Greetings fellow Depot lovers!
Today we are going off on a journey to Wales.
A distance of some 4,221 miles.
When he acquired The Holly Springs Depot, O.B. Kerr was told the slate for the 1886 addition on the Depot was transported with a crew of roofers all the way from Wales!
If this is true, some of y’all (with Welsh ancestry) might have some connections to the Depot and its roofers.
At the very least, we know the slate came from “over the pond” in Wales.
The proof? We still have some of the original slate pieces that were marked!
The imprint above says:
W. Hancock & Co.
It turns out that the slate was from the “W. Hancock’s Lane End Brickworks” in the city of Buckley not Hawarden. Both cities are located in Flintshire county; but Hawarden , at the time, was more famous than Buckley. That is why the “W. Hancock & Co.” used the neighboring city of Hawarden to promote their products to out of town customers.
Cite: Davies, Paul. Hancock’s Lane End Brickworks. 1905. Digital copy of photograph. The Buckley Society, Buckley, Wales. The Buckley Society. 18 August 2016. <http://comma.gtsystems.net/014r0afh0078.htm>.
So back in 1886, the Depot’s roofing material (and possibly roofers) came from W. Hancock’s Lane End Brickworks in Buckley, Wales (pictured above).
Once produced, the slate moved onto the rails, then by sea, then rails again until the product landed at the Depot.
Where the slate was used by Mr. H.J. Yeldham and his crew to cover the Depot’s roof (As mentioned in this previous post: http://thehollyspringsdepot.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-first-roofers-of-depots-1886.html ).
The entire project was overseen by Mr. J. B. Lee. Mr. J. B. Lee was the Master Carpenter appointed by the Illinois Central Railroad. Mr. J.B.Lee is mentioned in the last paragraph of the above photo (Please see this previous post for the full article: http://thehollyspringsdepot.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-grand-opening-of-holly-springs.html ).
This incredible journey for a single product is not unique for the Depot!
During the Depot’s heyday, it would get the following every single day:
Once a day: Fruit and vegetables from the Tropics, beef from Kansas City, oysters from New Orleans, Butter and other meats from Chicago, and Silurian water from Waukesha (in Wisconsin).
Twice a day: Mail and fish (one from the Great Lakes and another shipment from the Gulf of Mexico).
This list impresses me greatly. However, what really boggles my mind is that the Depot went even further for their customers.
These first class 50 cent meals were prepared by French chefs and served by waiters who would sing to their customers! These five singing waiters (pictured above) were Add Isom, Dudley Williams, Arch Sutton, Dick Shuford, and Charlie Rather.
This shows that the Depot was meant to impress and transport the weary traveler to a life of luxury!