A Landing a Day

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Mount St. Helens, Washington

Posted by graywacke on August 14, 2019

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2453; A Landing A Day blog post number 889.

Dan:  First, let me apologize for my tardiness.  It has been more than two weeks since my last post.  Sometimes, life gets in the way of posting . . .

Anyway, today’s lat/long (N46o 16.816’, W121o 56.372’) puts me in SW Washington:

My local landing map shows that I landed a mere 14 miles NE of Mount St. Helens: 

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Elk Creek, which is part of the Clear Creek watershed:

Zooming back, we can see that the Clear Ck discharges to the Muddy River (1st hit ever!). 

The Clear Creek loses its soul when it hits the Muddy!  Anyway, the Muddy discharges to the Lewis River (also 1st hit ever!), on to the Mighty Columbia (170th hit).

Before moving on, a quick word about the Lewis River.  I bet you assumed (as I did) that it was named after Lewis from Lewis & Clark.  Well, listen up (from Wiki):

Unlike nearby Lewis County and Fort Lewis, the Lewis River was not named for Meriwether Lewis, but rather for A. Lee Lewis, an early settler who homesteaded near the mouth of the river.

Moving over to Google Earth, you can see that I was able to locate the Orange Dude fairly close to my landing:

And here’s what he sees:

The landing is down in a valley, about a thousand feet lower than the roadway . . .

The OD was anxious to get a look at my local drainage, so he found a spot to get a look at Clear Creek:

And here’s his upstream view:

His downstream view shows us many old logs:

If I had to guess, I’d say the logs are detritus from the eruption . . .

Did you notice some Street View blue lines up on the mountain?  Evidently, some Google Dude with a Google Cam hiked up to the summit!  And here’s the view, looking down towards the blown-out side of the mountain (with Mount Adams in the background):



Speaking of the blown-out side of the mountain, here’s a map showing the blast zone:

And here’s a GE shot, where you can still see all of the scars:

Staying with GE:


So.  I’ve written quite a bit about the geology of the Cascade volcanoes, and won’t do again now.  If you really want to learn about the regional geologic context of Mt. St. Helens and other volcanoes in the northwest, check out my Mt. Shasta post.  For a shorter version, try my White Swan and Mt. Adams post.

While I landed about 14 miles from MSH, I landing only 8.5 miles from Spirit Lake.  From Wiki:

Spirit Lake is a lake on the northern flank of Mount St. Helens in Washington State. The lake was a popular tourist destination for many years until the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. Prior to 1980, there were six camps on the shore of Spirit Lake: a Boy Scout camp, a Girl Scout camp, two YMCA camps, Harmony Fall Lodge, and another for the general public. There were also a number of lodges catering to visitors, including Spirit Lake Lodge and Mt. St. Helens Lodge; the latter was inhabited by Harry R. Truman.

Of course, Harry Truman was Wiki-clickable; more about him in a bit.

Before 1980, this was quite the bucolic place:

Back to Wiki:

During the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, Spirit Lake received the full impact of the lateral blast from the volcano. The blast and the debris avalanche associated with this eruption temporarily displaced much of the lake from its bed and forced lake waters as a wave as much as 850 ft above lake level. The debris avalanche deposited about 430,000,000 cubic meters of pyrolized trees, other plant material, volcanic ash, and volcanic debris of various origins into Spirit Lake.

Lahar and pyroclastic flow deposits from the eruption blocked its natural pre-eruption outlet to the North Fork Toutle River valley at its outlet, raising the surface elevation of the lake by approximately 200 ft. The surface area of the lake was increased from 1,300 acres to about 2,200 acres.

However, the deposition of volcanic material decreased the maximum depth of the lake from 190 ft to 110 ft.

The eruption tore thousands of trees from the surrounding hillsides and swept them into Spirit Lake. These thousands of shattered trees formed a floating log raft on the lake surface that covered about 40% of the lake’s surface after the eruption:

So, what about this Harry Truman guy?  From Wiki:

Harry R. Truman (October 30, 1896 – May 18, 1980) was the owner and caretaker of Mount St. Helens Lodge at Spirit Lake near the foot of the mountain, and he came to fame as a folk hero in the months preceding the volcano’s 1980 eruption after he refused to leave his home despite evacuation orders.

Truman is presumed to have been killed by a pyroclastic flow that overtook his lodge and buried the site under 150 ft of volcanic debris.

[Oh, come on!  “Presumed to have been killed” ??  Give me a break  . . . ]

During the 1930s, Truman divorced his wife; he remarried in 1935. The second marriage was short, as he reportedly attempted to win arguments by throwing his wife into Spirit Lake, despite her inability to swim.  He began dating a local girl, though he eventually married her sister Edna, whom he called Eddie.  They remained married, operating the Mount St. Helens Lodge together until Edna’s death from a heart attack in 1978.

In the Mount St. Helens area, Truman became notorious for his antics, once getting a forest ranger drunk so that he could burn a pile of brush.  He poached, stole gravel from the National Park Service, and fished on American Indian land with a fake game warden badge. Despite their knowledge of these criminal activities, local rangers failed to catch him in the act.

Truman was a fan of the cocktail drink Schenley whiskey and Coca-Cola. He owned a pink 1957 Cadillac, and he swore frequently.  He loved discussing politics and reportedly hated Republicans, hippies, young children, and especially old people.

[Strange mix!]

When his wife Edna died in 1978, Truman closed his lodge and afterward only rented out a handful of boats and cabins during the summer.

Truman became a minor celebrity during the two months of volcanic activity preceding the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, giving interviews to reporters and expressing his opinion that the danger was exaggerated. “I don’t have any idea whether it will blow,” he said, “but I don’t believe it to the point that I’m going to pack up.”

Truman displayed little concern about the volcano and his situation: “If the mountain goes, I’m going with it. This area is heavily timbered, Spirit Lake is in between me and the mountain, and the mountain is a mile away, the mountain ain’t gonna hurt me.”

Law enforcement officials were incensed by his refusal to evacuate because media representatives kept entering the restricted zone near the volcano to interview him, endangering themselves in the process. Still, Truman remained steadfast. “You couldn’t pull me out with a mule team. That mountain’s part of Truman and Truman’s part of that mountain.”

Truman told reporters that he was knocked from his bed by precursor earthquakes, so he responded by moving his mattress to the basement. He scoffed at the public’s concern for his safety, responding to scientists’ claims about the threat of the volcano that “the mountain has shot its wad and it hasn’t hurt my place a bit, but those goddamn geologists with their hair down to their butts wouldn’t pay no attention to ol’ Truman.”

He caused a media frenzy, appearing on the front page of The New York Times and The San Francisco Examiner and attracting the attention of National Geographic, Time, Life, Newsweek, Field & Stream, Reader’s Digest, United Press International, and The Today Show.

A historian named Richard W. Slatta wrote that “his fiery attitude, brash speech, love of the outdoors, and fierce independence… made him a folk hero the media could adore.”  Truman was immortalized, according to Slatta, “with many of the embellished qualities of the western hero.”

As the likelihood of eruption increased, state officials tried to evacuate the area with the exception of a few scientists and security officials. On May 17, they attempted one final time to persuade Truman to leave, to no avail. The volcano erupted the next morning, and its entire northern flank collapsed.

Truman was alone at his lodge with his 16 cats, and is presumed to have died in the eruption on May 18.

[There they go again.]

The largest landslide in recorded history and a pyroclastic flow traveling atop the landslide engulfed the Spirit Lake area almost simultaneously, destroying the lake and burying the site of his lodge under 150 feet of volcanic landslide debris.

Truman emerged as a folk hero for his resistance to the evacuation efforts.  The Columbian wrote: “With his 10-dollar name and hell-no-I-won’t-go attitude, Truman was a made-for-prime-time folk hero.”

Truman’s friend John Garrity added, “The mountain and the lake were his life. If he’d left and then saw what the mountain did to his lake, it would have killed him anyway. He always said he wanted to die at Spirit Lake. He went the way he wanted to go.”

Truman’s niece Shirley stated, “He used to say that’s my mountain and my lake and he would say those are my arms and my legs. If he would have seen it the way it is now, I don’t think he would have survived.”  Truman’s cousin Richard Ice commented that Truman’s short period as a celebrity was “the peak of his life.”

Moving right along . . .

So.  Harry wasn’t pleased with those damned long-haired geologists.  Well, one of them was killed within seconds of when Harry was killed.  From Wiki:

Due to the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, approximately 57 people were killed directly, including innkeeper Harry R. Truman, photographers Reid Blackburn and Robert Landsburg, and geologist David A. Johnston.

Mr. Johnston was Wiki-clickable:

David Alexander Johnston (December 18, 1949 – May 18, 1980) was an American United States Geological Survey (USGS) volcanologist who was killed by the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington. A principal scientist on the USGS monitoring team, Johnston was killed in the eruption while manning an observation post six miles away on the morning of May 18, 1980. He was the first to report the eruption, transmitting “Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!” before he was swept away by a lateral blast.

[USGS personnel were in Vancouver, WA (about 50 miles SW of the mountain) monitoring the situation.]

Despite a thorough search, Johnston’s body was never found, but state highway workers discovered remnants of his USGS trailer in 1993.

Here’s a video of the eruption, viewed over 6 million times:


I’ll close with this photo posted on GE by Dave Smith:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2019 A Landing A Day


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Spur, Texas

Posted by graywacke on July 29, 2019

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2452; A Landing A Day blog post number 888.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (N33o 15.151’, W101o 6.155’) puts me in Cen-NW Texas:

My local landing map shows that I landed some distance from my titular Spur (actually about 20 miles).  Post is much closer, but as I’ll discuss in a bit, I already posted a Post post. 

My streams-only map:

I landed in the watershed of the Salt Fork of the Brazos River (just north of the drainage divided between the Salt Fork and the Double Mountain Fork; in fact, at first I assumed the wrong watershed.  This was my fifth landing in this watershed, making the Salt Fork the 173rd river on my list of rivers with 5 or more hits.  And then, of course, to the Brazos (34th hit).

I landed way out in the boonies, with no worthwhile Google Earth (GE) Street View coverage of my landing.  But I did manage to get the Orange Dude on a bridge over the Salt Fork:

And before showing you the Salt Fork proper, here’s a look at the sign that the ever-vigilant Texas DOT put at the end of the bridge:

And here’s the Fork itself:

So, I landed near Post a while back (June 2017).  My Post post is a great post, and I encourage you to enter “Post Texas” in the search block to check it out.

But today, I’m stuck with Spur.  A quick look through the internet confirms two hooks:  the Heaven’s gate cult and tiny houses.  We’ll start on the dark side with Heaven’s Gate.  From Wiki, about Marshall Applewhite:

Marshall Applewhite Jr. (1931 – 1997) was an American cult leader who founded what became known as the Heaven’s Gate religious group and organized their mass suicide in 1997, claiming the lives of 39 people.

A native of Spur, Texas, Applewhite attended several universities, and as a young man, served in the United States Army. After finishing school at Austin College, he taught music at the University of Alabama. He later returned to Texas, where he led choruses and served as the chair of the music department at the University of St. Thomas in Houston.

[Sounds pretty normal so far.]

He left the school in 1970, citing emotional turmoil. His father’s death a year later brought on severe depression. In 1972, he developed a close friendship with Bonnie Nettles, a nurse; together, they discussed mysticism at length and concluded that they were called as divine messengers.


They operated a bookstore and teaching center for a short while, and then began to travel around the U.S. in 1973 to spread their views. They only gained one convert.

[Too bad it didn’t end there . . . ]

In 1975, Applewhite was arrested for failing to return a rental car and was jailed for 6 months. In jail, he further developed his theology.

After Applewhite’s release, he traveled to California and Oregon with Nettles, eventually gaining a group of committed followers. Applewhite and Nettles told their followers that they would be visited by extraterrestrials who would provide them with new bodies.

[It’s hard to imagine followers who actually bought into this.]

Applewhite initially stated that his followers and he would physically ascend to a spaceship, where their bodies would be transformed, but later, he came to believe that their bodies were the mere containers of their souls, which would later be placed into new bodies.

[whatever . . .]

The group received an influx of funds in the late 1970s, which it used to pay housing and other expenses. In 1985, Nettles died, leaving Applewhite distraught and challenging his views on physical ascension. In the early 1990s, the group took more steps to publicize their theology.

In 1996, they learned of the approach of Comet Hale–Bopp and rumors of an accompanying spaceship. They concluded that this spaceship was the vessel that would take their spirits on board for a journey to another planet. Believing that their souls would ascend to the spaceship and be given new bodies, the group members committed mass suicide in their mansion.

I remember this, but mistakenly thought it involved the comet that hit Jupiter.  (That would be Shoemaker-Levy in 1994; just a couple of years before Hale Bopp.)

Here’s a cool shot of Hale Bopp from Sky & Telescope (photo by Dr. John Goldsmith):

There’s a cool story about the discovery of Hale Bopp.  From Wiki:

The comet was discovered independently on July 23, 1995, by two observers, Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp, both in the United States.

Hale had spent many hundreds of hours searching for comets without success, and was tracking known comets from his driveway in New Mexico when he chanced upon what appeared to be an unknown comet just after midnight. The comet lay near the globular cluster M70.  Hale first established that there was no other deep-sky object near M70, and then consulted a directory of known comets, finding that none were known to be in this area of the sky.

Once he had established that the object was moving relative to the background stars, he emailed the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams, the clearing house for astronomical discoveries.

Bopp did not own a telescope. He was out with friends near Stanfield, Arizona, observing star clusters and galaxies when he chanced across the comet while at the eyepiece of his friend’s telescope. He realized he might have spotted something new when, like Hale, he checked his star maps to determine if any other deep-sky objects were known to be near M70, and found that there were none.

He alerted the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams through a Western Union telegram. Brian G. Marsden, who had run the bureau since 1968, laughed, “Nobody sends telegrams anymore. I mean, by the time that telegram got here, Alan Hale had already e-mailed us three times with updated coordinates.”

The following morning, it was confirmed that this was a new comet.

So.  It’s time for tiny houses.  Wow.  There are 20+ web sites that discuss tiny houses in Spur! And here they are now:


I’ll do it the easy way.  Check out this video:


Then I ran across an article entitled:  “‘No anarchists or nudists’ welcome in Texas ‘Tiny House’ community.”  From the article (RT.com):

Hard-boiled Texans in the tiny city of Spur have begun to re-think their initial embrace of the Tiny House movement since too many “anarchists and nudists” started moving to the town.

Two years ago, residents signed a proclamation declaring Spur to be “America’s first ‘tiny’ house friendly town.” Nearly all building restrictions were removed in the hope of reversing a population decline and attracting “eco-conscious, do-it-yourself builders who like to live in very small houses,” reported the Wall Street Journal.

Dickens County commissioner Charlie Morris said the recent influx of new inhabitants has brought residents that are “educated, professional, and seem like they really have something to bring to the community,” but then added, “What we don’t want are anarchists or nudists.”

The town’s loose building codes, low prices, and ultra-high-speed fiber internet have allowed residents to work from home rather than farm for a living.

However, Spur soon realized that they needed a few more rules and regulations.  New restrictions specify that all tiny houses have to be connected to the power grid, water supply, and sewer system – and they can’t be on wheels.

And, anarchists and nudists aren’t welcome . . .

I’ll close with a couple of GE shots from Spur.  First this, from just north of town (by Jeremiah Anzaldua):

And then there’s this cool spur & arrow sculpture right in Spur.  The sculptures were built by local welder John Grusendorf; the photographer is Eric Viklund:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2019 A Landing A Day

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania

Posted by graywacke on July 21, 2019

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2451; A Landing A Day blog post number 887.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (N41o 22.625’, W80o 27.943’) puts me in NW Pennsylvania:

My local landing map shows that I landed in a spot almost surrounded by the Pymatuning Reservoir, and not far from my titular Conneaut Lake:

Note:  I’m referring to the lake, not the town . . .

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of the Shenango River (first hit ever!  Note that the Pymatuning Reservoir is the dammed-up Shenango), on to the Beaver River (3rd hit); to the Ohio River (153rd hit).  Of course, the Ohio makes its way to the MM (951st hit).

Speaking of watersheds, check out this map:

Pretty dramatic when you think about it.  North of the line, rainwater ends up going past Quebec City on its way to the North Atlantic, and south of the line, it ends up going past New Orleans on its way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Just imagining the scenery that the drops of water will be passing through, here’s the St. Lawrence in Quebec City (GE shot by Sabastien Rodriguez):

And the Mississippi in New Orleans (GE shot by Vaughn Dunn):

Unlike the Continental Divide out in the Rockies, this divide is very subtle, lacking any obvious drama.  I can’t help but think of some local residents whose land is on both sides of the divide (or who drive across it every day), but they have no clue.  When I lived in northeastern Ohio, it just so happens that the very same drainage divide was about a half-mile from my house.  I remember going out for jogs, and turning around when I crossed the divide . . .

Let’s move on to Google Earth, and see about Street View coverage for my landing.  Not bad:

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

I had the OD head south of the Reservoir, so he could get a look at the Shenango proper:

And here ‘tis:

Before leaving GE, let me zoom way back and show you all 474 of my landings since January 2013:

Notice the large landing-free zone that stretches from NY down to Ohio, then southeast to the Carolinas?  See that lonely landing south of Lake Erie?  That’s today’s landing.  Let’s take a closer look at the northern portion of the LFZ:

You can see that today’s landing certainly has no close neighbors . . .

Sometimes I land within a few miles of a previous landing, and sometimes I land in the middle of an LFZ . . .

Moving right along.  Unlike the man-made Pymatuning, Conneaut Lake is natural.  From Wiki:

Conneaut Lake is the largest natural lake in Pennsylvania by surface area.  During the summer season, it is heavily populated with vacationers, many of whom are from the Pittsburgh area. Other than the lake itself, the largest draw to the area has long been Conneaut Lake Park, a popular amusement park.

[More about the amusement park in a bit.]

Conneaut Lake was formed as a kettle lake at the end of the Pleistocene. A large block of ice broke off the receding ice front and was surrounded by accumulating sediment. After the ice melted, the resulting depression was filled with water forming the lake. Lakes that form in this manner are known as kettle lakes.

Water exits the lake through the Conneaut Outlet which flows into French Creek [and then to the Allegheny River, which joins the Monongahela to form the Ohio in Pittsburgh] making it part of the Mississippi River drainage.

