Hillforest Mansion Aurora Indiana

Photography Prints

Written by: Gary Wonning

Sitting on 10 acres of land high on a hill overlooking the Ohio River ,
Hillforest Mansion strikes an impressive scene. Just as impressive is
it’s colorful past. Listed on The National Register of Historic Places
, in 1992 it was bestowed the honor of being designated a National
Historic Landmark thus placing it on the same level of prominence as
Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.


Hillforest
Designed in 1853 by Isaiah Rogers, an architect known as the “father of the
modern hotel”, it was designed for Thomas Gaff and his family who
occupied it from 1855 until 1891.

Shipping and riverboats were significant elements of the Gaff business enterprises and are
reflected in the architecture of the home.

Although based on the Italian Renaissance architectural style, the two-story
home’s design reflected Gaff’s involvement in the shipping industry
with its full-width front porch being reminiscent of a steamboat’s
deck. Among it’s many features include  Ventian Glass Windows,elaborate
plaster mouldings,a museum room, and an underground wine cellar.

The suspended staircase was patterned after those at the ends of the
Grand Salon on the more elaborate riverboats of the time.Reportedly,
the Gaff children once rode a pony up these stairs and out the rear
door.

Thomas Gaff was born in Scotland in July of 1808. After coming to the
United States, he learned paper making and the distillery business.
Along with his brother James they became involved in many other
businesses,including a jewelry store, A Nevada silver mine, farming,
turnpike and canal construction, machine works, and a mill in Columbus Indiana

which produced the world’s first ready made cereal.

Needing to transport their brewery and distillery products, they also
owned a fleet of steamboats. During the Civil War they supplied the
Union Army the steamboats, whence one of them the Forest Queen became
the headquarters for Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman and successfully
rammed the Vicksburg blockade.

In their spare time , the brothers were involved in many civic affairs,
helped organize the local school system , established the First
National Bank of Aurora and served on the city council.

Today Hillforest is a non-profit museum and is open to the public. 


hotels.com

 

 Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature,landscapes and studying native cultures.Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt,the Canary Islands,much of the Caribbean. He has studied  the Mayan Cultures in Central America, and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!

He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.

For more information and a link to his hard cover and Ebooks,and contact information: please check his website, http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments appreciated

money photography

This informative Ebook describes alternative methods of making money ,often a full time income in photography even if you have no desire to shoot wedding photography. this book gives examples and websites where you can use your photos to supply you with an income, not only to enable you to buy new equipment, but a living income as well.

 

A True American Patriot

Art Prints

Written by; Gary Wonning

Sometimes we don’t know how things are going to turn out and at first something  thought negative  turns into a great experience.

Our Shrine temple has  a Thursday luncheon every week and about 250 Shriners meet for lunch to enjoy camaraderie, good food and fellowship. Because of other commitments I’m not always able to participate. This past week,  I was
able to attend.

The nobles normally start arriving at about 10:30 and since I didn’t make it until nearly 11:30, most of the seats were already taken. Sitting down at an empty table located next to the door and restroom, I began to feel very bored and about as useful as a pogo stick in quicksand.  I assumed that sooner or later another  brother would come and join me. Not to be disappointed, a friend soon appeared  and because he at one time worked in the intelligence community we began to have a very enlightening conversation.A short meeting always follows the lunch , during which time they introduce all the visiting Nobles.

I will have to admit I wasn’t really paying much attention, just applauding in the proper places to welcome them.  The last noble to be welcomed was a 90 year old visitor from Massachusetts.

He gave a very heartwarming introduction saying that he  considered us all friends even though he had never met most of us and was extremely grateful for having the opportunity to have lunch with us. The man was almost in tears because a buddy of his took the time to bring him to the luncheon. It was a very touching moment. He also expressed gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve in the military during world war 2. 

As he walked past me after leaving the podium he stopped and touched me on the shoulder, and with a tear in his eye, said,” I just don’t want to leave this world while it’s in the shape it’s in.”

