The Shop has been busier than expected so far through the winter. They have some small still work to be done. Joe has received his usual orders from candy and ice cream companies this time of year. In fact, he has several new customers in the confectionery field from Washington, D. C. The Taylor Roberts Co. and the Georgetown Candy Kitchen have ordered jacket kettles for their products. The year starts off very well for the Kavanagh Company.
A cold winter’s week ends this Saturday. It’s been a very active week. A steamship repair, two fountains and their usual assortment of jacket kettles, stills and beer vessels. They have a little of everything in the Shop to work on this week. Uncle Joe is very pleased at how this winter has gone so far. The work is coming back and at a heightened pace. He has been introducing the younger Joe to many of his customers. Just today, they both visited John Wiessner at his brewery. Young Joe is doing his best to learn all he can. He is a likable character and this helps him in making new friendships and forging good business relationships.
The Shop stays busy as spring starts. Martin and Eugene are in Atlanta taking a look at a still that needs replacing. More and more, most months one of Joe’s nephews is out of state. The Shop’s area of effect is again widening. One thing that really helps Joe at this point is the railroad. The rail system in the U. S. has had its ups and downs. By now, it is much more well-established and better regulated. Fortunately, for Joe he has the means to send his workers to customers with little worry. He trusts them and it has been paying off greatly. His nephews especially Martin have been as far West as Ohio, as far South as Georgia and as far North as New York. Today, with the two nephews gone, Uncle Joe has James and most of the rest of the boys working on a beer vessel for a new customer, Wickham and Sons Brewing. They are located in Baltimore on Pratt Street. The younger Joe spends his day on the phone. Making deals and speaking to customers. He is working on an arrangement with several steamship captains. He would love to have an agreement in place that as the steamers come to dock, the repair work is sent to Kavanagh’s post haste. Within several weeks, Young Joe has this deal struck.
Once again, it’s baseball season. The Temple Cup Champion Orioles open up their season by defeating the Boston Beaneaters at Union Park. It’s their year to defend the cup, the championship. The Shop’s crew, as always, follow the team and the season closely. The boys are working on a still for Maryland Distilling on Guilford Avenue. A new one that needs to be fabricated and installed. It is local so, it should be very straightforward. Also, they have the first of the promised ship repairs. The ship is docked for three days. Just enough time to repair the stack and replace the ballast pump-chamber.
A horrific tragedy. Martin’s son, Martin Jr. dies. He is only three and the family is devastated. He became ill a few days before. It was not an uncommon occurrence at this time for children to die. Martin and Mary Rachel mourn. The family rallies round them to support and help in any way they can.
Uncle Joe’s crew is hitting it hard today. It is a Saturday the day before Independence Day. They would all love to get out of work a little early. Joe is not unsympathetic, but they have plenty to do. The boys work on stills for Monumental Distilling on O’Donnel Street and Levy Price in Montgomery County. Eugene runs these two projects, while the few remaining gents work on a small fountain order. With the impending holiday, Joe sends them home at 2 pm.
Another steamship rush repair finds its way to the Shop. This one will make for a busy hot week. In addition, they are making a beer vat for White Brewing on Bond Street. Another new local brewing customer. Joe’s list continues to grow. More customers and more contacts. Some of this facilitated by the younger Joe’s personality and his way with people. Certainly, he has been able to augment the ship repair end of the business. Uncle Joe also plans to send Eugene to Buffalo, New York for another possible still replacement next week. The business is swamped again. Uncle Joe is truly benefiting from having three nephews who are coppersmiths and one who is a “showman”. For the four brothers, they spend the day discussing the Orioles. They’ve won six in a row and moved into second place. Today they play the Bridegrooms and will thump them 14-5.
Joe’s brother James and his family come to visit on this Saturday. Joe leaves the Shop early to meet their train. The crew carries on with their usual hammering and heating, bending and curving. They knock out a small still and a set of pans for Sharp and Dohme, one of Joe’s patent medicine customers.
Young Joe and Martin oversee the business in their uncle’s absence. They will all gather on Albemarle Street this evening. A big celebration is planned. Young Joe will sing and maybe even tap-dance. It is a raucous joyous affair. Joe and Patrick are very excited to have their little brother, James, around for a week.
Sadly, James dies suddenly. He returned to Brooklyn after his visit and grew ill on the train. He is sick for several weeks, but then succumbs to tuberculosis. The family is shocked to hear this news. Joe, himself, travels to NY to bring James’ body back to Baltimore. He is interned at New Cathedral Cemetery near his mother. Patrick and Joe are the only two of their generation left. Mother, sister and now younger brother gone. They recall, once again, that trip so long ago that brought them as a family to America.
A chilly fall day is a busy day. Martin has several of the men with him at George Gunther’s Brewery for a repair. Eugene has four men with him in Buffalo for a still installation. The remaining fellows try to do the work of a full Shop. They work on a dozen different jacket kettles for commercial cookers and assorted pans, fitting and connections. The boys are all in a good mood for the Orioles have repeated as Temple Cup Champions. This year the Birds finished in second. They then beat the first place Boston Beaneaters 4 games to one. The same team they beat in the year’s first game. This season the Orioles were lead again by Willie Keeler. He puts together one of the best offensive seasons in baseball history. He hits an amazing .424 and in 564 at bats he only strikes out five times. Astounding numbers. The Kavanaghs and their crew are very happy fans. What they don’t know is that this will be the last Temple Cup Series ever.
Another week begins. Uncle Joe’s business has work backed up for a month now. A very comfortable place to be especially with winter on its way. The boys crank out their kettles, cookers and pots. They fabricate a replacement drip pan for Sharp and Dohme. Two school railings are bent and a large boiler repair job is begun. Joe’s crew hovers around 20 now. They have 18 steady, but sometimes hire a hand or two for large deliveries and installations. Joe knows he and the Shop may be on to bigger and better things. He won’t get ahead of himself though. He has seen things change quickly before. For now, he looks forward to the holidays with family and feels very little sense of dread at winter’s coming. The Shop has had its best year ever.
William McKinley is the President of the United States. The first Boston Marathon is run. The United Mine Workers Union is formed after a massive strike. “Yes, there is a Santa Claus” is written by a New York City Sun editor in response to a little girl’s letter. Oldsmobile and the Library of Congress are opened. The Klondike Gold Rush begins. Amelia Earhart and William Faulkner are born.
There are 45 states in the Union.