May 31, 2011

Horse at a Lecture

Cedar Creek Battlefield, 5/28/11

The man who gave a talk on horses in the Civil War was accompanied by this friendly horse. Eventually the animal seemed to get bored.

Engine 208 at Cedar Creek

Cedar Creek Battlefield was a busy place on Saturday as events leading up to the Great Train Raid took place. The "Raid" was taking place the next day, symbolically recreating Stonewall Jackson's feat of moving a significant number of railroad cars from Martinsburg to Strasburg over the Valley Pike. There were no tracks between those points in 1861 and Jackson wanted to move the equipment for use by the Confederate army.

The locomotive shown here is a carefully-constructed replica built to 90% of original size by Strasburg craftsmen.

A Civil War Trails marker in Strasburg tells the story:
In the summer of 1861, Confederate Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s forces captured large quantities of Baltimore and Ohio Railroad rolling stock near Harper’s Ferry, 40 miles north. To reach the Manassas Gap Railroad line in Strasburg, the equipment had to be pulled by horses and mules up the Valley Turnpike from Martinsburg. Fourteen locomotives and almost a hundred cars were brought here and then used throughout the Confederacy.

May 30, 2011

CSA Medical Staff

These folks represent a traveling Confederate medical unit during the Civil War. They were at an event at Cedar Creek Battlefield on Saturday.

I selected this photo for a Memorial Day post because my great-grandfather apparently served as a medic during the Civil War. James P. Suiter was a member of the 84th Illinois Vol. Infantry, went to Detroit College of medicine, married schoolteacher Susan Davenport in 1877, and had one son, Charles Leslie Suiter - my grandfather.

I've written about Corporal Suiter before, including in a Lawrence County Suiters post and with pictures in James Suiter Photographs.  The latter includes Memorial Day photos from 1920.

May 28, 2011

Souvenir: African Textile

I received the souvenir that I ordered from Maries World Tour. Here I'm wearing it as a scarf but Marie describes it as "an indigo thingy." It was made by Dogon women in Mali.

If you haven't visited Marie's tour pages yet, I recommend that you drop by and see what she's doing.

Springtime in Jerome, VA

Jerome is a scenic little town at the base of Great North Mountain in Virginia.
You might also like: The View from Jerome.

May 27, 2011

Petunias, Sunset

These are the "volunteer" petunias that came up in the pot that last year's mother's day lilies were in. They survived all winter indoors and are now blooming on the deck.

I posted a picture of them in October and used them as a background for a humorous photo in December.

May 26, 2011

Spring Lambs

What could be sweeter than young animals in the springtime?

We took these photos on two different occasions, different locations... both in Shenandoah County, Virginia.

Related Post: Shenandoah Sheep

May 25, 2011

In the Hupp's Hill Cedar Creek Museum

The recreation of a Civil War camp scene includes a full-size mannequin in uniform. I thought the fall foliage was a nice touch.

The museum is off U.S. 11 on the outskirts of Strasburg, VA.

May 24, 2011

View from Hupp's Hill

Signal Knob Seen from Strasburg, VA

Here we're looking east toward the Massanutten Range, which divides the Shenandoah Valley from  Strasburg to Harrisonburg.

For a view of Signal Knob from a different direction, see Ducks at Dusk.

May 23, 2011

Along the Trail at Hupp's Hill

Strasburg, VA

Across from the museum at Hupp's Hill you'll find a pair of short trails. They deal with two topics that overlap in this location: Civil War fortifications and karst topography.

Soldiers actually took advantage of the karst landscape, utilizing the sinkholes as well as the high ground of the hill.

If you follow the lower trail, you'll see the entrance to a cave. Signs warn "No trespassing" and tell that wild caves can serve as snake dens.

The Shenandoah Valley is known for it's karst topography and caves. Crystal Caverns on Hupp's Hill is a commercial cave but is temporarily closed.
Karst: A terrain, generally underlain by limestone or dolomite, in which the topography is chiefly formed by the dissolving of rock and which may be characterized by sinkholes, sinking streams, closed depressions, subterranean drainage, and caves.

May 22, 2011

In Front of Hupp's Hill Museum

Artillery at Hupp's Hill

Strasburg, Virginia
May 7, 2011

I visited this museum a year of two ago when it was the Stonewall Jackson Museum. Now it's part of Cedar Creek Battlefield and I visited the museum again at the reopening ceremony. I observed that the collection has been streamlined and interpretive signage expanded.

If you have not been to this museum, I recommend that you check it out.

May 21, 2011

Cannon, Noise, Smoke

Artillery Demonstration at Hupp's Hill Museum and Visitor's Center
Strasburg, VA
May 7, 2011

Formerly the Stonewall Jackson Museum, the museum is now part of Cedar Creek Battlefield.

For the final artillery demonstration on opening day, a local veteran of the Korean War was given the honor of firing the cannon.

May 20, 2011

Finally! McNeill Tour is Posted

It took me almost a year, but I finally posted my McNeill's Rangers photos on my Civil War Field Trips website. No, I wasn't slacking; I posted them on this blog back in June 2010.

Blogging is faster than creating a photo page and posting it.  And since I already had shared the pictures and they are on this blog for anyone who searches for the subject matter, I didn't feel much pressure to get them up on the other site. But with this year's field trips imminent, I finally got it done. Check out the new McNeill's Rangers pages here.

