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Archive for December, 2009

Fort Bragg, California

Posted by graywacke on December 30, 2009

First timer? In this (hopefully) once-a-day blog, I have my computer select 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 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 and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –   I landed less than two miles from a road I’ve driven on.  Considering that it’s a back road on the west coast, that’s pretty strange!  But more importantly, I landed in a long-time USer . . . CA; 86/98; 5/10; 4; 153.5.  Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to the Pacific Ocean, Ft. Bragg, Caspar and Mendocino (and CA State Route 20):


So, back in the 70s, Jody [my wife] lived in San Francisco, then Willits, then Eureka.  Seven or eight years ago, we were out visiting her old haunts (less Eureka, which was too far north given our schedule).  We drove up to Willits, and then took Route 20 over to the coast.  We drove up into Ft. Bragg, but didn’t stay long.  We then headed south along Rt 1 to Mendocino, where we spent the night at the Mendocino Hotel.

Here’s my broader landing view:

Here’s an oblique GE shot.  You can easily see Rt 20:


Here’s a broader GE shot, showing the coast:


About Ft. Bragg from Wiki:

In 1855 an exploration party from the Bureau of Indian Affairs visited the area looking for a site on which to establish a reservation and, in the spring of 1856, the 25,000 acre Mendocino Indian Reservation was established at Noyo (just south of today’s Ft. Bragg).

In the summer of 1857, First Lieutenant Horatio Gibson, then serving at the Presidio in San Francisco, established a military post on the Mendocino Indian Reservation approximately one and one-half miles north of the Noyo River. He named the camp for his former commanding officer Captain Braxton Bragg, who later became a General in the Army of the Confederacy. The official date of the establishment of the fort was June 11, 1857. Its purpose was to maintain order on the reservation.

Braxton Bragg was a career military guy, who was a leading commander of Confederate forces, mainly west of the Appalachians.   Here’s a picture of this rather intense-looking individual:

After a somewhat checkered career with the Confederate Army, here’s what Wiki has to say about his later years:

After the war Bragg served as the superintendent of the New Orleans waterworks and later became the chief engineer for Alabama, supervising harbor improvements at Mobile.  He moved to Texas and became a railroad inspector.

Bragg was walking down a street with a friend in Galveston, Texas, when he suddenly fell over dead.  A local legend holds that there is a mysterious light near the place of his death, which is called Bragg’s Light.  He is buried in Magnolia Cemetery, Mobile, Alabama.

“Braggs Light,” eh?  Very interesting.  Moving right along, here’s a picture of Noyo (just south of Ft Bragg), with the Noyo River and Bay.


Speaking of the Noyo, I landed in the watershed of the S Fk of the Noyo R (my first hit); on to the Noyo (also my first hit).  The S Fk and the Noyo itself are my 1046th and 1047th rivers.

Of interest in Ft. Bragg is a place called Glass Beach.  From FoxsOceanGreenHaven.com:

Glass Beach is one of the most unique beaches in the world, not because nature created it that way, but because time and the pounding surf have corrected one of man’s mistakes.

Beginning in 1949, the area around Glass Beach became a public dump. It is hard to believe these days, but back then people dumped all kinds of refuse straight into the ocean, including old cars and their household garbage, which of course included lots of glass. By the early sixties, some attempts were made to control what was dumped, and dumping of any toxic items was banned. Finally in 1967, the North Coast Water Quality Board realized what a mistake it was and plans were begun for a new dump away from the ocean.

Now, over 30 years later, Mother Nature has reclaimed this beach. Years of pounding wave action have deposited tons of polished glass onto the beach. You’ll still see the occasional reminder of it earlier life, such as a rusted spark plug, but for the most part what you’ll see is millions of pieces of glass sparkling in the sun. (sorry, collecting is not allowed).

Glass Beach also has a very interesting array of tide pools to explore. Crabs, mollusks, and many aquatic plants make their homes in these ever changing environments. It is very easy to spend your whole day poking around the tide pools and watching the busy little worlds that go on inside each one.

Sounds like a very cool spot.  Here’s a picture:

Continuing south on Route 1, one comes to Caspar.  Caspar is an old lumber mill town.  Here’s a cool Nat Geo shot from the late 30s (caption below):

The Caspar Mill in 1938 : photo by B. Anthony Stewart © 1939 National Geographic Society.  The “big splash” is the result of a log hitting the millpond after sliding down the chute.

Moving further south on Route 1, we come to Mendocino, where (as mentioned above), Jody and I spent one night at the Mendocino Hotel.  Here’s a shot of the town (the Mendocino Hotel is the yellow building towards the right):


Here’s a close-up of the hotel.  We stayed in the front corner suite on the second floor.  The second floor balcony you can see was ours (very cool).


Here’s a shot of the Mendocino coast when the ocean’s a little angry:


And this, of some round boulders near Mendocino.  Remember my Selfridge ND post about Cannonball Concretions (where I shared pictures of dozens of very round rocks)?  Anyway, these seem like more of the same.


