Showing posts with label WEST VIRGINIA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WEST VIRGINIA. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Harpers Ferry in 1880
When George and I were on our Virginia/Maryland/West Virginia trip in September,  we visited Harpers Ferry,  West Virginia on 9/26/13.   I had always heard of Harpers Ferry but didn't know much about it.  What I did find out was that there is MUCH HISTORY there.

The National Park Service identified SIX themes which run through the town's history: Industry, Natural Heritage,  Transportation,  John Brown, Civil War, and African American history.  I had heard about John Brown and the Civil War at Harpers Ferry--but didn't realize that it was the place where the first successful American Railroad arrived.  And I didn't know that it had one of the first integrated schools in the United States.

What I did know was the story about John Brown's attack on slavery,  and I knew that at Harpers Ferry,  there was the largest surrender of Federal troops during the Civil War.  If you want to read more about Harper's Ferry,  click HERE.

Today I'll share with you some of our photos from our visit to Harpers Ferry.  Be sure to click on the photos in order to see them larger.

Harpers Ferry in 2013
Compare this photo with the one above.  This is Shenandoah Street in September of 2013.  Harpers Ferry reminded me a little of my hometown of Big Stone Gap,VA   since both towns are surrounded by mountains.  However,  Harpers Ferry not only is surrounded by mountains,  but two very large rivers converge here,  Potomac River and Shenandoah River.

Here is a photo taken from the other end of the street --looking back down,  where we had just walked. 

I was fascinated by this church sitting on top of a big hill---ABOVE town... I have 3 pictures of the church in today's post---from 3 different angles!  Here is the first photo--taken from Shenandoah Street,  looking up at the church and steeple.  Beautiful location UP there,  don't you think????

George is standing in front of the armory fire engine house (now known as John Brown's fort).  John Brown believed he could free the slaves and chose Harpers Ferry as his starting point.  He wanted to seize the 100,000 weapons at the arsenal,  so a group of men including 3 of his sons and 5 free African Americans tried to do so.  Thirty-six hours after the raid began,  most of Brown's men were killed and he was captured. He was found guilty of treason and hanged on Dec. 2, 1859.  BUT--John Brown certainly brought  attention to the country pertaining to the issues involving slavery.

What do you remember MOST about John Brown?????  I remember the old song which we sung (called John Brown's Body) to the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic... Remember that song???  You'll need to google it on You Tube to hear it.

This is the "Point" where two famous rivers merged.   The Shenandoah River was on the right --and the Potomac River was on the left...  We paralleled the Shenandoah River while walking on Shenandoah Street. -- This street joined up with  Potomac Street (turning left)--which paralleled the Potomac River.   There's an interesting fact about Meriwether Lewis on the sign.  You can find more info about Meriwether Lewis by checking out the link I provided above.

Here is my picture showing where the Shenandoah River comes in from the right and joins with the Potomac River on the left.. The river then gets very wide.

This photo show how wide the river becomes after the two rivers merge..  As you can tell,  fishermen are enjoying the morning...  Also,  there are some kayakers in the water.  See them?????

I was surprised to see that the Appalachian Trail goes through here....  Did you know that?  Want to walk to Maine ---or Georgia?????  (Think I'll pass on that offer!)

Here is the footbridge which we took across the Potomac River.

We took the footbridge to get to the other side --and to get an up close and personal look at the railroad tunnel (built in 1931).

After seeing all of that,  we walked UP-UP-UP a series of steps and hills ---and came to the church,  St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church.   This is Photo Number TWO that I took of this church.  I was amazed especially after seeing the location of this gorgeous church.

This is a good view from the church looking back toward the town.  You can see the footbridge and railroad tunnel from here.  Those are the Blue Ridge Mountains straight ahead.

We continued walking UP UP UP---and came to Jefferson Rock.  This huge rock on the top of the hill over Harpers Ferry  is named after Thomas Jefferson.  Jefferson visited here on October 25, 1783 ---and found the view from here impressive.  He reported that the "scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic".    We loved the view from here also.

George took this photo of me near Jefferson Rock.  That is the Shenandoah River in the background.

Finally,  here is my third photo showing the church steeple.   Now---we are at Jefferson Rock looking DOWN on the church.  You can also see the WIDE Potomac River in the distance.

Hope you enjoyed seeing my photos from Harpers Ferry.  There's alot more history here including some happenings during the Civil War---and MORE.    If you haven't made a trip there,  add this place to your list of places to visit!!!!  You will enjoy it!

