Old Fort Randall Church, Fairfax South Dakota
The only visible remains of historic Old Fort Randall, located in Gregory County, South Dakota, is the ruins of an old church. These ruins are on the right bank of the Missouri River, immediately downstream from a large earthfill dam (named Fort Randall) that was built in the late 1940's. The site of the Fort was selected in 1856 by General William S, Harney, Commander of the Sioux Expedition, after spending a winter at Old Fort Pierrea. He suggested that the new post be named after Colonel Daniel Randall, late Deputy Paymaster-General. On 26 June 1856, the post was laid out and construction began. The exact location of the original Fort is not definitely known for according to the Surgeon General's Report for 1875, it was for the most part torn down, and a new post was built during 1870-72, under the direction of Lieutenant Colonel E. S. Otis, Twenty-second Infantry.More...
Bald Mountain Gold Mill, Lead South Dakota
Bald Mountain Gold Mill lies approximately four miles west of Lead, in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. Bald Mountain itself is southeast of the mill complex, which is set on the side of a hill, facing north and looking towards the bed of False Bottom Creek. For much of its operating life Bald Mountain mill was the second largest producer in the Black Hills, surpassed only by the Homestake mine. During the period from 1906 until 1959, it grew to be the center of an industrial complex that included numerous mines, transportation facilities and the workers' town of Trojan. The development of the Bald Mountain mill over a 53 year period was directly linked to the scale of operation and success of the three successive companies that controlled it. The ownership periods of the American Eagle (1906-10), Trojan (1910-28) and Bald Mountain (1928-59) Mining Companies create three periods for study. Other important events in the history of the mill include the beginning of large changes by Trojan (c 1913), the re-opening of and subsequent investment in the mill by the Bald Mountain Company (1934-9), and forced closure of the mill during World War II (1942-45).More...
Monomoy Point Light Station, Chatham Massachusetts
Federal management of lighthouses was an early concern of a national government anxious to develop foreign and domestic commerce. The first congressional authorization for lighthouse expenditures was passed in August 1780, and by 1797, the states had ceded control of the twelve pre-Federal lighthouses. The Treasury Department managed, or was nominally responsible for, lighthouses and related facilities until 1903, under two very different systems of management. Treasury Department officials authorized and dispersed funds for construction, maintenance, and supply of lighthouses through the first half of the nineteenth century, without any formal means of inspecting or improving facilities. Until 1820, the Secretary of the Treasury or the Commissioner of Revenue was directly responsible for lighthouses, followed by the Fifth Auditor of the Treasury, who was the chief lighthouse administrator until 1952. Customs collectors acted as superintendents for lights in their districts, while supply contractors performed most inspection and reporting services. The regime of Fifth Auditor Stephen Pleasanton, who held the post throughout the 1820-52 period, was noted for its technical and fiscal conservatism. Given European advances in light construction, by the 1830s, concern about the adequacy of a rapidly expanding lighthouse network led to a series of investigations into American lighthouse management.More...
Boston Manufacturing Company, Waltham Massachusetts
According to business historians Glenn Porter and Harold c. Livesay, the Boston Manufacturing Company (BMC) was the first truly modern factory in the United States. Founded in 1813 by Francis Cabot Lowell, Patrick T. Jackson, and others, the BMC integrated and mechanized production from raw material to finished product under a single management and within a single factory. This new industrial form, says textile manufacturing historian Caroline F. Ware, soon came to dominate the cotton industry, because it marked a radical departure from all that had gone before, differing almost as much from the early mill as the latter had from its handicraft predecessors. Much of the BMC's success stemmed from its innovative development of an entire series of new or improved textile machines. According to Harvard business historian George Sweet Gibb, the power loom of the Boston Manufacturing Company affected the American cotton textile industry as no other innovation since 1790 had done. It signalized the awakening of American mechanics and the end of their slavish dependence on British technology. Moreover, says Ware, it was power-loom weaving that furnished the technical basis for reorganization of the factory and for a practically unlimited extension in the size of the factory plant. In her prize-winning 1931 study of the early New England cotton textile industry, Caroline F. Ware asserts that the story of the New England cotton industry is the story of the industrialization of America. This industry brought the factory system to the United States and furnished the laboratory wherein we worked out industrial methods characteristic of the nation. Ware and most other economic historians date the beginning of the American cotton textile industry to 1790, the year in which William Almy and Moses Brown, utilizing the ideas and skills of English immigrant Samuel Slater, opened the country's first successful cotton mill in Providence, Rhode Island. Following the Providence example, a number of entrepreneurs started cotton mills during the next two decades, and by 1810 some 168 cotton factories with 90,000 spindles were operating in the United States. These mills struggled, however, against competition from cheap goods imported from England and against shortages of skilled workers and investment capital. The trade embargo of 1807-9 and the war of 1812 altered these conditions significantly by shutting off foreign competition, freeing commercial capital for investment in manufacturing, and sparking a wave of new mill construction. Chief among these new enterprises stood the Boston Manufacturing Company, which was organized, says Ware, along a new industrial form that soon came to dominate the cotton industry and that marked a radical departure from all that had gone before, differing almost as much from the early mill as the latter had from its handicraft predecessors.More...
