Colby 23: Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon

1862: The regiment receives a generous reception in Philly …

Civil War Diary of Freeman Colby (continued):

<< BEFORE: Entering Philadelphia …

NEXT: Onwards… >>

Several documents exist of these establishments; most usefully:

  • This tattered scan from Wikipedia… Architectural afficionados will note the use of living trees as supports for the hastily-built pavilions.
  • And THIS more pristine scan from

    We could play an intriguing game of “Spot the Differences” between both images, beginning perhaps with the large flag in the upper right of the first image (absent from the second image).
    We might also note the presence of a steaming, hissing, supposedly forbidden train engine (middle right), possibly in contradiction of Colby’s earlier account of his arrival.  Does this lead you to doubt the accuracy of one (or both) of our sources?
  • Here’s another view of the same Cooper Shop saloon:
  • And here’s a photograph of a similar establishment at Washington Street; smaller building, bigger eagle:
  • Here’s a drawing of a fire company ambulance:

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