Thursday Doors: Day-Trippin’ in Galena, Illinois

Before I start flooding your eyeballs with images of doors and a short discourse about Galena (Illinois) and galena (the mineral), I have to lay the groundwork by mentioning Canadian Thanksgiving. (I trust Norm will gently correct me if I get the last part wrong…)

The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving can be traced back to two events. The first Canadian appearance of the holiday dates back to 1578 when Martin Frobisher and his crew came together for a communal meal to thank God for reuniting the crew after they were separated due to bad weather. The second appearance dates back to 1606, when Samuel de Champlain organized the Order of Good Cheer to boost settler’s spirits after a dreadful winter. Under British rule, the holiday differed in theme and dates until January 1, 1957, when the Canadian Parliament officially declared the official date of Thanksgiving celebrations to be held on the second Monday of October. This date coincides much better with the actual date of Canadian harvests due to the arrival of winter. (More info at Canadashistory.ca) .

Over the years, Canadian Thanksgiving weekend has become the annual holiday get-together time for my family. This year, 4 out of 5 of my siblings & I (& spouses and children) gathered in northern Illinois where we grew up. On Sunday the 13th we drove to Galena, Illinois for the day. Before the doors though…

Galena, also called lead glance, is the natural mineral form of lead(II) sulfide (PbS). It is the most important ore of lead and an important source of silver. (Young, Courtney A.; Taylor, Patrick R.; Anderson, Corby G. (2008). Hydrometallurgy 2008: Proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium. SME. ISBN 9780873352666.)  Lead in the Galena, Illinois area was originally mined by members of the Sac and Fox tribes for use in body painting. French trappers in the 1690’s mined small quantities of lead. Retired US Army Colonel George Davenport shipped Galena’s first boatload of lead ore down the Mississippi River in 1816. Three years later a trading post was built in Galena that led to the first steamboat arrival in 1824. By 1845 Galena was producing nearly 27,000 tons of lead ore and Jo Daviess County was producing 80 percent of the lead in the United States. (http://miningartifacts.homestead.com/Illinois-Mines.html)

Ulysses S. Grant, future 18th President of the United States, was born in 1822 in Ohio. He enrolled at West Point in 1839, and made a career of the military until 1854. After resigning from the Army, he and his wife (Julia) and 4 children moved to a farm in the St. Louis, Missouri area. Farming was not Grant’s strong suit. They moved again in 1860, this time to Galena so Grant could work at his father’s tannery and leather goods store. With the outbreak of civil war in 1861, Grant was appointed Colonel of the 21st Illinois Volunteers. Following the cessation of hostilities, Grant returned to Galena in 1865. The citizens of Galena presented him with this wonderful home…

Grant home

On the backside of the house, to the right, is a small building with a smattering of displays relevant to the Grants, the US Presidency, etc. This door is a side door to this place.

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After a quick tour of the Grant Home, we all headed down into town, through Grant Park where we split up to groups intent on discovery, or food, or warmth, or restrooms…

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The Mrs. and I had wonderful meal at a restaurant called Fried Green Tomatoes. We sat at the table to the left, against the wall in this photo. I was sitting in the chair just under the “2”.  Across the street from us we admired a tall, and seemingly 2-D building. I noticed what looked like a white horse watching out over the street from a vantage point on the 3rd floor. Interestingly enough, there was a “For Rent” sign on the same floor…

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At this point, we headed over to the Galena Visitor Center for a quick bathroom break before we headed up the hill for an orgy of doors… The hill excursion will have to wait until next week (soooooo many doors!)

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A little used door in the side of the Visitor Center.

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Finally, the side view of the Lemfco, Inc building, a foundry that opened in 1912 under the name Leadmine Foundry. The business was all about making iron based products to be used by the prosperous lead mining companies in Galena!

Until next week, you can see alot more doors from all over this planet by visiting Norm2.0 HERE….

