Page images

teresting and as beautiful as the whole work is fierce impressive is and prodigious. For the Pernot process the Bessemer, the Siemens furnace is used, producing the which decar- most intense of all terrestrial heats. You bonizes melted look into a peep-hole of the open-hearth iron in huge caldrons through a plate of blue glassconverters by without that your eyesight would be exforcing an air tinguished-and see the iron there melted stream through into a dead white wrinkled semi-liquid,

it. First the which has precisely the appearance of a silicon rushes out of the converter in a snow-drift. Finally the product is tested: thick volume of orange flame; then the how thoroughly may be judged when it is carbon, like white fire. When that is mentioned that steel for the Brooklyn over, a rill of snapping, scintillating Bridge was required to bend double in spiegel-iron is let in, to mingle with the inch-square rods without breaking. pure iron that lies candescent amid its The Cambria Company's monster has own radiations of peach-blossom-colored literally eaten up one side of a hill; the light; and afterward the perfected steel is ground on which it stands is all underpoured into quarter-ton ingots as easily mined, and the pith of another hill across as if only cream-candy drops were being the Conemaugh is gradually being drawn made. But when the converter is turned out by the miner's pick. A fine librafor pouring there is a rush of sparks clear ry in a charmingly designed building is across the foundry, arched like the rain- placed at the service of the mechanics by bow and fiery as a comet. The effect is their employers; but Johnstown itself is a dispiriting borough, shabby and dirty. which is termed the “mountain county" Darkness and desolation are apt to spread of Pennsylvania, and in fact bestrides the where manufacture gets a foot-hold; but crown of the ridge. Cambria has always the factories themselves are grandly el- been a thoroughfare. It contained the emental enough to compensate. It is head of canoe navigation, and the old Inmore in the streets and houses of the dian trails converged there. Civilization working people that the need of beauty has followed almost exactly the print of is felt, to overcome the discord which the the moccasin in the State highway, and works bring into the picturesque high- the Portage Railroad, and later in the lands.

Pennsylvania Railroad. In summer and The single-file fires of the coke-burners autumn the east-going track of this line is here and there continue the long chain of covered with a low green growth, while labor stretching from Pittsburgh to Al- the west-going track shows only the toona through the heights of Cambria, cracked stone of the ballast:

The rea

[graphic][merged small]
[graphic][merged small]

son of this is that trains from the West mountain chain, on a scale commensurate drop stray grains of wheat all along, with the country and with the industries which spring up among the stones. Birds we have glanced at. But it is not an orfrom the neighboring woods make this dinary hotel, and its origin deserves nogranary a feeding ground, and even wild tice. An eccentric man of genius, Dr. R. turkeys have been seen there snatching a M. S. Jackson, who practiced in Cambria hasty meal between two trains. Could County, conceived the idea of making a there be a prettier piece of unconscious po- sanitarium at this spot. Many years etry than this in the midst of prosaic traf- ago he published a singular book, now ficking? Some of the poorer dwellers rare, entitled The Mountain, crammed along the route emulate the birds by col- with all manner of learning-medical, lecting coal that drops from the freight cars mythological, antiquarian, meteorological like the grain, and many get their whole -even describing the fauna and flora of fuel supply from these crumbs of the rich the district which had so enraptured him. man's table. Sitting on the cool veran- Originality and insight burst through his das of the Mountain House at Cresson, of involved style like the fragrant gum from a July dusk, the tourist or the resting a pine-tree. His dominant idea was that man of business sees a line of a hundred mankind should touch the earth, like Ancars, with the tawny flare of locomotive tæus, to renew its strength, and that the fires at either end, carrying toward the place of all others to do this at was Cresson, sea the food of nations; or hears, perhaps, which is twenty-three hundred feet above like the sound of a population on the the sea, cool in summer, even as to climate, march, the low, heavy rumble of wheels and has less rain-fall than the slope Atthat are bearing immigrants to their still lanticward, presenting in this way a temuncreated homes. He listens, in fine, to perate balminess without too much humidone of the pulse-beats of the world. ity. He also laid great stress on the

Characteristically American, a hotel has soothing effect of natural beauty. reared itself at the very summit of the Antæus was the son of Poseidon, who personifies the regenerative power of water, of redwood shingle and olive green, so that and at Cresson this power was supplied in it harmonizes with the landscape. the form of springs. So the doctor start- The geology of the mountains imparts ed his hotel. “Not for wine-bibbers, sen- a variety to the Cresson springs. Some, sual and profane persons,” he declares, flowing from sand and shale, are filtered “not for the gross and godless, not for into absolute purity, and store up four or seekers and lovers of pleasure alone, was it five hundred thousand gallons of a delito be provided, but for the sick and suffer- cious beverage for the summer visitors. ing, the mournful wanderers in the pain- Others, issuing from calcareous layers or world.” It was likewise to be a home for the carbon series, are strongly mineral, the broken-hearted, the wise, the gentle, notably the iron and alum springs. Dr. the cultivated. The choice of locality Jackson gave them fanciful names, which was justified by the success of the hostelry; have not been kept-Rhododendron, Calxthough that dream cherished by the "Æs- ation, Discord, Brandy Spring—this last culapian regenerator," as he humorously being “from the generous flow of that styled himself, of establishing with it a beverage which occurred at the time of its library, museum, and observatory, has discovery." Another, Ignatius Spring, never been carried out. Charles Dickens commemorates “old Ig. Adams," a huntis said to have halted at the inn during his er who lived near it and grew to be a first American tour; and Sumner, when centenarian, presumably by the aid of its disabled by Preston Brooks, had recourse waters. to its healing air and the skill of Dr. A few miles from the Mountain House Jackson, who, besides being a brilliant and its cottages the village of Loretto converser, was a man of solid professional stands, in a small tract of farms surroundattainments. The hotel has been trans- ed by the ever-waiting forest, as a humble ferred to a better site, and within a year monument to Prince Dmitri Galitzin, or two the railroad company, by expend- who came thither as a priest in 1799. His ing upon it a quarter of a million dollars name, which also survives in the neighand a good deal of judgment, has made it boring town of Gallitiin, is well known; one of the finest of its order. Fortunately but outside of his Church the story of his its architecture and ornamentation belong self-sacrificing life is not well enough reto the new revival of good taste, the creed membered. Travelling as a young man

[graphic][merged small]
[graphic][merged small]

in America for the purpose of enlarging convent of the Sisters of Mercy, St. Aloyhis experience, he became a convert to sius, who conduct a flourishing school Catholicism, and entered its ministry. there. There is also a boys' school carProspects of preferment at home were re- ried on by priests. The only representasigned, and for a time he even forfeited tive of commerce in Loretto is an empohis revenues by this step. But he enter- rium announced as "The Omnifarious ed on his mission work in the then savage Store, Established 1837." Ebensburg, wilderness of the Alleghany slopes with near by, was settled by Welsh Dissentextraordinary zeal, and a humility that ers. Thirty years ago Cymric was heard resented any allusion to his aristocratic commonly on the street, and the Welsh birth. He not only performed the severe women walked about with babies on duty of holding services in widely sunder their backs, knitting while they walked. ed hamlets, but bought and sold lands as But Father Galitzin was always on good agent to promote colonization, gave much terms with the Welsh pastor, Mr. Robin charity, and acted as arbiter in neigh- erts, and they were wont to talk over bors' disputes. He founded Loretto, which their respective flocks together. The misis a Catholic town, and now contains a sion priest was a stanch Federalist in

« PreviousContinue »