Sunday, July 8, 2018

Maryland - Clarksburg, Part Two and Westover

Clarksburg, MD, part two, is filled with lots of history. Then we moved onto Westover, MD for a quick stop.

We spent one whole day in Baltimore, MD.
For several years Edgar Allen Poe lived in this house that belonged to his aunt, Maria Clemm, who was desperately poor. His invalid grandmother, Elizabeth Carnes, and a number of cousins also shared the home. He married his cousin, Virgina Clemm, Maria's daughter, in 1835. He was 26 and she was 13. They moved to Richmond, VA shortly after, which is where he grew up.
While the actual cause of his death is unknown, it is widely attributed to his heavy drinking, that started after Virginia died in 1846.
He is buried here at the Westminster Burial Ground. When he was buried in 1849 he had no headstone. Years later the sexton of the church marked his grave with a small sandstone marker with the number 80 on it. In 1860, his Aunt Maria, who now lived in Alexandria, VA wrote to Judge Neilson Poe, Edgar's grandfather, asking if something could be done about his grave. He ordered a marble headstone, but it was so heavy it was destroyed during delivery to the cemetery. He could not afford a second one. In 1874 a new marker was made, and this one had his birth-date wrong. Then again years later a marker with a raven on it was installed.
This link to the Edgar Allan Poe Society has a nice write up of the events that led to the marker on his original grave and the memorial that stands at the front corner. It also tells the tale of the "Poe Toaster", where on the anniversary of his death someone leaves a bottle of cognac and three roses on his grave. Poe, Virginia and her mother Maria are all interned under the memorial. The monument was dedicated in November 1875.

This is the craziest cemetery we have ever been to. In 1850, the leaders of the First Presbyterian Church decided to build a new church atop their 18th century burying ground. They wanted to serve the growing west end of Baltimore and protect their burial place from being diverted to other uses. The church thrived for many years and then closed for nearly a decade and was reopened in 1925. The last service held here was in 1977. The building was rehabilitated and rededicated in 1983 as the Westminster Hall & Burying Ground.
Some of the graves are very close to the building, and some are actually under the building. One tomb is half under and half out. The front sidewalk has two graves on either side of it.

Another grave is in the sidewalk to the open grassy area. The tombs are so close together it is hard to get around some of them.
Raised table slabs mark a number of the graves here, but this one caught the attention of Ripley's Believe it or Not! This gravity-defying piece of marble continues to fascinate people. This is the resting place of William Matthews (1753-1819), a local merchant and Revolutionary War veteran.

We found a number of Roadside Oddities as well.
The Emerson Bromo Seltzer Tower was built in 1911. When built it sat next to the Bromo Seltzer factory. Now it is an art studio and showcase. You can ride the original elevator to the top where you learn about the four clocks that are at the top of the tower.

Nipper the RCA Dog listens to music on the roof of the Historical Society Museum.

In April 1890 a large boarding house stood where this building is today.
One night that month, an American icon received its name. According to those present, the famous Quija Board named itself when asked what it wanted to be called. There is a commemorative plaque hanging in the small 7-11 on the bottom floor.

Baltimore's Washington's Monument actually pre-dates the one in D.C. by 50-years. The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1815. There are 275 marble steps that take you to the top of the 178-foot tower. It was designed by Robert Mills, who also later designed the one in D.C., which is taller.

Looking across the harbor ~~ The Domino Sugar plant is in the left picture

The Inner Harbor is chock full of activity. The aquarium is here as well as restaurants, shops, touristy things and more.

There are museums in buildings and on boats. The USS Torsk SS-423 Submarine and the Chesapeake are docked on one side and the Constellation is on the other side of the docks.

While we were stopped so Nancy could take pictures of the 9-11 Memorial, a school group was walking by and they swarmed Les and Mielikki so they could pet her.

Of course Les and Mielikki were once again waiting on Nancy to finish taking pictures, she's hard to spot but Mielikki is under the bench. We tried to get her to pose in the heart, but she really wasn't interested.

Frank Zappa's head sits on a pole outside of the Southeast Anchor Library. Or at least a sculpture of his head.  It was a gift from the Zappa Fan Club in Lithuania. You may not know this but Zappa loved libraries and supported a number of them. Possibly due to the fact that his mother was a librarian.
While in search of Frank Zappa we came across two murals.

As we made our way through town looking for Roadside Oddities we drove past the First and Franklin Presbyterian Church, while we were admiring the beauty of the building we had to smile when we saw the rainbow flag flying from it. We were here at the start of Gay Pride month.

Gettysburg, PA

Gettysburg National Military Park is internationally recognized as the signature battle ground of the Civil War. Of course it is where one of the most famous speeches by an American President was heard when Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address.
We drove the entire park, marveling at the memorials from the numerous states.

Virginia Memorial 
The first one we came to was the Eternal Light Peace Memorial. This memorial was dedicated in 1938 with over 1,800 Civil War veterans in attendance.

