Vale of Three Mountains

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July 21, 2017, Harpers Ferry- After experiencing the intensity and blood-echoes of Antietam, I headed the back way southward, through tourist-clogged Shepherdstown, to slightly less congested Charles Town, not to be confused with the West Virginia capital, Charleston, which lies a good 3 hours to the south.  There, I spent a restful night, on the outskirts of town.

This morning, after driving past the even more-overpopulated Harpers Ferry KOA, a mini-city, I opted to first take a ranger-guided tour of the approach to Lower Town.  Ranger Michael gave us a fully- detailed visit to what had been Storer College, an institution of higher learning, founded in 1865 and aimed at training African-American teachers.   The school closed in 1955. It is now part of Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, with a National Park Service Academy (Mather Training Center) and Lockwood House, a Union Army hospital and later headquarters for Gen. Philip Sheridan.  When Storer College was founded, Rev. Nathaniel Brackett made Lockwood House the administration building.  It is now a research facility for the National Park Service.

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Behind Lockwood House lies Harpers Ferry Cemetery.  Michael led us through the burial ground, en route to Jefferson Rock.

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Thomas Jefferson stood on this rock, in October, 1783, and was extremely impressed by the view.  From that point on, the rock has borne his name.

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St. Peter’s was not there, back then, but you get the idea.

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We walked past the ruins of an Episcopal Church, which was there in 1783, before Michael bid us farewell, so he could conduct another tour.

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I took the shuttle bus back to the upper parking lot, and drove back down, for further exploration of Lower Town.  I stopped, for about twenty minutes, at the headquarters of the Appalachian Mountain Club, this being the midpoint of the Appalachian Trail.  The staff and several through-hikers were encouraging of my pipe dreams of someday walking that venerable long path.

Here are a few scenes of the business district and Virginius Island. These are the ruins of Shenandoah Pulp Mill, built at Halls Island, by Thomas Savery, in 1887 and destroyed by the Great Flood of 1936.

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These days, Virginius is popular with swimmers, along the Shenandoah River and with the ubiquitous deer.

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Thankfully, it is only accessible by footbridge.

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I walked on down, to Lower Town, and gazed at the confluence of the Shenandoah, with the Potomac.

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The small fire station, which once served as a “fort” for the abolitionist John Brown, faces the two rivers, at the edge of Lower Town.

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The last stop, before heading out towards Harrisonburg, was The Coffee Mill, where the heat of afternoon called for a root beer float.

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Harpers Ferry certainly had a hard time being hemmed in by two rivers and three mountains, during the strife of 1850-1865, but it has found a place in the hearts of grateful citizens, in this day.

 

The Red Cornfields of Indian Summer

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July 20, 2017, Antietam-

Visiting the site of the bloodiest single day battle in American history was not something I particularly relished, but in these days of sanitizing history, I am doubly determined to not ignore any lesson- nor will I pretend the horrors never happened.

Antietam Creek, the farms that surrounded it and the rowdy townsfolk who, then and now, challenge those from somewhere else, make for a difficult and compelling story.

I arrived here, right around 1:30 p.m.  A twenty minute walk around the Visitor Center, and its immediate surrounds, gave me a sense of the field of vision that was afforded Generals McClellan and Lee, as they prepared for the horrific face-off of September 17, 1862.

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The most intense initial fighting took place around a church- shades of Brandywine.  Like Birmingham Hill Friends Meeting House, during the Revolutionary War, the Dunker Church served as a makeshift hospital, for wounded of both sides.

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Many of the states which sent troops to battle have monuments at Antietam, just as they do at Gettysburg.  Here are photos of several monuments, from both sides. Pennsylvania, followed closely by Ohio, has the largest number of monuments here.  The Philadelphia Brigade’s monument is the tallest of any at Antietam.

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Indiana’s monument is also quite formidable.

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New York has several, including two which align with one another.

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The Texans, who fought perhaps more ferociously than most, have their state memorial, across the road from the New York pair.

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Georgia, likewise, has honoured its soldiers,with a monument facing those dedicated to the Union cause.

