MV Obsession

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


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Plymouth, MA – This and That …

Part 4 of our trip..

This is the National Monument to the Forefathers

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The monument lists the names of the Mayflower Pilgrims and also on the four buttresses are seated figures emblematical of the principles upon which the Pilgrims founded their Commonwealth; Morality, Law, Education and Liberty.

According to Wikipedia : {The National Monument to the Forefathers, formerly known as the Pilgrim Monument, commemorates the Mayflower Pilgrims

 CLICK HERE

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And this is the Pilgrim Hall Museum ..CLICK HERE

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The nation’s oldest continuously operating public museum, Pilgrim Hall Museum houses an unmatched collection of Pilgrim possessions telling the story of brave and determined men and women building lives and homes for themselves and their children in a new world. See William Bradford’s Bible, Myles Standish’s sword, the only portrait of a Pilgrim (Edward Winslow) painted from life, the cradle of New England’s first–born, Peregrine White, the great chair of William Brewster, and the earliest sampler made in America, embroidered by Myles Standish’s daughter.

The only thing we were allowed to photograph were these beautiful stained glass windows

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And that….  that’s two of the most delicious, mouth watering, , heavenly New England lobster rolls… 🙂

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This concludes part 4 of our Plymouth, MA trip.. actually it may conclude this series all together, or it may not !!  Hope it’s been as enjoyable to read about as it was to have experienced it 🙂

(pictures are mine and Debs)


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Plymouth, MA – Standish and Alden …

Part 3 of our trip into the past to visit the Myles Standish Burial Ground and the John & Priscilla Alden House.

Our first stop in the charming and historic town of Duxbury, Massachusetts was the Myles Standish Burial Ground, the oldest maintained cemetery in the United States.

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It’s not a large cemetery, only 1.5 acres.  It is the resting place of several of the original Mayflower Pilgrims including Myles Standish and John & Priscilla Alden.   I felt a kind of peacefulness as I meandered around.  I felt respectful and humbled, it moved me more than I anticipated.

The Myles Standish grave site

pizap.com14454779088691The John and Priscilla Alden grave site

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Second stop in Duxbury… the Alden House Historic Site… CLICK HERE

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We arrived at the house only to find out that tours had stopped at the end of September so unfortunately we weren’t going to be able to go inside the house !

We wandered around and took some pictures  but of course it wasn’t like being inside.

pizap.com14454824657531As we were leaving we noticed two cars in front of the administration office so decided to walk over and say hello.   We were SO glad we did.  Not only were the two young women pleasant and smiley and full of information but… they said they’d give us a tour even though the house was closed.  Golly, wow.   So off we went… back into the past into the house of  John & Priscilla Alden.  I don’t know what they a actually looked like but I like this painting of them.  He was 21 and she 18 when they married.  They had 10 children.

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mosaica87ee7b48553477f85f6c668a051d66c06edb741Our tour guide (Trish) was terrific, she peppered historical facts with humorous family stories.  Why wasn’t history like this when I went to school… it was all about names and dates and not about people’s lives and adventures.

For instance the reason for wall paper and newspaper on the walls in this small closet, or as they called it, a clothes press.  The walls were covered with newspaper to protect clothing from getting snagged or caught on the rough walls.  Later on someone covered the newspaper with wall paper.  I believe our guide said the newspapers were from the time of the War of 1812.

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We did some quick gift shopping and Deb joined the AKA (Aldin Kindred of America) while we were there.   We hated to leave but we alas we had to come back to the 21st century.

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🙂  🙂  🙂

This concludes part 3 of our trip and I thought this was going to be the last installment… but no, there’s a bit of ‘this n that’ still to come !!

(pictures are mine and Deb’s)


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Plymouth, MA – Plimouth Plantation …

Part 2 of our trip into the past to visit our ancestors..Plimouth Plantation…

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DSC_0092Our visit to Plimouth Plantation was interesting and fun, I wish history had been this alive to me when I was in school eons ago 🙂

According to Wikipedia:

{Plimoth Plantation, founded in 1947, is a living history museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA, that shows the original settlement of the Plymouth Colony established in the 17th century by English colonists, some of whom later became known as Pilgrims. They were among the first people who immigrated to America to avoid religious persecution and to seek religious separation from the Church of England.