Have a great day.  Be sure to check out my Photo Blog today.  Click HERE.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Autumn Colors from our Virginia/Maryland/West Virginia Trip (Sept. 20-29, 2013)

Taken at Williamsburg, Virginia  9/23/13
I have featured photos of all of the wildflowers in bloom when we were on our trip... SO--today I'll share some of the beautiful Autumn Colors we saw along the way.  I was surprised to see as much color as I did since it wasn't even October yet.... BUT--we did see some pretty colors,  so I hope you will enjoy them...

Be sure to enlarge the photos for bigger photos..

Taken at Fredericksburg, Virginia 9/24/13

Taken at Cunningham Falls State Park,  Maryland 9/25/13

Taken at Cunningham Falls State Park,  Maryland 9/25/13

Taken at Harpers Ferry,  West Virginia 9/26/13

Taken at Harper's Ferry,  West Virginia 9/26/13

Taken along Skyline Drive, Virginia 9/26/13

Taken along Skyline Drive, Virginia 9/26/13

Taken at Skyland Resort (on Skyline Drive), Virginia  9/27/13

Taken along Skyline Drive, Virginia 9/27/13

Taken along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia 9/27/13

Taken along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia  9/27/13

Taken along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia  9/27/13

Taken along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia 9/27/13

Taken along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia 9/27/13

Taken on Roanoke, Virginia Mountain Road (off of the Blue Ridge Parkway) 9/28/13

Taken at the Peaks of Otter (off of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia) 9/28/13
Well---that's what we saw.  Did you like seeing the Autumn Colors????  We hope to have and see much more of this beautiful color around Tennessee this month.  Hopefully,  I'll get to share many more Fall pictures with you.   Having a rainy Spring and Summer has helped with the colors I think this year!!!!

You can see one photo of some Fall Colors from Fairfield Glade where we live if you visit my Photo Blog today.  Click HERE  to see that color!!!!

Have a wonderful day and be sure and get outside and enjoy this remarkable season.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Awesome Trip to Virginia/Maryland/West Virginia/Tennessee

Williamsburg, Virginia 9/21/13
George and I put 1964 miles on our Prius (averaging about 55 mpg) from September 20-29, 2013.  We drove to Williamsburg, VA, visited around that area for 3 days/4 nights;  then drove to Fredericksburg and to the Great Falls of the Potomac before heading to Fallingwaters,  West VA  for 2 nights.  We then visited Cunningham Falls State Park and Antietam  (both in Maryland);  then,  we visited Harper's Ferry in West Virginia before entering Skyline Drive in Virginia. We spent the night of 9/26 at Skyland Resort on Skyline Drive. We left the next morning for the Peaks of Otter area (off of the Blue Ridge Parkway) --enjoying Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway along the way;  Spent two nights in that area --while enjoying more of the Blue Ridge Parkway,  Peaks of Otter, and Fallingwater Cascades (a hiking trail off of the parkway). Then on the 29th---we headed home!!!!! Whew!!!!!  Got all of that?????? We accomplished ALOT in those days!

Both George and I took over 1500 photos EACH---so you'll be seeing more specifics from our trip in the next few months.    Today,  I just picked out one photo from most of the areas we visited... Many of you are on Facebook and followed us along the way --since both George and I posted a photo each morning and each evening.

Be sure to enlarge the photos for bigger pictures.  The photo above is one of our favorite parts of our visits to Williamsburg, getting to hear and see the Fife and Drums.   I love hearing them as they march down the street.   I also got to do some Family History while here --but that will be another blog post!!

Lighthouse at Fort Monroe,  Virginia,  9/22/13
We visited Fort Monroe while there --and saw this gorgeous lighthouse.   This is the Old Point Comfort Lighthouse,  in operation since 1802. This is the oldest operating lighthouse on the entire Chesapeake Bay.

Schooner Alliance --Yorktown, Virginia,  9/22/13
This was the ABSOLUTE HIGHLIGHT of our entire trip.  We took a romantic evening sunset cruise on the Schooner Alliance at Yorktown, Virginia.  I have never been on a sailboat (tall ship) before ---and loved it!!!  The wind was perfect for sailing ---and there was an awesome sunset...  WOW---what a treat!!!!  We loved it.

Berkeley Plantation on the James River on Scenic Highway 5 in Virginia,  9/23/13
We drove on Scenic Highway 5 along the James River and visited the Westover Church and the Berkeley Plantation.  Berkeley is the birthplace of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence (Benjamin Harrison) and of a United States President, William Henry Harrison.  This was a magnificent plantation --and our tour guide was excellent.  The home was beautiful ---but the grounds were even more gorgeous... I took this photo on the grounds --facing the James River.

