Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

Laurel Ridge Cam

First snow - which means my rockpile season has begun for another year.
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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Simple rockpile by old tree trunk

With the cool weather finally arriving, now it's now only a matter of time before I can go back out off trail. There were a couple of sites I ran across (this is one of them) back in the spring that really do need to be researched further, because I have a feeling (especially this area) there is more to be found here. I spent some quality time fishing in this area over the summer and this: old-squirrel-hill-site-of-monongahela is located about 2 miles from here.
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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Grandview Cemetery - Johnstown, Pennsylvania

This is one of the largest cemeteries in the country, and it's only fitting to honor those who fought for our freedom on this 4th of July Holiday. A committee was formed right after the 1889 Flood. Citizens wanted a cemetery on higher ground that couldn't be destroyed by flood waters. The pictures today are from the Union Soldier Section.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pennsylvania Grand Review - Honoring USCT - John E. Smith

African American Patriots and the Civil War. Imagine my surprise when a reader from Montana, George M.  brought to my attention that John E. Smith from Laurel Hill Settlement/Browns Farm is mentioned in the current issue of American Heritage. For more on the life of this one soldier from the Laurel Highlands click 3rd-usct-john-e-smith-laurel-hill
The Pennsylvania Grand Review will serve as a commemoration of the November 1865 event of the same name organized by the women of Harrisburg to honor the United States Colored Troops who were not permitted to participate in the Grand Review of the Armies, a military procession and celebration held May 23-24, 1865 in Washington, D.C., following the end of the Civil War.

The Grand Review will include exhibition, presentation, and conservation projects that will reveal the hidden histories of the USCT. This commemoration will culminate November 3-7, 2010 in Harrisburg.

Out of all the names they could have picked - John Smith's name was lucky enough to be listed. What makes it even more surprising is that poor old John never got his pension because he lost his discharge papers and couldn't remember which regiment he was in. He mistakenly said he was a member of the 4th Pa Cav and it was actually the 3rd.
For information can be found on the official website:

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Music of Philip Larkin

A friend of mine put together a great new CD on the music of Philip Larkin.
In his Foreword to A Rumoured City: New Poets from Hull (Bloodaxe, 1982), Philip Larkin states that Hull is “as good a place to write as any”; and, further, that it is “Better, in fact, than some. For a place cannot produce poems: it can only not prevent them”. This is hardly a resounding endorsement of the city (the same could be said to apply to all cities); but it is, nonetheless, true.

Artistic inspiration can, evidently, be found in all places, and in all things: but not by all artists in the same things nor, indeed, the same places. Larkin took his inspiration from the temporal: advertising hoardings, photographs, posters, paintings, TV programmes; and from far more significant philosophical and spiritual concerns, such as existence, love, the ageing process and extinction. However, what distinguishes great artists is the art they produce, and not what inspires them to produce it.

As part of the 2010 programme to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the death of Philip Larkin, the songwriters whose work features on this recording were each asked to take as their inspiration a Philip Larkin poem, and to create from it a musical setting or interpretation. The contributors rate among the best contemporary songwriters working in (or associated with) this city; the place where Larkin chose to spend the last 30 years of his life.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Civil War Colored Troop Veterans - Laurel Hill Settlement

More today on some of the Civil War Veterans buried at Browns Cemetery. First up John Brown (abt 1830 - 1889). Old Elmer Brown was his son. And Keziah Harshberger (Lizzie's daughter) was Elmer's mother. John and Keziah were not married and for years Elmer went by Harshberger. It was set up that way to insure the land passed down to Keziah's children.
Company H, 4th Pa Cav. - was actually part of an all white regiment from Westmoreland County headed by George Covode.
Born in Covodesville (near Bolivar), Pennsylvania, Covode was the oldest son of John Covode, a U.S. congressman and staunch abolitionist. In his youth, George Covode was noted for his athletic proportions, being tall and well built and peculiarly fitted for the hardships of military life. He was educated in Ligonier Academy and Elders Ridge. After he left school, he engaged in mercantile pursuits for some years, but not with much success. In 1858, he married Annie Earl of Somerset County, Pennsylvania, who died a few months after their marriage. He remarried a few years afterwards to Bettie St. Clair Robb, a granddaughter of Arthur St. Clair, a major general in the Continental Army and the ninth President of the Continental Congress.
John Brown along with Old Orange Dorman walked down the old military road and joined up.
Covode was known to be very near-sighted, which caused trouble for him in identifying people at a far distance. On June 24, 1863, while in command of a brigade in Virginia, he mistook some Confederate skirmishers for his own troops and rode toward them. He discovered his mistake too late and, as he was turning to ride away, he was shot in the arm and stomach by an enemy volley. In the retreat, he was left within the enemy lines and died a few hours later.
John Brown is listed in the records as a barber - but had a tendency to take off for long periods at a time. Leaving the family without a means of support. He was 20 years older than Kesiah. And there is a story of the time she nearly tried to kill him by throwing a heavy chunk of wood at his head - all because he was smoking around some of their kids that were suffering from whooping cough at the time.