1870 has arrived, and according to the US Constitution, a census is required every 10 years to determine the current population of the country. Fredric Stevens was tasked with overseeing the count in the SorGun region.
Stevens began his journey at the small pier in Materburg.
Materburg, which sits at the end of Mater Creek, has grown steadily over the past 10 years. Stevens assessed the town’s population at 684, making it the third largest town in the region.
The town now expands all the way from the coastal pier, to the big bend in the creek. The forests have been cut back extensively in the past 10 years to make more room for farms and houses. Mr. Stevens didn’t see what the town looked like a decade before, but he could appreciate how much growth has occurred in this little farming town.
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Downtown Materburg is home to more two and three story buildings, as well as a sprouting commercial district.
Stevens walked door to door, counting each home as was required by the census. He noticed the new blocks of houses were only a rocks throw from the farms that were the economic engine of this community.
He could tell that folks took pride in their homes and lively hoods out here in the wilderness.
The biggest news in town was the newly constructed bridge spanning Mater Creek on the eastern edge of town. Finished last fall, folks could now easily get from town to the farmland that hugged the creek to the east.
Just over the bridge, Mr. Stevens found more farms where great evergreens once stood.
The journey up Mater Creek was aided by a newly constructed road, one of the longest and nicest in the region.
At the end of the road, nestled between two hills, he found himself in the middle Arrow Ridge – a little town that had sprung up in the last ten years.
Arrow Ridge, named after the hills that aided pioneers on their journey to New SorGun, began as a resting area for wagon trains making the long Journey north to New SorGun. A man by the name of Theodore Green founded the town when he constructed some Spartan looking shacks and charged travelers looking for a place to stay with a roof over their head. It has since grown into a small hamlet of 154 people, according to Mr. Stevens.
Like the wagon trains in years past, Fredric Stevens pushed on, making his way to the Rannug river and the old abandoned town of Junction.
Junction was one of three remaining population centers before Mr. Stevens would arrive in New SorGun, where his real work would begin.
The history of the destruction of Junction was told to Mr. Stevens over some beers in a saloon he visited while staying in Arrow Ridge.
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Surprisingly, upon his arrival he found 18 hardy souls picking up the pieces and attempting to salvage something from this lost town. Who knows what this building graveyard would look like ten years from now.
Pushing on, Stevens arrived in a farming community known to the locals as “Ben’s Bend”.
Farmer Ben has been working this land since the early days of New SorGun’s founding. Over the years, he’s hired a sizable workforce, and with the help of additional farmers the area has turned into one of the larger agriculture areas in the region.
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While working the fields isn’t a ticket to fame and riches, it does pay the bills and most of the residents in the area have their own cabins and small homes.
While Mr. Stevens was busy counting the local population, he was lucky enough to meet Mr. Ben and learn all about his farmhouse. The huge evergreen on Ben’s property is always a conversation starter, and Stevens learned that the farmer found the tree while surveying one of his future fields – Being a farmer, Ben was always fascinated by nature and he couldn’t bring himself to take down the largest tree on his property. So, there it stands – a beacon for locals who sometimes get lost in the fields.
Nug’s Hill was Mr. Stevens last stop before he would reach the town of New SorGun.
Old man Nug is the quite type, but that hasn’t stopped him from being busy over the last 10 years.
Old man Nug and Farmer Ben got together a number of years ago and realized that they could both benefit by building a landing along the river in order to facilitate a quicker way to get people and goods to the town of New SorGun. Around harvest time, the wharf is especially busy.
And on quiet days, it becomes a great place to fish.
Finally, Mr. Stevens learned why Nug was interested in building a wharf near his hill. The quarry was still in it’s infancy, but already the stone was being used across the region, including just down the river in New SorGun. After meeting the old man, Stevens wasn’t sure he could even spell geology, but it was obvious that Nug knew his land – and he ran the quarry like a pro.
(Massive Mosaic! Click for full size)
The next morning, Mr. Stevens would board one of the barges at the docks and finally reach New SorGun, his toughest job yet. To be continued.
Authors Note: Well, it looks like I got carried away again. I was planning on 10-15 images, and I ended up with about 25. Woops. Hope you enjoyed it. Part 2 of the census will continue next time. Thanks for stopping by, and feel free to comment – I always enjoy hearing what you think.
Replies to the last teaser:
ggamgus: Dun dun duuuunnn! BTW, first!
If only I could add sound effects to the pics
Good sir, tell me, how many dollars does the helicopter fee cost so that you can go up and take these pictures?
Would that be in 1870 dollars, or today?
Mithrik: That's a really nice ridge, SimCoug! Looking forward to that census!
Jeroentje: Can't wait to see more!
Hope you enjoyed it!
Benedict: Congratulations, you're back at number one on BTT this week.
Thanks, it's always an honor to be at the top of the BTT.
Kruness: can't wait, i want to see more!!! X(
wittay: I just read through the whole CJ to date. It's a fantastic story, and I can't wait to read more.
Wow, I'm so glad you enjoyed it enough to read the entire thing - thanks for the kind comment!
NMUSpidey: The spot? What spot? Do you need some stain remover? Do they make that in 1870?
Unfortunately this was before Tide...