Friday, April 28, 2023

Custer’s Last Fight and Anheuser-Busch


In 1884 the artists Cassilly Adams completed a painting he named Custer’s Last Fight.  The painting was sold to John Ferber the owner of a saloon in St. Louis, Missouri, where the picture was prominently displayed.  The brewer Adolphus Busch acquired the painting and the saloon in 1892 when Ferber went broke.

Busch commissioned Otto F. Becker, to produce lithographs based on the painting to be used as advertising.  The first advertising prints appeared in 1896 with a run of fifteen thousand prints.  There have been eighteen subsequent editions with over one million copies having been produced. The original Adams painting was destroyed by fire on June 13, 1946.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

George Washington’s Dogs

 George Washington loved dogs and had some fifty dogs of many different breeds during his lifetime.  Breeds at Mount Vernon included Briards, Dalmatians, English foxhounds, French hounds, Greyhounds, Italian Greyhounds, mastiffs, Newfoundlands, pointers, spaniels and terriers.

Records show that Washington owned French hounds named Tipsy, Mopsey, Truelove, and Ragman.  He began to crossbreed the big French hounds with his own smaller native hounds to create a new breed of hound. The American Kennel Club recognizes Washington as the founder of the American foxhound.

Terriers were useful on the farm because they hunted and killed rats.  Washington used spaniels both to flush out land birds from their hiding places and to retrieve birds after they had been shot.

In 1786 Washington paid 12 shillings for a “coach dog” (a Dalmatian) named Madame Moose. In August 1787, he purchased a male coach dog to breed with her. He noted in his diary: “A new coach dog [arrived] for the benefit of Madame Moose; her amorous fits should therefore be attended to.”

Virginia Legends and Lore

Friday, April 07, 2023

Elves in Iceland


Elves, or "hidden people" as they are commonly referred to in Iceland, are a part of Icelandic folklore and mythology. According to Icelandic folklore, they are supernatural beings that live in rocks, mountains, and hills, and are said to possess magical powers.  There are said to be 13 varieties of elves in Iceland, ranging in size from a few inches tall to almost human height.

Some Icelanders believe that the presence of elves can affect construction and development projects, and it is not uncommon for builders and architects to consult with "elf communicators" or "elf experts" to determine if there are any elves living in the area that may be disturbed by the construction.

One famous story of elf sightings in Iceland is the case of the Elf Rock in the town of Hafnarfjörður. The rock, which is believed to be an elf habitat, was threatened by construction in the 1970s. The story goes that a group of Icelanders protested the construction, claiming that it would anger the elves and bring bad luck to the town. Eventually, the construction was redirected to avoid disturbing the Elf Rock, and it remains a popular tourist attraction to this day.

Some Icelanders believe that elves can be found in urban areas as well, and there have been reports of sightings in gardens, parks, and even on city streets.

It is worth noting that the belief in elves is deeply ingrained in Icelandic culture and is taken very seriously by some Icelanders. While outsiders may view it as a superstition or an oddity, for many Icelanders, it is an important part of their cultural heritage and identity.

Secrets of Mysterious Islands

Legends of Lost Treasure