National Geographic : 1938 Jul
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph by Charles Martin OLD "ATLANTIC," BUILT BY A WATCHMAKER, RUNS 8 MILES ON A TON OF COAL Phineas Davis, of York, Pennsylvania, won a $4,000 prize in 1831 for designing a similar grass hopper-type locomotive for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. At the Fair of the Iron Horse, near Baltimore in 1927, these "passengers," dressed in the fashion of the 1830's, rode in double-decked Imlay coaches as their forefathers did when trains like this ran to Frederick, Point of Rocks, and later to Harpers Ferry, from the Maryland metropolis. The locomotive, operating at 20 to 30 miles per hour, was the first to enter Washington, D. C., on rails, and was in continuous service until 1893. It still chugs along for exhibition, resting between times in old Bailey's roundhouse at Baltimore. The near-by village of Gap Mills is the birthplace of Andrew Summers Rowan, the man who, without question, carried Presi dent McKinley's "Message to Garcia" at the time of the Spanish-American War. One member of the Rowan family keeps a store in Gap Mills today; another runs the service station. "We pronounce it 'Roawn,' " said one. "Andrew was born here in 1857, and is still living, out in San Francisco. He was a mountain boy who'd learned to depend on himself. He didn't talk much. Maybe that's why the message went through." In the headwaters of Dunlap Creek is Beaver Dam Falls, where a meandering stream drops into a deep pool. By it grow ferns and wild columbine. Rambler roses cover old cabins not far away. South of Lexington is Natural Bridge. Thomas Jefferson, recognizing it as one of the world's wonders, bought it for 20 * See "Jefferson's Little Mountain," by Paul Wil stach, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, April, 1929. shillings. Its value has so increased with the years that today it costs a similar sum for a small family to look at it. Next day in Lexington, a student showed me Washington and Lee University, en dowed by George Washington. He ex plained how General Robert E. Lee, who is buried here, became president of the school after the Civil War. Students, he said, are expected to speak to everyone by name, if they can, otherwise by the expression "Hi, gentleman." Long ago an undergraduate, who is called "the unknown soldier," escorted a travel-stained stranger around Washington and Lee. Afterwards, the will of a wealthy New Yorker conveyed much of his fortune to the school, because of his courteous recep tion there. From Lexington I went northeastward to Charlottesville to meet Culver again. We took the steep, winding road to "Little Mountain," * where Thomas Jefferson built a home with an unobstructed view.