Henry [S. Butler]
with the firm there, to invent a lot of new machinery - the "hollow" was so sequeatered and calm that I got along first rate and before winter was done had accomplished far more than I expected, but about the first of last month we were awakened near mid night and on looking over the pond saw that the mill was all afire, and in a few hours it was all burned, and all the tools and machines too - It was a grand sight although so sad, "the hollow" was full of strong glaring light that gleamed & sparkled in the snow and made the tall elms & maples cash deep heavy shadows upon the slanting hillsides all around --------------- I was very sorry for my employers because they are good young men and could not well been sogreat a boss I do not feel dis- couraged about my machines being burned because I can invent some other ones, after the fire when the people said to me Mr Muir, where are you going now? I said, I don't know - but in a few days I bade goodbye to the friends that I found and went to Buffalo to see my brother Danie who works in a machine shop there, we enjoyed the visit exceedingly in talking of friends and home, & in examining the great foundries & machine shops of that big town. Then I looked on a map & thought that instead of going directly home I would bear off to the left through the states of New York, Ohio, Indiana, & Illinois I visited the machine shops of Columbus Ohio, and other places of interest there and when I got to this town I thought I would stopPlease tell Mr Sterling that on account of the fire it is unlikely that I shall be able to attend the university. I am afraid my boy that I have not written you a good letter It is full of business & troubles and very unlike happy little [illegible] I have almost forgotten how to speak to little people but will perhaps do [better?] [illegible] time JM
1866 Apr 22
Reel 01, Image 0808
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