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Stepanakert

Stepanakert and called Vararakn, is the capital and the largest city of the de facto Republic of Artsakh. The Republic has limited international recognition, being deemed part of the Republic of Azerbaijan by most countries; as of 2015, the population of Stepanakert is 55,200. Stepanakert meaning the city of Stepan is named after Armenian Bolshevik revolutionary Stepan Shaumian; the name is formed of the words kert meaning created. According to medieval Armenian sources, the settlement was first mentioned as Vararakn, a name that remained in use until 1847, when it was renamed Khankendi. Azerbaijani sources say that the settlement was founded in the late eighteenth century as a private residence for khans of the Karabakh Khanate, was thus called Khankendi; the settlement was called Khanin Kendi, but was shortened to Khankendi. After the Russian Empire gained the territory of the Karabakh Khanate through the Russo-Persian War of 1804–1813, the name Khankendi was charted on Russian maps. In 1923 Khankendi was renamed Stepanakert by the Soviet government to honor Stepan Shahumyan, ethnic Armenian leader of the 26 Baku Commissars, after the Shusha pogrom had resulted in major destruction at Shusha, the former regional capital, Stepanakert was made the capital of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast.

In time, Stepanakert grew to become the region's most important city. Its population rose from 10,459 in 1939 to 33,000 in 1978. In 1926, municipal authorities adopted a new city layout designed by the prominent Armenian architect Alexander Tamanian. Several schools and two polyclinics were established, an Armenian drama theater was founded in 1932 and named after Maxim Gorky. Stepanakert served as Nagorno-Karabakh's main economic hub, by the mid-1980s there were nineteen production facilities in the city; the political and economic reforms that General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev had initiated in 1985 saw a marked decentralization of Soviet authority. Armenians, in both Armenia proper and Nagorno-Karabakh, viewed Gorbachev's reform program as an opportunity to unite the two together. On 20 February 1988, tens of thousands of Armenians gathered to demonstrate in Stepanakert's Lenin Square to demand that the region be joined to Armenia. On the same day, the Supreme Soviet of Nagorno-Karabakh voted to join the Armenian SSR, a move staunchly opposed by the Soviet Azerbaijani authorities.

Relations between Stepankert's Armenians and Azerbaijanis, who supported the Azerbaijani government's position, deteriorated in the following years and as a result. Pogroms against the Azerbaijani population in September 1988, with physical attacks and burning of property, forced nearly all Azerbaijanis to flee the city; the Soviet Army stationed in the city implemented curfew after 3 days. After Azerbaijan declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Stepanakert was renamed by the Azerbaijani government back to Khankendi as part of a campaign against communism and Azerification. Fighting broke out over control of Nagorno-Karabakh which resulted in Armenian control of the region and a connecting corridor to Armenia to the west. Prior to the conflict, Stepanakert was the largest city of the NKAO, with a population of 70,000 out of a total 189,000. By early 1992, that figure had dropped to 50,000. During the war, the city suffered immense damage from Azeri bombardment in early 1992 when the Azerbaijanis used the town of Shushi as an artillery firebase to rain down Grad missiles upon it.

So destructive was the damage caused by the incessant bombardment, that a journalist for Time noted in an April 1992 article that "scarcely a single building escaped damage in Stepanakert." It was not until 9 May 1992, with the capture of Shusha. The city continued to suffer aerial bombardment for the remainder of the war. There has been an unofficial cease-fire observed since 1994. Stepanakert is located on Karabakh plateau at the centre of the de facto Republic of Artsakh, at an average altitude of 813 m above sea level; the city has a humid subtropical climate according to the Köppen climate classification system and a semi-arid climate according to the Trewartha climate classification system. In the month of January, the average temperature drops to 0.5 °C. In August, it averages around 22.6 °C. During the period of the USSR, Stepanakert served as the capital of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast within the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic, between 1923 and 1991. With the self-declared independence of Artsakh in 1991, Stepanakert continued with its status as the political and cultural centre of the newly established republic, being home to all the national institutions: the Government House, the National Assembly, the Presidential Palace, the Constitutional Court, all ministries, judicial bodies and other government organizations.

Artsakh is a presidential democracy since the 2017 constitutional referendum. The Prime Minister's post was abolished and the executive power now resides with the President, both the head of state and head of government; the president is directly elected for a maximum of two consecutive five-year terms. The current President

Aultmore railway station

Aultmore railway station was a station which served the village of Aultmore, in the Scottish county of Moray. It was served by trains on the Portessie Branch north of Keith; the latter station is now the nearest to Aultmore. Until 1 January 1899 the station was known as Forgie. Opened by the Highland Railway in 1884 it had a short life, the line closing to passengers in 1915. Aultmore became the terminus of a goods spur from Keith and continued this role until 1966. Alexander Macrae was the stationmaster appointed on 28 October 1904 having been promoted from Inverness station and remaining until closure on 7 August 1915; the station had two platforms and loop line with a goods siding and loading dock to the north a second loading dock and sidings were added on the "down" side. The station building was 2.5 miles from Keith railway station. A stationmasters' house was provided. Located on a gradient of 1 in 60 the gradient eased a little to the north at 1 in 70. On 7 November 1917 the Admiralty requisitioned the track between Aultmore and Portessie for use at Invergordon and Inverness however in June 1918 they lifted the track between Aultmore and Crooksmill, leaving however the station buildings and sidings intact.

