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Episode 55 - The Smiths Rock Glastonbury

First of all, hat tip to longtime listener Erin Cody for suggesting this topic (and for her messenger as well). It's a cool story that I'd never heard before, and I think more people should, thus...


The Kimberly Mansion, where the Smith sisters lived, is now a national landmark. Also of note - I ended this episode on the note that maybe they got their land back. I say that because I dug through a lot of secondary sources for this one that seemed to contradict one another. I then compared notes with "Abby Smith and Her Cows", which is a 96-page-long compendium of news articles set in newspaper-style type: wall-to-wall text, many columns across. It wasn't easy to decipher, especially in the vernacular of the day. What seemed so clear to other commentators wasn't entirely clear to me - the story of the Smith sisters didn't end in the book the way other sources had mentioned, but they had gotten a lot of other details wrong as well. Reputable sources did this. This isn't the first time that I've gotten the wrong set of facts from reputable news sources researching this show. NPR is a particular culprit, sadly. ABC News, New York Times... - all of them had wrong facts at least once in my research. Hardcore journalists with great track records, getting sloppy in weird places. I get it - for facts used only to give color, digging into the factual story through primary sources is a bridge too far with a deadline looming if the essential facts are correct. But still. It's weird to see major media outlets contradicted by primary sources.


Which leads me back to my point - I haven't been able to uncover what happened to the sisters after the third trial from the research I've done so far. There was the marriage and the deaths, but that's it. But the only primary source I have says the judge ruled in their favor in the third trial over the stolen land. If anyone has more to add - I'm happy to revise my conclusion.


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