Puslapio vaizdai



He history of American colonies from the earliest feeble beginning has ever been a theme of intense interest. The major

ity of those people who laid the foundation of our civilization were self-imposed exiles from their native lands, preferring to brave the hardships and privations of a new world rather than submit to oppressions which became unbearable.

We sometimes forget or fail to comprehend what those people have done for us, or to realize the almost miraculous development of educational interests since Dec. 22, 1620, when the Pilgrims passed through the awful experience of that first winter on a bleak coast, struggling with cold, disease, and death. With grim fortitude they dug graves in the frozen earth for half of their number. When Governor Winthrop joined the colonists in 1630, with a thousand recruits, he found them subsisting on shellfish and acorns. A day was appointed for fasting and prayer, which turned into feasting by the arrival of a ship heavily loaded with provisions. Thus the first Thanksgiving Day was observed in November, 1631.

Seven years later an old man, the Rev. John Harvard, established the first school in America, which still bears his name, and from that date until now education has been considered of vital importance. Time or money has not been spared in establishing well-equipped schools within the reach of every child.

It is true we sometimes hear old pioneers say that education is of small account, for they prospered with little or no schooling,-even accumulated riches without being able to read or write.

While this statement might hold true when spoken from the wilderness, it is most emphatically past considering to-day.

Why is it essential that the pioneer's son should receive a more thorough education than his father ? Because, instead of two millions of indifferently educated people, he has eight millions of skilled workmen and

carefully trained scholars to cope with. It is an irreparable wrong to neglect training the child for a fair start in life. And it is indeed a blessing that the States have assumed a share of the responsibility, so that no person shall be robbed of his educational birthright.

No longer can the laboring man's sonthough a mere child — be found in the factory by the side of his father, stunting his growth intellectually and physically, to increase the family income. But a fair education is given to all, thereby frequently rousing a latent spark

of genius to effort, -- feeble at first, but, as the years go by, gathering strength and knowledge from the failures and successes of preceding generations, until results have been attained that astonish the world.

Our American people are unwilling to spend a lifetime making one small part of a machine, but they eagerly grasp the principles applied in the construction of the completed article until they have mastered the whole.

The time, money, and sacrifice if need be, required to secure even a practical education, will certainly prove a safe investment. Benjamin Franklin once said, “If a man empties his purse in his head, no one can take it from him.” It is the educated workman who commands the best wages.

Once the simple fact of existing comfortably without fear of foe or famine satisfied the most ambitious. Not so now. The problem which confronts each one early in life is how to prepare for something higher and nobler than a mere existence. Some one has truthfully said that great care should be shown in the education of the youth, for education comprehends the preparation we make in our youth for the sequel of our lives.

It is generally admitted that education of the people is essential to the well-being and progress of a nation. This statement was fully indorsed by such men as Edward Everett and Burke : one having said, “Education is the chief defence of nations; » the other, «Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army. If we retrench the wages of the schoolmaster we must raise that of the recruiting-sergeant.”

A prominent statesman has said:

« Be it, then, our duty and our encouragement to live and to labor, ever mindful of the future ; but let us pot forget the past. All ages have lived and labored for us. From one has come art, from another jurisprudence, from another the compass, from another the printingpress; from all have proceeded priceless lessons of truth and virtue.

« The earliest and most distant times are not without a present influence on our daily lives. Amid the disappointments which may attend individual exertions, amid the universal agitations which now surround us, let us recognize this law, confident that whatever is just, whatever is humane, whatever is good, whatever is true, according to an immutable ordinance of Providence, in the golden light of the future, must prevail. With this faith let us place our hands - as those of little children in the great Hand of God. He will ever guide and sustain us, through pains and perils, it may be, in the path of progress toward which nothing can add greater strength than to educate the masses."


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


Hen the arbiter of the destinies of crushers which crunch through the floes,

the realm of ice and snow makes slowly tearing through the barriers or

his annual descent from the breaking them down with their immense north, nowhere does he wrap his frost- weight. fringed mantle more closely around a new- Few persons who live at a distance from found domain than in the region of the the lakes have any appreciation of how Great Lakes. To the people thus envel- much real enjoyment these vast bodies of oped the annual visit means much of water afford to the millions of inhabitants shivering discomfort, but it also holds of the five large cities and innumerable a compensation in pleasurable possibili- smaller ones which line their shores at ties denied to the inhabitants of sunnier intervals. Indeed we may seriously surclimes.

mise if the measure of their enjoyment is The great inland seas, holding more not greater than that which comes to than a third of the fresh water on the dwellers on ocean-washed beaches. In globe, are usually closed to navigation the summer, manifestly, the honors are early in December, and it is late in April nearly equal, for everywhere the provbefore they are released from the bondage ince of the regions of water and sky is to of the ice. Within that period the vast serve as common host for the work-worn area of unsalted water is traversed only drudgers from inland habitations. by the occasional ice yachts which skim The householder on the ocean shore over the frozen surface, or mayhap in cer- must needs merge his search for recreatain quarters by the many-funnelled ice- tion with that of the vacation tourist Copyrighted, icoo, by THE WERNER COMPANY. All rights reserved.


throng, but the resident of the Great Lake district, if he find little enjoyment in the general play-time, may still make reparation for the omission by the fullest indulgence in the pastimes of the snowy season. The advantage to the young people of the lake cities is manifest; for not only have they recourse to the tobogganing, snowshoeing, and tandem-driving which constitute the chief joys of their brothers and sisters in other northern cities, but skating and ice-yachting on the lakes are also possible adjuncts to the winter programme.

