Knowlton Brothers

Knowlton Brothers
Old Knowlton Brothers warehouse, 154 Polk Street, Watertown, Jefferson County, New York. George W. Knowlton and Clarke Rice went into the printing business in 1824. Knowlton’s two sons take over and rename the business Knowlton Brothers in 1862. I enjoy nighttime photography because there are no interruptions, or pressure to get a certain shot and move on. Everything is quiet and still.
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Long Way Home

Long Way Home
During World War 2, Pine Camp, New York was greatly expanded in order to train the 4th and 5th Armored Divisions and the 45th Infantry Division, but it also housed enemy prisoners as well. A few, like Christian Huppertz, died in captivity. If their families could not be located, they were buried in a small plot next to Sheepfold Cemetery near Great Bend, Jefferson County, New York. Today, Pine Camp is known as Fort Drum and is home to the 10th Mountain Division. The small POW cemetery is well maintained. It contains the graves of six German and one Italian prisoners of war.

National Great Blacks in Wax Museum in Baltimore, Maryland

This eclectic museum brings the African American experience to life, but some sections are definitely not suitable for children.

As a fan of both history and wax museums, I was thrilled to discover this museum in Baltimore’s struggling northeastern neighborhood of Oliver. The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum features over 150 life-sized wax figures representing a range of personalities from African American history, as well as a few ancient ones as well.

The museum’s depiction of ancient history is, for lack of a better word, imaginative. In the entryway, a large figure of a dark-skinned Hannibal the Great sits on a war elephant. Hannibal, a Carthaginian leader who fought the Romans circa 218 BC, was ethnically Phoenician, not from Sub-Saharan Africa. Likewise, the museum depicts Egyptian pharaohs as black when they were actually Middle Eastern in origin. Some even had red hair.

Perhaps the most controversial exhibits have to do with the Atlantic slave trade, lynching, and racism. It’s estimated 12 to 12.8 million Africans were forcibly transported across the Atlantic over a span of 400 years under horrible conditions. The wax exhibit leaves nothing to the imagination.

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Ralph’s Rock Diner in Worcester, Massachusetts

Ralph’s Rock Diner, at 148 Grove Street in Worcester, Massachusetts, is a 1930 Worcester model, #660. The Worcester Lunch Car Company operated in this city from 1906 to 1957 and manufactured hundreds of lunch carts and classic diners. Robert and Mamie Gilhooly originally opened this diner on Grove Street in Worchester’s Chadwick Square (hence the name, Chadwick Square Diner).

After Gilhooly’s death in 1955, James and Mary Clingen purchased the diner. In 1979, ownership passed to Ralph Moberly, who moved the diner to its current location, next to a brick fire station. This unique establishment is a bar and music venue. it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.

Look for a new diner every Tuesday in 2019! Click to expand photos.

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Civil War History Tour of Old Town, Alexandria

Ed Moser led us on a trip into Alexandria’s complicated and exciting past.

Sunday night, a small group of history enthusiasts gathered at the Lyceum in downtown Alexandria, Virginia for a tour of that storied city’s Civil War sites. It began in the shadow of Alexandria’s Appomattox statue, a statue which epitomizes the city’s complicated place in America’s bloodiest conflict.

As a thriving trade and manufacturing city at Washington, DC’s doorstep, Alexandria was a prized possession for both North and South. The Union controlled it for almost the entire war, but it teemed with Confederate sympathizers and spies. It was also the site of the first Union casualty of the Civil War.

Our tour guide, Ed Moser, an author and former writer for the Tonight Show and speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush, highlighted many contradictions that characterized Alexandria’s role in the Civil War. This included the story of an enslaved woman who had a common law marriage with a Confederate officer. She escaped during the war and founded a school for other escaped slaves.

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Redwood Motel with Color TV!

Redwood Motel with Color TV!
It’s unfortunate this vintage motel sign, at 3912 N. Hackbarth Road (off U.S. Route 14) outside Janesville, Wisconsin, is partially hidden behind bushes and looks to be missing its neon lights. Check out the sign for “color TV”! Luxurious. In the mid-twentieth century, many motor inns adopted a “populuxe” style to appeal to travelers on a budget, promising comfortable accommodations at an affordable price.

When the Weeping Down Beheld Its Mortal Thirst

When the Weeping Down Beheld Its Mortal Thirst
Monument to Henry and Allie Wall-Clark in Calvary Cemetery, on Ridge Road, south of the Black River, in Huntingtonville (Watertown), Jefferson County, New York. I was unable to find any further information about this couple, but their beautifully carved statue of Jesus and Mary speaks for itself.