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The reality of defeat, along with the vow to regroup and press on, is signified by these stacked rifles of the Pennsylvania regulars.

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There were several farms in the area, all of whose owners stood with the Union.  At the Popfenberger Farm, however, Clara Barton set up a full field hospital, to treat the wounded of both sides.

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The Mumma Farm was a key supplier of provisions to the Union Army, and as such was a thorn in the side of Robert E.Lee.  His troops took possession of the farm, in midday, and burned it to the ground.  The Mumma family had, of course, fled to a church, six miles away, well before the Confederates arrived.

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A sunken road, to the south of the property, built by Joseph Mumma, served as a trench for the Rebels, and became known as Bloody Lane, for the thousands of casualties that occurred there.

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The David Miller Farm, west of the Mumma property, was likewise, a key supplier of the Union effort, and was also the scene of some of the most intense fighting of the day.

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As I continued on, to the southern and western segments of the Battlefield, just southeast of Bloody Lane, there is a tower, from which one can spot twenty miles, in any direction.  This was built in 1890, to provide such a bird’s eye view,

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Here is a southeastward view, from the tower’s observation deck.  The town of Sharpsburg is seen, eight miles away.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The Irish Brigade, composed of  immigrants from that country, has its own memorial, at the base of the Observation Tower.  It was commanded at Antietam, by Gen. Thomas Meagher (“Marr”), a refugee from the United Kingdom.  This unit also formed part of the Zouaves, who have their own, collective monument, on the east side of Sharpsburg.  Here is the Irish Brigade’s monument.

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Lastly, here is a look at Burnside Bridge, named for the Union general, Ambrose Burnside, who miscalculated the difficulty of crossing Antietam Creek, just to the south of the bridge, and cost his troops a chance to ambush the Confederates, who were waiting in Mumma’s Lane.

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With the end of the day, there was a consensus that the Union Army, by staving off Lee’s invasion of Maryland, had turned the tide of the war.  Although the Confederates would go on to attack Gettysburg, PA, a relatively short distance to the northeast, a year later, Lee’s army would never again have the upper hand.

The legacy of war is often more war.  People can’t be forced to change their hearts, though I am certainly glad that government-sanctioned slavery, at least, has been brought to an end.  Having had enough of the Civil War for one day, I found a place to rest, in Charles Town, WV,

NEXT:  Harpers Ferry

 

 

The Margins of Ways Long Past

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July 20, 2017, Hagerstown-

I left Philadelphia, yesterday evening, with minimal trouble.  It seemed that, at some point, there were more people coming INTO the city, than were leaving.  I drove through the northern third of Delaware, bypassing Wilmington, going through bustling Newark- seat of the University of Delaware (both cities are on the itinerary for July, 2018) and across Maryland’s northern tier, through Thurmont (not a  sleepy, bucolic town, but a modern, virtual bedroom town of Frederick- itself a bedroom town to Baltimore and Washington) and Frederick, where I stopped just in time for a police car to head to its emergency.  I continued a few miles further, and stopped for the night in Hagerstown, intending to spend the morning exploring this city that once signified an enclave of antebellum Southern thinking, just shy of the Mason-Dixon Line.

I heard that there is still a lot of progress to be made here, in race relations.  That is pretty much how it is everywhere.  Human relations always need work.  I am not in favour of demolishing relics that we might find disturbingly reflective of outmoded ways of thinking, but I do believe we must USE such monuments and artifacts to educate people on the excesses of the past, so that we may, as a people, do better towards one another, now and in the future.

Hagerstown does not maintain any sites that pay homage to racist thinking, and in fact promotes visits to sites that commemorate Black History in the city.  I have kept a brochure on the subject, for a future visit.  Meanwhile, today’s visit focused on the north end of downtown and on City Park, with its duck pond, acres of beautiful woods and its art museum.  Jonathan Hager House, with a small historical museum, sits on the north end of the park. It was closed today, though.

Let’s start with a look at the north end of downtown.