Kettle lakes are cool.  I enjoy imagining myself in western Pennsylvania about 10,000 years ago.  In front of me is a mile-high front of ice, with torrents of meltwater flowing away from the ice. The meltwater torrents are heavily loaded with sand and gravel that was entrained within the ice.   Then, this huge chunk of ice at least the size of Conneaut Lake (3 miles long by one mile wide; likely much bigger) breaks away from the ice front. It dramatically tumbles down on the sand and gravel already deposited in front of the glacier.  It fairly quickly gets buried by sand and gravel being carried by the meltwater.  This huge block of ice would remain for some time.

How long might it remain buried, one could ask?  I have no clue.  Heck, it could be buried for years as far as I know.  But eventually, it melts; and as it melts, the sand and gravel above it begins, naturally enough, to subside.  And then, this depression becomes low enough to fill with water, and voila!  There’s Conneaut lake.

Staying with all things glacial, I noticed this on my local StreetAtlas map:

Hmmm.  The Conneaut Lake Kame, eh?  Well, as a geologist, I remembered a kame as a glacial feature, but I was a little vague as to exactly what it is.  Off to Wiki I went:

A kame is a glacial landform, an irregularly shaped hill or mound typically composed of sand, gravel and clay.  With the melting of the glacier, streams carry sediment to glacial lakes that form in depressions on the ice.  The sediment is deposited in the temporary lake, building what is termed a kame delta on top of the ice. However, with the continuous melting of the glacier, the kame delta eventually collapses onto the land surface resulting in the formation of a kame.

Kames are often associated with kettles, and this is referred to as kame and kettle topography. The word kame is a variant of comb, which has the meaning “crest” among others.

This is also pretty cool – so let’s use Google Earth (and hopefully Street View) to get a look at this kame.  Here’s the GE aerial view:

Oh no!  The erstwhile kame has been removed and is now nothing but a sand and gravel pit!  I hate it when that happens!  As they say, this thing kame and went .

So what about the amusement park is noteworthy?  From Wiki:

Conneaut Lake Park is a summer resort and amusement park. It has long served as a regional tourist destination, and is noted by roller coaster enthusiasts for its classic Blue Streak coaster, which was recently classified as “historic” by the American Coaster Enthusiasts group.

Conneaut Lake Park was founded in 1892 as Exposition Park by Col. Frank Mantor as a permanent fairground and exposition for livestock, machinery, and industrial products from Western Pennsylvania.

The park was renamed “Conneaut Lake Park” in 1920 to reflect a move toward more amusements and rides. Rides added over these years included a Tumble Bug, bumper car ride, and a Figure Eight roller coaster (later renamed The Jack Rabbit). In 1938, the park’s signature roller coaster, The Blue Streak, was added.

In 1995, the Park filed for bankruptcy and was taken over by a non-profit corporation.  In the early 2000s, the park experienced a renewed interest, driven by roller coaster and amusement park enthusiasts.  Several of the park’s rides, including the Devil’s Den and Blue Streak Roller Coaster, were repaired by volunteers. In August 2010, the park received $50,000 in funds from a contest sponsored by Pepsi for use in restoring the Blue Streak.

I went to the Conneaut Park website, and found this bit of nostalgia / marketing:

Opened in 1892 as Exposition Park, located on the west side of Conneaut Lake in Western Pennsylvania, a gem survives to this day as a trip back in time. Not a manufactured museum or contrived in any way, Conneaut Lake Park now represents a real alternative to today’s frenetic and agitated lifestyle.

The very feel of the park, indeed even its aroma, hint of a long and steady past there for us to enjoy. Conneaut Lake Park is a salve to nerves stressed to the breaking point – truly a place of relaxation and refreshment.

Who can resist a picnic with family and friends in Blue Streak Grove where the sound of shrieking riders makes you laugh and hurry to finish your meal so you can be where they are, on the ride of your life? Who can pass up playing just one game and trying to win that “Grand” prize stuffed animal? Imagine dancing the night away in the Dreamland Ballroom and watching the sun set from the balcony… No, Conneaut Lake Park is not just an amusement park, it is a way of remembering what so many people tend to forget when they grow older: how to be a child!

To sit in one of the old wooden rocking chairs on the porch of the Hotel Conneaut and watch a July moon rise over the lake, shimmering in reflection off the soft waters while the red and green of the boat’s running lights seem to skate effortlessly over the lake’s surface, captures something no technology could hope to approximate.

Conneaut Lake Park, to so many of us and hopefully many more generations to come, is not just an amusement park, it is memories and good times, carefree moments we all experienced, whether you are ninety years old or nine years old.

So, we offer to you now, to take a ride back in time to remember and to relive and to make new memories as patrons and lovers of Conneaut Lake Park. Hold on tight and enjoy the ride!

Here’s a GE shot of the Blue Streak by David Kenzig:

And another from the GroupOn website:

And yes, I was able to send the OD for a Street View shot of the Blue Streak:

I’ll close with this GE shot of Pymatuning Reservoir by CasMag:


That’ll do it . . .




© 2019 A Landing A Day

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Eucha, New Eucha, Old Eucha and Jay, Oklahoma

Posted by graywacke on July 13, 2019

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2450; A Landing A Day blog post number 886.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (N36o 22.625’, W94o 49.814’) puts me in NE Oklahoma::

My local landing map shows nearly all of my titular towns:

More about the lack of just plain Eucha in a minute.  Speaking of Eucha, my readers must pronounce it correctly.  Here goes (and repeat after me):  OO-chee.  You may laugh at the local pronunciation, but it’s actually accurate.  More about that in a bit.

Here’s my streams-only map:

As you can see, I landed in the watershed of the Spavinaw Ck; on to the Neosho River (7th hit).  Although not shown, the Neosho makes its way to the Arkansas (134th hit); on to the MM (950th hit).

Some nice round numbers here.  Landing 2450 and Mississippi River watershed hit 950.

Moving on to Google Earth (GE), here’s where I asked the Orange Dude to set up to check out my landing:

And here’s what he sees:

I couldn’t get a decent SV look at Spavinaw Ck, but got a view of Lake Eucha (formed by a dam over the Spavinaw):

And here’s what the OD sees:

I was able to find a GE photo by Priscilla Wenzel of Spavinaw Creek just upstream from the reservoir:

So let’s check out the various Euchas (the OO-chees).  First, we’ll take a look at Google Earth:

There’s plain ol’ Eucha!  It turns out that GE’s Eucha is StreetAtlas’ New Eucha, and StreetAtlas shows nothing where GE shows New Eucha.  I’m going with GE.  Got that?  No?  Don’t worry about it . . . 

Let’s start with Eucha.  From Wiki:

Eucha, pronounced “oochee,” was named for Oochelata, a principal chief of the Cherokees. Eucha, well known for its Indian culture, often has Indian taco sales.

Two things.  First, the chief’s name was Oochelata; ergo, the OO-chee pronunciation is excellent.  Secondly, funny how “Indian taco sales” made it to Wikipedia.

Moving on to New Eucha.  Wiki has nothing to say.

Moving on to Old Eucha.  Wiki has nothing to say.

Oh, well.

Time to move to Jay.  Wiki:

Jay (pop 2,500) is home to numerous Cherokee tribal offices and a health clinic for the Delaware District of the Cherokee Nation.  The city is celebrated as the Huckleberry Capital of the World and has been host to the annual Huckleberry Festival each July 4 weekend since 1967.

The Huckleberry Festival is a big deal – it lasts for three days and has many events that guarantee fun for all, including a frog jumping contest.  Here’s a pic from a June 2018 issue of the Grand Lake News:

The young lad is holding “Froggy,” who won the “largest frog” contest at the 2017 festival.

Back to Wiki:

Jay was named for Jay Washburn, a nephew of Stand Watie.  Around 1908, the exact location of the center of the county was surveyed, with the intention of founding the County Seat.

The survey pinpointed allotment land belonging to Thomas Oochaleta, a full-blood Cherokee. Since acquiring title to a full-blood’s allotment would require a lengthy federal legal procedure, the committee shifted their attention to the allotment adjoining Oochaleta’s on the east, a parcel belonging to committee member Claude L. “Jay” Washbourne.

As a mixed-blood Cherokee, Washbourne was exempt from the federal policy restricting the sale or transfer of his land. He gave ten acres on which to construct a town. The committee quickly constructed a frame building to serve as a post office, and then submitted the required three town names for consideration. The names submitted were “Center,” “Jay,” and “Washbourne.” Postal authorities chose Jay for its brevity.

Stand Watie (Jay’s uncle) was Wiki-clickable:

Stand Watie (Cherokee: Degataga, lit. ‘Stand firm’) (1806 – 1871), was a leader of the Cherokee Nation, and the only Native American to attain a general’s rank in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. [Geez.  I didn’t realize that Indians fought on the Confederate side!]  He commanded the Confederate Indian cavalry made up mostly of Cherokee, Muskogee and Seminole, and was the final Confederate general in the field to cease hostilities at war’s end.

Under Wiki’s “Notable People” was one Buzz Wetzel (great name and cool pic):

Charles “Buzz” Wetzel (1894 – 1941) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball who played briefly for the Philadelphia Athletics during the 1927 season. Listed at 6 ft 1 in, 162 lb., Wetzel was born in Jay, Oklahoma.

