Showing posts with label HISTORY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HISTORY. Show all posts

Friday, November 6, 2009

Old Fort Harrod, Harrodsburg, KY

As you know, George and I love to hike and search for new waterfalls. BUT--we also love history. George especially reads --and remembers---alot of history especially around the Civil War time. It is so interesting to be somewhere with him because he knows so much about our pioneers and what happened in the past.

We love to travel on the back roads (instead of the interstate) when we can. SO--once we left Indiana on 3/10/07, we drove down through the bluegrass region in Kentucky. Talk about GORGEOUS!!! When we got to a town called Harrodsburg, we read a sign saying that it was the FIRST Kentucky settlement. It was then called Harrodstown--and was founded in 1774 as the first permanent English settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains.

After getting into Harrodsburg, we passed by an old fort (Old Fort Harrod). At that time, we both said, "Let's turn around and check it out." AND--are we glad we did!!!! We got to experience life and history first hand in this full-scale replica of the fort, built by James Harrod. The cabins and blockhouses are furnished with handmade utensils used by the pioneers.

James Harrod was the unanimous choice to be the leader of the expeditionary company that founded Kentucky's first settlement. He was an expert in the use of a rifle, a successful hunter, and a skillful antagonist of the Native American. He was a feared enemy to them, yet he was highly respected by them. Harrod joined George Rogers Clark's expedition to destroy Shawnee strongholds across the Ohio River. The expedition was successful and more settlers came to the peaceful, lush Kentucky territory. Colonel James Harrod died mysteriously during one of his hunting trips in the winter of 1792. His body was never located.

Besides James Harrod and George Rogers Clark, another interesting person we learned about was Ann Kennedy Wilson Pogue Lindsay McGinty. Ann was the first home economics demonstrator in Kentucky. When she came over the Wilderness Road to Harrod's Fort, she brought her spinning wheel on her horse with her. She lived to a ripe old age, surviving FOUR husbands, and died in the fort blockhouse.

One of Ann McGinty's husbands was William Pogue. William was the handy-man at Harrod's Fort. He made spinning wheels and looms that kept his wife and the other women busy. He also made the first plow that turned the first bluegrass sod in Kentucky.

After taking in the fort, we visited the old cemetery. This was the oldest cemetery in the state, with over 500 pioneer sites. I loved looking at all of the old stones, trying to read any inscriptions. And finally, we enjoyed walking around one of the oldest and largest Osage orange trees in the country. VERY DIFFERENT!!!! I have already blogged about the Osage tree. Click
HERE to see that post.

The picture above is George inside of the George Rogers Clark Blockhouse. This is where Clark planned his conquest, which saved the Northwest Territory for his country. He presented his plans to Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia, and was given the authority to proceed. More pictures are below.

Old Fort Harrod is a replica of the original fort.

I am standing at the McGinty Blockhouse. Talented woman, Ann McGinty, died here after outliving FOUR husbands.

George stands at the blacksmith shop.

Here is where Clark planned his conquest which saved the Northwest Territory.

This is the Mark McGohon Cabin with wife BETSY's cord cherry bed and her bonnet!

Capt. James Harrod and 32 men started Harrodstown. This is the schoolhouse where...

...George sits and recites his ABC's. Can you hear him??????? ha ha

Handyman William Pogue made spinning wheels with the help of his smart wife, Ann.

Rev. John Lythe, who carried a Bible in one hand and an axe in the other, lived here.

Here's one more peak at the fort before leaving. What an experience!

We hope YOU get to go to Harrodsburg sometime and enjoy this wonderful piece of history.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cockspur Lighthouse, GA

We saw two lighthouses during our Anniversary Vacation near Savannah, GA in June of 2008. One was the lighthouse on Tybee Island --and this one was the Cockspur Lighthouse (located between Savannah and Tybee Island). We could only see it from a distance, once while walking outside of Fort Pulaski, and then again from the road after leaving Tybee Island. Here's a little history about this lighthouse:

It was first built in 1849, but that was short-lived since it was rebuilt in 1857. The second Cockspur Lighthouse was built of brick and consisted of a 46 foot tower. The first keeper was appropriately named John Lightburn. He lived on Cockspur Island near Fort Pulaski and would make daily trips to the tower to service the light.

The second keeper, Cornelius Maher, drowned near the tower when his boat capsized while he was trying to help someone in distress. Maher's wife, Mary, replaced her husband as keeper and remained at the light for three more years.