There are multiple ones from each state.
They come in all different shapes and sizes.

Some with soldiers surrounding them.

North Carolina Memorial 

 Some with rifles and a few shaped like crosses.
L: 94th Infantry New York
R: 142nd Infantry Pennsylvania

This is the view of battlefield from the spot of the North Carolina memorial. Much more peaceful today.

The picture on the left is for the 121st Infantry from Pennsylvania and the Calvary was well represented from every state. This one for Pennsylvania.

A couple of them were quite fanciful, like this one for Louisiana.

New York seems to have the biggest and most elaborate of them all. You can actually go inside a few of them, like the castle tower at Little Round Top. You look out over Devil's Den from here.

You can rub the nose of Patrick O'Rorke for luck. Not sure how that works seeing he was killed in battle. There are a number of volunteers throughout the park, giving tours and answering questions. Many, like these two are dressed in period clothing. That black line in the top right picture is a black snake we found next to the sidewalk.

Seminary Ridge took Nancy back to her roots, as she was raised Lutheran.

The Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station is a testament to the determination of the town. It was built in 1859 to serve as the western terminus of the Gettysburg Railroad line to Hanover, PA. The station served as a field hospital, a departure point for thousands of soldiers and a place of happy greeting for President Lincoln when he arrived to deliver his Gettysburg Address. The town has maintained its beauty through all of this.

The National Cemetery is a reminder of the great cost of war. There were more than 51,000 casualties here. At the entrance is a memorial to President Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address.

The Victory Memorial sits in the center of multiple circles of graves. People have left flowers on a number of the small markers. Teams of volunteers were maintaining the graves while we were there.

One of the most poignant memorials is called Friend to Friend. It is a Masonic Memorial. It is a reminder that friendship can withstand just about anything - even war.
Union General Hancock and Confederate General Armistead were friends and members of the Masonic Fraternity. They had served and fought side by side in the U.S. Army prior to the Civil War. But Armistead refused to raise his sword against fellow Southerners and joined the Confederate Army. Both General's fought in many battles and it seemed destined they would meet in Gettysburg. During the battle both were wounded, Armistead mortally.
This sculpture show Armistead handing over his watch and personal effects to Union Captain Henry Bingham, so he could take them to his friend, Union General Hancock. Armistead died in Gettysburg on July 5, 1863, Hancock survived his wounds and died in 1886. Bingham attained the rank of General and later served 32 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, known as the "Father of the House".

The statue of Elizabeth Masser Thorn stands at the entrance of the Evergreen Cemetery, which is right next to the National Cemetery. Elizabeth and her husband Peter, emigrated from Germany. They were the first family to live in the Gatehouse when Peter was appointed superintendent of the cemetery in 1856. After Peter joined the Union Army, Elizabeth assumed his duties and served as caretaker from 1862 - 1865. With the help of her elderly father, she buried ninety-one soldiers in the weeks following the Battle of Gettysburg, while six months pregnant.

This is the first time we have seen identifiers like this on headstones, there were even ones for Aunt and Uncle.

Abe Lincoln and Perry Como
were spotted hanging out
together on a street corner.
Ever since the battle ended, Gettysburg has been a remarkable place of healing and kindness. This began immediately after the battle when residents cared for injured soldiers of both armies. They have continued it with veteran reunions and annual ceremonies to foster world peace. The Gettysburg Foundation is committed to advancing a non-partisan, historically informed message that serves our nation. They welcome any and all here. While driving through downtown we were once again pleased to see many rainbow flags outside of businesses. There was a Gay Pride gathering taking place here that weekend. Seems fitting that a place so prominent in the history of fighting for freedom should be a welcoming place for a Gay Pride gathering.

We had planned to spend two days in Washington, DC, but Mother Nature had other plans for us. There was torrential rain on both days. We have been to DC numerous times and had no desire to do it in the pouring rain!

Harpers Ferry

On our way to Harpers Ferry we saw a sign for Beans in the Belfry and quickly exited the highway. What a cool place, it is in an old church with an eclectic assortment of tables and chairs. You can even sit in the choir loft, which is were the bottom left picture was taken from. They have local art for sale, along with other gifty items. The coffee and service were both great. We so love when we find these local places.

Harpers Ferry, WV is where the Potomac River cuts through the Blue Ridge Mountains and meets the Shenandoah River. Making it a natural avenue for transportation. By the early 1800's, the rivers powered the armory complex and commercial mills.

In 1747, Robert Harper, for whom the town was named, bought a primitive ferry business from Peter Stephens. Harper built the business and the town followed his progress. He carried settlers and supplies across the water until 1824 when completion of the bridge and railway made the ferry unnecessary.
Harpers Ferry, was one of the first milestones in the race, between the railway and boats on the canal to the Ohio Valley. The railway won the race and business boomed in Harpers Ferry. It takes its place in history for the Revolution, Freedom, the Civil War, Civil Rights, the Industrial Revolution and Education.