Wetzel was 32 years old when he entered the majors on July 27, 1927, and did not have a decision or any strikeouts. Wetzel posted a 7.71 earned run average in two games, including one start, giving up four earned runs on eight hits and five walks in 4 ⅔ innings of work. As a hitter, he went 1-for-1 with a run scored. He pitched his final game on July 28, and never appeared in a major league game again.

At least he made the Bigs, and hey – he batted 1.000!

And check out his Philadelphia A’s jersey.  There must be a story about the elephant, eh?  Well, it turns out that back in 1901, Ben Shibe started a new Philadelphia team to compete (for fans) with the Phillies.  In 1902, John McGraw, the already-very-successful owner of the Baltimore Orioles and then the New York Giants, was asked what he thought of the A’s.  “White Elephant,” he quickly retorted.

For those of you who aren’t sure of the meaning of the term, here’s the Google dictionary’s definition:  “a possession that is useless or troublesome, especially one that is expensive to maintain or difficult to dispose of.”

McGraw kept playing up his quote, and the press picked up on it.  Eventually, the A’s figured what-the-heck, and embraced it as one of their logos in 1909.  They tried to distance themselves from it in 1919, but in 1920 went all in:

There you have it.

Also from Jay is Tommy Morrison “former world heavyweight boxing champion.”  A few points of interest from Wiki:

  • Born in Jay, Morrison (1969 – 2013) spent most of his teenage years in Jay.
  • He began boxing in 1982 (age 13, using a false ID) and had a 202-20 record.
  • He began his professional boxing career in 1988 (at 19).
  • In 1989, Morrison had 19 profesional wins and no losses, 15 by knockout. Actor Sylvester Stallone observed one of Morrison’s bouts. Stallone arranged a script reading and cast Morrison in the movie Rocky V as Tommy “The Machine” Gunn, a young and talented protege of the retired Rocky Balboa. Morrison took a six-month break from boxing to work on the movie in 1990.
  • In 1993, he managed to fight George Foreman in a heavyweight title bout. He won a 12 round decision.
  • After three successful title defenses, he lost a bout (and the title) to Lennox Lewis, as he was knocked out in the sixth round.
  • He died of AIDs at age 44.

I’ll close with this GE photo by Howard Hansen of an Eucha Lake sunset:


That’ll do it . . .




© 2019 A Landing A Day

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Port Sanilac, Michigan

Posted by graywacke on July 4, 2019

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2449; A Landing A Day blog post number 885.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (N43o 27.758’, W82o 58.804’) puts me in E-Cen Michigan (on Michigan’s “thumb”):

My local landing map shows that I landed in (as I am wont to say) a “veritable plethora” of small towns:


Here’s my streams-only map:

As you can see, I landed in the watershed of the South Branch Cass River (first hit ever!); o to the Cass River (first hit ever!); on to the Saginaw (3rd hit); on to Lake Huron (19th hit).

Moving over to Google Earth (GE), you can see I have excellent GE Street View coverage of my landing:

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

The OD had to ramble a couple hundred yards west to get a look at the South Branch:

And here ‘tis:

Of course, I checked out each of the teeny towns on my landing map.  Nothing, nothing, nothing.  At first, Port Sanilac look pretty damn hookless, until I noticed this in Wiki:

The Sanilac Shores Underwater Preserve is a designated shipwreck preserve that is very popular with scuba divers.

The Preserve was Wiki-clickable, so I was off . . .

The Sanilac Shores Underwater Preserve was established to promote conservation of the submerged historical resources in Lake Huron near Port Sanilac, Michigan.

[Submerged historical resources?  Of course, that means shipwrecks.  Enough with the jargon!]

The Sanilac Shores Underwater Preserve spans a total of 163 square miles of Lake Huron. The Michigan Underwater Preserve Council oversees activities relating to all of Michigan’s Underwater Preserves.

The preserve is open to scuba divers.

[OK, but still nothing about shipwrecks.]

Port Sanilac was originally a lumberjack settlement on the shore of Lake Huron named “Bark Shanty Point.” In 1857 the village was renamed to Port Sanilac. Local legend attributes the name to a Wyandotte Indian Chief named Sanilac. Local landmarks include the Port Sanilac lighthouse (burning kerosene from its opening in 1886 until its electrification in 1924) and a twenty-room Victorian mansion (now a museum) built in 1850 by a horse-and-buggy doctor, Dr. Joseph Loop.

There are numerous shipwrecks located near Port Sanilac.


And then, there was this table:


Three of the wrecks were Wiki-clickable:  the Charles S. Price, the Regina, and the Sport. 

The Charles S: Price:

The SS Charles S. Price was a steel hulled ship lost on Lake Huron on November 9, 1913 during the Great Lakes storm of 1913.

[The storm is Wiki-clickable!  More about the storm a little later…]

The Price was found on a day after it foundered with her bow above water, and her stern dipping below. Because of her disposition, the ship’s length could not be measured to make a positive identification of the vessel: the wreck was initially assumed to be the Regina. The vessel was eventually identified as the Price before she sank on 17 November.  In spite of several efforts, the ship was never salvaged.

The SS Regina:

The SS Regina was a steel ship, with a crew of 32. The ship sank during the Great Lakes Storm of 1913 after taking great damage. Lost for more than a half century, she became known as the “Great Mystery of the Great Storm of the Great Lakes”. Since found, she has become an active dive site for scuba divers and is now part of Michigan’s underwater Preserve system.

Sailors initially theorized that Regina collided with Charles S. Price, another ship sunk in the storm, as some of the bodies of Charles S. Price’s crewmen were wearing lifebelts from Regina.  However, this theory was dismissed after Charles S. Price was found capsized on Lake Huron; a diver confirmed that the ship was Charles S. Price and that the ship showed no signs of being in a collision.

And finally, the Sport:

The Sport was a tugboat, built in 1873 and wrecked in 1920 in Lake Huron.  On December 13, 1920, the Sport set out from Port Huron, bound for Harbor Beach. It encountered a heavy gale, and by 6:00 pm was taking on more water than could be pumped out. The seasick and exhausted firetender returned to his bunk, and the boat lost steam, killing the pumps. The crew abandoned ship at about 11:00 pm, and washed ashore near Lexington, still alive.

The wreck of the Sport was discovered in 1987.  In 1992, the Sport became the first Michigan shipwreck with her own Michigan Historical Marker placed on her. The wreck is now part of the Sanilac Shores Underwater Preserve, and popular with divers.  The marker was damaged and removed in 2002.

So what about this 1913 storm?  From Wiki:

The Great Lakes Storm of 1913 (historically referred to as the “Big Blow,” the “Freshwater Fury,” or the “White Hurricane,”) was a blizzard with hurricane-force winds that devastated the Great Lakes from November 7 through November 10, 1913. The storm was most powerful on November 9, battering and overturning ships on four of the five Great Lakes, particularly Lake Huron. Deceptive lulls in the storm and the slow pace of weather reports contributed to the storm’s destructiveness.

The deadliest and most destructive natural disaster to hit the lakes in recorded history, the Great Lakes Storm killed more than 250 people, destroyed 19 ships, and stranded 19 others.

The storm, an extratropical cyclone, originated as the convergence of two major storm fronts, fueled by the lakes’ relatively warm waters. It produced 90 mph wind gusts, waves over 35 feet high, and whiteout snowsqualls.

Here are some Wiki storm shots, starting with this Cleveland street:


Waves breaking on a seawall in Chicago:

And local press coverage:



I’ll close with this lovely GE barn shot from about 4 miles SW of my landing (by Tudor ApMadoc:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2019 A Landing A Day

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mt. Vernon, Indiana

Posted by graywacke on June 23, 2019

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2448; A Landing A Day blog post number 884.

Dan:  Before getting down to ALAD business, I’d like to say how much I enjoyed seeing you and Anya at your sister’s wedding.  I didn’t do too badly as officiant, eh?  And as I mentioned to you, I’ve been incredibly busy at work, thus explaining my much-longer-than-usual time between posts.  So . . .

Today’s lat/long (N33o 12.424’, W107o 36.585’) puts me in SW Indiana:


My local landing map shows that Mount Vernon is pretty much the only game in town:


My streams-only map shows that I practically landed in the Cypress Slough, on to the Ohio River (152nd hit).

It goes without saying that all rainfall landing on my landing (that doesn’t evaporate) of course, ends up in the MM (949th hit).

Moving over to Google Earth (GE), you can see that I have pretty decent Street View coverage of my landing.  It looks like the GoogleMobile was headed south on some little road, when the driver realized that he was actually on a driveway that went only to someone’s farm:

Here’s what the Orange Dude sees.

The OD, who has been working for me for years and knows well what to look for, took initiative and found that he could take a look at Cypress Slough:

And here’s what he sees:

The OD needed a little help to find the Ohio River crossing with Street View:

But he was excited to see a tug pushing a string of barges upstream:

A little bit of searching my earlier ALAD posts resulted in this discovery:

Oh my!  I landed just a little over a half mile from a previous landing!  Of course, I checked out landing 1962 – you can, too, by searching for “Mt. Vernon,” where you’ll find my August 2011 post.  In that post (which, of course, is very interesting), I featured Diamond Island, and included this quote:  “In the late eighteenth century, it was a hideout for river pirates, most notably, Samuel Mason and his gang as well as the notorious serial killers, the Harpe Brothers.”