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The nice ladies in this Welcome Center provided me with a wealth of information about the historic sites in the area- and gave directions to Antietam, which will take up my afternoon and evening.

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Street art is not common, at this end of town, but what there is, is upbeat and colourful.

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There were two windows, devoted to the dissemination of wisdom, in this building.  The saying on the left has pretty much been my credo, for many years now.

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The above left could have been said by Honest Abe, Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers- or Ed Wood.

I proceeded to note some architectural gems.  Here’s St. John’s Lutheran Church.

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The fire station has endured a great many storms.

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Every town, that has an active theater troupe, is blessed. This is the Maryland Theatre’s centenary.

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It was time for lunch, so I took my deli stash, and headed for City Park.  Nothing beats a picnic table, overlooking the water.

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There are water fowl galore here, and the pond is well-stocked with fish.

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The forest is healthy, and well-populated, by various animals.  I came across a couple of fellow humans, washing their hair at a water pump.  Those who do live in the park, pick up after themselves, quite nicely.

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The trail to the museum wends past the ducks and their happy home.

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The upper picnic area is well-suited for larger groups.

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This purposeful being greets the visitor to Washington County Museum of Art, founded, in 1929, by William and Anna Singer.  Diana, accompanied by her trusty dog, was fashioned by Anna Hyatt Huntington.

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The museum features a full range of artistic media.  There are two cases of exquisite blown glass.

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I have selected only a couple of scenes, inside the facility, as this is already a long post.  One painting, among the many fine pieces, stood out to me:  Hugo Bailin’s “Earth Forces”.

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One of the loveliest features of this museum is its Saturday Morning gallery, which showcases the work of area children.

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Lastly, here is the delightful Atrium.

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I am providing links to the places I visit, from here on out and will see if WordPress will allow me to back-edit, and provide links to places I have visited thus far.

Here is: http://wcmfa.org/, which, unfortunately you’ll have to type in yourselves.

I ended this Hagerstown excursion with a look at the closed Jonathan Hager House.

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NEXT:  Antietam National Battlefield

 

The Art of Durability

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July 19, 2017, Philadelphia- 

Whilst waiting for some family members to meet me at downtown Philadelphia’s Cafe Ole,

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A brief walk showed that this belonged to a museum and art gallery, the Center for Art in Wood.  I spent about an hour, in the astonishing museum, which showcases both the traditional plank art of northern Europe and several contemporary pieces, from around the globe.  Several variations use the root word, Mangle, meaning cut, as their base.  Below, is a Danish piece, called a manglebraette.

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Bear with me, I am taking the liberty of interspersing the traditional ware with contemporary pieces.  This one, by an American, Michael Scarborough, celebrates Buddhism.

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Australian artist, Ashley Eriksmoen, presents this Judeo-Christian piece.

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Who wants a wooden sheep?

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These Icelandic pieces are examples of that nation’s trafakefli traditional craft.

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Sweden’s variation is known as mangelbraden.

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Norway’s woodcraft, mangletraer, is displayed at the front of the exhibit.  Some pieces are in glass cases.

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Finland adopted the art form, as well, and is the easternmost country in which the mangleplank tradition took root.  Its form is called kaulauslandet.

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Surprisingly, it is the Netherlands which is credited with originating the art form.  Merchants of the Hanseatic League spread it to the Nordic lands.  The Dutch form is called mangelplanken.

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The variety, in both styles and uses, of woodcraft could capture one’s interest for hours, I think.

Here are a couple of other contemporary pieces.

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I will definitely be back here, next summer, at the very least as a customer-for one of the gallery shop’s more utilitarian pieces, while learning more about plank art.  I, who whittled as a child, could possibly fashion something of use, one of these fine days.

Philly On The Water and Celts Above the Freeway

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July 19, 2017, Philadelphia-

In the past, we would drive along  and bypass the large cities of the East Coast, Boston and Washington being exceptions.  I have continued to do so, pretty much, since Penny’s passing.  With Philadelphia being the venue for a major family event, next summer, and with my brother and sister-in-law being here for a visit, I made my way into  town for two days.  This was the second day.  I was on my own until 4 PM, as the family had to tend to planning activities.