Surprisingly, the Cockspur Lighthouse, which stood in the direct line of fire between Tybee Island and Fort Pulaski, suffered no damage during the war when the Union forces captured the Confederates at Fort Pulaski in 1862.

The lighthouse resumed operation in 1866, after the end of the war. The keeper's dwelling was struck by lightning in 1880, and was later destroyed by a hurricane. A new home for the keeper was eventually built on top of the walls of Fort Pulaski, which at the time was abandoned.

George Washington Martus was one of the keepers who served after the war, accepting an assignment to the station in 1881 at the age of 18. Martus served until 1886 when he was transferred upstream to the Elba Island Lighthouse. Martus' sister Florence lived with him on Elba Island, and for over 40 years, she greeted all the vessels entering and leaving the port of Savannah with the wave of a handkerchief by day and a lantern by night. She became somewhat of a legend and was known as the "Waving Girl." We passed by the statue of the "Waving Girl" while in Savannah--but neither of us got a picture of her.

In 1909, the deep draft ships calling at Savannah started to use the north channel, and the Cockspur Lighthouse was deactivated. The Coast Guard abandoned the light house in 1949, but fortunately the Park Service assumed control of the light in 1958. The tower was repaired in a two-stage restoration effort which lasted from 1995-2000. A new lantern room was put in place atop the tower, brickwork was repaired and the light house received two coats of whitewash during the project. The Cockspur Lighthouse, which was re-lit in 2007, using a solar-powered beacon, is now part of Fort Pulaski National Monument.

There are five pictures to see. Above is Cockspur Lighthouse. Below are four more. All of this 'history-stuff' is INTERESTING!!!!

This picture was taken by me ---when we were on the road, after visiting Tybee Island. You can see the Cockspur Lighthouse from here also (almost in the middle of your picture).

This picture was taken by us when we were at Fort Pulaski---looking toward the Tybee Lighthouse. We wanted to take a longer hike to get a better picture, but the Georgia BUGS were out--and we didn't have any bug spray with us.

This picture was taken (not by us) near the Cockspur Lighthouse--looking back toward Fort Pulaski (where we had been).

This is a picture of the "Waving Girl" statue in Savannah, GA. As I mentioned, George and I passed by this statue when we were on our 'whirlwind' tour of Savannah, but neither of us could get a picture from our trolley. (I took the picture above from the internet.)

As much as I love waterfalls, I also love lighthouses AND covered-bridges. We've seen over 350 different waterfalls. Think we'll ever see that many lighthouses or covered-bridges?????

Have a wonderful Sunday.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Poor George!!!

On our Williamsburg trip in June of 2007, George found himself in a bit of a predicament. There was an old Guillotine ----and somehow George ended up in a precarious position... Poor Baby--- I think 'she' had him exactly where she wanted him. Ya think????? Is he going to cry???? Poor George--he's just SO abused!!!! Wonder how long 'she' made him stay there---and what promises did he have to make to her???????? Hmmmmmmmmm....

Seeing this old picture made me think about the Guillotine--and its history. How much do you know about them??? I'll admit that I didn't know much---so I did a little research that you might find interesting --or maybe not!!!

During the 1700's, executions in France were public events where entire towns gathered to watch. (Can you imagine?) A common execution method for a poor criminal was quartering, where the prisoner's limbs were tied to four oxen, then the animals were driven in four different directions ripping the person apart. (Yipes!) Upper-class criminals could buy their way into a less painful death by hanging or beheading. (It's hard to imagine something like beheading being more humane... Gads!)

Doctor Joseph Ignace Guillotin belonged to a small political reform movement that wanted to banish the death penalty completely. Guillotin argued for a painless and private capital punishment method equal for all the classes, as an interim step towards completely banning the death penalty. Beheading devices had already been used in Germany, Italy, Scotland and Persia for aristocratic criminals. However, never had such a device been adopted on a large institutional scale. The French named the guillotin after Doctor Guillotin. The extra 'e' at the end of the word was added by an unknown English poet who found guillotine easier to rhythm with.

More than 10,000 people lost their heads by guillotine during the French Revolution, including Louis XVI and Mary Antoinette, the former king and queen of France. Use of the guillotine continued in France in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the last execution by guillotine occurred in 1977. In September 1981, France outlawed capital punishment altogether, thus abandoning the guillotine forever. There is a museum dedicated to the guillotine in Liden, Sweden.

