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General Interest

Ohio officials try to preserve historic home of noted black soldier

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Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 25 April 2011 11:40
The Col. Charles Young home at Wilberforce, Ohio, was built in 1859. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. WILBERFORCE, Ohio (AP) – Elected officials and educators in Ohio are working to honor a distinguished black soldier who died in 1922 by trying to preserve his home, which was a part of the Underground Railroad.

Col. Charles Young's accomplishments included being the highest-ranking black officer in the military when World War I began, according to the National Park Service and the Ohio Humanities Council. Now a group of lawmakers and cultural and educational leaders – some of whom gathered last week in Wilberforce to honor Young – is trying to get his home in that western Ohio town under the care of the National Park Service.

Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown and Republican Rep. Steve Austria have introduced bills to determine if it's feasible to put Young's home under the care of the park service, the council said Friday.

“Our hope is to recognize his achievements by designating his home as part of the National Park Service so people can learn about his accomplishments and those of other African-Americans who served our nation in the military,” Austria said.

The house on the campus of Central State University was a way station on the Underground Railroad, the network that helped escaping slaves reach freedom, and the building already is on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1899, Young became the third black person to graduate from West Point, the Ohio Humanities Council said. He also served as a national park supervisor at one point.

“He was a man of culture, patriotism and bravery,” said John Garland, president of Central State University.

If Young's home, built in 1859, is transferred to the National Park Service, it would help preserve his memory and increase understanding of the Underground Railroad, Central State officials said. They also said it might increase tourism and boost the local economy.

Young's story of leadership could inspire future generations, Dr. Floyd Thomas, curator emeritus of the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce, said at the gathering in the town this week.

“It is now our turn to persevere in this effort to ensure that Charles Young's strength, wisdom, courage and accomplishments are accessible to all and that his home becomes a center of learning and outreach in the best tradition of the National Park Service,” Thomas said.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-04-23-11 2003GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
The Col. Charles Young home at Wilberforce, Ohio, was built in 1859. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Last Updated on Monday, 25 April 2011 12:33
 

Buried treasure dug up in backyard excites Austrian authorities

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Written by GEORGE JAHN, Associated Press   
Monday, 25 April 2011 09:59

VIENNA (AP) – A man turning dirt in his back yard stumbled onto buried treasure – hundreds of pieces of centuries-old jewelry and other precious objects that Austrian authorities described Friday as a fairy-tale find.

Austria's department in charge of national antiquities said the trove consists of more than 200 rings, brooches, ornate belt buckles, gold-plated silver plates and other pieces or fragments, many encrusted with pearls, fossilized coral and other ornaments. It says the objects are about 650 years old and are being evaluated for their provenance and worth.

While not assigning a monetary value to the buried bling, the enthusiastic language from the normally staid Federal Office for Memorials reflected the significance it attached to the discovery.

“Fairy tales still exist!” said its statement. “Private individual finds sensational treasure in garden.”

It described the ornaments as “one of the qualitatively most significant discoveries of medieval treasure in Austria.”

The statement gave no details and an automated telephone message said the office had closed early on Good Friday. But the Austria Press Agency cited memorials office employee Karin Derler as saying the man came across the “breathtaking” objects years ago while digging in his back yard to expand a small pond.

The weekly Profil magazine identified the man only as Andreas K. from Wiener Neustadt, south of Vienna, and said he asked not to be named.

While he found the ornaments in 2007, Andreas K. did not report it to the memorials office until after rediscovering the dirt-encrusted objects in a basement box while packing up after selling his house two years ago, said Profil. The soil had dried and some had fallen off, revealing precious metal and jewels underneath.

He initially posted photos on the Internet, where collectors alerted him to the potential value of the pieces, leading him to pack them in a plastic bag and lug them to the memorials office, the magazine said in its Friday edition.

Neither Profil nor the memorials office statement said when Andreas K. first alerted Austrian authorities and it was unclear why they waited until Friday to announce the discovery.

Memorials office president Barbara Neubauer told Profil the objects were a “sensational find.”

The magazine said the finder was not interested in cashing in on the trove and was considering loaning the collection to one of Austria's museums.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-04-22-11 1821GMT

 

 

 

Last Updated on Monday, 25 April 2011 10:03
 

East Grand Forks historic restaurant to be auctioned

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Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 21 April 2011 09:31
EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. (AP) – A restaurant and bar with a storied past in northwestern Minnesota will be auctioned for sale.

Chicago gangsters and Hollywood legend Clark Gable are said to be among the early diners at Whitey's. The East Grand Fork landmark subsisted through a fire in the 1940s and flooding in the 1990s, but closed in February after the new owners said they couldn't make a go of it. One of the owners, Dave Norman, said a competitive marketplace hampered efforts to revive the restaurant, established by Edwin "Whitey" Larson at its current location in 1930.

