[Kim's posts will all relate to her MG historical fiction novel with a paranormal twist: Muleskinner. Here's the pitch: An extraordinary canal dog gives twelve-year-old mule driver, Clay, the conviction to fight against a highly suspect Indenture agreement his pa supposedly signed...right before Pa was found swinging from a tree above Lonesome Lock.]
A muleskinner is a person who drives mules. Back in the Ohio Canal era (1825-1913) a team of 2-3 mules were hitched in tandem (one behind the other) to pull canal boats (freighters) filled with supplies from any combination of distances between Portsmouth (south) to Cleveland (north), about 310 miles.
|Muleskinner walking beside his mules|
Did you know that President James Garfield worked as a muleskinner on the Ohio Canal? After he fell in the water for the 14th time, he developed a malaria-like sickness (referred to as the ague) that forced him to retire from the canals. His quality of life drastically improved once he did!