Tag Archives: fort rosecrans national cemetery

Out & About—San Diego’s snow-capped mountains

Out & About San Diego

I arrived in San Diego on April 27, 1993. It was to be my last stop on my attempt to find a place to live outside of the Great Nation of Texas. I considered myself retired from all previous professions, so I spent my time visiting all the beaches between Mexico and Los Angeles. Gawd I was having a good time.

One day, while playing beach volleyball with some friends and new acquaintances, someone suggested going skiing. Well, we’re at the beach so what could be more logical than hopping in a boat and going skiing on the great Pacific Ocean. Ha! That’s not what the suggester had in mind. He wanted to go snow skiing. Uh, we’re in San Diego. There’s no snow anywhere for miles around.

I was only partially right. Snow and ski resorts were only 90 miles away. I had been snow skiing several times before so I was game. We headed to Big Bear, California, and spent the rest of the day snow skiing.

Several years later, I saw a picture of downtown San Diego with snow-capped mountains in the background. I thought it had been photoshopped until I saw it for myself a few years later.

I have been trying for 23 years to get my own picture of San Diego with snow-capped mountains in the background. Absent an airplane, helicopter, or hot-air balloon, the only place to get such pictures was Point Loma, about 40 miles due west of the mountains.

For me to get such a picture, not only would it have to snow down to about 1,800 feet above sea level, but it would have to be a beautifully clear day to see all that way through clouds, fog, and smog. Although it snows down to 1,800 feet every five years or so, clear days while the snow exists are few and far between.

When I woke the morning of February 22, 2019, I learned that it had snowed in Alpine, just 7 miles east of where I live, and right at 1,800 feet above sea level. I knew the higher-elevation mountains would be covered in snow, lots of snow.

I can see the mountains from my house, and they had lots of snow on them. It was a beautifully clear day at 7:00 a.m., so I immediately headed to Point Loma. The result of my trip is the three pictures below.

San Diego with snow-capped mountains in the background

San Diego with snow-capped mountains in the background

The first picture was taken from Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma. The second picture was taken from Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, also on Point Loma. Here’s another picture which includes part of Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery:

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, downtown San Diego, and snow-capped mountains

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

The U.S.S. Bennington—Part 2

Out & About

The U.S.S. Bennington—Part 1

After reading about the Bennington Memorial Oak Grove and discovering that it was a memorial to the USS Bennington, I went to Wikipedia to search for USS Bennington. There I discovered that another memorial to the 66 dead Bennington sailors was at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. It’s the tallest thing for miles around, including trees.

U.S.S. Bennington memorial at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego CA

U.S.S. Bennington memorial at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego CA

U.S.S. Bennington memorial at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego CA

San Diego is the only place in the nation that has two national cemeteries. The newest one, Miramar National Cemetery, was dedicated on January 30, 2010. Fort Rosecrans NC was dedicated in 1882. Further comparison: Miramar NC comprises 313 acres and Fort Rosecrans NC comprises 77½ acres. There are 101,079 graves in Fort Rosecrans NC with no more being accepted; cremated remains can still be accepted. Miramar NC, as of May 2015, had 6,845 graves (in just five years!) but can hold a total of 235,000. Let’s hope it never gets close to holding that many graves.

The USS Bennington monument is a granite obelisk 75 feet tall and dedicated to the men who lost their lives on that ship in San Diego harbor on July 21, 1905. The monument was dedicated on January 7, 1908.

Although there were 66 dead, with sources indicating that they were buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, I didn’t see 66 headstones. Further research indicates that some men later were disinterred and shipped home for burial by their families.

U.S.S. Bennington memorial at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego CA

U.S.S. Bennington memorial at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego CA

Eleven men were awarded the Medal of Honor for extraordinary heroism displayed at the time of the explosion:

Edward William Boers
George F. Brock
Raymond E. Davis
John J. Clausey
Willie Cronan
Emil Fredericksen
Rade Grbitch
Frank E. Hill
Oscar Frederick Nelson
Otto Diller Schmidt
William Sidney Shacklette

A twelfth man, John Henry Turpin (1876-1962), reportedly saved three officers and twelve men by swimming them to shore one at a time. He was not among those awarded the Medal of Honor, presumably because he was African-American. Current efforts are underway to have the Navy award Turpin the Medal of Honor posthumously.