Once known as Whitey's Wonderbar for its stainless steel horseshoe bar, the legendary restaurant was featured in Time magazine and the Saturday Evening Post for its Art Deco style.

Now called Whitey's Steaks & Seafood, the property will be auctioned May 15. The Grand Forks Herald says seven second-floor apartments are part of the deal.

 

Copyright 2011. Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-04-19-11 1710GMT

 

 

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 April 2011 09:37
 

University of Virginia official donates rare Lincoln funeral pass

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Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 21 April 2011 09:12
Lincoln’s Tomb, Oak Ridge Ceetery, Springfield, Illinois. Robert Lawton image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – The University of Virginia has received an original entrance pass to President Abraham Lincoln's funeral.

The university's Center for Politics announced the gift from its director, Larry J. Sabato, on Tuesday.

The small, black-bordered pass was required for admittance to the funeral in Washington on April 19, 1865. The Center for Politics says only about six of the 600 passes that were printed still exist.

Sabato tells The Daily Progress that he won the pass at an online auction. He wouldn't say how much he paid for it.

___

Information from: The Daily Progress, http://www.dailyprogress.com

Copyright 2011. Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-04-20-11 1053GMT

 



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
Lincoln’s Tomb, Oak Ridge Ceetery, Springfield, Illinois. Robert Lawton image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. An album of carte-de-visite photographs of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral procession was the top-selling lot of Cowan’s American History auction conducted Dec. 9, 2009, selling for $27,025. The album's images included photos of the funeral train that carried Lincoln's casket on its nine-stop procession. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Cowan's Auctions Inc.
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 April 2011 11:16
 

Developer razes Long Island mansion linked to 'Great Gatsby'

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Written by FRANK ELTMAN, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 09:52
First edition of ‘The Great Gatsby.’ Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers Archive and PBA Galleries. SANDS POINT, New York (AP) – A 25-room Long Island mansion that some believe inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald's portrayal of lavish lifestyles in his Jazz Age classic The Great Gatsby is being razed, the latest in a long cadence of estates disappearing from what's known as the Gold Coast.

Known as Land's End and sitting on a 13-acre lot on Long Island Sound, the 24,000-square foot house is being torn down to accommodate five $10 million custom homes.

“It's really a sad thing. The Gold Coast social country life is part of Long Island's legacy, a reminder of a grand and romantic era,” said Alexandra Wolfe, director of preservation services for the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities.

“It's such a shame that people find it difficult to honor that, to preserve that.”

Real estate broker Paul Mateyunas estimates that through the end of World War II, the region once boasted about 1,400 estates inhabited by a Who's Who of America's financial titans. Now, only about 400 remain.

The trend in recent decades has moved away from mega-mansions, he said, largely because even for millionaires, they are very expensive to maintain.

David Brodsky, who bought the home with his father Bert Brodsky for $17.5 million in 2004, told the Long Island newspaper Newsday that taxes, insurance and maintenance on Land's End became prohibitive – about $4,500 a day – prompting the decision to build anew. A message left Monday for Brodsky was not immediately returned.

The property passed through numerous hands before they bought it from Virginia Payson, the late wife of former Mets owner Charles Payson.

Demolition crews began leveling the property over the weekend; on Monday, work crews could be heard but hardly seen from a service road outside the estate. The entrance features a dilapidated white picket fence reminiscent of Grey Gardens, the East Hampton home occupied by relatives of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis that fell into disrepair and became the subject of a beloved documentary and Broadway play.

In its glory days, Land's End was said to feature marble, parquet and wide wood-planked floors, Palladian windows and hand-painted wallpaper. The property includes a caretaker's cottage, two greenhouses, a tennis cabana and a pool house.

Mateyunas said documenting Long Island lore that the St. Paul, Minnesota-born Fitzgerald used Land's End as his inspiration has proven difficult, but that it doesn't matter; the house is significant in its own right. The likes of Winston Churchill, the Marx Brothers and Ethel Barrymore actually did attend parties there in the '20s and '30s.

Sands Point Village Clerk Randy Bond was among those dubious of the Fitzgerald connection.

“I think somebody just made it up,” she said. “I had never heard of that until just recently. It was as if I just went out and started a rumor that the house I live in was the model for Tara,” she said, referring to the plantation in Gone With the Wind.

Set during Prohibition, Gatsby focuses on a young man's pursuit of the American dream and the woman he loves with a subtext of the age-old friction of old money and new money.

“There's a lot of ‘I can't believe this is happening’ sentiment out there,” Wolfe said. “People have contacted me who want to save it, but it's too late. It kind of got swept by and wasn't on the radar screen.”

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-04-18-11 2316GMT

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 April 2011 10:09
 
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