Sunday, July 18, 2010

Founder’s Day on Chilson Hill

Today marked the first Founder’s Day on Chilson Hill.  The day started with a church service.  This very small church was where my mother’s family attended church when she was young.
IMG_2730                  IMG_2733
After the church service, everyone went to the community center (about a mile from the church).  While the dinner was cooking, everyone was treated to coffee and donuts.   We also took a tour of the cemetery.  I have walked this several times but this time we had people speaking at different places about some of the original founders of this community.   This tree had been planted in memory of this first founders day.
We had a great dinner and a lot of good music.  Inside the community house were several old pictures of the area and a huge (at least 5’ by 4’) family tree.  7 generations were traced on that family tree. 
One of the last things we did was listen to a very old tape recording over 45 years old.  Recorded at a family party, it was of local musicians (several my mothers uncles) playing and one calling a square dance. 
It was a great day and I was very glad we were in the area to attend.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

More from Ticonderoga, NY

Last week we went to visit Fort Ticonderoga and while there toured around the rest of this village.
The La Chute River connects Lake George to Lake Champlain and runs through Ticonderoga.  However, it is not a river you can navigate in a boat.  Ticonderoga at the end of Lake George is higher in elevation that it is when it joins Lake Champlain so the river has many falls in the town. 

We took time to explore this little park.
This covered bridge was called the “Kissing Bridge”.  I’m wondering if perhaps my parents walked over this bridge when they first met???

Friday, July 9, 2010

Fort Ticonderoga

Fort Ticonderoga, originally Fort Carillon, was built by the French military between 1755 and 1759. One of a series the French built to control Lake Champlain. The site looks over Lake Champlain at a point where it narrows and the shore of Vermont is a mere cannon shot away. It is at this point, too, that the waters from Lake George enter Lake Champlain via the La Chute River. Control of this strategic narrows meant control of the north-south water "highway". The French and British fought many times for control of the fort.  In 1759, the British finally drove out the French troops but not before blowing up the powder magazine and warehouse as they went.   The British rebuilt the fort out of stone.  
At the outset of the American Revolution a small company of British soldiers still manned the Fort. On May 10, 1775, Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold, and the Green Mountain Boys crossed Lake Champlain from Vermont and at dawn surprised and captured the sleeping garrison. This was the first American victory of the Revolutionary War. At this point, Ethan Allen renamed Fort Carillon, Fort Ticonderoga. From then until July 1777, Fort Ticonderoga served as an important staging area for the American Army while invading Canada and holding the territory against the British forces.
Overlooking Lake Champlain…
These muskets where heavy….
Stay turned for more of our trip to Ticonderoga.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Holiday visit

Daughter Kim and family came from Virginia to visit for the weekend.  They arrived on Friday and we had a good cookout to begin the visit.  Saturday, they came over to the park so that they could take advantage of all the activities.  Savannah rode pedal carts around, got her face painted and did some mining.  
And of course a picture with Honey Bear!!
There were over 2000 people in our park over the weekend.  Glad we only have one more holiday to go!! 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Birthplace of the US Navy

Whitehall NY was first settled in 1759 as the colonial town of Skenesborough by British Army Captain Philip Skene. It became the first permanent settlement on Lake Champlain. Skene was a British loyalist and while he was in England petitioning the Crown, the revolution began. 
In 1975, Skenesborough was captured by American forces and Captain Skene’s trading schooner Katharine became the first ship of the US Navy when it was taken to Crown Point and armed. Used under the leadership of Benedict Arnold they captured the British ship the Enterprise on May 18th. He then joined Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys in the taking of Fort Ticonderoga.  Congress ordered General Philip Schuyler to construct a fleet of ships capable of countering an expected British invasion.  The first US Naval fleet consisted of 13 ships .  Led by Benedict Arnold, the fleet patrolled Lake Champlain up through Quebec.  The Battle of Valcour caused a delaying action that saved the Americans at Saratoga.
Not wanting to be associated with a british loyalist they renamed the town Whitehall after 2 families in the area.