Midwestlost Site Blog

"Urban Exploration", "Haunted Cemeteries", and "Road Geekery"

Archive for the 'Site Related' Category

Just Checking In….

Wow, I missed all of spring, summer, and most of fall. I’ve been very busy in my personal life, and have not had the chance to do much exploring. The long and the short of my absence is, my twins are 13 months old & I moved into a house about 3 months ago. Those two things have kept me very busy.

On a bright note, I picked up a Jeep last Feb, so I can extend my explorations into places that my car could not reach. I’m looking forward to using the extended capabilities.

Anyways, I just wanted to drop a note to let everyone know that I have not dropped off the face of the earth, or abandoned the site.

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Two of my Favorite Things

Over this this long weekend, I’ve been working on two of my favorite things. That would be historical research and being a computer geek. Quite awhile back, I was given the url for some scans of turn of the 20th century
Topographic Maps. The catch about the maps is that each one was so large that when scanned, they were scanned as 4 parts.

For some time, I’ve been looking for a program that satisfied all of my requirements (good quality and free). I had tried out several programs, and wasn’t really happy with any of them. This weekend, I started playing with a program from Microsoft called ICE (Image Composite Editor). This program does a great job of stitching pictures together.

One of the cool things that can be done with the completed maps, is that they can be uploaded to a GPS unit and overlaid over modern maps. This means you can see your position in relation to the turn of the century maps.

After getting the hang of this program, I stitched afew maps together. Here are some that I’ve already done.

1905 Survey of St. Clairsville, Ohio
1901 Survey of Cadiz, Ohio
1901 Survey of Wheeling, WVa
All 3 maps are clickable for larger versions. I also have even larger versions that I am doing research from. For the sake of bandwidth, I have kept the images small.

The only problem is that some of the scans of the maps don’t completely line up. So this means that some maps are unable to be stitched back together.

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Belmont County Childrens Home Cemetery & Armstrong Mills Cemetery

Over Thanksgiving weekend I got a chance to do some exploring in Belmont, County Ohio. I wanted to hit afew other sites, but the weather conspired against me. I did manage to visit the Belmont County Children’s Home Cemetery in Tacoma, Ohio. This cemetery is a very very small cemetery that is literally right behind Friends Township – French Cemetery. If you travel up the small road, you will see one newer house and then a 2 rows of stones that are fenced off in the same fence as Friends. Click here to see the full gallery.

The other cemetery I visited was the Armstrong Mills Cemetery in Armstrong Mills, Ohio. I was under the impression that Armstrong Mills was a ghost town so I was looking for old buildings to explore and possible sites to metal detect. I found quite afew of old buildings, but more occupied houses than I felt comfortable poking around. I did swing by the cemetery though. The cemetery is still active, but has an old section. I was amazed by the size of the cemetery for such a small village. The site was triangular shaped and several acres. On one side was the old section, and in the middle (between the old section and the new section), was an equally old section that had a low fence around it. All of the names on the stones indicated that their last name was “Armstrong” or they were related to the Armstrong family. This makes me want to research the town’s history a bit more. Click here to see the full gallery of pictures.

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More Changes

If you poke around the site, you sill see some minor changes. I’m actually (once again) performing a rewrite of the site. Usually I try to ensure there are no broke links, spelling and grammar are corrected, generally clean up, and and make minor changes. Most of the changes are behind the scenes. You will notice the link colors have changed. This is because I have started adding style sheets to the site.

With the “upgrades” to the site, it only took me a matter of hours (rather than days) to update all of the HTML. Moving forward, the changes I made will allow me to write new pages faster. This is a very good thing because I tend to drag my feet in writing the HTML after I have the photographs up.

I’m very very satasifed with the site. Please let me know of any comments or feedback you have. Also let me know if I missed any broke links or pictures.

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Wow….I didn't know I was behind

I’m sorry for not getting the HTML done sooner, it seems I forgot to write pages for Agudas Achim Jewish Cemetery and Mitchell Cemetery. This is an error I have corrected tonight. I also did some clean up on the West Virgina pages. Let me know if you find any broken links or anything else that needs corrected.

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Mitchell Cemetery & Media Attention

This post deals with 2 events. First off, I was giving permission to photography a cemetery that is on the property of a Dublin, Ohio business. This required several emails and coordinating with their PR & security staff. Due to the requirements placed on me, I am not allowed to mention the business, the exact location of the site, or show any pictures that depict their building (which was kind of hard and I was not able to post several of my favorite photos from the shoot).

Mitchell Cemetery

The second piece of of news is that when I visited Salem Cemetery on 10/20/2007, I had the chance to meet with a news paper reporter for The Times Leader. Here is a link to scans of the actual article. I really wish I could have found a copy of it online. This is the first media attention the website has received, so I am pretty excited.

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Cool website I found

I found the following site while searching around on the internet today. I’ve already contacted the the site and find they are really cool. I look forward to possibly meeting with this group and doing some exploring. Feel free to check out their site:
Egypt Valley Paranormal Investigations

I’ve also done some minor maintenance to the site (mainly fixing broken pictures and spelling errors). This year has been a drag, because I’ve got some personal things going on and have not had a chance to do much exploring. I still hope to go out once or twice before it gets cold.

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Contact Script

I found out today that my contact script had died. For anyone that has sent me a message and I never replied, I am sorry. I never got it. I did spend the morning working on a new scripting package. The new package should be a lot more secure, but should look very similar to the old script.

Being as the same script had been running on all 3 of my sites, I will be triple posting this entry.

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Photo Gallery

This post is a dual post both in my personal site blog and the Midwest Lost blog.

You might notice that the site photo gallery looks a bit different. Lately I created a new personal photo gallery. After creating it, I moved all of my personal stuff over from the Midwest Lost gallery and reorganized it to reflect it’s new position as gallery for only Midwest Lost gallery.

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Near Tragedy

This morning I was doing some house cleaning on my hosting account. I have 2 domains, and was just organizing folders and files to make it easier to find what I want to specifically manage. Anyways, after moving the folder that houses the blog, the blog quit working.

I tried reinstalling and new installations, and everything. Finally I found a note on a website to remove a line of code from a config file and that fixed it. But I had lost my configuration with all of my posts and information. I almost cried.

Luckly, I realized in my stumbling to fix the problem, I had changed the config where it calls the database information in the database that holds the blog info. After modifying the config one final time, I managed to recover my blog and restore it to pre house cleaning.

There are several morals to this story. Read the documentation before trying to fix a problem. Sometimes the fix is in front of your eyes and you can save yourself alot of misery.

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