I’m sure you’ll want to learn about the island’s nefarious past . . .

Before moving on to Mt. Vernon, I noticed that there aren’t many bridges over the Ohio River in the vicinity of my landing.  I went to Google Maps, to see what kind of trip was necessary to drive to the Kentucky side of the river, just across from my landing.  Well, here ‘tis:

And then, if heading downstream to cross the Ohio was your cup of tea, here’s the drive:

Now to Mt. Vernon.  This time around, I’m featuring a native son and a native daughter from Mt. Vernon.  Ladies first.

From Wiki, under “Notable People:”

Anna Byford Leonard (1843–?), reformer

Two things.  How is that we know when she born, but not when she died?  Also, she was a “reformer.”  What did she reform?

Her name was Wiki-clickable, so off I went:

Anna Byford Leonard (July 31, 1843 – ) [still unknown death date] was an American reformer, who was the first woman who was appointed sanitary inspector. She also served as president of the Woman’s Canning and Preserving Company.

[Sanitary inspector?  Sounds like a local political job.  I wonder where?  Continuing:]

Anna Byford was born in Mount Vernon, Indiana, July 31, 1843.

In 1889, Leonard was appointed sanitary inspector, being the first woman who ever held that position, and was enabled to carry out many of the needed reforms.

[Same question.  Also, what “needed reforms?”  Continuing:]

It was through her instrumentality, aided by the other five women on the force, that the eight-hour law was enforced, providing that children under fourteen years of age should not work more than eight hours a day. That was enforced in all dry-goods stores.

[Sounds good, but maybe peculiar for a “sanitary inspector.”  Funny that the 8-hr work day was enforced in all dry goods stores.  Tough luck if the kids worked anywhere else!  Continuing:]

Through her endeavors seats were placed in the stores and factories, and the employers were instructed that the girls were to be allowed to sit when not occupied with their duties. She was enabled to accomplish this through the fact that the physicians and women of Chicago were ready to sustain her, and the other fact that her position as a sanitary inspector of the health department made her an officer of the police force, thus giving her authority for any work she found necessary to do.

[Ah, finally!  Now we know she was the Sanitary Inspector for the City of Chicago . . .]

As a result of this eight-hour law, schools were established in some of the stores from 8 to 10 am, giving the younger children, who would spend that time on the street, two hours of solid schooling.

[They started working at 10?  Whatever . . .]

In 1891, Leonard was made president of the Woman’s Canning and Preserving Company, which, after one short year from its organization, she left with a 4-story factory, with a working capital of $40,000.

[And I’m sure she treated her employees well!]

Leonard was an artist of ability, having studied abroad and traveled extensively.  She was a Theosophist.

Theosophist?  From Wiki:

Theosophy is an esoteric religious movement established in the United States during the late nineteenth century. It was founded largely by the Russian émigrée Helena Blavatsky and draws its beliefs predominantly from Blavatsky’s writings.

[Their logo is off to the right.  Don’t worry, that’ not a swastika – it’s backwards.]

As taught by Blavatsky, Theosophy teaches that there is an ancient and secretive brotherhood of spiritual adepts known as Mahatmas, who—although found across the world—are centered in Tibet.

These Masters are believed to have cultivated great wisdom and seemingly-supernatural powers, and Theosophists believe that it was they who initiated the modern Theosophical movement through disseminating their teachings via Blavatsky.

They believe that these Masters are attempting to revive knowledge of an ancient religion once found across the world and which will again come to eclipse the existing world religions.

Theosophical groups do not refer to their system as a “religion”.  As stated in their logo, “There is no religion higher than truth.”  Theosophy preaches the existence of a single, divine Absolute.  Theosophy teaches that the purpose of human life is spiritual emancipation and claims that the human soul undergoes reincarnation upon bodily death according to a process of karma. It promotes values of universal brotherhood and social improvement.

Membership of the Theosophical Society reached its highest peak in 1928, when it had 45,000 members.  It sounds very Buddhist . . .

So, I spent an inordinate amount of internet time trying to find the date (and cause) of Anna Byford Leonard’s death.  Strangely, no obituary, no luck.

Back to Wiki Notable People:

Frederick Charles Leonard (1896-1960), astronomer.

How about that, another Leonard!  I wonder if he’s related in some way to Anna, although “Leonard” is her married name and Mr. Leonard was from Chicago . . .

From Wiki:

Frederick Charles Leonard was an American astronomer. As a faculty member at UCLA, he conducted extensive research on double stars and meteorites, largely shaping the university’s Department of Astronomy.

Leonard was born in Mount Vernon, Indiana in 1896 and moved with his family to Chicago in about 1900.  From the age of eight, he showed great interest in the stars and by early adolescence had become an active amateur astronomer. In 1909 (at age 13) he attended the annual meeting of the Astronomical and Astrophysical Society of America. The same year, he organized the Society for Practical Astronomy (SPA),[6] a national amateur organization.

Leonard was a prolific writer and by the age of 14 had attracted the attention of numerous publishers.  He authored a year-long series of articles titled “Mr. Leonard’s Star Colors” in a popular international science magazine of the time – The English Mechanic and World of Science.

Quite the precocious kid!

So anyway, he researched double stars, which were unknown in the early part of the 20th century, and also studied meteorites, founding the Meteoritical Society (still active today, with over 1,000 worldwide members).  The Society awards an annual Leonard Medal, named in his honor.

Perhaps more interestingly, he was one of the first astronomers to hypothesize the existence of the Kuiper belt.  The Kuiper Belt includes far flung (beyond Neptune) solar system objects including Pluto, other rocky planetoids and a gazillion comets.  From Wiki:

In 1930, soon after Pluto’s discovery by Clyde Tombaugh, Leonard pondered whether it was “not likely that in Pluto there has come to light the first of a series of ultra-Neptunian bodies, the remaining members of which still await discovery but which are destined eventually to be detected”.

As I wrap this up, I must say that I had a tough time finding a decent scenery photo on GE.  As much as I hate to cross state lines, that’s just what I did, finding this picture by Travel KY, posted just across the Ohio River:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2019 A Landing A Day

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Chloride and Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

Posted by graywacke on June 9, 2019

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2447; A Landing A Day blog post number 883.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (N33o 12.424’, W107o 36.585’) puts me in SW New Mexico:

My local landing map shows that I landed out in the boonies, but not terribly far from many teeny towns, and one slightly-larger town (T or C):

I’m not going to bother with my usual streams-only StreetAtlas map, because it gave me precious little information.  So, off to Google Earth (GE).

I’ll start with a very local oblique look at my landing:

And then zooming quite a ways back, I’ve identified my local streams as follows:

I used the GE hydrographic feature so that Icould  figure out I landed in the North Fork Palomas Creek watershed; on to Palomas Ck.  Zooming back, you can see that the Palomas discharges to the Rio Grande (52nd hit):

I sent the Orange Dude to a road that crossed the Palomas just before it discharges to the Rio Grande:

Here’s what the OD sees looking upstream:

And downstream:

Speaking of downstream, I had the OD head down the Rio Grande some number of miles before he could get a good look.  Here ‘tis:

As is my wont, I checked out all of the little towns north and east of my landing.  They are all nearly defunct mining towns, with only Chloride having a significant internet presence.  From Wiki:

Chloride had its start in 1881 as a mining community when chlorargyrite (silver chloride) ore was discovered along the streambanks.  A post office was established at Chloride in 1881 and remained in operation until 1956.

And this, from WesternMiningHistory.com:

Beginning as a tent city in 1880 when silver was found in the canyons and mountains to the west, Chloride soon grew to 3,000 souls, mostly hard working, hard drinking, hard rock miners.

Chloride in 1884

A robust boom town, Chloride had all the required establishments: nine saloons, two general merchandise stores, butcher shops, hotel, boarding houses, an assay office, blacksmith shop, drug store, law office, livery stable, Chinese laundry, ladies millinery store, a photography studio, a candy store, and of course, a red light district, but no church.

I found a couple of videos.  First this, a quick travelogue:


And this more substantial video from NM True TV that features an interview with the gentleman who keeps the ghost town more-or-less alive:


It’s time to tell the Truth or accept the Consequences.  From Wiki:

In 1916, the town was incorporated as Hot Springs, due to the presence of numerous flowing hot springs nearby. It became the Sierra County seat in 1937.  By the late 1930s, Hot Springs was filled with 40 different natural hot springs spas– one spa for every 75 residents at the time.

The city changed its name to “Truth or Consequences”, the title of a popular NBC Radio program. In March 1950, Ralph Edwards, the host of the radio quiz show Truth or Consequences, announced that he would air the program on its 10th anniversary from the first town that renamed itself after the show.

Hot Springs got in touch with the show, and committed to the name change.  The town officially changed its name on March 31, 1950, and the 10th anniversary program was broadcast from there the following evening.

In the early 50s, the radio program migrated to television, with Ralph Edwards continuing as host. Here’s what Wiki has to say about the show’s premise:

On the show, contestants received roughly two seconds to answer a trivia question correctly (usually an off-the-wall question that no one would be able to answer correctly, or a bad joke).  If (as nearly always happened) the contestant could not complete the “Truth” portion, there would be “Consequences,” usually a zany and embarrassing stunt.  Ralph was ready to extend the question to two or three parts in the rare time that a contestant could actually answer correctly.