Here’s a classic Northern CA coastline shot (near Ft. Bragg):


And I’ll close with this Ft. Bragg sunset:


That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Port Sanilac, Michigan

Posted by graywacke on December 28, 2009

First timer? In this (hopefully) once-a-day blog, I have my computer select 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 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 and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –   I was just looking back through my landing spreadsheet, and it turns out that I haven’t had three USers in a row since September.  Well, I just had two USers in a row, and my dearth of threesomes continues, with my landing in . . . MI; 44/35; 5/10; 3; 154.1.  Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Lake Huron:


I landed in an unnamed tributary that flows all the way to Lake Huron (14th hit); on to the St. Lawrence R (86th hit).  By looking at the above map, one might think I landed in the Big Creek watershed, but a small stream pretty much follows the road all the way to the Lake.

Here’s a broader landing view:


Here’s my GE shot, showing that I landed in a totally-agricultural area.


Here’s an expanded GE shot:


Google also has “Street Views,” where you can see street-level photographs.  It just so happened that some Street View photographs were on the Deckerville Road, just north of my landing.  My landing is in the field behind this house:


I landed close to Deckerville; but sorry, Deckerville, I’ve long had a bias towards waterfront communities (given the choice).  So, I’m featuring Port Sanilac.  Here’s a GE shot of Port Sanilac:


About Port Sanilac, from Wiki:

This village was originally a lumberjack settlement on the shore of Lake Huron named “Bark Shanty Point.”  In the late 1840s and 1850s, the settlement gained its first sawmill, schoolhouse, and general store. In 1854, Bark Shanty Point’s first post office opened. In 1857 the village was renamed to Port Sanilac, as it is in Sanilac Township in Sanilac County.  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).

This post will be pretty much a photo tour.  Here’s a nice shot of the light house:


And this, of the sailboat part of the harbor (I’m a sailboat guy way more than a power boat guy, so I approve):


Here’s a cool walkway just north of the harbor:


And a heart-warming shot of a couple of kids walking along the waterfront:


Here are a couple of Lake Huron shots from south of Port Sanilac:


I’ll close with this lovely rainbow, just north of Forestville:


That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Centerville, Louisiana

Posted by graywacke on December 25, 2009

First timer? In this (hopefully) once-a-day blog, I have my computer select 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 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 and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –   It has been quite a while (in fact, since May) that I landed in . . . LA; 31/31; 6/10; 2; 153.7.  Note that LA was US, but this landing made it PS.  Here’s my landing map, showing that I landed in the middle of a string of communities stretched out along the Atchafalaya R and, more specifically, the Bayou Teche.  The Atchafalaya is the large river north and east of my landing (that flows through Morgan City); Bayou Teche is located between the two roads that are just west of my landing (which also ends up in Morgan City):


Here’s my broader landing view:


The Bayou Teche is a new “river,” (my 1045th), on to the (you guessed it) Atchafalaya (51st hit).  Here’s a picture of the Bayou:


This from Wiki about Bayou Teche:

The Bayou Teche is a 125-mile long waterway of great cultural significance in south central Louisiana. Bayou Teche was the Mississippi River‘s main course when it developed a delta about 2,800 to 4,500 years ago. Through a natural process known as deltaic switching, the river’s deposits of silt and sediment cause the Mississippi to change its course every thousand years or so.

During the time of the Acadian migration to south-central Louisiana, the Teche was the primary means of transportation.

I’ve long been aware that the word Cajun was derived from a casual pronunciation of the word Acadian, and that the Acadians were French Canadians who somehow ended up in South Louisiana.  Well, it’s time for a little more information (from Wiki):

The Acadians are the descendants of the seventeenth-century French colonists who settled in Acadia (located in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and in the US state of Maine). Acadia was founded in a region geographically and administratively separate from Quebec (“Canada” at this time), which led to their developing two rather distinct histories and cultures.

In the Great Expulsion of 1755-1763, mostly during the Seven Years’ War, British colonial officers and New England legislators and militia deported more than 14,000 Acadians from the maritime region in what could be called an ethnic cleansing ante litteram.

[Note to ALAD readers:  “ante litteram” means “ahead of one’s time,” referring to the fact that the concept of “ethnic cleansing” wasn’t on the social or political radar back then.  Seems like a pretty high-brow expression for Wikipedia!]

Approximately one third perished. Many later settled in Louisiana, where they became known as Cajuns. Others were transported to France.

Moving right along . . . here’s my GE shot, showing that I landed in on of the farm fields (sugar or rice, I think) that line the Bayou (the Bayou’s on the left):


Here’s a broader GE shot:


I landed closest to Centerville.  Here’s a historic marker, which mentions the first electrocution in Louisiana:


If I were on the historical marker committee, I would have voted against mentioning the electrocution. . . .

Franklin is the closest bigger town.  From Wiki:

Franklin, named for Benjamin Franklin, was founded in 1808.  Though early settlers included French, Acadian, German, Danish and Irish, the town’s culture and architecture is heavily influenced by the unusually large numbers of English that chose to settle there after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.

Numerous large sugar plantations arose in the area, with Bayou Teche as a sort of “Main Street.”  With the development of steamboating, Franklin became an interior sugar port. Franklin is the home of First United Methodist Church, which was established just before the town in 1806, making it the first Protestant church established in the state of Louisiana.

