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Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Real City of Roma, Texas!

The Real City of Roma, Texas

Roma was founded in 1765 and incorporated in 1936. It serves as a port of entry from Mexico into the U.S. via the Roma-Ciudad Miguel Aleman International Bridge. Prior to Texas's independence from Mexico in 1836, the town was listed as under the jurisdiction of the town of Mier, Tamaulipas,  and prior to Mexican Independence existed under Spanish rule.”

The Roma-Ciudad Miguel Alemán International Bridge ordinarily serves a port of entry between Mexico and the United States It is open 24 hours a day, all year long. It spans the Rio Grande (known as Rio Bravo in Mexico) between Roma, Texas and Ciudad Miguel Aleman, Tamaulipas

This suspension bridge was built in 1928 and was reopened in 2004. It is a National Historic Landmark in the United States and in Mexico. Roma was a prosperous riverport in the 19th century. Historic structures front a plaza overlooking the Rio Grande with a view of the bridge.

The Roma Ciudad Aleman International Bridge is currently out of service pending renovation.”

Ciudad Miguel Alemán, known prior to 1950 as San Pedro de Roma, is a city in the Mexican State of Tamaulipas, located across the Rio Grande from the U.S. city of Roma, Texas. The two are linked by the Roma-Ciudad Miguel Aleman International Bridge, a suspension bridge. As of 2010, the population of the city was 19,997. The total population of the surrounding municipality was 27,015.

Mier (Spanish: Ciudad Mier), also known as El Paso del Cántaro, is a city in Mier Municipality in Tamaulipas, located in northern Mexico near the Rio Grandge, just south of  Falcon Dam. It is 90 miles (140 km) northeast of Monterrey on Mexican Federal Highway 2.  In 1990, the population was recorded at 6,190. By the 2010 census, it had dropped to 4,762 inhabitants.  It has an agricultural economy centered on cotton, sugarcane, corn, and livestock.

The town was founded on March 6, 1753. The land was originally owned by Felix de Almandoz. Land later passed on to General Prudencio Basterra who married Felix's sister Ana Maria. 19 Families from Camarrgo  formed the new settlement. The town is called Mier because the governor of the New Kingdom of León from 1710 to 1714, Francisco Mier y Torre, used to spend the night there on his way to Texas. It began to be called Estancia de Mier and then simply Mier. This is where the steamboats used to stop when they came up the Río Bravo.”

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Fall River Line Rail and Steamship Travel (1847 to 1937)

The Fall River Line Rail Line
and Steamship Travel 
Between Boston and New York 
from 1847 to 1937

The Fall River Line was a combination steamboat and railroad connection between New York City and Boston that operated between 1847 and 1937. It consisted of a railroad journey between Boston and Fall River, Massachusetts, where passengers would then board steamboats for the journey through Narraganset Bay and Long Island Sound to the line's own Hudson River dock in Manhattan. For many years, it was the preferred route to take for travel between the two major cities. The line was extremely popular, and its steamboats were some of the most advanced and luxurious of their day.”

In 1872 the Fall River Line was completely reorganized and became part of the Old Colony Railroad under the name Old Colony Steamboat Company.

In 1883, the Pilgrim was launched. The first modern liner of the fleet, she featured a double-hull for increased safety, was 370 feet long, and had sleeping quarters for 1,200 passengers. At the time of its launch it was the largest steamboat in the world. The Pilgrim could make the 176 mile trip between Fall River and New York in about 8.5 hours."

The Puritan was added in 1889, and would serve the line until 1908.

Introduced in 1908, the Commonwealth was the largest of the fleet, at 455 feet in length. She provided 425 staterooms for passengers and boasted a grand staircase, a dining saloon, writing room, and a dance floor.

"In 1894, the Fall River Line launched the Priscilla, which at the time was the largest side-wheeler afloat, capable of accommodating 1,500 passengers.

“The Old Colony Railroad (OC) was a major railroad system, mainly covering southeastern Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island. It operated from 1845 to 1893. Old Colony trains ran from Boston to points such as Plymouth, Fall River, New Bedford, Newport, Providence, Fitchburg, Lowell and Cape Cod. For many years the Old Colony Railroad Company also operated steamboat and ferry lines, including those of the Fall River Line with express train service from Boston to its wharf in Fall River where passengers boarded luxury liners to New York City. The company also briefly operated a railroad line on Martha's Vineyard, as well as the freight-only Union Freight Railroad in Boston. The OC was named after the "Old Colony", the nickname for the Plymouth Colony. 

