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Nurses were in the front line, specifically American nurses. They followed the army after their landing on D-Day, and slept outside in wind, rain, and artillery shells. I read a story in my research of one particular nurse while bathing who had used her helmet to scoop water onto herself. Shelling began, and she immediately sat naked in the tub with the helmet firmly planted on her head. Nurses were on the front lines, scooping up intestines and putting them back in place. American nurses during the winter of 1944 were following troops to the dragon's teeth, the area where the Battle of Hurtgen Forest took place.
The Navy recruited women, left and right but the US army never officially did. While researching there were some harrowing first person accounts.
Some had their nose blown off; some had no jaw; some were sans chin, nose and jaw; and a few had only a forehead left. I went through this ward and stood in amazement and perfect wonder how these valiant nurses dealt with the problem of feeding these cases. Most of them were tube fed, and hours were spent getting nourishment into them. Some were so horribly disfigured they were in a private area from the others. I gnashed my teeth at war. These are the living dead, who will spend the rest of their lives in a closed section of some Stateside hospital. The fatal bullet was more merciful.
Despite the hardships of war many women were drawn to the pay and the experience. After school several signed contracts stating that they would become nurses where needed in the local areas. The government needed this, one because there was an alarming shortage of medical personnel in the USA during the war, and two because they wanted to be assured that those who were working as nurses in the war would use that training apart from the US Army.
Nurses used Sulfanilamide, a sulfa drug that is credited with saving countless lives. Soldiers were taught to sprinkle it on every open wound. Penicillin was also used to save lives. Plasma was also a technique to replace blood loss in the body, and morphine was available to inject on the pain site.
"Dear God, please bring those boys back to us alive and well. But if they are hurt, give us strength, courage, and wisdom to be ready to help them." And when the men did arrive needing help, she said, "it made me feel mighty proud to do my little bit in helping to take care of them."
More nursing history can be found at the Museum of Nursing History in Pennsylvania.
See a replica of Florence Nightingale’s dress in the Atrium of St. Benilde Tower and an enlarged framed letter from Miss Nightingale to Alice Fisher, Foundress of the Philadelphia General Hospital School of Nursing, “Old Blockley,” (Christmas 1877). Read student ledgers from the turn of the century, a World War I Diary, or find your nursing school’s yearbook.
An old copper mine that was transformed into a prison in 1773. It was used heavily for some time. The people who sat in its cells might still hang around, the unfinished business they left in life still lingering behind.
"In its time, New-Gate Prison saw its share of fatal "insurrections." In 1806, one involving 30 men started in the blacksmith and nail shop, and ended with the death of inmate Aaron Goomer. Another occurred in 1823, this featuring over 100 prisoners, two of whom were fatally shot by guards.
And obviously, there were failed escape attempts.
One of the most notorious escape-gone-awry stories happened in 1827, when Abel Starkey fell to his death while trying to escape by climbing up a rope that had been dangling in the well (which was accessible from down below in addition on top). No mention if the rope had been made of knotted bedsheets or not.
As with any location associated with such a dark history, New-Gate Prison has gained a reputation as a haunted spot. Over the years, there have been stories of spirits allegedly spotted roaming the grounds, as well as ethereal voices supposedly heard in the mine's tunnels."
Courtesy of damnedct.com
!8th century prisons were a bit harsher than 21st century versions. Truly, a copper mine was seen as a fit place to hide the scourges! The old copper mine was owned by a feisty tavern owner. He was convinced to become the prison warden. He was the one that decided to use the old mine tunnels as prison cells-easy peasy. The first inmate was a thief, with an 18 day stay before he escaped with the help of a lover. Plenty disappeared and were never located-several were able to simply run by the guards.
So, the prison was guarded heavily. The security improved drastically and it ushered in an era of darkness. Riots were bloody, locals and inmates called it "Hell" literally, not too far from it if you have ever been inside.
WHo was the first prisoner?
