Made a trip to Hamilton OH, to see the memorial of Captain John Symmes.
We found it in a rundown park surrounded by boarded-up houses in the middle of a hardscrabble, declining, formerly industrial town. Passed a fresh murder scene being processed by the mobile crime lab on the way in.
John Symmes (1779-1829) was a career officer in the US Army who served the nation in The War of 1812. He was also an ardent student of the natural sciences. Symmes became convinced the world was hollow with openings at the poles and habitable lands on the inside.
Symmes lectured extensively on his theory and repeatedly tried to solicit government support or private funds to mount an expedition to the unknown lands inside the Earth.
Although no expedition was ever mounted, Symmes’ ideas have influenced religious zealots, pseudo-scientists, and authors of fiction up to the present day. Edgar Allan Poe and Edgar Rice Burroughs both drew inspiration from Symmes.
Symmes’ son raised this memorial to his father in the 1840s.