Shipoke in 1913

The following address was given by Michael Barton, Ph.D. at the March 2013 Shipoke social.  Dr. Barton is a professor of American Studies & Social Science as well as
Director of the Center for Pennsylvania Culture Studies at Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg.

Shipoke in 1913: A Hundred Years of Difference

Michael Barton

Address to the Shipoke Neighborhood Association

March 24, 2013

 

Harrisburg was a thriving city in 1913, and so was its Shipoke neighborhood. Both places were the beneficiaries of the City Beautiful movement that had been launched a few years earlier by J. Horace McFarland, Mira Lloyd Dock, and Mayor Vance McCormick. In 1900, the city’s population had been 50,167; in 1910 it was 64,186, a whopping increase of 28% in one decade. John Royal was the new Mayor, and Shipoke’s M. Harvey Taylor sat on the Select Council, representing the First Ward. At the same time, Harve sat on the Board of Revision of Taxes and Appeals, which must have been a juicy post. On the Common Council, Elmer Beck and Edward Falter represented Shipoke and the First Ward. Alderman John Nicholas lived in Shipoke. The neighborhood, in other words, was not without representation in city politics.

The city published stacks of newspapers. The Patriot, The Telegraph, and the Star-Independent were printed daily. The Courier came out every Sunday, the Pennsylvania Statts-Zeitung every Thursday. Evangelical Little Folks, Evangelische Zeitschrift, Missionary Gem, Patriotic Gleaner, and American Issue, produced by the Anti-Saloon League, were published monthly. It’s reasonable to assume these periodicals were read in Shipoke, with the possible exception of the Anti-Saloon League’s handouts.

Harrisburg was still an industrial site in 1913, following the establishment of many factories in the mid-19th century. Thus, it had loads of workers’ organizations, such as the Hod Carriers’ Union No. 27 that met every Friday evening, and the Cigarmakers’ Union No. 244 that met the last Friday of every month. The local branch of the Socialist Party of America convened every Tuesday evening for business and every Sunday for debate at 310 Market Street. The Central Iron and Steel Co. Beneficial Association for Colored Men met on the first Saturday of each month. There were union meetings in the city for bakers, bookbinders, brewery workers, bricklayers, trainmen, locomotive engineers, carpenters, typesetters, barbers, musicians, machinists, conductors, stage employees, paperhangers, plasterers, plumbers, and pressmen. And there were ladies’ auxiliaries for each of those working men’s organizations. All those groups were probably relevant to Shipoke, although we don’t know which residents were members.

For white-collar men, the Dauphin County Liquor Dealers’ Protective Association, which sounds ominous, met the first and third Sundays of each month. The First City Zouaves and City Grays met at the Armory at 2nd and Forster. The Authors’ Club, a women’s group, met Monday nights at the homes of the members. The Harrisburg Philosophical Society met twice a month. The Historical Society met once a month and charged $3 a year in dues, although membership was by invitation only. The Harrisburg Club, at the corner of Front and Market, had no meetings, only dances, parties and card games for the city’s one-percenters. Those organizations were probably not so relevant to Shipoke.

Harrisburg was filled with music in 1913, provided by the Harrisburg Orchestra, the Commonwealth Band, Harrisburg Maennerchor, the Drum Corps, the Majestic Theatre Orchestra, the Mendelssohn Brass Quartette, the Orpheum Theatre Orchestra, the Burris Band and Orchestra, the West End Band, Wolfe’s String Orchestra, the Harrisburg Italian Band, the Municipal Band, and the Wednesday Club. Those organizations probably helped Shipoke whistle a tune.

The city had 92 churches. Shipoke had a church, the Nagle Street Church of God, located at Nagle and Race, and led by the Rev. G.F. Danner. It was one of six Churches of God in Harrisburg, which was an offshoot of the German Reformed Church. The church was well placed in Shipoke.

The city had 2 high schools, 69 grammar schools, and 148 primary schools. The high school graduation class was not large, and very few went on to college. Shipoke’s school was the Harris Park Elementary building, at the corner of Front and Paxton Streets, led by Samuel P. Stambaugh, who lived outside the neighborhood.

