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Posts tagged ‘Cemetery’

The 155th Anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

Bob and I vacationed in Gettysburg earlier this month.  We attended Gettysburg Remembrance Day activities, toured the battlefield, and caught the last few minutes of the Gettysburg Dedication Day ceremony.  This blog post, my last in a series pertaining to our recent Gettysburg vacation, is about Gettysburg Dedication Day.

 

Monday, November 19th, marked the 155th anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Each year since 1938, a ceremony has been held on November 19th to commemorate Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and to rededicate Soldiers’ National Cemetery (now known as Gettysburg National Cemetery) where Lincoln spoke on November 19, 1863. The date of November 19th was formally designated as Dedication Day on November 19, 1946 . 

Bob and I attended this year’s Gettysburg Dedication Day ceremony at Gettysburg National Cemetery the morning of November 19th.  We just missed hearing “President Lincoln” recite The Gettysburg Address.  We caught the last chorus of “Battle Hymn of the Republic”.

Dedication Day Ceremony at Gettysburg National Cemetery – Wayne Hill sings “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”.

 

We also witnessed a Naturalization Ceremony, which neither Bob nor I had ever seen.

 

 

As the Dedication Ceremony was winding down, we moved farther away so that I could capture a photograph of the Speaker’s Rostrum and the crowd.

Speaker’s Rostrum

Speaker’s Rostrum

 

When the dedication ceremony concluded, we went for a walk on a paved walkway through the cemetery.  We followed loosely this virtual tour that I found and opened, as we began our walk.

Beyond the black iron fence is Gettysburg’s public Evergreen Cemetery. This cemetery was established in 1853.

 

Bivouac of the Dead plaque

There are several of these metal plaques located in the cemetery.  Each plaque contain excerpts from Theodore O’Hara’s 1847 poem “The Bivouac of the Dead”.  Looking beyond the plaque you see the first of the gravestones, laid out in rows, which mark the final resting place for over 3,500 Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg.

 

The Soldiers’ National Monument honors the fallen soldiers.

 

Gravestones

 

Note the penny with Lincoln’s head up on this gravestone.  We saw pennies on many gravestones.

 

President Lincoln at Soldier’s National Monument

 

New York State Monument

New York State Monument

 

November 19th was the last night of our 4-night stay in Gettysburg.  What a WONDERFUL vacation we had!  What a memorable experience we had of being in Gettysburg for Remembrance Day activities and the 155th anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address!

We are looking forward to our next visit to Gettysburg!

 

Gettysburg Remembrance Day

Bob and I vacationed in Gettysburg earlier this month.  We attended Gettysburg Remembrance Day activities, toured the battlefield, and caught the last few minutes of the Gettysburg Dedication Ceremony.  This blog post is about arriving in Gettysburg and Remembrance Day activities.

We departed our home in Warren PA at 12:40 pm on Friday, November 16th.  We arrived in Gettysburg at approximately 6:15 pm.  We checked in at the Best Western Gettysburg.  We spent four nights at this hotel.  All four nights were free, as we used reward points for our entire stay.

All in all it was a good travel day.  Our only concern was making it safely to Gettysburg.  The previous day had brought lots of snow and ice to the area that we drove through on Friday.  Gettysburg received 8 inches of snow.  We are thankful that the roads were not icy, just wet. 

Our hotel room was nice and spacious.  We had two queen beds separated by a nightstand, desk and chair, arm chair with ottoman, small round table by the arm chair, three-drawer chest of drawers with a small flat screen TV on top of it, and plenty of lights.  The “foyer” had a closet and mini kitchen complete with refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, AND cabinet space.  The bathroom door was in the foyer.  There was nothing out of the ordinary about the bathroom.

I went to bed at 9:00 pm and, as expected, awakened early the next day.  I got up at 4:30 am; Bob was already up.

We went to breakfast at 6:00 am.  Breakfast was EXCELLENT, and it is by far the nicest breakfast room we have seen at a hotel.  Breakfast included food that we are accustomed to see at Best Western Plus hotels, plus one addition.  For the first time ever we saw a pancake maker.  It serves two pancakes at once.  Bob said the pancakes were good.  I had a waffle that first morning (and every morning thereafter).  The breakfast room attendant was talkative and provided valuable information about the afternoon’s Remembrance Day parade such as from where to watch the parade, to bring our chairs there early (we had chairs in the car but chose not to use them), and from what side of the street to watch the parade to avoid wind.  She also provided the names, locations and type of food served at several nearby restaurants.

Remembrance Day is held each year on a Saturday in November.  This year, Remembrance Day was celebrated on November 17th.  Remembrance Day honors the soldiers and civilians of the American Civil War.  Civil War reenactors have a big parade. There are also numerous side events throughout the battlefield where reenactors honor specific units at their monuments, placing wreaths and holding other ceremonies. At night, there are balls and other gatherings.  Weather permitting a luminary candle is lit on each Civil War soldier’s grave.

