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Archive for May, 2019

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

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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 »

Pioche and Panaca, Nevada (revisited)

Posted by graywacke on May 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 2443; A Landing A Day blog post number 879.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (N37o 53.783’, W114o 19.148’) puts me in southeast Nevada:

Here’s my local landing map:

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of the Meadow Valley Wash (8th hit).  I generally don’t keep track of “washes” or “creeks:” only “rivers” and the occasional “bayou.”  But this watershed is so big (and I’ve landed in it so many times), I couldn’t help but keep track of this one.

Anyway, as you can see, the Wash ends up in the Muddy River (9th hit); to the Virgin River (15th hit); on to the mighty Colorado (186th hit).

Most of Nevada is in the Great Basin Watershed.  Here’s a map showing the vast area that is internally-drained:

You can see that the Meadow Valley Wash (with drainage south to the Colorado) is a notch carved out of the Great Basin.  FYI, the other “notch” just west of my landing is the White River watershed, which also drains south to the Colorado.

Just outside of Panaca, the Google Earth (GE) Orange Dude was able to get a look at the not-so-mighty Meadow Valley Wash:

And here ‘tis:


I suspect that there’s no water because the agricultural operations take it all. 

JFTHOI, I went another 15 miles south to the town of Caliente, where the OD could get another look at the Wash:

While I’m in GE, check this out:

Well looky there.  Just 245 landings ago, I landed a mere 6 miles west of this landing.  Given the paucity of towns, you’ll never guess which two were titular back then?  Yup.  Pioche and Panaca (thus “revisited” in the title).

Funny.  My mind went past “scarcity” and “dearth,” and for no particular reason, it settled on “paucity.”  Well, the good ol’ internet addresses these more-or-less synonyms head on.  From EnglishStackExchange.com:

Words:  paucity vs scarcity vs death

I see these words used interchangeably in various contexts. Is there a formal difference or preference?

Please supply relevant examples.

You have probably already checked the dictionary for definitions of paucity, scarcity, and dearth. They all basically mean “a lack of something,” and the fact that each definition references the others attests to their interchangeable utility. However, if there weren’t subtle distinctions in meaning, we probably wouldn’t bother to have three formal words for the same thing, so your question is a good one.

If I were to order them from least lacking to most lacking, I would say paucity->scarcity->dearth, based on their respective definitions.

Paucity: smallness of quantity

Scarcity: rarity or shortness of supply

Dearth: an inadequate supply

Since a small number of towns has nothing to do with the “supply” of towns, I guess “paucity” was the correct choice!  Back to the website:

If you have a paucity of pumpkins, you would have just a few (but your neighbor might have many). A scarcity of pumpkins would mean that pumpkins are quite rare, perhaps due to green-oozy pumpkin disease (that is a made-up disease), and you might reserve one for a special occasion. Finally, a dearth of pumpkins suggests that pumpkins are nowhere to be found, and there will certainly be no jack-o-lanterns on Halloween.

So anyway – as I just mentioned, I’ve featured Pioche and Panaca already.  OK, I could do a copy and paste, or simply put a link to that post HERE.  Don’t bother clicking – I didn’t link it.  Here’s what I consider the highlight of the history of the two towns:

Panaca was founded by Mormons, and is still pretty much a Mormon community – no booze, no gambling.  (Oops.  I forgot that the head of the Mormon Church put out a directive saying that Mormons shouldn’t be called Mormons anymore.  I think they’re supposed to be called “Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints.”  Oh, well . . .)

Mormons espouse a very clean lifestyle – no booze, no sex (except between a married man and woman), no cigarettes, no caffeine, no R-rated movies.  So back in the day (except for the R-rated movie thing), Panaca was a clean living town. 

The Mormons were agricultural-based, but there were various mining operations nearby and many miners lived in Panaca.  But hey – you know about them miners – they want all of the things that the Mormons wouldn’t let them do in Panaca.

So, there was this nearby town – Pioche.  And Pioche wasn’t Mormon.  So, the underbelly of Panaca moved up the road to Pioche.  OK, so many new mining claims were opened up near Pioche, giving them additional incentive to move . . . 