There were more than 100 societies and lodges that thrived in the city in 1913. There were 17 Odd Fellows lodges, 16 lodges for the United American Mechanics, 15 Red Men’s lodges, seven for the Sons of America, and six Heptasophs lodges (whoever they were). The list continues with six lodges for the Knights of the Golden Eagle, five for the Knights of Pythias, four for the Knights of Malta, and two lodges for the Knights of the Maccabees. Six Grand Army of the Republic lodges existed for Union army veterans, and there were five Masonic lodges for African Americans alone. These organizations accommodated both men and women. Shipokers were likely to have been members. The small number of such organizations that exist today I consider one of the biggest differences between social life in 2013 and social life in 1913. Facebook is no substitute for the face-to-face, flesh-and-blood lodge meetings held a hundred years ago. As one sociologist put it, now we tend to bowl alone, and that worries him.

 

Shipoke was clearly a residential neighborhood in 1913, but it was also the location of several small stores and businesses. The owners often lived nearby or upstairs. Most of the buildings in Shipoke were made of wood, but the stores were often brick and located on street corners. The commercial corridor of Shipoke was Race Street.

The main example of local enterprise was the grocery store; there were ten in the neighborhood. Thomas Anderson had a grocery at 700 Race. John Bailets had a store at 713 South Front and lived with Nettie, the grocery clerk, at 717 Showers. George Foerster ran a store at 540 Race, Charles Raine had one at 571 Race, and Edward Ross at 615 Race. Mr. Fisher operated at 128 Dock Street, Hershey Hocker at 104 Tuscarora. At the northern end of Shipoke, Joseph Margio sold groceries at 313 South River, Antonio Raben at 323, and Antonio Trombino at 341 South River Street. Frank Vecchione had a bakery at 611 Race, where John and Mark Vecchione worked too.

William Hamer and Sons had a meat market where Indian Street intersected with Race; John Reichert was a butcher at 714 Race. There once was a slaughterhouse across the street from the Church of God.

Oliver Ensminger was a milk dealer at 604 Race.

Theresa Acri sold candy and sweets at 113 Dock Street, and George Conner offered the same at 720 Race.

Frank Hoover had a restaurant at 522 Race Street, the only establishment called a restaurant in the neighborhood.

Cigar stores were spotted throughout the city, and the neighborhood. Harrisburg Cigar Co. was located at 500 Race, Jesse Snyder sold cigars at 143 Hanna, and Frederick Wiesemann made and sold cigars at 519 Race.

Councilman Ed Falter had a barbershop at 707 Race; Brenneman Fisher cut hair at 552 Race, as did William Miinch and Son at 570 Race Street.

Not counting swimming in the river, recreation was slim in Shipoke. Jesse Snyder had a poolroom at 143 Hanna. Now we have Savannah’s on Hanna, not an improvement I would say.

McCreath Brothers sold coal and wood at 567 Race; Santo and Peace sold coal, wood and sand at 905 South Front.

Ward Bailets stocked pictures and frames at 801 South Front.

Samuel Ensinger had stoves and furnaces for sale at 600 Race Street.

Frederick Liesmann was a printer and publisher at 534 Race. He also sold insurance.

James Lutz Jr. was a plumber working out of 600 Race Street and lived elsewhere. He also did steam heating.

Maybe I shouldn’t be, but I was surprised to find a doctor located in Shipoke in 1913. Oscar Newman practiced medicine at 619 Race Street and lived next door at 617. Dentists, however, were downtown; no one took out teeth for a living in Shipoke. An optician, Spencer Sloathour, was located at 587 South Front. He was also a clerk for the Pennsylvania Railroad. The Hoke Remedy Company was located at 125 Conoy Street. John Park, Jr. was a druggist at 621 Race but lived elsewhere.

Shipoke had dressmakers: Mrs. Cora Andrews worked and lived at 585 Showers, May Kaufman at 511 South Front, and Frances Payne at 545 South Front. Mrs. Alice Bierbower was a milliner—a woman’s hat maker—at 558 Race Street. But there were no tailors for men in the neighborhood.

Elizabeth Mailey had a boarding house at 111 Hanna, Mrs. Annie Stutzman put up boarders at 561 Race. The Grape Hotel, run by Harry Haas, was listed at 559 Race Street, and Mrs. Fredericka Heist ran the Eagle Hotel at 625 Race.

The mortician Edmund Miller had an office at 524 Race Street.

In sum, that’s over forty shops, stores, or businesses in Shipoke in 1913.