On December 31, 1957, Ralph stepped down as host and handed the baton to Bob Barker.  This was Barker’s first game show hosting gig.  He is best known as the host of “The Price is Right” for 35 years (from 1972 to 2007).

If you have the time (and are so inclined), here’s a video of the entire 12/31/57 show that started out with Ralph Edwards and ended up with Bob Barker.  It’s really a time capsule . . .


I’ll close with this lovely shot of the Rio Grande near Truth or Consequences by Harish Makundon:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2019 A Landing A Day

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ferriday, Louisiana

Posted by graywacke on June 3, 2019

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2446; A Landing A Day blog post number 882.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (N31o 28.689’, W91o 47.643’) puts me in east central Louisiana:

My local landing map shows my proximity to numerous small towns; none of which are titular:

Zooming back, here’s my slightly-less-local landing map, which does, in fact, show the titular Ferriday:

I’m going to zoom back a little further to show you how close I landed to my latest Libuse & Kolin landing:

This is my 66th double (i.e., the same state two landings in a row); the second for Louisiana.

Here’s a very local streams-only map:

You can see that I landed adjacent to Black River Lake (which is an oxbow lake, or cut-off-meander lake, associated with a previous Black River stream channel).  I’m not sure of the exact route, but I’m sure that runoff from my landing location eventually ends up in the Black (15th hit).

Zooming way back, you can see that the Black flows to the Red (66th hit), through the “Area of Hydraulic Uncertainty” (discussed in my most recent previous post) on to either the Atchafalaya (my choice, 73rd hit), or to the Mississippi. 

Moving on to Google Earth – here’s a shot showing that the two ends of Black River Lake have been engineered:

You can see where I asked the Orange Dude to set up (a little less than a mile from my landing).  Here’s what he sees:

I asked the OD (politely) if he wouldn’t mind going about 10 miles upstream to Jonesville to get a look at the Black River.  Somewhat reluctantly, he agreed.  Here’s what he saw:

Of course, I checked out all of the (mostly teeny) towns you can see on my local landing map.  The only one that caught my eye was Ferriday.

From LouisianaTravel.com:

Along the Mississippi River in Ferriday, Louisiana, lies the Delta Music Museum and Hall of Fame.

At the museum’s entrance, sculptures of Ferriday’s three most famous (and infamous) first cousins—Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Gilley and Jimmy Swaggart greet visitors.

Jerry Lee Lewis, known as “The Killer” for his piano-pounding rockabilly music, became a national celebrity in the mid-1950s. With no formal training, he started playing piano at age 9 by listening to the radio and sneaking into Haney’s Big House, the famous Delta blues juke joint. Lewis earned multiple gold records and GRAMMY® Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. The 1989 film Great Balls of Fire profiled his life. In 2009 he performed at Madison Square Garden for the Hall of Fame’s 25th anniversary concert.

Mickey Gilley earned his country stardom with dozens of Top 40 hits. Mickey left town as a teenager and found success in the Houston area where he opened Gilley’s nightclub in 1971. He had a string of country hits including Room Full of Roses and Stand By Me, which he sang in the movie Urban Cowboy —filmed in part at his bar. The bar was so successful that it was extended to hold 6,000 customers, nearly twice the population of Ferriday. Now in his seventies, he entertains in Branson, Mo., occasionally making visits to Ferriday.

Jimmy Swaggart began as a gospel musician before becoming one of the most recognized television evangelists in the country. He has recorded 50 albums and sold an estimated 13 million copies worldwide. He preaches weekly on a national radio show with television stations carrying his revivals.

Did you notice the parenthetical “and infamous” inserted into the intro? And then, there’s nothing “infamous” about the descriptions of the three native sons.  Well, I can’t let that go, but first, a little YouTube action.

Jerry Lee Lewis had two huge hits back in the 50s:  A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On, and Great Balls of Fire.

First this from the Steve Allen Show:


And then this, when he was quite a bit older:


And I’m a sucker for this stuff:


And how about Jerry Lee’s cousin, Mickey Gilley?  Well, he’s also quite the piano player (it must be in the genes!):

Jimmy Swaggart (yes, another cousin!) is actually a pretty good piano player, but is best known (of course) as a tele-evangelist.  I can’t do Jimmy on YouTube.  I find him . . . um . . . unwatchable.

To check out the darker side of Jerry Lee Lewis, I’m headed right back to YouTube.  This is a little long (about 10 minutes), but worth the view:


As far as I can tell, Mickey Gilley doesn’t have a dark side (at least a public dark side).  Way to go, Mickey! But Jimmy Swaggart?  Check out this actual Dallas TV news story about Jimmy, after he got busted about an affair with a  . . um . . . a lady of the evening:


Oh, and three years later, he did it again . . .

I know I’m going against ALAD doctrine about not discussing religion (although I’m not discussing religion.  I’m just discussing Jimmy Swaggart).  If I have Jimmy Swaggart fans who are regular ALAD readers (and I just lost them), oh, well . . .

So, there’s a 2012 book:  “Unconquered: The Saga of Cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey Gilley” by J.D. Davis.  Here’s what Amazon has to say about the book:

Three cousins, inseparably bonded through music. Each became a star; their story would become a legend. J. D. Davis’s enthralling new biography of famous cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey Gilley, born within a twelve-month span in small-town Louisiana during the Great Depression, draws from exhaustive research and personal connections with friends and family.

Davis recreates the irresistible and life-changing power of music that surrounded the cousins as boys and shaped their engagingly distinct paths to fame. With three personal journeys set alongside important landmarks in pop-culture history, Davis presents a unique tale of American music centered on the trials, tribulations, and achievements of three men who remain truly Unconquered.

ALAD editorial:  The fact that three cousins from a very small Louisiana town were all:

  • Musically talented
  • Extremely creative
  • Ego driven to be out in front people and adored
  • Incredibly successful

is simply amazing!

Time for some local GE photos. First this, by Jeff Lowen:

And this, by CW Baker:

I’ll close with this, by Charles Klock:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2019 A Landing A Day

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Libuse and Kolin, Louisiana

Posted by graywacke on May 24, 2019

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2445; A Landing A Day blog post number 881.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (N31o 18.186’, W92o 24.315’) puts me in central Louisiana:

My local landing map shows I landed just outside the major Louisiana city of Alexandria:

I’ll jump to Google Earth (GE) to get a look at my very local drainage:

I landed in wetlands associated with Maria Bayou (and, of course, in the Maria Bayou watershed), on to the Red River (65th hit).

As you can see, I’ve doubled up on the above map, showing where I put the Orange Dude to attempt to get a look at my landing.  I said “attempt,” based on the limited view at the end of the street:

Here’s a streams-only StreetAtlas map:


As most of my readers know, the Red River (of the South) more-or-less discharges to the Atchafalaya.  OK, so sometimes, the water from my landing might end up in the Mississippi, due to man-made engineering in the “Area of Hydraulic Uncertainty” (my term).  Curious?  See my Feb 2014 Winnfield LA post for details.

No StreetView for the Bayou.  But of course, here’s a shot of the Red on one of the Alexandria bridges:

So, what about Libuse?  Wiki:

It was founded in 1914 by Czech immigrants, and named after Libuše.

Libuše?  What or who is that?  Well, Libuše was Wiki-clickable:

Libuše (Libussa, Libushe or, historically Lubossa) is a legendary ancestor of the Přemyslid dynasty and the Czech people as a whole. According to legend, she was the youngest of three sisters, who became queen after their father died.  Their father was the equally-mythical Czech ruler Krok.

[In the Czech language, Libuše is pronounced something like “lee-BOO-sha.”  I have no clue how the Louisianans pronounce the name of the town, but if forced to guess, I’d say “lih-BUSE”].

The legend goes that she was the wisest of the three sisters, and while her sister Kazi was a healer and Teta was a magician, she had the gift of seeing the future, and was chosen by her father as his successor, to judge over the people.

Although she proved herself as a wise chieftain, the male part of the tribe was displeased that their ruler was a woman and demanded that she marry.  Unfortunately for Libuse, she had fallen in love with a plowman, Přemysl.

She therefore related a vision in which she saw a farmer with one broken sandal, plowing a field. She instructed her councilmen to seek out this man by letting a horse loose at a junction; they followed it to the village of Stadice and found Přemysl exactly as she had said (with one sandal and plowing a field).

Přemysl was brought back to the princely palace where Libuše married him, and Přemysl the Plowman thus became ruler. They went on to have three sons: Radobyl, Lidomir, and Nezamysl who continued the Přemyslid dynasty in the Czech lands.

She commanded her councilmen to found a city at the place where they found a man making the best of use of teeth at midday. They set off and at midday found a man sawing a block of wood (using his saw’s teeth) when everyone else was eating.

When they asked him what he was making he replied “Prah” (which in Czech means “threshold”) and so Libuše named the city Prague (Czech: “Praha”).

The story of Libuše and Přemysl was recounted in detail in the 12th century by Cosmas of Prague in his Chronica Boëmorum.

I bet that most Czech children know this story.  Here’s an illustration from one (I think):

Here’s the cover of one:

OK, OK.  So this one is for English readers.  Note the pun in the subtitle . . .

