Saturday, March 9, 2013

Laid to rest, at last

U S Navy sailors carry the remains of two crewmen from the
USS Monitor for burial at Arlington National Cemetery - click to enlarge
Photo: AP
  151 years ago the USS Monitor sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic off the coast of Cape Hatteras North Carolina.  Famous for being a part of the first battle between two ironclads, she fought bravely against the CSS Virginia also known as the Merrimack.  16 crewmen went down with the ship.
  While bringing up the turret the remains of two men were recovered.  Although the remains were sent to the Navy lab in Hawaii which identifies many bodies and remains they remain unknown.  There is a 50% chance that one of the men may be William Bryan, whose great-great-great nephew lives here in a neighboring town.  He gave a DNA sample to the Navy lab, and he and his daughter will attend the burial ceremony.
The sailor circled in red is William Bryan.
Photo: U S Navy
William Bryan and his brother James immigrated from Scotland shortly before the Civil War and settled in two different parts of the United States.  James Bryan died while fighting for the Confederate Army.
  Andrew Bryan of Holden, Maine holds a book about the Monitor, his great-great-great Uncle William Bryan may be one of the crewmen whose remains were recovered from the sea.
Raising the turret of USS Monitor - click to enlarge
Photo: NOAA via National Geographic
And a final thought:  Click to enlarge

Friday, March 8, 2013

Some more Maine history

Lubec, Maine c1910 - click to enlarge
Photo: Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Co. collection
via Bangor Daily News
  The children in the photo turned and smiled for the camera (with a glass plate negative).  These kids were on their way to work.  They worked, at ages 10-12 in that new factory behind them on the right.  The factory was American Can Co., and this plant manufactured 350 million cans a year for the sardine canneries in Lubec and others in the area.  I can only imagine the machinery around which these children worked.  That's the way it was in those days.
The Willows in Steuben, Maine c1909 - click to enlarge
Photo: Eastern Illustration and Publishing Co. collection
via Bangor Daily News
  Built in 1785 by Dr. Ebenezer Handy the large house on the Wharf Road it was the oldest house in Steuben before it was destroyed by fire.  This photo above shows a neighborhood collection of folks out for a drive in the brand new Model T Ford; it must have been a nice summer day. 
  The house fell into disrepair and was destroyed in a controlled burn by the newly formed Steuben Fire Department at the 4th of July picnic - fireworks I guess.

Sawyer Square, Jonesport Maine 1896 - click to enlarge
Photo: Jonesport Historical Society via
Bangor Daily News
  Built in 1896 at a cost of $2485 it was a general store, ship chandlers and customs office on the first floor with living quarters on the top two floors. 
  Over the years it has served many purposes, during World War Two the U S Navy had a dental office in the building and the U S Coast Guard dispensed refrigerated goods to the residents.  The Worcester Insurance Agency worked in the building from 1932-1994, and the top floors became a Masonic Lodge.  A lot of history in these old buildings.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Seattle then and some of now

Yeslers Mill cookhouse c.1850 - click to enlarge
Mr. Yesler built the first mill in Seattle to saw lumber, it grew to be a very large operation.  Several things in Seattle are named in his honor.  With the advent of the Yukon/Alaska gold rush Seattle bloomed almost overnight as people moved to the northwest.
In the mid 1880s Central School opened, the first
school in the city with more than two rooms.
Second Avenue and Pike Street in 1878.
Second Avenue and Pike Street today
see the light yellow lines.
Photo: Google Maps
At the end of Pike Street
the market is huge, especially the farmers market - click

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Disappointed for sure

Part of the light show, the cables are lit - click to enlarge
Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez San Francisco Chronicle
   I don't know about the light show but the available photos are disappointing, only a very few of the bridge and a bunch of viewers.  Nah!
  I certainly expected more than what I've seen so far, what I found I'll share but gee whiz.  I kind of think this was one of those "must see" things that left a lot of people wondering why.
  In reply to a comment from yesterday in March of 63 I was in Japan.
Show some action in this one. - click to enlarge
Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez, San Francisco Chronicle
Another view of the lit cables - click to enlarge
a good look at some East Bay lights in the background
Photo: Steven Lam, Getty Images

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Star Spangled Banner

The 15 Star Spangled Banner - click to enlarge
  The Star Spangled Banner was officially made the National Anthem on March 3, 1931, only 82 years ago.  Until then the United States of America has no National Anthem.
  The poem written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key, a Baltimore attorney and amateur poet while a "person in protective custody" about the HMS Surprise was finally adopted.
  The poem was set to music using an old British song The Anacreontic Song, written by John Stafford in 1814.
  The Star Spangled Banner was used from 1814 until it was officially adopted during some ceremony, and the Secretary of the Navy made it required while raising the Flag on July 27, 1889.
  Other songs like America the Beautiful, Hail Columbia and My Country Tis of Thee were used by the civilian government before 1931.  There was an amount of contention as to which song should be used - many didn't want the Star Spangled Banner because it's difficult to sing, but it was the final selection.
The original poem - click to enlarge
1862 sheet music - enlarge

Monday, March 4, 2013

Luthier (loo-ti-ar)

Jonathan Cooper at work - click to enlarge
Photo: Tim Greenway - Portland Press Herald
 A Luthier makes stringed instruments.   Mr. Cooper of Portland, Maine makes violins by hand, painstakingly creating fine instruments that sell for the price of an automobile.  It is time consuming, delicate work with wood that make fine music of many kinds.
 Tim Greenway, a photographer, was able to follow Mr. Cooper for a day of interesting work.
There was an old man in my hometown of Lebanon who tuned our piano, he also made violins, Mr. Lloyd was a fine craftsman, long gone now but not forgotten, a Luthier.
Shaping a bridge of maple - click to enlarge
Photo: Tim Greenway - Portland Press Herald
Finger Planes of brass and steel, tiny and sharp - click to enlarge
Photo: Tim Greenway - Portland Press Herald
Smoothing a violin top, the F Note (shape cut in) makes for
finer tone of the music. - click to enlarge
Photo: Tim Greenway - Portland Press Herald
A five string violin and a five string viola
in the shop for tune up work.
Photo: Tim Greenway Portland Press Herald

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A lot of shingles and water

The Thomas Hill Standpipe Bangor Maine - click to enlarge
Photo: Linda Coan O'kresik via Bangor Daily News
  The Standpipe, on the National Historic Register, stands on the highest hill in Bangor, Thomas Hill.  It is open to the public a couple of times each years and those who climb the many steps can see quite a distance, on a clear day.
  Built in 1897 by a crew who worked six months, and included 22 men, a blacksmith shop and a portable sawmill.  The frame work consists of 24 posts 12" by 12" 48 foot sections of good Maine white pine, and the structure is covered with 220,000 cedar shingles.  The interior tank is made of iron sheets riveted one end over the other, it holds 1.75 million gallons of water.  The interior steps wind around the iron tank.  The base is nine feet high and is made of Maine granite.  The structure is 110 feet high and 85 feet in diameter.
  It was originally painted gray but during World War Two it was painted olive drab because of the close proximity of Dow Army Airfield, later Dow Air Force Base and now Bangor International Airport and Bangor Air National Guard Base.  It was painted white in 1947.
The entry door within the granite base. - click
Photo: Linda Coan O'kresik via Bangor Daily News

Another view - click
Photo John Clarke Russ, Bangor Daily News