Leah smiles and laid a hand on Jonah's forearm, "Jonah, why would I want the hospital close to the railroad? Now, let me finish, when I was in the capitol working to get these right of ways, there was no thought to an extra parcel of land for either building. There was no thought to having either close to the tracks, when there is plenty of land available, well, at least for the foreseeable future."
Jonah, Kalispell is going to grow. It will outgrow the Thorntons and the Steelgraves, and that will happen before our old eyes know it. And, it will continue to grow and demand services such as we are bringing. So then, the idea is to place these facilities away from what we now see as the town, with enough room to grow with Kalispell. " She explained.
"So, close to the railroad, but not too close?' Access to trains would certainly be helpful for patients that needed more advanced care only available in the bigger cities like Helena, but then, there was the issue of noise again.
“Yes, I can see the benefits to being somewhere close to the railroad, and I can see the detraction's from it as well.” She agreed.
"So, where do you think this train is going to run?" He chuckled. "I've never been one for land speculation, but of course, whoever owns land near the tracks stands to make a good profit." Knowing his luck, the plans would change at the last minute, and the land would be useless!
“The train’s route has already been decided, the most direct route turns out to be the easiest as well The right of ways I procured and gifted to Kalispell will allow the town to decide what is to be placed along the track, aside from the station and warehousing. If they bother to read the fine print they will note that those decisions will be placed on a ballot, and voted on by the citizens of Kalispell, proper. It also call for the creation of a Railroad Commission, separate from the Town Council. Well, a lot of legalese to keep current and former Town Council members out of the commission.” She explained.
"Point me in the right direction, and we'll see what there is!"
“So, I would say, South a ways, but not too far."
"Forgive me, it's been a long day for you, of course we can take a buggy." Changing direction, he headed to the alley behind the hotel, where his buggy was tied. It would indeed make the tour more expedient, as they could cover more ground.
"Thank you, and yes, we will have the option of seeing more property this way." She said with a smile. He was correct, it had been a long day.
After assisting Leah into the buggy, he sat beside her and gathered the lines. "Well, as there isn't a specific site as yet, I propose we head west of town...my residence, and the current clinic is there, so it would make the transition easier, should we find suitable land." And it would be less travel for him between the hospital and home.
“No. I think anywhere close to Kalispell would be desirable. Some spots more than others. Though I wonder if perhaps we made several selections. I know where the railroad is supposed to pass through, a ways away would be far better than close by."
"A place with plenty of shade, perhaps a creek, I've heard that such places can be healing to the soul and expedite the body's healing." Jonah wasn't sure if such things were merely hooey, or if there was credence to them.
“Now that would certainly be the best of all worlds! I heartily agree with that. So, if that is the criteria, then areas that have a creek or a running stream are first on the list." She agreed. “I doubt shade will be the problem, yes, somewhere close, yet not too close, with shade and water running nearby.”
"Oh, no, dear lady, it's no problem," Jonah commented with a chuckle, offering his arm, "if we accomplish something during our stroll, then the time will be well-spent.”
“I certainly can’t argue with that.” She smiled as he spoke and they started off.
He started toward the area of town where the fairgrounds were, explaining, "Near the fairgrounds might not be a good choice," he explained as he started in that direction, "there are times when there will be a lot of noise and commotion...not conducive to healing."
“No, I shouldn’t think so, even if the celebrations are few and far between, they do get noisy.”
And the last thing he wanted was to have to listen to cowboys 'whooping it up' all night. "But it would be good to be out a bit from residential areas, a hospital can have its noises...and odors, as well, and we don't need complaints."
He'd never really thought about locating a hospital before, but there certainly were things they'd have to consider in that regard.
“I had thought perhaps just past the end of town, actually, in either direction might be suitable. Far enough out to not interfere with growth, perhaps off the main trail. Somewhat secluded, not intrusive, nor subject to the noise of town either.” She offered. Though she had not considered placement for sometime, the idea of just outside of town had been there from the start.
“Honestly, Jonah, with everything else going on, I just haven’t given any thought to placement.” She smiled again, "Thank you for bringing me back to finding a location. It would be a considerable walk, but perhaps taking a buggy out there might be the thing.
"A stroll, certainly. But as you say, the property in question , I haven't even looked at what is available, and perhaps we should." She replied. "In fact, we might just see what property might be for sale, and then of course, it will be finding out who owns said properties." The she laughed.
"Here you are, suggesting a stroll to relieve the stress of all of this, and I in turn make more work of it. But a stroll and looking at properties perhaps west, or even south of town. I don't know about north, for obvious reasons, but perhaps near the fair grounds."
“Deteriorated, what a lovely way of putting it.” Leah chided. “Seriously, yes, I hope they did get the gist of what was trying to be said. But whatever the result, we will push forward.”
“I would say that any talk of a Temperance Society just might be a failure of monumental proportions. I saw McVay present and jotting notes like a mad man. The next edition may well give any such talk of temperance in this town a rude reminder of the ladies behavior.” Josiah commented, fishing out his watch.
