Some Friday levity courtesy of 1898 newspaper

The Omaha Daily Bee 17 July 1898 (Credit: US Library of Congress digital newspaper archives)

Categories: Death, Miscellaneous, Russia | Tags: | 4 Comments

100 years ago: Memorial Day at the Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial outside Paris

This is quite a poignant photo; the War had ended just 18 months earlier and America had lost 116,000 servicemen—53,000 in combat and 63,000 from disease and influenza. These tragic losses were marked during this Memorial Day ceremony in Suresnes American Cemetery just outside Paris. If you enlarge the image by clicking on it twice, you will become immersed in a very solemn scene.

CLICK to enlarge. Cérémonie du “Memorial Day” au Cimetière Américain de Suresnes, le 30 Mai 1920 (LOC Prints and Photographs Division – No known restrictions on publication)

The NY Tribune, 29 May 1920 (Credit: FultonHistory.com)


The circling year again brings round
This proud Memorial Day,
With mingled joy and grief profound,
We deck with wreaths the sacred mound,
Where patriot soldiers lay.

Tis meet that we this honor show,
And pledge this day anew,
Our fadeless faith, that all may know
How strong this faith will ever grow,
In loyal hearts and true.

Our land so broad, so grand, so free,
Pays homage to the band,
Who fought and bled, and died that we
An undivided nation be,
The peer of any land.

Pile granite to the vaulted skies;
Carve words of deathless fame;
Let marble monuments arise
Where’er the soldier-patriot lies,
In honor of his name.

The granite pile may sink to dust,
No more its words be read ;
The marble may forsake its trust;
The nation may, in reckless lust,
Forget the honored dead.

Their fame is fixed beyond the skies,
Their glory is of God ;
Twas not ambition’s sacrifice,
Nor eager gain for worldly prize,
That laid them ‘neath the sod.

They died our nation’s life to save,
Ere it were rent in twain,
For this each fills a soldier’s grave,
For this the glorious flag shall wave,
In honor of the slain.

They died : the clanking shackles fell
From bondman’s fettered hand,
And angels winged their way to tell,
While heavenly choirs the anthem swell,
Of freedom’s happy land.

Z. F. Riley*

*From Holiday Selections for Readings and Recitation compiled by Sarah Sigourney Rice (Philadelphia: The Penn Publishing Company, 1920, pp. 187-188)

Suresnes American Cemetery – American Battle Monuments Commission

God Bless ALL of Our Fallen Heroes

Categories: Memorial Day, Miscellaneous, Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial | Tags: | 1 Comment

Turn-of-the-20th-century Oatmeal ads

To follow up on that last post about oatmeal, here are a few US newspaper ads from the 1890s/early 1900s that touted its supreme benefits. This seems to be when oatmeal really took off in the US as a breakfast food. Better late than never, our Irish, English, and Scottish cousins were probably thinking!

The Paducah Sun – Kentucky, 25 November 1902 (Credit: Library of Congress Digital Newspaper Archives)

The Evening Star – Washington, DC, 30 Oct 1910 (Credit: Library of Congress Digital Newspaper Archives)

The Portland Daily Press (Maine), 23 June 1894 (Credit: Library of Congress Digital Newspaper Archives)

Categories: 1890s, 1900s, Food: Family Recipes & Favorites, Miscellaneous | 2 Comments

A Florida Friday: Solomon’s Castle

The entrance gates at Solomon’s Castle

Solomon’s Castle is on my must-see list of Florida’s quirkiest places.  Like many others on that list, it’s off the beaten path and getting there requires a bit of effort.  We were staying in Sarasota a couple of years back when the brochure caught our eye. Shall we go? Why not? Early the next morning we headed east and eventually found ourselves in Florida’s rural heartland in search of the “town” of Ona. It was a hot sunny day during the off-season. Few travelers on the road. GPS was patchy at times; we worried a bit about getting lost, but fortunately, we found our way there.