As for institutions that were lacking in the neighborhood, there were no theatres, no blacksmith shops, and no place to consume oysters, a common snack in the city. There were no furriers or manicurists either. Saloons were on State Street, in the Eighth Ward behind the new capital, but not in Shipoke. Liquor stores were on Market Street, but not in Shipoke. The laundries—including those of Jung Hing, Mark Chong, Mark How, Mock Hop, and Wang Soo—were several blocks away. The lawyers tended to cluster on 2nd Street and Market Street. Wickersham and Metzger were on 3rd Street, just north of Market, near Snodgrass and Snodgrass. The illicit trades appear to have been concentrated in the Eighth Ward, not Shipoke.

 

As for the remaining residents of Shipoke, here is a sampling of their names and occupations gleaned from Boyd’s City Directory of 1913. Comparing this Directory with the Harrisburg Title Company map of 1901, which has owners’ names on the properties, it’s clear that the bulk of Shipoke residents were renters. The major landlords, with half a dozen to a dozen properties each, were Margaret Ward, John N. Kennedy, the Gilbert McCauley estate, Jonathan Tilghman, the Pancake estate, the Walkemeyer estate, and Catherine Stewart. The Elizabeth Reily and George Nagle estate even held property on the river bank.

 

We start with streets running west and east, perpendicular to the Susquehanna.

On Conoy Street, at 100, were J. Fred Arnold, a warehouseman, and George Arnold, a clerk. Living at 106 were the Batemans—George, a craneman; Jennie, a widow; John, a car cleaner; and Lizzie and Maggie. North of Conoy was the Susquehanna Planing Mill, separated from the Harris Park School by Ott Avenue.

On Tuscarora Street only a few people lived. Harry M. Bechtel, one of three Bechtels in Shipoke, was a machinist residing at 107. Samuel E. Brown, Jr., a laborer, lived at 115 Tuscarora, along with Vincent B. Brown.

On Nagle, at 120, lived Rev. Jesse Bergstresser, no doubt affiliated with the Nagle Street Church of God. At 123, lived Abraham Anderson, a foreman at the W.O. Hickok Manufacturing Company in the Old Eighth Ward. Also residing at 123 Nagle was Ida Anderson, a housekeeper.

On Hanna Street, at 101, was George R. Boak, a laborer. At 111, lived Harry Bashore, an ironworker, and Emma Brighton, a bunchmaker (a job in the cigar factory). Edward Achre, a laborer, lived at 117. At 118 was George Bingaman, a laborer. Charles Albright, a machinist, was listed at 127. At 129 Hanna, Amos Drabenstadt, a police sergeant, was located. Hoover B. Brubaker lived at 139 Hanna and worked as a clerk at 714 Race Street. There were at one time at least 33 houses on Hanna Street between South Front and Race.

After Hanna Street was Ann Alley, which no longer exists. The Sanborn insurance map shows it was lined with 20 houses despite their tight fit. John Drabenstadt, a piler, lived at 106 Ann.

Dock Street, south of Ann Alley, no longer exists. William O. Bell, a laborer, and Frank Bell, also a laborer, were at 112 Dock. At 119 Dock was the Billet family—Estella; John; Martha, a student; John Jr., a feeder; and Samuel, a laborer. Bessie Bowers, at 120, was a housekeeper. William Bateman lived at 134 Dock Street. The only remembrance of Dock Street today is the Dock Street Dam.

Iron Alley was south of Dock Street and was the last street in Shipoke before the Central Iron and Steel mill. There were no houses on Iron, only some sheds. Iron ran east into Coal Street, which went north for one block into Dock Street. No houses on Coal Street either. But what good street names for a tough neighborhood.

 

Next, we search the streets in Shipoke running north and south, parallel with the river.

Starting on South Front Street, alongside the river, lived Mrs. Carrie Bechtel, a seamstress, at 561. Jeanette Bubb, the widow of Franklin Bubb, lived at 597 South Front. The Benner family was at 633, including Carrie Benner, a bunchmaker; Raymond L. Benner, a packer; William H. Benner, laborer; and William Benner, Jr., laborer. At 705 South Front Street, was Arthur Bamford, a plumber; William Bamford, a craneman; and George Bamford, a brakeman for the railroad. At 705½, Amos Bell, a puddler, Viola Bell, and Mary Bell, a saleslady, lived. Blanche Bryan, a saleslady, was at 707 South Front. At 713 resided George Bailets, a traveling salesman. Near the end of the street, at 813 South Front, lived a family of laborers, Oscar, Simon, and William Dabenstadt.

