A Sectional Canal Boat in the Hitching Shed,
by George Storm, date unknown.
Paintings 1 and 2 are two in a series by George Storm, who grew up near the railroad and watched it operate. Many years after the railroad had closed, Storm painted these pictures from his memories of the portage.
Painting 1 is of a sectional canal boat in the hitching shed at the bottom of the incline. The hitching shed was simply a roof over the tracks at the bottom of each of the inclines where the rail cars were tied to the ropes or cables of the incline.
Questions for Painting 1
1. What is the name of the device with the small sled-like runners that the man is attaching to the rope behind the two rail cars? How did this device work? (Refer to Reading 2 and Painting 2 for more information.)
2. Look at the sections of the canal boat loaded on the rail cars. Is this the entire boat? How many other pieces, if any, do you think are missing?
3. Does the boat in Painting 1 look like a freight boat or a passenger boat? Why?
4. What do you think is the purpose of the small wheels--called idler wheels--between the tracks through which the rope passes?
* The painting on the screen has a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi), and therefore will print poorly. You can obtain a high quality version of Painting 1, but be aware that the file will take as much as 31 seconds to load with a 28.8K modem.