Gravesites

Cooperstown Memories

It was announced last week that Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero, Chipper Jones and Trevor Hoffman would represent the National Baseball Hall of Fame class of 2018. It is always a day I look forward to.

I remember watching Jim Thome play 3rd base in the Kingdome against the Seattle Mariners during the 1995 ALCS playoffs. He was a dominate power threat on those roster-stacked Cleveland Indians teams of the mid 90's, now sitting 8th on the all-time home run list. 

For years I saw Vladimir Guerrero tear up the AL West, crushing balls thrown out of the strike zone without the need of batting gloves. 

Chipper Jones was on TV throughout my youth, seeming to always be on base as I flipped through the channels, briefly stopping on TBS.

Since Trevor Hoffman played his entire career in the National League, I didn't have as much exposure to him, but it was clear he was a respected reliever, holding the 2nd most saves in baseball history.

Remembering the careers of these 4 new Hall of Famers inspired me to dust off some old photos I took from my visit to Cooperstown in 2016, shortly after Ken Griffey Jr. had been inducted. Hopefully they will spark some excitement for the spring on a winter's day in late January.   

The Gravesites of Grover Cleveland and Aaron Burr

In Princeton, New Jersey, not far off from the elegant campus of Princeton University, is an old cemetery containing the gravesites of Grover Cleveland and Aaron Burr.

Gravesite Location: The Princeton Cemetery of Nassau Presbyterian Church (29 Greenview Avenue, Princeton, New Jersey)

Grover Cleveland

  • 22nd and 24th President of the United States (1885-1889, 1893-1897)
  • Born March 18, 1837 in Caldwell, New Jersey
  • Died June 24, 1908 (age 71) in Princeton, New Jersey
  • Democratic Party
  • Lost to Benjamin Harrison in the 1888 presidential election despite winning the popular vote
  • Won the popular vote in all 3 of his presidential bids (1884, 1888, 1892)
  • The only U.S. president to serve 2 non-consecutive terms in office

Aaron Burr

  • Vice President to Thomas Jefferson during his 1st term (1801-1805)
  • Born February 6, 1756 in Newark, New Jersey
  • Died September 14, 1836 (age 80) in Staten Island, New York
  • Infamously shot and killed Alexander Hamilton in 1804, thus ending his career in politics
  • Democratic-Republican Party

Martin Van Buren's Home and Gravesite

I made a side trip to Kinderhook, New York - the hometown and gravesite of Martin Van Buren, the 8th President of the United States.  

Known as Lindenwald, his house has been preserved as a National Historic Site and is available to tour.  Many of Van Buren's original possessions remain in the house, including the bed he died in.  Here are some photos from my visit.

Home Location: 1013 Old Post Road - Kinderhook, New York

Gravesite Location: Kinderhook Reformed Church Cemetery - Kinderhook, New York

Martin Van Buren

  • 8th President of the United States (1837-1841)
  • Born December 5th, 1782 in Kinderhook, New York
  • Died July 24, 1862 (age 79) in Kinderhook, New York
  • Democratic Party
  • Vice President to Andrew Jackson (1833-1837)
  • Ran unsuccessfully for the Presidency 3 more times (1840, 1844, 1848 - including under the anti-slavery Free Soil Party in 1848).
  • The first President to be born after the United States declared independence.
  • The only U.S. President to speak English as a second language (Dutch was his first).

A short distance from Lindenwald is Van Buren's gravesite in Kinderhook Reformed Church Cemetery, as well as the location of the house where he was born.

Chester A. Arthur's Gravesite

Here are photographs from my visit to the gravesite of Chester A. Arthur, the 21st President of the United States.  

Gravesite Location: Albany Rural Cemetery - Menands, NY (Section 24, Lot 8)

Chester A. Arthur

  • 21st President of the United States (1881-1885)
  • Born: October 5, 1830 in Fairfield, Vermont
  • Died: November 18, 1886 (age 56) in Manhattan, New York
  • Republican Party
  • Succeeded President James A. Garfield after his assassination in office

After reading more about his ascension to the Presidency, I visited other notable places from Arthur's life, including his home on Manhattan's east side (123 Lexington Avenue).  A little after 2:10am on September 20, 1881, in the ground floor parlor of his home, he was sworn in as President after the assassination of James A. Garfield.  He also died in this building in 1886.  Kalustyan's, a specialty store featuring foods from around the world, now occupies the space.  There is a commemorative plaque at the residential entrance (it is behind glass and didn't photograph well).

After his death, his funeral was held at the Church of the Heavenly Rest (5th Avenue and 90th Street).  In attendance that day was President Grover Cleveland and President Rutherford B. Hayes.

And last, at the northeast corner entrance of Manhattan's Madison Square Park (at Madison Avenue and E. 26th Street), there is a bronze statue of Chester A. Arthur.  It was dedicated on June 13, 1899.  

Springwood: Franklin D. Roosevelt's Home

Some photographs from my visit to Springwood - FDR's home in Hyde Park, New York (about 2 hours north of NYC).  Click here for more information to tour his home, visit his gravesite and walk through the large museum.  If you are in New York, this is a not miss for any fan of U.S. history. 

Jack Kerouac Pilgrimage to Lowell, Massachusetts

I've been wanting to do this trip for a while - visit the hometown of my favorite writer, Jack Kerouac.  Lowell, Massachusetts was the birthplace and childhood home of Kerouac and provided the setting for 5 of his novels: The Town and the City (1950), Maggie Cassidy (1959), Dr. Sax (1959), Visions of Gerard (1963) and The Vanity of Duluoz (1968).  I took a day and explored by foot his old stomping grounds, chatting with locals and snapping pictures of various places of significance in Kerouac's life.  Here are the highlights: 

Born here on the second floor apartment -1922

Top of the Grotto which haunted him, featured in Dr. Sax

Home - top apartment

Home - where his father was sick

Home - 1927

Home - 1929

One of his most notable homes - where his brother Gerard died at age 9 when Jack was 4 - 1926

St. Louis School

Home

Jack and his father spent a lot of time here

The Lowell Sun - Kerouac worked here as a sports reporter in 1942

His Alma Mater

Stained glass at the entrance of the library which he frequented

View from the old Moody Street Bridge featured in Dr. Sax

Another view from the old Moody Street Bridge, overlooking the Merrimack River

Old mills on the Merrimack

A collection of old possessions on display

His old Underwood on display

Formerly Nicky's Bar - a frequent haunt when he moved back to Lowell in the later part of his life

The Archambault Funeral Home - where his body was waked - 1969