Saturday, May 23, 2009

Decoration Day

This is from my postcard collection. There is no writing on the back. It looks like two little boys dressed for Decoration Day and honoring someone at the grave. I have many questions. Is this in a cemetery? Is the grave still there? Where is it? Who is it? When, Where How and Why?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sunnyslope Cemetery Stroll, 2009

The 14th annual cemetery stroll is coming up again. Well…uh….not until October, but we are thinking about it and collecting information. This year we will commemorate veterans from the Civil War.
It was a surprise that this little town had so many veterans from that war, how did they make it to Corona? It seems that once you know about something, suddenly, you see it everywhere. There are Civil War veterans buried everywhere!
I want to share my adventure of yesterday. There is a soldier buried at Sunnyslope named John M. Crooks. He is buried near the road so I pass him all the time. Years ago, 1997 to be exact, Corporal Crooks was considered for the Stroll but he was found boring. As I put my feet on the floor in the morning I had a powerful flash of inspiration. John Crooks and his wife Emma deserve some honor. They had no children of their own so who is going to remember them. ME!
I went to the library to search the newspapers. After several pass throughs I found Crook’s obit. Uninteresting. I looked from the time he arrived in Corona to the time he died. Nothing. So many other small articles about minor things. So and So motored to Riverside. Anywho planted 15 acres of barley. Mr. Body had company from Los Angeles. But did John Crooks have any mention about him? NO. I re-looked at least three times. From his pension papers and his death certificate I know he was very unwell, so I am guessing he didn’t get out much. However, the Mrs. was mentioned once in a while about entertaining at her small home when she was a widow. She lived in Corona for 25 years after her husband died.
After hours at the library I came home to my faithful computer. I spent many hours researching anything I could find on the internet. I was able to find out a few interesting stories, but they are really back stories. Late into the night I put together pieces and made a script that I can do at the Stroll.
The long and short of it is this. Corporal John Maxwell Crooks joined the fighting of the War Between the States at age 18, served his country well. He lived for many years with lung trouble, deciding to move west in hopes of improving his health. He lived here for only two years and two months then died, but he has been buried in the same spot for over 104 years. Who has been to visit him? He is my special project.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Armed Forces Day at Riverside National

Today is Armed Forces Day so my sister and I went to Riverside National Cemetery. She is not a graveyard lover, although I keep trying to turn her into one. We had planned to walk around the cemetery to get our exercise but it was so hot we drove around and just kept getting in and out of the car to take pictures.

We also went across the way to visit the March Airforce Base Museum. I always wanted to see the War Dog Memorial.

Then the real reason we went to the cemetery is I was reading the Roll Call. Starting today, every hour, twentyfour hours a day, they will read the names of veterans until Memorial Day. All I can say is what an honor!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Emily and Anna Niles, Boston, Mass

I have had this picture by John Thomas Grant on my screensaver for a long time. Of course I often stare at it while I am working on projects always wondering about the names. The names have stories and are not just names. Finally I took action. These are two unmarried sisters, Emily Hale Niles (1839-1908) and Anna Hale Niles (1840-1911), in the background is the stone for their mother Mary Ann Hale Niles. Mary Ann was born in Boston. She married William Jenkins Niles. He was a broker and the owner of a livery stable.

Before 1870 they moved to a house at 110 Beacon Street, Back Bay, Boston. William and Mary and their daughters all lived in this brownstone until their deaths.

Emily and Anna were both members of DAR. Their Patriots being Jeduthan Richardson and Ebenezer Niles.
There is so much more to learn about these ladies but for now I am just using my imagination to reconstruct their lives. They are buried under these beautiful gravestones in Cambridge, Mass.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Postcard, Charles Baber Cemetery, Pottsville, PA

Here is a vintage postcard of the Charles Baber Cemetery in Pottsville, PA. The cemetery was named after the man that donated the land, Charles Baber, who is buried there. This cemetery covers 25 acres. It is part of the Pottsville Project Fitness which deems the cemetery as a place ideal for walking and jogging. It is significant as a historic landscape, sounds like the perfect place for my morning walk.
The cemetery trustees offer many opportunities for the volunteer such as
Raking litter patrol ,Clean-up of branches and twigs, Straightening of flags, Snow shoveling of West Market Street sidewalk, Newspaper research of obituaries on microfilm at Pottsville Free Library, and Develop tree brochure.

There is also a book about the cemetery called Charles Baber Cemetery at Pottsville, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania by Phillip A. Rice. It is currently out of print.

There are many civil war veterans buried there as well as many famous politicians.
One of the most interesting fellows is David G. Yuengling (1808-1877) He is the founder of the Yuengling Brewery. This brewery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the oldest brewery in the United States. Today the Yuengling Brewery is recognized as America's Oldest Brewery. They are still brewing and according to Linda in Lancaster, it is a fun place to go. The Brewery that is. Although the cemetery sounds like fun too.
A Member of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits