Notables Buried at Greenlawn: John Phillip Rilley

“Extraordinary bravery and coolness”.      Image

 

Landsman John Phillip Rilley (or Riley) was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery during the Spanish-American War when he was just 21 years old. His citation notes: “On board the U.S.S. Nashville during the operation of cutting the cable leading from Cienfuegos, Cuba, 11 May 1898. Facing the heavy fire of the enemy, Rilley displayed extraordinary bravery and coolness throughout this action”

 

From www.homeofheroes.com: “The mission was a daring operation to cut undersea cables linking the Spanish fortifications at Cienfuegos with the rest of the world. Destruction of the cables was ordered to disrupt communications. In two boats, sailors from the USS Nashville and the USS Marblehead were joined by a Marine guard as they moved within 15 feet of the enemy shore, under fire from the hidden enemy, to dredge up and cut two such cables. During the 80 minute operation, the cable cutting party was under constant enemy fire from a short range, while they coolly dredged the cables across the bow of their boats, then cut through them with hacksaws.”

 

Mr. Rilley was born in 1877 in AllentownPA, and died in Salem November 16, 1950.

 

Hooded Mergansers and Buffleheads at Sargent Pond

Three pairs of Hooded Mergansers at Sargent Pond on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. This is a frame capture from video. One of the males had just put his “hood” up…..

Image

Here’s a still shot of the group, showing off some of the females….

Image

 

Here are some still shots of male Buffleheads…..

ImageImage

…and a couple of frame captures of Bufflehead pairs….

ImageImage

 

Road Trip to Mount Auburn Cemetery, Part 1

Lisa, Pat, and Leslie visited Mount Auburn Cemetery on Friday, July 27.

Image

We saw gorgeous landscaping…

Image

(Yes, that’s Pat taking a photo.)

Tagged trees…

Image

…and shrubs…

Image

Creative ground cover of all types — here’s one example (this is actually tall grass, photographed from a height):

Image

Here it is “in context,” looking straight down from the top of Washington Tower (95 steps to reach the top):

Image

(Yes, that’s Pat sitting on the bench below.)

We found Salem’s own Nathaniel Bowditch…

Image

…and another native son of Salem, Samuel Putnam…

Image

…sharing his wife’s family plot with James Russell Lowell:

Image

Nearby we found (after much searching) Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s resting place.

Image

We also came across that of George Angell (of Angell Memorial Hospital fame):

Image

Other noteworthy sights:

Image

Image

(Especially handy for visitors who come when the Information Center is closed. Holds racks with maps and informational literature. Some is free; some are 50c or $1, paid on the honor system.)

Image

(One of several donation boxes.)

Signage is dignified and clear. Supplementing signs like these are information handouts and posters reminding people to treat the site with respect.

Image

Image

More sights:

Paupers’ burial ground. This is one of just 60 cast-iron fences enclosing plots in the cemetery, down from about 1,700 in the 1850s. Maintenance issues and aesthetics led to the removal of most of these enclosures. The ones that remain are given special attention and protective treatment.

Image

This stunning tree has us stumped — anyone know what it is?

Image

 

And what about this bird, that we saw in Halcyon Pond? Possibly a juvenile cormorant?

Charlie or Cody, what do you think?

 

Finally, a view in Consecration Dell (site of the cemetery’s consecration in 1831).

Image