MV Obsession

My obsession with Martha's Vineyard.. phototography..genealogy and life in general and this and that…


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Sunday Stills: Objects Over 100 Years Old…

This is my maternal grandfather Charles’s pocket watch. He died in 1910 and I’m not sure how long he had this pocket watch but it’s safe to say it’s over 100 years old.  My mother was only 3 years old when her father died so she really didn’t have many memories of him.  In researching our ancestors my daughter Deb came across a heart breaking story about Charles.  At the age of 10, Charles’s father, Charles’s mother and his 3 older siblings died within months of one another leaving Charles the oldest of the 4 remaining siblings.  This watch might have been the only thing my mother had that was her father’s and now it belongs to my daughter Deb, Charles’s great granddaughter.  I like that.

 

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A close up of the intricate pictures on the front and back.

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For many years the watch sat in my jewelry box untouched. I took it out and wound it and it began ticking… it was missing hands though. New hands, new pocket watch chain, thorough cleaning and the watch is keeping time once again. Actually that’s not entirely true, Charles the watch doesn’t always keep the correct time every day… seems Charles is having a bit of a good time teasing us.

 

https://secondwindleisure.com/2018/08/19/sunday-stills-objects-over-100-years-old/?wref=tp

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My Great-Uncle, Louis A Young … The Incredible Man With No Hands…

 

Louis A Young 1887 – 1952

When he was 14 years old in 1902 Louis lost both his hands in a chemical explosion in Newark, NJ where he lived.  One arm gone above the elbow, the other several inches above the wrist.  A devastating accident but did it stop Louis from living a full and productive life… absolutely not.

He dressed himself, played baseball, boxed, he shoveled snow and coal for exercise. He  was an avid fisherman who could rig his own line and reel in his fish without any help.  He also supported a wife and family and his father.  He could use artificial appliances but did not advocate them which he believed to be too heavy and rendered muscles insensitive. Instead he used a simple leather strap, between the strap and his arm he placed the object he intended to use, such as a knife or fork and by tensing his muscles he could hold it firmly.

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By vocation he was a news dealer in New York City.

His newsstand at Union Square.

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He was a volunteer instructor at The Institute for Crippled Men in NY and for the U.S. government in its rehabilitation work among soldiers.

He was an amazing man and although he was my great-uncle I never knew about him until recently.  He was one of my paternal grandmother Josephine’s brothers, but she never talked about her family… that generation seems to have been very closed mouthed about a lot of things unfortunately.

But… along comes Ancestry and all kinds of  information becomes available.  I want to take a moment here to thank Ancestry and our new found cousins for the opportunity to not only know about this particular uncle but in gifting us with new family members 🙂

Back to our story.    My daughter Deb got notification from Ancestry about a possible match. The match is Louis’s grandson, Bob Jr whose father, Bob Sr is Louis’s son. Bob Sr was turning 89 in July and would we be interested in meeting the family and celebrating Bob Sr’s birthday with them???????? Um… yes, very much so.

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon in July off we went to Long Island to meet the family and what a wonderful day it was.

 

So not only have we found out about our incredible relative, Louis Young, but we have also met the nicest people you could imagine…and… they’re family… how terrific is that.

It is great to connect with new found relatives and to find out about ancestors, but also, in my opinion, is finding out the stories about them.   With Louis Young it’s an awesome story about fortitude, bravery, perseverance and optimism and I’m glad and proud to know his story and pass it on.  🙂

 


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Tuesday Photo Challenge: Age…

My choice for age is going back in time to a different one, one where my ancestors came from, the 17th century and the age of the pilgrims.  These pictures were taken at PLIMOTH PLANTATION in Massachusetts.

 

 

https://dutchgoesthephoto.net/2018/06/12/tuesday-photo-challenge-age/


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Memorial Day 2018…

Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.In 1971, Congress established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May and as a federal holiday.

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On my mother’s side of the family, my paternal great grandfather, Joseph Littlefield fought in the Civil War and died because of his wounds. He was wounded in the Battle of the Wilderness in 1864. He was sent home to Maine to die. He died of typhoidal pnemonia on Sep 30, 1864, he is buried in Rome, Maine. Unfortunately his wife and his 3 oldest children died of the same thing shortly thereafter, leaving my grandfather, Charles Littlefield at age 10 the oldest of the four remaining children.

