Right behind that model canal boat, there used to be a part of Cumberland called Shantytown. There were wooden houses there, too, two stories, some say like an old west town. There's this street called Wineow Street, not because there were winos there, that was just a family name. But it fit. It's still there. You can see it today.
There were saloons like Bill Colby's and Mike Clark's. Not to mention Aunt Susan's House of the Rising Sun and Louise's Den of Iniquity. The red light district. Kind of a rough place.
Theodore Lizer, an old boatman, remembered, "Three saloons right there in Shantytown, they'd go over and drink beer. Nickel for a bottle of beer...And we used to sit out there on the hatch and drink beer at night. Kids. Course you could drink a lot of beer then and it didn't hurt you...this beer nowadays...it's got stuff in it."
Now anytime you have drinking, you're going to have fighting, too.
Benjamin Garrish recalled, "We'd go fighting all the time. You had to be pretty rough to be on the canal...We'd fight the colored boys. We didn't like them. It wasn't like it is now..."
And the boatmen even fought amongst themselves.
"It was a rough place...everytime you'd go over there, they'd say, 'Here comes a mule skinner. You can smell him." The boatsmen went there and these town folks they'd make fun of them for the way they smelled and the fight was on! Then we'd go over and get stuff at Jones's store and, by God, there'd be a fight going on outside there, too! And we'd get in it! Made no difference who you'd hit. You got hit, you hit somebody. Some of the fights were pretty bad."
Yep, a real rough place, Shantytown. Nowadays it's kind of hard to imagine it was even there.
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