Posts Tagged ‘history

27
Sep
16

Ancestor Appreciation Day

Today is Ancestor Appreciation Day – I’d like to appreciate my 4th great grandfather, Caleb Shaw.

During our Haunted History tours people often ask if I’m from Maine – I have to answer no, but I often can elaborate. I do have roots here in Maine, though I was not born here. To many, that means I’m “from away.”

On my father’s side, both his paternal and maternal ancestors were from Maine. He did not know this until just a few years before he passed and unfortunately was never able to visit any ancestral properties or gravesites. I know he would have loved to be able to do this, but I have been able to at least show some of his family members a home, a home town and a gravesite.

 Caleb Shaw is the ancestor who I’ve chosen to write about today. He was from New Hampshire originally, but came to Maine in 1801. He died in 1849 at age 80!

 He, with his wife Betsy, is buried in Newport, Maine, though they lived in nearby Palmyra. His gravestone says “Who first traveled with a wheeled vehicle from the Kennebec River to the Penobscot River.”

 caleb-shaw-headstone

 

I have not been able to find out a lot about this effort, though it is noted in several publications, one mentioning that “it was a great curiosity, upon which the people along the route looked with wonder.”

I do know that there were not many roads in those days. Most people traveled by river and/or Native American trails. These trails were certainly not wide enough for a wheeled vehicle, so some “trail blazing” certainly had to take place! I can only guess that it might be about where Route 2 is now, from Skowhegan to Bangor, over 50 miles.

I’m proud that one of my ancestors played an important part in the settlement of Maine. Caleb and Betsy had 13 children, many of whom have played their own parts in Maine’s history, as well as their descendants.

The other half of the family is one that I have not had luck with – the Locke’s from Maine who migrated to Kentucky in 1801. I will persevere, though, in my research!

Genealogy can be challenging, but it can also be very exciting and fulfilling!

08
Apr
16

Maine Lighthouses

We’ve been doing a lot lately with Maine Lighthouses. They are so iconic and romantic and full of history! Do you think many are haunted? It seems that may be the case!

We actually do know quite a few tales of haunted lighthouses, in fact one is on the cover of our most recent book, “Ghost of the Boothbay Region.”

Maine has over 60 lighthouses, many of which are open to the public or at least able to be seen  by land. Others are visible by short boat trips. Several have museums or informational centers and gift shops. In Rockland, the Maine Lighthouse Museum is open year round.

Next month, on Saturday, May 21, I will be leading a special Lighthouse Cruise that will view 5 lighthouses in the Boothbay Harbor area (weather permitting) and then stop at Burnt Island Lighthouse for an up close look at the tower as well as the outbuildings and keeper’s house.

You’ll learn about the lives of some of the keeper’s – their joys as well as hardships, their routines and their families. I’m sure I won’t be able to resist a ghost story or two, as well!

This is a morning cruise, so you’ll have time for lunch and some exploring in the Boothbay area in the afternoon. The link to purchase tickets is below.

https://msad11.coursestorm.com/course/maine-lighthouse-adventure?search=lighthouse

In the late summer and fall, we’ll also be doing some Lighthouse Legends and Lore cruises with Maine Maritime Museum. These will also include much history as well as haunted tales and ghost stories. The link to purchase tickets for these cruises is below, though I don’t think they are listed yet, so keep checking!

http://www.mainemaritimemuseum.org/

Hope to see you soon!

14
Jun
14

Welcome!

Hello Friends, It has been a while! It was a busy winter, personally and business wise, but we are up and running and expecting a fantastic season!

It is just one week until the official start of summer and I think we (at least in the Northeast) are ready. We will be having a special Solstice Eve tour in Camden on Friday June 20 to celebrate.

This year we have added 2 new towns, Hallowell and Rockland, bringing our total to 7 fascinating Maine spots for history and mystery! I hope you can join us on one of these new Haunted History walks. We continue to have several Cemetery Tours available.

Something else new and different are “Ghosts on the Coast” river cruises with the Damariscotta River Tripper. We’ll be having one special 2 hour trip in July and one in August, both in the late afternoon, so that guests can enjoy the scenery as well as a few tales of mysteries and hauntings. If you’re interested in tickets, here is a link to the website. http://damariscottarivercruises.com/

There will be a new offering in Wiscasset beginning in July, but we’re not quite ready to divulge yet, stay tuned! Of course, we will continue to offer our Full Moon Tours and occasional specials as well.

In addition, our sister company, Mysterious Destinations, offers small group Lighthouse Lore trips (from 1 to 4 days), Paranormal Investigations once a month, and our annual Halloween “Overnight with Myrtle.” For further information, check the website. www.MysteriousDestinations.com.

We certainly hope to see you in some way or another soon – thanks for following!

22
Dec
13

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

There’ll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago…

We’ve all hummed along or sung along with this classic Christmas Carol, dating to 1963, but most of us never really think about what ghost stories are doing in a Christmas Carol!

