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Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle, San Simeon, is a National Historic Landmark and California Historical Landmark located on the Central Coast of California in the United States. The joint concept of William Randolph Hearst, the publishing tycoon, his architect Julia Morgan, it was built between 1919 and 1947. Known formally as "La Cuesta Encantada", referred to as San Simeon, Hearst called his castle “the ranch", his father George Hearst had purchased the original 40,000 acres acre estate in 1865 and Camp Hill, the site for the future Hearst Castle, was used for family camping vacations during Hearst's youth. In 1919 Hearst inherited estates including the land at San Simeon, he used his fortune to further develop his media empire of newspapers and radio stations, the profits from which supported a lifetime of building and collecting. Within a few months of Phoebe Hearst's death, he had commissioned Morgan to build "something a little more comfortable up on the hill", the genesis of the present castle. Morgan was an architectural pioneer.

Working in close collaboration with Hearst for over twenty years, the castle at San Simeon is her best-known creation. In the Roaring Twenties and into the 1930s, Hearst Castle reached its social peak. Intended as a family home for Hearst, his wife Millicent and their five sons, by 1925 he and Millicent had separated and he held court at San Simeon with his mistress, the actress Marion Davies, their guest list comprised most of the Hollywood stars of the period. Political luminaries encompassed Calvin Coolidge and Winston Churchill while other notables included Charles Lindbergh, P. G. Wodehouse and Bernard Shaw. Visitors gathered each evening at Casa Grande for drinks in the Assembly Room, dined in the Refectory and watched the latest movie in the theater before retiring to the luxurious accommodation provided by the guest houses of Casa del Mar, Casa del Monte and Casa del Sol. During the days, they admired the views, played tennis, bowls or golf and swam in the "most sumptuous swimming pool on earth".

While Hearst entertained, Morgan built. Hearst, his castle and his lifestyle were satirized by Orson Welles in his 1941 film Citizen Kane. In the film, which Hearst sought to suppress, Charles Foster Kane's palace Xanadu is said to contain "paintings, statues, the stones of many another palace – a collection of everything so big it can never be cataloged or appraised. Welles's allusion referred to Hearst's mania for collecting. With a passion for acquisition from childhood, he bought architectural elements, antiques, statuary and textiles on an epic scale. Shortly after starting San Simeon, he began to conceive of making the castle "a museum of the best things that I can secure". Foremost among his purchases were architectural elements from Western Europe Spain. Much was incorporated into the fabric of Hearst Castle. In addition, he built up antiques of high quality. In May 1947, Hearst's health compelled Marion Davies to leave the castle for the last time, he died in Los Angeles in 1951. Morgan died in 1957.

In the same year, the Hearst family gave the castle and many of its contents to the State of California. It has since operated as the Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument and attracts in the region of three quarters of a million visitors annually; the Hearst family retains ownership of the majority of the 82,000 acres acre wider estate and, under a land conservation agreement reached in 2005, has worked with the California State Parks Department and American Land Conservancy to preserve the undeveloped character of the area. The coastal range of Southern California has been occupied since prehistoric times; the indigenous inhabitants were the Chumash. In the late 18th century, Spanish missions were established in the area to convert the native American population; the Mission San Miguel Arcángel, one of the largest, opened in what is now San Luis Obispo county in 1797. By the 1840s, the mission had declined and the priests departed. In that decade, the governors of Mexican California distributed the mission lands in a series of grants.

Three of these were Rancho Santa Rosa and Rancho San Simeon. The Mexican–American War of 1846–1848 saw the area pass into the control of the United States under the terms of the Mexican Cession; the California Gold Rush of the next decade saw an influx of American settlers, among whom was the 30-year old George Hearst. Born in Missouri in 1820, Hearst struck it rich as a miner, notably at the Comstock Lode and the Homestake Mine, he undertook a political career

Whittlesea railway station, Melbourne

Whittlesea was the original terminus station on the Melbourne - Whittlesea line, which opened in 1889. Whittlesea, Australia. Despite its proximity to Melbourne, the town of Whittlesea and the stations it served beyond the Melbourne suburban electrified area had a small population; the Whittlesea line was a branch of the Epping line diverging at South Morang. The freight service to Whittlesea was closed in the mid 1950s and the passenger service remained until the line beyond Thomastown was closed on 28 November 1959; the line was reopened for suburban electric trains as far Epping in the early 1960s, with the track beyond removed in 1970, although the section from Epping from South Morang has been subsequently relaid and opened in 2012. The former right-of-way remains in Victorian Government ownership with the land being classed as parklands, the section between South Morang and Mernda reopened in 2018; the station had a siding which connected to the Kinglake timber tramway

Capuchin babbler

The capuchin babbler is a species of bird in the Leiothrichidae family. It is found in Benin, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Uganda, its natural habitat is tropical moist lowland forests. The capuchin babbler was moved from the monotypic genus Phyllanthus to Turdoides based on the results of a molecular phylogenetic study published in 2018. Collar, N. J. & Robson, C. 2007. Family Timaliidae pp. 70 – 291 in. A. eds. Handbook of the Birds of the World, Vol. 12. Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona