Monthly Archives: May 2009

Soquel Cemetery: Generations of Metaphors

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Soquel, California (pronounced “so-kell”) is a quiet town off the Northern California coastline, rooted within Spanish land grants dating back to 1776. Located approximately 70 miles south of San Francisco, most beach tourists driving the winding Highway 1 route to Santa Cruz beach spots rarely give it a second thought. However, those opting for the quieter, redwood tree-lined back roads have an opportunity to see this town first hand.

To the left and on the hill from the main four corners is a beautiful New England-styled church. Straight down the street is the unique Porter Memorial Library built in 1912 while to the right, is the Ugly Mug coffee house. But it’s the spot just outside of town at 550 Old San Jose Road that draws the most interest from fans of Skip Spence and genealogists tracing family history.

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Photo by Shelly Peters

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Saving Ancient Catacomb Frescoes the Viennese Way

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Recently, The Benefits of Technology discussed how modern innovations help researchers either find lost sites or recover important data that was considered long gone.

This past weekend, the BBC reported another fascinating development and this one hails from the Vienna Academy of Sciences.

Rome has over 40 Jewish and Christian catacombs tunneling more than 100 miles in and around subterranean Rome. However, due to structural concerns, the Vatican only allows public access to approximately 1,600 feet of these treasures. Other catacombs can be accessed only by special permission.

Over the past three years, a team of 10 scientists have been mapping the largest one, Saint Domitilla, via laser scanner. The scanner looks deceptively like something one would find in an astronomy store but has a more complex programming. Continue reading

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Stones & Bones

A community’s roots can be seen in its oldest cemeteries and Seattle, Washington is no exception. Places such as Comet Lodge, Crown Hill, Auburn Pioneer, Saar Pioneer or Newcastle Cemetery, patiently wait to tell stories to those willing to poke through the overgrown, scruffy weeds.

I’m pleased to announce that both the Heritage 4Culture Special Projects and the Allied Arts Foundation have awarded grants to produce Stones & Bones: A Photo-Documentary of King County’s Historic Pioneer Cemeteries. The project will explore ongoing preservation efforts in approximately six pioneer cemeteries. Additionally, I will interweave poignant human interest stories, intriguing carvings, senseless vandalism and if you’re lucky, a ghost story or two.

In the early fall, Beyond The Ghosts… readers will have the opportunity to see the results. Slide shows, in-depth articles on the profiled cemeteries and interview podcasts are just a few of the proposed offerings. I’ll start dropping hints on what to expect in the Upcoming Articles post scheduled for late August.

For local readers, there will be three presentation slide shows planned for local residents. Times, places and dates for these free talks will be announced at the beginning of September.

Some interesting items have been discovered so far and I look forward to sharing them later this year.

 

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