The Land of .OZ
Welcome back to another story from everyone’s favorite immortal, Henry Sinclair, and his third-generation Viking ragtag crew. In this installment, Henry has to fight back a horde of jinns working with John Hammond and Cecil Rhodes (DeBeers and Apartheid notoriety) before England stages an invasion from the Thousand Islands and floods America with gold crashing our economy. He is helped along by his crew, Nikola Tesla, Theodore Roosevelt, a young FDR, Keno Crowninshield, and Mark Twain once again.
To read Land of .Oz click here!
To read the latest issue of Arkham: Tales from the Flipside Summer 2020 click here!
Chris Dowgin talks with Redd about his books, art, tunnels, and plays a little flute.
It’s your favorite child travel adviser, Tyler the Boy on the Move, once again bringing you the best in last-minute vacations. Your road trip planner for the weekend getaway to the coolest and strangest places in America. How do I know about them all? My parents are contract workers in the software industry and keep moving the family every 6 months…
After we lived in Gibsonton for a while, my parents got a new gig about four hours away in Homestead, Flordia. Just like in Gibsonton, as we were settling into our new home, I took a walk to explore. I ended up finding a crazy looking sculpture garden with little moons and planets!
Little did I know that I had just stumbled into the Coral Castle! Ed Leedskalnin’s Coral Castle!
Latvian immigrant Edward “Ed” Leedskalnin was born in 1887 to a poor farming family in Riga. He spent his childhood working in the fields with his older siblings before becoming a stonemason.
According to urban legend, Ed fell madly in love with a young Lativian lass (10 years his minor) named Agnes Scuffs (or Skuvst — the accounts vary). The two quickly became engaged despite the fact that Ed was 26 and Agnes, called his “Sweet Sixteen” by Ed, was only 16 (a bit creepy if you ask me). On the very day they were meant to be married, Agnes abandoned Ed at the alter, canceling the wedding. Utterly heartbroken, Ed became despondent and ultimately left Lativia for the U.S. in 1912. Ed’s grand-nephew Janus Leedskalnin said that “it is absolutely clear that Ed left for America because he was jilted by his bride.”
Even outside of Lativia, Ed was consumed by thoughts of his “Sweet Sixteen.” After moving to Florida in 1918, Ed began to think of how he might be able to honor his lifelong lost love. Unable to forget her, Ed — despite being chronically ill, 100 pounds, and only just over 5 feet tall — began building a monument to his lost lover…out of MASSIVE blocks of stone.
With only hand-held tools and his own strength, Ed moved over 1,100 TONS of “coral” rock (actually sedimentary rock or oolite limestone) under the cover of darkness. Each and every night, Ed would set out to work, undergoing a grueling task of hauling 30-odd ton blocks of sedimentary rock onto the site of his megalithic castle before sculpturing them. None of Ed’s neighbors ever seemed to witness his moving, placing, or carving. And he did all of this to honor his runaway bride…not the best inspiration in my opinion, but hey — he built a cool castle!
Some were suspicious of Ed’s nighttime activities. Certain onlookers thought the steadfast progress could only be the result of magic. Others believe that Ed’s backbreaking work could only have been done in one way: aliens. I kid you not: extraterrestrials in Florida (is it really that much of a stretch?)!
However he did it, when it was finally all done and finished, Ed offered tours to anyone who wanted them for 10 cents a pop. After 28 years of night-time work, I’m surprised he didn’t ask for more!
By the Winter of 1951, Ed’s life’s work caught up to him. He fell ill (perhaps his chronic “Lung Condition” aggravated by the years of hard work). Before leaving his epic monument to Agnes, Ed hung a simple sign on the entranceway to his testament of lost love: “going to the hospital.” He didn’t provide a return date. He simply took a bus to Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital and checked himself in. He died in his sleep three days later at age 64.
The Castle, an American Taj Mahal, was inherited by Ed’s nephew. The new owner sold the Coral Castle not three years after it’s maker died, and after that, it switched hands numerous times.
Today, the Castle remains to stand as a monument to love (kinda gross considering, you know, cooties) and a tourist attraction (it is sometimes called Flordia’s Stonehenge!).
You should stop by the next time you’re near the Everglades!
Until next time!
To find out more about Tyler visit Salem House Press and buy Tyler’s latest book “Tyler Moves to Gibsonton Florida”. It is now available in paperback at most bookstores. Ask for it by name, and keep checking back for great cheap vacation ideas that might end up being the best vacation you ever had!
Great for those $5 Sales During the Slow Times to Cover Labor Costs
Flip & Scan eBook Cards take up a little of your Point of Purchase space with over 100 books you might not of carried before. At Salem House Press we are bringing back best sellers of times gone by that did not make it onto the Summer Reading or College Level Course lists. Guaranteed winners that have proven themselves already! Also, we have our new books and the classics we are all used to. If you do not see a classic book in our catalog, give us a week and we will have it ready for sale! Just check the book against the current public domain list.