So, after saying farewell to my nephew, at Brandywine, some downtown Philly time was in order.  My first stop, after parking the Hyundai, was Penn’s Landing.  Here, William Penn did disembark his boat, after sailing up the Delaware River, in 1682.  He’d be amazed at what is there now.  I walked along the pedestrian bridge and along the overlook, watching people in the pop-up amusement park, below.

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After purchasing a bottle of water, from one of the ubiquitous vendors, who line Penn’s Landing, in summer, I found I-95 park, perched above the freeway.  It is a shady place of comfort for those living on the Near South Side, and has several remnants of what dominated the area, before the City of Brotherly Love.

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It also has a couple of statues honouring the people of Celtic descent, who provided so much of the labour for building the cities of the megalopolis, from Boston to Norfolk.  This statue pays homage to the Irish immigrants.

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Next to it, another statue tips its collective hat to the Scots, who were so indispensable to shipbuilding, a Philadelphia mainstay.

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This sculpture depicts a family walking past Tun Tavern, a key gathering place in early Philadelphia.  This marker commemorates the site of the old public house, founded in 1686, and named for the Old English term for beer barrel.

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Moving on, from I-95 Park, I spotted this early Twentieth Century office building, which may or may not have had a predecessor in this spot, which may or may not have been used by Benjamin Franklin, during one of his breaks from planning the Indian Wars, at Tun Tavern.

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The Betsy Ross House had a private event this afternoon, so I gave a pass to going inside.

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Like Boston and New York, Philadelphia is filled with little architectural gems, above doors, along windows and on walls.  This wrought iron protects the window, in a most agreeable way.

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I am most amenable to further exploration of this great city, especially next summer.  My next post, though, will focus on one of Philly’s best kept secrets: The Center for Art in Wood.

What happened to Sixty-Six, for Sixty Six?  Nothing, I have five posts left, in that series, and will insert them between now and November 28, when 66 ends.

 

Sixty-Six, for Sixty Six, Part LXI: Brandywine’s Message

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July 19, 2017, Chadds Ford- 

My nephew wanted to hit the trail, this morning, so after a few rendezvous snafus, due to differing GPS entries, we met at Birmingham Friends Meeting House, near the site of some of the heaviest fighting.  The battle raged here, on September 11, 1777.  Today, we were the only people on this little hill, south of Chadds Ford.  The Brandywine Valley, today, is better known for its wineries,  for the Wyeth family’s presence and for the Longwood and Main Fountain Gardens, than for one of the heaviest battles of the American Revolution.

Of course, without the battle, which showed the British victors that the war was far from over, it’s likely that all the beauty of this valley would be under entirely different auspices, today.  We spent the first forty minutes of our visit, in and around Birmingham Friends Meeting House and its Peace Garden. First, though, here are a couple of views of the area that was the battle zone, 240 years ago, next month.

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What is the province of grazing cows, today, was a harrowing encampment, for men on opposing sides, but all far from home.  The hospital where all, regardless of loyalty, would be treated for their injuries, was in this modest building- then and now, a Quaker Meeting House.

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Many of their fallen comrades would be buried, in a mass grave, on the south side of this cemetery.  Hundreds lie here, with no regard for their ideology. All were viewed as humans, by the farmers of Birmingham Hill.

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This plaque announces the Peace Garden of Birmingham Hill.

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Again, the serenity of the day- with the distant echo of muskets and cannonade.

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This verse, by John Donne, is one of several cogent quotes, placed carefully, throughout the Peace Garden.

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William Sloane Coffin also offers a simple comment on the world of today.

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A poignant expression of love, from a local farmer to his departed wife, signifies the ongoing daily life, around the battle and its aftermath.

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After time for reflection, we headed to Brandywine State Museum, and spent an hour or so there, before walking to Washington’s Headquarters. The museum offers detailed exhibits of muskets, British rifles (which were largely responsible for the Royal Army’s early successes) and cannonry.  It is, like the Museum of the American Revolution, a well-balanced institution.

