Skip to main content

Weekend in Philadelphia - Valley Forge National Historic Park

While the rest of the SEPA Road Meet went on a tour of various construction projects in the area, Maggie and I did a quick tour of Valley Forge National Historic Park. We didn't catch the entire auto drive tour - we had to head out to Reading in time for a ballgame - but what we did see we thoroughly enjoyed.

For the entire photo set, head over to flickr.

June 19th was the 232nd anniversary of the decampment of Continental Army troops from Valley Forge.  As a result, numerous Revolutionary War re-enactors were on the park grounds for the day.  Because the lunch part of the meet took longer than expected, we didn't get to see many of the re-enactors; however, the one that we did run into at the encampment stop was kind enough to put on a demonstration and talk to us for a good 15 minutes or so.

IMG_6810

The next stop, and one of the most impressive sites at Valley Forge, is the National Memorial Arch.

IMG_6813

The towering triumphant arch that honors George Washington and the Army he led, was dedicated in 1917.  At the top of the arch, an inscription quotes Washington describing the sage of his men during the winter of 1777-78.  It reads:
Naked and Starving as they are
We cannot enough admire
the Incomparable Patience and Fidelity
of the Soldiery.
From there, the next stop is of a memorial statue of General "Mad" Anthony Wayne.  Wayne was born and raised not far from Valley Forge.  He was known for his hot temper and is well known for his surprise attack and victory at Stony Point, New York in 1779.

IMG_6820

Our final stop, before we had to head west to Reading, was Washington Headquarters.  Washington's Heaaquarters is in the process of being renovated and will be one of the key focal points of the park.  The Valley Forge Train Station, built in 1913 and once a main entrance to the park, is being refurbished and will be home to a visitor's and information center focusing on the Issac Potts House - which is the home Washington used as his headquarters - and on the village of Valley Forge.  Guided tours and exhibits will also take place from the restored train station.

The Issac Potts House is where Washington located his headquarters during the six months at Valley Forge.

IMG_6831

Inside the home are a number of restored rooms that show how the living quarters would have looked in 1778.

IMG_6833

IMG_6839

Unfortunately because of time rest, we were unable to see the redoubts, artillery park, Varnum's Quarters or the gorgeous Washington Memorial Chapel.  That'll have to wait for next time.

The amazing thing about roadtrips like these and visiting parks like Valley Forge and Independence is you begin to realize how fortunate we are to live in a country with a variety landscapes that we are free to explore and discover.  It is really a testament to the freedoms we do have as Americans.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Abandoned New Stanton Interchange Ramps

For nearly 50 years, the Pennsylvania Turnpike interchange with Interstate 70 and US 119 in New Stanton has been a rather free-flowing double trumpet, grade separated interchange between the two freeways.  But for the first 23 years of the turnpike, this interchange was vastly different.  It was the only non-trumpet interchange within the system (excluding termini points) and featured very tricky and gridlock causing left turns within the interchange.  (See image on right).  With the birth of the Interstate Highway System in the mid-1950s, new freeways were built and in many cases the Turnpike kept the original interchange using local roads to connect to the new freeways.  Interchanges with what would become I-81, I-176, I-80, I-70 in Breezewood, and I-79 were left with the original design.

Meanwhile in the 1950's, the state began building a freeway that ran from New Stanton west towards Washington.  This freeway, signed PA 71, was built to connect those in the industrial Mon Valle…

Quemahoning Tunnel

The Quemahoning Tunnel may have never been built by the Pennsylvanina Turnpike Commission, but it still has a history unto itself.  Originally planned to carry rail along the South Penn Railway, the tunnel never would not see any trains until 1909 when a small line named the Pittsburgh, Westmoreland & Somerset began utilizing it.  The use was brief and by the end of 1916 the PW&S was no longer in operation and abandoned the facility.  Twenty-some years later, the newly formed Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission considered using the abandoned tunnel, in fact it was shown on some original plans.  However, the PTC decided against using it, and the tunnel remained empty.

The eastern portal of the Quemahoning Tunnel is easily accessible from the PA Turnpike.  The portal is located at mile 106.3 along the westbound roadway.  The tunnel is one of the many "What Could Have Been's?" of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Below, Bill Symons shares photos taken in late Fall of 1986 of …

Conflict in the Mountains: The Story of Corridor H in West Virginia

Corridor H (US 48) was legislatively created as part of the 1965 Appalachian Regional Development Act.  This route which was designated to run east from Weston via Elkins to Strasburg, Virginia has been West Virginia's most controversial route of the six Appalachian Highway Development System routes that run within the state's borders.  The emotional conflict that has led to numerous legal and political struggles has placed the environment, desire for economic and social progress, and the Eastern West Virginia way of life at odds with each other for nearly four decades.

Early History:
The story of Corridor H begins in the 1930s.  Benton McKay, who orchestrated the creation of the Appalachian Trail, suggested a network of highways and parkways throughout Appalachia. (1)  That proposal would become a key part of the 1965 Appalachian Regional Development Act.  The Act included the creation of the Appalachian Development Highway System (AHDS).  The highway system consisted of "…