The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #4571   Message #4030979
Posted By: Lighter
29-Jan-20 - 09:51 AM
Thread Name: Origins: The Big Rock Candy Mountain(s)
Subject: RE: Origins: The Big Rock Candy Mountain(s)
See also my 2018 posts at the "Dying Hobo" thread.

I posted the following to the Ballad List some years ago:

1871 _Morning Telegraph_[NYC)] (Aug. 27) 5: The Geysers of California - Boiling, Alum, Sulphur, Ink, and Lemonade Springs . ...Another curious spring is the "Acid," used in treating skin diseases, and which, when sweetened, makes a drinkable lemonade.

1889 _Hutchinson [Kans.] Daily News_ (Oct. 2) 6: New York, Sept. 30. . . . In the vernacular well known among young toughs, High Bridge told his story to a reporter. He said that New York Red had induced young [13-year-old] Morgan to accompany him as a tramp by visionary tales of rock candy mines and lemonade springs. The three set out on foot toward New Haven and walked to Larchmont, where they managed to steal a ride as far as Rye on the front platform of a passenger train.

1896 _Plainfield [Ind.] Reformatory_...Published Weekly at the Plainfield Reformatory for Boys. ...(May 9): I know a young man to-day who went west armed to the teeth to seek his fortune, and to look up the Rockcandy mountains, the Lemonade springs, the Cigarette valley, and a few more such places he had heard of, and he found that it was a failure in the end, and there was no place like home after his trouble.

1899 _Philadelphia Inquirer_ (July 28) 8 [newsboys conversing]: "Where do you think youse'll go when you take a day off? ...I guess I'll go to the Lemonade Springs." ..."Lemonade Springs? Where's them?" "Oh, in the Rock Candy Mountains." ...And the question that is puzzling [my] mind is whether that boy simply picked that phrase up or whether he imagined it and is a poet in embryo.

My surmise for now is that the "Lemonade Springs" of California suggested that the Rockies were actually "Rock Candy" mountains. Still looking for the Cigarette Valley though.