Monday, August 11, 2008

Doc Holliday in Glenwood Springs

John Henry "Doc" Holliday is buried in Pioneer (formerly Linwood) cemetery in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. The cemetery is reached by a short trail up the side of a mountain, offering gorgeous views of the city and canyon carrying Route 82 heading toward Aspen.

It is not certain that the grave you see is where Holliday is in fact buried. The exact location was lost decades ago and the cemetery. Still, as the marker says, he is buried somewhere in the cemetery.

Take Route 82 and turn east on 11th street, drive two blocks to Bennett street, turn south and looking for the trailhead on your left. Very well marked. Wear sturdy walking shoes and bring a camera.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Portsmouth Pet Cemetery

Out in the quiet countryside of southeastern Rhode Island, somewhere between Portsmouth and Newport, you'll find a tiny pet cemetery. Located in the front yard of the K-9 Instincts pet hospital are the remains of dogs, cats, birds and various other creatures that have kept local (and some not so local) Rhode Islanders company over the past 70 years or so. In fact this little graveyard was first opened in the late 1930s, and its most famous resident is "Pookie,' longtime companion of Edward and Wallis, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

That's right, Pookie:

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Green-Wood cemetery in Brooklyn, New York

In September of 2007 Susie and I were staying with our friend Don in Brooklyn -- his wife was in the hospital and we had missed seeing them both during our travels overseas. So, we thought that while we were between gigs so to speak -- Maine was over and Paris redux was about to begin -- that we would drive to the second largest (?) city in America and spend some time with friends.

Well, before we left their house to drive back to Massachusetts -- we were staying with Dick and Dorothy at the time -- I suggested that we check out Green-Wood cemetery in Brooklyn since I had an Old Third Michigan solder buried there (Edward S. Earle in fact). Don kindly drove us and we spent a couple of hours wandering around this incredibly beautiful cemetery, located on what may very well be the highest point in the city. Anyway, it has a fantastic view of Liberty Island.

The cemetery is computerized and the kiosks are easy to use -- they even print out a map of the burial location you're looking for and what could be easier! Still, we wanted to walk and so we did, past the Civil War memorial and Leonard Bernstein's grave (photo below: Don Archer looking at Leonard).

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the tropical (!) green parrots that have nests in the massive gothic facade at the main entrance to the cemetery. One of the staff told us that about 15 years ago a crate of these birds broke open at JFK airport and they somehow found themselves at Green-Wood where they have been nesting ever since.

And one other thing: the cemetery is presently replacing every single Civil War veteran government stone with a brand new one-- in fact they had them all laid out in a large yard off to the side of the main entrance, just waiting to be put in place. Incredible.

Here are just a few photos from that all-too-brief trip to the cemetery -- just run your cursor over the bottom of the image to bring up the player controls, oh and you can just click on the image itself to access, well, the image itself!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Mt. Auburn

It was a gorgeous day on Monday, February 25, so I grabbed my camera and drove up to Mt. Auburn cemetery in Cambridge, MA. I had been to Mt. Auburn some years ago -- OK quite a few years ago -- and had always meant to return. since we live so close now -- about 60 miles or so -- I plan on returning in the spring for a good solid day of shooting.

As many of your know Mt. Auburn, founded in 1831 was the first of its kind: a burial ground in a parklike setting. It was in fact, according to the cemetery's website, "the first large-scale designed landscape open to the public in the United States." Indeed the cemetery is the birthplace of the pastoral cemetery movement in the United States.

It is also the final resting place of Longfellow, Mary Baker Eddy, James Russel Lowell, Bernanrd Malamud, Fannie Farmer, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Juliet Ward Howe, and scores of other American notables. And some of the finest sculpture in New England is to be found scattered along its winding paths and avenues.

So check out the few photos I took -- you can roll your cursor over the bottom to bring up the player controls and click on an image to go straight to the image itself:

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Rhode Island's last Vampire

Rhode Island has a quaint and rather unique method for keeping track of most of the state's many small, rural cemeteries: they number them. While this may seem a bit cold and analytical it does help keep things straight. After all how many "Elmwood" or "Greenwood" or "Oak Grove" cemeteries might you find in a state?

Historic Cemetery no. 22 along route 102 in Exeter has the unique distinction in Rhode Island, and I suppose in New England generally, of being the final resting place of the last known vampire in New England.

According to local legend, when 19-year-old Mercy Brown died in 1892, there was speculation that all was not right with the Brown family deaths – her mother died in 1883 and her older sister Mary passed in 1884. All were interred in the Chestnut Hill Baptist Church cemetery, right on route 102. (photo: Mercy is the middle grave in the back, her sister Mary is on Mercy's left and their mother Mary is in front of her daughter Mary; George, the father, is in the front row to the left in the photo.)

Sooooo, after a great deal of speculation among the local townsfolk that maybe there was a vampire in the midst of the tiny community the bodies were exhumed. (And you thought 9/11 hysteria was new, eh?)

While two of the bodies were skeletons, Mercy’s was in pretty good shape and after an autopsy it was discovered that she still had “fresh” blood in her veins and heart! Well the townsfolk took care of that in short order: they burned the heart on the spot and the ashes were made into a remedy for the survivors to drink in order that they may be protected from such a cruel fate. It apparently worked since there were no reports of vampires again. At least that's one variation (For more about Mercy Brown click here!) Anyway, her father George lived until 1922.