Short & Sweet #13 – Places and Topics Suggested by Viewers

In this installment of “Short & Sweet #13,” I will be continuing to look at places people have suggested in the northeastern United States, with places that include, but are not limited to, Fall River in Massachusetts; Newport in Rhode Island; Candlewood Lake and Meriden in Connecticut; and Atlantic City in New Jersey, and I really appreciate the photos and drone footage that were sent to me for several of these places.

But first some follow-up on cemeteries based on comments and information that I received from the last Short & Sweet.

DB & DK mentioned the Crown Hill Cemetery to me, located about 3-miles, or 5-kilometers, outside of Indianapolis.

DK shared photos with me of a recent trip there for fall photos and to visit a family grave.

She said the main gates are very similar to ones in Boston that I showed in the last post.

The Crown Hill Cemetery is the largest green-space within the Indianapolis Beltway, and the third-largest private cemetery in the United States.

It was established in 1863 at Strawberry Hill, whose summit was renamed “the Crown,” with the grave of Indiana poet James Whitcomb Riley sitting right at the top of the crown.

I wonder why James Whitcomb Riley merited such a prestigious location for his final resting place for all eternity?

Let’s see what the plaque there about him tells us.

So, he is best remembered today, it says, for his poems that appeal to children and the child in all of us, such as “Little Orphant Annie,” which is not a misspelling, based on an orphan living in the Riley home in her childhood.

There are four stanzas in the poem, and in the first one, her character is introduced, and in each of the second and third stanzas, she tells young children about a bad child being snatched away by goblins as a result of misbehavior, with the underlying moral of the story in the fourth stanza, which was for kids to obey their parents or the same thing could happen to them.

Nothing weird about that right? Yeah, right!!

Oh yes, and this young girl in Riley’s poem was the very same one that the comic strip “Little Orphan Annie” was based on, which eventually led to radio, television, Broadway and Hollywood productions about her.

Riley’s memorial plaque also mentioned his poem “The Raggedy Man,” about a German tramp that Riley’s father employed in his youth…

…and written, like “Little Orphant Annie,” in the Indiana dialect of the 19th-century.

Interesting that the “Raggedy Man” knew about giants and griffins and elves, though I have no idea what a “Squidgicum-Squee” would be!

Well, here’s one artist’s rendition of a rather terrifying-looking “Squidgicum-Squee!”

Was the Raggedy Man was the inspiration for Raggedy Ann?

Apparently the Raggedy Man and Little Orphant Annie both were, because the creator of Raggedy Ann, Johnny Gruelle, a family friend of Riley’s, was said to have combined the names of both characters into one when he applied for a registered trademark on the Raggedy Ann name in 1915.

Lastly, according to the plaque at his tomb, Riley was so beloved by the children of Indianapolis who used to come visit him on his front porch for lemonade, that they began donating coins to help pay for his memorial, and this tradition continues today…

…where the coins collected go to his legacy, the Riley Hospital for Children.

JG in Iowa mentioned visiting a lot of rural cemeteries with a friend last year, and among other things, found these tree-like head-stones in every graveyard.

She looked them up, and found out they came from Woodmen of the World, a fraternal organization and life insurance company.

Here’s what we are told.

Joseph Cullen Root founded the Woodmen of the World in 1890, as a secret fraternal benefit organization with a purpose of making life insurance affordable for everyone…

…and that from 1890 to 1900, every policy included a tombstone.

Alas, the cost of tombstones rose to the point that after 1900, members had to buy a rider on their insurance policy in order to receive a Woodmen tombstone.

By 1920, the costs of making these unique tombstones were so prohibitive, that they were discontinued in the 1920s.

Frequently, the tombstone had the Woodmen of the World (or WOW) motto “Dum Tacet Clamet,” or “Though silent he speaks,” inscribed on a round medallion.

Woodmen of the World still exists today, and headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska.

This is what their original headquarters building looked like, which opened in 1912.

