Maple Leaf Inn

Lake Placid, New York was home to the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics and sits in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, so it’s been a tourist destination for decades. Motels like the Maple Leaf Inn, at 2234 Saranac Avenue (New York State Route 86), offer affordable accommodations for vacationing families.

Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum

Paranormal tourism, or tourism driven by allegedly haunted places and high profile crimes, is a growing cottage industry, with places like the Villisca Ax Murder House raking in the dough for tours, overnight stays, and paranormal investigations. The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum in Fall River, Massachusetts is another prominent example.

At 11:10 a.m. on August 4, 1892, Lizzy Borden, 32, yelled for the family maid, Bridget Sullivan, to quickly come downstairs. She discovered her father, Andrew, slumped over the sofa. His head had been bashed in. Abby, Lizzy’s stepmother, was found on the floor of an upstairs bedroom, her head and face smashed. Lizzy gave police strange and often conflicting information, and she quickly became the chief suspect.

Her New Bedford trial, beginning in June 1893, was a national sensation, widely reported in the newspapers. It took the jury 90 minutes to acquit her, and with her inheritance, she purchased a new home and lived there with her sister Emma.

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Starved Rock State Park’s Disturbing Past

Situated along the southern bank of the Illinois River near Utica, Illinois, Starved Rock State Park is the most visited park in Illinois. Its most prominent feature is a large, sandstone butte that stands high above the shoreline. Visitors flock to hike its 13 miles of trails and explore its 18 canyons, but while the park offers beautiful scenery, many do not realize the strange history and events that took place there.

The landforms themselves are thousands of years old, and copper clovis points found at Starved Rock indicate human habitation as early at 8000 BC. The Kaskaskia tribe lived there in the early 1600s, but they came into conflict with the Iroquois, who moved into the area in 1660. The French soon followed. In 1673, famed explorers Louis Joliet and Father Jacques Marquette passed Starved Rock on their way back up the Illinois River.

LaSalle, another French explorer, built Fort St. Louis on the butte, but the fort was abandoned several decades later and there are no remnants of it today. Sometime in the early 1770s, Ottawa and Potawatomi Indians attacked a band of Illini living in the area. The Illini fled to the butte, where they starved to death. The area has been known as Starved Rock ever since, even though little physical evidence supports this story.

A tale of buried treasure comes from this period. Between 1685 and 1702, Henri de Tonti was the most powerful man in central Illinois. He was a character of legend, even though most people do not remember him today. He accompanied René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle in his exploration of the Illinois country, and La Salle left him to hold Fort St. Louis when he returned to France.

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Sandy Cecelia

Model Cecelia Rose at Westcott Beach at sunset on Lake Ontario, Jefferson County, New York. I took these with a basic 70-300mm lens – this is becoming my new favorite lens for model photography! The higher the focal length, the more it throws the background out of focus, making a zoom lens perfect for separating a subject from the background. But, the trade off is that it’s difficult to steady the lens so motion blur is a problem.

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