The Upsetting Sea
The first few days sailing out of Bristol, England were fairly predictable. Head winds made the sea rough, but nothing The Sweet Mercy hadn't experienced before. After twenty eight days, just as the clipper was nearing the New England coast, an awful storm started to blow. Captain Tibbets sent everyone but the most necessary below deck. The Light and buoys that warned of the treacherous rocks off Cape Elizabeth were in order, but the gale was too strong and made it impossible to navigate the rocky ledges and shallow reef that lay just below the waves. A giant hole was ripped out of the hull and The Sweet Mercy started taking on water. The Captain did his best to steer her into the cove, but the damage was done and she started to sink. Of the 138 people on board, only ten bodies were found later washed up on the rocks.
Sickness came to Little Northrop
It arrived first at the Foundling Asylum, no-one knows from where. Matthew, the Groundskeeper, had found some tiny dead birds in the woods before things started unravelling, perhaps they were first victims, perhaps also the cause. The sickness then traveled from person to person until soon, only very few were left. Now, if you walk deep into the Maine woods, and then deeper still, you can find the remains of the old church, some of the stone walls which still stand guard, and, if you're very lucky, and you're there at exactly the right time, you can pick an apple from what used to be Benjamin's orchard.
The fruit is now very tart.
The Lost Girls of Tibetts Hall.
perhaps they shouldn’t have begged to go.
perhaps they shouldn’t have stolen away.
perhaps they shouldn’t have searched for the key
and opened the trunk
and said the words.
the words they didn’t understand.
if you find the crumbling stone walls,
covered in lichen,
moored by roots,
That is her.
Pit Brow Lasses
In the mid 1800s, when working deep in the coal pit was forbidden to girls (shouldn't trust girls working with naked sweating men!), they were allowed to work on the surface (brow) of the mine. They would sort, haul and load coal onto railroad cars. The fact that they wore practical clothing, such as their dad's or brother's old worn out trousers underneath their skirts, in order to protect themselves, was considered scandalous by many and they needed to continue to fight for their right to work. The entire story of these girls, doing extremely hard labor, just to help support their families, and maybe assert a little independence, is a fascinating one. I encourage finding out more about these feisty-hardworking-trouser-wearing girls!