From StGeorgeUtah.com:

Just under two hours drive from St. George is the “living” ghost town of Pioche, Nevada. Today Pioche is a friendly town, but it began as a miner’s camp in the 1860s with wild roots quickly gaining a reputation as the roughest, toughest town in the entire West, rivaling even the more well-known gun slinging towns of Tombstone, Arizona, and Deadwood, South Dakota.

In 1873, the Nevada State Mineralogist reported the following to the state Legislature regarding the violence in Pioche :

About one-half of the community are thieves, scoundrels and murderers. Hired gunmen were imported at the rate of 20 a day to fight mining claim encroachments. The sheriff’s office could count on about $40,000 a year in bribe money. It was so bad 75 people were killed before one died a natural death.

The story of Pioche begins with William Hamblin, a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka the Mormons). William Hamblin was introduced to silver deposits in the Pioche area by a Native American Paiute in 1864.

Hamblin sold his claim to the mine, but in 1872, he was called to testify in a court case related to ownership of the mine. However, before he could testify, he was given a lethal drink. Realizing he had been poisoned, he started for home in Gunlock but died before he could make it.

At its height, Pioche had at least 6,000 residents (some say 10,000) along with 72 saloons, three hurdy-gurdy houses (dance halls) and 32 “maisons de joie.”  If you don’t what that means, check out a French-English dictionary.

Here’s a shot of Pioche back in the day (1885):

It’s time for some pictures.  Let’s start with Cathedral Gorge, just west of Panaca.  Here’s a shot by Spencer Baugh:

And this, by Geocheb:

And this, by Vitaly Korolev:

Moving up the Meadow Valley Wash, to the Echo Canyon area just north of my landing.  Here’s one by Nevadadcnr:

Another by Vitaly Korolev:

Staying with Vitaly:

I’ll close this one by (get this name) kat n dog named thirsty:


That’ll do it . . .




© 2019 A Landing A Day

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Willard (and Dulles Airport), Virginia

Posted by graywacke on May 2, 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 2442; A Landing A Day blog post number 878.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (N38o 56.884’, W77o 34.088’) puts me in northern Virginia:

Here’s my local landing map:

Looks unremarkably rural, eh? And where’s Willard?  Where’s Dulles Airport?

First, let’s zoom back a bit to put my landing location in its proper context:

Still no Willard, no airport.  Before getting a closer look with Google Earth (GE), here’s my very local streams-only map:

You can see that I landed in the Lenah Run watershed; on to the Broad Run.  I’ll need to zoom back:

The Broad Run heads northeast, where it runs in to (what else?) the Potomac River (13th hit).

As promised, here’s a GE shot of my landing’s neighborhood:

Hmmm.  Not as rural as my local landing map would have you believe.  But the development around my landing is Johnny-come-lately.  Here’s a 1989 air photo:

Zooming back a little (and getting back to the present) you can see that I landed in the backyard of the Dulles International Airport:

I could tell by my local landing map that I practically landed on US Route 50, which is a 100% shoo-in for GE Street View coverage.    Let’s take a look:

And what-the-heck, I’ll zoom in even closer and look from a different angle, so I could locate my landing relative to the nearby bushes:

And here’s my landing, located extremely accurately:

While I’m GEing it, here’s where I sent the OD to look at Lenah Run:

And here’s what he sees:

Gee –  I could be out in the boonies!

Since I landed so close to Route 50, I’ll briefly feature it.  Here’s a Wiki map showing that it goes coast to coast:

It pretty much splits the country in half! 

I’m somewhat familiar with the road; back in the day, I worked for Mobil Oil, which had its headquarters east of my landing in Fairfax, just off Route 50 (although I worked in Jersey).  Also, I’ve crossed (and sailed under) the Route 50 Annapolis Bay Bridge numerous times.  Here’s a Wiki pic:

Here’s a very cool road sign near the western end of Route 50 (Wiki):

In this blog, I’ve featured Route 50 as it crosses Nevada, and is known as “the loneliest road in America” (Wiki):

Moving right along . . . the various “towns” shown on my local landing map don’t amount to anything; as you can see, the Northern Virginia suburbs are taking over all of the local real estate.  But I did stumble on a town that isn’t on any map:  Willard.