In the 1627 English Village section of the museum, interpreters have been trained to speak, act and dress appropriately for the period. At Plimoth Plantation they are called historical interpreters, and they interact with their ‘strange visitors’ (i.e. the modern general public) in the first person, answering questions, discussing their lives and viewpoints and participating in tasks such as cooking, planting, black smithing and animal husbandry.}

Let’s begin…

Before we got to the Pilgrim settlement we stopped at the re-creation of a Wampanoag home site where modern day Native People from a variety of nations, dressed in traditional dress demonstrate how their ancestors lived and interacted with the settlers.

pizap.com14452951552681Onward now to the village, founded in 1947,  where we see how the Pilgrims lived…

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and talk with some ‘historical interpreters’…

Governor William Bradford and friend

Gov Wm Bradford

William Brewster, Ruling Elder of the Plymouth Church

William Brewster
and Myles Standish

Capt Miles Standish

 We sat down to rest and two ladies walked by and smiled and said we looked so happy and would we like them to take our picture… tah dah…

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🙂 🙂 🙂

This concludes part 2 of our trip… next up… Miles Standish burial ground and the John & Priscilla Alden House…

(pictures are mine and Deb’s)

 


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Plymouth, MA – The Mayflower…

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Part 1 of our trip into the past to visit our ancestors.

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My daughter, Deb, our friend Dawn and I headed to Plymouth, MA to visit, and to learn more about our ancestors who came to America on the first voyage of the Mayflower, or as I like to call it, the mother ship 🙂

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We recently learned that we are descended from Peregrine White who was born on the Mayflower in Cape Cod Harbor, he was the first English baby born in New England.   It had always been family legend that we came on that first voyage but having documented proof made it finally seem real.  I had a teacher once who told me I was wrong, that everyone who had relatives or ancestors in New England claimed they came on the Mayflower and that they actually didn’t.  Talk about squelching a dream.  So I put the information in the back of my mind and now, many many years later it turns out my mother’s legend was right. The girls and I did so much in our 3 days away that I’m going to break it down into a few posts rather than try to get it all into one very, very, very long post… you’ll thank me for this later 🙂 So… let’s begin…. welcome aboard the Mayflower II

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 We all know that the Mayflower landed in Plymouth in 1620 and that there had originally been 102 Pilgrims on board.  But something I didn’t know is where the Mayflower II replica came from !  According to Wikipedia in 1954 Warwick Charlton from England conceived the idea to construct a reproduction of the Mayflower to commemorate the wartime cooperation between the United Kingdom and the USA as a symbol of Anglo-American friendship….

To read more of this article CLICK HERE please

Let’s start our tour…

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pizap.com14451126844141Going below deck we met some of the crew members who told us many stories of the voyage of the Mayflower… 102 passengers and a crew of 25-30  began the journey, only 51 survived it.  Two babies were born, Oceanus Hopkins while at sea and Peregrine White (our ancestor) when the ship was anchored in Cape Cod Harbor.

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pizap.com14451252144451It’s hard to imagine life on board the Mayflower II no matter how vivid an imagination I have.  The cramped quarters, the noise and smells, the sickness, the lack of privacy.  But they made it and there were still more Pilgrims to come in future voyages.  I feel kind of empowered knowing somewhere deep inside of me I might have that kind of fortitude.

If you’re interested in knowing more about life on board, the history of the ship itself and about the voyage… CLICK HERE to read about the Mayflower…

The Mayflower Compact... signed by Myles Standish, John Alden, and Deb and me 🙂

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 You can’t visit the Mayflower without visiting Plymouth Rock as well….

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This concludes part 1 of our trip… next up… Plimouth Plantation.

(pictures are mine and Deb’s)


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Trinity Circle, Trinity Park and Bells …

In the town of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, in the Methodist Campground are Trinity Circle and Trinity Park.

Sharing Trinity Park for almost 140 years are the Tabernacle (erected in 1879) and Trinity Methodist Church (built in 1878).

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Over the years both have undergone changes. This is just one of the changes for the Tabernacle.

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A major transformation for Trinity Methodist Church

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DSC_0034  A look inside the Tabernacle and Trinity Methodist Church

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Tabernacle from inside Trinity Methodist Church… I love this picture.

