Prince Mongo’s Castle

I am drawn to this blog… fascinated at the things we abandon. What was it like when the last person to use these spaces walked out?

Abandoned Southeast

Prince Mongo’s Castle, also known as Ashlar Hall, is a mock castle in Memphis.  After Robert Brinkley Snowden graduated from Princeton in 1890, he decided to return to his hometown to design and construct his family estate. Snowden, a prominent real estate developer, completed Ashlar Hall in 1896.

Ashlar HallThe 11,000 square foot home has two floors with 8 rooms plus a full basement and a large attic with servants’ quarters. An irregular shaped swimming pool is located outside, southwest of the house. The Snowden property stretched for 3,000 acres, well into Mississippi. The final cost for construction was around $25,000, roughly equivalent to $725,000 today.

Ashlar Hall

Snowden’s great-grandfather, Col. Robert C. Brinkley started the Peabody Hotel several years prior. The Snowden family was considered Memphis royalty by the early 1900s and Brinkley Snowden was considered one of the premier real estate developers. The mansion was named Ashlar Hall due to it being almost entirely constructed of Ashlar Stone which was brought to town on barges. The past few decades have not been…

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Book Review: The Heart of Everything That Is

Red Cloud

Bob Drury and Tom Clavin, The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend. (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2013).

On Christmas night 1866, a man rode into Fort Laramie. Near death from riding 236 miles in four days, through a blizzard, Portugee Phillips completed his mission. Phillips delivered dispatches from Colonel Henry Carrington, the commander of Ft Phil Kearny. The news was shocking. Days earlier, on December 21st, warriors from several Indian tribes staged a coordinated assault that annihilated a unit from the US Army. “Fetterman’s Massacre” marked the first time the United States military lost to a Native force.

In their book, The Heart of Everything That Is, authors Bob Drury and Tom Clavin provide an excellent work of history. Red Cloud, the Sioux Chief who orchestrated Captain Fetterman’s stunning defeat, is the book’s subject. Opening a window to humanity in the old west, Red Cloud’s story is told in vivid narrative. Continue reading “Book Review: The Heart of Everything That Is”

Gettysburg National Military Park

In February I spent two weeks in York, PA on business. While there most of my time was filled with work related activities. Wanting to take a break, I took the advice of several coworkers and visited Gettysburg National Military Park one Saturday. Eight hours after arriving at the park I sat down for dinner at a local restaurant. I could have easily spent another day. There is so much material available about the battle that I will not provide a description here. Rather, I will post pictures and try to describe my impressions of the museum and battlefield.
Continue reading “Gettysburg National Military Park”

What it Means to Wear the Green

Very informative.

Emerging Revolutionary War Era

This St. Patrick’s Day millions of people around the world will wear green and celebrate the Irish holiday.  However there was a time when wearing the color green in Ireland could be punishable by death.

In the wake of the American Revolution, revolutions and rebellions began to breakout across Europe.  While much has been written on how the American Revolution helped inspire the epic and violent French Revolution in 1789, the Irish rebellion of 1798 has largely been forgotten.

Arklowflag.svg One of the green banners carried by Irish rebels in 1798.  This one uses a phrase common in the American Revolution.

Ireland watched with wonder as the American colonies united and declared independence from England in 1776.  They read about how the rag tag American Army defeated the British empire.  In France they watched the lower classes overthrow the aristocracy and execute their monarchs while creating a new republic.  In 1794…

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So… how have you been?

I hope all has been well? Quite a bit has happened since I last posted, way back on January 28th. Back in December an old friend, and former client, approached me with an opportunity. He had started his own successful company many years ago. In an effort to continue what he had built, he had recently sold his company to another organization. The new ownership wanted to expand the existing operation, and was looking for someone with my experience. It was an excellent opportunity.

Most of my time over the last nine weeks have been dedicated to securing the position, training for it, and launching the new effort. Unfortunately, I was not able to give any time to writing during that time. Worse still, I have not been able to read your blogs on a regular basis. Now that the paying gig is moving, I believe I can start spending more time here. Though I may be somewhat sporadic in posting, I promise to do a better job reading your posts. I am grateful for each of you.

Part of the nine weeks was spent in York, PA. Being the history lover that I am, I did take one break and spent an entire Saturday at Gettysburg National Park.

Pictures to follow…

 

The Thomas Flyer Auto Arrives in Norwalk – Setting a New Record

Another cool post by Dave at Firelands

Firelands History Website

breaking-all-world-records

At five a.m. on a frigid Monday morning, one hundred-ten years ago today, a large (by 1907 standards) Thomas Flyer automobile, and its escort vehicle, chugged into Norwalk and stopped in front of the New St. Charles Hotel. A large white sign in the back of the Thomas Flyer proclaimed:

world-record

The exhausted occupants, bundled in heavy overcoats against the cold, stumbled into the hotel for a few hours sleep, leaving the engine of the Thomas Flyer running. At eight-thirty p.m. the day before, they had unexpectedly run out of gas just before reaching Cleveland, after breaking the world record for continuously running an automobile engine (as their sign proclaimed). Less than two hours later, the engine again roared to life, and the driver vowed not to let it die until it had again broken it’s own record.

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thomas-motor-companyThe Thomas Motor Company had been in business since 1902, and following…

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