Adventures of full time solo travel in an Airstream named Bob
Recently retired after 30+ years in IT across a handful of industries. Flying solo in a 19' Airstream exploring North America for a few years. I play with photography, birding, and knitting (just to name a few passions).
The history of Old Fort Niagara spans more than 300 years. During the colonial wars in North America, a fort at the mouth of the Niagara River was vital, for it controlled access to the Great Lakes and the westward route to the heartland of the continent. With the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825, however, the strategic value of Fort Niagara diminished. It nonetheless remained an active military post well into the 20th century.
The French established the first post here, Fort Conti, in 1679. Its successor, Fort Denonville (1687-88) was equally short lived. In 1726 France finally erected a permanent fortification with the construction of the impressive “French Castle.” Britain gained control of Fort Niagara in 1759, during the French & Indian War, after a nineteen-day seige. The British held the post throughout the American Revolution but were forced, by treaty, to yield it to the United States in 1796. Fort Niagara was recaptured by the British in 1813. It was ceded to the United States a second time in 1815 at the end of the War of 1812.
This was Fort Niagara’s last armed conflict, and it thereafter served as a peaceful border post. The garrison expanded beyond the walls following the Civil War. Fort Niagara was a barracks and training station for American soldiers throughout both World Wars. The last army units were withdrawn in 1963. Today, the U.S. Coast Guard represents the only military presence on the site.
During the War of 1812, it was common practice to heat cannonballs to red hot in order to set fire to enemy buildings and encampments during a barrage. This was a dangerous practice as it could set off the canon prematurely. It was exactly this tactic that was in use in November of 1812 when Betsy Doyle hauled hot shot to the American forces trying to hold the British from crossing the Niagara river. Doyle joined the cannonade after her husband was captured by British forces, and was dubbed “the hero of Fort Niagara” for her fearless efforts. The Fort was eventually overrun in 1813, and Doyle fled 310 miles on foot with her family to escape the British. She continued to assist the military at the Cantonment near Albany, often without pay, until her death in 1819. In 2012, she was named a New York State Woman of Distinction for her bravery.
I love it when I come across women in history that is usually dominated by men.
The Marblehead Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the Great Lakes. Originally known as the Sandusky Bay Light Station. the lighthouse was built in 1821 to aid navigation and prevent shipwrecks. When the lighthouse had a keeper, the beacon was updated with ever brighter lamps and more powerful lenses. At the turn of the I9th century, a watch room and new lantern room were added, increasing the lighthouse’s height 15 feet. Beacons were lit with whale oil, lard oil, kerosene, and then, in 1923, with electricity. As of 2018, the light is an LED that is visible up to eleven nautical miles.
During 1876 the federal government established a series of six lifesaving stations across the southern shore of Lake Erie. By the time the U.S. Lifesaving Service was combined with the U. S Revenue Cutter Service in 1915 to form the new U.S. Coast Guard, there were 376 lifesaving stations in the country, with 77 of them on the Great Lakes. The stations were typically staffed by a crew of six “surfmen” and one station “keeper”. The crew lived in the station and had a weekly duty schedule consisting of training with the rescue boat, practicing with the breeches buoy apparatus and performing needed equipment maintenance. In 1939 the U. S. Lighthouse Service was added to the Coast Guard and the operation of all lighthouses is their responsibility to this day.
What a great little museum in Sandusky Ohio. I enjoyed traveling back through time admiring the carving skills of the artists. Personally I was drawn to the more whimsical characters.
The doors to the Merry-Go-Round Museum opened to the public on July, 14, 1990 but the idea was born on October 1, 1988 when the U.S. Postal Service issued four carousel stamps. Paul Calle of Stamford, Connecticut designed the first set of stamps.
The block of stamps included a Gustav Dentzel deer (ca. 1895), Charles Looff goat and camel (ca. 1880), and the King Armored horse by Daniel Muller (ca. 1925), The King horse is from Cedar Point’s Kiddieland carousel. This particular King horse is considered to be one of the rarest and most beautiful of all carousel figures.
I came to the Krohn Conservatory’s Butterflies of the Nile exhibit to view the butterflies, but I was drawn to the extraordinary sculptures from internationally acclaimed artist Dominic Benhura and other prominent Zimbabwean artists including Stanford Derere, Tutani Mugavasi, and Lovemore Bonjisi. Sculptures range in style from representational to the abstract with a variety of subject matter.
Inside the conservatory every where I looked there were sculptures of women that rbrought a feeling of peace and celebration.
Outside in the gardens were statues of graceful and stately fish and birds. And my favorite King & Queen Planters.
The Rookwood Pottery Company in Cincinnati Ohio drew (emptied) its first kiln on Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 1880. Rookwood was soon a major contender in the international arena of art pottery because founder Maria Longworth Nichols’s enormous wealth funded all necessary resources. Also, she had access to Louise McLaughlin’s “secret” technique for decorating under the glaze. In 1880, probably less than five potteries in the world could produce pottery decorated under the glaze.
Gracing the walls of Cincinnati’s Art Museum are works of architectural faience made by Rookwood Pottery. Faience, a loose term for earthenware with a colorful decoration or glazes, became very fashionable in architecture by the turn of the nineteenth century. Although Rookwood’s faience production has been overshadowed by its art pottery, the significance of Rookwood’s architectural ceramics is equally important.
One of the easiest cave tours I have experienced. Only a 1/4 mile walk Ian’s only 6 steps climb and descend. There’s an optional 48 steps for a closer look at the Frozen Niagara.
Most of the 12 miles of Mammoth Cave open to the public are dry caves with few cave formations. Frozen Niagara, on the other hand is filled with stalactites and stalagmites formed by water dissolving the overlying limestone then re-depositing calcium carbonate along the ceilings or floors of the caves.
Access to Frozen Niagara is through the “New Entrance” owned by George Morrison Who came to South Central Kentucky in effort to find oil in 1915, and while his attempts at oil continued to fail, he changed the course of Mammoth Cave history forever. To learn more about George Morrison
Since the 1800s, Mammoth Cave has been a hotbed of scientific discovery, but the history of the caves goes back even further. The first American Indian explorers entered the cave around 5,000 years ago, and for nearly two centuries Native Americans explored and mined the upper three levels of Mammoth Cave.
Mammoth Cave is the world’s longest known cave system, with more than 400 miles explored, and one of the oldest tour attractions in North America.
THE ZOO, GROOVY YARD ART is a tongue and cheek zoo where you can buy the animals found in Mineral Bluff, Georgia.
The Zoo is home to thousands of animals that would be an incredible addition to your yard art. However, these animals are artistic renditions composed of various mediums. Many are crafted from some combination of metal, aluminum, and wood. And, the best thing about them is they require very little maintenance. There is no poop, no feeding, no walking, just constant enjoyment.
Located on approximately 7 acres adjacent to the babbling waters of Hemptown Creek, visitors walk around the art installation while reading information panels which provide interesting facts about all of the animals, many of which have cartoon characteristics.
Our goal is for you to leave with a smile on your face and perhaps, a new groovy piece of yard art.. We also offer flowers, cacti, metal signs, planters, wood products and so much more!
Blue Spring is the largest spring in Northwest Arkansas, pumping 38 million gallons of pure water daily into the White River. I visited after 6 days of rain, and things were a bit flooded. I have to admit I prefer it au-natural
This is a bluff shelter where artifacts were found dating back 10,000 years, is on the National Register of Historic Places. I sat in this bench and imagined what it must have been like so long ago. Certainly there was not a bench. 😉