“Engineer with Cuba Eastern R. R., Guantanamo, Cuba, 1906-07” is the only documentation I have of Will’s time in Cuba.
Cicero Mead Hobby, Will Hobby’s father, is always referred to as “The Doctor,” even by his wife in letters to her sister.
“3:30 P.M. Land in sight! A dark streak just above the horizon which gradually grows plainer. Now there is bustle and excitement on board, packing up, brushing up &c…”
Besides coral, seeds, and dried flowers, Mabel–or her father who arrived later–purchased a bamboo cane, then a common accessory for ladies’ dress.
February 7, 1907: “My dear Mother, If only it would always be possible to spend February in such a delightful climate! This is so fine and makes one feel so good!”
Cousin Mabel’s influence on my grandfather and his family continued for three generations, and shaped my own growth and experience as if she had been a third parent.
The first members of the Hobby family arrived in Cuba in 1906…George Gibbs was Chief Army Signal Officer of the Cuban Pacification…
“If there is any one man whose work is above criticism, it is Col. W. C. Gorgas.”
February 15, 1898: The U.S.S. Maine exploded in Havana Harbor, an event equivalent to 9/11 in national impact. The ship Oregon, at port in San Francisco, was ordered to Cuba, which meant sailing around the Horn of South America.
The convergence of the Spanish-American War, mosquitoes, and Dr. William Gorgas in Cuba could be credited with American success in the Panama Canal.