Here’s a view of Main St. in Franklin, with very cool street lights:

Here’s a shot of a sugar warehouse in Franklin, with the caption below (from PhotoShelter.com):


15 NOVEMBER 2005 – FRANKLIN, LA: Raw sugar is blown into the warehouse at the St. Mary Sugar Co-Op Mill near Franklin, Louisiana during the 2005 sugar cane harvest. Sugar mills across Louisiana are being forced to warehouse tens of millions pounds of raw sugar because the sugar refineries in New Orleans are closed because of damage from Hurricane Katrina. The refineries are scheduled to reopen in late 2005.

Louisiana is one of the leading sugar cane producing states in the US and the economy in southern Louisiana, especially St. Mary and Iberia Parishes, is built around the cultivation of sugar. The mill employs about 180 people. The two mills near Franklin contribute about $150 million (US) to the local economy.

The largest town in the area is Morgan City.  Here’s an aerial shot, showing the Atchafalaya winding through town:


Here’s a back-in-the-day shot of Main St. in 1929:


That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Katemcy, Texas

Posted by graywacke on December 23, 2009

First timer? In this (hopefully) once-a-day blog, I have my computer select 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 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 and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –   For the third time in the last eight landings (the 4th in the last 15; the 5th in the last 27), I landed in . . . TX; 128/160; 5/10; 1; 154.3.  I landed only 40 miles east of my last TX landing (Menard TX, just 5 landings ago).  Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Katemcy, Voca, Fredonia and Brady:

As for my Menard landing, I’m in the San Saba R watershed (4th hit); on to the Colorado (the TX version, 22nd hit); on to the G of M.  Here’s a picture of the San Saba at Voca:

Here’s a broader landing view:

And here’s my GE shot.  It looks like I landed in a part of what used to be an agricultural field – maybe the farmer gave up on this part of the field some time back . . .

A quick Google of Katemcy TX shows that the big show in town is associated with a rocky outcrop located just south of Katemcy – the “Katemcy Rocks.”  People come from miles around (like hundreds of miles) in order to do “rock crawling.”  What’s rock crawling, you may ask.  Well, here are some pictures:

And here’s a picture showing just the natural beauty (during those rare times when there aren’t vehicles crawling all over the place, I guess.)

If you’d like to see some video of this crazy spot, go to www.youtube.com and search for Katemcy.  There are dozens to choose from.

You can see that I landed near Fredonia, which is pretty much a ghost town now.  Here’s the store/post office in Fredonia:

Here’s a back-in-the-day shot of the last “doodlebug” service in Brady.

Hmmm.  Doodlebug, eh?  From Wiki:

In the United States, doodlebug was the common name for a self-propelled railroad car (multiple unit). While such a coach typically had a gasoline-powered engine that turned a generator which provided electricity to traction motors, which turned the axles and wheels on the trucks, versions with mechanical transmissions also existed.

Brady (considered to be the town closest to the geographic center of TX, thereby laying claim to being  “deep in the heart of Texas) is the home to some impressive old buildings.  Here is the courthouse:

And this, the former prison (now a museum):

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Sells, Arizona

Posted by graywacke on December 21, 2009

First timer? In this (hopefully) once-a-day blog, I have my computer select 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 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 and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –  Gee whiz.  I was on a 4/5, but I’ve followed up with an 0/3 with another landing in . . . AZ; 75/68; 4/10; 3; 154.9.  Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to the Mexican Border and to a number of small towns with very peculiar names:


Here’s a broader landing view:


And this, my GE map, which shows yet another green swath, although this one is natural, not agricultural.


The green swath is associated with the San Simon Wash, which heads south across the border to Mexico.  After some painstaking research, I figured out that the wash discharges to a new river, the Rio De La Concepcion, which (I believe) discharges to the Gulf of California.

The only towns I could find anything about were Pisinimo and Sells.  This about the town of Pisinimo (or Pisinemo) from Wiki:

The name Pisinemo is actually a failed attempt by the Motor Vehicle Division to put the traditional name of Pisin Mo’o onto road side signs along Highway 86 which runs through the Tohono O’odham Indian Nation. Pisin Mo’o is Tohono O’odham for “Buffalo Head”.

And this about Sells:

The population of Sells was 2,799 at the 2000 census.  It is the capital of the Tohono O’odham Nation and the home of several of their tribal businesses, such as Tohono O’Odham Ki:Ki Association. Originally known as Indian Oasis, the settlement took its present name in 1918 to honor Indian Commissioner Cato Sells.

And this (amongst other biographical info) about Cato Sells, from Wiki:

He was the Commissioner at the Bureau of Indian Affairs from 1913 from 1921.  In 1914 he banished books that taught anything concerning the Asian origins of Native Americans.

What the heck could he have against the Indians having Asian ancestry?  I wonder if the Indians were in favor of naming the town after this guy?  I have no clue . .

I landed in the middle of Tohono O’odham territory.  Here’s a cool picture of a Tohono O’odham gentleman, with the caption below the picture:


Carlos Rios, a Tohono O’Odham headman, before 1907, photo by Edward Curtis

About the Tohono O’odham, from Wiki:

The Tohono O’odham are a group of aboriginal Americans who reside primarily in the Sonoran Desert of the southeastern Arizona and northwest Mexico.  “Tohono O’odham” means “People of the Desert.”  Although they were previously known as the Papago, they have largely rejected this name (meaning literally “tepary-bean eater”), which was applied to them by conquistadores, who had heard them called this by other Indian bands unfriendly to the Tohono O’odham.  The term Papago derives from Papawi O’odham, that with time became Papago.  Pawi is the word for tepary bean in the O’odham language, Papawi the plural.