Hardee County, in which Ona and the “castle” are located, probably hasn’t changed much in the last century. Its 1930 population of 10,000 has almost tripled; but that’s nothing compared to Lee County , which is where we live. Here the population has gone from roughly 15,000 to 620,000 during that same time span. Few contrasts could better reflect the great divide between the pace of life in Gulf coast towns and cities and inland areas such as this.

Solomon’s Castle was the brainchild of Howard Solomon, who died in 2016 of heart troubles. He was 81. Howard spent many decades commuting from his 55-acre property to his St. Petersburg cabinet-making and boat-building business to earn the money that fueled his creative passions. Why base himself in a place like Ona? The land was cheap, and there was plenty of it.

Photography is not permitted within the “castle,” but YouTube has footage of tours Howard used to give to visitors (see link below).  You’ll quickly see why the folks behind the Weird US publication called him the “Da Vinci of Debris”.  For a great article on Howard, click here.

YouTube video – 1 of 4 – Start here.
Google Images
Haven Magazine article: “Solomon’s Castle: A Visionary’s Legacy”

From here on down, I’ll let the pictures do the talking. Have a great weekend, everyone.

The approach to the Castle whose walls are covered with aluminum printing plates from a newspaper business 

You can gaze at the turrets, towers, and stained glass windows as you await your turn for a guided tour. I kept expecting to see King Friday even though Mr. Rogers’ castle looks much different.

Pitchfork and quirky garden decor in the foreground

Fun idea for flower bed or small vegetable garden

Lots of massive staghorn ferns hang from the trees here

Yes, there’s a boat with a moat—complete with the occasional alligator. Howard built it all. Climb aboard, for here and beyond are the restaurant and gift shop.

Veranda seating overlooking the restaurant boat — it was still quite early so no diners yet.

More seating and a gift shop on the left. Note the fabulous live oak festooned with moss and ferns—a signature element in much of old Florida

Categories: Florida, Miscellaneous, Ona | Tags: | 7 Comments

Mom turns 97 today

Mom turns 97 at 9:45 p.m. (Eastern) today—quite the milestone! No family coming over, sadly, given the situation, but we have already had a get-together on something like Zoom. Dinner will be shrimp and scallops, baked potato, and green salad followed by homemade dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate icing and mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Any family members out there wanting to offer birthday greetings or even ask her a family-history-related question, feel free to fire away in the comments below or via my email address shown on the ‘About’ page. After all, she has been around since 1923!

Categories: Miscellaneous | 11 Comments

Hear ye, hear ye! (Some blog housekeeping)

Just a super-short post to advise readers that I have created an “Archive Index” page. See tab at top of the page. This displays all posts in order of oldest to newest. It may come in handy as a search tool.


Town Crier with Stick and Gong (Hearing) by Adriaen van Ostade (1610–1685), Dutch Golden Age painter – In collection at National Gallery in Prague (Public domain in US due to copyright term = author’s life plus 100 years or fewer)

Categories: Miscellaneous | 2 Comments

T.P. tip

The Daily News (Batavia, NY), page 6, March 5, 1913 – Credit: http://www.fultonhistory.com

I’d never have imagined that my 500th post would be about toilet paper!

With places of business, restaurants, movie theaters, and malls, etc., currently closed, there could be a quite a bit of “industrial” toilet paper available for purchase online and elsewhere, so I thought I would pass that tip along to anyone who has not already thought about that.

If you are tired of searching and are worried about running out, this could be an option. Quality won’t be the best perhaps, but hey—beggars can’t be choosers. I keep telling friends and family not to worry—when I studied Russian in the USSR many years ago, I occasionally encountered neatly cut up squares of Pravda in the loo paper holder when visiting friends or no paper at all when in public facilities.

Anyway, here is what we bought recently (on Amazon) with a fairly quick delivery:

  • Pacific Blue Basic Recycled Paper Towel Roll (Previously branded Envision) by GP PRO (Georgia-Pacific), Brown, 26401, 350 Feet Per Roll, 12 Rolls Per Case – $29.72
  • Acclaim 2-Ply Jumbo Jr. Toilet Paper by GP PRO (Georgia-Pacific), 13728, 1000 Linear Feet Per Roll, 8 Rolls Per Case – $32.92
Categories: Miscellaneous | 2 Comments

Post #499 on anniversary #9

Today is this blog’s 9th anniversary. I want to thank everyone who has followed this blog—whether for many years or just a few days, and all of you who have left comments and other words of support. It’s been an honor to help bring so many stories to life and to shed light on the “in between” years—the time represented by the dash between the dates on all those grave stones. 