Old Colony Railroad Depot, Kneeland Street, Boston

“From 1845 to 1893, the OC network grew extensively largely through a series of  mergers and acquisitions with other established railroads, until it was itself acquired by the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad, under lease agreement on March 1, 1893 for its entire 617-mile network.
The New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, commonly known as the New Haven, was a railroad that operated in the northeast United States from 1872 to 1968. It served the states of Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusets its primary connections included Boston and New York”

Murry Street Pier, New York City


Gardner, J. Howland, The Development of Steam Navigation on Long Island Sound, originally published in 1945 by The Society of Navel Architects and Marine Engineers, reprinted 1994 by The Steamship Historical Society of America, Providence, Rhode Island. 

McAdam, Roger Williams, The Old Fall River Line, New York, Stephen Daye Press, 1937, 1955

McAdam, Roger Williams, Priscilla of Fall River, New York, Stephen Daye Press, 1956

McAdam, Roger Williams, Salts of the Sound, New York, Stephen Daye Press, 1957

McAdam, Roger Williams, The Glory That Was: A Pictorial History of The World Famed Fall River Line, Fall River, Massachusetts, R.E. Smith Printing Company, 1967

McAdam, Roger Williams, Floating Palaces: New Engliand to New York on the Old Fall River Line, Rhode Island, Andrew Mowbray Publishing, 1972

Clegg, Charles and Beebe, Lucius, The Trains We Rode: Volume 1, Alton to New York Central, Berkeley, California, Howell-North Books, 1965

www.railroad.net, The Railroad Network

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Horse Racing in San Francisco! 1851 to 1905

Pioneer and Union Race Courses
(1851 or 1852 to 1863)

In 1852 the Pioneer Race Track opened on the site bounded by Mission, Bryant, 24th, and Army Streets.”

"March 24, 1851 - Spring racing season opens at Pioneer"

"At the time it was laid out, there were no streets in the neighborhood, but from a map published in 1864, it would appear to have been bound roughly by what is now 24th (formerly Park) and 26th  Streets (formerly Navy) and Capp and Alabama." 

"The course of the Union Race Track can be found just south of the Mission and farther south (beyond this section of the map) was the Pioneer Race Track. The tracks were built here because of a shared conviction that horses ran faster on a wet, springy turf. In 1850, between Twentieth and Twenty-fourth streets, Mr. A.A. Greene built the first regulation track. San Francisco’s racetracks were described as “probably not surpassed by any in the world, where especially on Sunday. . . the most celebrated of the fleet steeds of California are matched against each other to the delight of the multitude.”69 By 1852, horses were being brought in from Australia to race California horses on these fast tracks."

“George and John Treat, U.S. army veterans from Maine, landed in San Francisco in 1849 and settled in a remote corner of the southeastern Mission valley, where they lived for many years. As early as 1850 (according to his testimony at a land title appeal hearing in 1865), George Treat built a fence along an old stone wall originally erected by mission neophytes, and thus controlled the Potrero Nuevo tract, including much of the eastern portion of today’s Mission District and Potrero Hill. The Treat brothers grew commercial foodstuffs, raised cattle, and speculated in real estate; they owned very large tracts of land in the Mission District and in the Outside Lands (the Inner Sunset District). George Treat, an ardent Abolitionist and member of the First Committee of Vigilance of San Francisco, also engaged in Western mining enterprises and became a powerful local businessman. A racing aficionado, he built and ran the Pioneer Race Track (the first in San Francisco) in the southern Mission valley in the 1850s. At the end of the decade, George Treat sold the racetrack for residential development, and he likely engineered the passage of the San Francisco‐San Jose Railroad through the land. His brother, farmer John Treat, apparently lived in the house that stands today at 1266‐1268 Hampshire Street between 24th and 25th Streets in the southeastern Mission from at least the late 1860s (and possibly as early as the 1850s) until the late 19th century.”

The houses are located on the site of the former race track, which changed its name, ownership, and configuration over its 12 years of existence. Opened in 1851 as the Pavilion Race Course, it was re-named the Union Race Course, and by the time it closed in 1863, it was known as the Willows Trotting Course. The angled, pear-shaped race track occupied an off-grid space spanning roughly from what is now the corner of 19th and South Van Ness to 22nd and Harrison streets.”

Bay View Race Track
(1864 to 1882)

"When the Bayview was the working-class neighborhood of South San Francisco, the area was made accessible by the Long Bridge, a wooden structure that crossed Mission Bay in 1865. The bridge stretched all the way down to the Victorian ornate Bay View Race Track and Park. Nevada City mining millionaire George Hearst (yeah, those Hearsts) funded the construction, complete with a very fancy hotel.

