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Old May 25, 2010, 9:06 AM   #1
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Default The Columns Museum

In 1865, a native of Milford, PA, was working as stage manager at the Ford Theater in Washington (DC) when Lincoln was shot. As Lincoln lay dying, someone from the crowd took one of the flags draped on the balcony and placed it between the floor and Lincoln’s bloodied head. When Lincoln was later transferred to a house across the street, the crowd didn’t want to leave the flag on the floor and so handed it to the stage manager.

The stage manager held on to it. He took it with him when he went back home to Milford, PA. It became a family possession. He gave it to his daughter, an actress who was also performing at the theater the night Lincoln was shot, and who, in turn, gave it to her only child. In 1954, the only child -- he once brought the flag to school for show-and-tell -- donated it to The Columns Museum in Milford. The flag stained with Lincoln’s blood has since become the museum’s main attraction.

I thought it was interesting that the stage manager took possession of the flag. I suppose no one asked for it back. It was a time of patriotism when the nation was united again and of traditional family values that didn’t promote personal gain as one might today auction it off straightaway on eBay. Besides, father and daughter were both there when history happened and so a memento, an American flag at that, would seem irresistibly fitting. As a result, through the care of one family, that flag has survived as perhaps “the most revered single flag of our day”.

That “native of Milford” was Thomas Gourlay. His daughter was Jeannie Gourlay and her son was V. Paul Struthers. I probably would not have heard of them had it not been for The Columns Museum. It’s great knowing about historical greats. But history achieves depth and becomes far more interesting when I also learn about everyday folk of the period whose stories are retold by people that grew up in the very same villages as they themselves heard them from prior generations.

For this recently-transformed history buff, small town museums are now a definite stop in all future itineraries.

Taking pictures of the flag is not allowed. But you can see it on the museum’s website -- http://www.pikecountyhistoricalsociety.org/lincoln.html -- as my wife and I saw it last weekend. The pictures below are of collections in line with The Columns Museum's mission before the Lincoln flag was donated there, and that is, “to acquire, preserve, and protect the historical sites, artifacts, and records which pertain to the heritage and culture of Pike County”.

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Thank you for looking! C&C welcome.
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Old May 25, 2010, 9:13 AM   #2
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Superb. The realism and lighting on #4 is stunning.
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Old May 25, 2010, 9:47 AM   #3
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Another educational and photographically excellent series, VV. When I was a kid, as most youngsters, I thought going to places like this was so boring. Now, I devour them. Thanks!
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Old May 26, 2010, 7:56 AM   #4
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Thanks a lot, Ordo and gjtoth.

gjtoth, me, too. I thought they were boring and not as well laid out compared to the major museums. But now I enjoy them a lot. I liked looking up close on the material of the clothes and the flags and think Hollywood movies probably don't use the same materials.

Ordo, below is the "middle" of 6 shots for pic #4:

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Whenever I see see-through curtains nowadays I get excited -- I want to take a bracket of pictures. I think HDR works best on them. After the HDR treatment, sliding PSE7's "levels" control reveals the view outside the window -- trees magically appear behind the bright all-white curtain.

Below are the brightest (most overexposed), "middle", and darkest (most underexposed) shots of a 9-bracket shot for pic #1:

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Here is a shot by my wife handheld with her Nikon P90. I think HDR worked well on the 3-bracket shot, too.

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Old May 29, 2010, 4:46 PM   #5
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Beautiful shots as always from you.

I think you always get the most amazing colours in your shots.

Best regards/Daniel
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Old May 31, 2010, 8:32 PM   #6
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Thanks a lot, Daniel! I hope I can keep it up.
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