Here's some Guillotine Facts:
• Total weight of a guillotine is about 1278 lbs
• The guillotine metal blade weighs about 88.2 lbs
• The height of guillotine posts average about 14 feet
• The falling blade has a rate of speed of about 21 feet/second
• Just the actual beheading takes 2/100 of a second
• The time for the guillotine blade to fall down to where it stops takes 70th of a second
• On September 10, 1977, the last execution by guillotine took place in Marseilles, France, when the murderer Hamida Djandoubi was beheaded.

Now--aren't you just THRILLED that I gave you all of this interesting (???) information... Thank God that doesn't go on NOW.

Okay---back to my story!!!!! She didn't want her Sweetheart's head chopped off ----so she told him to SMILE for the camera and she'd talk nicely to the guards so that they would free him... For some reason, he obliged ---and gave her a huge smile... Isn't he a Cutie?????

Have a great Saturday ---and stay away from Guillotines.


P.S. LATER: George just 'stole my thunder' from this post today. He said that this was NOT a guillotine ---but was really a STOCK. I said, "Whatever!" He said that they didn't use a 'thing' like this to cut off someone's head. This was used to put people in it --so everyone could make fun of them, throw rotten vegetables at them, etc. Guess that wouldn't be quite as bad as getting your head cut off!!! Oh Well----I now know more about a Guillotine and a Stock... See what blogging does?????? ha

Monday, August 24, 2009

Lexington, Virginia Visit

The final ‘lap’ of our June '07 vacation was to Lexington, Virginia (after we had visited 5 waterfalls along the Blue Ridge Pkwy). We had been in Lexington in 2002--so we didn’t spend too much time here this particular time. We did visit Washington and Lee University, Lee Chapel, R.E. Lee Memorial Episcopal Church, Lee’s homeplace, and an old cemetery.

You may not know this but my husband is a HUGE fan of Robert E. Lee. He even named his son, Robert Edward Lee Adams. George has read almost every book ever written about Lee. SO--when we visit places where Robert E. Lee lived and worked, since George knows all of the history, I have a 'built-in' tour guide.

Here are pictures from our day in Lexington. Above is Washington Hall at Washington and Lee University. Robert E. Lee was President there from 1865-1870, when the college was called Washington College. Below are more.

This is the Jackson House---where Lee lived while building his home next door.

Above is Robert E. Lee's home--which he designed for himself and his invalid wife and daughters.

Here is the open garage--which was once the stable where Lee's horse, Traveller, lived.

This is Robert E. Lee Memorial Episcopal Church in Lexington, VA.

Above is a view from the side of the church (but there were too many trees for a good picture).

George stands beside the announcement board in the front of the church.

The inside of this beautiful church; Note the gorgeous stained-glass windows.

Another beautiful window--taken from inside the church

Look at this fancy pulpit... Wow!!!

Well---if you don't want to preach, maybe you want to read scripture from this beautiful lectern.... Neat, huh?

Gen. Stonewall Jackson is buried in a cemetery in Lexington.

I enjoyed reading the inscriptions on the grave markers in the cemetery. (Wonder if there are some Bruce's or Ballard's buried there?????)

Stonewall Jackson was the most revered Confederate commander after Lee.

Hope you have enjoyed our little history lesson. Lexington, Virginia is a neat little city. IF you ever get near there, check it out.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Virginia Scenic Highway Five

George and I celebrated our wedding anniversary in June of 2007 by taking a nine day trip through Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. We drove both going and coming on the Blue Ridge Parkway. During the nine days, we took in 11 new waterfalls, visited Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown, Petersburg, Appomattox Courthouse, Charlottesville and Lexington. We experienced history first-hand. It was an awesome trip!!!! Today I want to share the part of our trip on Virginia Scenic Highway Five.

When we left Jamestown, we headed toward Petersburg driving along the James River on Scenic Highway 5. There are many plantations located on that route--so we want to go back sometime and visit more of them. On this day we visited the Westover Episcopal Church and the Shirley Plantation. This was Robert E. Lee’s mother’s childhood home. His mother was Ann Hill Carter and his father was “Lighthorse Harry” Lee.

The picture above is Westover Parish. Westover Parish was established about 1613. They moved to this location about 1730. Below are more pictures.

