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 story on how the unbuilt US 40 Expressway in Brownsville took 40 years to complete.

For nearly four decades, the four lane US 40 just east of Brownsville came to an abrupt end - shown in the photo above - at Grindstone Road in Redstone Township.   In the late 1960s, what was then the Pennsylvania Division of Highways (PennDOH) extended a new four lane alignment of US 40 eastwards from Broadway Street slightly over one mile to Grindstone Road where an incomplete diamond interchange was built.  Earlier in the decade, PennDOH had built a four lane US 40 in Washington County into Brownsville complete with a new crossing over the Monongahela River known as the Lane Bane Bridge.  This new highway and bridge allowed US 40 to bypass the older Intercounty Bridge and downtown Brownsville. 

After this new highway opened, nothing would happen to it for nearly forty years.  US 40 traffic would use the ramps for this planned diamond interchange and then jog on Grindstone Road briefly before continuing towards Uniontown on the original National Road. 
What is unknown (at least to…

The story of the Boy Scout Ramps on Interstate 79 North in NW Pennsylvania

If you are traveling on Interstate 79 North of Pittsburgh, you may notice the remnants of a set of off and on ramps at mile 100 just north of Exit 99 (US 422).  There's a story behind these ramps.  Forty years ago, these ramps were built specifically for two Boy Scout Jamboree's that were held at Moraine State Park - 1973 and 1977.  The ramps purpose were to provide access to the north shore of Lake Arthur where the bulk of the festivities and campsite for the Jamboree were located.  (Lawrence County Memories has a great write up and map of the festivities on its site.)

Not long after the Jamboree ended the ramps were abandoned.  There are still remnants of the Boy Scout Ramps today.



Above: Sattelite view of the Boy Scout Jamboree Ramps. 
Below: A view of the ramps from I-79 South.



The google street view image above gives a view along West Park Road of where the set of ramps intersected the highway.  The ramps provided direct access to North Shore Drive (which is the right tur…

The few clues of the Northern Durham Parkway

Sometimes when you look through a box of maps for the first time in five years, you come across something you may have easily over looked.  Such was the case when I found a 2004 (so rather recent) map of Raleigh.  This map was made by the Dolph Map Company for WakeMed.  In the Northwestern corner of Wake County, there were two items to the map showing roads that are still not in existence 13 years later.

The road is the Northern Durham Parkway - this is a proposed 19 mile highway from US 501 north of Durham to the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.  The first proposals for this highway date back to 1967 when Eno Drive-Gorman Road was listed on the Durham Area Thoroughfare Plan. (1)  Other proposals called the highway the Northwest and Northeast Durham Loop. (2)  The route would serve as a northern and eastern bypass of Durham almost serving as a near loop.  The route was fought vigorously for three decades by the Eno River Association citing concerns for the the Eno River, nearby n…