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6 National Historic Sites and Fort Stanwix National Monument

August 20, 2014

August 11, 2014 – Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, Buffalo NY 

President William McKinley was shot by an anarchist on 9/6/1901 while attending the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo NY.  He died on 9/13/1901 and Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in as the 26th President of the United States that afternoon at the home of Ansley Wilcox a local attorney.

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Parlor –  inauguration room

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Tour guide showing telegraph

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Clever display

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Reproduction of Roosevelt’s office in the new west wing of the White House in Washington DC

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Overnight at Nancy’s home in Pittsford NY

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August 12, 2014 – I was on the road at 4:30am and Helen and Nancy left for two days of flea marketing around Hamilton NY (Colgate University)

Martin Van Buren National Historic Site – Martin Van Buren helped form the Democratic party and was the 8th President of the United States.  The historic site includes his home and part of his farm called Lindenwald in Kinderhook NY

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The original house was built in 1797 and Van Buren purchased it in 1839.

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Major renovations were made between 1849 – 1850

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Parlor

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I was the only one on the 9am ranger tour

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Library with bust of Van Buren, another sits in the Red Room of the White House

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Springfield Armory National Historic Site Massachusetts

The Springfield Armory was a major arsenal during the Revolutionary War and in 1794 the new federal government decided to manufacture its own muskets so that the nation would not be dependent on foreign arms.  President George Washington selected two sites for national armories – Springfield MA and Harper’s Ferry VA.  The Harper’s Ferry Armory was destroyed by the North at the beginning of the Civil War.

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Why is that gun pointed at me?!

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Organ of muskets

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Civil War musket

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Magazine rifle – Indian Wars

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M14 (1957) – last rifle produced at the armory

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Display shows progression of the rifles manufactured at the armory from 1794 to 1968.

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Model showing the extent of the armory grounds.  All U.S. arms are now privately manufactured.

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Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish New Hampshire

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Augustus Saint-Gaudens is recognized as one of America’s greatest sculptors.  The historic site includes his home, which he called Aspet, along with studios, galleries, gardens and memorials.

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Back of house

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Atrium and pool, New Gallery

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He is known for his low and high portrait reliefs.

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Robert Louis Stevenson, 1888

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Theodore Roosevelt Special Inaugural medal, 1905

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His public monuments are perhaps his greatest legacy.  This is the Farragut Monument –

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Shaw Memorial – monument to the Civil War service of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment of African American Volunteers in Boston

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He did many Lincoln monuments

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Little Studio

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One of his few female pieces, Diana

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 Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, Woodstock VT

After the American Revolution, settlers poured into Vermont and by the mid-1800s most of Vermont’s forests had been cut down, causing severe erosion and flooding.  George Marsh, who grew up on his family farm in Woodstock in the early 1800’s, was a keen observer of nature.  After serving in Congress he became a diplomat in Italy and traveled around the Mediterranean.  He found that human actions had “brought the earth to a desolation almost as complete as that of the moon.”  Marsh distilled his observations into a classic book, Man and Nature (1864).  His careful analysis of the human impact on nature and his eloquent plea for responsible land stewardship made this book one of the founding texts of the environmental movement.

In 1869 the Marsh farm was purchased by Frederick Billings, a Vermont native who had made his fortune as an attorney in San Francisco during the California Gold Rush.  Returning to Vermont he found barren hills, silted rivers and a devastated countryside.  Billings set out to build a farm that would serve future generations as a model of wise stewardship.  After his death in 1890, Billing’s plan was sustained by his wife and daughters and then his granddaughter, Mary French.

Mary French married Laurance Rockefeller in 1934 and brought together two families with a strong commitment to conservation.  The Rockefeller family had generously created or enhanced over 20 national parks and helped make conservation and outdoor recreation an essential part of the national agenda.  Laurance and Mary made the gift that established Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Nationalk Historical Park as Vermont’s first national park.

I first toured the visitor center at the Billings farm.  This model shows the farm and Mount Tom.  The park continues past Mt Tom to the west including reforested hills, pastures, carriage roads, trails and the Pogue, a pond tucked in the cleft of the mountain.

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The Marsh mansion was built in 1805-07 and has been kept in the 1800s Queen Anne style of architecture.

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“Passing the Torch,” a Tiffany window in the Mansion, symbolizes an intergenerational commitment to conservation.

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Terrace gardens

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After touring the mansion grounds, I was off for a 5 mile hike.  I started on the Precipice Trail to the top of Mt Tom.

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Woodstock from the top of Mt Tom

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I then did the North Peak Trail.

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the Mount Tom Road passed this pasture,

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then proceeded around the Pogue Loop

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and returned to the Billings farm by way of the Mountain Road

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I then visited the First Congregational Church (1808) and had dinner at Bentley’s in Woodstock.

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After dinner I drove to Moreau Lake SP in New York to camp.  However, I got there at 10:10pm and was told that I could not enter because camping registrations ended at 10!  I drove down the road to a boat dealer lot and slept in the Sequoia.

