colored, version of the artwork.

Snow, and often lots of it, was a feature of Jonathan and Mary Clark’s life in Wisconsin. So if you wanted to go to town or church or visit your neighbors during the snowy Wisconsin winter—or just enjoy a pleasant winter ride in the country—you’d need a sleigh.

Currier, Nathaniel (1813-1888), The road, winter / O. Knirsch, lith., 1853. New York: Published by Currier & Ives. Yale University Art Museum, Whitney Collections of Sporting Art, given in memory of Harry Payne Whitney (B.A. 1894) and Payne Whitney (B.A. 1898) by Francis P. Garvan (B.A. 1897) June 2, 1932. Public domain. Click to open larger image in new window.1

We don’t know if the Clarks owned a sleigh while they lived in Mequon. I suspect they did, though their sleigh—and their clothing—may not have been quite as posh as those in this Currier & Ives lithograph from 1853.

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2021 Blog Roundup

It’s a New Year (yikes!—we’re already three weeks into the New Year!), and I thought I’d take a break from researching and note-taking for quick look back at our 2021 year of blogging at Clark House Historian. The blog is about to celebrate its seventh anniversary (on March 29), and 2021 was our most productive year so far, sharing more posts, documents, and historic maps and images with our readers than ever before.

The author, hard at work. For full photo credits, see below. Click to open larger image in new window.

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Hail, Smiling morn! – 2022 edition

Happy New Year to all, and best wishes that 2022 will be an improvement on the past year. (A low bar, I know.) Anyway, when I first published this post, on January 1, 2021, I wrote: I’m almost done with my research on the second half of the 1843 concert by the Milwaukie Beethoven Society. (If you missed our earlier posts on that concert, links are here and here.) But it’s New Year’s Day, and I’m not quite done writing about “Part Second.”

Well, it turns out that “not quite done” was an optimistic estimate, as I became distracted by so many other research topics and posts and never got around to discussing the second part of the Milwaukee Beethoven Society’s concert. New Year’s Day is here again, and I’m still not done, alas, but I have not forgotten and—with luck—I will finish that post some time this winter.

A spot of Spofforth to ring in the New Year…

Meanwhile, let’s start the New Year on a cheerful note by reprising last year’s festive musical selection, drawn from that second part of the Milwaukee Beethoven Society’s 1843 premiere concert:

Milwaukee Weekly Sentinel March 15 1843, page 2. Click to open larger image in new window.

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