1880 Joe Takes a Wife

January 15

Joseph Michael Kavanagh weds Mary Ann Doyle at St. Vincent De Paul’s Church. They are married by Rev. Edmund Didier before friends and the entire Kavanagh clan. It’s a joyous day. Joe and Mary are happy and excited to begin their life together. Mary moves in with Joe and his Mother at 89 Albemarle Street.

February 29

The year has started off quite busy for the Shop. The newly married Joe is finishing a still on this Saturday. He’s amazed by the increase in work so quickly. Baltimore is growing by leaps and bounds. More people means more work. This is true all over the nation as the time of cities has truly arrived. Urban centers are expanding in population thus, the needs and services required for the residents increases too. The Shop is on the up-swing along with the rest of the United States.

March 28

The Kavanaghs celebrate Easter at St. Vincent’s church. They have many reasons to be happy. The Shop is doing well, Joe and Mary are blissfully happy newlyweds and Patrick and Katherine are going to have another baby. Katherine is due in August. They share their joy as a family and are thankful for their good fortune.

June 5

Joe has a lunch meeting with the owners of Orient and Sherwood Distilleries. It’s cordual and pleasant. The distillers press Joe a bit as to the efficiency of his stills. Joe makes a modest proposal to begin replacing the bulk of their stills with his. They are interested, but, again, they question why his stills work better than theirs. He assures them he has not changed the design or added any steps. He’s doing exactly what others have done before. He just does it better. Lunch ends amid handshakes and a guarantee to give due consideration to Joe’s offer.

June 10

Orient is the first to respond to Joe’s offer. It seems they may have wanted to get a leg up on the others. The distilling industry is growing at a sudden rapid rate in MD. The MD rye is becoming popular around the country. Joe and his crew will begin removing and replacing the stills in Orient Distillery. This will be a long process and will assure work for six months. Joe has never had such a back log of guaranteed work. He quickly hires several more men. His crew now at 9. Joe has 2 apprentices as does Martin and Joe’s most experiences helper. Three crews of three. One crew will constantly work on making the stills. Another will focus on removing and installing at Orient. The third crew will do the other coppersmith work that lands in the Shop. It will be a lot of hours for all 3 crews, but the potential for profit and growth are exponential. Joe’s confidence is high and the sky seems to be the limit.

August 7

Vincent De Paul Kavanagh is born. Patrick and Katherine’s 8th child and 6th son. He is named for the church they attend. The family welcomes the baby. The clan still is growing. In fact, Patrick and Katherine move with their children to 64 Albemarle Street. Several blocks away, but it’s a larger home. Better suited for them and their kids.

October 11

The Shop begins another work-filled week. They are working six10-12 hour days with no end in sight. Joe is proud of the long-awaited success of his Shop. They have a mix of cooking kettles, distillery work, steamship repairs and general coppersmithing. It seems all segments of their industry are rolling forward at the same time.

December 31

After work on this Friday, Joe rings in the new year with his bride and her mother and his mother. A quiet dinner is celebration enough. Joe listens as the ladies chat. He enjoys the relaxed conversation. They talk of the neighborhood and the changes that are happening. Electricity was introduced to Baltimore in the Sun building this year. Telephones are here. They speak in wonder at these new technologies that are changing their lives. They must have felt they were in an almost magical time. Joe has a holiday tomorrow so a nice weekend with his bride is at hand. He can not believe his wonderful good luck. He’s tasting some success for himself and his family. He’s in love and married, as well. He can’t think of a better year ever in his life. He can’t wait to see what the next one will bring.




James Garfield defeats Winfield S. Hancock to become the 20th President of the United States. Wabash, Indiana installs the first electric streetlight in February. Within 2 months, Wabash becomes the first city in the world to be electrically lit. Edison begins testing his electric railway. The cash register is patented by James and John Ritty. W. C. Fields and Helen Keller are born.

The number of states is still 38.

Marriage Announcement Baltimore Sun January 26, 1880. Joseph M. Kavanagh weds Mary A. Doyle. As happens often, Kavanagh is misspelled.

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