CFFC: Boats Through the Ages

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is Anything to do with boats. All the photos in this photo essay are from my travels near and far.

26th Century BCE – 1st century BCE: Ancient Egypt

This relief at the Temple of Horus (built 237 BCE-57 BCE) in Edfu shows two boats, depicting the pharaoh’s journey to the afterlife. In the middle of the photo, at the center of the boat is the sarcophagus of the pharaoh. You can also see oarsmen in both boats. These likely bear some resemblance to the royal boats powered by oarsmen used during the ancient Egyptian times.

Modern Egypt: Today the Nile teems with cruise ships alongside fellucas (open air sailing boats with no cabins), fishing vessels and freighters.

A dahabeya (2-sail vessel, usually containing cabins), a fishing boat and a cruise ship on the Nile near Edfu.

1st Century CE: Palestine/Israel

Modern Israel: This is one of the vessels used today to take pilgrims across the Sea of Galilee. We sang hymns, watched a demonstration of casting a fishing net, and watched the flocks of gulls who followed our boat.

Middle Ages: Norman Conquest, 1066 CE

The Norman Conquest of England began in 1066 when William the Conqueror (Duke of Normandy) invaded the Kingdom of England, which led to the Battle of Hastings and the Norman control of England. The entire story is told on an ancient tapestry, woven by 11th century weavers, and is now housed in Bayeux, Normandy France. This replica of a piece of the original tapestry (which we were not allowed to photograph) depict a stylized version of the boats used at that time.

17th-19th Centuries CE: A failed ship, flat boats, and art

In Stockholm, Sweden, 1628, a ship became famous because it sank, 23 minutes after its maiden voyage! The Vasa was not pulled out of the canal until the 1950s, when the technology to do this had been developed, then it was reconstructed and the museum housing it opened in the 1990s. Why? Because it was top heavy! The photos above were taken at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, where the actual boat is on display (photo far right). The other photos are decorative mastheads and other items on the outside of the ship.

Sailing ship models

19th Century Flatboats:

1880s-Early 1900s: Impressionist Art

Native American Canoes: (L) in Maine (Oceanarium, Acadia); (R) in Alaska – this tribe still makes its canoes the traditional way.

1904-1914: The Panama Canal was completed in 1914, and received updates in the late 20th century to accommodate larger cruise ships and ocean freighters. These are some of the ships we saw passing through the canal.

20th Century: Steamships

2019: Amsterdam, a City of Canals, Ships and Boats

CFFC: 100 Years Old and Counting…

I am combining two photo challenges here:  Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge with the theme of books or paper and Nancy Merrill’s A Photo A Week Challenge with the theme of over 100 years old.

For several years, I have been working on a writing project, which is a book about my ancestors.  Fortunately for me, the son of my great-great grandfather compiled writings by his father and grandfather, which makes research a whole lot easier! I was also helped by my second cousin, Jeff Charles, who gave me a lot of other material he had collected as well as a comprehensive family tree. I met him and his sister Carolyn for the first time in 2012, when we went to Ohio to visit places where my ancestors had lived and worked.

Log cabin June 2012

My husband and I visited this log cabin – the original home that my 3-greats grandfather built in the 1820s to house his family and also serve as a school – in 2012. Thomas E. Thomas spent his younger years in this house. Unfortunately, there was a fire two years later and the log cabin burned to the ground!


My great-great grandfather, Thomas Ebenezer Thomas, was a Presbyterian minister and an abolitionist who became fairly well known in southern Ohio where he lived and worked. His son, Albert published a book of his father’s letters in 1913.
20180521_110744_001These letters are correspondence between him and his children, colleagues, relatives and friends. The book also contains photographs of family members, which I have been inserting into the narrative of my book.


Top, my great-great grandfather, Thomas E. Thomas; bottom left, my great-great grandmother, his wife, Lydia Fisher Thomas; bottom right, one of their daughters (who never married) Leila Ada Thomas.




Top Right: My great-grandfather, John Hampden Thomas. He had three daughters, who are pictured here. Top Left is his oldest daughter, Elizabeth (known as “Aunt Bet”); Bottom Right: his second daughter, Mary May (“Aunt Pol” or Polly); Bottom Left is my grandmother, the youngest, Isabel Rogers Thomas, who became known in my family as “Gogo.”