How do they work? The customer buys the card for $5 (wholesale $2.25) flips it over and scans the QR Code by snapping a picture on some phones and others by using one of many free QR Code reading apps. From there the customer is brought to a web page where they download the eBook format for their device. That simple!
Who can Sell Them? Anyone. From the Independent Bookstore who does not have the extra floor space to try new books and best sellers from times gone by to the teashop, smoke shop, record store, boutique, convenience stores, grocery shops, or gift shop! Anybody! Anyone who wants to make money…
Gum, People Magazine, Candy, or literature…
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Complete Tales of Conan the Barbarian, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, She, Sherlock Holmes; any of the classic we have a Flip & Scan eBook Card for you. Also, we are bringing back the books from classic movies like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Amazing Adventure of Ernest P. Bliss, Gone with the Wind, Wizard of OZ, Arsenic and Old Lace, Harvey, Topper, and more! Plus we have new titles like Sub Rosa (The history of how Salem MA shaped the nation’s history from the Federal Reserve to the Light Bulb), Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City, Universal Man (Biography of Leonardo da’ Vinci and his times), Burnt Toast and Oranges: The Miss Adventures of the Salem Love Psychic (An inspiring tale from one of Salem’s MA oldest psychics), Murder on the Common (Part of The Sinclair Narratives where everyone’s favorite immortal Henry Sinclair solves the murder of the most infamous murder of the 19th century that inspired Poe and the game Clue), Tales from Mr. Pelinger’s House (Illustrated Adventures within the home with its own wormhole through time), and Arkham: Tales from the Flipside magazine (Short illustrated fiction quarterly features the best in classic and new Scifi, fantasy, and mystery.).
To make lots of new money, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to open up a new account!
Also, we have a great weekly newsletter email us at email@example.com to sign up! Filled with blogs about everything with wings, travels to find community in America, strange roadside attractions, tunnels on the east coast, the weekly horoscope from the Witch City, and more!
Small Town Big City
Today we are faced with an overpriced housing market within San Francisco, New York, and Boston which is leaking out to the Midwestern cities of Des Moines, Pittsburgh, and others. Why should this be?
In this weekly blog post, Or at least an attempt at it, we will try to offer alternatives to this reality for many. We will proposition you to think differently; asking you why should we still focus on transportation hubs on rivers and oceans as the only centers in this nation for a profession and greater wealth. With the advent of the internet, working remotely, and We Work there is no need to exclusively center ahead these traditional hubs for commerce.
Granted, manufacturing, illegal drugs, and distribution companies will always rely on these traditional hub cities models; but, why should all the other industries that do not cater to them? Why does a software company need to be on the ocean? Why does Uber need a corporate headquarters on a river? Does Apple need to be in a big city? We can move back to the country.
Everything cycles in this world. At the turn of the twentieth century, there was a demand for factory workers, so many moved off the rural farm and centered on these transportation hub cities. Now in the 21st, these towns are so dense it is time for them to Super Nova. In doing so we will see a trend for people to move back into the interior of this country. Everything in this universe is reactionary. It gets too dense it either implodes or explodes. So will society.
So what would this new rural living look like? If we can get high-income wage owners to work remotely inside the areas once populated with more deer or cows than people, they will bring a demand for the amenities that once were only found within the cities to the little towns. Then others will follow and build restaurants, theaters, music venues, boutiques, and coffee shops that will provide for them. Would this ruin a small town?
One of the things that happen when major cities get oversaturated, the little boutique towns fill up and push the locals out; not if we make all the towns boutique-like. Outside of Boston, you have Salem, Newburyport, Portland, and Portsmouth in MA and NH. These are the quaint beautiful towns that offer the amenities you expect to find in Boston within a beautiful rural setting though. Why can’t Haverhill, MA or Danvers, MA have the same culture?
No, we should not have Starbucks brand the look of these downtowns making them cookie-cutter catering to an elite, but make them vibrant and offering something for everybody in town to be entertained and fulfilled by. For some this could be a top-notch sportsman center like Kittery Trading Post, for others this could be an Opera House, and then still some would just like a place like the “Brick” on Northern Exposure.
Now the Brick, it offered a place to meet the whole town in. It had the old world general store feel. A place you did not have to purchase something every time you entered, but you had to provide a good story though. Recently in urban centers, they are making little parks out of parking spots on the side of roads, but who has time to sit in them. Before these towns have been placing patio furniture in parks for people to enjoy, but no one uses them. Why?
To have a community, we need time. One way to get more time is to cut the commute. The walk from the bedroom to office in your bunny slippers cuts frustration, saves the planet, and makes driving a joy again when you cut the number of cars on the road by 90%. Working remotely could do this. It would be the first step to community again. Do we need to guilt people into community at first?