This is the spot that George Washington chose as the site for a U.S. Armory.  Factories in the early 1800's made innovations that fueled the Industrial Revolution. Abolitionist John Brown struck a blow against slavery here. The town was trapped between the North and South during the Civil War. In the wake of the devastation of the war, legendary Civil Rights leaders met at Storer College and claimed "every single right that belongs to a freeborn American." 

In October 1859, John Brown and his followers were determined to arm enslaved people and start a rebellion. They seized the armory and several other strategic points. The raid failed and most of the men were killed or captured. But, Brown's trial and execution focused attention on the issue of slavery and pushed the nation toward civil war. After the war, Baptist missionaries founded Storer College, opening their doors to any race, male or female.

Bolivar Heights. The dark spots in the picture on the
left are gnats, there were thousands of them. 
In the 1862 Battle of Harpers Ferry, Stonewall Jackson forced the war's largest surrender of U.S. troops. Battles were fought at Bolivar Heights, School House Ridge, and Murphy-Chambers Farm. Harpers Ferry changed hands eight times during the Civil War. The town was devastated by the war, the population went from 3,000 to 100.
At 9:00 am on September 15, 1862, Colonel Dixon S. Miles, a Union Commander, surrendered his forces to the Confederate Army at Bolivar Heights. Moments later he was wounded. He died the next day, leaving many unanswered questions about the disaster here at Harpers Ferry. Later the surrender of the troops on School House Ridge ended the battle, making this the largest surrender of U.S. forces until Bataan during the WWII.
Surprisingly there are still some buildings left after the war. Bolivar Methodist Church (picture on left), was occupied by both armies during the war. The house in the right hand picture was used as headquarters by Gen. Stonewall Jackson.

As if all of that wasn't enough for such a small town, the Appalachian Trail comes through here. A walking bridge has been placed along side the train bridge. It crosses where the two rivers meet.
This is pretty close to the halfway point on the trail.
We have seen a number of "Love Locks" in our travels. Most have the name or initials of the couple who placed it there carved into the lock. This is the first one we have seen with a body part carved into it!!! No that is not a frog on that lock. 

Westover, MD

 Lake Somerset Family Campground in Westover, MD was home for three nights starting on June 4, 2018.
It is a pretty campground with a mix of permanent and over-nighters. There is a pool, putt-putt golf, and a petting farm, the chickens like to come and visit the sites every now and then. The sites are wrapped around a small lake that is home to many ducks and geese. They have benches and swings placed around the lake, perfect for relaxing. Our site was a level and long pull through with full hook-ups, no issues with any of the hook-ups. Average width with a picnic table and fire ring. The park is quiet and well maintained. There was no WiFi, Verizon signal was weak. Laundry and bathrooms were clean. We paid $36.00 a night with a military discount.

We picked this spot so we could get pictures of both the Maryland and Delaware Peter "Wolf" Toth Indians.

Ocean City, MD is home to Nanticoke. He was carved in 1976 from an Oak tree. He stands 20-feet tall on the boardwalk and was the 21st carving on the "Trails of the Whispering Giants."
Chief Little Owl stands guard to the entrance of Bethany Beach, DE.
This is the third statue that has stood here. The first one, carved by Toth was removed because of decay. A second one, carved by Dennis Beach lasted until 2000. The current one was carved by Toth in 2002, making it the 69th carving. Chief Little Owl is 25-feet tall and carved from a Poplar tree.
We drove up the coast to Rehoboth Beach, DE, part of the drive was through the Delaware Seashore State Park. Six miles of ocean and bay shoreline where you can camp, swim, fish, surf and sailboard, or just relax on the beach. The Indian River Life-Saving Station is open for tours. The U.S. Life-Saving Service was the precursor to the currant day U.S. Coast Guard. They saved many shipwrecked victims along the coast. This building dates back to 1905.
The bottom right picture is of a grain truck that was stopped in front of us at a light. The birds were having a feast.

All along the coast is a series of Watchtowers (top left picture) that were used during WWII. Save the Towers, is a campaign to restore three of the towers, so history can be preserved and people can enjoy the view from the top.

We found a few other Roadside Oddities. A Muffler Man who loves ice cream stands outside the Frontier Land in Berlin, MD.
A land locked Lighthouse, or road locked if you will, sits in the middle of a round about in Rehoboth Beach, DE and this Dolphin greeted us at the Visitor Center

Up next is New Jersey with a trip into Philladelphia to see the Liberty Bell.

Till we meet again...

Happy Trails to You!

Tips and things we have learned along the way.
~ Well stocked tool box.
We have talked about tools in previous tips and every time we need to fix something, we are once again thankful we have the right tools. This time is we needed to use one of the wrenches we carry with us.
In part one of this blog we shared that the wooden frame of our slide out fell off during our travel. It seems that the screws worked themselves loose over time, luckily there was no damage. The screw heads had a hexagon nut shape to them, which made using the wrenches much easier than a screwdriver.
Because Les had the right tools it was an easy fix.

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