Down to Earth Romance

Archive for the ‘Museums’ Category

On Veterans Day- A Trip To The American Helicopter Museum

On Veterans Day, I’m thinking of those who have served our country, and sending my heartfelt thanks for their sacrifice. Almost all of the men in my family have served in either the Navy or the Marines and I appreciate each one of them for keeping our nation safe.

In honor of Veteran’s Day, I thought I’d share some of my photos of vintage military aircraft from the American Helicopter Museum in West Chester, Pennsylvania. I highly recommend a visit to this wonderful museum if you visit southeastern Pennsylvania. It’s located about a mile from QVC headquarters and worth the trip.

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Thank you for your service.

AHMAdele

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Photos copyright Adele Downs

Visit Adele’s website and check out her books at http://adeledowns.com 

Honoring Our Veterans, Photos, Vintage Aircraft

This Veteran’s Day, I’m thinking of those who have served our country and sending my heartfelt thanks for their sacrifice. Almost all of the men in my family have served in either the Navy or the Marines and I appreciate each one of them for keeping our nation safe.

In honor of Veteran’s Day, I thought I’d share some of my photos of vintage military aircraft from the American Helicopter Museum in West Chester, Pennsylvania. I highly recommend a visit to this wonderful museum if you visit southeastern Pennsylvania. It’s located about a mile from QVC headquarters and worth the trip.

AHMWelcomeSigned

AHMNavyHelisigned

AHMNavyStarsigned

AHMNavyvesselsigned copy

AHMVeteransigned

AHMMarinePlanesigned

Thank you for your service.

AHMAdele

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Photos copyright Adele Downs

Visit Adele’s website and check out her books at http://adeledowns.com 

Henry David Thoreau Cabin in The Woods @TylerArboretum

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My husband and I spent a beautiful summer day at the Tyler Arboretum in Media, Pennsylvania, and during our walk along the trails, came upon this cabin hidden in the woods.

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The arboretum staff recreated an exact replica of American poet Henry David Thoreau‘s tiny home beside Walden Pond in Massachusetts.

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Thoreau lived simply for two years and two months (1845-1847) in the one-room cabin he built himself, to write without distractions, on land owned by his good friend Ralph Waldo Emerson. If you look closely at the bottom right of this photo you’ll notice a spot of blue–the pond behind the cabin.

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One room with a fireplace, a bench to sit on, and a loft above him to sleep. This single room was re-recreated in the exact dimensions and style of the original home on Walden Pond. I imagine there was a table inside too, but little room for anything else. When I took this photo, I was standing inside the open doorway.

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Sleeping loft after a day of writing.

I think all writers look for a sanctuary in which to write. Though my romance novels couldn’t be more different from the writings of Thoreau, I felt a connection to his cabin and its surroundings because I understood his need for solitude. The cabin in the woods at Walden Pond was the highlight of my visit to the Tyler Arboretum and a place I’ll always remember.

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Thoreau wrote:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

Colonial Era Log Cabin–Downingtown’s Treasure

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Happy Independence Day, America!

One of the treasures of Downingtown, PA, the oldest town in Chester County, is the circa 1701 log house faithfully preserved by the borough. The Downingtown Log House opens to the public a few times a year–usually on Memorial Day, July 4, and at Christmas to allow visitors a glimpse of life during the Colonial era. Also pictured is a docent dressed in period costume.

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The structure is preserved with historically accurate whitewash typical of that period. The doors and windows of the cabin were cut small to keep the heat inside for the family that lived there. Pennsylvania winters can be bitterly cold.

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The log cabin’s centerpiece–the enormous walk-in fireplace used for cooking and heating.

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The far corner of the main level.

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Bottles, dishes, and pots from the 1700’s and 1800’s.

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Pottery from the era.

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Items found in and around the cabin’s foundation. The log house was moved to higher ground in 1988 from its original location by a stream when floodwaters threatened to destroy the structure.

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The original floor and the walls of a second floor bedroom as they looked in 1701.

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Another bedroom on the cabin’s second floor. There is a weight limit on the upstairs level, due to the age of the wood flooring. After stooping to climb a steep, low, narrow, and sharply angled set of stairs, four of us stood on the top floor, each taking a different area so as not to stress the boards.

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The original wood flooring and wall beams circa 1701.

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Copy of the petition by Thomas Moore for a tavern license, 1717.

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I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon at the Downingtown Log House and recommend visiting this piece of American history.

For more information: Log House

Cozy Mystery Author Cate Price And CONTEST!

–CONTEST ALERT!!!!–

Do you like to read cozy mysteries? I certainly do, and I love Cate Price’s Berkley Prime Crime mystery series.

I share a special connection to Cate’s books, since I read early drafts of book one Going Through The Notions and was a research source for that book, as well as book two in the series, A Dollhouse To Die For. Cate’s new release is Lie of The Needle.

When I discovered Cate had visited a New England carousel museum over the holidays, I invited her to share her beautiful pictures and experience with us. I hope you enjoy her tour.

Please welcome Cate and be sure to leave her a comment.  Residents inside the continental USA will be automatically entered to win a copy of her latest cozy mystery Lie of The Needle.

*Winner Announced Saturday, 1/24/15.

