MV Obsession

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


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Remembering Sept 11th…

(Sunday is the 15th anniversary of Sep 11th)

Let us always remember …

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In Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey stands Empty Sky:New Jersey September 11th Memorial  This memorial is dedicated to New Jersey’s 749 innocent loved ones who lost their lives that day at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in Shanksville, PA.

From the Empty Sky website:  “Empty Sky” remembers those lost while simply and powerfully connecting New Jersey to Ground Zero. Twin walls transect a gently sloped mound anchored by a granite path that is directed toward Ground Zero. The length of each wall is exactly equal to one side of the former World Trade Center Towers as the height of the wall reflects proportion of the former buildings if they were lying on their side. . The seven hundred and forty nine (749) victims’ names from the State of New Jersey face one another on the interior elevations of the twin brushed stainless steel walls within easy reach. The walls channel visitors to the location in the Manhattan skyline where the former World Trade Center towers once stood.”

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(CLICK HERE to read about The Empty Sky Memorial)

At Eagle Rock Reservation in West Orange, New Jersey is the ‘Remembrance and Rebirth’ memorial dedicated to all the victims of 9/11.

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In memory of the 343 New York City Firefighters who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty on September 11, 2001

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In memory of the 23 New York City Police Officers, 37 Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Officers and Emergency Medical Services Personnel who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty on September 11, 2001.

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Added this year, the Search and Rescue Dog Statue honoring the roughly 350 search and rescue dogs that worked tireless hours. CLICK HERE to read about it.

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 On this 15th anniversary of 9/11 let us continue to remember and never forget the events of that day.

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Abandoned Fairy Tales…

Fairy Tale Forest - Oak Ridge, NJ

Fairy Tale Forest – Oak Ridge, NJ

Driving through Oak Ridge, NJ with my daughter Deb we passed Fairy Tale Forest which used to be a thriving, magical and popular family spot.  It was built in 1957 by hand by German immigrant Paul Woehle.  CLICK HERE to read about the park.

The property is now owned by a storage company but as you can see some of the attractions are still in good shape.  It is rumored the park will reopen in 2017 !

A lot of memories are contained within this park, my daughters were there when they were little as were my grandchildren.

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In comparison to the condition and optimistic future of Fairy Tale Forest, The Land of Make Believe has been truly abandoned and left to ghosts of fairy tales.   Take a look.

In the town of Hamburg, New Jersey stands an old mill and a gingerbread castle.

Wheatsworth Mill and Gingerbread Castle.

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The Gingerbread Castle sits silently at the end of this driveway,  surrounded not by a moat but by barbed wire fencing and ‘do not trespass’ signs.

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Come closer and take a look…

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My creation

Once upon a time, back in the late 1920’s, the Gingerbread Castle was the centerpiece of an amusement park built next to the Wheatsworth Mill.  The Gingerbread Castle  was in continuous operation until 1978… it reopened briefly in the ’80’s and then closed for good in 1989.

Fairy tale characters used to abound here… now, sitting alone on his wall only Humpty Dumpty remains.

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The Gingerbread Castle is slowly fading away…

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Sadly eventually only memories will remain.

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There you have the story of two fairy tale themed parks… one with a hopefully happy ending, the other with no happy ending, just the end.

CLICK HERE to read about the Gingerbread Castle and Wheatsworth Mill)


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Newport, RI continued …

Believe it or not, no more mansions 🙂  just a little of this and a little of that.

The International Tennis Hall of Fame.

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Portuguese Discovery monument

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Sunset at Breton Point

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And this and that…

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This concludes my posts about the trip to Newport, RI … I think 🙂

(photographs by my daughter Deb and myself)


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Newport, RI – Part 4 – Kingscote…

Kingscote, our final mansion.

George Noble Jones, a southern plantation owner constructed this Gothic Revival style summer cottage in 1839 along a farm path known as Bellevue Avenue. Designed by Richard Upjohn, the house is an early example of the picturesque Gothic Revival style, with its irregular and busy roofline. Kingscote was one of the first summer “cottages” constructed in Newport. It was owned by the King family from 1863 until 1972, when it was given to the Preservation Society of Newport County.

According to the Preservation Society of Newport County: Today, Kingscote is a rare example of a Gothic Revival house and landscape setting preserved intact with original family collections.

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Hope you’ve enjoyed our mansion tours, we had a lot of fun.

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(photographs by my daughter Deb and myself)

http://www.newportmansions.org/explore/kingscote

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingscote_%28mansion%29


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MV Snippets Full Size …

#1 –snippet #12 - pic 1 Inside ferry  looking towards the Vineyard

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#2 – snippet #12 - pic 2   First Congregational Church, West Tisbury

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#3 – snippet #12 - pic 3  Arcade Building, Circuit Ave, Oak Bluffs

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#4 – snippet #12 - pic 4  East Chop Lighthouse100_1560

 

5 – snippet #12 - pic 5  Ocean Park

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#6 – snippet #12 - pic 6  SSA dock in Vineyard Haven100_1611

 

#7 – snippet #12 - pic 7  Aquinnah Restaurant at the Gay Head cliffs

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Newport, RI – Part 3 – The Elms…

 

The Elms…

The Elms was the summer residence of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Julius Berwind of Philadelphia and New York. Mr. Berwind made his fortune in the coal industry. In 1898, the Berwinds engaged Philadelphia architect Horace Trumbauer to design a house modeled after the mid-18th century French chateau d’Asnieres (c.1750) outside Paris.