My mother’s church in Norseville, NJ built a community she still returns to at least once a year. They provided the carnival, the smorgasbord dinners, dances, bowling, ice skating, and many more events where they met their spouses and kept their families together with. Granted the church provided the guilt to do so… If you have a good church that works for you that does this still, great! But, we can provide these things without the church as well. So should we guilt people to be selfish and then share their free time?
Trouble. Trouble eliminated trouble. It was a game of pure luck. There was no real skill, just a bubble, and a bouncing dice. It provided the excuse to gather and bullshit without any real competition or sore feelings. Everyone got a turn to win as the conversation flowed. For poker night, a board game night, or fishing is just the vehicle for people to gather and have a good time bullshitting. It helps us forget the trouble in our lives and keeps us close enough to help remove the trouble that arises.
Honestly, I am just fed up seeing my best friends once a year for them only to tell me they have been working lately! We need to get back to living like humans and not bees. Plus, if it wasn’t for all of them turning into hermits I would be angrier that I am being forced out of my town due to the high rents leaving and the poor situations to live in. I need to find a place where there is community once more.
I find myself limited in my potential happiness if I am the happiest in town, and my happiness is sinking. For to have peak experiences you must be around others who are having peak experiences as well. When you are around those just getting by or find themselves stressed or depressed, guess where you are heading…
So this weekly post will discuss things I have mentioned in more detail and offer examples where good things are happening. It will also offer ideas for towns to become self-sufficient without taxes. Imagine a town that has a sever farm that pays for the roads, schools, and hospitals? We might have a town that pays its citizens instead… So come back next week and see what we come up with to improve our lives.
On a sunny day in Salem, I got to play some flute at the lighthouse at the end of Derby Wharf in Salem, Ma. Sooner than later people would sit nearby, take pictures, and zone out on the music. It was a good day at the Flute Club.
This wharf was made by America’s first millionaire who is still ranked as the 10th richest American if you go by the percentage of the wealth he had owned at the time. He made this mostly off of, pepper. Elias Hasket Derby Sr. also had a son who had dug three miles of tunnels in Salem to help people bypass customs. These tunnels made America’s first millionaire club.
Below are several people who joined me that day and the views we shared:Here is what the flute could of sounded like that day: Click Here.
Here is what the flute could of sounded like that day: Click Here.
New Installment of Murder on the Common:
This week we learn about Henry’s secret Templar Treasures, including the Holy Grail, he brought to Salem a 100 years before Columbus and the Oak Island myth. Then the dark history of the Winthrops who governed MA and CT that were followers of John Dee the Court Astrologer of Queen Elizabeth. Also, we meet Caroline Plummer (Plummer Home for Boys) and learn the origin of the vampires coming to Salem and the curse.
Come back every Tuesday for the latest installment of the Sinclair Narratives’ Murder on the Common featuring Henry Sinclair, everyone’s favorite immortal, and his reincarnated ragtag crew of third-generation Vikings.
Did Viking sailors come to Salem? They have found Roman coins in Beverly and Manchester on the beaches either brought by Vikings or an earlier traveler. There are the tales of Lief Erikson’s brother Thorfin being murdered by Natives near Bass Rocks in Gloucester, the hotel there used to be named after him.
Then we have the stories of Prince Henry Sinclair sailing to Salem looking for Vinland and his knight Sir James Gunn who dies in Westford MA. Gunn is now known as the Westford Knight and his effigy still lies in Westford. The mascot for Salem State University is a Viking. On Baker’s Island, there is the Northman Rock.
Then we have Professor Eben Norton Horsford. Horsford was a Harvard professor who patented our current formula for Baking Powder. He believed Boston was Norumbega. To commemorate his beliefs he had the Lief Erikson statue erected in Boston and the Norumbega Tower built at the mouth of Stony Brook. Across from it was Norumbega Park. Most of it is now the Newton Marriott. Horsford also believed that the Dighton Rock in the Taunton River by Fall River had Viking runes on it. Now it is in Berkley, MA. The museum who owns the stone thinks it was Portuguese who were dropped to these shores by the Phoenicians who carved it. They might have been the guys who dropped the Roman coins… Longfellow was part of the original group to build the Lief Erikson Statue, on the Longfellow Bridge are Viking Ships. In fact, many of the Transcendentalist believed they did.
Most of the sailors from Salem were scoundrels and smugglers who dug tunnels to avoid duties that went on to shape all the horrible parts of our government at its foundation, including a cession movement. Still, a few of them have some humorous stories that dance in and out of each other.
Jacob Crowninshield brought the Stoned Elephant to town. The privateer Fame was owned by many who decided to paint it pink… Just like the color of the Elephant, at times.