In between South Front Street and Race Street at the south end of Shipoke—what Ken Frew calls “Lower Poke”—was South River Alley. It was three blocks long, running from Hanna through Ann Alley through Dock Street to Iron Avenue. Only a few houses were there.

On Showers Street, Elmer and Catherine Davis lived at 564; he was a carpenter. The Buxtons lived at 579—Ambrose was a marker; Harry, a barber; and Preston, a repairer. At 580, was Edward F. Bell, a laborer, one of three Bells in the neighborhood. Irvin L. Brownagle, a repairman, lived at 603. At 605 was Ralph Branyab. At 606, were Adelaide Allison, a cigarmaker, and Florence, a housekeeper. William J. Brown, a laborer, lived at 610 Showers. Chester Anderson, a laborer, lived at 624. Ida V. Crist, a housekeeper, was at 704. At 708 was Edgar Bamford, still another laborer. And at 719 was John W. Coble, still another laborer. Shipoke was working class, but to paraphrase George Orwell, some workers were less equal than others. They lived on Showers Street.

On Race Street, George W. Brubacher, a butcher, lived at 501, in the area Ken Frew calls “Upper Poke.” William Beck, a constable, lived at 529. Harry W. Bankes, laborer, stayed at 531 Race. Lester Butler, a student, was at 533. May Brenneman, a stenographer, lived at 534. John Devlin, an oiler, lived at 535. At 543 was Minnie Arter, the widow of George Arter. At 558 lived Edward M. Bierbower, a printer for the Telegraph, with his wife Alice. Mary Burnett, a housekeeper, lived at 560. At 563 lived the Adams family—Charles, a laborer; Lena, a cigar roller; Mary, a buncher; Harry, a weighmaster; and Dora. Louis Berger was a bar clerk at 625. Daniel Brennan, a foreman, lived at 630. In the 700 block of Race, at 702, was the Bragunier family—Dallas and Frank, carpenters; Emma, a housekeeper; George, a plumber; and William, a helper. At 706, were Benjamin Bowermaster, a bricklayer, and Marian, a silk winder. Race Street was lined with houses and stores on both sides.

 

Let me offer here a story within a story, of a neighborhood within a neighborhood. The most architecturally distinctive block in Shipoke is Pancake Row, a string of eight residences on Conoy Street, lined up between South Front Street and Showers Street. Designed as four double rowhouses in a blend of East Lake and Queen Anne styles, the three-storey units were constructed between 1888 and 1889. Ken Frew has written that Alfred and George Pancake and their partner George Trullinger built them to show off the handiwork of their planing mill, which was located immediately north of the Row at the tip of Shipoke. It is said that the Row was also intended to be housing for Pancake’s workers. If we want a quick representation of Shipoke’s changing population from the late 19th to the late 20th century, I think we can find it by tracking the residents of Pancake Row. My students and I did this last week. Our sources were a selection of Boyd’s City Directories from 1888 to 1999.

In 1888, we found no residents in Pancake Row, but there lived on Conoy Street, east of Showers Street, Adam Fisher, an engineer; Adam Peters, a boilermaker; and John Swartzbaugh, a bricklayer. The first residents in the Row itself appear in 1889: at 104 Conoy was Robert E. Burns, listed as a helper, and at 110 was Edwin F. Patton, a barber. In the year 1891 the Row was beginning to fill with factory workers: At 102 was Henry Bering, a plater; in 104 was Ephraim Bingaman, a screwsman; in 108 were Charles M. Sparrow, a puddler, and Lulu M. Baker, a warper; in 112 were Augustus H. Myers, a puddler, and Anna Myers, a winder. Those were jobs in the iron and steel mill a short walk south, or possibly in the planing mill just north. By 1892, David Miller, David C. Miller, and Harry H. Miller, all of them molders, were living at the end of the Row, in 114. In 1900, Samuel A. Milligan, a puddler, had moved into 108; Annie L. McCord was a dressmaker at 110; and the two David Millers were still in 114, which now included Anna Miller, a cigar maker. Across the street, at 105 Conoy, lived M. Harvey Taylor, at that time employed as an ironmaker. Those are the earliest residents in the Row that we could find in the Harrisburg Directories, although we must say that our search through the many volumes of alphabetical listings and addresses was not complete.