It was the tallest building between Chicago and the West Coast before it was demolished in 1977.

…and their headquarters building today, said to have been built in 1969.

They still operate their radio station, WOAW in Omaha, which started broadcasting in 1923…

LBR said the image of the Ether Dome at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston was reminiscent of the image used on the book cover of The Saturn Myth by David Talbott.

Now onto new subjects.

NA suggested that I come to Fall River, Massachusetts, and Newport Rhode Island.

First I will look at Fall River, and express huge thanks to RR and his son for the photos and the drone footage of Fall River.

RR sent me the following pictures.

Firstly, this is the Academy Building, also known as the “Academy of Music Building” and the “Borden Block.”

RR said that 1875 was one of the coldest winters ever in Massachusetts, and questioned that it was even possible that they could have built this the way they said they did.

It was said to have been constructed in 1875 as a memorial to Nathaniel Briggs Borden by his family, and opened on January 6th of 1876 as the second-largest theater and concert hall in Massachusetts, as well as a venue for other large community events.

The building today is used for senior living apartments and retail space after being rescued from demolition plans in 1973.

RR sent photos of some of the interesting-looking gargoyle shapes found on this building.

Nathaniel Borden, the man who the Academy building was said to have been in memory of, was a businessman and politician from Fall River, who was born in 1801 and died in 1865.

In business, he was involved in textile mills, banking, and railroads.

In politics, he was a State Senator, a Representative in the U. S. Congress, and was the third Mayor of Fall River.

We are told that his father died when he was young, and his mother Amey was one of the first incorporators of the Troy Cotton and Woolen Manufactory, the second cotton mill that was established in Fall River in 1813 and built on her property. She died in 1817.

Then, at the age of 20, Nathaniel along with several others organized the Pocasset Manufacturing Company, a cotton textile mill.

The Pocasset Manufacturing Company was the origin of the Great Fall River Fire of 1928, which destroyed the mills and a large portion of the city’s business district along with it, completely wiping out five city blocks but not killing anyone.

This is a 1910 illustration of a part of Main Street which was destroyed by the fire.

RR sent this historic photo of Fall River looking north on Main Street, with the electric streetcar running, and relatively few people milling about a big city block.

The most famous Borden of Fall River was the notorious Lizzie Borden, who even though she was acquitted of the axe murders of her father and stepmother in 1892, her story is still alive and well in American Pop Culture.

…and if you ever have plans to travel to Fall River, you can always stay at the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast & Museum.

RR also sent several pictures of St. Anne’s Church in Fall River that was said to have been built in the 1890s

This photo of St. Anne’s church sent by RR shows a very nice alignment with the full moon and the top of the church, smack in the middle between the church spires.

Reminds me of the perfect alignment of the sun with the top of the tower at Angkor Wat in Cambodia on the days of equinoxes and solstices every year.

He also sent photos of the building of St. Anne’s Church taken when it was said it was being built starting in the 1890s

He said the church was built with local granite and blue marble from Vermont.

Two last things from RR.

He sent me drone footage taken by his son.

The first drone footage shows the Braga Bridge, that carries Interstate 95 across the Taunton River between the towns of Fall River and Somerset, and the USS Massachusetts beside it, which is a museum today.

This second one is drone video footage of old church towers on Rock Street in Fall River. 

The next place I am going to look at is Whitman, Massachusetts, which was suggested by BA.

In the late 1930s, Whitman is the place where the chocolate chip cookie was first invented by Ruth Graves Wakefield at the Toll House Inn, which was a tourist lodge.

Whitman is located half-way between Boston and New Bedford, and travellers would be charged a toll when they historically stopped here to change horses and have a hot meal.

Ruth Graves Wakefield soon became famous for her lobster dinners and desserts at the Toll House Inn, which included the first chocolate chip cookies.

The Toll House Inn burned down in 1984, but its sign still stands today on Route 18.

Whitman’s history is deeply-rooted in the shoe-making industry, with over 20 shoe and related-factories in-town.