Captain West fought his wife and her brother Elias Hasket Derby Jr. (He extended the tunnels throughout the town in 1801) on Derby Wharf after their father left the wharf to West. Elizabeth Derby and Nathaniel West had the most infamous divorce in the nineteenth century. Their mansion Oak Hill is where the North Shore Mall is now on Rt 128.
John Derby jumped ship first to tell England we started the Revolution and was the first to sail back to tell them it was over.
George Crowninshield Jr. (His father’s house is where the Custom House is. When they built the Custom House, not only did they leave the basement intact with the tunnels attached to it, they added a few more) built Cleopatra’s Barge. There was talk this ship helped Napoleon escape from his island prison. Who knows, there is a rumor that Napoleon visited his brother Joseph at Bordenton NJ at Point Breeze.
Joseph Napoleon’s mansion had several tunnels leading to the Delaware River. His park attached to his estate is the basis for Central Park designed by Olmsted. Olmsted is famous in Boston for the Emerald Necklace. He also designed Forest River Park and planted some trees in the Common. Henry Clay, John Quincy Adams, and Daniel Webster visited Point Breeze, I wonder if they compared the Tunnels in Salem that run around the Common to his. All these men were always walking through Salem’s tunnels.
Captain West is connected to the Bonaparte’s as well. The other side of the family. Before Joseph Bonaparte became king of Naples and Spain, his brother Lucien resided there who was openly against Napoleon. Captain West after the Embargo Act was lifted sailed to Naples. The Embargo Act was created by Jefferson to prevent American sailors and ships from being stolen during the Napoleonic Wars by the French and English. When it was lifted, West sailed his ship Minerva to Naples and was captured by Admiral Marat in Napoleon’s navy. He was set free if he would sail Lucien Bonaparte to Malta, but they were captured by the English and they were all made heroes once they sailed to Liverpool.
Three other ships Marat captured were owned by Joseph White, Joseph Knapp Sr., and Richard Crowninshield Sr. This would lead to the murder that influenced the game Clue and Edgar Allan Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart. Knapp and Crowninshield, who were Democrats, realized their folly and Jefferson’s wisdom and insulted White who was a Federalist. Add to this Knapp’s wife gave birth to a son named Joseph after he lost White’s baby, the ship Revenge. Mrs. White died leaving Joseph without an heir. In his own death, White had his revenge against his business partners by having their sons hanged for his own murder after having his nephew hire a man named Palmer to murder him. The nephew created the Whig party with Daniel Webster and Henry Clay of the Great Triumphant. Stephen White was behind John Quincy Adams failed election against Andrew Jackson.
The Federalists hated Jefferson and his Embargo Act so much they refused to fight the War of 1812. Most of New England refused to fight the war. Salem did build one ship for the war, but it fought in the Pacific instead of the Atlantic where the war was going on. Admiral Porter attacked whaling ships, had a genocide or two on Polynesian islands, and got caught during a civil war in Chile headed by an Irish man. In fact, Timothy Pickering from Salem and his Essex Junto lead the cession movement that ended at the Hartford Convention. Members of the convention went to Washington afterward to tell them about them siding with the British, but Andrew Jackson defeated the army that defeated Napoleon at Waterloo and John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay had signed the peace Treaty in Ghent before they arrived with their demands. During the war, the Federalist group East India Marine Society (Founders of the Peabody Essex Museum) debated if they should visit the corpse of Admiral Lawrence who was killed in the war. Lawrence was from the same town Joseph Bonaparte lived in NJ.
Elias Hasket Derby Jr. lost his share of the 36th largest estate in American history in 2 years which prompted him to extend the tunnels in town and be paid for by all of the future smugglers. He ends his carrier as a sheep farmer after having a failed voyage to Europe which ended well as Napoleon’s forces headed by his brother Joseph scared 2,000 sheep around his feet on a mountain in Spain. So thanks to the man who built underground tunnels, America did not have to have scratchy underwear anymore since merino wool was a lot smoother.
Aaron Burr worked with Timothy Pickering in his cession plots, as did Hamilton. Some say Hamilton’s falling out with the Essex Junto led to their duel. Burr jumped ship from the group and decided to become the king of western America, but was caught by Jefferson. Cleopatra’s Barge? She was sold to the King of Hawaii. When asked how open the King was to religion one said,
“If you want to know how Religion stands at the Islands I can tell you — All sects are tolerated but the King worships the Barge.”
So that is a few tales of the sailors from Salem. More tales like this can be found in the books Sub Rosa, Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City, and Murder on the Common.
Murder on the Common is the newest from Salem House Press. The tale of how everyone’s favorite immortal solves the murder of the most notorious case in the nineteenth century. The first novel of the Sinclair Narratives published in Arkham: Tales from the Flipside.
By the way, Blackbeard’s skull is in Salem, even though he never came here during his life…