Tuesday, November 02, 2021

'The Rambler' visits Crampton's Gap in Maryland countryside

"The Rambler" visited Crampton's Gap in 1915. (Click on image to enlarge.)

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In the 1910s, the Washington Evening Star ran a feature called "The Rambler." It was a simple concept: Reporter travels to historic site within a day's car ride of the capital and writes about the journey. In September 1915, "The Rambler" — the stories were not bylined — stopped at one of my favorite Civil War sites: Crampton's Gap in Maryland. He visited with a former slave named Steve, examined historical tablets and the monument to journalists, and saw only two inhabited houses at the site of a Maryland Campaign battle on Sept. 14, 1862.

Imagine traveling in a Model T Ford over one-lane roads in some of the most beautiful countryside in America instead of on multi-lane highways. Top speed: 40 mph. Greatness.

"If one should leave out of the annals of the civil war Pleasant Valley and the ridges that hem it in," the reporter wrote, "there would be many void chapters in American history."

This account was published Sept. 12, 1915. Fascinating stuff. Curses to you, newspapers.com, for sending me down this rabbit hole!

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