There are a few abandoned shoe factories left in Whitman, and some have been turned into condos, like the Bostonian Shoe Lofts.

BA mentioned that there is a beautiful park here, the Whitman Town Park, that was credited to the Olmsted Brothers for its present design in 1900.

This park has mounds…

…and a Civil War monument was added to the park, we are told, in 1908.

Now onto Newport, Rhode Island, and some other places in the smallest state in the United States.

Bellevue Avenue in Newport is known for its “Gilded Age Mansions.”

One definition that I found of “Gilded Age” is that it was a period of gross materialism and blatant political corruption in the United States from the 1870s to 1900.

Another definition is that it was an era of rapid economic growth, especially in the northern and western United States.

Perhaps the most famous of these “Gilded Age” mansions, said to have been built between 1893 and 1895 for Cornelius Vanderbilt II in Newport known as “The Breakers.”

It was said to have been patterned after a Renaissance Palace, and built with marble imported from Italy and Africa, as well as rare wood and mosaics from countries around the world.

“The Breakers” Mansion, as well as the city of Newport itself, is centrally-located on the Atlantic coast, between the eastern tip of Long Island, which is Montauk Point; Martha’s Vineyard; and Nantucket Island; and Plymouth, the landing spot of the Pilgrim’s on Massachusetts’ Cape Cod.

I can already see I am going to have to come back here on another occasion and do a deep dive.

This is a good place to insert AF’s suggestion of looking into the Provincetown Monument.

Known as the Pilgrim Monument, it is located in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and was said to have been built between 1907 and 1910 to commemorate the first landfall of the pilgrims in 1620, and the signing of the Mayflower Compact, the first governing document of the Plymouth Colony, in November of 1620 when the “Mayflower” was anchored in Provincetown Harbor.

A contest was said to have been held to design the monument, and the winning entry was a design based upon the Torre del Mangia in Siena, Italy, which was said to have been built between 1338 and 1348.

RS brought Woonsocket, Rhode Island to my attention, with the comment that Rhode Island has tons of massive polygonal masonry walls everywhere, and giant granite masonry on top of bigger and older giant block masonry.

RS lives near a bridge on South Main Street in Woonsocket, and said that it clearly wasn’t built recently, and even has a plaque stating it was “re-fixed” in the late 1800s.

I found great examples of the megalithic polygonal masonry walls in Rhode Island several years ago when I was tracking an alignment from Washington, DC, through Providence, the state capital.

Here are several photos of the megalithic polygonal masonry seen at Providence’s Waterplace Park.

CR suggested that I look at Fairhaven, Massachusetts, where there’s a high school, library, and at least a couple church’s that are amazing, and that there’s a small one of these buildings in a cemetery in New Bedford near the high school over there.

Fairhaven and New Bedford are in the same general area that I have been talking about in this region of New England’s Atlantic coast, and are located right next to each other.

…and the two cities are connected by a swing-truss bridge, which swings open to allow fishing boats in and out of the inner harbor located here.

Here’s an old postcard showing the bridge “open”…and are those streetcar tracks on the bridge?

Sure looks like it to me!

And this was the only old photo I could find about the bridge with a streetcar actually showing in it.

This is the Fairhaven High School, still in use today, which opened in 1905, and said to have been designed by architect Charles Brigham, and donated by Henry Huttleston Rogers, one of the key men in John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust.

The Millicent Library in Fairhaven was said to have been designed by Charles Brigham and donated to the town by Henry Huttleston Rogers, in memory of his youngest daughter Millicent Rogers, who died of heart failure at the age of 17.

It was dedicated in 1893.

Both New Bedford and Fairhaven were deeply connected to New England’s whaling industry in the 19th-century, as whale oil was the primary source for lighting fuel for much of that time.

This is the “Whaleman” statue on the grounds of the New Bedford Free Public Library, gifted to the city in 1913 as a tribute to the whalers that made New Bedford famous.