Congratulations to Laura F., winner of LIE OF THE NEEDLE!

Many thanks to all who visited and entered Cate’s contest.

Best~Adele

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The New England Carousel Museum by Cate Price

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On a recent trip home to Connecticut, I paid a visit to the New England Carousel Museum that’s housed in an old hosiery factory building in Bristol. A friendly and knowledgeable tour guide showed me and my mom around, and we started with how the horses are made.

Interestingly, they’re not carved from a single piece of wood as I’d imagined, but from many small pieces held together with wooden dowels and animal hide glue. A carousel horse is hollow inside to make it lighter in weight. Some are time capsules in a way, because carvers often hid items in the cavity, like their tools or even a lottery ticket! The heads and bodies were made separately from each other, and our guide showed us a quirky example where the head was far too big for the horse’s body.

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The museum has a large variety of antique hand-carved, hand-painted carousel horses, in various stages of repair. Some are in their original condition, but most are fully and beautifully restored. They’re not just historic examples of entertainment, but truly works of art, and there are several different styles. The highly expressive “Coney Island” style horses have flared nostrils and “peek-a-boo” looped manes, and are flamboyantly decorated with cabbage roses, feathers, jewels, and even real gold leaf. The “Philadelphia” style is more classic and realistic, with sweet faces, and then there’s the folk-art “Country Fair” horses which are smaller and built in simpler poses, with outstretched legs which made them easier to stack for transport.

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My mother loved the white English prancing horse, but I think my favorite was the little one who hadn’t been restored yet, with his distressed wood and multiple layers of peeling paint, showing how many times he had been fixed up over the years, with whatever paint the carousel park owners happened to have on hand.

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The horses have a fancy or “romance” side that is highly decorated, but the one that faces the inside of the carousel is plainer. Something else I hadn’t realized is that in America the horses travel counter clockwise. In England the horses go clockwise, so those horses were pointing in the opposite direction to show their best side. I also noticed that some had a decorative feature at the rear of the saddle, like a brace of game birds peeking out, a monkey, flowers, or fruit, to name but a few.

The museum has Menagerie figures, too, like a double-seater rooster, rabbit, cat, duck, giraffe, pig, and magnificent carved lion. The master carver on staff has created new figures, such as a lovely manatee. There are other curiosities, including an old fortune teller machine, a wooden fairy tale carriage, and a Wurlitzer band organ.

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    The New England Carousel Museum has the contract to manage the historic Bushnell Park Carousel in Hartford that was built in 1914 by Stein and Goldstein and features forty-eight hand-carved wooden horses and two lover’s chariots.

    Carousels often included open carriages to accommodate Victorian ladies’ skirts.The       museum is dedicated to the acquisition, restoration and preservation of carousels and carousel memorabilia, with a focus on educational programs. Although we didn’t have time on this visit, also housed in the same building is the Museum of Fire History and The Bristol Center for Arts and Culture.

Price of admission is only six dollars for adults (less for seniors and children), which includes a ride on the working carousel. It’s definitely worth a visit!

The New England Carousel Museum is located at 95 Riverside Avenue, Bristol, CT. 860-585-5411. They are closed in January and February, but available for private parties. www.thecarouselmuseum.org

 About Cate Price:

Cate Price is the author of the Deadly Notions mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. The third book in the series, LIE OF THE NEEDLE, was published January 6, 2015.

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 As the owner of Sometimes a Great Notion, a shop specializing in vintage sewing notions and antique treasures, Daisy Buchanan is a strong advocate of preserving the past. But when a killer strikes, she turns her attention to saving lives…

Talk about a great notion! As a fund-raiser to save a two-hundred-year-old farmhouse and stop an ambitious developer, the ladies of the Historical Society of Millbury, Pennsylvania, are producing a Hunky Men of Millbury calendar. Daisy is delighted to lend her support, and the female population of the village is abuzz with anticipation.

But after Daisy’s close friend Cyril doesn’t show up for his photo shoot and the calendar photographer is found dead, it’s beginning to look like the days may be numbered for the men of Millbury. Can a cryptic verse on an antique sampler help Daisy pin down the killer before another pinup runs out of time?

Buy The Book on Amazon!

Cate Price loves to hear from readers at her website, www.cateprice.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/catepriceauthor

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1701 Log House in The Oldest Town

Downingtown is the oldest town in Chester County, Pennsylvania. I thought you might enjoy seeing photographs of a historical site there, built in 1701. The Log House has been lovingly maintained through the centuries and is currently dressed for Christmas. Imagine living in these tiny quarters with your family.

I took these photographs on my travels. Enjoy!

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(Photos are the property of author Adele Downs and may not be copied, reposted, or reproduced without permission.)

More Pics AMERICAN HELICOPTER MUSEUM

I’m glad you enjoyed my photographs of the American Helicopter Museum in West Chester, Pennsylvania posted August 28, 2013.  I took dozens of pictures and have added several more. I hope you enjoy these, too.

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US Army

US Army

Mash Unit

Mash Unit

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Rolls Royce Engine

Rolls Royce Engine

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For more information: American Helicopter Museum

(Photos are the property of author Adele Downs and may not be copied or reposted without written permission.)

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