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pizap.com14637846840792The original Elms circa 1897.

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I think the Elms might be my favorite…I mean they’re all beautiful in their over the top ornate way but somehow the Elms seems to be more cozy if that’s possible. Or perhaps it’s the fact that this piece of history came within weeks of being torn down !

The Elms was the summer residence of Edward and Sarah Berwind of Philadelphia and New York. In 1922 Mrs. Berwind died, and Edward asked his youngest sister Julia Berwind to move in and become the hostess of The Elms. In 1936 when he died he willed the house to Julia who lived there until she died in 1961.

This according to Wikipedia: Childless, Julia Berwind willed the estate to a nephew, who did not want it and fruitlessly tried to pass The Elms to someone else in the family. Finally the family auctioned off the contents of the estate and sold the property to a developer who wanted to tear it down. In 1962, just weeks before its date with the wrecking ball, The Elms was purchased by the Preservation Society of Newport County for $116,000.  Since then, the house has been open to the public for tours. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1996.

Let’s take a look around the house and gardens before heading off to my favorite part of the tour !!!

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The conservatory… I could spend all my time in here…

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The back lawn and gardens…

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Julia A Berwind, sister of Edward Berwind.

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According to Wikipedia: Edward asked his youngest sister Julia A. Berwind to move in and become the hostess of The Elms after his wife died. In 1936, when he died, he willed the house to Julia, who  was well known in Newport. She would invite children from the nearby Fifth Ward (a working-class immigrant neighborhood) to the estate for milk and cookies. She had a love for cars and would drive around Newport every day in one of her luxury cars. This was somewhat shocking to the rest of Newport society where it was considered “unladylike” for women to drive themselves.

Now let’s get around to my favorite part …  the Servant Life Tour.  It’s 82 steps up to the 3td  floor. A balustrade around the roof of the mansion hides the entire dormitory-style third floor where single female and male servants lived in 16 rooms with 3 bathrooms. Married staff lived offsite. The back staircase kept the staff very much behind the scenes as they went about their duties,

pizap.com14639572316861There was also access to the roof and a beautiful view of Newport..

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From there we headed back down the 82 steps to the basement to view the coal-fired furnaces and the tunnel from which the coal is brought into the basement from a nearby street, there’s a little coal in the corner to give you an idea of how massive this coal storage area was. Seen here is also the laundry room and kitchen.

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That concludes the tour of the three mansions we visited.  But that’s not all so stay tuned for more.   In the meantime let your imagination take you away to a midnight stroll in the garden… happy dreaming.

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New Port Preservation Society, The Elms CLICK HERE

Wikipedia The Elms CLICK HERE

Servants Life Tour CLICK HERE

(photographs by my daughter Deb and myself)


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Newport, RI – Part 2 – The Breakers…

The Breakers – if you only have time to see one mansion/summer cottage, this the THE one to visit.

From wikipedia: ” The Breakers is a Vanderbilt mansion located on Ochre Point Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island. The Breakers was built as the Newport summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II. The Breakers is the architectural and social archetype of the ‘Gilded Age’ a period when members of the Vanderbilt family were among the major industrialists of America. Vanderbilt was the President and Chairman of the New York Central Railroad, and was the grandson of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt. The Commodore made the family fortune in the steamship and railroad industries.In 1895, the year of its completion, The Breakers was the largest, most opulent house in the Newport area.”

CLICK HERE to read more….

This was the original Breakers which was destroyed by fire in 1892.  A modest summer cottage…

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Vanderbilt commissioned famed architect Richard Morris Hunt to rebuild it and  insisted that the building be made as fireproof as possible and as such, the structure of the building used steel trusses and no wooden parts.

And this is the Breakers in 1895… somewhat different from the original, wouldn’t you say.

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Great hall …

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Around the ‘cottage’… 2 sitting rooms – music room – library – bathroom – dining room.

In the library the fireplace, taken from a 16th-century French chateau  bears the inscription “I laugh at great wealth, and never miss it; nothing but wisdom matters in the end.”

mosaic2d3c178bc4b28b48496f16dc95b9f9c94d6d87e4Back of grand staircase – ceiling – gilded door – portrait – platinum wall paper – chandelier.

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‘The kitchen, unlike others in the time period, was situated on the first floor away from the main house to prevent the possibility of fires and cooking smells reaching the main parts of the house.’ You can understand why after the original Breakers burned down that they’d want the kitchen further away. This kitchen is gorgeous, it could even tempt me to whip up a cake or something.  Maybe.

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The grounds … you never know what you might see out there 🙂

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The Breakers is amazing… not just in its beauty and opulence but in the thought and foresight that went into building it.

Just a few more pictures, really, just a few 🙂

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If you haven’t been to the Breakers I hope you get to go.  In the mean time CLICK HERE for the Breakers and HERE to find out more about Cornelius Vanderbilt II.

Coming next … what mansion came within weeks of being torn down !!

(photographs by my daughter Deb and myself)