Now that’s something you can hang you hat on.

Wow! How do you respond to that?

Here is an individual, who is a World War 2 veteran, has seen the depression , fought for his country, has without a doubt done more than his “fair share”, and still wants to do more. To me that man is a true

To me, that man is a true patriot. It was truly  a refreshing comment, quite contrary to some of the statements made by many of our present day entertainers and dignitaries.

 I realized once again that the universe normally gives us the experiences we need , if I hadn’t arrived late and would have sat somewhere else, I would not have had the opportunity to experience first hand what this country meant to this great, old soldier.

 Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature, landscapes and studying native cultures. Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt, the Canary Islands, much of the Caribbean. He has studied  the Mayan Cultures in Central America and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!

He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.

For more information and a link to his hardcover and Ebooks, and contact information: please check his website, http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments appreciated

masonic

Throughout man’s long history on earth, there has been one group of people who have carried the torch of liberty and freedom throughout the ages, from time immemorial until the present day. In these days, their counsel is needed more than ever.

 

Schofield House Madison Indiana

One of the most historic buildings in the state of Indiana is the Schofield
House in Madison , Indiana. This Federal-style building was the first
two-story brick house and also the first tavern in Madison. Built in
1817 it was the home of Alexander and Drusilla Lanier.

 

schofield
The house originally had a bedroom, kitchen and tavern on the first floor and a
sleeping room and meeting room on the second floor. In later years the
first floor bedroom became a parlor and the kitchen became a dining
room.
On January 13th 1818, the Lanier -Schofield House saw the formation of
the Grand Lodge of Indiana as fourteen brethren from throughout Indiana
met in the upstairs meeting room with the expressed purpose of doing so.The constitution of the Grand Lodge of Indiana was approved, and five lodges,(Vincennes #1, Madison #2, Charlestown #3, Lawrenceburg #4 and Corydon #5)
demitted from the Grand Lodge of Kentucky to form the initial lodges of
Indiana and after electing Alexander Buckner as the first Grand Master
of Indiana there is no evidence that the building was ever used again
for Masonic ceremonies for 150 years.

Today, the building is owned by the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of the Valley of Indianapolis.Any lodge in Indiana can perform degree work here, however, due to the size of the room, only Entered apprentice degrees are recommended.Interesting? Follow me on Kindle.

Solomon’s Builders

 

Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature, landscapes and studying native cultures.Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt, the Canary Islands, much of the Caribbean. He has studied  the Mayan Cultures in Central America, and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!

He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.

For more information and a link to his hard cover and Ebooks,and contact information: please check his website.www.commonsensejourneys.com

Your comments appreciated

Enlightenment

Join the author in a journey of enlightenment. Available in Hard copy and Ebooks.

 

A Spiritual Awakening

To me it is always interesting how one part of a person’s life leads onto another and how sometimes “things” happen when at the time a particular instance may be something we don’t like or is something we would not have chosen turns out to be a real learning experience or a reminder of something in the past.

During the Vietnam War I joined the Air Force Reserve, not so much to avoid the draft but I felt that I wanted to serve my country and  the Air Force would be the best avenue for me to pursue.

Also about that time I started my career with UPS and when I acquired apermanent area it happened to be in a neighboring town from which Igrew up. I was very satisfied with this stroke of “luck”.

Time passed  and as 1968 came to be, my time in the Air Force wasgetting short, I only had about 18 months left to serve. Life was marching on, I was getting married in July and we had bought a house ,we were all settled in to live our “normal” life.

Reality hit in March of that year, my unit was suddenly called toactive duty.I was slated to ship out the first of May and due to thefact it was only going to be a year away we decided to make the best ofit and get married before I left.

When I had enlisted in the Air Force the plan had been for me to be on flying status and train as a load master on a C- 119. During my basic training new orders were received putting me in base supply instead.This didn’t make me real happy as I was looking forward to flying to such places as New Orleans, New York, etc. on the week-ends, I certainly wasn’t looking forward to handing out t-shirts for 6 years.

