ARTHUR BLACKMAN 1880 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DOUBLE TRIP TRAVEL DIARY HANDWRITTEN BY A CHARMING, VERY WELL WRITTEN YOUNG BOSTON MAN IN MAINE
FORT POINT PORT KITTERY MAINE ME 1880 Good Manuscript
On offer is an amazing, original manuscript travel journal handwritten by Arthur Blackman a young Boston man who took a trip to Fort Point Maine in the summer of 1880 and then another trip to Kittery Point Maine in 1881. The young Mr. Blackman, research suggests he may have been born in 1861, is staying at the very historical hotel called "Fort Point Hotel". Not only does he write an exciting journal about life at the hotel [he writes about a man coming off the steamer who had "Swamp Fever"] but also swimming, boating, saluting steamers and schooners on the bay, evening entertainment, girl trouble, excursion to Stockton Springs, Castine and Fort Knox and so much more. He has an absolutely super way of expressing himself on paper. The diary consists of 55 handwritten pages and his entries are detailed. He notes the Hotel's owner Mr. Porter also owns a noted yacht called "The Alpha". Adding further depth he drawn a map of Fort Knox in Bucksport Maine during his visit and tour there. Here are some snippets: 1880 "August 6th & 7th, Started with Fred Lathe in the Steamer Cambridge for Fort Point, Stockton at 5:20 P.M. Eat apples, was not sick and went in at about night. Had a hard time getting to sleep, the boat rumbled and thumped so…..Arrived at about 10 o'clock. Was conducted to our rooms and immediately went in bathing. The water was as cold as I could imagine. Some girls in two boats sat and laughed and told Fred there was an undertow, he replied that his toes were under them, they hollered. We got a little acquainted with our situation and engaged a boat for the next week for $1.50. In the evening there was a hop and we sat and looked on. A man who looked like Joshua Whitcome asked us to dance and when we declined he asked if we were sick. Had a boss dinner and supper. Will describe here after. The man's name was Rawson from Bangor." "August 8th, A very pleasant day, it being Sunday. The people did not seem to notice the fact to any great extent. We went down on the rocks and in the tent and read. Pretty soon Mr. Porter let a seal out that they had caught in a salmon net when he was little. They had kept him in a little artificial pond with a rustic fence but it was too much trouble to keep him supplied with salt water so the whole crowd came out to see him go. They had a hard time but he got away at last. We sat on the rocks and saw the ships go by and wrote a letter home sending an bill of fare in it. I do not see how Mr. Porter can make enough money to pay expenses. They have about 30 servants including colored waiters, chamber maids, bell boys, cooks, stablemen, boat men and clerks, porters &c……" "August 9th, We, Fred and I, (who by the way dress, act and eat and look alike) eat breakfast early and went out in our boat with Mr. C. (Chamberlain) over to the village of Stockton. We rowed about a mile and then walked 3 miles and I bought a tooth brush for 15 cents and this blank book for 15 cents (more on their trip in town and heading back)……..In the evening the girls had a sort of an entertainment or what-ever-you-call-it, composed of shadow pictures from Mother Goose. Duck as Fred proposed. When out in the bay we saluted the Steamer, City of Bangor, and she answered by returning the three whistles then we saluted a schooner and she dipped her top sail." "August 11th & 12th, Rose late and went out to a yacht and met Mr. Savage who was in my class in the Conservatory, the second term. He was in the Forward from Bristol, a sloop with six other fellows who did not know enough to answer a salute. They loafed around all day with the large girls and danced in the evening. I took a lesson in dancing, the Racquette, from Misses Hilton, Rawson and Lincoln. Played cards and retired…….Arose late and beat Mr. Chamberlain and papa at bowling. Saw the steamer come in from Boston and a man from Stockton who had just come from the South, got off. He had swamp fever and could not move his leg. He twitched all over and looked as though he was dying. They carried him off in a wagon……." "August 18th, The Jameson Guards and the Old Town Guards came over on an excursion and paraded. They walked crooked and kept their knees bent and did not keep step. The Old Town Guards were the better. Eight of them went through the drill splendidly and as I was about the only and was the first one that stopped, one of them took off his cap to me….." "August 24th, Rose early at 6:25 and read until the girls came down at 7:10 and 7:50 which was too late to go down into the woods for bush bark. While the girls were eating breakfast, Claude and I played billiards. After the steamers came in we all went in bathing. After dinner I made a bush bark basket for Miss Hilton and wrote a letter to Fred. Read until supper time. In the evening the colored waiters had a concert. Contributions. They got about $20.00." "August 25th, Went down on the rocks with two girls by the old bath houses near the pier while they sketched and read. Stayed there until dinner time and saw the sketches of the Captain of the Steam yacht who is quite an artist. After diner we three and Claude Porter sat on the piazza and talked. Then the girls went down on the rocks with Miss Clapp of South Boston sketching……" "August 27th, Claude slept with me and we arose late, very near 9. The girls rose later and we saw the steamer come in from Boston. I made a bush bark basket for Miss Sampson from Melrose and showed Mr. and Miss Clapp and Miss Phoebe a little about tennis. Sat in the parlor and had dinner. Bid good-bye all around and exchanged pictures with form. Two are to send me theirs when they get home. Waved my nose rag until I was out of sight of the hotel and then sat on the aft deck with the crowd and ate apples, read and looked at scenery…….." TO KITTERY PT. MAINE: "July 19th, 1881 Day Book Revised. A general schedule of summer adventures at Kittery Pt. Maine between July 19th, 1881 and August 1881. Left Boston by Eastern R.R. at 8:30 A.M. with friend of Chester's and arrived at Portsmouth at 10:45 A.M. where he left me and I took Mr. Keen's stage for the Pepperrell Hotel Kittery Pt. Me. I had an hour and a half stage ride on top which would have been very pleasant but for the many stops. I arrived at the house at about twelve o'clock having taken one and one half hours to ride four miles…..The landlady was quite loquacious and asked my mother's age. No one else spoke to me. I tried the boat called the Dutch for the first and last time and hired the Ann Hutchinson for a week." "July 20th & 21st, I played bagatelle considerable and rowed around in general. Ate my meals in silence and saw lots of mute girls……. I wrote full descriptions of the place and inhabitants to several people and played hermit because I could not help it. In the time after supper I was introduced to a boy in a peculiar manner….." "July 23rd, Clam Bake. I was politely told to go around to the creek and carry my boat to the pier for transportation. There I met a midshipman and a friend who had another boat into which two of the best looking girls immediately jumped and much to my disgust and confusion left more for my boat but a homely, disagreeable one and a young little one and the panic fellow who had the cramps and would not row. I of course rowed like a sucker to catch up with the other boat which had a huge head start……" "August 10th, Did about the same as usual. Jeannie and Cora went in bathing with us, including Chester, Harry Rand and Gertrude Wall. Went to ride Saturday to York Beach and had a good three hours ride and had a general good time. We, Harry, Gertrude, Jennie, Cora, Fred and I all went to Portsmouth in the steamer and ____went in the row boat to see Mrs. Foster and family and mama started for the Isle of Shoals. We then went up town and got some jolly candy…..Papa came today and Harry, Gert., Cora, Jennie and Fred and I went to Portsmouth to meet him and came home on the top of the stage road blowing two fish horns. All serene. Evening moonlight, boat ride and waltz." The first trip consists of 36 handwritten pages and the second trip 17. The 4" x 6 ½"diary has a marbled cover and is overall.