18402. Shantytown

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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