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Apparently we swung

After a few days of traveling in Kentucky and Tennessee I was certain those states were firmly for McCain.  However when I crossed the Ohio northbound yesterday, within the first mile Indiana produced bunches of Obama signs along rural highway 231.  Now at 11:30 p.m. it appears that the state has gone for Obama.  Well I never! 

I'll pinch myself again in the morning after I re-check the news....

Itinerary: Walked over the natural bridge in eastern Ky, but did not get as far as Martin, Ky.  Then down to Cumberland Falls.  Yahoo Falls proved dry until spring.  Rode the rail to Blue Heron mining camp and walked the tipple.  Found an obscure reference about a utopian community founded in 1880 by Thomas Hughes of "Tom Brown's School Days" fame in a newsprint notice.  Thus visited Rugby Tennessee for the first time (and not the last).  Toured the library with one of the largest mint collections of victorian books in America.  Of the roughly 5000 books in the library, which stood abandoned and unlocked for decades in the wilderness, only 7 books were found missing from the original catalog.

The utopian community was to be a place where "second sons" of English gentry could come to gain land and make fortunes in America. However, they preferred to drink, play lawn tennis and frequent "the gentleman's swimming hole."  Typhoid struck, the tourist money quit when the famous inn burned.  Rugby, named after the English school from whence the sport of Rugby arose, did not flourish in the new world, but the victorian buildings lasted long enough to be restored through he efforts of a sixteen-year-old named Brian Stagg in 1966.

The Rugby Historic District now sells lots where new Rugbeians may purchase victorian-ish homes platted after the original town plans.  It is very, very quiet there.  A nice place for the like-minded to pursue a William Morris, Arts and Crafts existence, for sure.  Since Rugby is surrounded by National Forest, no Wal-Mart  is likely to ever get closer than the one in Jamestown 26 miles away.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 5th, 2008 08:46 am (UTC)
Seven books missing.
Which ones? Isn't that question, more or less, that concludes the screen adaptation of "The Time Machine", the one with Rod Taylor? In any case a good anecdote around which to spin a good mystery. Why did someone take those particular seven books.
It all sounds like you had a very satisfying trip.
Nov. 5th, 2008 02:41 pm (UTC)
Re: Seven books missing.
An excellent research question! Perhaps I can report back on that.

It was mentioned that the location of one of the books was known. Evidently it is a volume from an encyclopedic history of the Civil War that the US government issued back then, and that some old geezer has refused to return because it has been in his family's possession for more than a hundred years. I assume it contains mention of family soldiers and deeds in the war?

The library also had a juvenile textbook collection used by the community school children. I suspect some of those may have suffered injury to the point of loss. Just a theory, but I will see what I can find out.

The amazing thing is that the library building was used without a librarian or any form of records or security for years and folks just took books and brought them back when they were done with them.
Nov. 6th, 2008 10:04 pm (UTC)
Re: Seven books missing.
Filby and Mrs. Watchett come into the room.

But it isn't like George. - To
return empty handed. To try to
rebuild a civilization without
a plan.
(to Mrs. Watchett)
He must have taken something
with him.


She looks around and discovers three empty spaces
on the tightly packed book shelves. She walks to

Nothing except three books.

Which three books?

I don't know. -- Is it important?

FILBY (smiles)
No, I suppose not. - Only...what
three books would you have taken?

She looks at him, pondering the question as they
leave the library.
Dec. 31st, 2008 09:04 pm (UTC)
I got to go to Rugby a few years back. That library is great.

Stayed overnight at Nebury House. The Place is Haunted, you know....
Jan. 5th, 2009 09:14 am (UTC)
We found a journal at the bedside with notes from previous guests. No one wrote they actually had seen the ghost.

My understanding is that you have to wake up in the middle of the night to see the old gentleman standing at the foot of the bed in a great black coat. And if you move or blink, he disappears. Somewhat reassuring, but I chose not to wake up until morning.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
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