While doing some more clicking, I stumbled on the fact that the Přemysl Dynasty ruled the Kingdom of Bohemia, which is the predecessor to the modern Czech Republic.  Of course, Bohemians are from Bohemia, and I assumed that a bunch of cool artsy beatnik-like people must have lived there.  However, a little research shows that it’s not that simple.

From Wiki (under Bohemianism):

Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people and with few permanent ties. It involves musical, artistic, literary or spiritual pursuits.

This use of the word bohemian first appeared in the English language in the 19th century to describe the non-traditional lifestyles of marginalized and impoverished artists, writers, journalists, musicians, and actors in major European cities.

The term bohemianism emerged in France in the early 19th century when artists and creators began to concentrate in the lower-rent, lower class, Romani neighborhoods. Bohémien was a common term for the Romani people of France, who were mistakenly thought to have reached France in the 15th century via Bohemia (the western part of modern Czech Republic).

Geez.  Now I have to find what who the Romani people are.  Well, it was Wiki-clickable:

The Romani, colloquially known as Gypsies, are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group, traditionally itinerant, living mostly in Europe and the Americas and originating from the northern Indian subcontinent.

[Gypsies are Indian?  I never knew . . .]

Genetic findings appear to confirm that the Romani “came from a single group that left northwestern India about 1,500 years ago.” Genetic research published in the European Journal of Human Genetics “revealed that over 70% of males belong to a single lineage that appears unique to the Roma.”

They are a dispersed people, but their most concentrated populations are located in Europe, especially Central, Eastern and Southern Europe (including Turkey, Spain and Southern France). The Romani originated in northern India and arrived in Mid-West Asia and Europe around 1,000 years ago.

Since the 19th century, some Romani have also migrated to the Americas. There are an estimated one million Roma in the United States; and 800,000 in Brazil.  In migrations since the late 19th century, Romani have also moved to other countries in South America and to Canada.

The Romani language is divided into several dialects which together have an estimated number of speakers of more than two million.  The total number of Romani people is at least twice as high (several times as high according to high estimates). Many Romani are native speakers of the dominant language in their country of residence or of mixed languages combining the dominant language with a dialect of Romani; those varieties are sometimes called Para-Romani.

As you might expect, the Romani have an incredibly rich internet presence, including a very lengthy Wiki entry.  So, if I’ve whetted your appetite for more things Gypsy, go for it.

Moving over to Kolin.  From Wiki:

Along with the nearby town of Libuse, it was founded in 1914 by Czech immigrants, and named after the town of Kolín, Czech Republic.

I have nothing (absolutely nothing) to say about Kolin LA. 

Moving across the big pond, here’s a GE shot of Kolin, Czech Republic:

And check out at the GE StreetView coveage of this small Czech town:

So, I had the Orange Dude take a look around.  Here’s his view of the main town square:

I had the OD head over to the opposite side of the square and take a look:

What a cool place.  And then, he wandered over to the old Catholic Church:

Staying with the Church, here’s a GE photo by Brdy46:

Here’s a GE shot of the river that flows through town – the Elbe –  by Ke Limek:

Although it only has a population of 3,000, Kolin is Wiki-clickable.  Wiki doesn’t have much to say except that it has been around for a very long time – it was mentioned in Ptolemy’s 2nd century world map.

Here’s Ptolemy’s map (actually, a 15th century reconstruction based on Ptolemy’s very detailed notes):

I added labels for SE Asia, China, and Sri Lanka reference.  Yo Ptolemy – you made Sri Lanka way too big.

A little more about the map, from Wiki:

The Ptolemy world map is a map of the world known to Hellenistic society in the 2nd century. It is based on the description contained in Ptolemy’s book Geography, written c. 150.

Significant contributions of Ptolemy’s maps are the first use of longitudinal and latitudinal lines as well as specifying terrestrial locations by celestial observations. The Geography was translated from Greek into Arabic in the 9th century and played a role in the work of al-Khwārizmī before lapsing into obscurity.

[al-Khwārizmī was quite the dude.  He greatly influenced Western thought.  Stay tuned.]

The idea of a global coordinate system revolutionized European geographical thought and inspired more mathematical treatment of cartography.

Ptolemy’s work probably originally came with maps, but none have been discovered. Instead, the present form of the map was reconstructed from Ptolemy’s coordinates by Byzantine monks under the direction of Maximus Planudes shortly after 1295.

al-Khwārizmī was (of course) Wiki-clickable.  Read this carefully, especially if you’re technically-inclined:

Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī (c. 780 – c. 850), Latinized as Algorithmi, was a Persian scholar who produced works in mathematics, astronomy, and geography.  Around 820 AD he was appointed as the astronomer and head of the library of the House of Wisdom in Baghdad.

Al-Khwarizmi’s popularizing treatise on algebra (The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing) presented the first systematic solution of linear and quadratic equations. One of his principal achievements in algebra was his demonstration of how to solve quadratic equations by completing the square, for which he provided geometric justifications.

Because he was the first to treat algebra as an independent discipline and introduced the methods of “reduction” and “balancing” (the cancellation of like terms on opposite sides of the equation), he has been described as the father of algebra.

The term algebra itself comes from the title of his book (specifically the word al-jabr meaning “completion” or “rejoining”). His name gave rise to the terms algorism and algorithm.  His name is also the origin of Spanish guarismo and of Portuguese algarismo, both meaning digit.

In the 12th century, Latin translations of his textbook on arithmetic (Algorithmo de Numero Indorum) which codified the various Indian numerals, introduced the decimal positional number system to the Western world.  His book on algebra, translated into Latin by Robert of Chester in 1145, was used until the sixteenth century as the principal mathematical text-book of European universities.

In addition to his best-known works, he revised Ptolemy’s Geography, listing the longitudes and latitudes of various cities and localities.   He also made important contributions to trigonometry, producing accurate sine and cosine tables, and the first table of tangents.

Wow.  And I’ve never heard of him . . .

Here’s a picture of al-Khwārizmī from MAX – the Muslim Awards for Excellence:

Phew.  Talk about a meandering post – a classic internet browse.  Anyway, it’s time to put a wrap on this post:

I was searching far and wide for a decent GE photo in the greater Alexandria area and pretty much came up empty.  Finally, I found this, by Tom Wilmore, strangely entitled “Sue Wilmore”:

Very cool art.  I’m not even sure it’s a photo – if it is, it’s quite doctored.  The GE photo icon was right at a house location, which, after a little Google Maps research, I discovered belongs to Tom & Sue Wilmore. . . .


That’ll do it . . .




© 2019 A Landing A Day

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Richmond, Somerset, Hudson and Hammond, Wisconsin

Posted by graywacke on May 16, 2019

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2444; A Landing A Day blog post number 880.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (N45o 4.339’, W92o 37.086’) puts me in west central Wisconsin:

Here’s my local landing map:

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of the Willow River (2nd hit); on to the St. Croix (6th hit), which shares State Line duties with the Mighty Missipp (948th hit).

So, this was my second landing in the Willow River watershed.  A quick Landing spreadsheet search reveals that my only other Willow River watershed landing was Landing 254 way back in July 2003.

A quick A Landing A Day review is likely needed for some of my readers.  Landing #1 was April 1st, 1999, with a landing in the UP of Michigan.  But that wasn’t really my first landing. . . 

From “About Landing:”

Sometime in the mid 1990s, I got an idea in my head:  for no good reason, I thought it would be cool to be able to randomly select a specific latitude/longitude location in the United States every day; keep track of the state and the watershed for each location, and see what town or city or interesting geographical site might be nearby.  I am a mathematical kind of guy and knew that I could use a programmable calculator along with a computer-based map program to make it happen.

So I used my programmable calculator to calculate a random latitude/longitude (lat/long) somewhere in the lower 48, at the push of a button.  For simplicity, I ignored Alaska and Hawaii.  Also for simplicity, I just programmed in that the random lat/long would be somewhere in the large rectangle that would include all of the land and water ranging from northeast Maine to the Florida Keys to southwest California to northwest Washington State.  I knew that often, a random lat/long location would be in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, Mexico and Canada, but figured I would just ignore those.  (Check out a map of North America, and you’ll see why the large rectangle that would include all of the U.S. would also include large areas of land and water outside the U.S.)

For the mapping portion of the exercise, I used the program StreetAtlas.  StreetAtlas allowed me to enter in lat/long info, and it would jump right to the location specified.  I enjoyed being “zoomed in” as much as possible when I went to the specified location.  I might see just a little bit of a street and maybe a stream; or maybe see no features at all.  Then, I’d zoom out one click at a time, and various map features would begin to appear on the map:  the roads, towns and streams in the vicinity.

StreetAtlas had a lot of detail on streams, so I could see what the nearest creek was, and follow it downstream until I hit another creek or a river, etc., etc., eventually to an ocean.

In my head, I called the process “landing.”  So, every day, I could “land” somewhere.  Knowing that I have a somewhat-addictive personality, I made a rule:  no more than one landing a day.

For a while, I kept track of the states and watersheds where I landed on a piece of paper and plotted my approximate landing locations by hand on a blank U.S. map.  But then I realized that I should be keeping track of my landings on a computer spreadsheet.  In addition, I transferred the landing process from the programmable calculator to Excel.

