West Baden Springs Indiana

West Baden Springs Indiana
Inside of the AMAZING West Baden Springs Resort in Indiana.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Corvette Museum in Bowling Green (again)

Yes, I know, I just mentioned the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green not too long again.  Forgive me for bringing it up again but..... the place is cool.

Actually, this is getting to be the "must see" spot for out of town friends.  People visiting Kentucky want to see the sinkhole. 

I got to see it shortly after it happened (see my previous entry).  They are allowing more access to the area now though, AND all 8 cars have been pulled out (only 5 were out last time I was here).

All of the recovered cars are displayed at the end of your museum visit.  Make no mistake about it, the hole, and the recovered cars, are now the main attraction here.

I have enjoyed both of my visits here.  I am always looking for an excuse to take a road trip to Bowling Green, and this museum is classy and cool.  The staff members are all helpful and casual and corvettes are fun.

Check out my photos! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Lincoln Sites in Hodgenville

Stop me if I have told ya this one before.....
Some time back in my college days of driving back and forth between Berea and Owensboro, I stopped by my pal Eric's place for a brief break in my travels.
I knew that the Abraham Lincoln boyhood home was real close to the area.  Well, Eric offered to drive me out to it.
I remember us parking next to it on a rainy night.  It was dark.  My first thought was, "Hey, this looks OK.  Not a bad place."
I was looking at the building right next door to the boyhood cabin.  Eric corrected me and brought my attention to the actual cabin next door.... not a lot bigger than a nice children playhouse you might put in your backyard.
We stopped by that same cabin recently, and it was the first time that I have been by when an actual ranger has been there!  Our friendly guide showed us the inside of the cabin, and told us about the creek near a few steps away.
After stopping by the boyhood home, we went to the main National Park visitor Center and monument area, a few miles down the road.
At this location, there is the amazing monument that holds the symbolic birth cabin.  The spring that that family used at that time is still there too! 
Also on site is the privately owned, but still historic Nancy Lincoln Inn.  I really like this place too.  The friendly young staff person there mentioned to us that some of the drinks they sold were made from recipes used during Lincoln's time.  They also pointed out some sale items.  This cozy store was also a bit museum like, displaying various postcards, stamps, and scale dioramas relating to Abe Lincoln and the Park.  You must make sure that you go by the Inn on your visit. 

I love historic sites that have some mystery.  The Lincoln cabins do not disappoint.

First off, it is a little confusing keeping each cabin straight.  There is the birth cabin, inside of the monument.  Then there is the boyhood cabin.

I won't even try to explain the source of each cabin, but if you really want to try to figure out the origins of each, you've got some work in front of ya!

I think one of the cabins was built from logs from a cabin that MAY have used some of the Lincoln family logs to build it.  I also remember hearing that the Jefferson Davis boyhood cabin was displayed at one time with one of the cabins.  Somewhere in all of the confusion, some of the Davis cabin's logs probably mixed with the Lincoln ones.  If someone has a definite explanation for the two cabins, please comment!

AND, one of the rangers mentioned to me that there is some debate among scholars as to the exact location of the boyhood home.  Some think the original location may have been on the other side of the creek.  I was told that, when they put that cabin there in the first place, there was an old timer in the area that remembered the Lincoln cabin sitting at the exact location that the current cabin sits.  AGAIN, if anyone has any thoughts about that, I would love to hear them!

Anyway, I really love the drive out to this National Park.  I love getting there, and I love spending time there.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Eva Kor and the Candles Museum

I wanted to share a GREAT article from Lisa Trigg with tribstar.com.

Our friend Eva Kor recently welcomed Rainer Hoess to her Terre Haute museum.  He is the grandson of Rudolf Hoess.  His views go against his grandfathers. 


Random Thoughts On Friday

Since I have been unable to get on the road much lately, I have been catching up on some reading!  LOTS of it!  Still, I think I pick up books more quickly than I can read them.

The other night, I went to my local Half Price Books and spent less than $10 on 4 books that have been on my "to read" list for some time!

I have a bad habit of starting a book, getting about half way through, and then I will start another book.  The books I am currently reading are all on my nightstand.  There are 6 there right now...  AND, there are two in my car.

There is also another dilemma that happens.  One book or source mentions another book or article that gets me thinking.  Well, I have to track that book down too.  Let me give an example.