Rookery Building, Chicago Illinois
The Rookery building is on the site of a former city water tank built in 1842. When the tank survived the 1871 fire, John Van Osdell designed a temporary city hall, two stories high, which was built around it. The tank was later converted to a reading room and became the first home of the Chicago Public Library. The building received its name from the fact that many pigeons had made the water tank area their home. The story is as follows: One day an irate citizen stormed into Mayor Joseph Hedill's office and protested against the pigeon population in the district. 'Why this building is nothing but a rookery', he complained. The name stuck.More...
Avery Island Salt Works, Avery Island Louisiana
Archeological evidence for the production of salt by prehistoric Native Americans suggests that salt has been made on Avery Island from at least AD 1000 by early Plaquemine peoples. Artifacts such as basketry and shallow ceramic pans for evaporating brine have been found in the Salt Mine Valley on the south side of the island, pointing to occupation during a period between AD 1300 and 1650. The Attakapa were the last Native Americans to inhabit the island, but they abandoned it before the arrival of Europeans. The historic Attakapas district, of which present day Iberia Parish is a part, was first inhabited by the French in 1778 and, a short while afterwards, by Acadians migrating from Nova Scotia. These settlers established the colony of New Iberia in the 1780s. Among those traveling west from New Orleans at this time was Eliza Hayes, abandoned by her husband, and her five children, The family arrived at Petite Anse Island, later to become known as Avery Island, in 1789 and established a homestead on the high, level ground on the north side. Local tradition maintains that in 1791, while hunting for deer, Eliza Hayes' eldest son John discovered a brine spring in the southern portion of the island. From this time the family began to evaporate salt for their own use. In 1811 they received title to 338.51 acres of land on the north side where they had made their home.More...
West Union Covered Bridge, West Union Indiana
In 1876, Joseph J. Daniels built the West Union Covered Bridge to replace his earlier Harrison Bridge, which had washed out in a flood. J. J. Daniels was a prolific bridge-builder from Rockville, the county seat of Parke County. He built nearly sixty covered bridges in Indiana between 1855 and ca. 1900. The bridge spans Sugar Creek, a tributary of the Wabash River, north of the center of West Union, in Reserve Township, Parke County, Indiana. At 315', it is the longest bridge in the county. The county bypassed the wooden bridge in 1964 with a concrete span.More...
American Oak Leather Company, Cincinnati Ohio
The American Oak Leather Company was founded in 1880 by James E. Mooney, a progressive Cincinnati industrialist and community leader. He was a financial backer of the Cincinnati Incline Railways which contributed to the growth and expansion of the City. He was also president of the Cincinnati Coffin Company and had other business interests throughout the Ohio Valley and the Midwest. The American Oak Leather Company produced sole and harness leather, belting leather and patent leather for carriages and furniture manufacturers. The business was the largest of its kind when it opened in 1881, employing as many as 1000 workers. The company survived two major floods and three destructive fires. The A.O.L. Complex included five major buildings by 1900. The largest building was built in 1895. A second smaller building was built across Dalton Street to the east. This building was connected to the principal structure by a second story bridge. The smaller building was demolished sometime in the early 1950s. To the north of the first building were three additional buildings. These were later replaced by an ell-shaped structure around 1910.More...
Mathias Rinckel Mansion, Carson City Nevada
Mathias Rinckel (1833-1879) was born in Altenheim in Germany. He was the youngest of a family of seven children. When he was nine months old, the family immigrated to America and settled in Warsaw, Illinois. In 1849 Matt, then a sixteen year old farmer, joined a group of five young men and proceeded west to the gold fields. He remained in the Feather River district in California for ten years, by which time he had accumulated a degree of wealth in placer mining. Leaving California, Rinckel came to Genoa in what was then Carson County, Utah Territory, and the next year, 1860, went to Virginia City, where he increased his fortune in mining.More...