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Trinity Park is a perfect place to enjoy some quiet time… to indulge in some contemplation, read, maybe snooze, enjoy a game of catch, or wander around with a camera.

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100_0643According to the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Assn. website:

“The original layout of Wesleyan Grove was a simple formation of a circle enclosing the preaching area and the society or church tents.   In 1859 a road, now known as Trinity Circle, was built which encircled that area.   In 1864, the Association purchased the 26 acres it had been renting.   As the area continued to expand (additional grounds were purchased in 1866), it developed in a radial-concentric pattern which was little used in America at that time.   Paths radiating from Trinity Circle led to smaller circles where large groups of tents had been located – County Park (Wesleyan Grove), Forest Circle, Washington Park (Victorian Park), Cottage Park Avenue (Cottage Park), Crystal Park (Vincent Park), Washington Avenue (Butler Avenue), Rural Circle and Clinton Avenue, which, at one time, had been the main entrance to the Campground.   The smaller circles, some surrounded by larger circles, had small paths radiating from them leading to other circles or parks.   The method of the grounds layout was an additive one of discrete neighborhood units, each built around small various shaped parks.   Some street and park names (current names are in the brackets) have been changed for various reasons over the years”.

 I spent my childhood summers on Martha’s Vineyard and many of those summers I spent my mornings at Bible School in the Tabernacle.  As was the custom a girl and a boy would be chosen each morning to walk from the Tabernacle to Trinity Church and ring the 8 o’clock bell.  I waited almost all summer to hear my name called, I didn’t think it was ever going to happen.  Finally it did and off across the lawn my partner and I scampered.

Inside the vestibule tied to the staircase railing was the thickest rope I’d ever seen.  The rope was attached to the bell way, way, way up in the steeple and the longer we stood there and pondered the situation the higher up the bell seemed to get.

First though we had to untie the rope, it did not go well, we fumbled along and finally the rope was free from the railing.   Time was ticking but neither of us were aware of how close to 8 o’clock we were coming.

Now all we had to do was pull the rope and the bell would ring and … well, that did not go well either.  Neither one of us had enough weight to pull the rope hard enough to ring the bell.  Rope burn was the least of our problems though as now we were sure it was after 8 o’clock and we’d failed our mission.  With what strength we had left we both grabbed the rope, stood on one of the steps and jumped.  Just as our teacher walked in the door to see what the problem was we heard… bong, bong, bong… it was ringing, the bell was peeling loud and strong, we had succeeded…  we had only missed the 8 o’clock bell by… oh 10 or so minutes.  Who would notice!

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  When I got home at lunch time the first thing my mother said was “the 8 o’clock bell was a bit late this morning, do you know who was ringing it this morning?”  I said it had been me…  she shook her head slowly and said nothing but I did notice a little smile.  By the way, I was never asked to ring the bell again.

🙂


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Thomas Edison Nat’l Historic Park …

Headed out this past weekend to go here…

Thomas Edison Nat’l Historic Park

in West Orange, New Jersey

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to see Thomas Edison’s home, Glenmont, all decked out for Christmas.

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But it was sold out so my daughter Deb, her friend Dawn, and I decided instead to tour through  the laboratories. I don’t know why I haven’t visited this treasure before… but I’m glad I finally did.

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Got our tickets and off we went…

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All the building center around The Courtyard which was used for many purposes from motion picture set, test site, photography backdrop, greeting area and sometime parking lot.

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Off to one side of the Courtyard stands a replica of the ‘Black Maria’… the world’s first motion picture studio.

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Notice the track that runs around the building.   That was so the building could be turned to follow the sunlight.
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This was only the beginning of our afternoon of awe and delight… let’s see  what’s behind some of the doors !

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In 1887 this was one of the best equipped chemical labs in the world.

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Another door…. the music room…

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The pattern shop …

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Join me for the next installment when we climb these stairs and see what wonders await !

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See ya 🙂


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The Former Daggett House …

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I stayed a few times at the Daggett House Inn before it was renovated and turned into a private residence. One of the things I remember most is their famous Grape Nut bread/toast.

