Trip to Florida

For those planning to travel over the holidays, we offer the following report from the December 6, 1917 Skidmore News.

Dr. Spahr Writes of a Trip to Florida

Dr. D. C. Spahr of Xenia, Ohio, who is now in the army, brother of our fellow townsman, J.C., writes to his home paper, the Gazette, of his trip to Florida and we give a few extracts of which no doubt will interest many of our readers, some of whom met the Doctor when he was visiting here not long since.  He says:

“To go to Florida by way of the Chesapeake & Ohio to Charlottesville, then over the Southern R.R. to Jacksonville, is an innovation we have never indulged in before.  The C. & O. sneaks along the banks of the Ohio river and the foot of the Kentucky mountains in an easterly direction.  Although it runs on Kentucky soil it passes through many Ohio cities, like South Ripley, South Manchester, South Portsmouth and South Ironton, Ohio.  It does this to keep Ohio people from becoming homesick.  Ohio is so crowded with cities that the south end of many of them are crowded across the river into Kentucky.  We left the Ohio river at Catlettsburg, Ky., and passed through southern West Virginia to New River and Thurmond.  Here we stopped for a day or two.  This is a remarkable town of possibly 600 inhabitants.  Banks, business houses, dwellings, but without a road, street, or alley.  Only hills, rocks, river, the railroad and cola mines.  Not a wagon or truck, automobile or horse, with the exception of one horse and one mule over on the south side.  The houses are built up to the track and on up the hill to the top.  Business rooms extend back into the hill like a cave with plate glass doors and windows.  The business rooms have no back doors, consequently would be of no value for saloon purposes in Ohio.

You elevate yourself up to the houses on the side of the hill by the help of the sprouts and small trees, and unlock your front door from the top of a twenty-foot ladder.  The grocer delivers your purchases with a long handled pitchfork.

There has never been an automobile in this town – not even a Ford, but they have waterworks, and every time I turn the faucet I expect a Ford to pop out, for it is impossible to get away from them.

This is a dirty, ragged town, but chock full of business and hustle, and great things are being done.

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