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Category: Miscellaneous

2015 Spring Break Road Trip Part 1

Or, Join Me On A Road Trip Up The Eastern Coast To Berks County, PA

In March, I set out with my mom and daughter on a four-day road trip from North Carolina to Pennsylvania to explore historical sites before I move away from the area permanently this summer.

First stop–Berks County, Pennsylvania.

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The Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church. Berks County, PA. Est. 1743.

My family settled in the area in the mid-1700s, and I’m lucky enough to be able to visit the actual church they attended, baptized their babies in, and were eventually buried beside.

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The Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church. Berks County, PA.

Walking the same ground my 18th century ancestors walked is an exhilarating experience. And what’s even better is the land around the church in rural Pennsylvania looks a lot like it did in those days.

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The Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church. Berks County, PA.

In the ancient graveyard beside the church rest some of my family. The stones are so worn it’s impossible to read them, but we know from church records at least two of my male ancestors are buried there, side-by-side. Most likely there are many others, now lost to time.

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The Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church. Berks County, PA.

The photo above is of the church as seen through the old cemetery’s gates. I love this picture, almost as much as I love the actual place. I’m so glad we got to see it one more time.

Second stop–Chocolate World

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Chocolate World, Hershey, PA.

If you know anything about me at all, you know I love chocolate. Naturally, I snuck a trip to Hershey’s Chocolate World into our history tour.

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Chocolate World, Hershey, PA.

Unfortunately, because it was still winter the theme and water parks were closed, but Chocolate World is open all year round, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Above, I’m holding the (very heavy!) world’s largest chocolate bar.

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Chocolate World. Hershey, PA.

And you can bet I took advantage of the park’s Make Your Own Chocolate Bar attraction! Above is my scrumptious candy bar coming out of the conveyer belt.

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Chocolate World. Hershey, PA.

I ended the long day savoring my personalized candy bar while snuggled inside a hotel bed. A very fun (and yummy) day!

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<3 Anna

 

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My New YouTube Video Is Live!

Or, I’m Answering Your Questions

I’m so excited to show you my new YouTube series! It was a lot of fun preparing, recording, and editing the videos with the help of some friends. We made a day of it, and we had a blast. I hope you enjoy the finished product!

Watch episode #3:

Don’t forget to leave a comment and subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

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<3 Anna

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Haunted Travel: Forest Home Cemetery

Or, Visit The Haunted Resting Place Of Former Wisconsin Politicians

Visit the original post here. Or continue below for the full story.

Haunted Travel: Forest Home Cemetery Milwaukie, Wisconsin

Written by Corey Schjoth in May 2014

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Under the unblinking gaze of Victorian Romanesque goddesses, angels and shrouded mourners pondering the death of those whose graves they watch over, visitors to the now 200 acre Forest Home Cemetery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin wind their way through the undulating landscape past reflecting gardens, ornate family crypts, imposing rain-streaked bronze statues and enormous monuments testifying to the rise of a large industrial city. The social elite are buried alongside laborers, radical politicians, beer barons, female anarchists, gangsters, and victims of epidemic and fire, equalized by their common fates in their final resting place.

Established in 1850, a church committee situated the cemetery of the original 72 acres on a known former Indian village and sacred effigy and burial mound site. The first burial, a gentleman of the name Orville Cadwell, occurred on August 5 in the same year of the cemetery’s founding. Cadwell found company shortly thereafter, as a cholera outbreak traced to a riverman from New Orleans via Chicago claimed lives in the newly-chartered city.

Post Civil War saw a boom in industry and with it, a boom in population. The dangers of industrial city life lurked here as in any other city of the time. In 1883 Newhall House Hotel went up in flames as Milwaukee firefighters battled a smaller fire elsewhere in the city. Calls went out for reinforcements from Chicago and Racine with little to no response. Documents of the time report a range of 73-90 deaths from the tragedy. All accounts agree that more than half of those who perished and brought to several area morgues were beyond identification. A mass grave for 64 victims commemorates the unknown with a memorial erected at the one-year anniversary of the fire.

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In 1886 another notable tragedy occurred, as 14,000 laborers organized in Bay View to demonstrate discontent with labor conditions. The governor of the time issued a shoot-to-kill order, resulting in a 7 person massacre, including a young 13-year-old boy. The mayor of this time, Emil Wallber, is one of the cemetery’s distinguished guests.

Beer and wheat barons built themselves ornate Flemish-style mansions, theaters, office buildings, hotels, and high-society ballrooms in the late 1800’s into the early 1900’s throughout the downtown Milwaukee area. Political figures emerged from the populace and made themselves known nationally as leaders of the socialist movement. The evocative monuments and family crypts these individuals and families chose for themselves in death reflect their indelible mark on the city’s cultural and political landscape in life. Oppressive, deliberate, imposing, they are testimony of self-importance and a symbol of the competition among the elite.