May 19, 2011

Small Gray Squirrel

Sciurus carolinensis
I've stopped putting out seed for the birds and squirrels now because we had an incident in the past in which a bear came by on a spring night and destroyed the bird feeders. But about five weeks ago I used up the last of the seed, and this little fellow got his share. Don't worry, Charlie — feeding will resume in the winter after the bears retire in their dens.

May 18, 2011

A Horse in Fairfield, VA

Pretty Scene in Shenandoah Valley

May 17, 2011

At the Vet's office, Fairfield

Earlier this month I went with Lynn to pick up her puppy at the vet's office. (Roxie had just been spayed.)
I liked the picture behind the reception desk and the little sign that says: "Dear Patient, Please keep you owner on a leash."

May 16, 2011

It's Official: GPS Not Advised

State Highway Signage, US 11 and VA 56

Steele's Tavern, VA

"GPS Routing Not Advised"

May 15, 2011

My Travels are Greatly Outdone by Marie's

It took me forever to get all the photos posted from our trip out west. In the meantime, my younger daughter has made her way down western Africa. Don't miss Marie's World Tour 2011!

A Vestige of the Fur Trade

I enjoy "living history" museums and events. They seek to entertain while educating, and while the exhibits are probably not completely accurate, they do provide an intriguing glimpse  into the past.

Fort Nisqually recreates an example of a fur trading outpost.  A marker at the entrance to Fort Nisqually starts out with the following:
"Fort Nisqually was established in 1833 by the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) of London, England. The fort was one of a vast network of HBC trading posts which stretched across North America by the mid-nineteenth century. It was originally located on Puget Sound about 17 miles south of where you are now standing, near the present town of Dupont. Fort Nisqually began as an outpost of the fur trade which drove the HBC all the way across the North American continent in pursuit of beaver pelts. The main suppliers of the furs were native tribes who traded the pelts for wool blankets, guns and other manufactured goods offered by the HBC."

May 13, 2011

Banjo Player

Living History at Fort Nisqually, Washington

We enjoyed the banjo music and the talk about the history of the banjo, which is descended from an African instrument.
"The banjo is both the voice of an ancient African hunter-gatherer and the voice of the urban American performer of the industrial age."
~ John Salicco, Performer and Historian

Inside Fort Nisqually's General Store

The fort features a number of buildings that depict life in a 19th-century trading post. Here we see items that customers might have purchased. A checkerboard was set up for folks who wanted to pass the time playing a game.

May 12, 2011

View from the Blockhouse

From the blockhouse at Fort Nisqually you have a clear view of the stockade plus you can look out over Puget Sound.

May 11, 2011

Fort Exterior and Split Rail Fence


Fort Nisqually

This reconstructed frontier trading post is near Tacoma, Washington. Fort Nisqually was moved several times in the 1800's and was moved again when it was restored in 1934 as a WPA project.

We visited the fort on a rainy day. In western Washington, you have to be willing to go places in the rain or you'll miss out on seeing a lot of places!

May 10, 2011

Frank at Fort Nisqually, WA

Why is there a gigantic beaver in the visitors center? Well, Fort Nisqually was a trading post, and beaver pelts were a key part of the commerce that went on there.
"Trading actually began in ernest when the supply ship Vancouver arrived in Jun 1833. Trading on the first day netted about 90 beaver pelts and many other animal furs. Each prime condition adult beaver skin was worth one 2-1/2 point blanket, the most popular item among the Indians."

May 9, 2011

Tacoma Narrows Bridge

View from Fort Nisqually
This suspension bridge crosses Puget Sound, connecting Tacoma and Gig Harbor.

May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

I still have some photos to post of our trip to the Tacoma area. Here's one of Sue making cookies that I thought I'd share for Mother's Day.

Hope you all had a good day today!

My previous Mother's Day posts include one that shows my mom playing Frisbee. She was very active until age 70, when a back injury slowed her down. In 2006, I wrote a post called Remembering My Mom.

Also in 2006, I shared a photograph of a balloon that Lynn gave me for Mother's Day 20 years prior.  And I still have it, and it's never lost it's air!

May 7, 2011

Little Blue Flowers


Photographed in Puyallup in March

Fun at Browns Point

Doug Inspects the Big Bell

This makes a dozen posts about our visit to Browns Point near Tacoma. If you came here through a search engine and are not viewing these consecutively, here are links to the most informative posts:

May 6, 2011

Browns Point Rescue Boat

We admired the beautiful reproduction of a rescue boat at Browns Point. And between the boat house and the water we saw the remains of a track that was used to quickly move the boat from the building to the bay.

May 5, 2011

In the Keeper's Cottage: Downstairs

They had their own classroom!

Ryley and Josie inspect the old-fashioned stove.

The lighthouse keeper's cottage at Browns Point does not look very large from the outside, but it had adequate space inside. The basement level has a large kitchen and a school room.

See also the Photo Gallery at the Points NE Historical Society Site.

Inside the Keeper's Cottage

 The family who lived at Browns Point made their home quite comfortable.

May 4, 2011

Vancouver Was Here

Two signs at Browns Point attest that George Vancouver was here in 1792.
"Documented history of Puget Sound began in 1792 when Captain George Vancouver sailing for King George III of England explored and charted this expansive waterway. While Peter Puget explored Clovos Passage to the west, Vancouver explored the Eastern Passage. Names with which we are familiar today were given during this expedition: Admiralty Inlet, Vashon Island, Whidbey Island, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, Gig Harbor and Port Orchard to name a few."