Now we skip to 1924, when street lists that the publisher added to the City Directories make it simple to track Pancake Row residents. Here is where the results become more revealing. At 100 Conoy that year the head of household was George Arnold; at 102 lived Elwood Payne; 104, Ralph Schlitzer; 106, John Bateman, Jr.; 108, Samuel Gosnell; 110, Alex McCann, Jr.; 112, George Hoerner; and in 114, Walter Rhoads. From the street lists we can’t tell how many people resided at each address, but I can say at one time I found over 50 persons living in the Row.

In 1929, at the beginning of the Depression, three of the eight residents remained; in 1938, after the 1936 flood and after the Depression had peaked, only one remained from 1924—Ralph Schlitzer. Thus, a string of new residents had appeared in the Row after the city had gone through an economic and environmental upheaval. In 1941, those new residents were still on the Row, with one exception—living at 114 Conoy was the first resident of Italian heritage, Vincent Caldarelli. In the 1946 and 1953 directories there are only four name changes, suggesting there was stability, or at least not much mobility, in the neighborhood during and after the Second World War. In the 1960s, however, there was unprecedented movement in the Row. In 1961, every resident but one was new. Then, suddenly in 1969, five of the Row’s addresses were vacant. What caused this ferment?

In a salute to Shipoke published in 1980, newspaper columnist Paul Beers described what had taken place: In the late 1950s, Phoenix Steel (formerly Central Iron and Steel) closed, taking jobs out of the neighborhood. In early 1960, the new South Bridge and its ramps opened, which took a great deal of the neighborhood’s land. Later that year the Harris Park Elementary School closed, taking away an incentive for young families to stay. In 1962, the Nationwide Motor Inn was built where the school and planning mill had been located, taking down more housing stock. Surrounded by the ever-daunting river to the west, a busy roadway to the east, a major bridge to the south, and a large motel with two parking lots to the north, Shipoke was now a kind of island of old houses and old men, down from 350 to 225 persons. That portion of Shipoke between the Harris Park School and the John Harris/Simon Cameron Mansion was now emotionally out of bounds from the Shipoke that was surrounded. The only new construction in the neighborhood, begun in 1971, was Dr. Edward Steele’s medical building at the corner of Tuscarora and South Front Street. That modernist edifice was an anomaly in the heart of the neighborhood, the first structure built south of Conoy Street in 80 years. Ed Steele was the authentic modern pioneer.

In 1972, Pancake Row was full again, with five new households from a variety of ethnic backgrounds—their names were McQuaid, Runkel, Baldosser, Yadouga and Sonon. If fifty years earlier the Row had been virtually a miniature German village, by now its demography was more complicated. Then, as you know, came the most upsetting event in the neighborhood’s history: Hurricane Agnes and the resultant flood in 1972. Shipoke was inundated, the water rising halfway to the first-floor ceilings in Pancake Row. At least they could say the Governor’s Mansion got it too. The 1936 flood had taken its toll, displacing six of the eight households within a year or two afterwards. But the impact of the 1972 flood was fully transformative—every address was listed as “vacant” in the 1973 City Directory. This was partly because the Row was targeted as a flood renewal project, but also because the units were simply uninhabitable. The old residents had been forced out and new ones were not forthcoming. Buyers and renters were probably scared away by the Row’s rather ghostly appearance too. Four years later only one dwelling, 100 Conoy, supposedly had a tenant, or an owner. By 1979, two addresses were registered to Michael Stadiem. By 1980 and 1982 there were real residents, but half the Row was still labeled as vacant ten years after the flood.

Pancake Row did not recover quickly. Fran Heisse, a swimming pool contractor, had won permission to rebuild the Row, but his progress was too slow and the project was given to others, including one unit to the Historic Harrisburg Association. We should also note that some of the Row’s “vacant” entries may have been false negatives; that is, perhaps the residents simply didn’t respond to the Directory interviewers. For example, I know there was a tenant at 100 Conoy in 1992 when it was marked “vacant”; I know because I was the landlord. And I know that the unit at the end of the row, 114, was occupied in the 1980s when it was marked “vacant” in the Directory.