 

 

 

 

Thursday Doors – Caisleán Bhun Raithe (Bunratty)

I made my first visit to Ireland in June of 1994. I flew from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport to Shannon Airport where I met up with my parents and my older brother. We hired two cars at the airport, one for the parents and one for us “kids”. Our pre-planned scheduled itinerary consisted of: Day One – Visit Bunratty Castle and have dinner there, then stay overnight at a B&B where my parents made reservations before we left. Days 2 through 5 -Follow the sun. Days 6 & 7 – Stay at a B&B in Dublin then fly home.

Bunratty2
From left clockwise – My brother, Nik, my Dad, and my Mom invading Bunratty Castle, 1994

We drove to Bunratty Castle, County Clare for a tour & banquet….

Okay, so here is something I just discovered right now (or just remembered after 17 years)… see this sign?

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See the last paragraph where it mentions Admiral Giles Penn, and his son, William? THE William Penn who was founder of the American Colony, Pennsylvania? Well Giles Penn had a sister,  Hannah (William’s aunt). Hannah is my maternal great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandmother… A family connection to Bunratty!!!!

I have one other picture with any sort of door from this trip, and I believe I took it in the  Bunratty Castle Folk Park…

Limerick 1994

Thursday Doors is a weekly challenge for door-seeking souls (some of us sometimes steal door-thunder from the REAL Irish members of this grouping…) in search of group-inclusiveness. It is the blog-child of Norm 2.0. Want to see more doors from around the globe? Go to his site HERE and travel past all his wonderful door pics and click on the blue-rectangle-encased-frog…

Thursday Doors – Kilauea

The Mrs and I were married in September, 2006. For our honeymoon, we chose to travel someplace neither one of us had ever been before – Hawaii. My Thursday Door is from that trip. We were on the island of Kauai and visited the Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge.

Hawaii lighthouse
Long view cuz the lighthouse is just too cool!

hawaii kailauea 3

I assume if you are a woman/girl from Australia, you are allowed beyond the sign…

Thursday Doors is a weekly challenge for door-seeking souls (some of us perpetually on vacation…) in search of group-inclusiveness. It is the blog-child of Norm 2.0. Want to see more doors from around the globe? Go to his site HERE and travel past all his wonderful door pics (9 this week I believe) and click on the blue-rectangle-encased-frog…

 

ROUND??? Yes, really…!!!

It is ALL Tanja’s fault. Tanja blogs about her travels @ “the Red Phone Box Travels” .   In one of her posts, she asked if anyone would be interested in doing a Post Card Exchange. Like with REAL post cards. That require handwriting on and actually putting a real postage stamp on, and actually either putting them in a post box or dropping them off at a Post Office. I said I was interested immediately… I mean, how cool is that?  When I was a boy (as opposed to a chicken? or a goat? Oh wait, I would have been just a kid then….) Any way, as I was saying, when I was just a wee lad in grade school, I had a pen pal in South Korea. Then when I was in high school, I had a couple pen pals in Germany and Austria who I would write back and forth to in German, and they would write to me in English. So we could improve our foreign language skills. I loved having pen pals!

So to me, the post card pal is similar, except instead of working on improving language skills, I guess we are working on improving our world traveler skills!

I digressed…. So, I now have 4 Post Card Pals. 1 in the USA, 1 in Croatia, 1 in the UK, and 1 in New Zealand!!! And today I wrote them all my first post card, and headed out to the post office to purchase the appropriate postage and SEND THEM AROUND THE WORLD!!! 3 of my 4 required International postage of only $1.20. And it requires a SPECIAL stamp. and the SPECIAL stamp is…. like, WOW…. ROUND! A round stamp! I have never seen a round stamp! How can they even MAKE a round stamp? (okay, just kidding about that…) I commented to the Postal Dude, Dennis, about the uniqueness of the round stamp. He said, as far as he was aware, this was the first round US postage stamp… wow…

round stamp

OOOPS… Tanja, SPOILERS! I had wanted the round stamp to be as much a surprise for you as me…. Na schön.

