I belong to a small online author’s group and have been fortunate in that our mobile lifestyle has allowed us to meet several of them in person as we’ve traveled around the country. Yesterday we drove into Cincinnati to have lunch with Carol Ann Newsome, author of the Dog Park mystery series.
What a delightful and talented woman! Carol Ann’s friend Marianne Shelton and our pals Greg and Jan White joined us for lunch. Jan is a big fan of Carol Ann’s books and I think she was maybe a bit star struck. Who could blame her?
We met at a place called Ruth’s Parkside Café, which is housed in the old American Can Company building, and I think we sat and talked for at least a couple of hours after we finished lunch. Here is a picture of Carol Ann and myself. She’s the pretty one. You can find out more about her in an interview I did a while back at this interview link. And you can download a free copy of A Shot In The Bark, the first book in her series. We look forward to seeing Carol Ann the next time we’re in this area.
Our long time readers know that we love old cemeteries, and just a few blocks from the restaurant we stumbled upon Spring Grove Cemetery, which has served Cincinnati since 1845. It was so interesting from the street that we just had to spend a few minutes checking it out. More like a park than a cemetery, the place has winding roads that go past small ponds and some amazing monuments.
At first I thought this was a chapel (the cemetery has three), but it is actually the Dexter family mausoleum, which is registered as a historical landmark. Family patriarch Edmund Dexter came from England and made a fortune as a liquor distributor and became a prominent citizen of Cincinnati. Built in 1869 at a cost of $100,000 (equal to about $1.7 million in today’s money), the mausoleum’s lower level has twelve marble catacombs where four generations of Dexters are interred. The building’s top level is a marble-lined chapel that is 12 feet wide, 30 feet long and 34 feet high.
Spring Grove is the final resting place of many famous people, including James Norris Gamble of the Proctor and Gamble company, members of President William Howard Taft’s family, members of the Kroger (grocery store) family, a number of Revolutionary War soldiers, many Civil War soldiers, including 41 Civil War generals, the most famous of them Joseph "Fighting Joe" Hooker. Seven Medal of Honor recipients are also buried at the cemetery.
This is the monument to Charles West, the Founder of the Cincinnati Art Museum. The allegorical figures flanking his monument represent the four major constituents of the fine arts: theatre, music, dance, and literature.
Most large cemeteries have a few ghost stories associated with them and Spring Grove is no exception. One of the most popular tales claims that the bust of C. C. Breuer contains his real eyeballs and that they follow you when you are anywhere near the grave.
Ghostly eyes or not, Spring Grove is well worth a visit if you find yourself in Cincinnati. We could have spent hours exploring the historic cemetery.
Don’t forget to enter this week’s Free Drawing for an autographed copy of Highway History And Back Road Mystery, the original book in my Highway History series. All you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – Being someone’s first love is great, but being their last is wonderful.