The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Cemetery’

Easter Vacation 2021 Day 5 – Oriole MD


This is our sixth vacation spent in Chincoteague, VA since 2015. Our main activities during vacation include photographing wild ponies and water birds at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia, photographing wild ponies at Assateague Island, MD, and visiting the Assateague Island National Seashore in both Virginia and Maryland. We have ridden our bicycles at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and walked trails in both the refuge and at Assateague Island, MD. Today we decided to spread our wings a bit and visit another nearby locale. This morning we drove to Oriole, MD in search of a historic landmark that I had read about on the Internet.

Located at the intersection of the Champ and Oriole roads is the St. James Methodist Episcopal Church. According to the Registration Form for National Register of Historic Places, the church “is one of eighteen historic African- American churches recorded on the Somerset County inventory, and it is architecturally important as one of the most original with relatively intact exterior and interior finishes. Unlike most of the other churches in this group, St. James has not been used since the mid 1960s, thereby freeing it from many of the modern alterations that have been made to other churches for comfort or low maintenance concerns. The building has not been altered to any significant degree since the turn of the twentieth century and it is a rare, relatively intact survivor of late nineteenth century religious architecture as embraced by rural black congregations in Somerset County.

The St. James Methodist Episcopal Church was built in 1885. According to the African American Registry, “the church community was comprised of free Blacks, freed slaves and watermen … Over time, the congregation gradually disbanded and became too small to maintain the facility and, soon, the building was abandoned and eventually fell into poor condition.

This video was published on YouTube in May 2011, before St. James Methodist Episcopal Church was restored. There are many exterior and interior photographs contained within the video, along with personal recollections of the church.

The church is being restored through the efforts of the Oriole Historical Society.

St. James Methodist Episcopal Church, as it stands today.

Located across Champ Road is a nineteenth-century graveyard, with above grave markers.

St. James Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery

Because of the high water table, graves cannot be dug to the standard depth.

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.

 

 

 

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

An Overnight Stay in Niagara Falls

We spent the night of June 30 in Niagara Falls (Ontario, Canada). We had hoped to meet up with my sister-in-law’s niece, while at the falls. Unfortunately that meeting did not happen. My sister-in-law’s niece, Gemma, is from England. Gemma and her boyfriend, Ben, were on vacation. Their last stop was Toronto, from which they had a day trip to Niagara Falls. Shortly before Bob and I were ready to depart home en route Niagara Falls, I received a telephone call from Gemma. Their schedule in Niagara Falls was more structured than she had thought, so they would not be able to meet us as planned. As it was too late to cancel our hotel reservation, we decided to make the trip to Niagara Falls.

We crossed the Peace Bridge from New York to Canada. We rode along the Niagara Parkway to Niagara Falls.

This was our first view of Niagara Falls, from the Niagara Parkway.

We arrived at our hotel (the Best Western Cairn Croft) shortly after 4:00 PM. After getting settled in our room, we took a short walk down Lundy’s Lane to the site of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane. Part of the battlefield site is preserved next to the Drummond Hill Cemetery.

Drummond Hill Cemetery

Site of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane
Soldier’s Monument

On our way back to the hotel we stopped at Red Lobster, where we enjoyed a 4-course dinner. Bob and I each ordered broccoli and cheese soup and a garden salad. Our entrees were the Island Jumbo Coconut Shrimp (me) and Garlic-Herb Shrimp and Chicken (Bob). For dessert Bob had a slice of Key Lime Pie. I had the Triple-Chocolate Brownie with Ice Cream. Delicious!

When we returned to the hotel we purchased a 24-hour shuttle bus pass for $10.00 each. Later in the evening we took the Falls Shuttle from a stop right outside our hotel door to the foot of Clifton Hill.

The sun had set by the time we arrived at the falls.

As the sky grew darker, we enjoyed the illumination of the falls.

Falls Illumination


Falls Illumination

Before catching the shuttle bus back to the hotel, we walked a short way up Clifton Hill taking in the nighttime lights.

Clifton Hill

The next morning we took the Falls Shuttle once again down to the falls. We enjoyed walking through a small portion of Queen Victoria Park.

Queen Victoria Park

View of the falls from Oakes Garden Theatre

Oakes Garden Theatre fountain

the American and Bridal Falls

Horseshoe Falls

View of Skylon Tower from a fountain in Queen Victoria Park

Queen Victoria Park fountain

We caught the 10:30 AM shuttle bus back to our hotel, hopped on the motorcycle and began our ride back home. As we had done the day before, we took the Niagara Parkway to the Peace Bridge. While on Niagara Parkway, I saw my very first cormorant.

I saw lots of cormorants, not just one!

I think these are Double-crested Cormorants. Please correct me if I am wrong!

Niagara Parkway Cormorants

Niagara Parkway Cormorant

It took us about an hour to cross over Peace Bridge on our way back home. There was lots of traffic because it was Canada Day and the start of the Fourth of July weekend in the United States.

