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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Saimese Twins --- a virtual cache worth visiting

So far my favorite caches are the regular ammo can in the woods types. I've not gotten into the puzzles nor the mutli-caches yet. I do enjoy earthcaches and virtual caches if they show you something interesting. This past week I did see two virtual caches that were very interesting and fun to do. One was the home place of the original Siamese Twins. They were some of the first conjoined twins to live and to be seen widely around the world. They were born in what is present-day Thailand but immigrated. They eventually settled in a rural area near Pilot Mountain, NC. Pilot Mountain is also given fame in the Andy Griffith show where it is referred to as Mt. Pilot. If you get a chance to look for The Bunker Brothers (GCF338) don't miss out on the opportunity. Here is a little information taken directly from the cache page:

Chan and Eng were born in 1811 in what at the time was called Siam, now it is modern day Thailand. Upon hearing of their birth, the King of Siam was so sure it was a sign of the coming of the end of the world that he ordered the twins to be put to death. Somehow the twins escaped their death sentence and eventually became accepted by the people of Siam. In 1829, the twins left Siam to begin touring Europe and the US. They were very popular and drew large crowds where the twins exhibited various feats of strength and dexterity. They also had a strong command of the English language and were able to converse with the audience members. After about 10 years of touring the brothers grew tired of that lifestyle and somehow decided to settle in Wilkesboro, NC a small town that they had been through a few years earlier. Originally, they purchased and ran a general store, but due to hard times in the area, they gave up their store and moved to Traphill in northern Wilkes County to start farming.

In 1839 the brothers became American citizens and choose the last name of Bunker. This is also the time the brothers started dating a pair of sisters, Sallie and Adelaide Yates. A few years later the twins married the two sisters and all shared a large bed. Within 9 months and one week of the marriage each sister had given birth to a child. Over the years 19 more children would be born to the sisters. Over time, the two sisters began to fight and would often put Chang and Eng in the middle of their fights. It was decided that the family would split and two houses were built in White Plains, a small community in Surry County, North Carolina. The two houses were about two miles apart and the twins would spend three days in one house with Sallie and then move in with Adelaide for three days before starting the cycle all over.

Chang passed away on Jan 17, 1874. When Eng woke up and realized his brother was dead he began to get sick and died within 30 minutes. It is often said that Eng was scared to death of the thoughts of his brother being dead. Today many people have attributed his death to shock.

The sisters kept their body in one of the cellars for a year after their death to prevent grave robbing. They were then buried in the lawn at Chang’s house and in the 1920’s were moved to the church that they are at now, which the brothers had donated the land for.

For more information on Chang and Eng, do an Internet search. There is plenty of information out there.
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