As of this moment, I have some 91,614+ hits and some 218 followers. I thought you might be interested in seeing what posts have been shared 5 or more times through the years, so check that out below if you like. Unfortunately many of the most shared posts never garnered any or many comments, so I don’t know what exactly resonated with readers, but clearly they found at least part of the content worth sharing. (But, oh, how I wish they’d emailed me or left some wee comment. 😉 )

Anyway, I shall keep plugging away. And, as always, my invitation stands to anyone who wants to provide material for a guest post.

Many thanks again, everyone!!! 


Top Posts & Pages

Title Shares
19th-century Carbon County, PA — Lindermans, Packers, & Brodheads 20
Henry Conrad Brodhead & Eva Wilder McGlasson: late 19th- / early 20th-century “power couple” 18
Cupid’s Arrow —> William H. Brodhead 17
Civil War drummer boy John B. Jaques, Jr.: Mustered out 148 years ago today 15
Daniel Brodhead Jr.’s daughter, Ellen 15
Another Brodhead elopes, this time in 1911 at NYC’s ‘Little Church Around the Corner’ 14
Oldest Jaques daughter: Jane F. Birch of Brooklyn, NY 14
John B. Jaques – Part III – The 1860s and an Alias, No Less 14
Daniel Brodhead Jr.: A Timeline of Life Events 14
Garret Brodhead’s “Wheat Plains” farmhouse—an August clean-up project. Come join the fun! 13
Job W. Angus (1856-1936) — Letters from Texas 13
Monsieur Alphonse P. M. de la Flechelle (cir. 1792 – 14 October 1847) 13
Northamptonshire Slaymakers 13
An Update on the Thomas & Sarah Trewin Family of Woolwich, Co. Kent 13
Winter 1870: William Woodruff in San Ysidro trying his hand at ‘wool growing’ 12
Murder or suicide? Thanksgiving Day 1904 tragedy at Robert Sayre Brodhead home 12
Dingman/Brodhead link to a Dutch “pocket-book” that was 216 years old in 1876 11
In memory of WWII US Army Captain Henry “Hank” D. Wirsig 11
Striking gold: Gleanings from the Samuel Barron Jaques family Bible 11
Where life throws you curves… and waterfalls 11
1898 Shipwreck: Brodhead sister-in-law & husband lost 11
Isaac Jaques (1791-1880) – a family mystery solved? 11
Thomas & Sarah Trewin Family of Woolwich, Co. Kent, England 11
Family recipe Friday — Four sweet bread recipes from Violet Boles 10
Some descendants of the Nixon family of Fermanagh, Northern Ireland 10
Mary Rebecca Brodhead Pike (1815-1922) — New Hampshire DAR member — achieved age 106 10
Dr. Charles B. Jaques, assistant surgeon during the Civil War for 7th Regiment New Jersey (Post II) 10
Was Maria Lesher Daniel Brodhead Jr.’s First Wife? 10
Albert Gallatin Brodhead (1799-1880) 10
Isaac G. de G. Angus (1840-1885) 10
The Thomas Trowbridge (1597-1672) Connection 10
C. Clarence Coleman (1877-1953) 10
Francis Woodruff Family 10
Phoebe Wills Simpson’s Grave 10
About 10
Image circa late 1890s – Elizabeth, NJ – One Coleman, several unknowns 9
Traces of Abram Coolbaugh Brodhead & wife Cornelia M. Ely 9
1805/1806: Luke Brodhead and “The Battle of the Butcher Boys and Delaware River Raftmen” 9
Remembering the women: Elizabeth Depui Brodhead 9
The Brodhead-Linderman Cemetery: Descendants work on clean up and restoration 9
One Sargent (Slaymaker) family mystery solved—thanks to note about a button hook 9
Brodhead family descendants repair Cornelia D. Brodhead headstone 9
Isaac Jaques — a photograph guessing game 9
“Angus Family Records Reveal Civil War Prices” 9
Job Winans Angus (1821-1909) and Lincoln’s lost inaugural ballroom 9
