Thursday, March 21, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday: Frostburg Mining Journal

Let's see what's in the Olde Treasure Chest this week. So much to choose from... I'm such a lucky girl! Oh, here's a goodie. The Frostburg Mining Journal published in that Western Maryland town from 1871 to 1913. You can find it at the Maryland State Archives here. Here's what the MSA has to say about this publication:

The Frostburg Mining Journal was published September 30, 1871 [v. 1, no. 1] to April 17, 1880 [v. 9, no. 31]; April 24, 1880 [9th year, no. 32] to 1913. It was published weekly. It was also published as the Frostburg Journal and the Mining Journal. "Mining" appears in masthead ornament, September 29, 1883-December 1889. "Frostburg" appears in masthead ornament, January 1890-[1913]. The newspaper was continued by the Frostburg Spirit (Frostburg: 1913).

Mom and I were on a crusade to get the FMJ available online and then discovered that the Maryland State Archives was already doing just that. We sent them donations, and when they put up rolls of the microfilm they sent us a down loadable file of those rolls as a nice thank you gift for sponsoring that roll. Good all around.

The FMJ is the kind of thing you can spend hours browsing, and Mom and I do. I keep it as a reward for completing some particularly distasteful but necessary task. It whisks you back in time and gives you a real peek into the lives of the miners and their community of 15,000 strong by 1900 surrounding the market town of Frostburg in Western Maryland. Chickens gone missing, the mayor speaking to a ladies group, who wed whom, and which naughty married lady had run off with which fellow. It's all there. Life lived on Main Street in 10 point lead type.

So today I want to post a couple of items from the paper. The first is an ad for corsets. There were
plenty of ads and the income from them likely made the whole effort profitable for the paper's owner, J. B. Order.


Corsets not your thing? How about a cocktail?


 Christmas time was a boom time for J. B. Order when all the merchants ran ads!


Obits were common too and I like them because they went into depth and gave a feel for the lost beloved. This one below is for my great grand aunt, Elizabeth Jane Whetstone Clise. Enoch Clise, her husband, was mayor of Frostburg twice.

My favorite section is called Breveties. Here you'll find short mentions of all manner of information that didn't fit elsewhere. The one below is a story about my GGF Gus Zeller, owner of a very popular barbershop, receiving a shipment of 63 fancy goldfish. Some went in the big fish tank in the window of his establishment and others went into a pond on a property he owned. Mom has speculated that the reason he's mentioned so often in the Frostburg Mining Journal is that the publisher, J. Benjamin Order, must have gotten free services from Gus.

News to the left, ads on right. Entertaining stories of length (a substitute for TV) occupied the entire front page. My guess would be that mats (used in letterpress printing) were probably subscribed to and shipped in to newspaper printers because the stories on the front page were of general interest and not timely. Mr. Order was then left to typeset the rest and fill the four page paper with local ads and news. Here are some typical pages. Enjoy:)

May you find your own version of the Frostburg Mining Journal online containing the daily news of a town some of your ancestors lived in... that you can browse in your pajamas and fuzzy bunny slippers:)

Treasure Chest Thursday is a blogging prompt of GeneaBloggers.

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