“And yes, we will push forward, speaking of which I’ve a patent coming in shortly, so I’ll be on my way.” He slid back his chair as he spoke, and got to his feet. Smiled, tipped his hat and stepped toward the door.
Leah looked at Jonah with a smile. It had been a trying afternoon to say the least, but she had made the presentation, such as it was. "Shall we? I believe we've done all we can here." The she laughed.
He chuckled and shook his head. "Of course, there are those who will claim you are swaying his opinion if you go to him. There's a reason I will never go into politics."
It did give her pause, to go to McVay with a request for an interview might have an adverse reaction. Most did not use the newspaper for such things as gaining an edge. But McVay’s feelings about most everything was clear in his writings.
“I hesitate to use the newspaper like that, but I can talk with him. He may also may well have his own opinion on what we are attempting, on the city fathers, as it were, and me in general. Phinias is on our side, of that I am sure, and when we need him I believe he will come through for us.” She smiled, “Without our nudging him.”
“A true shame about the Ladies Society meeting That could have been a real boon to the project.” Josiah added, “Whoever spiked that punch ought to be hung! I mean, really, here was the first truly serious presentation to that group and someone saw fit to turn it into a free for all.”
“Yes, it was most unfortunate. Yet I believe that our message got through to a good number of the women.” Leah agreed.
"Good heavens! We can't let the Lickskillet go out of business!" Jonah laughed. "Mrs. Blakesley makes the best bread...and her pies..!" He laughed again.
It seemed to have taken a light-hearted turn, but then Leah had been thinking it cannot be all drama and desperation. "Certainly not! I simple love her baked goods, and what’s more, I believe I need to spend more time in her establishment. It is one of the bedrock businesses in town."
"And yes, the town will benefit from construction, but there will also be an economic benefit from the hospital itself...jobs, to start, and supplies will be ordered and have to be delivered...food made, accommodations for families..." If they laid things out in the right way, it would be difficult for anyone to argue against the project, if not all-out political suicide.
To this Leah smiled knowingly, but political suicide was not what any of the Coundil members had in mind. Making life difficult for them, now that may well be their plan of action going forward. Just so they can wrestle the credit taking from the three. They were so foolish.
“You can bet your last nickle they intend to make it anything but easy for us.” Josiah stated flatly. “But the eventual good that will come from our endeavors, and yes, we may well be facing an uphill battle, yet one must realize, they can only make it so difficult for so long before they suffer the consequences.”
"Do you trust that reporter?" he asked Leah, "McPhee or whatever? He'd be a great asset if he were to write positive articles about the endeavor.
“McVay? I do. He is on our side. He realizes his importance in our struggle.” Leah assured them.
She looked to each of them in turn. “Gentlemen, I know who I am, I know what the town thinks of the name Steelgrave. I have no problem with that, either their mistrust or dislike of me due to my parentage.” She began, “All we await is the Town Council meeting and what it is that they want to do in this matter. And yes, I am not being forthright with them about the funding I have available, or that I have men waiting to come here to build it. I will also put every man, or boy of age to help to work on this project.”
Josiah Boone smiled. “Think of the money that the project will inject into this town. To every business along main street during the construction phase. There will be a surge everywhere, thank the Lord Harry we’re not having to pay taxes as the states do.” He leaned forward, “Somehow we must not raise prices to the point no one can afford to live here, or eat at the Lickskillet, let alone this place.”
"So, you have the funding, but if people find out it comes from you..." Jonah smirked and shook his head. "Yet another reason of nay-sayers to fight the project, sadly. Regardless of how you came by the funds, they will insist that the money is tainted."
Unless there was a way to hide the source, but he wasn't sure how that could be accomplished, he didn't think folks would buy into 'anonymous donor', especially for such a large sum.
“We are not fund raising. I didn’t ask for one red cent from the people of Kalispell, Jonah.” She responded quietly. “I have a list of backers, willing to state where the funds came from for construction. We are simply asking for land and nothing more. There is nothing to hide from the people.”
She giggled, rather un-Leah-like. “You under estimate me, Jonah. If it were fund raising, asking people for money, asking the Council for money, I can surely see your point. That being said, we have the backers to buy what land we need. The territory wants this hospital, and the want the orphanage. So what I fear is the attitude of the Town Council about the land, if they want to bully us, to take credit, which I really could care less about. That's fine, so long as we get the land in the end."
“Your trip to the Capitol then was well worth the time.” Josiah pointed out, then added, “I too have underestimated you. But I’m in good company, besides Jonah, seems you may have outfoxed this whole town.”
"We'll see about that." She answered.
Sagas of the WIld West is a roleplaying game set in a fictionalized version of the town of Kalispell in Montana territory. Our stories begin in 1875 and are set against the backdrop of actual historical events.Sagas was inspired by the classic television and movie westerns. Our focus is on writing, storytelling and character development.
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