Marcus Garvey School, Newark New Jersey
This school was constructed in 1888 as an eight-room primary school and was called the 13th Avenue Public School. Successive enlargements between 1891 and 1915 accommodated and reflected the growth of Newark's immigrant populations. The first addition was constructed just three years after its opening and increased its capacity to 17 rooms. This addition completed the original design of the school building as planned in 1887-88. A photograph of the 13th Avenue facade taken after the construction of the first addition and before 1903 indicates that the building, as originally designed was a three-story Romanesque Revival Style brick and brownstone school. The 1891 addition is indistinguishable from the original portion in this photograph; the two combined read as one seamless school building. The main entrance fronted 13th Avenue; a second side entrance was at the comer of Richmond Street and Thirteenth Avenue. There were two detached bathrooms immediately behind the school suggesting that the school did not have indoor plumbing at that time.More...
Fortnum Motor Company, Bridgeboro New Jersey
Lester F. Fortnum, Sr. founded the Fortnum Motor Company in 1913 in Bridgeboro, New Jersey. Until 1911 Mr. Fortnum worked as a shipper in the Henry Taubels Hoisery Mills in Riverside. Beginning his sales career in 1912 at the age of 22, Fortnum sold his first bicycle in a building adjacent to the firehouse on South Bridgeboro Street in Bridgeboro, As business progressed and technology changed, Lester Fortnum shifted from bicycles to motorcycles, and finally in 1913 he sold his first automobile. On May 26, 1914, Lester Fortnum purchased the 2.33 acre parcel of land where the company's building is now located. Fortnum had the showroom and office section of the structure built on the site that year. In the same year Fortnum received his first licensed automobile franchise from the Ford Company.More...
Whittier Theatre, Whittier California
The Whittier Theatre was not Whittier's first movie house, but it was its most prominent one. At least three other motion picture theaters preceded the Whittier Theatre: the Family Theatre (124 S. Greenleaf Avenue) and the Optic (111 S. Greenleaf Avenue) were both operated by the G.H. Keipp family sometime after 1900, probably in the 1910s [Whittier Daily News, n.d., c. 1910s] the Scenic Theatre was in business at 211 E. Philadelphia when the Whittier Theatre opened its doors in the summer of 1929. When the Whittier Theatre was being planned, the owners deliberately selected a site on the outskirts of town to escaoe the Whittier blue laws that would have prohibited showing movies on Sunday [Tribune/News December 13, 1987]. The Whittier Theatre was designed as a combination movie palace and stage theater, and it is noteworthy that the premiere gala included not only the screening of Monte Blue's From Headquarters but three special vaudeville numbers. The relative isolation of the theater from the main commercial district of uptown Whittier seems to have had an adverse effect on the complex's businesses for several years. Although the two principal adjacent businesses (the McNees Cafe and the Whittier Pharmacy) were stable, city directories indicate that, up until about 1936, other businesses came and went, and there were several vacancies. The heyday of the Whittier Theatre lasted from the late 1930s until the 1950s, when television began making inroads on movie-going. Excerpts from newspaper articles make it clear that the theater is fondly remembered by many of the area's residents as a popular social focal point and an important part of their younger years.More...
Chalfonte Hotel, Atlantic City New Jersey
Elisha and Elizabeth Roberts opened The Chalfonte Hotel, or Chalfonte House as it was first called, on June 25, 1868 near the corner of Pacific and North Carolina Avenues in Atlantic City. The Roberts' choice of this corner was no doubt determined by its proximity to the train depot to the north and the ocean to the south. Because the tides were continually increasing the beach area, the Roberts found it possible to move the hotel forward twice, once in 1879 and again in 1889. They also extended their main building and added subsidiary structures to it. The Chalfonte passed through a period of transition in management during the eighteen nineties and came under the control of Henry W. Leeds around 1900. Leeds embarked on a major expansion program and in 1904 constructed Atlantic City's first tall, iron frame hotel. It is this structure that people usually mean today when they recall staying at the Chalfonte. The original structure, however, was not demolished. As a comparison of the 1903 site plan with the 1904 site plan shows, it was simply moved sixty feet to the west, re-clad in brick, and integrated into the larger hotel complex. Atlantic City is the creation of the second half of the nineteenth century. It was the result of steadily increasing urbanization with its inevitable need for some place where the masses could escape from work and city streets to leisure, romance, and sea breezes. Those with time enough and money could go to Cape May, where well-to-do Philadelphians mingled with their counterparts from southern states. Even the well-to-do, however, may have found the long journey an inconvenience, while those whose work week ended on Saturday afternoon and started again on Monday morning simply had no means of escape from their sweltering row houses.More...