And this about the unfortunate fact that an international border separates some of the Tohono O’odham people (from Wiki):

Most of the 25,000 Tohono O’odham today live in southern Arizona, but there is also a population of several thousand in northern Sonora, Mexico.  Unlike aboriginal groups along the U.S.-Canada border, the Tohono O’odham were not given dual citizenship when a border was drawn across their lands in 1853.  Even so, members of the nation moved freely across the current international boundary for decades – with the blessing of the U.S. government – to work, participate in religious ceremonies, keep medical appointments in Sells, and visit relatives.

But since the mid-1980s, stricter border enforcement has restricted this movement, and tribal members born in Mexico have found themselves trapped in a remote corner of Mexico, with no access to the tribal centers only tens of miles away.  Since 2001, bills have repeatedly been introduced in Congress to solve the “one people-two country” problem by granting U.S. citizenship to all enrolled members of the Tohono O’odham, but have so far been unsuccessful.  Reasons that have been advanced in opposition to granting U.S. citizenship to all enrolled members of the Nation include the fact that births on the reservation have been for a large part informally recorded and the records are capable of easy falsification.

OK, so maybe there are some glitches, but it seems cruel to separate an Indian tribe like this!!

Here’s a wonderful picture of a Tohono O’odham woman, with the caption below:


Luzi, a Tohono O’odham woman, circa 1905. Photograph by Edward Curtis

As mentioned above, the tribe used to be called Papago, which means “Tepary Bean eater.”  So, what’s a tepary bean?  From Wiki:

The Tepary bean is native to the southwestern United States and Mexico and has been grown there by the native peoples since pre-Columbian times. It is more drought-resistant than the common bean and is grown in desert and semi-desert conditions.

The name tepary may derive from the Tohono O’odham phrase t’pawi or “It’s a bean”.

Tepary beans are cooked like other dry beans after soaking. Some Native Americans would toast the dry beans, then grind them into a meal which was mixed with water before eating.

Recent studies from the United States and Mexico suggest that compounds from tepary beans may be useful as chemotherapy for treating cancer. However, further research is needed.

Here’s a picture of Tepary Beans:


And these, of Baboquivari Mountain near Sells (sacred to the Tohono O’odham):


About the mountain, from Wiki:

Baboquivari Peak is the most sacred place to the Tohono O’odham people.  It is the center of the Tohono O’odham cosmology and the home of the creator, I’itoi. According to tribal legend, he resides in a cave below the base of the mountain.

This mountain is regarded by the O’odham nation as the navel of the world – a place where the earth opened and the people emerged after the great flood.

How about that –  the Tohono O’odham (along with many spiritual traditions other than the Judeo-Christian) believe in a great flood (and they live in the desert!).  Here’s the Table of Contents in Wiki under the entry “Deluge Myth.”

And the Tohono O’odham don’t even make the list!  I’ll close with this lightning shot in Sells:

.

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Antimony, Utah

Posted by graywacke on December 19, 2009

First timer? In this (hopefully) once-a-day blog, I have my computer select 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 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 and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –  For the 5th time in the last 29 landings, I’ve landed in that solid WB OSer . . . UT; 66/51; 4/10; 2; 154.5.  Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Antimony:


I landed in the Antimony Ck watershed, on to a new river (my 1044th river, incidentally), the E Fk of the Sevier; on to the Sevier (8th hit).  The Sevier is internally drained.  I have landed near it’s end point (see my Black Rock UT post) and discussed the Sevier watershed in my Holden UT post.  By the way, the E Fk of the Sevier is my 27th internally-drained river . . .

Here’s a broader landing view:


And my GE shot, showing a pretty-much featureless desert scape.


Here’s a broader view, which shows that the Sevier River near Antimony is a similar “green swath” as for my last landing, Eden AZ, along the Gila R.


Anyway, about Antimony, from UtahOnLine:

In early 1873 about twenty-two men, arrived in what would become Antimony while on a peace-keeping mission with the Fish Lake Indians.  While near the present site of Antimony they caught and earmarked several coyote pups. This incident led to the town founded at the site to be named Coyote.  The meadowlands were used as early as 1873 for grazing and several families moved here in 1878.

In 1880 antimony (stibnite), a metal used in the making of alloys, was discovered in nearby Coyote Canyon, so Coyote became a mining town as well as a ranching community. 1n 1921 the town of Coyote was renamed Antimony after the metal mined in the area.

Antimony comes from the mineral Stibnite:

Stibnite, sometimes called antimonite, is a sulfide mineral with the formula Sb2S3.  It is the most important source for antimony.  The abbreviation for antimony, Sb, is taken from stibnite.

Moving right along . . . there is an “Archibald Hunter” collection of historical documents maintained by the State of Utah.  This is from a write-up about old Archibald:

Some ten thousand Mormon converts from Scotland emigrated to the United States by 1900. While Archibald Murchie Hunter was not a member of that church it seems likely that his arrival in this country at age eight and his eventual arrival in Utah must have been at least partly a result of Mormon influence (although a religious motive for emigration is not required, for Scotland was poor and the Hunter family was large).

