RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 11 . . Princeton . . Part 1
RAILCAR GOLD is a historically accurate multi-generational fictional tale of hidden treasure, primarily set in York County, Pennsylvania during the latter half of the Nineteenth Century. This is Part 1 of Chapter 11 . . . Princeton. A new part will be posted every Thursday. Recent chapters stand alone, starting here; however new readers may want to start at the beginning.
CHAPTER 11 . . . PRINCETON . . . Part 1
An eighteenth birthday party was held for George Billmeyer on June 7th, 1867. Dan had never seen such a lavish affair. Friday night, thirty-two friends and family gathered in the Billmeyer House for an elaborate birthday dinner.
Following dinner, one-by-one, each guest stood and shared a story about George. George had no idea these stories were coming his way. Dan enjoyed hearing some things about George from his earlier years. There were plenty of funny stories, everybody laughed and had a good time.
George’s father, Charles, had told Dan about these stories a day in advance and made him promise not to say anything to George. Charles’ only instruction to Dan, about his story; “Just don’t say anything about frogs.” Dan shared some details about being in Columbia with George, as they watched the Susquehanna River Bridge burn during the Civil War.
The last to speak was Charles. He spoke of how proud he was of his son and about George becoming such a fine young man. Charles then shared something that was news to all of the guests, “I’m pleased to announce that starting this fall, George will begin a business course of studies at the College of New Jersey at Princeton.”
This announcement was news to Dan, other than a hazy recall that George made a vague reference about college sometime last summer. After all the guests had left, George apologized to Dan, “Sorry that I kept the news about college from you. Dad told me not to tell anybody, even you. Mom was the only other to know. He wanted to make a grand announcement at the appropriate time, and didn’t want the news to get out before then.”
George continued, “Remember that time in the fall. Dad went to New York City to help close the deal on a major railcar order for Billmeyer and Small. That was the trip that Mom and me went along. We stopped at Princeton, New Jersey, to look at the college and talk to people on campus for an extra day on our way back home. I’ll be taking a business course of studies and even know that I’ll be boarding at Mr. Maple’s.”
They went up to George’s room and looked over the Catalogue of the College of New Jersey. They looked over the Terms and Vacations. The College year was divided into three terms. First term went from late August until early December. Second term went from early January until late April. Third term went from mid-May until late June.
They got a chuckle out of the last sentence in this paragraph:
It is particularly recommended that when practicable, all the students spend their vacations at home with their parents or friends; or when this is inconvenient, that they take boarding elsewhere than in Princeton. It is found that when a number of young persons are collected together without regular occupation or study, the temptations to idleness and dissipation are often too strong to be resisted.
The studies for George’s first term in the fall were going to be:
- Livy, (21st Book),
- Herodotus, (1st Book),
- Kuhner’s Greek Grammar,
- Latin and Greek Exercises, (Arnold’s Prose),
- Algebra, completed,
- Biblical History and Geography, Coleman’s,
- Declamation and Composition, (Quackenbos’).
When Charles made the announcement about George, Dan’s first thoughts were, I bet I’d like to go to college. However after seeing the list of the first term studies, his enthusiasm somewhat waned.
Go to Part 2