Derek’s Picks August 2020

Diary: James P. Stabler, 1827 (Volume 4)

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After spending 2+ weeks in Great Britain visiting distant family and exploring tourist sites, James grows anxious to return home.  He sums up his land-based adventures, written in Volume’s 2 and  3, starting here. Reading his “Review”, it is beautifully written and introspective.  A perfect lead-in to the Return Voyage detailed in Volume 4.  Something that Volume 4 shares with the other volumes is James’ use of old shorthand!  Don’t forget to read Page 29 of Volume 4, where he describes seeing the Aurora Borealis for the first time: a fitting end to a 3-month adventure!

Journal: James P. Stabler, 1830

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I’m a self-confessed gearhead that loves all things related to the history of transportation.  The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad is the oldest railroad in the United States, opening in 1830.  Its founder – Philip Evan Thomas – was from Colesville and was related to the pioneer settlers of Sandy Spring.    James Pleasants Stabler, of Sandy Spring, was a man of many talents. After returning from his Trans-Atlantic adventure in 1827, James married the daughter of Educator/Engineer/Surveyor Isaac Briggs.   In addition to being Postmaster of Sandy Spring and co-owner of the Sandy Spring Store, James Stabler was Chief Engineer and Supervisor of Construction for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.  This Journal details the construction specifications for the stone sills used on the earliest sections of the Railroad.