An interesting tidbit is that Turpin was a survivor of the USS Bennington disaster but also survived the USS Maine explosion in Havana, Cuba, in 1898.

I thought it would be appropriate to list the 66 dead here so that Google could index them:

Don Cameron Archer
Leroy Brewster Archer
John Calvin Barchus
Amel Bensel
Clive Wintreth Brockman
Frederick William Brown
Glenn Brownlee
Elmer Ulysses Brunson
Thomas Burke
John Leo Burns
Preston Carpenter
Robert Bartley Carr
Charles Samuel Carter
Matthew Garfield Chambers
William Isaac Cherry
George T. Clark
Michael Conway
Frank DeCurtoni
Emil Dresch
Josiah Ezell
Edward Brewster Ferguson
William Martin Fickweiler
Lyn Joseph Gauthier
Frederick John Geiss
John Goika
Walter Gilbert Grant
Lawrence Andrew Gries
Clyde Haggbloom
George Henry Hallet
Joseph Hilscher
Emil Christian Hoffman
Dwight Noble Holland
Richard Ansley House
Bert Arthur Hughes
Joseph Hunt
Andrew Kamerer
Jodie Wirt Kempton
Ward Vars Kennedy
Charles Joseph Kuntz
Charles Oliver McKeon
John McKone
H.O. Metius
Kirtley Felix Morris
Harry Mosher
Frederick James Muller
Charles Nelson
Joseph Newcombe
Peter Nieman
Bernard Joseph Olges
Stephen William Pallock
Warren Niles Parrish
Newman Kershaw Perry
Michael George Quinn
Edwin Burton Robinson
Claud Emerson Rushing
Harry Fay Saunders
Robert Lee Savage
Albert Henry Schoregge
Harry Frank Smith
William Staub
Claude Henry Stephenson
Sago Takata
Wesley Marsh Taylor
William Clyde Willson
Wilbur Washington Wright

U.S.S. Bennington by William H. Rau

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, California

What do you do during a power outage?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Out & About San Diego


I usually have a lot of fun on holidays, and Memorial Day was no exception.

Made SeaWorld in the morning to stand in line for an hour to experience the new Manta ride.

Line for the new Manta ride at SeaWorld San Diego


The new Manta ride at SeaWorld San Diego


Played with the dolpins. First time I’ve ever petted one.

Dolphin at SeaWorld San Diego


Went over to Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery because I’ve always wanted to get a picture of the headstones, each with a little flag in front of it. About 65,000 of them.

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, California


Visited Cabrillo National Monument for the best views of San Diego while standing on the ground (flying’s better).

San Diego from Cabrillo National Monument


Back to SeaWorld to dine with Shamu:

Dining with Shamu at SeaWorld


Dining with Shamu at SeaWorld


“Dining with Shamu” at SeaWorld San Diego has to rank as one of the best meals I’ve ever had. The food was far better than I expected for a theme park, and it was a buffet. Along with the one-hour meal came a 30-minute private show by two Shamus (note that there are eight “Shamus” at SeaWorld San Diego). The meal and show is only $39 per person (adults).

When we got home it was dark:



I mean dark! The condominium complex where I live was the only place without electricity. According to my neighbors, there was a loud explosion around
2:30 p.m. San Diego Gas & Electric had seven huge trucks and about fifteen people here trying to figure out what was wrong. Power was restored a couple of hours ago at 3:40 a.m. Thirteen hours without electricity, which also means no Internet! And it was a noisy 13 hours with all the racket going on.

San Diego Gas & Electric


Poor Zoey the Cool Cat didn’t know what to do.


I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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