George at Lee's Hill in Fredericksburg, Virginia,  9/24/13
We visited the Historic Fredericksburg Battlefield on 9/24.  George has so much knowledge about the Civil War --so I was lucky to have a built-in-tour-guide.  George's hero is Robert E. Lee---so I took the picture above of George standing beside a photo of Robert E. Lee.  We were at Lee's Hill (called Telegraph Hill in 1862).  This was Lee's headquarters --where he and the other members of the Confederate high command watched the Battle of Fredericksburg unfold in 1862.

I decided that I would love to have that beautiful old home,  Chatham,  in Fredericksburg, Virginia,  9/24/13
Also,  while in Fredericksburg,  we visited Chatham. This gorgeous home was built by William Fitzhugh between 1768 and 1771.  This home was used as the Union headquarters during the war.  A hospital was also established at Chatham to treat casualties from battle.

Us at the Great Falls of the Potomac, Virginia,  9/24/13
Next,  we visited the Virginia side of the Great Falls of the Potomac.  We both have always heard about this fantastic place ---so you can imagine how much we enjoyed seeing it in person.  This is an area you have to see in person... This as another huge HIGHLIGHT for us this trip.

Our picnic area next to the lake at Cunningham Falls State Park, Maryland, 9/25/13
We visited Cunningham Falls State Park in Maryland---searching for a waterfall... WELL---Fall is not the best time to see water at waterfalls.  We did have a nice hike that day and the state park is gorgeous.  BUT--the waterfall was only a trickle!   However,  we enjoyed hiking in the park --and even enjoyed a picnic by the lake.  The Fall Colors there were fabulous!

Sweet little Fawn at Antietam, Maryland,  9/25/13
We then visited  Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland.    This was another huge HIGHLIGHT of our trip.  Antietam is a gorgeous area --but knowing what happened there in 1862 was sobering.   Antietam is known as the bloodiest one-day battle of the American Civil War.   Just walking in that area is a sad experience... Both George and I were full of emotions that day.

Today though,  life is good in that area ---so I'll feature this sweet little fawn who was paying no attention to me ---but enjoying some dinner.   It was ironic, in the place where 23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing in 1862,  that on the day we were there,  it was a beautiful and sunny and filled with life, evidenced by this little fawn.

Jefferson Rock at Harpers Ferry,  West Virginia,  9/26/13
Next,  we visited Harpers Ferry in West Virginia.  There's alot of history about Harpers Ferry but most people know it  as the place where John Brown came believing that he could free the slaves.  He wanted to raid the armory, but got trapped in the Engine House (now known as John Brown's fort) ---but was captured when U.S. Marines stormed the building.  He was  brought to trial and then hanged in 1859.  Even though he didn't win his conquest,  he brought attention to the issue of slavery ---which  headed the country toward the civil war.

The picture above was taken on the top of a hill above Harpers Ferry at a big rock,  called Jefferson Rock.   Thomas Jefferson stood on that rock in October of 1783.  Harpers Ferry is where the Shenandoah River and the Potomac River converge.  Jefferson was impressed with this area and rock formations ---just like George and I were.

Us on Skyline Drive,  Virginia,  9/26/13
After leaving Harpers Ferry,  we drove on the entire Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park and then on the Blue Ridge Parkway ---all the way to Roanoke, Virginia,  over 3 days (9/26 - 9/28).   We love this long drive ---and managed to stop at most every overlook and take photos.

George at Rock Point Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia,  9/27/13
We love rock formations ---and VIEWS of the mountains and/or valleys below.  Isn't this a gorgeous area?

Fallingwater Cascades,  off of the Blue Ridge Parkway,  Virginia, 9/28/13
We took a nice hike to Fallingwater Cascades on 9/28.  There wasn't much water coming over the falls --but George managed to get a pretty good picture of one of several drops.

Us at the Peaks of Otter, Virginia, 9/28/13
This photo was taken on our visit to the Peaks of Otter,  along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Don't you love the red tree above our heads????  We saw more Fall colors on this trip than we thought we would, considering that it wasn't October yet!!!  We also saw lots and lots of gorgeous wildflowers,  but that will be another blog post!

Well---that's our trip --in a nutshell.  We had a great time ---and I'm sure I'll share many many more photos with you in the upcoming months.

Hope you had a great September... I cannot believe that it is OCTOBER already.  My mother's birthday was yesterday --and if she were still alive,  she would have been 113 years old.   My Dad's birthday is tomorrow ---and if he were still alive,  he would be 124 years old now...  Daddy died in 1969 and Mom died in 1991.  I miss them both so much!

I tried to read your blog posts --but ran out of time most days!  SO---if I missed something really important that you want me to see,  please tell me to check those posts... Thanks!!!

Have a great Wednesday!  Be sure to check out my Photo Blog today for another photo from this wonderful trip.  Click HERE.