The former Custis-Lee Mansion became Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial in 1972. It was built in 1802 on a bluff just across the Potomac River from Washington D.C. It was occupied by Lee’s family for 30 years until Lee left in 1861. The Federals took over in 1864 and started Arlington Cemetery. The first photo shows the front porch in 1861 with Mathew Brady in a top hat. The second photo is dated 1864.
The house at Bushong Farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley was built in 1825. On May 15, 1864, it was the center of the Battle of New Market when 6,000 Union and 4,100 Confederate forces engaged in a fierce battle. Part of the Confederate army consisted of 257 cadets from the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) ages 14 through 24. The cadets were intended as reserves, but immediately saw front line action; ten were killed and 57 wounded. The first photo was taken in the 1880s.
The 7,000 sq. ft. Farley House was built in 1790 in Culpepper County Virginia. During the Civil War it was occupied by both sides, first by Jeb Stuart and then by the Union Headquarters 6th Corps. One hundred and twenty thousand Union soldiers wintered nearby in late 1863 following the Battle of Brandy Station – the largest, mostly cavalry engagement not only of the Civil War but of any war fought on U.S. soil. The photo is dated 1864 and shows Union occupation.
John Brown’s Fort was built as a firehouse in Harper’s Ferry West Virginia in 1848. It is the site where, in 1859, John Brown and his followers barracaded themselves after attempting to take over the adjacent armory. Ironically, the insurrection was put down by none other than Robert E. Lee and Jeb Stuart. In 1891 the building was sold, shipped in pieces, reassembled, and put on display in Chicago near the Columbian Exposition. It attracted a grand total of 11 visitors. Then in 1895 it was dismantled and shipped back to Harper’s Ferry, where it sat in a farmer’s field. After that it was moved to a local college campus where it stayed until 1968 when it made its final move to about 150 feet from where it was originally situated. The first photo is dated 1888, and the second one was taken in 1895.
Here are three of the most notable Niagara Falls daredevils. The first is Annie Taylor who, in 1901, dropped 158 feet over Horseshoe Falls in a barrel and became the first man or woman to survive it. Click to enlarge the photo and note the cat on the barrel’s rim.
The second daredevil is The Great Bandini who, in 1859, was the first to cross on a tightrope. The walk took 20 minutes on a 1100-foot, 3-inch diameter, manila rope. His 30-foot balancing pole weighed 40 pounds. That summer he made 8 more crossings , one carrying his manager (see photo) and the next year pushing a wheelbarrow.
And then there is Maria Spelterini who in 1876 became the first female tightrope walker. One one occasion she walked from the American side to the Canadian side and back again! Another time she skipped across, and yet another time she did it blindfolded. But the most noteworthy trip was when she walked across with peach baskets attached to her feet (see photo, click to enlarge).
For a supurb write-up of these and many other daredevils, check out niagarafrontier.com/devil_frame.html
Niagara Falls is comprised of three separate falls, two (American and Bridal Veil) on the American side and one (Horseshoe) on the Canadian side.Together they flow an average of 3,160 tons of water per second! They are seen by three million people a year. On the American side most visitors view from Niagara Falls State Park in New York–the oldest state park in the United States. The first three photos are of American Falls in 1855, 1860 and frozen in 1900. The fifth photo is from the Canadian side in 1906.
Visitor in the mist in 1907 and recently.
Grove Park Inn is located in Ashville NC and opened in 1913. Four hundred men worked 10-hour shifts six days a week for $1 a day. Everything had to be hauled up the mountain either by mule train or by car train (for the heavier boulders some weighing as much as 10,000 pounds). The roof is 5 1/2 inch poured concrete yet gives a thatched roof appearance. Inside is the largest collection of Mission style furniture in the country. Many famous people have stayed here including Houdini, Will Rogers Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and 10 Presidents. F. Scott Fitzgerald spent the summers of 1935 and 36 at the Inn to be near Zelda, who was in a nearby sanitarium. Deemed too costly to tear down, it was renovated, including the addition of a 40,000 sq. ft. spa, and then another $25,000,000 was spent in 2012. The first two photos show a mule train and a car train in 1912 (click to enlarge). The third photo shows the Inn’s setting in 1913 just before it opened. Harvey Firestone, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford appear in the 1918 photo. The next photo is undated.
The Phoenix Building is located in Pittsford NY. It was opened in 1814 as an inn along a stage line.It served that purpose for 150 years hosting the likes of DeWitt Clinton (who was surveying for the eventual Erie Canal), the Marquis de Lafayette, and Daniel Webster. It burned in 1963 and sat idle for one year before it was renovated into commercial and office space. The first photo is dated 1910, the second is from the 1920s, and the third is a Parade Day in the late 20s.
Bush House is located in Index WA and opened in 1898. It served the tourist trade from Seattle as well as the growing local lumber and mining industries causing the need for extensive additions to the original building. However, it eventually fell into disrepair and closed in 2001 and was sold in 2011. The new owners have made extensive repairs and, although no date has been set, it is expected to reopen soon. The first photo shows the original building in 1891 while the third shows Bush House with the first car to arrive in Index, and the fourth is from the early 1900s.