Between the periods of summer indulgences and winter sports there are intervals in the spring and autumn. The passenger steamers which ply up and down the lakes have, as a rule, been retired to winter quarters fully a month

With vesselmen receiving anywhere from $6.000 to $16,000, according to the size of the craft, for bringing a cargo down the thousand-mile stretch of the lakes, and with the expenses of the trip amounting to only $1,000 to $2,000, it is only natural that they should strive to keep their boats in service as long as possible. And so ofttimes in the early winter the freighters come into port with every spar and rope sheathed in many coatings of ice, and with the prow piled high with a great glistening mass, its bulk increasing as the spray from each wave is dashed against it.

You can even find old mariners who can regale you with tales of a Christmas spent on the lakes with their good ship poking her nose into a snow-laden blizzard and the sailors crawling about in oilskins

[graphic][merged small]

before any signs of a shimmering coating frozen to armor-like rigidity. Sometimes, appear upon the water, and they do not as in the winter of 1898, a whole fleet of venture out in the spring until many vessels, scurrying homeward from a final weeks after the hardy freight-carrying trip, is caught and held fast for days in steamers emerge, resplendent in a new the clutches of a great field of ice. Then dress of paint, for their season's work. it is that decisive action and quick work

These selfsame cargo-carriers consti- is necessary. Ice-crushing steamers and tute, in their late fall trips, one of the a mosquito fleet of whistling, snorting most picturesque phases of lake navigation. tugs must be hired — perhaps at an ex

[merged small][merged small][graphic]


foretaste of winter's rigors, what must be said of those rugged fellows who throughout the whole zero weather plough their staunch craft backward and forward along ice-bound trails. The ice-crushing steamers of the lakes are without exception car-ferries, – that is, they transport whole trains of passenger and freight cars from one terminal of a railway line to the other, thus constituting an important link where bridges would be impracticable.

These ice-challenging ferries ply the straits of Mackinac, the Detroit River, and across Lake Erie from the American to the Canadian shore. They are huge steelshod craft weighing several thousand tons, and some of them have cost more than $350,000 each. Fitted with propellers at either end, they crumble the ice by the pressure of their great bulk as though its three or four feet were but a thickness of cardboard.

Whatever else is wanting, adventure is not lacking in the lives of the men who spend the months of snow aboard the majestic monsters which are to the lake tracks what the snow-ploughs are to the railroad lines. A few winters since, with the thermometer ranging from 18° to 300 below zero, one of the car ferries was caught in an immense ice field on Lake Erie, and floated around for months

dreary trip across the ice, and frequently, when a yawning chasm of dark-hued water intervened between the shore and the edge of the ice field, the foragers were not able to return to their imprisoned comrades for intervals of several days.

At Put-in-Bay and the other islands at the head of Lake Erie the aspect of winter has many unique characteristics. That portion of the lake where, early in the century, Oliver Hazard Perry won the victory which he recorded by the most graphic message in our history, is now dotted over each winter by dozens of rude yet fanciful little canvas-covered huts through the roofs of which pieces of smokepipe careen at reckless angles. In these quaint habitations, made reasonably comfortable by diminutive stoves, the islanders sit for hours daily, fishing through holes cut in the ice.

To find a more utterly isolated place than some of these lake islands in the dead of winter would be extremely difficult. Sometimes communication is entirely cut off for days, and even under the most favorable conditions it must be maintained by trips across the ice on foot or by means of ice-yachts. The mail-carriers are the only persons who endeavor to make journeys over the frozen tracts at regular intervals.

[graphic][merged small]

A leaf from the life of one of these men marks which might have guided him safely will serve very well for the experiences of to his destination. all. Linden Hitchcock carries the mail Ice-yachting is an indulgence more or from Sandusky, on the mainland, to Put-in- less common to all sections of the Great Bay Island, as did his father and his grand- Lake region, but it is in the vicinity of father before him. He makes tri-weekly what summer tourists delight to term the trips, for each of which he receives $7, but “Fairy Island of Mackinac that it reaches

>> if for any cause he fails to make three trips its most perfect development. Elsewhere a week the government imposes upon him it may be but a pleasurable pastime. a fine of $21 for each trip missed. Many Here it is an essential to communication and many a time have the anxious island- of any kind, not excepting the transportaers formed searching and rescuing parties, tion of light freight. and with lanterns and torches, reënforced The ice-yachts are perhaps the swiftestby the glare of great bonfires, searched moving machines on earth. These fleetthrough the long hours of the night for winged craft, with their immense spread the mail-carrier, who has frequently been of sail, runners shod with iron, and sharpfound benumbed and bewildered by the ened rudder, easily outstrip an express loss of the sight of all the familiar land- train or carrier pigeon, and frequently

travel at a speed of eighty-
five miles per hour. In sum-
mer the little steamers which
ply between Mackinac and
St. Ignace consume half an
hour in the journey. In win-
ter the ice-yachts traverse
the six miles, on occasions,
in three minutes. Nor are
these speeds for short dis-
tances only, for last winter a
trip of twenty miles from
Cheboygan was made in
seventeen minutes.
nual speed contests of the
ice-yachts arouse fully as
inuch interest as do the re-
gattas of their prototypes
for water-sailing in more
southern climes.

Of course skating is a sport of universal indulgence all


many instances the skaters,



The an

« AnkstesnisTęsti »