In June 1919 the Highland Railway relaid the section to Aultmore from Crooksmill and resumed goods services at the request of the local authorities. In 1925 the station buildings were restored however they were never used for passenger services. In 1937 the track was simplified and realigned to provide a layout of just two sidings and by this time the platforms had been reduced to just banks of earth. By 10 December 1937 the track between Buckie had once again been lifted; the Keith signal lineman made regular visits to Aultmore to maintain the ground lever frame and the Distillery Manager's Office had a railway telephone for the purposes of ordering the delivery of waggons. Signalling was by block telegraph and semaphore signals with the first section being Keith West to Forgie, followed by Forgie to Enzie; the line was worked on a'one engine in steam' principle, special trains being timed so as not to conflict with the regular timetabled services. The timetable for the first regular services shows four trains in each direction however as they were all "mixed" trains the passengers were required to wait whilst shunting of goods waggons took place.

In 1907 the summer timetable showed five trains in each direction. A 12:50 pm goods train ran from Portessie to work the goods stations at Buckie and Aultmore, the local goods from Keith being withdrawn. From 1 November 1907 the engine was withdrawn from Portessie and instead a 2:15 pm ran to Aultmore to work the goods station as and when required. A daily 5:00 pm return goods ran from 1919 Services were suspended between 1943 and 1945 and ceased in 1966; the stationmasters' house is in use as a private home. Butt, R. V. J.. The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt and stopping place and present. Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199. Jowett, Alan. Jowett's Nationalised Railway Atlas. Penryn, Cornwall: Atlantic Transport Publishers. ISBN 978-0-906899-99-1. OCLC 228266687. Jowett, Alan. Jowett's Railway Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland: From Pre-Grouping to the Present Day. Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-086-0.

OCLC 22311137. Wilkinson, Brian; the Heilan Line. The Portessie Branch of the Highland Railway. Dornoch Press. ISBN 0-9513358-2-0. Station on navigable O. S. map station site is near distillery on thin goods line RAILSCOT on Buckie and Portessie Branch

Glenn Curtiss Mansion

The Glenn H. Curtiss Mansion and Gardens is a historic home located at 500 Deer Run in Miami Springs and open to the public as an event space or for private tours by prior arrangement, it is located at the northern edge of Miami International Airport. Designed in the Pueblo Revival style, the mansion was constructed in 1925 by aviation pioneer Glenn Hammond Curtiss, developer of the Miami suburbs of Hialeah and Opa-locka, Florida, as well as Miami Springs. Curtiss lived at the large, two-story residence with his wife, Lena Curtiss, until his death in 1930. Mrs. Curtiss referred to the mansion as "Dar-Err-Aha," which means "House of Happiness."The mansion was the largest of Pueblo themed houses built by the Curtiss-Wright Company in its development of Country Club Estates in Miami Springs. The house features a central patio; the landscaped estate consisted of over 30 acres, with a small lake on the east side of the property. Curtiss brought many species of water birds including flamingos and swans.

Together with the adjacent property, it formed a 21-acre complex. After Curtiss's death in the early 1930s, Lena Curtiss married an old friend and business associate of her husband, H. Sayre Wheeler. Wheeler served as mayor of Miami Springs from 1942 to 1944, was part owner of the Michaels and Wheeler Insurance Company; the couple lived in the house until the late 1940s. The estate became the world-renowned Miami Springs Villas, it was sold to Forte Hotels, Inc. in the late 1970s and is owned by the city of Miami Springs. Since 1998, the Pueblo Revival-style Mansion has been the property of the City of Miami Springs, the not-for-profit all volunteer Curtiss Mansion, Inc. was formed to restore and operate this historic home. Designated a Miami Springs historic site in 1987, the mansion was added to the NRHP on December 21, 2001, its architect, Martin L. Hampton, was one of Miami's most prominent architects during the 1920s—his designs include the former Miami Beach City Hall and the Congress Building in downtown Miami.

The house is V-shaped in plan and constructed of hollow clay tile with a rough textured stucco exterior. The roof is flat with irregular parapet walls embellished by projecting waterspouts and irregular shaped openings; the main entrance to the residence is set within a recessed T-shaped opening and marked by a flat-roofed porte cochere. At the south end of the lake is an barbecue grill; the grill was constructed of oolitic limestone, a by-product of digging the lake. Beginning in the late 1970s, the house was subject to a number of fires. In 1998, a public/private partnership of Curtiss Mansion, Inc. along with the State of Florida Division of Historical Resources, Miami-Dade County, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa, the Miami-Dade County Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Florida Municipal Insurance Trust, the Miami Springs Historical Society, the City of Miami Springs and countless private and corporate donors, the Mansion doors reopened to the public in 2012. After 17 years of grassroots efforts, including raising several million dollars, the Mansion became available for historic, educational, social and other community uses.

Although the mansion is owned by the City of Miami Springs, CMI is tasked with sustaining fundraising efforts, daily operations and oversight of the Mansion and all of its activities. Miami Springs, Florida Opa-locka Airport Wright brothers Curtiss-Wright Corporation. Http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/travel/aviation/gle.htm Accessed in 2006 Curtiss Mansion Official Website NPS Glenn Curtiss Mansion MiamiSprings.com Dade County listings at National Register of Historic Places Aviation: From Sand Dunes to Sonic Booms, a National Park Service Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary Florida's Office of Cultural and Historical Programs Dade County listings Glenn H. Curtiss House Great Floridians of Miami Springs