Monday, June 29, 2009

Fort Niagara

Flags that have flown over Fort Niagara are the French (1678-1759), the British (1759-1796), and the US (1796-today).

Since it is the 250th anniversary of the French defeat, that is the period that they are reenacting.

Today this area is the border of Canada and the US. A plaque about the Rush-Bagot Treaty reads “Through mutual understanding and good will the policy set forth by Richard Rush and Charles Bagot in this treaty has resulted in an unfortified boundary between Canada and the United States.”

Niagara Falls

We traveled from the Detroit area through the bottom of Ontario, Canada to Niagara Falls since it was about 100 miles shorter than going around Lake Erie through Ohio and Pennsylvania to New York.

I never before realized that Lake Erie is 570 feet above sea level and Lake Ontario is 245 feet above sea level. The Niagara River flows between the two Great Lakes. That is why the falls are so large as they flow north between these huge bodies of water. We have been to falls that are higher but none as wide.

The best way to experience Niagara Falls is to take the elevator down about 200 feet and then ride the “Maid of the Mist” boat along the American Falls to the center of the horseshoe falls that are on the Canadian side and return to your starting point. The falls are awesome!!! The sound of the water thundering down as I gazed up at it gave me a feeling of its power.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Greenfield Village

Anyone who loves reenacting and authentic reproductions of historical places has a wonderful time in Greenfield Village near Dearborn, Michigan. The only problem is that we had only one day to see this amazing place. We had to hurry!

Now the problem is which of the over 400 photos should I use to tell about the day.

We love windmills, covered bridges, and water wheels. Superb enactors portrayed everyone from Huckleberry Finn to Mrs. Cohen showing me her favorite hat from her millinery store.

We walked into homes of such notable people as Robert Frost who wrote “The Road Not Taken” and Noah Webster who wrote the first American dictionary. We entered the workshop in Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park complex and visited the Wright Brothers Cycle shop.

We ate soup and rolls and drank tea at the Eagle Tavern. The waitress explained to Terry that one takes salt from the Salter from the tip of your knife, not by pinching it. She gave Terry a disdainful glance when Terry asked her if he could pinch her.

Since Henry Ford is into transportation, there were many modes of transportation if you got tired but they were $4 a ride. As seniors, we paid a total of $42 just for admission. Then I discovered that the green omnibus was only 50 cents and insisted that I ride it. It was the best 50 cents that I’ve spent in a long time.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad

I love to experience history by visiting villages where reenactments take place. Terry and I spent about six hours at Crossroads Village near Flint, Michigan on June 13. No, I didn’t get to ride in the stagecoach but did ride the Huckleberry Railroad. It was fun to see the engine as it rounded the curve. We even got to see Abraham Lincoln make a campaign speech from the caboose and later walked the boardwalks to chat with him and his lady in their tent.

The sounds of village life were great with steam whistles from the trains, the Genesee Belle Paddleboat and sawmills, music from the fiddler and the carousel and the sounds of cows and sheep. We smelled the apples as they were pressed in the Master’s Cider Mill, and the delicious cookies and bread that the sheriff’s wife made. I know they were delicious because we got to sample them too.