Being in Gettysburg for Remembrance Day activities it was easy to feel as though time had gone backwards.  As I stood (or sat) at our hotel window, I saw many people walking by dressed in the fashion of the early 1860s!

TestPeople dressed in the fashion of the 1860s pass by our hotel window.

We went for a walk through a small portion of the Gettysburg National Cemetery, where we heard drums and bugles and fifes and saw one large group of Civil War reenactors and a couple smaller groups marching in the Cemetery. The reenactors stopped and honored members of their portrayed units who were killed or died from wounds at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Civil War reenactors honoring members of their portrayed units

Civil War reenactors honoring members of their portrayed units

 

The first Remembrance Day parade was held 62 years ago in 1956, the year that I was born.  The parade features Civil War living history groups.  The parade lined up on Lefever Street, made a left onto Baltimore Street, right onto Steinwehr Avenue and proceeded up Steinwher Avenue and made a left onto Taneytown Road, up Taneytown Road and then a left onto Cyclorama Drive where the parade dispersed.  We watched the parade from Taneytown Road.  The parade began at 1:00 pm and lasted just under 35 minutes. 

The Remembrance Day parade was really nice, with lots of union and confederate representation, lots of flags, civilians, horses, and at least two Abraham Lincoln’s!

Shortly after 5:00 pm we walked to the Gettysburg National Cemetery, where we walked along a pathway lit with luminary candles.  Luminary candles were lit on each of the 3,512 Civil War Union soldier’s graves.   

Remembrance Illumination

Remembrance Illumination

Remembrance Illumination

The lighted candles were a beautiful thing to see and a touching tribute to the sacrifices made by these Civil War soldiers.

In my next blog post about our Gettysburg vacation, I will share photographs and details from our battlefield tour.

 

 

 

Willow Dale Cemetery

This past Friday Bob and I found my Aunt Alice and her husband Richard’s final resting place. Alice was my paternal grandmother’s first born child.

Alice was born in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on 7 January 1907.  I do not know Alice’s father’s name, only that my paternal grandfather was not her father. I expected to find Alice listed on the 1910 census.  The 1910 census lists Alice’s mother, described as single, living in the same household as her parents.  Alice is not listed in the 1910 census.  Alice first appears in the 1920 census, where her address is listed as North Buffalo Township, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania.  Alice’s mother married my grandfather in December 1911.  In the 1920 census my grandparents have five children, including Alice.  Alice is listed on the census, as having the same last name as her siblings.

According to ancestry information provided by one of my cousins, Alice married Harold Biggs, and a daughter named Clara was born about 1928.  Harold died in February 1929.   The death certificate lists the cause of death as acute fibrillation of the heart.  Harold was only 27 years old, when he died.  I found Clara listed in the 1930 census.  She was living in the same household as her paternal grandparents.  Clara’s age was listed as 2 years old in the census.  I have not found a listing for Alice in the 1930 census.

On 18 April 1931 Alice married Richard H. Evans.  Alice was 24 years old at the time; Richard was 55 years old.  The wedding ceremony took place in Allegany, Cattaraugus County, New York.  Both Alice and Richard were living in Bradford, Pennsylvania at the time of their marriage.  It appears that their residence continued to be Bradford until their deaths.  Richard passed away in April 1961.  He was 85 years old.  Alice passed away 30 years later, in April 1991.  She was 84 years old.  I never met Aunt Alice.

Richard and Alice are buried at Willow Dale Cemetery in Bradford, Pennsylvania behind a pond that Bob and I have visited or passed by several times over the past 19 years that we have been married.  I never knew, until recently, that my aunt was buried at Willow Dale Cemetery.

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Willow Dale Pond is located in front of Willow Dale Cemetery.

 

Aunt Alice and her husband, Richard, are buried in the Veteran’s portion of Willow Dale Cemetery.

_LG25768This is the Veteran’s portion of Willow Dale Cemetery.
Aunt Alice and her husband Richard’s burial plot appears in the foreground of this photograph.

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Veterans Memorial

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Aunt Alice and Richard are buried beside each other.

 

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I wonder why Aunt Alice’s grave marker does not display at a minimum her birth and death dates.

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Richard was a Sergeant in the Spanish American War.

I began building my family tree in late December last year.  Genealogy is a very enjoyable hobby!

Blue Ridge Cemetery

This past Saturday I joined the Taphophile world, according to my sister-in-law.  In other words, I became a cemetery enthusiast.  Bob is my second set of eyes, while looking for burial plots.