1918 Summons Notice – Angus & Jaques Family Clues 9
Samuel B. Jaques (d. 1798/9) of Woodbridge, New Jersey 9
Edward Boles family photos, late 1800s, early 1900s 9
Our Ancestors Who Fought for Independence 9
The Daniel Jr. Puzzle 9
New York Times, 15 August 1881: “The true purpose of cats revealed” — lightening rods?! 8
Brodhead 1891 hunting expedition follow-up: ‘Lafe’, John, & ‘Mose’ Westbrook (Post 2) 8
A Florida Friday: Travelling back in time at Wakulla Springs 8
Dr. Charles B. Jaques, assistant surgeon during the Civil War for 7th Regiment New Jersey (Post III) 8
Sarah Nixon Boles (1855-1938) of Drumkeeran, Co. Leitrim, Ireland 8
The Hon. Albert Gallatin Brodhead (1815-1891) of Mauch Chunk, PA 8
Rebuilding London’s Crystal Palace 8
Charles Reginald Brodhead (1886-1899) and a 4th of July injury that spelled disaster 8
New Year’s Eve 1895: An Unbroken Family Celebrates a 50th Wedding Anniversary 8
John B. Jaques – Part IV – The Final Years 8
Martha Nunn Capon – Haploid Group V 8
Charles C. Brodhead (1772-1852) — Surveyor 8
George Sampson Valentine Wills 8
Appomattox: Our Links to a Major Historic Event 8
The George Wills Line: Some Fresh Information 8
George Wills Descendants in America — An Update 8
“Wills” Family – Some Important Updates 8
World War I Album Photos — William Boles — Part I 8
‘New’ photo of William Trewin — September 1904 7
Antique “Dingman’s, Pa.” souvenir 7
More “Prized Pets” 7
Wealthy Angus’s Trendy Autographed Fan 7
The Woodruff Sisters decades later 7
Mary Martha Angus Knowles (1846-1922) 7
Trewins, scenes of Cornwall, and ‘Doc Martin’ 7
Lavinia P. Angus (1858-1940s)—geometry whiz; who knew?! 7
John B. Jaques – Part I – The Early Years 7
World War I Album Photos — William Boles — Part IV 7
Death Certificates — Thomas Trewin and Mary Ann Phillips Trewin 7
Elizabeth Sargent, newly discovered photo 7
David Wait Family of Perth Amboy, NJ: David Wait’s 1810 Will 7
Linking our 18th-century William Trewin to John Trewin (b. cir. 1530) 7
George Wills (b. 1793): Last Will and Testament 7
Ogden & Phoebe Woodruff Family – update 7
Matthias Woodruff — Cause of Death 7
Francis Woodruff & Ezra Ayers Families 7
Andrew Jackson Brodhead Family 7
Some G.S.V. Wills Descendants 7
William Boles’s World War I Itinerary – Part I 7
Henry Trowbridge Civil War Letter #2 7
Henry A. Trowbridge & Company C, 14th Infantry New Jersey Volunteers 7
Amazing Things Come in Tiny Packages 7
Richard Brodhead (1666-1758) 7
Sally Wister’s Journal 7
1882 Marriage Certificate for William Trewin and Elizabeth Sargent 6
James Easton Brodhead’s fish story – summer 1916 6
Merry Christmas in vintage cards 6
Dr. Charles B. Jaques, assistant surgeon during the Civil War for 7th Regiment New Jersey (Post I) 6
Job Angus & President Lincoln’s catafalque 6
Margaret Ann Wait Lewis cause of death 6
Charles Conrad Martin (1866-1943) 6
1870s fashions from Godey’s magazine 6
Traces of Our Slaymakers in Northamptonshire 6
Shorpy – Treasure trove of old photos 6
The curious case of Daniel Brodhead Jr. (1756 – 2 Feb 1831) 6
Isaac Jaques (b. 1791) and family – more tidbits 6
World War I Album Photos — William Boles — Part III 6
World War I Album Photos — William Boles — Part II 6
Rev. Samuel Sargent 6
The Pre-1900s Weekday Wedding – Past Wedding Traditions 6
More on G.S.V. Wills 6
Campaign to save Gaines’ Mill 6
Trowbridges and Tudor Tavern, plus Trowbridge web links 6
My great aunt Bertha W. Woodruff (1888-1973) 6