In the nearby woods, this long-abandoned gazebo tells of how nature regards the vagaries of war.  It grows over the remnants, and challenges us to unearth them.

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This was Benjamin Ring’s root cellar.  Mr. Ring was the host to General Washington, and his troops, who camped in the fields.

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The Rings most likely stayed in this “servants’ quarters”, during the Revolutionaries’ encampment.

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Here is the main farmhouse, where the General and his staff planned what turned out to be an inadequate strategy.  Much was learned from the battle, though, and it was the hubris of the British, combined with French and Polish support for the Americans, which led to the rising of the Revolutionary forces, after Valley Forge.

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With this, my nephew was off to pick up his little girl, from pre-school, and I was headed to Philadelphia, after a fabulous lunch, at this bustling, somewhat friendly establishment.

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Sixty-Six, for Sixty Six, Part LX: Freedom, Borne of Fire

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July 17-18, 2017, Philadelphia-

After treating my mother to breakfast, at Saugus’ downtown cafe, Hammersmith Inn, I bid farewell to the town of my childhood, and headed towards Pennsylvania, and more family bonding.  My middle brother spent a good many of his working years in Pennsyvania, lastly in the Main Line precincts of Chester Springs.  Two of his children still live in the Philadelphia area.  He and my sister-in-law were here visiting, so this was a natural stop, for a day or so.

I took my now customary route, south and west, stopping first at Newtown, CT, where I have been intending to visit the small reflection area, where Sandy Hook Elementary stood, at the time of the massacre of 2012.  I was, of course, unable to do that last year, with my car trouble.  No such issue rose this year, so I stopped, prayed and reflected, with the new Sandy Hook Elementary School behind me, and many people carrying on the business of summer school.

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Freedom allows people to make some odd choices, as those who threatened the lives of the victims’ families did, in the wake of the tragedy.  Thankfully, no harm has come to any parents or siblings of those slain.

I drove down I- 84 & 81, at one point having to detour through Middletown, NY, ironically the place where I first took the dying Nissan, last summer. Again, there were no issues with my trusty Hyundai. I continued to a place which has come to feel much like home, these past six years:  Glick’s Greenhouse, Oley.  After a lovely welcoming dinner and some quiet time, I was honoured by this sunset:

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The next morning, with a breakfast to match the dinner, I bid farewell to my Oley family. For those who remember Cider, the Glick’s old collie, Manny- his successor, is getting the hang of greenhouse life.

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I headed south and east, into the Main Line area, and connected with my Georgia siblings, at their hotel, then went to a deli-style restaurant, in the town of  Wayne.  Nudy’s Cafe is a thoroughly tasteful establishment, with wonderful food and attentive, well-dressed servers.

After this repast, Dave and I headed to the Museum of the American Revolution, in downtown Philadelphia, experiencing relatively mild traffic, en route.  The first sight greeting the visitor, in the area of 2nd St and Chestnut, is a statue of Pennsylvania’s founder:  William Penn.

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The entrance posits the challenge that may well have been a battle cry, in the years just prior to the outright rebellion.

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I stood in front of the copper engraving depicting the First Continental Congress.

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The Declaration of Independence is adjacent to the museum entrance, as well.

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Inside, the Museum offers a complete, and well-balanced depiction of the experiences of both sides, in the conflict, and of those trapped in the middle- the merchants and the Quaker pacifists.  Most of the exhibits did not lend themselves to photography, being in dimmer light, with no flash photography allowed.  I did get a few shots, first being the Philadelphia Liberty Tree.

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The Patriots were not, at least initially, a unified force.  Disagreements between townsmen of the Northeast and woodsmen from the Appalachians and the Ohio Valley had to be mediated, with George Washington reportedly directly intervening, at least once.  The boy on the lower left recalled this, in his memoirs, later in life.

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The more iconic scene, of Washington crossing the Delaware River, is also given prominence.

