No. 1295—The Wonderful Wonderful World Wide Web
I love the intimate knowledge of a community that
a local historian acquires, but it is frustrating to catch only glimpses of the
larger world beyond Albion. Twenty-six
years ago, it was very difficult to get information on the many things that
came and went through
I was reminded of that when I ran across a little item in the Orleans Republican for February 9, 1910. The item was a reprint of an article from the Medina Register:
However, the interesting thing was the circus. In earlier days I would say, "that's
interesting, a circus based in
McPhee was born in
In 1890, in
From 1911 to 1913, Downie was partners with A. F. Wheeler as Downie and Wheeler’s Circus. In 1914, he formed his own circus, named after this wife, La Tena Wild Animal Circus, which started as a ten car railroad circus, increased to 15 cars, and folded in Havre de Grace, MD, in 1917. He then leased the Main Circus name from Walter L. Main, and rolled up a fortune, selling out in 1924 to Miller Bros. for their famous 101 Ranch Wild West Show. In 1926, he was back with the motorized Downie Bros. Circus. He retired in 1930 and Charles Sparks took over the title. The Downie Bros. Circus continued until 1994.
One person who knew him described Downie as
“a very loveable person, who certainly made a name for himself in the show business,
and remained very active even up to the time of his death, at the age of 67
years.” Andrew Downie McPhee died on
December 17, 1930, and Christena died on April 13, 1933. They are both buried in
What an extra dimension the World Wide Web
take a bite out of history—On the third Wednesday of every month, at the Swan Library, I give a 30-minute local history talk. The title of the series invites people to bring their lunch during their lunch hour. Coffee, drinks, and snacks are provided.
My topic last month was “George Pullman—the Man, the Car, and the Church.” Well, I tried very hard to cram all the details into half an hour, but I got only as far as Pullman the young man—his first business of cabinetmaking, his second business of moving buildings, and his third business of making railroad sleeping cars.
Therefore, this month, on Wednesday,
September 17, at 12:15 I will continue the story with his departure for
Cemetery Tours—Every year Orleans County Historian C. W. Lattin
and I conduct six free monthly cemetery tours.
There are only two more left, both at
Next week: Back to the William Hart farm.