So, what it comes down to, is if Tanja hadn’t started her Post Card Exchange, and if I hadn’t been so excited about it, and if I hadn’t followed through with my post card sending today, I probably would have never ever seen a round US postage stamp in my entire life. Glorious Serendipity!!!

Shoulda had a PB&J

Spring break, late 70’s. My college roommate, Brian, and I had planned to drive to New Orleans for spring break, provided my 1959 VW Bug would start. I had thrown a valve in cylinder #3 of the 1300cc horizontally opposed 4-cylinder motor one very cold night the previous December driving back to school after visiting my parents over Christmas break. I had spent the following 3 months rebuilding the motor in the basement of the house I was living in. On the night before Brian and I were targeted to leave for NOLA, I finished reinstalling the now rebuilt motor, got all the wires hooked up, but did not start the motor that night. Brian & I agreed that night if the motor started the following motor, we would go south. If the motor didn’t start, well, we would stay…

Early the next morning, we packed our stuff for the trip, sat in the Bug, and I turned the key. All 40 horses rumbled to life from the back of the Bug. Brian & I looked at each other, shook hands, and with $39 between us, and a couple loaves of bread and jars of peanut butter and grape jelly, we headed south on US 51.

We had one small issue with a disconnected oil line outside of Carbondale, Illinois, but the repair for that had to wait until daylight the following morning. We got back on the road by mid-morning that second day (after spending about 39¢ for oil) and made it into Memphis, Tennessee mid-to-late afternoon. We parked on the street across the road from Graceland, but when we saw the price of admission ($2 I believe), we decided we couldn’t afford it. We sat on the curb, and each ate a PB&J (peanut butter & jelly) to honor Elvis…

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Brian doing morning push-ups at a rest stop south of Memphis where we slept overnite in the Bug….

4 decades later, just this past week, The Mrs & I were on our way home from vacationing in Orange Beach, AL and New Orleans, LA. We spent the night in Memphis, TN, at a DaysInn hotel a half block from Graceland. We decided to take the basic tour for $40 a piece. Suffice it to say that between the very poor directional information on where to go to get to the new visitor center, and the crowds of people, and the limited number of seats on the limited number of transport buses which were inadequate for the numbers of people touring the mansion, a good time was NOT had by all. IMHO, we shoulda sat on the curb and had a PB&J…

Graceland ticket

 

 

Thursday Doors… NOLA

The Mrs & I just returned home yesterday evening after almost 2 weeks on holiday in coastal Alabama and Louisiana. We packed up the van with all sorts of travel and vacation stuff. Pretty much anything we imagined we could want, need, use. Well, everything except my FujiXP digital camera with full charged battery and totally empty 32GB memory card. I dutifully left it sitting next to my computer as we left the house. So, my Thursday Doors photos were taken with my old-dumb-flip fone “camera function”. I think the image quality is measured in Crayola-MessyBits…

All these photos were taken in the Garden District of New Orleans on Tuesday, March 14th. We walked just about 10 miles this days…whew…

NOLA glass doorwayNOLA round window door

NOLA moss steps
I confess I noticed the ivy growing on the steps before I noted the door…. (sorry Norm)

NOLA corncob house

This last doorway, as well as the attached house/mansion AND metal corncob fence, is for sale, FYI…

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Visit Norm 2.0 for more doors and details. When you get to Norm’s site, look for The Blue Frog rectangular box thingie and click-it.

 

Thursday Doors – Alabama

This week I am featuring the Oceanside face of a “beach house” in Orange Beach, Alabama. The Mrs &I saw this house on a morning run while vacationing, and I pointed it out to her, saying I was going to return with my iPad to photograph it. I would have used my digital camera, but it was safely back in Illinois where it would not get too hot!

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Visit Norm 2.0 (   https://miscellaneousmusingsofamiddleagedmind.wordpress.com/2017/03/09/thursday-doors-march-9-2017/)for more doors and details. When you get to Norm’s site, look for The Blue Frog.