In reality, during Victorian times, telling ghost stories around the fire after Christmas Eve dinner was quite the norm. Just as normal as us nowadays hanging our stockings and putting out milk and cookies for Santa.

There are a lot of interesting evolutions of Christmas traditions, but this one certainly seems out of place. Apparantly, there is a connection to the Winter Solstice, as there is with many of our traditions; Yule Log, evergreens and gift giving to name a few.

Of course, “A Christmas Carol”, by Charles Dickens, involves the visitations of the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, on Christmas Eve. A great story for re-telling!

I, for one, think this is a tradition that should be brought back to the forefront! Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

A great blog with lots of information on this topic can be found here http://www.hypnogoria.com/html/ghoststoriesforchristmas.html

18
Nov
13

National Occult Day

Today, November 18, 2013, is supposed to be acknowledged as “National Occult Day”.

Occult is defined as the study of what is hidden. In Latin the word, occultus means clandestine or secret. Arcane or esoteric are often used interchangeably with occult. It really has nothing to do with the paranormal, other than much of the paranormal world is hidden to us.

We don’t hear or use the word occult as much as in past times, though I do belive most people believe that it has to do with the paranormal world, telepathy, spiritualism, astrology, etc.

Why do we need a “National Occult Day”? I suppose the same reason we need National Pancake Day or National Star Gazing Day – people involved in a hobby or a group want to promote it!

There’s much on the web and in libraries to consider regarding the history of the occult; I encourage you to read up on the many differnt meanings and usages of the word and decide for yourself. I am currently reading a book dating to 1964, “Exploring the Occult” by Douglas Hunt.

I am finding in studying the paranormal and all related, that the age of books and information does not detract at all from the research!

Enjoy your day, no matter what it’s called!

26
Sep
13

Benefit Tours

“Getting Away Together,” a PBS travel show, is coming to Boothbay Harbor to film an episode this coming week! Everyone in town is so excited about promoting this special spot!

To help raise needed funds, I’m offering 2 Benefit Tours, one on September 30 and one on October 14. All proceeds from these tours will go toward the fund to bring the Emmy winning producer and his crew to town.

This is your perfect chance to stop putting off joining us on a Red Cloak Haunted History Tour! Boothbay Harbor is just beautiful and of course, very haunted! It’s reported to have the most haunted building in Maine… maybe we’ll see a ghost, but you’ll learn some interesting history as well!

We’ll be offering our Boothbay Cemetery Tours as well, on both of these dates. Information for making reservations in on the website, www.redcloakhauntedhistorytours.com

07
Aug
13

National Lighthouse Day

With over 60 lighthouses in the state of Maine, today is a day to be observed for sure. Many of Maine’s lighthouses are open to the public and some have unique museums in the “keeper’s” house. There is also a Lighthouse Museum in Rockland.
There are short ones, tall ones, squat ones, double ones, striped ones, famous ones and on and on… my favorite is the Pemaquid Point Light, which is on the Maine State Quarter.
Lighthouses are such unique symbols of long ago, though of course, they still serve a purpose today. The first known lighthouse, Pharos of Alexandria, Egypt, was completed about 280 B.C. It stood more than 350 feet tall until an earthquake destroyed it in the 1300’s.
Do you think lighthouses are romantic? I think some people do, but in reality I’m pretty sure they were lonely, desolate places that required immense responsibility and long hours of work. I’d go and stay in one today, but I don’t think I’d have wanted to be a “keeper”!
Here’s an incredibly sad story of newlyweds who were stationed on Boon Island Light in southern Maine in the 1800’s. Boon Island Light happens to be the tallest of all Maine lights with 168 steps leading to the top of the tower. After only about 4 months of “keeping” the light, there was quite a winter storm and a high tide was sweeping over the island. While Keeper Bright was trying to secure their little boat, he either slipped or was knocked down on the rocks. His wife, Katherine, was able to drag him to safety to the foot of the stairs of the tower, and immediately took over the lighthouse duties. It is unclear whether Keeper Bright died immediately, or at some point over the next 5 days while his wife was “keeping” the light. More than likely she did this without much time for eating or sleeping or caring for her husband (and don’t forget those 168 steps!). On the 6th day, local fishermen noticed the light was out and went to investigate. They found Katherine cradling her dead husband’s body at the foot of the stairs… she died soon after.
Of course, as a history lover, they intrigue me, but many of Maine’s lighthouses and/or keeper’s houses are reported to be haunted, so that’s an added bonus. In fact they’re so intriguing that we’ve put together a Maine Haunted Lighthouse Tour! We have one next week, which, of course, is too late to join, but there is still space available for our September tour, if you’d like to join us. Here is a link FMI. http://www.mysteriousdestinations.com/component/content/article/10-tours/90-haunted-maine-lighthouses-august-20-23