From Wiki:

The former unincorporated community of Willard (also known as Willard Crossroads) was located in what is now a part of Washington Dulles International Airport.

The village was named after Joseph Edward Willard, a delegate to the Virginia General Assembly from 1893 to 1901, then Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.  His father was Joseph Clapp Willard, the owner of the famed Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Willard was surrounded by extensive farmland, housing, schools, places of worship, the Willard store (until 1907), and Blue Ridge Airfield (1938–1951). Willard was regarded as a crossroads and a distinctive community until construction of Washington Dulles International Airport began in 1958.

This map, showing the airport surimposed on a 1940 road map of Willard, was part of the Wiki article:

And here are some excerpts from a 2002 Washington Post article by local historian Eugene Scheeler.  It’s a little long, and it rambles a bit, but it provides some cool vignettes into early 20th Century life:

Dulles International Airport celebrates its 40th anniversary today. Unlike its other significant birthdays, there will be no celebration. But the day reminds me of the airport’s 10th anniversary, a gala called “Transpo.”

One of the hostesses then was a young African American woman, and as guests milled about, one asked her, “What was here before Dulles?” She paused, smiled and said, “Why, Willard, of course.”

I mention her race because Willard was largely a black community, and it’s doubtful that a young white person would have given that answer. He, or she, most likely would have said Chantilly, for mail leaving the airport then bore a Chantilly postmark.

Near the Willard crossroads were the small family spreads of former slaves and their descendants — Nathaniel Corum, Joe Johnson, Joe Holmes, Charles Newman, Lafayette and Henry Robinson, Eldridge Smith and Arthur Thomas.

These men farmed on a sustenance level on their few acres, which included a patch of corn, a large vegetable garden, chickens and hogs, a milk cow, a heifer and perhaps a steer. They also cut firewood and fashioned the finer pieces into barrel staves, railroad ties and ax and hatchet handles.

The focus of black Willard was Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church, a small weatherboard building built by its members in 1899.

Flora Croson lived about a half-mile west of the Willard Church. Miss Flora was the last of the home switchboard operators of Gales Hutchison’s Prince William Telephone Co.

Flora’s house was called “The Central,” and one ring brought her to the switchboard. Then she connected the caller to the subscriber, who paid S5 a month for the service. Each subscriber had a special series of rings — perhaps two shorts and a long — that brought him or her to the phone. But every subscriber heard the rings. To eavesdrop, one had to remove the phone very gently so as not to create noise on the line.

Black and white Willard came together each summer when the “medicine show” and minstrel men came to the crossroads. They set up on a field, built a planked platform and draped it and a backdrop with canvas.

Holding sway on stage was the medicine man, who was sometimes a singer and comic and sometimes a pitchman for patent medicines, often laced with alcohol. Between acts, minstrels strolled among the crowd, playing fiddles and banjos and hawking “New Life” and “Golden Oil,” names for pills and elixirs extolled by the pitchman.

In January 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower selected Willard as the location for the new airport.

Without public hearings, the federal government sent condemnation letters to all 87 Willard area landowners early in September 1958, and the letters came like a bolt. Many landowners formed a citizens association, but it disbanded, and everyone followed separate courses. Several hired lawyers, who took one-third of anything over the condemnation price.

The government paid an average of $500 an acre, and more than 300 buildings were bulldozed. Between January 1959 and April 1961, the 87 property owners deeded 9,800 acres to the government.

As per usual when I wind down a post, I check out the GE photos around my landing.  Give me a break, people!  There are hundreds of photos posted on GE, and they are nearly all just ordinary houses!  I mean, really!  Google Earth should be used to post photos of general public interest, and trust me, your house is of no interest to anyone but you!

So, I’ll close with this Wiki shot of the main terminal at the airport . . .


That’ll do it . . .




© 2019 A Landing A Day

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