If Hunter’s reasons for emigration to this country are not fully known, neither are his early travels after arriving in Boston in 1851. His obituary reports that he remained in that city only briefly, then headed for Utah. Where he lived and how he supported himself in Utah for perhaps the next ten years is not clear, and he left in 1862 for the mining camps of Nevada.

He may have been successful in mining, for in 1874 he returned to Utah, taking up residence in Sevier County as a breeder of blooded race horses. In 1879 he joined the settlers in the Garfield County community known variously as Clover Flat, Grass Valley, Coyote, and, after 1920, Antimony. He spent the rest of his life there, supporting himself by various mining speculations, running a hotel, and raising and exporting to Scotland his fine horses.

One could hardly invent a person with a background seemingly less likely to harmonize with Antimony community life than Archibald Hunter. The settlement was composed primarily of exceptionally devout Mormons who had moved there from the United Order of Enoch (the Mormons’ communitarian order) at Kingston just barely before Hunter arrived.  Hunter was not a Mormon at all, a foreign immigrant, an Odd Fellow, a life-long bachelor, and an ardent Socialist.

The latter affiliation is probably the reason for his taking up residence in Antimony, for the Socialist Party was strong in that area, and he may have been attracted not only by the good pasture but by the compatible political climate as well. At any rate, cultural differences proved to be unimportant, and Hunter quickly became a valued neighbor and respected pillar of the community

Archibald Hunter died in Antimony in 1931.

But wait, maybe it isn’t so strange that Archibald was comfortable amongst the Mormons in Antimony.  From Wiki, this about the Mormon United Order:

The United Order established egalitarian communities designed to achieve income equality, eliminate poverty, increase group self-sufficiency, and to ultimately create an ideal utopian society Mormons referred to as Zion. The movement had much in common with other utopian societies formed in the United States and Europe during the Second Great Awakening which sought to govern aspects of people’s lives through precepts of faith and community organization

The United Order is not practiced within mainstream Mormonism today; however, a number of groups of Mormon fundamentalists, such as the Apostolic United Brethren, have revived the practice.

Sounds a little socialist, eh?  (Especially the part about “income equality”.)

I’ve head about Odd Fellows, but don’t know anything about them.  From Wiki:

The name Odd Fellows refers to a number of friendly societies that originated in the United Kingdom, with Lodges that date back to the 1700s.  These various organisations were set up to protect and care for their members at a time when there was no welfare state, trade unions or National Health Service. The aim was (and still is) to provide help to members when they need it.  The friendly societies are non-profit mutual organisations owned by their members.  All income is passed back to the members in the form of services and benefits.  The Odd Fellows are fundraisers for both local and national charities.  Branches raise money for local causes and the Societies as a whole raise significant amounts for charities.

Name origins:  In smaller towns and villages, there weren’t enough Fellows from the same trade to set up a local Guild, so Fellows from a number of trades banded together to form a local Guild of Fellows from an odd assortment of trades. Hence, Guilds of Odd Fellows.

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) is big in the U.S. (and Archibald was a member of the IOOF).  Check out the various symbols that associated with the IOOF:


Looks like it’s right up Dan Brown’s alley . . .by the way, FLT stands for friendship, love and truth.

Back to Antimony.  Here’s a shot of the Mercantile (which, by the way, is for sale at what seems to me to be a mighty steep price of $450,000!  Remember the store for sale for $90,000 a few landings ago?  It was in my Lime Springs IA post.  A much better deal . . .)


I’ll close with this landscape shot near Antimony:


That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Eden, Arizona

Posted by graywacke on December 17, 2009

First timer? In this (hopefully) once-a-day blog, I have my computer select 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 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 and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –  After two landings at 5/10, I’m back down to 4/10 with this landing in . . . AZ; 74/68; 4/10; 1; 154.0.  Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Eden, Glenbar and Pima.


I landed in the Hot Springs Wash watershed (more about hot springs later); on to the Curtis Canal, to the Gila R (32nd hit); to the Colorado (138th hit).

Here’s a broader landing view:


My GE view, showing my proximity to the verdant Gila River floodplain:


I backed out a little to give you a better view of the Gila River green swath:


It turns out that Eden, Glenbar and Pima were all founded by Mormons back in the late 1880’s.  In fact, Pima was originally named Smithville, I suspect named after none other than Joseph Smith.

From Ghosttowns.com:

Eden was an agricultural town established by Mormon settlers in the 1880s and named after the town of the same name in Utah. The post office was established in 1882 and closed ???.

Here’s a picture of the “Eden Store”  from Ghosttowns:


Well, it turns out that the Eden Store used to be the Post Office.  Here’s a shot from 1911:

Also from Ghosttowns:

Glenbar was an agricultural settlement whose name was Matthews from 1897 to 1906, Fairview from 1909 to 1917 and Glenbar from 1917 to 1956.