Gogo (my oldest sister’s attempt at saying “Granny” – the nickname stuck!) married Allen Perry Lovejoy Jr. and had three sons. Allen P. Lovejoy Sr. had a house built in Janesville, Wisconsin, located in the historic center of town. All the houses of that area are now being restored and/or preserved. Gogo’s husband died young, tragically, of the Spanish flu, which was an epidemic in 1918. My father never knew his father and Gogo was the only grandparent who was alive when I was old enough to remember.

In addition to the book I’m writing, I also have a blog about these ancestors, called We Are Such Stuff IV (4th volume of ancestral history – my mother wrote the other three and called the series “We Are Such Stuff.”) The blog also includes transcripts of some of my father’s letters to my mother when he was stationed in Europe during World War II.









CFFC: Inner and Outer

A rare treat in the Midwest during winter – guavas! I found them on sale at a supermarket last week. I love the taste of the soft flesh combined with the crunchy seeds.


Inside the Minnesota History Museum, looking out – or at least the appearance of it!


Half-buried fire hydrant in a field of clover (Dayton, Ohio):

I saw this curious sight: a half-buried fire hydrant, surrounded by clover!

Kitschy store window display with reflection from outside in Saugatuck, Michigan:


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge 1/31/17 – Inner and Outer

Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

Juxtaposition: Defined by dictionaryBoss:  an act or instance of placing close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.

I have a file that I call “unusual pics” because of unexpected or unusual combinations of things.  I especially like the following:

IMAG1389My son’s ashtray was sitting outside on the deck where he goes to smoke. The other day after a snowfall, I noticed cigarette butts sticking out of a little pile of snow that had fallen on his ashtray!

mop & maple seedsIn another season, also on our deck, a mop had been left out after cleaning the deck. It was the season when maple trees drop their seeds, so our deck was soon covered with maple seeds which mingled with the strands of the mop.

??????????????????????????????????????This little religious shrine was set up in a corner of a nail salon. Above the religious articles is a display case full of nail polish colors.

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????I found this scene, in Dayton, Ohio, curious: A half-buried fire hydrant surrounded by a field of clover!

But nowhere is juxtaposition more deliberate and strange than at The Orange Show – an art-performance exhibit in Houston, Texas.  Jim McKissick, the builder/artist was retired and decided to pay homage to his favorite fruit, the orange. He collected a lot of miscellaneous things, and put them together in unusual ways. Here are some examples:


?????????????????????????????????????????????????????A female Santa with rosy red lips!

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????This is the “main stage” outside. We were told performances are still held here, although I don’t know what kind – perhaps circus-type shows for children.

The Orange Show is one of several interactive art installations throughout Houston. Most famous of these is the annual car parade held in May, but we were  able to visit the Beer Can House and Smither Park (a work in progress). More on these works of art in a future post!


Weekly Photo Challenge: Home

In spite of the “No Trespassing” sign in the door, I chose this photo for the theme “Home”. It was home for eight years for my great-great-grandfather and his parents, sisters and brothers. This cabin, roomy for the 1820s nearly on  the frontier (southwestern Ohio) has been restored, but still stands on the small hill near Shandon where my ancestors worked and played. It was not merely their home; it was also a school, the Thomas Select School, now on the National Register of Historic Places. The web site of the Ohio Historic Preservation Office of the Ohio Historical Society, says the building, also known as the Log Manse, “is significant as an early, although altered, Ohio log structure. …  By 1820, it housed a private boarding school where students were taught grammar, math and science. Local girls also went to the school to be taught plain and ornamental sewing. The school was operated by the Whitewater Congregational Church, later known as the Paddy’s Run Congregational Church.”  The Rev. Thomas Thomas (My great-great-great grandfather) and his family settled here, having emigrated from England two years earlier. He had been appointed co-pastor of the church so the family moved here from Cincinnati.  Until 1823 church services were also sometimes held here, until a new meeting house for the church was built.

Last summer my husband and I took an ancestral tour through southwestern Ohio and southeastern Indiana, seeing a number of churches, landmarks, and cemeteries associated with my paternal grandmother’s side of the family. I am working on a genealogical history to be published for my family. Of all the sites we visited, this cabin was most meaningful, as I contemplated standing on ground where my ancestors also stood, gazing at the cabin that was a familiar sight to their eyes – their home.