 

August 13, 2014 – Fort Stanwix National Monument, Rome NY

Fort Stanwix was one of five forts that were located at different times at the Oneida Carrying Place.  The Oneida Carrying Place was a portage that was used for thousands of years to carry goods from the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Ontario and the Great Lakes and vice versa.  Goods moved both east and west.  For example, goods would be brought into New York harbor, move up the Hudson and then Mohawk Rivers to the Oneida Carrying Place and then portaged 6 miles to Wolf Creek.  Boats (e.g. canoes) would then be loaded and paddled to Lake Oneida and onward to Lake Ontario at what is now Oswego NY.  Furs etc. would be carried in the opposite direction.  This was a critically strategic location before, during and after the Revolutionary War.

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It was a rainy morning but made for some good pictures

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Model of Fort Stanwix

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Inside the fort

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The following pictures show accommodations in the fort according to rank, from privates to commander.

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Continental soldier 1777

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Women’s Rights National Historical Park, Seneca Falls NY

This historical park highlights an 1848 convention called by reformers in Seneca Falls NY – “A Convention to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of Women.”  This area of upstate NY was a hotbed of Quaker and abolitionist sentiment and activity.

In the 1840’s, by law or custom, women did not vote, speak in public, hold office, attend college, or earn a living other than as a teacher, seamstress, domestic or mill worker.  In addition, a married woman could not make contracts, sue in court, divorce her husband, gain custody of her children, or own property, even the clothes she wore.

Several women were involved in organizing the 1848 convention, some of the prime movers were Lucretia Mott, Martha Wright, Jane Hunt, Mary Ann M’Clintock and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

The M’Clintock house is in Waterloo and was rented from the Hunts

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The Elizabeth Cady Stanton House is located across the Seneca River (Erie Canal) from downtown

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Statues on the south side of the canal overlooking downtown depicting the introduction of Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Susan B. Anthony in 1851.  The Susan B. Anthony home is located in Rochester NY.

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I like the juxtaposition of the Woman Made Products store and New York City Jewelers!

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Women’s Rights National Historical Park Visitor Center

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The “First Wave” sculpture group

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Woman on left is Elizabeth Cady Stanton, male is Frederick Douglass

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Many interesting displays on the second floor

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Physical Education

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Wesleyan Chapel, site of the 1848 “Women’s Rights” Convention that resulted in a formal “Declaration of Sentiments” based on the Declaration of Independence

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The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor runs 363 miles from Albany (Hudson River) to Buffalo (Lake Erie).  Here is a “packet boat” at Seneca Falls

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Most recently called the “Barge Canal,” the Erie Canal is now mainly used by pleasure craft.  Several bikeway trail segments are located along the canal.  A double lock structure (C/S locks 2 and 3) and a power plant are located at Seneca Falls.  The following views are looking west at lock 3 –

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Looking east at lock 2

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Power plant

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Looking west at lock 2, power plant is on the right

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August 14, 2014 – We stopped in Brockport NY where we lived between 1971 and 1980, except for a year and a half in Iran and a half year in Finland.  Brockport is/was a stop on the Erie Canal.   Do you remember the Erie Canal song Chorus?

“Low bridge, everybody down
Low bridge cause we’re coming to a town
And you’ll always know your neighbor
And you’ll always know your pal
If you’ve ever navigated on the Erie Canal”

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This is the low bridge going up to allow for passage of a pleasure boat

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Remember the Ivory Soap commercials?

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This was our first home 1971 to 1977.  Stacy was born soon after we moved in.  It was depressing to go back because the houses we lived in have deteriorated.

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We bought a historical home (1845) and barn on 3.5 acres six weeks before we went to Iran

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We lived in two rooms and slept on the floor in sleeping bags for six weeks as we put on a new roof and gutters, new septic system, new chimneys, repaired plumbing and electric, cleaned the place up, etc.  That way we were able to rent it while we were gone.  The 20 x 40 pool is behind the small “dairy” building in the middle and there was an apple orchard behind that.

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The owner was very kind and gave us a tour inside and out.  This view is looking out of the barn.  At the very back of the house on the left was an attached three seater “out-house” so you didn’t have to go outside!  There was also a secret room and two other secret areas that were used to hide slaves moving north on the underground railway.

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August 15, 2014 – visited Ashtabula in the very corner of northeast OH with Dick and Jan.  During the late 19th century, boats brought iron ore here.   It was loaded on rail cars and taken to Youngstown and Pittsburgh’s steel mills.  At that time it was the busiest port on the Great Lakes.  Now some coal is being moved in the opposite direction and there are efforts to “clean-up” the river and Bridge Street area with an  emphasis on tourism and recreation.  This is a picture of the Ashtabula Lift Bridge.

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There are 17 covered bridges in Ashtabula County!  Here are some pictures of the Smolen-Gulf Bridge

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At 613 feet it is billed as the “Longest Covered Bridge in the U.S.”

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It was built in 2008 at a cost of 7.8 million dollars

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Does that detract from it’s tourist appeal?

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The bridge crosses the Ashtabula River

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Where we had great fun skipping stones!

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August 16, 2014 – Driving back home, we stopped at an Amish thrift store that sold primarily outdated and damaged food and drink items.  That didn’t stop Helen from buying $70 worth!

Opps!  I parked in the buggy area and got horse poop all over my front tires!

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