Categories
Photography

Portrait of Sara Lynn

Alternative model Sara Lynn poses in a skeletal bodysuit, black skirt, and custom-made skull tiara in Greenwood Cemetery in Rockford, Illinois. I opted for a yellowish-tinted, well-lit background to contrast with her outfit. I think the purple streaks in her hair add the perfect dash of color.

Check out my other photo shoots with Sara Lynn: Primordial and Concrete Sunset.

Follow her on Instagram at www.instagram.com/n0cturnalwitch/
Follow me at www.instagram.com/ma_kleen/

Categories
Historic America Photography

Stories in Stone: John A. Green

Mausoleum for the Green family in Oakwood Cemetery, 940 Comstock Avenue, next to Syracuse University, in Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York. At least three generations of Greens are interred here, most prominently John A. Green, Jr. (1828-1872) and his wife Jane (1800-1889). John Green was a wholesale grocer and a brigadier general in the New York National Guard during the Civil War, tasked with defending the northern portion of the state (though he butted heads with Maj. Gen. John A. Dix, commander of the Department of the East). General Benjamin Butler mentioned him in his memoirs as a “confidential friend of the governor.” He was a founding member of the Onondaga Historical Association.

Categories
Historic America Photography

Turner Rifles at Antietam

Relief sculpture on the 12th Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry monument at Antietam National Battlefield. The 12th NY ‘Turner Rifles’ was part of the Union Army of the Potomac, Third Brigade, Second Division, Sixth Army Corps. The regiment was involved in repelling the final Confederate counterattack near Dunker Church during the Battle of Antietam.

Categories
Mysterious America

The Strange Death of Cora Stallman

The following is an excerpt from my book Tales of Coles County, a collection of history, folklore, and true crime from one of the most interesting counties in Illinois. Order it in paperback or Kindle today.

Cora Stallman stood out. She was approximately six feet tall and 175 pounds, physically larger than average. She was a 45-year-old unmarried former schoolteacher, a college-educated woman from Cincinnati, Ohio who routinely rode a horse into town. Some neighbors described her as eccentric, odd, and even “stuck up” or “demented.”

Others that she was kind and benevolent, especially toward children. When Cora’s brother-in-law discovered her body mostly submerged in a cistern on his wife’s farm in Humboldt Township, it ignited a mystery that remains unsolved.

It was 1925, the year F. Scott Fitzgerald published The Great Gatsby and the battle between evolution and creationism was waged in the “Scopes Monkey Trial”. On a 600-acre farm two miles southeast of Humboldt, Illinois, a village of approximately 330, in the early morning hours of Saturday, August 1, 49-year-old Tom Seaman went to check on his sister-in-law, Cora, but she was not at home.

He sought out Boston Martin “Bos” Lilley (1886-1972), a tenant farmer on his wife’s land, and together they searched the property, including a small cottage where Cora kept her belongings. Tom’s wife, Anna, was away on a Mississippi River cruise.

Categories
Historic America

Prohibition and the Birth of the National Security State

For most of American history, the Federal government had little policing power. America’s experiment with Prohibition would fundamentally change that.

The Netflix miniseries Waco (2018) highlighted what many perceived as out of control Federal policing in the 1990s, an issue that has certainly not gone away. These concerns are just the latest in a long line of criticism that Federal law enforcement agencies have too much power. How did we get here?

The birth of the National Security State can be directly traced back to the Eighteenth Amendment prohibiting the sale of alcohol, which was adopted in 1919. If not for the nationwide law enforcement necessities of Prohibition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) would be nothing more than a few dozen agents in the Justice Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) would not exist.

For the first 100 years of United States history, the Federal government had very little internal policing power. Instead, it relied on private agencies like the Pinkerton Detective Agency, or left criminal investigation up to local authorities and individual states. In 1886, however, the Supreme Court ruled that states had no power to regulate interstate commerce. It was not until 1908 that U.S. Attorney General Charles Bonaparte organized the Bureau of Investigation and hired 12 agents for interstate policing.

Categories
Historic America Photography

What a Wonderful World

Statue of Louis Armstrong (1901-1971) by artist Ivan Schwartz on American Way in National Harbor, Maryland. Louis Armstrong was an accomplished jazz trumpeter from New Orleans.

Categories
Photography

Stories in Stone: Thomas Waterman Wood

Memorial to Thomas (1823-1903) and Minerva (1824-1889) Wood in Green Mount Cemetery at 250 State Street (U.S. Route 2) in the City of Montpelier, Washington County, Vermont, on bluffs along the north bank of the Winooski River. Thomas Waterman Wood was a prominent rural portrait and figure artist and president of the National Academy of Design.

Thomas Wood (1823-1903)