I was reading up on one of my favorite cities, Salem MA. the other day.  I was looking over an article about the disputed location of Gallows Hill.  Check out the link here- 


Daniel Boudillion mentions in his article a book by Salvatore Trento.  So, I looked up books by Mr. Trento and found a few that looked interesting.  Now, I am reading one of those volumes and looking up books and sites that he mentions.  More on Trento's books later,  but I love how reading about one interesting topic can get you interested in another!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

George Washington 1912 Tobacco card

Here is another old Royal Bengals tobacco card I found recently, of George Washington!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

"Ashland" Home of Henry Clay

 I found this very cool tobacco card recently, made by the Helmar company in 1910.  It shows, and tells about Ashland in Lexington!

Monday, July 14, 2014

William Henry Harrison by Gail Collins

I really like this "American Presidents" series of books.  The volumes are short enough biographies to not feel overwhelming, but they are big enough to include all of the information most of us will want to read.

This is a great, easy to read effort from Gail Collins.  She covers Harrisons life, family, and brief time in the White House.

After reading this book, I kind of feel like Harrison is the underdog President, who, in some ways, really wasn't a Presidential contender type, but he came in to the picture and barely got in- briefly.

Harrison lost many smaller elections, and tried to get significant political jobs, but often it just never worked out.  When he ran for President in 1840 it seemed that his best qualification was that he was not the unpopular incumbent president, Martin Van Buren.

During this time, Harrison presented himself as a humble frontiersman from a log cabin (somewhat of a play on an insult by the opposing democrats) which worked for him, though it was inaccurate.  He also was one of the first candidates to openly and aggressively campaign for himself.

I enjoyed reading about Harrisons dealing with Indians during his earlier political life.  Tecumseh is a fascinating foe for Harrison.  I would expect any person interested in the career of the 9th President would develop an interest (and probably an admiration) for the Native American leader.

There is more to William Henry Harrison than just his brief time as President (the shortest time in the White House ever) and his all time longest inaugural address.

Friday, July 11, 2014

WH Harrison 1912 Royal Bengals

So, I am on a William Henry Harrison kick after visiting Grouseland in Vincennes.  I picked up an old tobacco card of the man recently from 1912!  Check it out!

I love these old cards, and their relationship to history.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Vincennes Indiana

Here are some photos I took of Vincennes Indiana while we stopped by to visit Grouseland.  This is a great little community, right on the Indiana/Illinois line.

There are several historic sites we weren't able to see here, as we were on a time limit, but I hope to get back here soon!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Grouseland- William Henry Harrison House in Vincennes Indiana

I have been on a Presidential history kick for some time now.  What is VERY cool about visiting Presidential sites is that they are literally everywhere.  Most people know of the main ones- The White House, Mt. Rushmore, various birth and death sites- but there are so many great, lesser known ones.

I would put Grouseland in that lesser known category.  Harrison is one of those Presidents that I think people forget about, and this was a home of his well before his stay at THE White House.

The first Harrison in the White House (his grandson, Benjamin Harrison, would become the 23rd President) lived here from 1804, when it was built, until 1812.  He was the Governor of the Indiana Territory at that time (a very large area back then).

We had an excellent tour guide (I unfortunately did not get his name) who knew everything.  He let us know that Harrison was very concerned about his home being attacked, and he had the home built like a fortress.  It was built sturdy enough, in fact, to withstand the New Madrid earthquakes shortly after going up.  The house does have some cracks made by the quakes!

We were told during our tour of the treaties negotiated here by Harrison, acquiring much land from the Native Americans.  Tecumseh met with Harrison on the property, but refused to enter the house.  Our guide did not sugar coat those events or try to spin the history. 

I was most impressed with the main dining area.  Here, Harrison would invite locals, including Native Americans to dinner nightly.  Obviously, our guide explained, he was hoping to get information from his guests.  His guests were surely impressed by his layout and alcohol (he made his own).  AND, Harrison would be living and politicking 24 hours a day at this home/office.

I was very impressed with the amazing collection of Harrison owned items on display throughout the home.  Many furnishings were owned by the family while in Ohio and acquired later by Grouseland.  All of the more famous original paintings were on display too.  I enjoyed looking at these originals, and thinking about Harrison posing for them.

I found out that Ms. Harrison never actually went to the White House, due in part to her husbands short term (he died 1 month after becoming President number nine).

The site does not allow photography inside, but they do sell a nice book on the home (for a reasonable $3) and there are postcards of pretty much every room for pocket change.  If you are a Pez collector, the museum is the ONLY place where you can buy an individually carded William Henry Harrison dispenser!

This is a great site, and I look forward to another visit in the near future.  I would love to hear from others who know of other less famous Presidential sites.