Here’s a picture of the store in town back when it was called Fairview:


And here’s a picture of the Carter family from Glenbar (looking pretty grim, as per usual in photos from this period):


Here’s a picture of a hot spring in Eden (the “guitar pool”):


The hot water is put in a pool, which is associated with a facility that hosts retreats:


I’ll close with this shot of a cotton field along the Gila near Pima:


That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Liberty, Kentucky

Posted by graywacke on December 15, 2009

First timer? In this (hopefully) once-a-day blog, I have my computer select 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 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 and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –  Maybe things are turning around; I’m on a 4/5 run with my landing in . . . KY; 19/24; 5/10; 2; 153.6.  Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Liberty:


I landed in the Canoe Ck watershed, on to the Green R, which you can see just south of my landing (6th hit); on to the Ohio (115th hit); on to the MM (719th hit).

Here’s an expanded view, showing my landing all by its lonesome smack dab in the middle of KY.  I’ve been aware for some time that there was a big piece of landing-free real estate in central KY.  Well, it’s landing-free no more:


Here’s my GE shot.  I think that I landed right in the middle of a farm pond!!


Here’s an expanded GE shot, showing what we geologists call a “dendritic” pattern of drainage.  Notice how all of the valleys are cleared, and the uplands are wooded.


About Liberty from Wiki:


Liberty is a city in and county seat of Casey County. It was established in 1806 by several Revolutionary War veterans and named for one of the values of their new country. Its population was 1,850 at the 2000 census.

One of Liberty’s famous sons is a baseball player by the name of Carl Mays.  I found the following story (well worth the read) in which Carl plays an important part:

By David Zingler  (Simply Baseball Notebook:  Forgotten in Time series)

Remembering Ray Chapman

Each year hundreds of injuries take place on the baseball field. Players suffer injuries of varying degrees, everything from sprained ankles and pulled hamstrings to broken bones and torn ligaments. These injuries can keep players out a few games, an entire season, and in some extreme cases end careers. One player, however, paid the ultimate price while playing the game.

On August 16, 1920, life was good for 29 year old shortstop Ray Chapman. The speedy, slick fielding Chapman, anchor of the Cleveland infield, was hitting .303 with 97 runs scored and his team was in the thick of the American League Pennant race. The Indians were at the Polo Grounds in New York to take on the Yankees. Nasty submariner Carl Mays was on the hill for the Yanks. Chapman was 0 for1 in the game when he led off the fifth against Mays. Chapman was known to crowd and sometimes lean over the plate. Mays, known for his nasty disposition, had a reputation for throwing “high and tight.”

Mays threw one of his patented rising side armed pitches inside to the Indian’s shortstop who was again crowding the plate. The pitch hit him in the temple fracturing his skull. Chapman collapsed. His teammates rushed out and helped him to his feet. According to some accounts Chapman regained consciousness, but quickly collapsed again before reaching the dugout. Emergency surgery, which included the removal of a piece of his skull, was performed that night to no avail. Chapman died at 4:30 the next morning, about twelve hours after being hit by Mays’ pitch. It remains the only on field casualty in MLB history.

Carl Mays voluntarily appeared in front of the homicide bureau of the district attorney’s office that night and was cleared of all wrong doing. Despite that fact, the players of the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox threatened to start a petition to get Mays banned from baseball.

With rookie Joe Sewell in Chapman’s place at shortstop, the Indians went onto win the franchises’ first World Series that year, wearing black arm bands as a tribute to their fallen teammate. Ray Chapman’s wife, Kathleen, received his full World Series share, just under $4,000.

For his career Chapman hit .278 with 233 stolen bases, 1053 hits, and 671 runs in 1051 games over 9 big league seasons. He was known for his speed, he finished in the top ten in stolen bases three times and in runs four times and his fielding – he was considered one of the finest glove men of the time. Chapman was selected as one of the “100 Greatest Indians” when the team celebrated it’s centennial in 2001. Noted baseball historian Bill James said Chapman “was probably destined for the Hall of Fame had he lived.”

Carl Mays went on to win 26 games for the Yankees in 1920 and 27 more in 1921. He became the first man to win 20 games with three different teams in 1924 when he went 20-9 with Cincinnati (he also won 20 with Boston in 1917 & ’18). Mays retired in 1929 with a 207-126 record and 2.92 ERA. He felt the Chapman incident denied him admission into the Hall of Fame.

With the advent of batting helmets and significantly better medical technology available, an incident like this would probably never happen in today’s’ game. It is important to remember, however, the legacy of Ray Chapman, who was by all accounts an upstanding member of the community, a favorite of teammates and fans, as well as a great ball player.

Here’s Ray Chapman:

And here’s Carl Mays:


That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Menard, Texas

Posted by graywacke on December 12, 2009

First timer? In this (hopefully) once-a-day blog, I have my computer select 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 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 and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –   Well, how about that.  After 25 in a row of 4/10 or less, I’ve made it to 5/10 by landing once again in . . . TX, 127/160; 5/10; 1; 154.2.  Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Menard and the San Saba River:


This was my third landing in the San Saba R watershed; on to the Colorado (21st hit); on to the G of M.  Here’s a picture of the San Saba near Menard:


Here’s a broader landing view:


And my GE shot:


Never before have I turned to a golfing website for my primary source information about a town.  But there’s a first time for everything.  From GolfTexas.com (a little long, but interesting):

MENARD, Texas — The little ranch town of Menard (pop. 1,676) is deep in the heart of Texas, located just a short drive southwest of the state’s geographic epicenter at Brady, and one of the last Hill Country hamlets before the big skies of West Texas open up around San Angelo.