Since early January, I have been building my family tree.  I discovered that many of my ancestors are buried in cemeteries that are within a 2-3 hour drive of my home in Warren, PA.  Some of my ancestors are buried even closer than a 2-3 hour drive.  One such cemetery is the Blue Ridge Cemetery in Barnett Township in Forest County, PA.

That cemetery is only a hour’s drive from our home.

We drove on a bumpy, dirt road for a couple miles before reaching the cemetery which is located on Blood Road.

_LG25531Blue Ridge Cemetery
Can you make out the steel pipe in front of the break in burial plots?
My family members’ burial plots are in front of that steel pipe.

We found eleven family members buried at Blue Ridge Cemetery, all from the maternal side of my family tree:

Great-Grandparents Benjamin F. (1859-1936) and Lula M. (1873-1930) Leslie
Great-Uncle Noah Leslie (1888-1964)
Great-Uncle Harry D. Leslie (1899-1979)
Great-Aunt Elizabeth R. (1897-1960) and John E. (1892-1968) Gregg
1st cousin 1x removed Andrew F. Gregg (1919-1920)
1st cousin 1x removed John A. Gregg (1933-1964)
1st cousin 1x removed Larry E. Gregg (1937-1937) (note story below)
1st cousin 1x removed Ruby A. (1918-2002) and Walter W. (1906-1992) McKinney

I plan to visit cemeteries, from time to time, at which my ancestors are buried. I chose to visit Blue Ridge Cemetery first because this is the site of Ruby McKinney’s final resting place.

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Ruby A. McKinney’s final resting place

In 1987 Ruby mailed me a blue notebook full of names and birth dates of family members, as well as a couple stories about family members.  That notebook has become invaluable to me, as I build the maternal grandfather’s portion of my  family tree.

One of the stories in the notebook is the heartbreaking story about the birth of Ruby’s brother, Larry E. Gregg.

Before leaving on our drive to Blue Ridge Cemetery, I had not yet completed my great grandparents’ ancestry profiles.  What a surprise I had, when I discovered that Benjamin F. and Lula M. Leslie are buried at Blue Ridge Cemetery!

20180324_162616561_iOSMy Great-Grandparents Final Resting Site

I plan to return to Blue Ridge Cemetery, when the snow is gone.  At which time, I plan to take photographs of each of my family’s burial plots.

 

A Saturday Drive: Warren PA to Fairview to Sandy Lake

We drove to Fairview, PA this past Saturday (April 8th), arriving at the John V. Schultz warehouse shortly after 10:30 am. We passed through Edinboro, en route Fairview, and stopped briefly at Edinboro Lake.

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Edinboro is in the snow belt.

When we left home, there was a little bit of snow on the ground.  There was more snow on the ground in Edinboro.

According to a Wikipedia article, Edinboro “is a small college town [and]…a resort community”.  The centerpiece of the town’s resort community is the 245 acre Edinboro Lake.

_LG20696Edinboro Lake (east side of the lake)

A short walk from this view is the Mike Ondo Beach, which is adjacent to the old Edinboro cemetery..

_LG20697Old Edinboro Cemetery

See that little bit of sand in the forefront of this photograph?  That is the Mike Onda Beach, a very small unguarded beach on the east side of the lake.

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Old Edinboro Cemetery

_LG20698A pair of geese at Mike Onda Beach

I took this picture just before the goose at the back stretched its neck, looking straight at me, and the goose in front stepped into Edinboro Lake.  This pair of goose didn’t like that I was walking on the beach!

On the walk back to the car, this pair of Mallard ducks wanted a handout.  As I readied to take a picture, the ducks kept walking into my shadow.  I was able to capture a photograph of the ducks, when they must have realized I had nothing for them and walked away from me toward the lake shore,

_LG20702A pair of Mallard Ducks at Mike Onda Beach

The purpose for today’s drive was to pick up a chair side table that we purchased a few weeks ago.  At the John V. Schultz warehouse we picked up a chair side table that we purchased a few weeks ago. The man, at the John V. Schultz warehouse, who brought out the table and loaded it into our car said he thought it was the smallest pickup he has ever had. The table fits nicely between our new recliner chair and sofa.  The end table that we have had for many years was too large for that spot.

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Our new chair side table

From Fairview we drove to Grantham’s Landing Restaurant (Sandy Lake, PA) for lunch, arriving there shortly before noon.

20170408_155756470_iOS 4x6Grantham’s Landing Restaurant

We ordered burgers and fries and shared an apple dumpling with ice cream for dessert. This is the second time we have eaten at this restaurant. The first time was last year for breakfast. We would eat here again, as we were not disappointed with either breakfast or lunch.