I am happy that we went to Niagara Falls. We had a such a good time. The trip could only have been better had we met up with Gemma and Ben!

An Afternoon Spent Meandering Here and There

Saturday morning (September 18th) I had my hair cut and colored. My hair sure needed attention; it looked so dull before my hair appointment. Afterward my hair looked great. It looked great even after having a helmet covering it most of the day.

Bob and I went on a motorcycle ride after my hair appointment. We rode approximately 150 miles, meandering here and there but never more than 30 miles or so from home. We were gone from 11:00 AM until approximately 5:30 PM. We rode past Kinzua Dam and around Allegheny Reservoir. Our first stop was at the Riverview-Corydon-Cornplanter Cemetery, located on a bluff overlooking Allegheny Reservoir. The individual cemeteries were moved here in 1964 before they were flooded by the Allegheny Reservoir, which was created when Kinzua Dam was completed in 1965. The Riverview-Corydon-Cornplanter Cemetery contains the remains of relatives and descendants of Seneca Chief Cornplanter, along with residents of Corydon and the surrounding area.

This is the Cornplanter Cemetery.

The tall structure is Cornplanter Monument.

The remains of Chief Cornplanter are supposedly buried under the monument.

These markers are located in Riverview Cemetery.

These markers are located in Corydon Cemetery.

There is much controversy regarding the building of Kinzua Dam.

This is a song that talks about Chief Cornplanter and the Kinzua Dam controversy.

You may also read about Chief Cornplanter and the Kinzua Dam controversy by clicking here, which will take you to a Wikipedia article on Chief Cornplanter.

The entrance to Allegany State Park in New York was a short distance from the Riverview-Corydon-Cornplanter Cemetery. Our original plans were to ride through Allegany State Park. We changed our mind, as sunny skies changed to cloudy skies. We rode to Jamestown, NY instead and ate lunch at Home Town Grill, a new restaurant that opened recently. Bob ordered wick on stick [CORRECTION: “wick on stick” should read “beef on weck sandwich”. Thank you Betsy for asking what is a wick on stick in your comment!]; I ordered a bacon cheddar cheese burger. Both our meals came with french fries. The food was good, as was the service. The prices, though, were a bit expensive — $23.46 for two.

While eating lunch the clouds gave way to sunshine, so we decided to ride around Chautauqua Lake. We drove through Mayville and stopped at the See-Zuhr House in Bemus Point for dessert. We shared a slice of Peanut Butter Hot Fudge Ice Cream Pie.
An Afternoon Spent Meandering Here and There
Bob took this picture of the ice cream pie that we shared.

After eating dessert, we started our ride back home. We made one other stop, at a rest area on Interstate 86 that overlooks Chautauqua Lake. The rest area is about 1 1/2 miles east of Bemus Point.

A wedding party was being photographed as we arrived at the rest area.

The bride and groom didn’t mind that I took their photograph.

Bob took this picture of me at the rest area.

I’m sporting a new hair cut and color. My hair looks pretty good even after wearing a helmet all afternoon!

Weekend in South Central Pennsylvania – Indiantown Gap National Cemetery

This blog post continues details of our extended weekend vacation (August 5-8) in South Central Pennsylvania. The first day of our vacation was mainly a driving event. We drove 5 1/2 hours from our home in Warren, PA, to our hotel in Jonestown, PA. On the second day of our vacation (August 6) we took a stroll alongside Union Canal in Lebanon and visited the quaint village of Mt. Gretna, where we saw Leon Redbone in concert.  We visited Hershey Gardens during the morning of the third day of our vacation (August 7). In the afternoon we visited the Indiantown Gap National Cemetery. We attended a cruise in at a campground near our hotel, too, later in the day. This blog provides details and photographs about the Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, in particular the Pennsylvania Veterans Memorial. My next blog post will be about the cruise in.

The Indiantown Gap National Cemetery is located immediately adjacent to Fort Indiantown Gap, on 677 acres of land that were deeded over from the military post to the Veterans Administration by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1976. The land on which the cemetery is located provides for a beautiful, peaceful setting.

Flags line the roadway throughout the cemetery

According to the Indiantown Gap National Cemetery website, the “elaborate Pennsylvania Veterans’ Memorial is the largest monument in [Veteran Administration’s] National cemeteries. The combination open-air space and building stands 107 feet high and 360 feet long. Its design evokes “the ruins of a war-torn building centered in a land of solemnity.” Designed by Cee Jay Associates of West Chester, Pa., the granite, stone, and concrete composition was dedicated Oct. 7, 2001. The memorial is dedicated to all who serve the nation and veterans of all wars—past and future.”

Pennsylvania Veterans’ Memorial

Pennsylvania Veterans’ Memorial

Pennsylvania Veterans’ Memorial

Pennsylvania Veterans’ Memorial

 

Billy Ray Cyrus’s song “Some Gave All” seems appropriate to bring this blog post closure.

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