Saturday, July 31, 2010
The Old Man of the Mountain was a formation created by the ice age. It was originally discovered in 1805 by Francis Whitcomb and and Luke Brooks, part of a Franconia surveying crew.
It was initially made famous by New Hampshire native Daniel Webster who wrote about the site. In 1832, Nathaniel Hawthorne visited Franconia and in 1850 used the profile in his story, The Great Stone Face.
In 1945, the Old Man became the official symbol of New Hampshire, appearing on everything from license plates to state route signs. The profile also showed up on the back of the 2000 New Hampshire state quarter.
New Hampshire kept up the special viewing areas along Interstate 93 in Franconia Notch State Park even after its collapse in the middle of the night. It all started in the 20's with a crack in his forehead. Chains were used to hold it place. In 1958, the Old Man undergoes further repair work. In 1987, Niels Nielson becomes the official caretaker since working as the caretaker unofficially since 1965. His son, David will become the last caretaker of the Old Man before its collapse in 2003.
The Old Man of the Mountain museum, which used to be at the Old Man viewing area, has moved its memorabilia to the Cannon Mountain tramway building in Franconia Notch where you can see a small model of the new memorial to the Old Man. The ground breaking for the new memorial was begun in June of this year. More about this can be read at this Wikipedia site
As always, please look for references at the bottom of the page.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
When they both discovered that the carousel had reopened, they made a bee line to see it again and brought me along to share in their memories. We all had a great time.
In the 30's, Robert Moses planned his new highway, now known as the Belt Parkway, to run through Brooklyn and Queens. Golden City Park stood smack in the middle of it. By 1938, the park was condemned and leveled. In December of that year, the carousel and a large frame building to house it was moved to the Baldwin site on Sunrise Highway where it opened in 1940 and renamed Nunley's Carousel, which is the name we all know and love today.
Hey, look at me on the horse. I caught a ring! Can you see it around my leg? What a great time we had. Since it was hot, the nearby Cradle of Aviation staff offered us bottled water. Susan and Rob had a great time as well, taking pictures and riding on the horses as well. After almost 50 years, it was great seeing the all the animals again in the former glory.
Here are some interesting facts about the carousel:
- Nunley’s Carousel has 41 horses and one lion.
- The entire carousel is suspended from the center pole.
- The carousel is 42 feet in diameter.
- One bell means the carousel is ready to start, two bells means that it is beginning to turn.
- American carousels turn counterclockwise, but in England, carousels turn clockwise.
- The outward facing side of the carousel horse is more heavily carved than the side facing inward.
- Between 2000 and 3000 carousels were produced in the U.S. during its golden age of wooden carousels (1880s to 1930s); today, there are less than 150 still operating.
- Golden age carousel figures were not carved out of a single block of wood, instead several body panels were connected producing a hollow body.
- To relax before taking off on his solo non-stop trans-Atlantic flight in 1927, Charles Lindbergh ventured to Coney Island to ride a carousel.
I would like to thank the caretakers of the new Nunley's Carousel for being so patient and kind to us while we enjoyed the ride this morning. Their site, http://www.cradleofaviation.org/nunleys.html, is informative and interesting and it is where I borrowed their Fun Facts section to let you know more about the carousel. Please check it out. Another site to check, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nunley%27s, will talk more about the Baldwin site and the eventual refurbishing and renovation. Lastly, I need to mention the Cradle of Aviation Museum site. The building is right next door and it is where Susan bought her Nunley's Carousel tee shirt and ring necklace:
Sunday, July 18, 2010
William Kissam Vanderbilt, great grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt and a racing enthusiast, created the Vanderbilt Cup races in 1904, with the idea of bringing European car racing to the United States. The cup was provided by Tiffany and the races were run over 30 miles of local roads in Nassau County.
Deciding that local roads were too dangerous, Vanderbilt hit on the idea of a landscaped parkway with banked turns and no grade crossings or commercial vehicles to hinder race cars driving at the top speed of 60 mph. Originally planned for a 60 mile parkway from Queens to Riverhead, LI, it became a 45 mile parkway from Flushing to Ronkonkoma. Groundbreaking began in Bethpage in 1908. The Long Island Motor Parkway was born.
The races were originally run on the first 10 miles of the parkway until 1910. Due to numerous accidents and the deaths and injuries of spectators, the races were finally banned by the New York State Legislature. In 1911, the Long Island Motor Parkway became a toll road used by everyone from socialites to rumrunners or just motorists taking their families out for a Sunday drive to Long Island. An inn, known as the Petit Trianon was built at the end of the parkway on the shores of Lake Ronkonkoma. The inn later became a club and restaurant and was managed by various owners until it burned to the ground in 1958.
The Long Island Motor Parkway met its end in 1938 when it could not compete with the more modernized parkways of Robert Moses's newly built Northern State Parkway. The parkway was sold and broken off into different sections. A part of the parkway still exists in Suffolk and is known as Motor or Vanderbilt Parkway. A section in Queens is used as a bike path in Alley Pond Park. The biggest loss however was in Nassau County where most of the parkway was cut up and built over.
Susan and Rob did do some research on the road due to Rob's continuing interest. They traced the entire road and took lots of pictures and kept a log about it. They were also written up in the local paper in the late 70's. The article is gone and not available on the internet, but there are other articles that I'm including here.
At the end of the article you will find references that will contain more information.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
I'm here to tell you about the colony of Modern Times, founded on March 21, 1851 by Josiah Warren and Stephen Pearl Andrews. It was based on the principles of individual sovereignty and individual responsibility which meant that you were responsible for yourself and your actions. There were no rules or regulations, no jails, no laws and according to records, there was little or no crime. All land was considered private property except in the alleyways where that was considered common ground. They had their own private currency based upon the current labor exchange so they could trade for goods and services.
Modern Times did not last however. Eventually, people found their way into the colony who did not share their ideals and beliefs. This and the Civil War contributed to the beginning of the end of Modern Times. As you can see by the above the sign, it was renamed Brentwood in 1864 after the village, Brentwood, Essex in England. Many of the buildings were completely destroyed.
The schoolhouse was originally located at 3rd Avenue and 4th Street. The schoolteacher's name was Mary Swain. It was a one room schoolhouse and used between 1857 to 1907 and moved in 1989.
I am including two links regarding Modern Times:
and from the Brentwood Library
Monday, July 5, 2010
Fairchild Aircraft was founded by Sherman Fairchild in 1929. They were the manufacturers of aircraft and related aircraft parts from 1931 to 1987. After visiting the American Airpower Museum in East Farmingdale on the former site of Republic Aviation, I discovered some interesting things. Republic Aviation took over the buildings that Fairchild abandoned in 1930's and expanded their operation in 1955. In 1965 Fairchild Hiller bought out Republic Aviation to manufacture the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II or "Warthog". From that point on, Republic Aviation became known as Fairchild Republic Corporation.
Below is an original picture of what the station looked like before demolition in 1987. Note the steps on either side.
The steps aren't the only things crumbling. In 2006 Fairchild Republic sold off Airport Plaza, a shopping mall which the corporation had built on their former site. On the opposite side of the street, the former buildings stand in ruins. Promises to rebuild the Republic Station never seem to materialize. Right now it has been postponed indefinitely.
Pictures of the former Fairchild Republic buildings in ruins:
and finally a link to where I found the picture of the former station