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Below is a photo of the veteran’s section in the Fairmont Cemetery in Newark, New Jersey, where, on my father’s side of the family my great great paternal grandfather, Stephen Freeman is buried. Stephen did not die in the Civil War but was wounded in the battle of Antietam in 1862. He was sent home, lived another 29 years and died on May 30, 1891, which ironically was Memorial Day.

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Take a moment to remember the original reason for Memorial Day and the men and women who fought for, and gave their lives for our country.

Have a great Memorial Day and enjoy the weekend whatever you’re doing.

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Museum of the American Revolution-Philadelphia, Pa…

I wish there had been places like this when I was in school, history then was names and dates, this is hands on and brings history alive.  I know more about the American Revolution now than I ever did.

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The best place to start is watching the short film ‘Revolution’ and then proceeding to the main galleries.  Beginning in the lower right of the map we have…

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Becoming Revolutionaries (1760-1775)

The Darkest Hour (1776-1778)

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A Revolutionary War (1778-1783)

A New Nation (1783-present)

Last but not least, but certainly the most impressive – Washington’s War Tent

**From museum brochure – Created for use as a mobile field headquarters during the Revolutionary War, the tent likely was made in Reading, Pennsylvania in early 1778, while Washington was encamped at Valley Forge. It was used by George Washington from 1778 – 1783, and witnessed many dramatic moments during the War of Independence, including the 1781 Siege of Yorktown, the last major battle of the war. The tent was last displayed several decades ago at Valley Forge National Historical Park.

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Since we had limited time in Philadelphia we weren’t able to see much else.  I did however want to see the Liberty Bell and although that museum was closed it was visible from outside.

 

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Downtown Newark, NJ Walking Tour…

What a fun thing to do on a gorgeous April Saturday.  A walking tour of downtown Newark, NJ with Have You Met Newark tours.  Newark is where I was born and grew up and it’s exciting to see what’s going on there.  Here are some pictures of our tour.

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Pictured below is the Prudential Center arena (The Rock) and the NJ Performing Arts Center (NJPAC)

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The Old First Presbyterian Church was established in 1666 by the founders of Newark, NJ.  My 10 times great-grandfather was one of the founders of Newark and he, along with some of my other ancestors were buried there.

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The City Hall, and Broad and Market streets, known as the 4 corners.

 

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The Prudential buildings. The Prudential came to Newark in the late 1800’s, the original building was demolished in 1956 to make way for Prudential Plaza which opened in 1960.  A few blocks away in July 2016 the Prudential Tower opened.

Prudential Plaza                                                          Prudential Tower

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Right in downtown Newark are three lovely parks.  Lincoln Park, Military Park and here is Washington Park.  The Newark museum and library are located on one side of the park.

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Newark always had lots of department stores.  Pictured here are Bamberger’s (which became Macy’s).. and Kresge (which is the K in K-Mart ), there was also Orbach’s and S. Klein all within a two block radius.

But the department store that was always a bit above the others, literally and figuratively was Hahne & Co Hahne’s closed its doors in 1987 and sat empty for 30 years, it has been totally renovated and is gorgeous.  In addition to retail space the new renovation includes 160 apartments.  Note the original Hahne & Co sign.

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I’m a big fan of Newark, not just because I was born and raised there but because it’s a terrific place to visit.  Learn about what Newark is planning for the future, like this beautiful new park. IMG_4200 But also learn about Newark’s place in our history. A fun way to do that is with a group from Have You Met Newark.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Silence…

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For a few years now my daughter and I have been visiting cemeteries where our ancestors and family are buried.  We have found cemeteries to be beautiful, peaceful places … monuments become works of art and epitaphs become poetic homage to those who have passed.  We have visited beautifully manicured and well cared for cemeteries, the one above was not one of those though.   Although this cemetery in Goshen, New York, the resting place of several ancestors, is over grown and sadly neglected there is a silent beauty to it.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/silence/