Friday, July 31, 2015

Travel in the 1840's!

Last week we talked about Holly Springs being for sale.  This week I wanted y’all to learn about how those earliest Holly Springs citizens traveled in the 1840’s.  It tended to be rough and slow:
“The traveling is incessant but not very expeditious, not averaging 4 miles an hour.”

For those wondering about price, Henry Craft mentions the cost of traveling from Holly Springs, Mississippi to Griffin, Georgia in 1844.  Henry, and his sister, travelled first by coach $8 per person from Holly Springs, Mississippi to Tuscumbia, Alabama.   The two then went by rail to Madison, Georgia which cost 5 cents per mile and the rail was “now operating with horse power.”  They went from Madison, Georgia to Marietta, Georgia  (probably by rail) and finally, the tired siblings took a “miserable hack” from Marietta, Georgia all the way to Griffin, Georgia (he does not mention the cost).

The overall journey took 5 days and nights (120 hours) to traverse which nowadays takes around 6 hours by car.

You might like to read these letters collected by Chesley T. Smith.  This version is missing Henry Craft’s photo and there are typos but it is a fun read to see how Henry manages his near death experience(s) with horses on ice and cliffs to laughable moments when Henry, enamored by the ladies in the carriage, stops to pick some flowers on the countryside only to be left behind by the carriage and forced to “trudge four miles after it under a hot sun.”

Although Henry Craft travelled around the country, he was, like most of us, so happy to finally make it back home “on Tuesday took my seat on the driver’s box of the stage and after a long hot day’s ride was welcomed to the home of which I had been thinking so long.”

With all the adventures and troubles of travel during this time it is no wonder why the locals decided to put in a railroad line and setup The Depot.

The above quotes were taken from this little booklet that had been sold in 2001 at the local Marshall County Historical Museum.


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