First established in the 1700s as the Spanish mission of Santa Cruz de San Saba, Menard was a site of fierce Indian resistance and eventually became an early trading post on the northwest cattle trails. Today Menard County is a small, undiscovered town on the western edge of Central Texas. Although cattle, goats, sheep and hunting game are economic mainstays for the area, the community boasts a multitude of unique sightseeing activities and a quaint nine-hole golf course west of town known as the Presidio Golf Club. Named after the ruins of the old Spanish mission on the back side of the course, the Presidio spans 25 scenic acres along the gurgling San Saba River.

However lately there’s been a bit of controversy in quiet Menard, and it has become clear that the historical site and golf course don’t necessarily mix. This past summer professors, students, and volunteers from all over the state ventured to Menard with the hopes of reconstructing the presidio and finding clues that will tell the story of Spain’s hopeful conquest of the Great Plains.

Over the years, groups as large as 450 amateur archeologists have literally dug into the property adjacent to the course, finding impressive remnants such as glazed Spanish pottery, crosses, musket balls, medallions, and numerous other signs of daily life from the mission that was abandoned in 1781.

In the process, a golf-cart path and holes No. 7-9 have been affected at some point, creating complications for the club’s 36 members and visiting golfers.

“The ruins are a unique accent to the course, but it’s tough to play golf around an archeological exploration”, said Eger, who seemed confused as to how Menard County could allow the researchers free reign of the county owned property without consideration of how it might impact course operations.

“As much work as we put into the course, it takes a long time for the scars of excavation to heal,” said Eger.

The good news is that now that the excavation project and golf course are gaining notoriety, communications and processes are bound to improve, increasing the chances of both sides walking away winners. And despite the strains imposed on the course by the project, it’s not enough to take away from the immensely entertaining experience of playing a few rounds of Hill Country golf near, where in 1758, some 2,000 Comanche attacked the mission, burned it to the ground, and signaled the beginning of the end of Spain’s attempt to conquer the Great Plains of North America.

Here are a couple of pictures of the mission ruins:


There you have it.  So, how did Menard get its name?  From AliciaNiche.com:


Col. Michel B. Menard, whose portrait appears above, was born in Canada of French parentage in 1805, and came to Texas in 1833, after a number of years previously spent among the Shawnee Indians. He gladly cast his fortune with the struggling Texas colonists to break the yoke of Mexico.

Fitted by inclination and natural endowment, his great industry and capacity enabled him to render conspicuous service to the Texas Patriots in this great cause that had its happy termination in San Jacinto.

Moving right along:  near Menard, along the Saba River is a mysterious grave site.  Edited from TexasEscapes:

Menard Grave

by Mike Cox

. . . the white marble obelisk inside a rusty-if-ornate iron fence bears this inscription:

T. B. Smith
Born Jan. 14, 1833
Died Jan. 10, 1871
No pain, no grief
No anxious tear
Can reach the peace
In sleeper here

Here’s the story told to a local historian (a Mr. Kniffen) by a relative of Mr. Smith:
“Smith lived somewhere down the river, within five miles of town.  His great-great-great granddaughter said he wasn’t all there, somewhat mentally challenged.” According to this living relative:

One day, the second date on his tombstone, a group of rowdy cowboys rode up as Smith walked along River Road a little more than a mile from town. One of them had the bright idea of making Smith “dance” while dodging bullets fired at his feet.

Surely drunk, one of the cowboys either shot too high and wounded the hapless man or did so deliberately. Whatever happened, the others started shooting at Smith, putting multiple bullet holes in him.

Newly incorporated in 1871, Menard had little or no local law enforcement. And the Texas Rangers had not yet evolved into state police officers.

Even so, the cowboys knew they had done wrong. One of them, possibly more somber than his colleagues, knew where some Indians were camped. And according to the story Kniffen heard, the cowboys actually got along with them.

The woman told Kniffen the killer cowhands rode to the Indian camp, likely on the nearby pecan-shaded river, and asked if they could have some arrows. While it is hard to imagine any group of Indians on the frontier being that neighborly in 1871, they are supposed to have given the culprits a handful of arrows.

Thus equipped, the cowboys rode back to the scene of their crime and inserted the arrows into the bullet holes in their hapless victim. Then, they covered the body with a large flat rock.

Clearly, the story has almost as many holes probability-wise as the unfortunate Mr. Smith supposedly suffered. But one thing is certain: The grave is there, and there is a large, irregularly shaped flat rock above it.

Revisiting the grave recently, Kniffen found five other flat stones beneath the oaks.

“The river does not have that kind of rocks,” Kniffen said. “To get those, you’d have to pack them down from the Luckenbach Mountains, which are well to the south of the grave.”

Given that stones that large are not naturally occurring in that immediate area, they may mark other graves.

Another Menard County history buff and story teller, Carlton Kothmann, said he knew of the grave under the trees and had always heard it had been filled by the victim of an Indian attack. He had never heard the arrows-in-the-corpse story told by Smith’s relative until Kniffen passed it along.

