March 18, 2019 – “Mesa Verde and Mark Twain”

Hello, everyone!

Seemingly after a drought of vacation related footage from the Home Movie Collection, a spring of landmarks and tourist attractions flooded through. In the midst of this content, new revelations helped answer some mysteries regarding previous footage. Along with my normal Monday duties, my return to the archives seemed to be quite the welcoming party.

As with every Monday, I entered the office and gathered the necessary materials to clean the fifth-floor study hall desks. As I scrubbed pencil markings and coffee stains, I felt that today’s experience left a mixed bag of which desks needed more cleaining than others. I admit that none of them needed drastic measures taken, so the task did not too long to complete. Even better, a student asked for a Lysol to clean her desk and I smiled as she saved me the trouble of cleaning it myself.

After returning all the cleaning supplies, I headed to the stacks for my other responsibility. About seven envelopes containing a magazine publication and four books sat on the cart for me to shelve. I easily found their respective places on the shelves and finished without difficulty.

Soon, I installed the hard drive for the Home Movie Collection and resumed watching more of the family’s journeys. Among the places visited, the family took the Pike’s Peak Cog Railway in Colorado and traveled to the base of Pike’s Peak. Named after Zebulon Pike, the summit rests at 14,115 feet! Other places included Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine in Cripple Creek, Colorado, and Loveland Pass in Clear Creek, Colorado.

Other locations included Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde National Park. Last semester, I tested a virtual reality program through Oculus Rift and the program’s tour locations included Mesa Verde.I immediately recognized the structures of the place. The family visited Old Fort Dodge in Kansas, part of the Santa Fe Trail. Not much footage, except for the mother entering the Old Fort Dodge jail.

The next location interested me. At first, I thought the family still filmed buildings in Old Dodge City. In reality, the family visited Mark Twain’s Childhood Home in Hannibal, Missouri. As a touch to his famous novels, the white fence next to the home references the tale of Tom Sawyer tricking someone to paint for him.

The family then revisited a site that previously bothered me. The first monument I could not identify resurfaced in this batch of footage. I saw that the monument rested on a small hill in cemetery. I tried once more to find the identity of the monument and I finally found a positive identification!

Known as “Old Simon,” the Private Soldier Monument in Antietam National Cemetery depicts a Union soldier at rest with the incription of “Not For Themselves But For Their Country – September 17, 1862.” Dedicated on September 17, 1880, the monument designed by sculptor Carl Conrads and architect George Keller of the New England Granite Works of Hartford, Connecticut sits in the center of the cemetery. As a child, my family went to the Antietam Battlefield and I am sure we did not visit the cemetery. Regardless, I am relieved to know the identity of this monument (maybe I can find the Gettysburg monument’s identity, too).

Alas, my shift came to an end. I saved my work and returned all materials to the stacks. Afterward, I bid farewell to the staff and left for the day.

In review, I performed all my normal tasks and discovered the identity of a pesky mystery. Tomorrow, I intend to complete a side assignment Mr. Ogreten gave me. Until then, enjoy the evening and stay safe! Bye!


Author: 57r3l574d

I am currently a Graduate Student at the University of Central Florida and simultaneously employed by the university library's Special Collections and University Archives as a Other Personnel Service (OPS) Student. Expected to graduate in 2019 with a History MA - Public History Track.

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