Windsor Castle Ruins (Windsor Plantation), Port Gibson Mississippi
The builder of Windsor, Smith Coffee Daniell, II, was born in Mississippi in 1826, the son of an Indian fighter turned farmer and landowner. His own holdings were so vast (eventually totaling 21,000 acres in Mississippi and Louisiana) that he studied law at the University of Virginia in order to better administer his estates. In 1849 he was married to his cousin Catherine Freeland (1830-1903), by whom he had six children, and in 1859 he began building Windsor. Basic construction was done by slave labor, and the 16-inch bricks for the walls were made at a kiln across the road from the house. Skilled carpenters were brought from New England for the finished woodwork, and the iron stairs, column capitals, and balustrades were manufactured in St. Louis and shipped down the Mississippi River to the port of Bruinsburg, several miles west of Windsor. Daniell died at age 34 on April 28, 1861, only weeks after completing his home at a cost of $175,000.00. During the Civil War, Windsor reputedly was used as an observation post by the Confederates, who sent signals from its cupola across the Mississippi River to Louisiana. It is also said to have served as a Union hospital after the Battle of Port Gibson in May, 1863, its mistress having dissuaded Federal troops from burning it.More...
Longwood - Nutt's Folly, Natchez Mississippi
Designed by the noted Philadelphia architect, Samuel Sloan, and constructed in 1860-62, Longwood is the largest and most elaborate of the octagon houses built in the United States. The mansion, which was never completed on the interior, was to have 32 rooms each with their own fireplace. Longwood is also one of the finest surviving examples of an Oriental Revival style residence which along with Olana, a Persian villa designed by R. M. Hunt for Frederick Church and built in 1870-72 near Hudson, New York, illustrates the exotic phase of architectural romanticism that flourished in mid-19th century America. Longwood is interesting as an earlier, less academically detailed version of the Moslem Revival which uniquely combines stylistic eclecticism of both Moslem and Italianate, with the octagonal form first fostered by the phrenologist and amateur architectural theorist Orson Squire Fowler. Although never completed on the interior, the fine detailing of the exterior has survived in an amazing state of preservation. When the document of the building itself is combined with the papers of its owner, Haller Nutt, and of its architect, Samuel Sloan, an unusually complete insight is gained into the architectural theory of the period as well as the creative process involved in a unique and beautiful work of art.More...
Ahnapee Brewery - Von Stiehl Winery, Algoma Wisconsin
The Ahnapee Brewery was built in 1869 for Wojta (aka Vojta) Stransky, a businessman from the nearby city of Kewaunee, and Herman Seideman, a brewer who had come to Algoma from Sturgeon Bay. Their brewery was constructed to fill the local need for a brewery in the city of Ahnapee, a community that was by then heavily settled with persons of Bohemian and German extraction. The new brewery was built at a cost of $12,000 and was the most impressive building in the community for several years thereafter. Apparently the brewery was a commercial success and it continued in operation under a number of different owners until 1894. In 1909, the building was converted into a fly net manufacturing plant by local businessman George Kelsey. In 1926, the by then vacant building was taken over by another company that manufactured washing machines in the building for a number of years. Afterwards, the building was used primarily for feed storage until 1967, when a local doctor, Dr. Charles W. Stiehl, restored it to house the well-known wine-making business. The first settlers arrived at the mouth of the Ahnapee River (then known as the Wolf River) in 1851. These men were John Hughes and Orrin Warner, both of whom made their first journey to the site in March of 1851 from the city of Manitowoc.More...
Paramount Theatre, Oakland California
Construction of the Paramount Theater was initiated in 1930 by Publix Theatres, the exhibiting organization of Paramount Pictures. Financial difficulties forced the sale of the uncompleted building to Fox-West Coast Theatres, the firm that completed the theatre and operated it until it closed on September 15, 1970, although the name Paramount was ultimately retained. In 1972 the building was purchased by the Board of Directors of the Oakland Symphony Orchestra Association. During 1973 the building was restored, and in 1975 the City of Oakland, the present owner, assumed ownership from the Oakland Symphony Orchestra Association. The Paramount Theatre in Oakland was one of only three theatres built by the Publix chain on the West Coast and was the last one started in a construction program which began in 1925. It was not only the last Publix house but was also the last very large moving picture theatre built on the West Coast and is now the largest of the type still extant there. The groundbreaking ceremony was performed with a golden spade by E. B. Field, President of the Oakland Chamber of Commerce, on December 11, 1930. Speeches by Paramount and municipal officials, including Commissioner George H. Wilhelm representing Mayor John L. Davie, who was ill, and music by the ROTC Band and the Oakland Firemen's Band marked the occasion.More...