“History,” Kothmann offered in perspective, “is not what happened but what’s recorded.”

I always like old shots of train stations.  Here’s Menard’s versions:


I’ll close with this picture of Uncle Jim Henning from Menard County, born 1876 (died 1945).  Quite the cowboy!  I wouldn’t mess with Jim . . .


That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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Paradise Valley, Nevada

Posted by graywacke on December 10, 2009

First timer? In this (hopefully) once-a-day blog, I have my computer select 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 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 and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –  I couldn’t stand the prosperity, so after two USers, along comes a solid OSer . . . NV; 72/66; 4/10; 25; 154.9.  Here’s my landing map (today’s landing is the one to the west):


Here’s a broader view:


Here’s my GE shot, showing some nondescript dessert around my landing.  By the way, the GE photography is peculiar; for some reason, there’s the hazy looking area to the east.


I angled myself way down to get this GE shot, looking north past my landing, towards the Santa Rosa Mountains which are about 15 miles north of my landing:


Anyway, from my landing map, you can see I landed near Paradise Valley.  This from Nevadatravelnet.net:

Paradise Valley is a quiet and supremely photogenic community dating from the 1860s when it was a supply point for the mines in the nearby mountains and called Paradise City. It’s almost purely agricultural now, except for an occasional tourist lured by the name. Wander the quiet streets of the serene little town for a half hour as we did, and the name seems to fit perfectly.

As tourists, we gravitated naturally to the Paradise Valley Mercantile & Saloon. It had been closed since February, but now re-opened under the management of Mike Paradis & Co. Mike was ordered by the Health Department to remove the hundreds of dollar bills and other paper money tacked to the ceiling under the previous management, so they offerred their customers $100 for the closest guess at the total in American money. It came to $1,853, plus a small fortune in foreign currency and three shopvacs full of dust. They plan to have a small store and deli open about the time you see this, and then life will be quite heavenly again in Paradise Valley.

Here’s a picture of an older version (I’m sure) of the Paradise Valley Mercantile:


Here’s a picture of what I suspect is the current version:


From Ghosttowns.com:

One would be inclined to think the town received its name because it was exactly that-a paradise valley. It was anything but that during its early years. The original inhabitants, Paiutes, Shoshones and Bannocks, were not friendly for they saw their land being destroyed by the white man and his plowshares as the fields were being prepared for the planting of wheat. This, along with the clear water streams being polluted by mining operations was cause for attacks on the settlers that lasted for years.  Many died.

This resulted in two forts being built in the area.  Indian attacks ceased in 1869 allowing the farmers of Paradise Valley to raise their crops without fear.

The town was always more of a farming community than it was a mining camp. When mining operations ceased, Paradise Valley grew into a peaceful and productive agricultural town.  If in the area, a trip to Paradise Valley is in order.  Submitted by Henry Chenoweth.

From octopup.org, here’s a shot of a hot spring in Paradise Valley:

Check this out!  They’ve got a tub for visitors:

Moving right along . . . I stumbled on some song lyrics that reference Paradise Valley.  The song is “This Old Skin” by the group “The Beautiful South.”  Here’s some info on the band from Wiki:

The Beautiful South were an English alternative rock group formed at the end of the 1980s.  The group broke up in January 2007, claiming the split was due to “musical similarities”, having sold around 15,000,000 records worldwide.

Wow. This was a very successful band that I never heard of.  Anyway, here is the verse from “This Old Skin” that references the town:

it was paradise valley nevada,
not far from where the west was won.
i am the only black face in the whole damn place
just a raisin in the blazing sun.

Some great lyrics!!   After reading the lyrics, I expected at least one black face in The Beautiful South, but ‘tis not the case:


At first, I assumed that maybe some non-band member wrote this song, but then found this in Wiki:

One track from the album, “This Old Skin“, was presented as a cover of a song by an obscure band known as The Heppelbaums; it was later revealed to be a Beautiful South composition.

OK, so I figured maybe there’d be a black face or two in the Heppelbaums.  Here’s their one and only album cover. . .


Oh, well. . .

Anyway, after all of this, I had to listen to the song.  Hey!!  I like it!!  It’s a real simple sound, but pleasing to my ear.  To hear the Beautiful South singing the song, click here.

Anyway, now that I’m a Beautiful South fan, I did a little more research.  I found this about the group (from a music critic who places The Beautiful South as his 4th favorite band of all time):

Paul Heaton, Dave Rotheray, Dave Hemingway, Sean Welch, David Stead and a changing line-up of female companions come in at a very respectable fourth place on my list. The Beautiful South’s career lasted for almost two decades, starting back in 1989, and continuing until their split in 2007.  They’ve produced 10 studio albums, 4 greatest hits packages and a variety of spin off and solo projects, but just what is it that makes me such a huge Beautiful South fan? Whether they’ve been selling massive top 5 hits, or seeing their songs struggle to even go top 40, this band have stayed true to their style, and have produced such an incredible back catalogue of work that I find it hard to see how anyone would dislike.

To find out more about The Beautiful South, click here (and scroll past all of the Michael Jackson stuff . . .)

Back to Paradise Valley –  Here are a bunch of shots of the town . . .


That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

© 2009 A Landing A Day

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