Reno is a city in the U.S. state of Nevada. It is in Northern Nevada, approximately 22 miles (35 km) from Lake Tahoe.
Known as “The Biggest Little City in the World”, Reno is famous for its hotels and casinos and as the birthplace of Harrah’s Entertainment (now known as Caesars Entertainment Corporation). It is the county seat of Washoe County, in the northwestern part of the state.
Reno sits in a high desert at the foot of the Sierra Nevada and its downtown area (along with Sparks) occupies a valley informally known as the Truckee Meadows. It is named after slain Union general Jesse L. Reno.
Reno is the most populous Nevada city outside the Las Vegas Valley, and part of the Reno–Sparks metropolitan area, which consists of all of both Washoe and Storey counties.
These amazing photos from Barb Henry were taken by her parents that captured everyday life of Reno from the early 1960s.
These amazing photographs were all taken in the 1840s using the daguerreotype which had just been invented. Images show various people from 1840s New York and bring to life how people looked and dressed in that era. They believed to have been taken by legendary early American photographer Matthew Brady, show a selection of 11 portraits taken as daguerreotype images.
The American veterans who dedicated their lives to serve their nation deserve nothing short of thanks, gratitude, and support.
There is no doubt that what they did for their country is a debt that can never be repaid, but it is the duty of American citizens to honor their sacrifice and show them the respect they earned.
Speaking of respect, here is a story of a man named Andrew Lumish, who spends every Sunday cleaning the forgotten tombstones of military veterans in Florida.
In today’s hard-working world many of us would probably spend the weekend relaxing in front of the TV, or maybe in the countryside away from crowded cities. This is not the case with Lumish, who uses his one day off to honor the veterans by patiently cleaning their decaying tombstones.
The process seems to be quite complicated. Lumish sometimes spends up to four months cleaning some of these tombstones.
Aside from this unusual hobby, Lumish is a history buff and also enjoys photography. He told the Tampa Bay Times that it all started in Oaklawn Cemetery, where he went to take photos of historic graves. He found out that many of the tombstones for military veterans were practically destroyed.
Lumish works six days a week as a carpet and upholstery cleaner but still loves spending his day off scrubbing forgotten tombstones. He made this his life mission.
What started as his hobby eventually transformed into his passion. Uncovering the names on veterans’ tombstones became his life goal. It earned him the nickname “the Good Cemeterian.”
In 2016, he told CBS News that what disturbed him the most was that veterans resting beneath the tombstones were forgotten. He couldn’t properly thank them and understand who they were.
The Good Cemeterian started his mission back in 2013. He told the Tampa Bay Times that he had restored around 300 tombstones by November 2015. But Lumish is not just uncovering the names of the military veterans; he is also uncovering the history behind the names. His goal is to bring their memory and resting place back to life.
When Lumish finishes cleaning the grave markers he shares a before and after photo on his Facebook and Instagram page, adding important historical facts about the veterans.
The tombstone of a Civil War veteran named Henry J. Fletcher was the first Lumish restored. He also cleaned another one the same day.
Although he is a professional cleaner, Lumish had never cleaned tombstones before. He managed to develop his own unique method and from what we can see, it works pretty well. The results are stunning.
Many people were interested in learning how exactly Lumish restores tombstones so that they could also join his mission and follow his steps. On his Facebook page titled The Good Cemetarian, he shares some important instructions about the process of cleaning tombstones.
He notes that the product he uses is called D/2 Biological Solution and that it can be used for cleaning granite, marble, and sandstone monuments.
Many veterans and their families from all over the country thank him for what he does, but as Lumish told CBS News, he feels that he is unworthy of the same respect as the veterans who choose to serve the United States.
Keeping the memories of American veterans alive is what Lumish truly loves and what inspires him to continue his mission. He’s done a great job so far, and he has taught us how important it is never to forget the sacrifices of the veterans and to always show them the respect they deserved.
Most depictions of pirates in contemporary popular culture are based on the actions of pirates who operated during the golden age of piracy, which lasted from the beginning of the 1650s until the late 1730s. The period between 1650 and 1680 is known as the “buccaneering period”: during that time, English and French pirates on Jamaica and the famous island of Tortuga attacked Spanish colonies and merchant ships in the Caribbean.