Now, at 7 AM, three days before I’m scheduled to leave for Nam, the telephone rings, it’s my mom asking if I still had to go to Vietnam.She went on to say that she had just heard on the radio that my unit had been de-activated, how did she know what unit I was in, don’t think I ever told her?

Immediately calling the Wing Commander, he informed me it was true,they had decided to only take the airmen on flying status, the supply units would be staying home. Then reality hit. If I had stayed on flying status, I would be going to Vietnam. It was at that moment I realized that handing out t-shirts in base supply wasn’t so bad after all.

I immediately called my supervisor and relayed to him the above information and that my leave of absence was now canceled, I would be back to work on Monday. Being relatively new , UPS fed me the story that since I had taken a leave of absence, my delivery area had been bid on by some one else and I would have to take another area. That was wrong but it took me years to get them to admit they were wrong.

I was immediately assigned to running vacation routes until another area came up for bid, so I spent a long and hot summer being totally confused. In the fall , an area came up for bid and I took it, it was40 miles from home and included Vevay, Switzerland County Indiana.Although the scenery was beautiful ,(much of it bordered the Ohio River,a town called Rising Sun was to the east of Vevay and the people were friendly and easy to get along with,) I longed to be closer to home.

There was something about the area that fascinated and intrigued me but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was, years later I would solve the mystery.

Years later, I found myself driving up I-95 , passing Richmond Virginia and contemplating what to do for the rest of the day, a sign pointing the way to Fredericksburg, Virginia caught my eye. Since I had never been there , this would be a good time to check it out.
Totally oblivious to what I would see or find, a cemetery caught my eye. My first thought was ,”Where did that come from?”

 My second thought was.” Oh, it’s a Civil War Cemetery, that wasn’t here when I was here before. ”

Where did that thought come from?


More surprises awaited me, as I drove into town I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! This town is almost a carbon copy of Vevay Indiana.The main street was very similar to the main street in Vevay, the river was on the right, and there was a Rising Sun Tavern on the east side of town. My reason for spending so much time in Vevay was to be a gentle reminder of a time in the past. I had been to Fredericksburg before.


In times such as this , I get very hungry, a lunch at the Rising Sun Tavern was definitely on the agenda. Entering the tavern, it was DeJuvu all over again. Many times had I dined and drank my favorite beverage in the friendly confines of this establishment.


Walking around the town was truly amazing, just like old home week,past another cemetery which held the remains of many Revolutionary War people, both soldiers and towns people,  entering the Masonic Lodge I could see myself attending many lodge meetings  in an earlier era.

It all came together, if I hadn’t joined the Air Force, if my orders hadn’t been changed, and if I never had the opportunity to spend time in Vevay Indiana, this realization might have never occurred, and this experience probably would never had meant as much to me.

In the last week, I had traveled to Charleston, South Carolina and now Richmond and Fredericksburg, Virginia. Much had been shown me.

My mission had been accomplished, it was time to go home and resume my “normal” life.

Travel Articles and Photos

Rising Sun Tavern Fredericksburg Virginia

Photography Prints

To  anyone visiting Fredericksburg, Virginia on the “don’t miss” list is lunch at the Rising Sun Tavern.

Originally built in 1760 by Charles Washington, George’s brother, this residence was turned into a tavern about 1790.

My journey had started in Charleston South Carolina the day before and after staying the night in Richmond, I got a rather late start for Fredericksburg.

 Having driven all morning I decided to have lunch before seeing the sights  the town had to offer.
As I entered, a tavern wench met me at the door. As I was escorted to my table she informed me that she was serving out her indenture of 7 years for stealing a loaf of bread in England.

Rising SunTavern 
After dining, I was invited to take a 30 minute tour of the    establishment, led by the tavern wench.
 