Finally, by 1999, all eight units in Pancake row had residents, although they were not the people who had first signed up after the flood. As the saying goes, only time will tell if the latest owners will have the longevity of their predecessors or if the Row will house them only temporarily. That was the case with some of the families with children who moved to the neighborhood in the early 1980s; they stayed until their bathroom became too crowded, or until their car needed a garage, or until they preferred not to enroll in city schools. The Ralph Schlitzer household lived at 104 Conoy for about 30 years, from at least 1924 until past 1953; the Snavelys lived at 102 for over 20 years, from at least 1938 until past 1961. Randall Bickell was a long-timer on the 500 block of South Front Street, known for hosing down his sidewalk with hot water. On the other hand, my last tenants were at 100 Conoy for only four months.

What I have just tried to demonstrate for you is what historians call “microhistory,” or the finding of something large contained in something small. “In den kleinen der groBen finden,” a German professor would say, or so I’ve read. In this case, we see a special example of urban residential development in the United States in the 20th century. Pancake Row evolved from local employer-built housing, to factory workers’ housing, to retired or pensioned workers’ housing, to ruined and vacated housing, to urban pioneers’ rehabilitated housing, the latter scheme concocted by government agencies, citizen activists, and private developers. In other words, you could say Pancake Row has turned from a Capitalist plot into something of a Communist plot.

 

In conclusion, when we look at Shipoke a hundred years ago, what do we see? The evidence first points to the importance of family. Family members lived together in the same house, even when the children were grown. It looks as if whoever had moved out of the house continued to live nearby. Other relatives lived close by too. The singles were usually widows. There were no young urban professionals living by themselves. Families stuck together and everybody pitched in. Such solidarity was probably their solution to the problem of poverty. Their work ethnic, sense of community, and local identity were probably relevant factors too. As a former resident once told me about the neighborhood, “When you had bread, everybody had bread.” He also told me that a typical conversation with an outsider was “Ya got fifteen minutes to get outta Shipoke.”

What else do we know, based on the evidence? This was an ethnic, working-class neighborhood. We know the residents were renters, not homeowners. The surnames tell us the dominant ethnicity was German, at least for the men. There was also a sprinkling of non-German ethnics, particularly Italian immigrants. Shipokers worked with their hands, but not many of them pushed paper. State employees did not appear until after the 1972 flood.

What was probably true of Shipoke, even if we can find no direct evidence for it? It is likely the usual religion was Protestant, and the racial composition was white. The social order was probably conservative, reflecting traditional ideas about family, authority, and the importance of stability. However, we should note that women were visible in both the community and the economy. Widows managed their own households. Women had their own businesses and their own jobs. They were not kept under wraps or behind the men.

Finally, it is a good bet that the residents liked living by the river; if not, they would have moved elsewhere. The riverbank, usually full of stuff, was not particularly attractive, and until the Dock Street dam was built, the water itself was not always flowing. They usually had mud flats to gaze upon in the summer. But this was the Susquehanna, the second most beautiful word in the English language, said H.L. Mencken. From their steps on South Front Street or from the third floor windows on the back streets, Shipokers had a long view to the west and the sun sinking over the water, which was better than looking at a brick wall downtown. More than any other neighborhood in Harrisburg, they owned the river, if not their homes. They knew they were taking a risk—there are over forty recorded floods in the city’s history—but apparently they felt living there was worth the peril. Let’s say it: like mountain men, sailors, coal miners, lumberjacks, and homesteaders, the Shipokers of 1913 were brave deep down—and probably a little daft too. Do you think you share those qualities with them?

Shipoke was an American Classic in its heyday. Of course, we should remember there were quite a few American Classics in the past—quaint villages in Vermont, crowded tenements in New York City, elegant squares in Philadelphia, graceful waterfronts in Charleston, main streets in Iowa, lively black neighborhoods in New Orleans, rugged mining towns in Colorado, remote ranches in Texas, and so on, and so on. Diversity must be served. But this neighborhood has to count as something special in the American experience. As Paul Beers put it, in his distinctive voice, “They grew up without central heating, when a $10 weekly paycheck was thought glorious, a swig of Old Highspire cured all afflictions, and Mom was proud to serve ‘coffee soup’ for supper—a Shipoke concoction of coffee, sugar and bread that must have been an elixir for virility and longevity.” And if that conclusion sounds more like nostalgia than history, it’s all we can offer for now, because my students and I haven’t finished our research yet.

Thank you for listening.