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Ida's Journal Part 5 - The final journey C Connelly mcgil mmmg@netscape.net From the Journal of Ida Dudley Dale - part 5

August of 1912 was extremely humid so further exploring in the governess cart was frequently controlled by the intense heat or by tremendous thunder storms that lashed the island.
Deciding to "investigate" Concord one afternoon, the journal notes "…we started through Clove Road… It was a wonder we escaped being struck by autos, which passed us sometimes three together! Especially at Concord, where we had to drive along Richmond Road one block, and which was as dangerous as Fifth Avenue or Broadway; but then we soon disappeared into the sleepiest, quietest village, once known as Dutch Farms. The name was changed in honor of the great men of Concord, Mass., who used to visit Judge William Emerson, living on the high wooded hill, along the northern boundary. This lovely hill overlooking the lower bay is a striking contrast to the rolling Concord Downs, which are peculiarly barren of trees and shrubs - perhaps owing to the goats and other cattle roaming about… It is different from any other part of Staten Island, crude and shiftless, yet quaint. The streets are mere 'excuses' - not alleys or lanes or fields but a sort of combination of each. In them the children dig; cows, goats and geese wander. Dotted here and there are a few houses, bare, faded and of the utmost ugliness."
"In every hollow of the Downs one comes upon unexpected little ponds, covered with water lilies - the only pretty feature of the place. We paused on a stretch of road, elevated like a bridge, between a couple of these ponds and watched a herd of large black cows cross the road ahead of us and climb a bank to their sheds; while below a couple of boys were fishing…"
"However, things began to better after we crossed the railroad tracks at Grasmere station; trees and shrubs were in evidence, several new and beautiful homes, with well kept gardens and winding roads. There was a picnic grove and a pretty lake, with new boats; pedestrians and many autos along here…"
On the 9th of June, 1913, Miss Dale went on her last ride with Queenie. The K's had sold the pony for $115 to an Italian in Stapleton.
"We started out at one o'clock, but with a different feeling from the buoyant one which I've always had before - more like going to a funeral."
For this last drive they went slowly along Forest Avenue to Graniteville and on to South Avenue; then by sandy lanes as far as Bloomfield, where they bought strawberries, and on to Chelsea.
"I was greatly pleased to see this quaint and lonely hamlet, cut off from the rest of the island by miles of salt meadows, farm lands, pastures and forests, and from the distant Jersey shore by a wide expanse of water known as Staten Island Sound…"
"We drove down to the water's edge, stopping at the Chelsea Inn, the main part of which is much over a hundred years… We tied Queenie to a very old tree… There were a number of boats of various descriptions, some old hulks, corresponding to the Inn. The latter had a wide porch for dancing and a background of spreading willows. A long dock extended about 75 feet into the sound, the water sparkling in the afternoon sun…We drove back through the woods, but this time Queenie was facing home (alas the last time!) and she went through the sandy road at a steady trot, her heavy mane tossed about by the stiff north gale, against which we headed…"
"As we neared home - for the last time behind dear and beautiful Queenie, I felt as though a tidal wave was going to burst my heart!"

The End




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