Tom's Blog

Fort Jefferson & Dry Tortugas Pics Are Up!

Good News - I was finally able to get all of the photos taken during my trip to Dry Tortugas National Park and Fort Jefferson formatted and uploaded! 

Dry Tortugas National Park is made up of an archipelago (a group of multiple coral islands) located about 68 miles West of Key West Florida in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Fort Jefferson, the largest masonry structure in the Western hemisphere, is located within the park on the largest island. The park and fort are only accessible by boat or seaplane and there are no permanent residents. The park is a very popular tourist destination for snorkling, camping, swimming and bird watching. 

There are a lot of legends surrounding the area, including reports of paranormal activity. Samuel Mudd, the doctor who helped John Wilkes Booth, the man who assisinated Abraham Lincoln, during his attempted escape was inprisoned in a section of the fort. I have a picture of a plaque in the album related to that.

There are also numerous ship wrecks in the area dating all the way back to the 1400's. We actually passed by the still active treasure recovery operation at the site of the Atocha, a Spanish galleon that sunk in a hurricane in the 1500's, on the way to the Dry Tortugas from Key West. That wreck was discovered by treasur hunter Mel Fisher in the 1980's and there is an interesting museum in Key West with artifacts from the wreck (look up "Mel Fisher Key West Museum" on Google to find information about that).

I, of course, went to a few of the famous bars (Sloppy Joe's, Captain Tony's, etc.) but Key West is also full of history and ghostly legends so don't forget to check that aspect of the island out if you get a chance to visit! 

You can find the pictures here:

Fort Jefferson Dry Tortugas NP

Cleveland's Franklin Castle Featured on Destination America's "Paranormal Lockdown"

If you'd like to take a look inside Cleveland's legendary Franklin Castle, you'll have a chance tonight. Located in the Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland and long-rumored to be haunted, the home will be featured in an episode of "Paranormal Lockdown" on the Destination America channel tonight (Friday, March 18th) at 10:00pm. The show is co-hosted by former "Ghost Adventures" investigator Nick Groff and Katrina Weidman, who has appeared on several paranormal shows including A&E's "Paranormal State". This episode also includes special guest investigator John E.L. Tenney.  The three will check out what is rumored to be Ohio's most haunted residence.

The house was built in the 1800's and has been sitting empty for years. There are many legends surrounding the property including claims of unusual electrical system malfunctions, the sounds of a baby crying and various apparitions being seen within the home.

Learn more about tonights episode here:

Find out more about the show "Paranormal Lockdown" here:

The show always includes at least one special guest per episode. 

- Tom

Photo Backlog & Summer Trip

Dry Tortugas National ParkWe have a very large backlog of photos taken from a number of different locations that need to be uploaded to the site. Be on the lookout for those updates in the coming months.

I also have a trip to Dry Tortugas National Park and Fort Jefferson in the works. If you're not familiar with Dry Tortugas National Park or Fort Jefferson, you can learn more here:

Dry Tortugas National Park is an island about 2 hours west of Key West in the Gulf of Mexico. The only ways to get there are by boat or seaplane. While there, I plan to take a lot of photos that will be posted here at Lost & Found Ohio when I get back home. 

- Tom

First New Website Blog Post

Welcome to my first blog post on our new website. For the past couple of years Marty and I have been working to improve the website. The old site had become "buggy" and a challenge to maintain. It also hadn't been updated since before the onsluaght of mobile devices, and the resulting requirement by Google that sites be mobile-friendly to rank high in search results, so it was in sesrious need of a facelift. 

The upgrade was a massive undertaking that required moving nearly 13,000 images, upgrading the server and building a responsive design that would create a pleasant user experience and be compatible with mobile devices. We wanted everything to be easy to use on mobile devices from the homepage to galleries. 

Here is a list of some of the improvements: 

  • Fully-responsive design that reformats for easy use on computers, tablets, phones and other mobile devices
  • Responsive photo galleries that will reformat for easy use on computers, tablets, phones and other mobile devices
  • Addition of a video gallery that is also responsive and will reformat for easy use on computers, tablets, phones and other mobile devices
  • Advanced security features behind the scenes to protect our site and our visitors from viruses, adware and spyware
  • Simplified photo upload process so Marty and I can add new photos quicly
  • Three times as much server spice and additional bandwidth to improve overall site performance and allow for future growth
  • Scalable software that can grow with the site
  • Dual, multi-location, back-up feature to clone two copies of our site that can be used for restoration in the event of a problem 

The upgrade process was anything but smooth. I ran into a number of challenges that delayed things and frustrated me. This was supposed to only take 3 months originally! I'm glad it is finally done and we can start adding new content. I know Marty has a couple of years of backlogged content ready to post so look for that in the coming months. We hope you like the improvements and thank you for sticking with us all of these years!

- Tom