On the lower level of the inn was the breakfast room. According to the Guide to Martha’s Vineyard:

“The room was the first tavern on Martha’s Vineyard to sell beer and ale. In 1660 the taverner, John Daggett, was fined five shillings for “selling strong liquor.” In 1750 the Daggett House was added to the building. Through the years the Daggett House was a custom’s house, a sailor’s boardinghouse, a store, and during the whaling era, a counting house. ”

An interesting feature of the Daggett House was its secret room. I’m not sure what it was used for in the 1600′s or so but during the past years as a B&B it was a guest room, provided they could find the secret door and providing the GHOST wasn’t in residence!!!

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The back of the Daggett House had a nice expanse leading to the edge of Edgartown Harbor. A perfect place to have a breakfast or sit and read.

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I stayed at the Daggett House twice… once in the main house and once in the charming 2 room house in the garden.

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Grapenut Bread from the Daggett House.

(This recipe was a staple of the Daggett House Bed & Breakfast on Martha’s Vineyard until it closed. They used to readily hand out recipe cards so I’m assuming there are no copyright issues. But just in case there is, I’m giving full credit here to the inn as it’s their recipe)

Makes 2 loaves

Mix:

2/3 c Grapenuts

1/3 c wheat germ

3 T butter

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 c dark brown sugar

1 1/3 c boiling water.

Stir and let cool to barely warm.

Then, combine 1 T yeast, 1 tsp sugar and 2/3 c warm water, and let stand until bubbly.

Add yeast to the dry mixture. Add 4 c all-purpose flour.

Knead until soft and smooth, then return to bowl and let rise, covered, until double in volume.

Punch down and divide into two loaves, knead for a few minutes, and put into greased loaf pans. Let rise until double in size.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Freshly baked Grape-Nut bread…yum

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(In all fairness I have to give credit to my daughter Deb who baked this delicious bread).


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The Gay Head Lighthouse …

My creation

The Gay Head Lighthouse has stood on the picturesque cliffs at the western most tip of Martha’s Vineyard since 1856.  It is now only 45 feet from the edge of the  eroding cliffs and is in danger of falling into the sea.

In 1799 a wooden lighthouse was built. In 1856 it was replaced with the current brick and sandstone lighthouse and fitted with Fresnel lenses.

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The lenses were replaced by electrically generated lenses in 1952. The old lenses were given to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum in Edgartown.

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This past weekend (Oct 13) I was on MV and decided to drive out to Aquinnah…  and when I got there I saw these signs…

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I’d never been inside the Gay Head lighthouse and was excited to be able to do so, and also help in a small way support the campaign to help raise the money to Save The Gay Head Lighthouse.

Come and join me for my tour inside the lighthouse…

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Reached the first level and stepped outside…

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These are the stunningly beautiful breathtaking views …

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Final set of stairs and the view from the top …

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What an awesome experience…

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***To learn more about how to donate to Save The Gay Head Lighthouse CLICK HERE

**To read the history of the Gay Head Lighthouse CLICK HERE


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Titanic 100th Anniversary …

Sunday, April 15th is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

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 I’d like to share my experience at the Titanic exhibit two years ago.

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My daughter Deb and I went to NYC to see the Titanic exhibit at the Discovery Times Square Expositions building. It has since closed in NYC and moved on to other cities, but you can CLICK HERE to see the exhibit promo.

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As you enter the Titanic exhibit you’re given a boarding pass of an actual passenger … you find out at the end of the exhibit whether you survived or not. My third class passenger was Catherine Joseph, she was 24, married and mother of two small children. They all survived. Deb was Nora Hogarty, 18 who was sailing to America to join an order of nuns. She did not survive.

The exhibit was interesting, painstakingly put together and quite haunting.

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These workmen are dwarfed by the Titanic’s giant propellers.

(TITANIC: The Unsinkable Ship)

(TITANIC FACTS)

(TITANIC TRIVIA)


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NY Public Library …

As promised in my last post, here is the NY Public Library on 5th Ave.

The cornerstone was laid in May 1902.  It was completed in 1910 but it took another year for all the books to be moved in.  The library was officially opened at a dedication ceremony in May 1911.

Click here to read the history of the library.

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Let’s enter …

(You can click on pictures to enlarge)

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The reason Deb and I were at the library in the first place was to see a small exhibit they had on the wonderful PBS Masterpiece series ‘Downton Abbey.’  Turns out the exhibit was across the street but had we known that we wouldn’t have had the pleasure of exploring this beautiful building.

Downton Abbey exhibit…

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