***To be continued***

 

Gettysburg Day Trip

This is the last of three blog posts about our Winter Weekend Getaway in Shippensburg, PA.  We used the Best Western Shippensburg as a home base.  We visited the Thurmont, MD area on Saturday, January 2.  We visited Gettysburg, PA on Sunday, January 3.

_LG14409 4x6Gettysburg National Park Service Museum and Visitor Center

We arrived at the National Park Service Museum and Visitor Center in time for the 9:00 am showing of the film “A New Birth of Freedom”, narrated by Morgan Freeman.The film places the monumental events of the Battle of Gettysburg into the larger context of the Civil War and American history.

After watching the 20-minute film, we viewed the Gettysburg Cyclorama program, which immerses the viewer into the fury of Pickett’s Charge during the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg. We stood on a viewing platform that placed us with a line of sight that was level with the horizon.

_LG14402 4x6One scene from the Gettysburg Cyclorama painting

We were fortunate that we viewed the Cyclorama program at a time when it was not crowded. We were able to see the action at other parts of the painting because the few other visitors standing around the viewing platform were not blocking the view. What an amazing, realistic presentation!

The museum features relics of the Battle of Gettysburg and personalities who served in the Civil War, interactive exhibits, and multi-media presentations that cover the conflict from beginning to end.

_LG14404 4x6One of the museum exhibits

The cost of admission to the film, Cyclorama and museum was $11.50 each, including a AAA discount.  We spent almost 2 hours at the Visitor Center, after which we embarked on a tour of Gettysburg National Military Park to see the ground on which the Battle of Gettysburg took place. There are several guided tours you can do for various prices; however, we opted to do a 24-mile self-guided auto tour of the park.  The auto tour starts at the visitor center and includes 16 tour stops.  The route traces the three-day battle in chronological order.  We stopped at most of the stops depicted on the auto tour map.

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Self-guiding Auto Tour Stop #1
McPherson Ridge

_LG14427 4x6McPherson Barn
The Battle of Gettysburg began about 8:00 am on July 1, 1863 to the west beyond the McPherson barn,
as Union cavalry confronted Confederate infantry advancing east along Chambersburg Pike.

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Self-Guiding Auto Tour Stop #2
Eternal Light Peace Memorial

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If you look closely, you will see the eternal flame in both of these photographs.

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Self-Guiding Auto Tour Stop #4
North Carolina Memorial

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Self-guiding Auto Tour Stop #5
Virginia Memorial

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Self-guiding Auto Tour Stop #8
Little Round Top

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From Little Round Top we drove down to the Valley of Death.

_LG14455 4x6Looking up to Little Round Top from the Valley of Death

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WP_20160103_003 4x6Bob took this picture of me at the Valley of Death.
In the background is Little Round Top.

_LG14461 4x6Bob says there isn’t much support for that big boulder.

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Self-guiding Auto Tour Stop #10
The Peach Orchard

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Self-guiding Auto Tour Stop #12
Pennsylvania Memorial

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Bob climbed the northwest corner tower.
Do you see Bob waving at me?

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Self-guiding Auto Tour Stop #14
East Cemetery Hill

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Self-guiding Auto Tour Stop #15
High Water Mark

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Self-guiding Auto Tour Stop #16
Soldiers’ National Cemetery
This cemetery is the final resting place of the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg.
It is also where President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg address.

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Soldiers’ National Monument
(near the site of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address)

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New York State Monument

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This was both my and Bob’s first visit to Gettysburg.  The Gettysburg National Military Park is immense.  We spent at least 3 hours driving through the battlefield.  We could have easily spent many more hours there.  The grounds are peaceful and hauntingly beautiful when you think about the lives lost and the blood spilled there.

 

We ate a late lunch at the Appalachian Brewing Company. We both ordered fish and chips. For dessert we shared a slice of peanut butter pie.   The food, service and atmosphere were excellent.

Our last stop in Gettysburg was at Sachs Covered Bridge.

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We returned to our hotel in Shippensburg, PA around 5:00 pm.  Our trip back home was the next day on Monday, January 4.  This blog post concludes our Shippensburg Winter Weekend Getaway.

 

A Memorial Day Poem

A Memorial Day Poem

We walked among the crosses
Where our fallen soldiers lay.
And listened to the bugle
As TAPS began to play.

The Chaplin led a prayer
We stood with heads bowed low.
And I thought of fallen comrades
I had known so long ago.

They came from every city
Across this fertile land.
That we might live in freedom.
They lie here ‘neath the sand.

I felt a little guilty
My sacrifice was small.
I only lost a little time
But these men lost their all.

Now the services are over
For this Memorial Day.
To the names upon these crosses
I just want to say,

Thanks for what you’ve given
No one could ask for more.
May you rest with God in heaven
From now through evermore.

     – by C W Johnson
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