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The_Tatterdemalion_King

Populations of Arkham and Kingsport in 1928?

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The_Tatterdemalion_King

Anyone have ballpark suggestions for populations for Arkham and Kingsport in 1928? Looking at Beverly, Salem, Manchester, Marblehead, etc. suggests a figure of 20-40K for Arkham and something like 5K-10K for Kingsport, but the way the maps look would almost suggest the opposite. 

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HJ

Human & non-human populations? Or just human?

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numtini

I don't think it's just you. The Kingsport map looks much larger than Arkham. Also, maybe Marblehead at around 7500 people in the 20s is supposedly the model for Kingsport by some reports, but even that's a pretty big town and not at all in keeping with the description of Kingsport as "quaint Kingsport" or "strange little fishing village."

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barnabamarsh

Arkham 22,500   Kingsport 7,800

 

From Kingsport sourcebook.

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JeffErwin

Arkham 22,500   Kingsport 7,800

 

From Kingsport sourcebook.

 

Interesting. That makes Arkham a bigger city than Danvers in 1930 (12,957).

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Gaffer

Interesting. That makes Arkham a bigger city than Danvers in 1930 (12,957).

 

But considerably smaller than others I have seen named as models, like Salem (40k), Lawrence (90k), and Lowell (100k).

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The_Tatterdemalion_King

Related question: would it make more sense to just add those numbers to the county population (making it 527 540 in 1930) or just assume that in a world with Arkham etc some county population gets redistributed to those places, and lowering other populations in the region by a few hundred but keeping the county pop the same?

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numtini

I don't think overall county population makes much difference. It would all be different and other towns wouldn't have risen if there'd been an Arkham or Kingsport, plus the entire region would be different with the river. You'd have to restructure the whole state really. That's one of the reasons I tend to favor a "Lovecraft County" (Arkham is a small but prosperous college town of 10kish and Kingsport as a tiny fishing village below 5k) that's far smaller than the Chaosium version--it would have a lower impact.

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Necrothesp

I don't think overall county population makes much difference. It would all be different and other towns wouldn't have risen if there'd been an Arkham or Kingsport, plus the entire region would be different with the river. You'd have to restructure the whole state really. That's one of the reasons I tend to favor a "Lovecraft County" (Arkham is a small but prosperous college town of 10kish and Kingsport as a tiny fishing village below 5k) that's far smaller than the Chaosium version--it would have a lower impact.

 

But would such small towns really have the facilities and infrastructure (e.g. both have trolleys) that Lovecraft himself mentions?

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numtini

But would such small towns really have the facilities and infrastructure (e.g. both have trolleys) that Lovecraft himself mentions?

 

In the Festival, it says Kingsport has trolleys coming to it, presumably from Arkham, and at one point he hears the sound of trolleys and cars. I took that to be an interurban, which would be in keeping with Kingsport as a tourist destination. If It was still a fishing village, I'd expect some kind of normal/freight train to bring fish to market, not an interurban. 

 

My image of Arkham is more of an Amherst--small wealthy college town. On that subject, in the 20s, Amherst had a population of 5550 and had trolleys that ran to Sunderland and Northampton. My impression is trolleys were pretty common up to the 1920s, but pretty much gone by 1930 in favor of buses and cars, so what year affects some of this a lot.

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Gaffer

Great research, numtini.

 

EL Doctorow's Ragtime has a great little dissertation on the interurban rail lines of early 20th century America.

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Necrothesp

In the Festival, it says Kingsport has trolleys coming to it, presumably from Arkham, and at one point he hears the sound of trolleys and cars. I took that to be an interurban, which would be in keeping with Kingsport as a tourist destination. If It was still a fishing village, I'd expect some kind of normal/freight train to bring fish to market, not an interurban.

 

I have to say that, given the context, I interpreted it as meaning Kingsport itself had trolleys. But who knows what Lovecraft intended?

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numtini

I have to say that, given the context, I interpreted it as meaning Kingsport itself had trolleys. But who knows what Lovecraft intended?

 

And I think, in the end, Lovecraft did whatever served the story without all that much regard to continuity. On a similar vein, I suspect my advocacy for a "small Lovecraft Country" has to do with my preference for small NE horror over globe spanning cult conspiracies. (She says as she preps to run 2 Headed Serpent...)

 

My understanding is that interurbans also provided service within towns. In looking at the Amherst one above, I found references to it stopping at least three times in Amherst within a 2.3 mile length, in very much the same places local Amherst busses do today, as well as going out of town to Sunderland Northampton. So I can see a line from Arkham making several stops after it enters Kingsport, probably terminating at the port area. 

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Gaffer

One thing to keep in mind within urban settings (including London and the New York boroughs) is that people in the latter part of the 19th and

early part of the 20th century were much more willing to walk places. Part of this was due to personal transportation (automobiles) being less prevalent and because vehicular traffic seems to have increased to the point that walking was often faster.

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The_Tatterdemalion_King

One thing to keep in mind within urban settings (including London and the New York boroughs) is that people in the latter part of the 19th and

early part of the 20th century were much more willing to walk places. Part of this was due to personal transportation (automobiles) being less prevalent and because vehicular traffic seems to have increased to the point that walking was often faster.

There's also more places you could actually walk to nearby, instead of food deserts and strip malls.

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