Construction of the Gothic style Landmark Chapel, using Lake Superior Sandstone, a dark red sandstone found near the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior, started in 1890 and took two years to complete. The cemetery’s area grew to 200 acres by the turn of the century to accommodate the growing demand for bigger and better plots.

Modern improvements within Forest Home Cemetery include two large mausoleums. The Halls of History is an indoor temperature controlled mausoleum and community center. Along with the columbarium and crypts it houses, the center contains a number of permanent and changing exhibits that educate visitors about the history of Milwaukee and over 100 of its people. Adjacent to this is a large terraced outdoor mausoleum called Chapel Gardens. It contains above ground burials in porticos set by ornate colonnades, statues, and rose gardens. The Chapel and cemetery are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The hill adjacent to the tranquil, shadowy reflecting pond on the north side of the cemetery downhill from the main offices and mausoleums, has been said to cause strange reactions in some people who walk on it, making them feel sick and fearful.

One visitor reported visions of splintered coffins and shredded corpses, followed by the onset of headaches and bloodshot eyes.

One could suppose that undocumented bitter rivalries many yet extend into the afterlife, especially among the beer barons. One such rivalry might have existed between Valentin Blatz and Johann Braun, both interred in the cemetery. Blatz opened a brewery next to Braun’s in 1850, incorporated Braun’s facilities into his own after Braun’s death in 1852, and finished the deal by marrying Braun’s widowed bride.

A modern brewing club, the Beer Barons, provides an opportunity in October to come out to the grounds to seek the paranormal. The club provides Ghost Tours for interested parties.

I have visited the cemetery a few times during the year and I’ve always enjoyed walking and exploring the vast grounds looking at the large Victorian monuments and figures. I have personally never experienced anything unusual but my visits have been limited to only a few hours. The rolling hills and canopy of oak and maple makes this cemetery one of the most beautiful I have visited.

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<3 Anna

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My YouTube Q&A Series Ep #2

Or, I’m Answering Your Questions

I’m so excited to show you my new YouTube series! It was a lot of fun preparing, recording, and editing the videos with the help of some friends. We made a day of it, and we had a blast. I hope you enjoy the finished product!

Watch episode #2:

Don’t forget to leave a comment and subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

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<3 Anna

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My New Fave School

Or, Someone In North Carolina Has A Sense Of Humor

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Sorry, staff of Richlands High School, but the odds are never in our favor.

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<3 Anna

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Outlander 1B 1st Scene

Or, My Thoughts On Why Episode 9 Is In Jamie’s POV
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Outlander the novel is never written from Jamie’s POV. None of the first 8 episodes of Outlander the series have been shot from Jamie’s POV. So, I have a theory as to why episode 9 of Outlander will (seemingly out of the blue) be told from Jamie’s perspective.

The next episode must end with the spanking scene.

Like in the book (which I’ve just finished!), the spanking scene from Claire’s POV feels brutal. We’ve been adventuring with Claire and, though she doesn’t follow Jamie’s orders to stay put, Claire is so brave and curious we don’t blame her for trying to escape. Therefore, her being spanked by her (up to that point) romantic and sensitive husband comes off as harsh and borderline abusive.

BUT, if we spend the episode in Jamie’s head we get to see how much mental and emotional anguish it causes him to face Randall again. We get to see how Claire’s actions put all the men’s lives at risk. We get to see firsthand the consequences of her actions.

I think, after all that, the spanking may feel more justified.

Those are my thoughts. What are yours?

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<3 Anna

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My New YouTube Q&A Series

Or, I’m Answering Your Questions

I’m so excited to show you my new YouTube series! It was a lot of fun preparing, recording, and editing the videos with the help of some friends. We made a day of it, and we had a blast. I hope you enjoy the finished product!

Don’t forget to leave a comment and subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

Ghosts, Hauntings, & Cheap Books: Sign Up For My Monthly Newsletter Today.
Enjoy this Free Red Plague Sneak Peek PDF full of excerpts and extras!

<3 Anna

Leave a Comment

New Poll: Zombies, Yes or No?

Or, I Need Your Opinion

After the Dark Caster series ends in Spring ’15, I’ll be writing a new paranormal romance series. If you know me, you know I love zombies. I’m kicking around an idea to include zombies as the villains’ mindless attack dogs.

What do you think? Do you enjoy zombies in your paranormal series?

Thanks!

<3 Anna

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