The 1690s were known as the “pirate round”; many pirates from the Caribbean and the Americas ventured to the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea to attack Muslim merchants and the supply ships of the East India Company. The final wave of booming piracy, which lasted from 1716 to the late 1730s, was triggered by the end of the War of the Spanish Succession. After the war, many English and American sailors were left unemployed and turned to piracy, usually targeting ships in the Caribbean, the North American eastern seaboard, the Indian Ocean, and the coast of West Africa.
Some of the most famous pirates, including Edward Thatch, known as “Blackbeard,” Bartholomew Roberts known as “Black Bart,” “Black Sam” Bellamy, and John “Calico Jack” Rackham, operated in the final years of the golden age.
Another notorious pirate of that period was Benjamin Hornigold, who started his brief yet prolific pirating career in the winter of 1713.
In the beginning of his career, Hornigold was a low-level looter who organized small raids off the coast of New Providence, the most populous island in the Bahamas. He and his gang used sailing canoes and a small ship to attack merchant’s vessels. Hornigold progressed quickly: by 1717 he was in command of a 30-gun sailing ship named “Ranger” that was at the time the most heavily armed in the Bahamas. Also, he gathered a gang of around 350 tough men who were all eager to wreak havoc and pillage merchant ships.
Hornigold was the captain and his second-in-command was none other than Edward Thatch, the notorious pirate who later became known as “Blackbeard.” The two of them organized thoroughly planned raids during which they seized several cargo ships and formed a small pirate fleet that became the scourge of the Bahamas. At one point during 1717, the Governor of South Carolina sent a heavily armed ship to find and capture Hornigold. The pirates attacked the ship so fiercely that she ran aground on the island of North Cat Cay and her crew fled for their lives.
Also in 1717, Hornigold and his crew attacked a merchant ship off the coast of Honduras. As terrified merchants begged for their lives, Hornigold’s crew explained that they had gotten drunk the night before and had thrown their hats into the sea, so they had attacked the merchant ship only to steal the hats of her crew. After they took the merchants’ hats, Hornigold and his crew allowed them to continue with their journey. Some historians believe that this curious endeavor was nothing more than Hornigold’s and Thatch’s wish to display their power.
Hornigold never attacked British ships and claimed that he defended British economic policies by attacking the ships of the enemies of the British Empire. However, in November of 1717, Hornigold’s crew decided to overthrow him and attack ships sailing under any flag. Since Thatch was in command of his own ship at the time, he wasn’t around to help Hornigold quell the mutiny. Hornigold was overpowered and forced to flee for his life with a small ship and several of his most loyal men.
Several months later, he sailed to Jamaica and received a pardon for his criminal activities from the then governor of Jamaica named Woodes Rogers. In 1717 and 1718, King George I issued proclamations known as the “King’s Pardons,” which granted an official pardon to all pirates who surrendered to any colonial government under the domain of the British Empire. Governor Rogers granted Hornigold’s request for a pardon, but he also recruited him as a pirate hunter.
In his final years, the once powerful and feared Hornigold was forced to try and hunt down his former associates, including Blackbeard. Although he sailed around the Bahamas for 18 months, he never managed to catch any of his former allies. During one particularly severe storm, his ship crashed into an uncharted reef between the Bahamas and New Mexico, and Hornigold and his new pirate-hunting crew were never seen again.
The name of Joseph Dombey can be found in many 18th century botanical textbooks but remains largely forgotten in our time. Even though the French botanist was a man of science, on several occasions Dombey was involved in political affairs, which ultimately led to his death in 1794 at the hands of British privateers.
He had encountered the British several times previously, as his botanical collections shipped from South America to France were intercepted, captured, and sent to the British Museum where they are exhibited to this day. The Spaniards also confiscated one of his South American specimen collections.
From the 1790s up until the fall of Napoleon in 1815, Great Britain and France were effectively in constant conflict, with periodical ceasefires. This made all French ships traveling the Atlantic a legitimate target, and vice-versa.
During his final voyage in 1794, Dombey was on his way to the United States, where he was to present the French measurement standards representing one meter and one grave―an old measure for weight that was replaced by the kilogram. The United States had declared independence from the United Kingdom some 18 years earlier, but kept the traditional British system of weights and measures.
Thomas Jefferson, an admirer of French scientific achievements, wanted to host Dombey, who was primarily sent to strengthen the ties between France and the U.S. by signing an agricultural agreement.