I was pleasantly surprised, much of the furniture and woodwork  is still
in its original state. The tap room features a display of 18th and
19th-century pewter and a reconstructed bar cage.In its day   the
tavern was a proper high-class establishment, While the ladies were
consigned to the Retiring Room spending their day gossiping and doing
their knitting  the men would be consuming  multi -course meals and many tankards of ale in the Taproom or playing cards and enjoying Madeira in the Great Room.
As a matter of convenience the tour just happened to end in the gift shop where I was able to pick up a couple of nice souvenirs.

 Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature, landscapes and studying native cultures.Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt, the Canary Islands, much of the Caribbean. He has studied  the Mayan Cultures in Central America, and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!

He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.

For more information and a link to his hard cover and Ebooks, and contact information: please check his website.www.commonsensejourneys.com

Your comments appreciated

money photography

 

This informative Ebook describes alternative methods of making money ,often a full time income in photography even if you have no desire to shoot wedding photography. this book gives examples and websites where you can use your photos to supply you with an income, not only to enable you to buy new equipment, but a living income as well.
   

Photography Prints

Fredericksburg Masonic Lodge Fredericksburg Virginia

 

Fredericksburg Virginia has a long and distinguished history,it has a very important place in the formation of the American experiment. Along with that , Fredericksburg Masonic lodge #4 Free and Accepted Masons contributed more than probably any other Masonic Lodge in America.

Fredericksburg lodge2

It’s first recorded meeting was on September 1, 1752,with 13 members present. The record book still exists today and is in possession  of the lodge.

Over the years the lodge has had many homes , beginning in 1756 it met at a tavern on the northeast corner ofAmelia and Caroline Streets. This tavern at the time was owned by a member , Charles Julian.

Fredericksburg Lodge plaque

Finally,on April 4, 1757, the Lodge obtained a Charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland for the sum
of seven pounds. Past Master Daniel Campbell presented the petition in Edinburgh,
Scotland. On July 21, 1758, the Grand Lodge of Scotland issued a formal Charter
for “The Lodge at Fredericksburg.”
The Scottish Charter acknowledged the members of the Lodge at Fredericksburg was a Regular Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons and was “constituted, erected and appointed with
the … Brethren aforesaid and their Successors … a Just, true and regular Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons.” The Scottish Charter, engrossed on the very best quality parchment, is still in existence and in the possession of the
Lodge.

In 1762 the meetings were moved to the Market House which was located on the southwest corner of William and Caroline streets. The brethren were able to make this their home for many years.

The lodge was probably formed by men who had been made Masons somewhere else, it will probably never be known if there was any overriding authority, except loyalty to the craft. At the time there was a large Scottish influence in the area and many of the early members bore Scottish surnames.

Fredericksburg Lodge


Before 1816 , the Masons would normally meet in taverns in what is now called
Old Towne. Masons first raised money and built a building for both a
school and a Masonic Lodge. The second floor was used as the lodge hall
and the first floor would be used as a school.



During the Civil War , the building was turned into a hospital, thus many of the records and artifacts were destroyed. Due to the service of it’s many members more than a few Fredericksburg’s prominent buildings have Masonic
cornerstones. 

The first independent Grand Lodge of North America was established in 1777-78,when the Lodge at Fredericksburg joined with several other lodges to create the Grand Lodge of Virginia.  Brother George Washington of the Lodge at Fredericksburg was asked to serve as its first Grand Master. At this time however he was busy defeating the
British army so he declined the honor.

Eventually, in 1786, the Grand Lodge assigned numeric designators to its various subordinate lodges,
and the Lodge at Fredericksburg was designated Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4.

Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4 has given more Grand Masters to the Grand Lodge of Virginia than any

other lodge. These eight include:

Judge James Mercer
(GM 1784-86)
Gov. Robert Brooke (GM 1795-97)
Major Benjamin Day (GM 1797-1800)
Hon. Oscar M. Crutchfield (GM 1841)
Judge Beverley R. Wellford, Jr. (1877-79)
Captain S. J. Quinn (GM 1907-08)
Philip K. Bauman (GM 1914-15)
Edward H. Cann (GM 1958-59)

The Virginia Charter

of 1787 written on very thin parchment, pasted on coarse linen still survives. It is in the possession of the Grand Lodge of Virginia, in Richmond. 

