1879 Year Fourteen

January 15

Patrick and Katherine welcome another child. Number 7 is a son, Charles Leo. The family is excited and thrilled for another Kavanagh. Mother and child are doing well though Charles is a rather small frail infant. Still, the family has another reason to be grateful and happy.

February 5

Things are going much better for the Shop. This winter was the busiest they’ve had in five years. There is no more working just 3 days. They are back to Mon-Sat. hours. Joe continues to make a night trip or two during the week to one of the distilleries. The repair work has paid off. Joe’s reputation for accuracy and skill in copper work is spreading. The distillers are learning his name. One by one. Very soon, the distillery work will be the backbone of the Shop’s work and will remain so for some time.

April 22

A terrible tragedy. Baby Charles grows sick. He doesn’t gain much weight and is ill. Dr. Dausch attends to him as best he can, but to no avail. The baby passes away on this day. The family is crushed. Deaths at infancy were much more common at this time. I know this must have been a blow to all of them. He’s buried and the family supports each other through their grief.

May 3

A busy work week comes to an end. The family is recovering but still grieving for young Charles Leo. They are moving forward as best as can be expected. Supported by each other and their faith. Joe’s Shop is humming along with work. Martin is doing very well as are Joe’s other apprentices. The steamboat work is coming back in addition to the still work. The Shop is on secure footing now and ready to grow.

June 8

The family is at mass on this Sunday. Like any other Sunday but, today Joe notices a woman. Some one he does not know. She sits with an older woman. Most likely her Mother. Joe is correct as after mass, the priest introduces some new congregants. New to St. Vincent’s and new to Baltimore. Helen Doyle and her daughter, Mary. They recently moved to this city from Philadelphia after Helen’s husband had passed away. Joe can’t keep his eyes off Mary. He smiles at her and she smiles back.

June 15

Joe musters up all the courage he can and approaches the Doyle ladies after mass. He introduces himself and chats a bit with both. His mother, Alice, offers any help they might need as they are new to the area. Alice speaks with Helen while Joe talks to Mary Doyle. He nervously asks if he may call on her some time. She tells him, of course, he may.

June 29

Joe escorts Mary and her mother to mass at St. Vincent’s. Joe has had tea at their house earlier in the week. The Doyle ladies will visit Joe’s home on Alemarle for dinner with the Kavanaghs. Joe is clearly smitten.

August 7

Baltimore is clearly on the rebound as is the country. Joe suddenly is swamped with work. Several stills in production and today a steamship arrives with some damaged stacks. Joe is hired to repair them in quick order. The ship needs to return to sea on Saturday. Today is Thursday. Joe and his crew jump right on this job to make sure they meet their deadline. Like any rush repair, a premium can be charged. It’s a long busy couple of days, but the repair is finished.

September 17

The Shop is almost overwhelmed with work. All facets of what Joe does are clicking at the same time. Joe decides to hire another helper. No considering it this time. He asks Martin if he knows of any interested young man. If so, hire him on the spot is what Joe tells Martin. Joe continues to court Miss Mary Doyle. She seems to return the affection he feels for her.

November 16

After mass, Joe asks Mary Doyle for her hand in marriage. He professes his love for her and she returns in kind. They agree to marry in the beginning of the following year. Joe is as happy as he has ever been. At 42 years of age, he’s found the love of his life and his business is rolling along at a great pace. This year will end which was a mix of bitter sadness and unexpected joy.




Rutherford B. Hayes is the President. The first artificial ice rink in North America is built in Madison Square Garden. Frank Woolworth opens the first of many five and dime stores. Thomas Edison demonstrates incandescent lighting to the public at Menlo Park, New Jersey. Telephone exchange opens in Baltimore. The Gilded Age hits this nation at full speed.

There remain 38 states in the Union.

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