I have long-known the story of Samuel Chester Reid (1783-1861). Reid was a naval officer and hero of the War of 1812–commanding the privateer General Armstrong off the Azores, he took on a British fleet, delaying its arrival in Louisiana, and enabling General Andrew Jackson to triumph over the British at the Battle of New … Read more
The Green-Wood Historic Fund’s Restoration and Preservation Program is truly cutting edge. No other cemetery in America has as active and as wide-reaching a program. Headed by Frank Morelli, it has rebuilt entire monuments with pieces dug out of the ground or molded as needed. It has restored wings and hands to angels. It has … Read more
Today is the 70th anniversary of the premier of “The Wizard of Oz,” the legendary movie starring Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Margaret Hamilton, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, and Billie Burke. Frank Morgan, the Wizard himself, is interred at Green-Wood. For years, he has been the last stop on my Halloween tours of the … Read more
The 150th anniversary of John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry is just a few weeks away.
I happened to be reading New York Magazine yesterday and came across an interview with actor Alec Baldwin.
On Sunday morning, July 28, 1907, a great fire swept through Coney Island, destroying almost all of George C. Tilyou’s amusement park, Steeplechase Park.
I recently vacationed in Spring Lake, New Jersey, along the Jersey shore. A very nice little town. On a quiet morning, we walked over to the local historical society. And, there it was: an oar from the S.S. Morro Castle, the great luxury passenger ship that caught fire off Asbury Park on September 8, 1934, then ran aground just feet from the Asbury Park beach. In all, 135 of the 549 people aboard the ship were lost.
A couple of months ago, I did a cemetery tour for the Bayport Heritage Association. It was quite an interesting experience with a very enthusiastic group. One of the pleasures of doing tours for such groups is my opportunity to learn from them. Though I’ve been doing tours of Green-Wood since 1990, I can only fit so much into my brain.