Fredricksburg Lodge claims many notable men among it’s members, most of the mayors of Fredricksburg have been members, many Revolutionary  and Civil War leaders, Grand Masters as well , but probably they are most proud of
the fact that General George Washington was one of the early members.

Freemasons are proud to claim The Father of His Country as one of their own. George Washington was initiated into Freemasonry in the Fredericksburg Lodge on November 4, 1752. He was passed to the second degree on March 3, 1753; and raised to the third degree on August 4, 1753. The Bible used in those ceremonies remains in the possession of the Lodge, together with several other Washington relics. Washington then left to fight in the French & Indian War, after which he relocated to Northern Virginia. He remained a member in loyal good standing of Fredericksburg No. 4 until his death.

Among the many attributes the Lodge established became what is probably America’s oldest Masonic Cemetery in 1784 and with the help of the James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library, maintains it  to this day.
Buried are many Revolutionary War heroes, generals, diplomats, and millionaires.

After acquiring it’s own building at 803 Princess Anne Street in about 1815, the lodge hosted a grand reception for Marquis de Lafayette in 1824 and made Lafayette an honorary member.

During the Battle of Fredericksburg in December of 1862 Union troops ransacked the building carrying off much of the property,thankfully they left the Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington. In true Masonic fashion,
many of the items taken, trickled back from veterans during the ensuing years.

Over the years there have been many Masonic cornerstones laid in the Fredericksburg area. Rappahannock Canal Basin, Baptist Church, Confederate Cemetery, Shiloh Baptist Church, Mary Washington Monument,
and many others.IN 1848 Fredericksburg Lodge was also represented at the laying of the cornerstone of the Washington Monument in Washington D.C.

As you can see Fredericksburg Lodge is steeped in history, they as well as any lodge can only continue to grow by moving forward through time by remembering the past and building on the time worn traditions.

Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature,landscapes and studying native cultures.Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt,the Canary Islands,much of the Caribbean. He has studied  the Mayan Cultures in Central America, and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!

He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.

For more information and a link to his hard cover and Ebooks,and contact information: please check his website, http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments appreciated

masonic

Throughout man’s long history on earth,there has been one group of people who have carried the torch of liberty and freedom throughout the ages , from time immemorial until the present day. In these days their counsel is need more than ever.



 




 




How to Make Money with Landscape, Nature, and Travel Photos

DSC_0270_edited-1The question is often asked,”How do I make money shooting landscape,travel, and nature photos?”
I have found an interesting way of doing that.
I have 2 websites,garywonningphotography and travelnsnap. Along with that I also have a blog thefloridahoosier, where I post photos and articles about my various travels and adventures over the last several years.
On those sites I use Google adsense and various affiliate marketing sites.
My original intent was to have an avenue in which I could just “show off” my photography, however as I increase my content and my exposure to the search engines , so goes my income. I’m not making a fortune , yet. But it is quite gratifying to see money in my checking account.
DSC_0273_edited-1
I also am creating products on Zazzle with my photos and clip art which is starting to
show  some  interest.
Not only are these things fun, extremely gratifying , but the income is nice too.
If you happen to have a chance, view my sites and let me know what you think,
any suggestions for  improvement would be appreciated.

Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature,landscapes and studying native cultures.Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt,the Canary Islands,much of the Caribbean. He has studied  the Mayan Cultures in Central America, and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!

He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.

For more information and a link to his hard cover and Ebooks,and contact information: please check his website.www.commonsensejourneys.com

Your comments appreciated

money photography

This informative Ebook describes alternative methods of making money ,often a full time income in photography even if you have no desire to shoot wedding photography. this book gives examples and websites where you can use your photos to supply you with an income, not only to enable you to buy new equipment, but a living income as well.

My books area available in both Hard Copy and Ebook format.