Historic America Photography

Stories in Stone: John D. Rockefeller

John Davison Rockefeller, Sr. (1839–1937) was an industrialist considered to be the richest American and richest person in modern history. He founded the Standard Oil Company and once controlled 90 percent of all oil in the United States, with a peak net worth of $900 million (around $420 billion today). In retrospect, his obelisk in Cleveland, Ohio’s Lake View Cemetery seems like a humble monument. In his personal life, he was a devout Baptist and teetotaler who married Laura Celestia “Cettie” Spelman, an abolitionist, in 1864. He also founded the University of Chicago and Rockefeller University.

Historic America

Hanover Battlefield in York County, Pennsylvania

This small skirmish in a small Pennsylvania town had big consequences on the nearby Battle of Gettysburg.

The Battle of Hanover was fought on June 30, 1863 between Union cavalry commanded by Brig. Gen. Hugh Judson Kilpatrick and Confederate cavalry commanded by Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart in the Borough of Hanover, Pennsylvania during the American Civil War. This inconclusive skirmish, part of the Gettysburg Campaign, resulted in approximately 332 total casualties. It delayed Stuart from reuniting with General Robert E. Lee’s army at Gettysburg, denying him critical intelligence during the early stages of that battle.

In June 1863, after a dramatic victory at the Battle of Chancellorsville, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee made the fateful decision to move north with his Army of Northern Virginia and invade Pennsylvania. The Union Army of the Potomac was slow to respond, and Confederate forces met little resistance as they fanned out across southern Pennsylvania. Confederate cavalry under Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, however, became trapped east of the Union army, and Stuart’s exhausted troopers fought several skirmishes to cut their way back to Lee’s army.

Mysterious America

North America’s Haunted Hotels

From the smallest bed & breakfast to luxurious five-star resorts, nearly every hotel is believed to have an uninvited guest or two.

With their storied history, famous guests, and romantic atmosphere, hotels attract quite a number of legends and ghostly tales. From the smallest bed & breakfast to luxurious five-star resorts, nearly all of them are believed to have an uninvited guest or two. The following are just a few of the more interesting I have stayed at over the years. Have you ever spent the night in a haunted hotel? Leave your story in the comments below!

Copper Queen

Rising above the colorful tapestry of tightly clustered homes and businesses blanketing the Mule Mountains in southeastern Arizona, the Copper Queen Hotel stands as a gilded monument. For over 100 years, it has served as a social anchor for the former mining town of old Bisbee. I first stayed at the Copper Queen Hotel in 2009 while visiting friends from Phoenix. I heard rumors it was haunted, but it wasn’t until I returned a few years later that I discover just how much. In the interim, the hotel had published its logbook of ghostly encounters from 2000 to 2008, and the book contains many interesting gems.


Reviews of Tales of Coles County Pouring In

Tales of Coles County has only been out for a few months and already it has many positive reviews on Here are just a few:

“I grew up in Coles County, Illinois. This book brought back many memories and I learned some things that I didn’t know.”

Madonna J. Long

“Very insightful.”

Andrew Dowling

“Valuable reference book on the History of Coles County.”

Stephen F. Anderson

“Michael Kleen is so in depth in his research and delves deeply into each story. If you love small towns and the stories within them, you will adore this book. Check it out!”

Bobbie Jean Ashley
Photography Roadside America

Silver Diner Neon Sign

Gorgeous neon sign for the Silver Diner, 6592 Springfield Mall in Springfield, Virginia. The Silver Diner is a chain of 1950s style diner-restaurants founded by Bob Giaimo and Ype Von Hengst in 1989 in Rockville, Maryland.

Historic America Photography

Stories in Stone: William Westmoreland

Monument to General William Childs Westmoreland (1914-2005) in West Point Cemetery, 329 Washington Road, United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. William Westmoreland served as Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1968 to 1972, during the height of the Vietnam War. He was born in South Carolina and graduated from West Point in 1936, then fought in World War 2. As overall commander in Vietnam, he pursued a strategy of defeating the enemy through attrition. Among other medals, he was awarded the Legion of Merit and Army Distinguished Service Medal.

Historic America

Middleburg Battlefield in Loudoun County, Virginia

Visit Civil War-era buildings and a brand-new historic park at the heart of this little-known cavalry battlefield.

The Battle of Middleburg was fought on June 17 and 19, 1863 between Union cavalry commanded by Col. Alfred N. Duffié and Brig. Gen. David M. Gregg and Confederate cavalry commanded by Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart in Loudoun County, Virginia during the American Civil War. This inconclusive skirmish immediately followed the Battle of Aldie and was part of the Gettysburg Campaign. It resulted in approximately 250 total casualties.

On June 1, 1863, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia slipped away from the Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, and headed north to invade Pennsylvania. Lee entrusted his cavalry commander, Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, to screen his army’s movement from the enemy. Stuart’s cavalry fanned out across the Loudoun Valley in northern Virginia.