A Landing a Day

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Mt. Vernon, Indiana

Posted by graywacke on June 23, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

Here’s what the Orange Dude sees.

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

And here’s what he sees:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From Wiki, under “Notable People:”

Anna Byford Leonard (1843–?), reformer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Theosophist?  From Wiki:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back to Wiki Notable People:

Frederick Charles Leonard (1896-1960), astronomer.

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

From Wiki:

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

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

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

Quite the precocious kid!

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

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

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

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

That’ll do it . . .




© 2019 A Landing A Day

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