The next places I am going to look at are in Connecticut are Candlewood Lake and Meriden from information provided to me by KO

First, Candlewood Lake, which is a man-made lake that is the largest in Connecticut, and the largest lake within a 60-mile, or 97-km, radius of New York City.

Some of the most expensive real estate in Connecticut is found around its shores.

Candlewood Lake was formed when the Connecticut Light and Power Company’s Board of Directors approved a plan in 1926 to create the first large-scale operation of pumped storage facilities in the United States, and they created the lake by pumping it full of water from the Housatonic River.

He said there was a city named Jerusalem beneath the waters of the lake, and while there isn’t a lot of information regarding this lost town in Connecticut, there are references to it available to find.

KO mentioned there is a Babylon, New York and New Canaan, Connecticut right close by, as well as a Bethlehem and Bethany.

Just an interesting aside for those of us who remember when the Amityville Horror came out in the late 1970s…

…I happened to notice Amityville is just down the road from Babylon on New York’s Long Island.

One more place of interest to note in Connecticut is Waterbury.

It was the location of Holy Land USA, a theme park said to have been inspired by passages from the Bible.

It was opened in 1955…

…and closed in 1985.

It reminds me a lot of Cappadocia in appearance, an ancient region in Central Anatolia of Turkey.

KO also sent me some photos from Meriden, Connecticut.

In this picture of what he called a florette, an elevation applique, there which looks like there have been modifications, with what appears to be another set of numbers beneath what is seen on the surface.

He said there is a deep scratch around where whoever scratched around the outside of the area and then used a chisel to somewhat sloppily prepare the surface for a new date and elevation, which was done with another tool, and engraved in a different style of text.

Meriden is located half-way between New Haven, Connecticut and Hartford, Connecticut.

This is Meriden’s City Hall, said to have been built in 1907.

The Soldiers’ Monument in front of the City Hall was erected in 1873, we are told, to honor those from Meriden who died in the American Civil War.

The monument is described as an obelisk having a granite base and the statue of a soldier on top.

Next I am going to look at Atlantic City, New Jersey, based on EB’s suggestion and photos he sent me.

First is a photo he sent me of the old fruit and vegetable market…

…that he said is now the location of Gino’s Pizza and Grill on Atlantic and North Carolina Avenues.

He also sent me pictures of what he thinks are the oldest churches in his area in the block of Connecticut and Atlantic Avenues.

Interesting the number of empty lots showing here too.

EB also sent me screenshots of old hotels in Atlantic City that were three- and four-blocks-long that were Moorish castles, like the Marlborough-Blenheim Hotel, which was said to have been built between 1902 and 1906, and demolished in October of 1978…

…the Traymore Hotel, said to have opened in its most recent form in 1906 and demolished in 1972…

…and the Windsor Hotel, about which I can’t find any information to speak of, but presumably long gone like the others.

The last image I am going to leave you with of Atlantic City is an old postcard showing the Atlantic City and Shore Railroad crossing a two-mile, or 3-kilometer, -long trestle bridge in Great Egg Harbor Bay, and was a type of streetcar system in New Jersey called an interurban that served Somers Point and several other cities between Atlantic City and Ocean City in the years between 1907 and 1948.

In my next post, I will be doing the research for Part III of the “Shapers of the New Narrative” series, this time about the role of early radio and television.

…and then return to my next installment of “Short & Sweet” after that.

Author: Michelle Gibson

I firmly believe there would be no mysteries in history if we had been told the true history. I intend to provide compelling evidence to support this. I have been fascinated by megaliths most of my life, and my journey has led me to uncovering the key to the truth. I found a star tetrahedron on the North American continent by connecting the dots of major cities, and extended the lines out. Then I wrote down the cities that lined lined up primarily in circular fashion, and got an amazing tour of the world of places I had never heard of with remarkable similarities across countries. This whole process, and other pieces of the puzzle that fell into place, brought up information that needs to be brought back into collective awareness.

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