The Fate of Mary Wills (1829-1877), Part I 6
1833 Condolence Letter for Baby Joseph Trewin’s Parents 6
On the Ship Ion 6
Trials of Life in the Minisink Valley 6
Daniel & Hester Brodhead —You Have to Wonder 6
Summer 1904 cemetery photos of family marking the placement of the headstone for Wm Sargent Jr. & Sarah Jane Bowley graves 5
Obit for Mary Jane Woodruff (1833-1916) 5
1907 elopement: Momma Brodhead outfoxed by determined daughter 5
The search for a successor starts early 5
We love our dogs 5
More traces of Abram Coolbaugh Brodhead & Cornelia M. Ely 5
Some feline chips off the old block… 5
A little girl’s very busy New Year’s Day in 1850 5
As you dig into your holiday turkey leftovers, get to know Luisa Tetrazzini—beloved Italian opera star 5
A Florida Friday: Napoleon’s nephew & Washington’s great-grand niece—love blossoms in Tallahassee 5
Some ‘common sense’ beauty tips from 1910 5
Beware of fading inscriptions 5
Rachael Brodhead Linderman (1803-1864): “a most estimable woman” 5
The Woodruff Sisters 5
Job W. Angus (1856-1936) — Sept. 9, 1877, letter from Dripping Springs, Texas 5
For the love of seashells 5
John B. Jaques – Part II – The ‘Infamous’ Brooklyn Case 5
Wealthy Ann Cushman Jaques (d. 13 Apr. 1856) 5
Pop’s WW II Service 5
Death Certificates — Francis and Mary Jane Woodruff 5
Dan Crawford, Scottish Missionary to Belgian Congo 5
George Sampson Valentine Wills’ Memoirs 5
Happy Easter — Poppy-Seed Nut Roll (Potica) Recipe 5
Gaines’ Mill Saved 5
Some Updated Posts: William Boles & Bertha Woodruff 5
Two Angus Daughters, Early 1890s 5
With Gratitude for Our Veterans 5
David Wait Family of Perth Amboy, New Jersey 5
The Fate of Mary Wills (1829-1877), Part III 5
Henry Trowbridge, Civil War letter #4 5
1907 Summer Holiday (continued) 5
Thomas Trewin Jr. — Bookbinder 5
Trewin and Truin, Thomas and Thos 5
Categories: Miscellaneous | Tags: | 6 Comments

A Florida Friday: “Gatorama”

Gatorama is a long-time Florida attraction located off the most beaten paths in South Florida, but it’s well worth a visit and the price of admission. Hundreds of alligators and crocodiles of all shapes and sizes are on display, as are some other Florida creatures. We were there in July, and since then, the local ABC7 station has done a story on the gator and croc training that goes on there. It’s surprising and fascinating and well worth the view. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

Categories: Alligators crocodiles, Florida, Miscellaneous, Nature, Palmdale | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

A Florida Friday — the arrival of two very different bundles of joy

The birth of another great-nephew this week (named Wyatt) coincided with a birth of a very different kind—the emergence of a beautiful Monarch butterfly in the passion flower vine growing just outside in the milkweed bed. We failed to notice the chrysalis until just after the butterfly made its appearance. We named it Wyatt in honor of our newest family member and enjoyed watching it take its inaugural flight to the nearby tamarind tree. Can’t wait to watch baby Wyatt take flight, too. The sky’s the limit! Or is it? Perhaps, he will be the first family member to travel to the stars and beyond!

PS: We have another one on the way! 🙂

Categories: Butterflies, Florida, Miscellaneous, Nature | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

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