At the time, horseracing was a very popular (and profitable) San Francisco weekend activityThe soggy marshland provided an ideal spot for the track, as it was thought to be good conditions for the horses. The track was built at the end of the Potrero & Bay View Railroad (now Third Street). Folk rode the Potrero and Bay View Railway down what's now Third Street and Kentucky Streets across Islais Creek to the track at the end of the line.

Bay View Park Race Course The Bay View Park Race Course was an early recreational facility constructed within what is now Bayview-Hunters Point. Built in 1864 by several prominent investors at the heart of what is now the South Basin Activity Node in Area B, the facility was constructed on marshland to take advantage of the underlying soggy soil, which was thought at the time to provide a springy surface that enhanced the speed of the horses. Accessed by several graded roads paved with oyster shells, the Bay View Race Course also had a hotel. Originally it was supposed to have been accessed by horse-drawn rail cars but this line was not built beyond Islais Creek until the 1880s. By the early 1880s, the hotel had burned and the race course abandoned. By the time the 1883 Coast Survey Map was published, Bay View Park was no more, leaving little behind aside for its name, which eventually became applied to the surrounding flats south of the Hunters Point peninsula.5 The period of significance for this theme is 1864-1880.”

Ocean View Course

Golden Gate Driving Park

Bay District Racetrack

Ingleside Racetrack

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Pehr Ling's Treatise on Physical Development

Pehr Henrik Ling (Peter Henry Ling)
Born: 15th of November, 1766
Smaland, Sweeden
Died 3rd of May, 1839

The following are the general laws which Ling has laid down in his Treatise on Physical Development:

  1. Every just attempt to develop the powers of the human being - mental or corporeal - is properly education.
  2. Every movement should have proper relation to the organization of the body; whatever transgresses the laws of that organism is irrational. 
  3. The sphere of the activity of the muscles and the laws of gravitation determine the limits of a movement of the body.
  4. Every movement, however simple and slight it may appear to be, acquires its character from the nature of the whole organism, and each part of the body, within the limits of its own function and office, ought to participate in that movements. 
  5. To arrive at a healthful development of the body, it is necessary to begin at the primitive type of each movement; this study should be exact, and can never be considered trifling or unimportant by any one who knows that every movement is either simple or composite. 
  6. In physical order, as in moral order, simple things are the most difficult to apprehend, thence one can not too zealously study simple movements. 
  7. A movement is nothing worth if it is not correct, that is if it is not in conformity with the laws of the organism. 
  8. The body, whose different parts are not in harmony, is not in harmonious accord with the mind. 
  9. The aim of movements as a science is the proper development of the human organism. 
  10. Correct movements are such as are founded on the character and temperament of the individual to be developed thereby. 
  11. The organism can only be said to be perfectly developed when its several parts are in mutual harmony, corresponding to the different individual pre-dispositions. 
  12. The possible development of the human body must be limited by the faculties, mental and bodily, belonging to the individual. 
  13. A faculty may be blunted by want of exercise, but can never be utterly annihilated. 
  14. An incorrect and misapplied movement may pervert the development of such a faculty. Consequently an incorrect movement tends rather to the disadvantage than to the gain of the harmonious development of the body. 
  15. All one-sided development impedes the practice of corporeal exercise; general and harmonious development, on the contrary, facilitates it. 
  16. Stiffness or immobility, in any part of the organism, is, in most instances, only an over-development, which is always attended by corresponding weakness in other parts. 
  17. The over-development of one part may be diminished, and the weakness of other parts remedied, by equally distributed movements. 
  18. It is not the greater or lesser power of any part that determines the strength or weakness of any individual, so much as the proportion and harmony of the several parts. Congenital and accidental disorders are not considered here, of course. 
  19. A real and healthful power consists in a simultaneous action of the several parts (or in action and re-action). In order that motion and power may be developed to their highest point, they must co-operate  simultaneously in all parts. 
  20. Perfect health and physical power are consequently correlative terms; both are dependent on the harmony of the several parts. 
  21. In corporeal development, commencing with the simplest, you may gradually advance to the most complicated and powerful movements; and this without danger, inasmuch as the pupil has acquired the instinctive knowledge of what he is or is not capable. 

Taylor, George Herbert, A.M. MD, An Exposition of the Swedish Movement-Cure. New York, Fowler and Wells Publishers, 1860