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Union Brick…any ideas?

As I waited for a wedding rental to get set up this morning, I walked around the Patapsco Female Jnstitute grounds to a place a have never been up close. There is a large pile of bricks off to the side in an overgrown area, I am guessing left over from the stabilization project. They are not modern day bricks, but I saw something I have never come across before: a brownish white brick with the word UNION imprinted on its face. A quick web search yielded nothing so I am hoping when I have time to delve a little deeper I will find out more !

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Abandoned Sites · GA · Georgia on my mind · Sense of Place · Why I love the South

Tabby Construction: Building the early Lowcountry

Equal parts oyster shell, sand, water and lime, examples of the concrete material known as tabby can still be seen throughout the Lowcountry. In particular this blog will focus on St. Simon’s Island, GA and the surrounding area. From the first time I noticed this unique material, I was fascinated. Functional and vernacular, the abundance of oysters in this area created a striking sight as I traversed a wooded area in Tolomato Island, GA that was home to the ruins of a former sugar plantation and rum distillery known as ‘The Thicket.’

Tabby ruins of slave quarters at 'The Thicket' a sugar plantation/rum distillery, Tolomato Island, GA.
Tabby ruins of slave quarters at ‘The Thicket’ a sugar plantation/rum distillery, Tolomato Island, GA.

Continue reading “Tabby Construction: Building the early Lowcountry”

Community Relations · Family History · Intangible Heritage · Local Business · Sense of Place

The Last Polka at Blob’s Park: Our Final Evening at a Legendary Bavarian Wonderland

The front exterior of Blob's Park in Jessup, MD  photo credit: photoblog.baltimoresun.com
The front exterior of Blob’s Park in Jessup, MD
photo credit: photoblog.baltimoresun.com

I remember being 16 years old and it was Father’s Day weekend. My mom told me our whole family was going to this German place that played polka music and had plenty of German fare. Well not too many teenagers are going to be thrilled about the prospect of polka dancing, and I have never liked any kind of Weißwurst, bratwurst, weinerschnitzel, sauerkraut, etc. As much as I love speaking German, watching German films and visiting the German speaking countries, I was not thrilled about this family trip. What I didn’t know was just how much of a fun adventure this outing would be. Continue reading “The Last Polka at Blob’s Park: Our Final Evening at a Legendary Bavarian Wonderland”

GA · Georgia on my mind · Sense of Place · The marshes of Glynn · Theorizations · Why I love the South

The captivating salt marshes of St. Simons Island, GA: My Happy Place

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“….Somehow my soul seems suddenly free

From the weighing of fate an the sad discussion of sin,

By the length and the breadth and the sweep of the marshes of Glynn.” – Sidney Lanier, 1878

So wrote Sidney Lanier over a century ago about his beloved South, and today this feeling continues along the land still untouched by development. St. Simon’s Island, in Glynn County, GA is a magical place that holds a great deal of relevance to my life. This is one of the most calming places I have ever spent time in. The island has its share of modern development but there is still enough wild land to keep the same picture Lanier had of this region so long ago. Continue reading “The captivating salt marshes of St. Simons Island, GA: My Happy Place”

Historic Hoaxes · Weird History

Weird Wednesday: The Cottingley Fairies

Elsie Wright as photographed by her cousin Frances Griffiths in 1920 with a "fairy"
Elsie Wright as photographed by her cousin Frances Griffiths in 1920 with one of the most debated fairies of the 20th century.  Photo: http://www.cottingleyconnect.org.uk

This is a story that has captivated my attention since I was a little girl. It was 1917 in Cottingley, UK when two cousins, Elsie Wright, then 16 and her 10 year old cousin Frances Griffiths created two photographs- one of Frances with fairies and another of Elise with a gnome. These pictures were shown at a lecture on “Fairy Life” in 1919 and from that point sparked a debate among many prominent individuals at the time, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle of Sherlock Holmes fame. Critics felt that the fairies looked too modern with current hairstyles and clothing to be real while others argued that no darkroom manipulation or double exposures had taken place after examining the negatives. Continue reading “Weird Wednesday: The Cottingley Fairies”

Historic Paint Colors · Hoodoo Culture · Savannah History · Savannah Saturday · Sense of Place · Why I love the South

Savannah Saturday: Haint Blue

Houses painted haint blue in Savannah's Victorian District.
Houses painted haint blue in Savannah’s Victorian District.

There was a point in time when a certain hue was widely accepted as a means of protecting one’s home from the threat of spirits entering. The theory holds that these ghosts, called haints, cannot cross water. Thus, painting the exterior of a structure the color of water will trick these malicious haints into staying out.

So where does this theory come from?  Continue reading “Savannah Saturday: Haint Blue”