Nothing to indicate whether he came to work there because of wanderlust, or because his sister and brother-in-law were there. It’s likely that, as a young civil engineer, his work for the railroad was primarily surveying for track and/or associated buildings.
Why the plow? Is Will at work “in the wild,” or did he assist with some planting on or near Fort Columbia, or did he just decide to try out a new sort of plow? And did Cousin Mabel take any of these photos?
Both Mabel and her father, with their experience in landscaping and dairy farming, would have been interested in the kind of plow used here.1907
Presumably, this house was George and Ruth Gibb’s home at Fort Columbia, but this is Will in the foreground.
If Mabel or her father had a camera, I would expect to find photographs of the Gibbs family in this album.
Mabel and Uncle Charley sailed home at the end of March. Mabel assessed their visit thus:
“[Father] has done finely on visiting—so you don’t need to enlarge on your lectures on the subject! As I wrote before he left [home], must accept conditions as he found them, and after the first few days he did very well indeed—often when I knew was annoyed a bit—as always, you know, he will criticize relatives more severely than we should, but he did not until we left—and I’ll give you the lenient view! Things were not always to our liking—but where are they ever?
Will comes out ahead in the fire and that pleases me—for in spite of his faults, I’m very fond of – his eyes, which express so much more than he says! And his “adios” may be most worth coming down for!”