Chelan Butte Lookout - Fire Watchtower, Chelan Washington
Euro-American settlement of the lower Lake Chelan country gained momentum in the 1890s as transportation and access to the remote area improved. Homesteaders who settled in the vicinity of Chelan Butte turned to raising livestock, grazing their animals on the grasses of the sparsely forested butte. The summit of the butte, 3835' above sea level, provided a dramatic vantage point overlooking Lake Chelan and the forests and mountains of Okanogan and Chelan Counties. It is possible that Chelan Butte was used for fire surveillance purposes prior to any recorded Forest Service use of the site. The earliest documented use of the butte for fire surveillance is the notation on a 1922 Forest Service map of a triangulation station at the summit accessible by trail. At that time, the geographic location of Chelan Butte was outside the Wenatchee National Forest and within the jurisdiction of the Chelan Ranger District on the old Chelan National Forest. Forest Service employee Simeon (Sim) Beeson, a forty-year veteran of the Chelan Ranger District, confirmed that in the 1920s and early 1930s a tent camp was located at the summit. Another long-time Forest Service employee, Marion McFadden, recalled the existence of a rudimentary gabled lookout cabin in the summer of 1938, his first season on the butte. In his personal possession is a 1938 photograph of himself as a young lookout man standing in front of the grade-level cabin.More...
Wilton Mansion, Richmond Virginia
The land on which the house stood before it was moved to Richmond, was granted to Richard Perrin in 1672. Some of this land had been formerly granted to Captain Matthew Edloe on October 2, 1656, and by him assigned to Richard Perrin. The brick mansion at Wilton was built by William Randolph III (died 1761), a younger son of William Randolph II (1681-1742), of Turkey Island. Upon his death it was inherited by his son, Peyton Randolph, who married Lucy Harrison, daughter of Benjamin Harrison, Signer of the Declaration of Independence. The Randolphs owned it until about 1860, when the heiress of the family, Kate Randolph, great granddaughter of William Randolph III, married Edward G. Mayo. Since then the estate frequently changed hands.More...
James Russell Lowell Elementary School, Louisville Kentucky
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the suburbanization of Louisville focused on the southern section of the city, radiating from the principal new transportation belt, the Southern Parkway. As town expanded southward, suburban neighborhoods such as South Louisville and Oakdale, where historic Churchill Downs Racetrack is located, were incorporated into the city limits. The town of Highland Park began to develop about the turn-of-the-century, a predominantly working class neighborhood with small-scaled, frame, vernacular residences for working class families. The first school in Highland Park School was District School 45. It was built about 1898 at the intersection of Louisville Avenue and Almond Avenue. The three-story, brick masonry school, with cut limestone basement, contained six classrooms and two cloakrooms on the first and second floors and two rooms used as an auditorium on the third floor.More...
Springfield Plantation, Fayette Mississippi
Thomas Marston Green, Jr. (1758-1813), builder of
Springfield, was a member of the first general assembly of the
Territory of Mississippi and the second man to represent the
territory in the U. S. Congress. He was a son of Colonel
Thomas M. Green (1723-1805), who was instrumental in the establishment
of the short-lived Bourbon County (which included the
Natchez district) by Georgia in 1785. Thomas M. Green, Jr.,
was a brother of Abner Green, territorial treasurer of Mississippi,
and brother-in-law of Cato West, acting governor of the
territory, 1803-1805, and a Jefferson County delegate to the
state constitutional convention of 1817. Colonel Thomas Hinds,
who distinguished himself in the Pensacola and New Orleans
campaigns with Jackson and was also active in the territorial
period and early statehood of Mississippi, was a son-in-law of
Thomas M. Green, Jr. The Springfield estate was retained by
members of the Green family until 1850, and in 1914 the house
and 533 acres were acquired by James H. Williams.
Local tradition maintains that Andrew Jackson and
Rachel Donelson Robards were married at Springfield in the
summer of 1791. One of the earliest known references to the
event is in The Memories of Fifty Years (1870) by W. H. Sparks,
whose own wife was a daughter of Abner Green: Jackson came
and married her [Rachel], in the house of Thomas M. Green.
Sparks' relationship to the Green family would seemingly add
credence to his account, but he diminishes his own reliability
by such devices as attributing entire paragraphs of verbatim
conversation to Jackson. In A History of Mississippi by
Robert Lowry and William H. McCardle (1891), the tradition of
the Springfield marriage was restated, as well as elaborated:
General Andrew Jackson was married at the home of the Hon. Thomas Marstori Green, on the northern bank of Coles Creek, in what is now Jefferson County, in the summer of 1791, to Mrs. Rachel Robards.... the ceremony was performed by Colonel Thomas Green, who acted in his capacity of magistrate in and for Bourbon County.
No documentation for the above is given; in actuality, however, Bourbon County was officially abolished in 1788.