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The plight of African-American slaves, who were not uncommon in the northern colonies, any more than in the South, in the late 18th Century, is symbolized by this portrait and commentary by Mumbet, a Massachusetts woman, who won her freedom in court, after her master assaulted her, for having listened to a reading of the Declaration of Independence.  This case resulted in the prohibition of slavery in Massachusetts.  Mumbet became Elizabeth Freeman, and lived out her days in Stockbridge, a town in the central Berkshire Hills.

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The American experiment is far from perfect, but has resulted in the most diverse democracy on Earth, and still has so much to share, with those who want to study our nation’s experience.  We will keep on going, experimenting, refining and retooling, hopefully so that the three generations shown below, and their fellows, will never again know oppression.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

NEXT:  Brandywine, and More of Downtown Philadelphia.

 

 

Sixty-Six, for Sixty Six, Part LVIX: Return to Down East, Part 4: Rough Crags, Sweet Flowers

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July 16, 2017, York, ME- 

To so many, Maine means rocky shorelines, fronted by accessible beaches.  York County, the southernmost part of the state, has ample amounts of both, and is-along with Boothbay Harbor and Mount Desert Island, the most familiar area of Maine, when it comes to beach vacations.

York Harbor is upscale, in terms of accommodations, yet on this Sunday afternoon, plenty of people who one would not readily recognize as well-to-do were enjoying the nooks and crannies, between the  Agamenticus Yacht Club and York Harbor Inn. One of them was yours truly.

I was very much enchanted with Hartley Mason Reserve, and so present you with scenes from the north side of York’s stunning harbour.

First, here is a view from York Harbor Inn, looking towards Cape Neddick.

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Thanks to zoom technology, here is a close-up of the promontory which hosts Cape Neddick Inn. One upscale resort can keep a clear eye on another!

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Both York Harbor Inn and Hartley Mason Reserve have done a fine job of keeping the area rich in colour and in fragrance.

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As the gardens at York harbor Inn are intended for that facility’s guests, I devoted the rest of my harbour time to the Reserve.  There was little information about Hartley W. Mason, other than that he was a wealthy York landowner, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  When he died, in 1925, he left this land, south of York Harbor Inn, to the Town of York.  It became a public park, in 1993.

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Many weddings take place here.  That comes as no surprise.

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As I was enjoying these tickseed sunflowers, and preparing to take their photo, a little girl wandered into view.  She asked to not be kept in the shot, and I cropped this photo, accordingly.

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Here is the York Fishermen’s Memorial, dedicated to the memory of Captain Daniel Donnell, who perished while on the job at sea, at the age of 78.  That’s how Mainers are.

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I walked down the well-trod York Cliffs Path, to enjoy the salt air and navigate the slippery rocks.

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In contrast to my visit to Lynn Beach, yesterday, the tide here at York was coming in, albeit in a rather mild-mannered fashion.

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Returning to the top of the trail, I noted the limestone benches that are interspersed with the dense flora.  This is part of what makes the Maine Coast so magical.

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There is so much more to York, and to its namesake county, to say nothing of the Pine Tree State.  In the coming years, I will no doubt be making more forays Down East, among other places.

I will close this part of  the Bruin Adventure, by thanking my York family.

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Sixty-Six, for Sixty-Six, Part LVIII: Return to Down East, Part 3- The Heritage of Agamenticus

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July 16, 2017, York, ME-

My penchant for delving into the past, of any given community in which I find myself, is fairly standard by now.  As a native New Englander, I will always look at the reasons for people’s settlements.  Maine began as a county of the colony, and later, of the Commonwealth, of Massachusetts.  Most initial settlement in the region was, naturally, along the coast.  The Penacook Abenaki people, who predated Europeans here, called their settlement Agamenticus.  There is no specific definition given, for that name- but it refers to what is now known as the York River.

In 1624, Sir Fernando Gorges, representing the British Crown, established a settlement here and made it the administrative center for the District of Maine.  He called it Gorgeana.  Upon his death, the Massachusetts Bay Colony laid claim to Maine, and the town was renamed York.