After the Civil War, this church was restored in 1867--and still is an active parish. George is standing at the front door.

The inside is so gorgeous. Several Presidents have worshipped here. I love visiting old churches out in the country. There was nobody around --yet everything was open.

Being a music person, I was so fascinated with the organ. GORGEOUS!

Outside was a beautiful and BIG Magnolia tree. I wanted to take this TREE home.. Don’t think there was room in Mrs. P!!!!??? ha

The Shirley Plantation is America’s OLDEST Plantation (1613).

The present mansion was completed in 1738 and is largely in its original state. Ann Hill Carter, mother of Robert E. Lee, was born and raised at Shirley.

Looking at Shirley from the ‘river side’; It is located on the banks of the James River. The entire drive along the St. James River was gorgeous. There were several plantations similar to this one, along that route.

In Colonial times, the James River was the primary means of transportation.

The grounds at Shirley were GORGEOUS. There are 800 acres, and 4 superb outbuildings.

This big willow oak tree is over 300 yrs. old!

Although we loved seeing the outside, being inside Shirley was even more incredible. Pictures were not allowed inside---so you'll just have to visualize it!!!

It was a wonderful day on that vacation, and if you ever get to eastern Virginia, be sure and check out the plantations along Virginia Scenic Highway Five.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Osage Orange Tree (Harrodsburg, KY)

George and I love to travel on the 'back roads' in our country. In March of 2007, in order to celebrate George's birthday, we drove to Indiana to visit all of the waterfalls in Clifty Falls State Park. On the way home, while on the back roads, we drove through a neat town called Harrodsburg, Kentucky. This town is Kentucky's first settlement. When we passed by Fort Harrod, we turned around and decided to check out the fort. While there, we saw a huge tree, called an Osage Orange Tree. This tree's crown is 98' X 106'; its height is 75'; its circumference of the tree standing is 12'4"; and its base circumference is 56'. Woooooo!! This tree is taller and broader than the "National Champion" (which can be found on Patrick Henry's 'Red Hill' grounds)---but remains the unofficial National Champion due to the split trunk.

Of course, when we got home, I had to do some research on this interesting tree. Here is some info on the Osage Orange tree:
Named for the Osage tribe, of Missouri, where its dense wood was used for their bows, the tree was actually native to Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The Osage orange became popular in the east after the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1803-1806. Also called "hedge plant" or "hedge apple," the thorny Osage orange grew into fence rows that were "pig tight, horse high, and bull strong" before the invention of barbed wire.

Probably the most noticeable feature of Osage orange is the fruit produced by female trees. (The one we saw was a male.) The yellow-green fruit is round and 3 to 5 inches in diameter. It resembles a large orange or a monstrous mulberry. The fruit is a dense, round cluster of many one-seeded pulp sacks.

Osage orange isn't an orange tree. It's actually a mulberry. Today, Osage orange grows everywhere south of the Great Lakes and north of Florida, across the whole of eastern North America into the Great Plains states, almost to the Rocky Mountains. Other naturalized populations are found along Western settlement trails, forts and settler locations in the Pacific Northwest. Osage orange has been bundled and dragged across the nation -- east to west and north to south -- because of its uniqueness and utility. It has traveled widely and has been a part of our history. Above and below are pictures.

A partial picture of this HUGE tree; We were there in March--so obviously, there were no leaves on the tree.

I took this picture from the internet---to show how much better the tree looks when there are leaves on it!!!! (I have no idea who that child is---but I'm sure he'll be thrilled to be on my blog!!!! ha)

These next two pictures also came from the internet. This is a 'female' Osage Orange tree. See the fruit hanging up there? Don't be standing under these trees when those 'things' fall!!!! You would need to wear a hard hat I'm sure!!! ha

This is what the fruit (if you call it that) looks like. All I can say is YUK!!!!!

I was so fascinated with this unique tree... Isn't it interesting?

George stands under the tree---and as you can see, he is ready for battle.

Do you see a 'tree-hugger' there???? This girl loves this tree!!!!! Can she take it home???? PUH-LEASE!

I leave you with a photo of the outside of Old Fort Harrod. I'll show you the inside of this interesting fort in another blog. Hope you enjoyed seeing the Osage Orange tree today! Oh how wonderful it is to drive on the 'back roads'!!!! One will never know what he/she will see!!!!