His name was John Hinson, and had done a lot of time in other county jails. He was a peddler of stolen wares, and he was good at talking his way out of things. The judge who sent him to Old Newgate said : He is sly, ornery, and cunning as a viper." On December 22, there was a huge snowstorm it was over two feet, wet and heavy. Twigs and limbs began to break off, the tavern owner was sad and miserable. So, he called down to Hinson, to talk to him for comfort and solace. Every so often he would echo down the chamber-old mine tunnel and Hinson would reply. Eventually Hinson escaped, and the jailer never knew it. "His rescuer, it turned out, was a faithful mistress who had tramped over the snow-bound hills with a 100 foot coil of rope over her shoulder, and let it down the well shaft."
The odors unbearable, the floor covered with a thick pasty slime-this truly was hell.
When Shakers came to Massachusetts in the late 1700's they came to evangelize. The group, also known as The United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Coming were passionate about what they believed. They were so passionate that when the spirit moved them, they shook, jumped, mumbled, and displayed signs of the "spirit" outwardly.
One afternoon I was at a neighbor’s house when two young women attired in Shaker costumes appeared at the rear door. They said the Shakers always lived according to their profession, were honest and upright, but that they did not wish to live a celibate life any longer. A strange sensation seemed to creep over me, and something like a voice said, “Why listen to them? Go to the Shakers. See for yourself who and what they are.”
They were inspired to proclaim their world to a revolutionary America. Shakers had requirements though including celibacy. The first ceremonies, led with Mother Ann and her eight followers were chaotic. Some even described them as emotional. Imagine, a group of people following their own drum. This movement reached it's height in the 1820s throughout the 1860s. Women and men lived traditionally, even for the time but believed in equality of the sexes. The goal in labor was perfection.
Want to be a Shaker?
You can't there are three remaining members that live in a small group in Maine. They closed their membership forever.
Head out for Adventure and visit the Shaker Historic Trial that the NPS has put together!
Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village -- New Gloucester, Maine
Alfred Shaker Historic District -- Alfred, Maine
Enfield Shaker Historic District -- Enfield, New Hampshire
Canterbury Shaker Village -- Canterbury, New Hampshire
Harvard Shaker Village Historic District -- Harvard, Massachusetts
Shirley Shaker Village -- Shirley, Massachusetts
Hancock Shaker Village -- Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Tyringham Shaker Settlement Historic District -- Tyringham, Massachusetts
Enfield Shakers Historic District -- Enfield, Connecticut
Mount Lebanon Shaker Society -- New Lebanon, New York
Watervliet Shaker Historic District -- Albany, New York
North Union Shaker Site -- Cleveland, Ohio
Whitewater Shaker Settlement -- New Haven, Ohio
South Union Shakertown Historic District -- South Union, Kentucky
Shakertown at Pleasant Hill Historic District -- Harrodsburg, KY
Maine is a vacation spot for New Englanders, whole generations head up there in the summer months, renting cottages and hanging out in the wilderness. Why shouldn't they be, it's the way life should be way up there! It's wild and filled with adventures I worked there for a while as a camp riding (horses) instructor-loved the wilderness around me. I'm planning a trip now again, I haven't been there in quite some time. It's a wonderful place, filled with lots of animals, lobster rolls and more.
Any adventure to main requires you to visit Arcadia National Park, it is so beautiful. Mist falls on the water in the early morning, pebbles the colors of easter eggs rest naturally on the water-and giant birds threaten to swoop down and carry you off. It's a pretty cool place.
Pebble beach was soo cool, apparently visitors like to take rock, don't do it-signs posted everywhere advise against taking them!
Then there are the white water rafting trips. Plus, the hiking- you can't go wrong with that. There are tons of companies that operate in the summer months offering hiking and water rafting. I tried the double dip trip on the Penobscot.
Plus you can stay in a Wilderness lodge. These places are rustic, and beautiful. I love it here, you feel like you are in a Last of the Mohicans experience.
So what are you waiting for? Go try Maine this summer, or this month. If you are coming from another country and want to visit, check out the Maine touring page.
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