1878 The First Nephew

February 10

Joe & the Shop make it through their first winter without George Smith. Joe has taken his nephew, Martin, under his wing as much as possible. It’s been 6 months since Martin came to work. He’s progressing and Joe is very motivated to teach his skills to his nephew. The opportunity to pass on his trade within the family is very appealing to Joe. The Shop is still slow but there has been a small uptick of work. Mostly, from additional distillery repairs.

April 15

Joe opens the Shop on a lovely Spring morning. Finally, Joe sees some more positive movement as far as work goes. He receives several orders for some cooking vessels for a restaurant. Also, Monticello distilling orders another small still from him. Not one of the large size for heavy production, but still, a still is a still. (I had to used that joke at some point.) He’s busy enough now to consider hiring another young man to help. If he hires another helper, he can pair off with one worker and Martin with the other. They may be able to double what they can produce. He will think about it.

May 24

Joe hires another young teen as an apprentice. The work is suddenly moving in the right direction. There is an order to make some carbonating and bottling apparatus as they did before. More kettles are sold and Orient Distilling orders a new large 40 gallon still. Joe is excited that his business may be taking off, finally. He does lament his partners departure. Perhaps if George could have waited, they would still be working together. That being said. Joe is happy the Shop is moving forward and he has young Martin to work with now. He hopes for more Kavanaghs working there down the road.

August 18

A hot, humid Baltimore Sunday is spent outside on Albemarle Street. The Kavanaghs watch the children play and talk. Plain family talk. After dinner, they sit and listen to the younger Joe play the piano. At 12, he’s quite talented. The room is filled with music, song and laughter. He plays as the sun goes down. There was still no electricity so, darkness brought out oil lamps and candles. Besides, no electricity, there was no indoor plumbing. The basic amenities of our time were still a long way ahead. The Kavanaghs cherished their family time. Their time together to eat, drink, talk, play and worship was the highlight of their weeks.

November 28

Thanksgiving with the Kavanaghs. And much to be thankful for. Joe is enjoying the resurgence of work at the Shop. He’s sold another large still. There were even more walk-ups for purchases in the last two months. Joe feels much more confident and secure about his future. Perhaps, he can influence the future of his family, as well. He considers again the younger Kavanagh boys working for him. This will truly turn into a family business. He is sure of it. Yes, he’s happy and content. And most definitely grateful.

December 14

Martin Kavanagh turns 16. He has a bit of rye with his Father and his Uncle Joe. He’s a working man now and the elder Kavanaghs are pleased to have a drink or two with him. Adulthood at 16. Times have changed.




Rutherford B. Hayes is the President. The U. S. begins minting the Morgan Silver Dollar. A. A. Pope begins marketing the high wheel bicycle. They will become all the rage. Carl Sandburg, Lionel Barrymore and George M. Cohan are born.

There are still 38 states in the Union.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s