Jefferson was at the time lobbying Congress to abandon the British measures in favor of the French system, which was the predecessor of the metric system that is used in most countries today. For this, he needed an experienced scientist like Dombey and the physical objects made of copper, representing the length and the weight of the new measures.
So Dombey set sail for Philadelphia from the French port of Le Havre, only to be captured en route by British privateers (state-sponsored pirates who waged naval war for the Crown, in return for a percentage of the loot). Even though Dombey tried to disguise himself as one of the sailors, he failed to blend in and was soon discovered by the marauders. Once his diplomatic role was revealed, the French botanist was taken to the island of Montserrat in the Caribbean, where the privateers were based.
Dombey died soon after, even though the pirates had plans for demanding a ransom from the French. The standards which he carried with him were lost for a while until they were later auctioned together with other items from the ship.
It took a number of French intermediaries to deliver the meter and the grave to the then-Secretary of State, Edmund Randolph, who, in the end, took no further interest in the matter. At one point, the grave was separated from its length-measure counterpart and ended up in the possession of Andrew Ellicott, Dombey’s contemporary and the land surveyor who set the boundaries of the territory which would become Washington DC.
Ellicot’s family owned Dombey’s copper grave until 1952, when they decided to donate this particular piece of history to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, where it remains exhibited.
Today, many U.S. industries have adopted the metric system, but the country is still largely dependent on the British-influenced standards. In the book Measuring America, author Andro Linklater points out the extent of the opportunity lost with Dombey’s unfortunate journey:
“The sight [in Congress] of those two copper objects [Dombey’s meter and grave], so easily copied and sent out to every state in the Union, together with the weighty scientific arguments supporting them, might well have clarified the minds of senators and representatives alike. And today the U.S. might not be the last country in the world to resist the metric system.”
Once used as a spot to store goods, the subterranean expanse is all that remains of Tomlinson Hall
An eerie silence permeates the vast expanse running beneath downtown Indianapolis. Just minutes before I was making my way through City Market, a bustling food hall that has been a staple in this Midwestern city’s downtown area since it opened in the late 1800s, but now I can’t help but notice the utter stillness that envelops me as I descend the only staircase leading to the City Market Catacombs.
“Not many people even realize that the catacombs exist,” says Eric Manterfield, a tour guide with Indy Tours, a local tour group that focuses on Indiana landmarks. “That’s including Indianapolis residents.”
As we walk through the 20,000-square-foot expanse of brick-arched passageways, the exposed dirt floors crunching under our feet, Manterfield explains to me that the subterranean chambers are all that remains of Tomlinson Hall, a once sprawling music hall that opened in 1886 and later succumbed to a fire in 1958. (The only above-ground vestige of the original structure is a single archway.) The setting is spooky, but Manterfield is quick to point out that despite the name, the catacombs never held remains – at least not of the human variety.
“See those hooks attached to the archways,” Manterfield says, pointing to the ceiling. “Those were used for hanging meat to dry.” At one time the catacombs served as a convenient way to transport and store goods from the above-ground marketplace during a time when refrigeration wasn’t readily available, Manterfield explains. Another telltale sign of the space’s previous use is a brick-lined pit, which my guide suspects was used to store ice.
As electricity became more prevalent in cities across the United States, the need for subterranean storage faded away. But the underground chambers’ insulation was put to good use at least one more time during the particularly cold winter of 1911-12. The mayor at the time opened up the catacombs as a shelter for the city’s homeless population when weather conditions got particularly bad.
“It was known as the ‘Mayor’s Pajama Party’,” says Manterfield. “Between 350 and 400 men slept down there during the storm.”
During the 1960s, the local police department used the space as a shooting range, although Manterfield is unaware of any stray bullet holes in the brick and limestone walls. And, due to the catacombs’ sheer eeriness, in the 1980s and 1990s, they were a hot spot for Halloween parties.
I can see why. There’s one spot in the catacombs in particular that piques my interest: a pitch-black alcove in the corner. I ask Manterfield to shine his flashlight into the space, which he does. As I walk inside, he keeps the flashlight pointed straight ahead, so I only can see a portion of the room. Something about it gives me the willies, so I just as quickly step out.
These dark corners and dead ends make the ghost tours led by Craig McCormick, a local architect, each Halloween season particularly popular. But visitors interested in the city’s subterranean history don’t have to wait until October. Tours are available on the first and third Saturdays of each month starting in May. Each 30-minute tour costs $12 per adult or $6 per child and must be purchased in advance.