I set out, this afternoon, to visit the three museums, over a 2 1/2 hour period.  Upon the advice of the chief curator of Old York, I first went to Old Gaol (jail), as it would close first.

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It was, as one might expect, a rather unwelcoming place.  The jailer lived in the facility, and was also a weaver.  His loom and his sleeping quarters were in one room, on the first floor.

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The miscreants, of course, did not have such comfortable digs.

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“Have a seat”  also meant something different, back then, when addressed to, say, the town drunk.

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The punishments of the day were a fair bit more severe than what we might exact for a similar offense, today.  Note that there were two ways of writing the letter ‘s’.a

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The walkway between cells was not intended for easy passage.

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I would then, as now, preferred to observe the laws of the land.

Having been convinced of the earnestness of justice in Old York, I headed to Emerson- Wilcox House, which is an example of a residence which was leased from the First Parish Congregationalist Church of York, by one town merchant, Edward Emerson, a granduncle of Ralph Waldo Emerson, in 1766, for 999 years.  After Mr. Emerson died, his son inherited the house, but was unable to maintain himself financially, and died penniless.  The surviving women remained in the house, which was purchased by the town magistrate and constable, David Wilcox, hence Emerson-Wilcox House.  Mr. Wilcox expanded the home, out of necessity, so there are two period styles of architecture in the home:  Georgian and Federal.  Photography is not permitted inside the home, but here are some views of the exterior.

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After a friendly and informative guided tour of the house, I passed by the Old Burial Ground,SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

and browsed the Remick Collection of York memorabilia, which include original bed hangings from one of the first homes in York.  Again, there was no photography permtted inside the collection, but here is a look at the outside.

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The adjoining Jeffords Tavern, however, is photo-friendly, and gives a view of the casual side of colonial life.  Maine was nowhere near as Puritanical as Massachusetts Bay Colony, being more concerned with maritime commerce, from its inception.  There were several churches, which were mostly concerned with keeping the Sabbath and ownership of land.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Jeffords Tavern.

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You can see that not all the furniture is from the Georgian Period.  The modern fare is for the convenience of researchers and other visitors.

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Lastly, here is the Old York Schoolhouse, now-but not then- placed adjacent to Jeffords Tavern.

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York has a plethora of places of interest, many of which are natural preserves.  In the next post, the last in this series, Hartley-Mason Preserve, and York Harbor, are the focus.

 

Sixty-Six, for Sixty Six,Part LVII: Return to Down East, Part 2- Stonewall Kitchen and Downtown York

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July 16, 2017, York, ME-

My father’s family hails from Maine, and several of us have lived in the Pine Tree State,  for certain periods of our lives.  Presently, one of my Dad’s sisters lives here, in York, two of her children and their families live nearby, and  two other cousins liveculinary center in other parts of the state.  It is Aunt Helen’s birthday, today, so this evening was spent at her home, with her youngest child, and her family, on hand for the celebration.

Beforehand, I stopped at Stonewall Kitchen, a large culinary center that celebrates Maine’s agricultural wealth and offers cooking classes.  Auntie works there, part-time and is a fixture at the place.  I had no trouble finding her, with help from two or three of her co-workers.  Since she was at work, I busied myself with checking out the store and the well-coiffed grounds, before moving on to York’s downtown, Old York historic district and harbor area.

Here are some scenes of Stonewall Kitchen (NOTE:  It is named for the iconic stone walls, that line many fields in New England.

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You can see, from these scenes of the very southernmost part of Maine, why the state has exploded in popularity with travelers, tourists and people seeking to relocate.

I spent three more hours in York’s central districts.  The downtown area, like that of so many New England towns, is walkable and most inviting.  Here are some highlights, of the area just to the north of Old York.

I began at the town’s Civil War Monument.

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The Old York Garden Club maintains the verdure, in this roundabout and at York public Library, as well as in the historic district itself.

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The rushes are a natural part of York’s environment, and have been carefully preserved, just west of York Public Library, as a wetlands initiative.

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After appreciating the exterior of York Public Library, and finding the building closed, for the Sabbath, I headed to Old York.