[Plus there’s that whole business of ALADus Obscurus, which is fully addressed in “About Landing” and “About Landing (Revisited).”]

So why do I start each post with “Dan?”  Well, Dan was a next door neighbor (his parents still live there), and when Dan was a high school kid, he was good buddies with my son Jordan, and so hung out at our house a lot.  He saw me landing a number of times, and began to enjoy watching me land.  When Dan went off to college, he asked me if I could email him and let him know where I landed.  Of course, I complied.

My emails to Dan began getting more robust, as I began doing more and more research about my landing location.  Dan emailed me one day, saying that essentially, I was writing a blog but with only one reader.  He was becoming computer savvy and, as a journalism major, also was familiar with WordPress.

He suggested that he’d come over on Thanksgiving break, and help me set up A Landing A Day, which happened on November 25, 2008, with landing 1583 near Yellow Pine, Idaho.  As mentioned in italics at the very beginning of this post, today is landing 2444 and blog post 880 . . .

JFTHOI*, here’s Excel’s rendition of all 2444 landings:

*Just for the heck of it

And JFTHOI2, here’s the rendition of just my blog post landings:

Enough!  It’s way past time to move on to Google Earth (GE).  I have no decent Street View coverage for my landing, but I can get a look at the Willow River not far downstream from my landing:

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

And what about all of those titular towns?  Well, none of these hooks are great, but hey – they’re all worth a visit.  Let’s start with New Richmond. 

This is a little grim, but a terrible tornado leveled the town back in 1899.  This tornado actually has its own Wiki page:

June 12, 1899, was the day of the Gollmar Brothers Circus, which drew hundreds of visitors in addition to the town’s 1,800 inhabitants. Around 3:00 p.m., clouds began to build, and the sky became quite dark. As the circus ended for the day around 4:30 PM, a heavy rain, with some hail, began to fall. The rain let up around 5:00 PM, and people began to head home for the day. By 6:00 PM, the streets of New Richmond were full of tourists, travelers and residents.

Meanwhile, the impending disaster which was to befall the region was just beginning to unfold. The tornado was reported to have first touched down around 5:30 about five miles south of Hudson and began moving off to the northeast. The tornado swept away several farms near the rural communities of Burkhardt and Boardman as it traveled northeast. Four fatalities were reported at Boardman

[It must have gone right by my landing location.]

There was little warning in New Richmond. The tornado was completely illuminated by lightning, but it was visible for only a few minutes before it reached the town, as the view was largely obstructed by buildings and large trees. Initially, several of the town’s residents recalled hearing a faint rumble in the distance which many mistook for the sound of a passing train.

Before long the tornado became more visible, and those who did come to realize the danger approaching began to alert those around them, and panic ensued in the streets as people scrambled to take shelter. Despite the best efforts of the storm’s early spotters, a great many of the town’s residents were not fully aware of the oncoming storm until it was almost upon them.

Shortly after 6:00, the tornado tore into the southwest corner of the city. Within a few moments, as many as fifty homes were leveled in this area.

The greatest destruction caused to the city by the tornado was to the town’s business district, a three-block stretch of Main Street between First and Fourth Street lined with stores, offices and tenements built of brick and stone. It was here that a large majority of the fatalities occurred, as many of those who thought they would be safe within the confines of the reinforced structures were killed by cascades of falling debris as the buildings on Main Street were swept away.

A 1.5-ton safe from the city bank was thrown a full block away. Probably one of the greatest demonstrations of the tornado’s strength was seen at the Nicollet Hotel, a newly constructed three-story brick building located adjacent to the Willow River. The tornado swept the building clean down to the foundation, killing at least five people.

Almost simultaneously, the town’s Methodist Church was completely obliterated, the only remnant being the 1.1-ton cast iron bell, which was found nearly 200 feet from the church foundation. As the tornado cleared Main Street, it tore the iron-frame bridge spanning the Willow River from its fitting and onto the adjacent riverbank in a twisted heap. The City Hall was completely flattened, the adjacent water tower sent toppling to the northeast and dumping its contents into First Street and transforming it into a muddy deluge.

The tornado then moved into the east side of New Richmond, where many of the city’s working class residents lived. As many as forty homes in this neighborhood were completely obliterated, leaving the neighborhood virtually unrecognizable. Within a period of roughly seven to ten minutes, over half of New Richmond was laid to ruins.

Here’s a Wiki shot of the damage (with a horse that didn’t make it):


In total, 122 people died; 117 of them (and at least one horse) in New Richmond . . .

Moving counter-clockwise to Somerset.  From Wiki:

Somerset has a lengthy and colorful history. Before the turn of the century, Somerset was bordered on the south by cranberry bogs. The terrain naturally lent itself to the production of cranberries as a result of the hilliness of the area, which is dotted with ponds, sloughs, swamps and bogs.

These wet areas became of greater interest to the local population during Prohibition. These same low spots where water collected became ideal for collecting water for the production of moonshine (homemade alcoholic beverages).

Indeed, Somerset already had a history of being a rough logging town, and it was only a natural progression to become the supplier of bootlegged alcohol to the twin cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. After Prohibition ended, the citizens of Somerset returned to the more humble activities of logging and farming.

I’m not so sure about the importance of ponds and bogs to moonshine making, but the bootlegging history is well-documented.  From a Patch.com article:

A history of Somerset was prepared by Father John T. Rivard, a Somerset priest from 1946 to 1969.  In it, he went so far as to call Somerset “the Moonshine Capital of the Midwest.”  Most local old-timers know some of the tales of “Somerset Moon.”

Moving down to Hudson, right there along the St. Croix River.  From Wiki:

On August 30, 1917, a violent mob of 1,000 held a night rally in front of the armory protesting the attempt by the pacifist People’s Council of America to hold a conference in Hudson. The crowd then moved on the four organizers in the lobby of their hotel and threatened to hang them. Only after the pleadings of county attorney N. O. Varnum were the four allowed to leave town at once and unharmed.

Geez.  So what’s so threatening about the People’s Council of America (after all, they’re a bunch of pacifists)?  Well, here’s what Wiki has to say about the group:

The People’s Council of America was an American pacifist political organization established in New York City in May 1917. Organized in opposition to the decision of the Woodrow Wilson administration’s to enter World War I, the People’s Council attempted to mobilize American workers and intellectuals against the war effort through the publication of literature and the conduct of mass meetings and public demonstrations. The organization’s dissident views made it a target of federal, state, and local authorities, who disrupted its meetings and arrested a number of its leading participants under provisions of the Espionage Act.

The People’s Council frequently saw its gatherings banned or disbanded, particularly during the August – September 1917 time period.

On August 24, 1917, a meeting of the organization in Philadelphia was disrupted and shut down by a mob of soldiers and sailors.  That same day, city authorities in Memphis denied the group use of a public hall for its meeting.  On August 28, a People’s Council gathering in Fargo, North Dakota, was quashed by the coordinated mass singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

On August 30, 1917, a mob of 1,000 gathered in Hudson, WI . . .  [as discussed above.] 

Effort was then made to hold a national conference in Minneapolis on September 1, but the organization was denied use of a hall in the city. When the alternative of meeting in a circus tent was advanced, Minnesota Governor Joseph Burquist intervened to ban the People’s Council from gathering anywhere in the state on the grounds that it would give aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States.

The People’s Council scrambled and attempted to hold its convention in Chicago, but the event was broken up by the police.  When Chicago Mayor “Big Bill” Thompson attempted to reverse this action, on the grounds that “pacifists are law-abiding citizens” and that he would not “have it spread broadcast that Chicago denies free speech to anyone,” Illinois Governor Frank Lowden responded by sending four companies of the Illinois National Guard to Chicago the next day to make sure that the People’s Council could not gather.

Bottom line.  The group garnered a lot of attention, but was singularly unsuccessful . . .

My last stop is Hammond.  Nothing much going on there, but Wiki had this intriguing comment:  “Hammond was home to the Running of the Llamas.”

“Running of the Llamas” was not Wiki-clickable, but I did a quick copy and paste into the Google search line.  I found out that there is a runningofthellamas.com:

For 20 years, The Running of the Llamas was a unique community in Hammond, Wisconsin. The final Running was in 2016, this is now an archival site. We would like to thank the llamas, their owners, handlers and fans for making this an extraordinary community event that will be remembered fondly for years to come.

Here’ a quick YouTube video (the trailer for a 30-minute documentary by Heidi Freier):

The New Richmond news published a story about the final Running, in 2016.  Here’s a pic:


From the article, here’s the obit:

If you’ve never attended the Running of the Llamas in Hammond, an annual event that will celebrate its 20th anniversary this weekend, you best get there this weekend because the end is here.

Sheila Fugina, the organizer behind the event, said that this year’s finale will be everything it has been in the past, but is coming to an end because it’s been coordinated by only a handful of volunteers who love it, but can’t do it alone anymore.

Time to move on to some pics.  Just a few miles SW of my landing, the Willow River cascades down some sort of change in the bedrock at the Willow River State Park.  Here are some GE pics.  First this, by Adrian Jiminez:

Another shot, by Dawne Olson:

And this artsy one, by Douglas Feltman.

And yes, the falls are there in the winter (by Jared Morton):

I’ll close with this good ol’ barn shot (very close to my landing), by Haley Kelliher:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2019 A Landing A Day

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »