Monday, August 31, 2009

Odd shots - Perhaps, but at least

it is an unusual view of a common item. They come in different sizes and colors. Do you recognize it? (Answer next Monday)

To see more Odd Shots, start at Katney's Kaboodle and follow the links.

Friday, August 28, 2009

PhotoHunt - Birthday surprise!

A few years ago (well . . . 9 to be exact), Marianne and our kids pulled off a surprise sixtieth birthday party for me. Brother-in-law and his wife were here and all the grandkids. That's me hugging my eldest daughter.

A camcorder was among the presents.

Chris was first in line for a piece of cake.

Front: Chris, Becky, Michael
Back: Christy, me Anthony, Jennifer

The whole crowd, except Lynne who took the picture.

Photo credits: first unknown, second: Ginny, third: Marianne, last two: Lynne

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sky Watch Friday - Light and heavy clouds

Cattails in the sky

Light front

White cloud

Clouds over farm

More clouds over farm

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Window Views - Patrick Street windows

Museum of Civil War Medicine

Colonial Jewelers

Lower level shop

Italian food

Waiting table

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My World Tuesday - John Brown's Raid

Harpers Ferry may have become a footnote to history as a town ravaged by floods and passed by with the advent of railroads and highways, if not for the events of October 1859. The events were precipitated by the actions of John Brown, a preacher and an abolitionist.

On the night of the 16-th, Brown and eighteen of his raiders marched from the Kennedy farm in Maryland across the old Potomac River Bridge and into Harpers Ferry. They attacked the US Arsenal and Armory with the intent of taking the weapons and ammunition, instigating a slave rebellion, and waging war against slavery from the Appalachian Mountains. Local militia penned raiders in the armory firehouse, now referred to as John Brown's fort.

On the morning of October 18, a party of 12 marines under the command of Col Robert E. Lee, stormed the fort and capture Brown and his raiders. In all seventeen people were killed: two slaves, three townsmen, a slaveholder, one Marine and ten raiders. Brown was charged with murder and treason. The trial in Charles Town lasted 5 days. He was found guilty and sentenced to hang on the gallows. Brown was executed on December 2 and his body returned to New York for burial. Six of his raiders were also tried and executed; five escaped.

The building where John Brown was captured was the only armory building to survive the war, however souvenir hunters had vandalized it. The notoriety of John Brown made it of interest to historians and the public. In 1891, it was dismantled and shipped to Chicago for the Exposition. In 1895 it was returned to Harpers Ferry and exhibited at a nearby farm. In 1909 the fort was purchased by Storer College and moved to the Harpers Ferry campus. Then in 1968 the Park Service moved it to its present location, about 150 feet from its original site.

The entrance to the John Brown Museum is under the flag in the picture above. It contains portraits, information on his life and video presentations of the raid.

This year is the sesquicentennial anniversary of John Brown's raid and several events are being planned to commemorate the event, including a symposium and re-enactment of the march to Harpers Ferry. For more information see the web site

It is ironic that Brown's first victim was a free African-American employee of the B&O Railroad. Brown's raiders stopped an approaching train on the bridge and Heyward Shepherd went to investigate. He was shot and killed.

These events further inflamed the passions on the issue of slavery. At the time of John Brown's raid , Harpers Ferry was part of Virginia. In 1861 the War Between the States began. The counties in the northwestern part of Virginia split from the rest of the state and became the state of West Virginia on June 20, 1963. The Confederate Army destroyed the bridges, arsenal and armory in Harpers Ferry. The bridges were rebuilt and destroyed several times during the war. The town changed hands several times during the course of the war.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Odd shots - Out of place?

Back on the first Saturday in August there was a Vintage VW show, with these air-cooled VW's on display in several spots around Everedy Square. Can you spot the oddity in the above shot?

It's this 1964 Porsche, the only one at the show. The cars are cousins and Ferdinand Porsche designed the VW. The air-cooled Porsches are welcomed at the VW shows.

To see more Odd Shots, start at Katney's Kaboodle and follow the links.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

PhotoHunt - Ripples at the lake

Ripples of light across the water and two grandsons enjoying themselves.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sky Watch Friday - Harpers Ferry skies

Skies over the Potomac River looking down stream

St. Peter's Church on the hill

Stairway to the sky

Window Views - 1860 windows

Dry goods store window

Here are a few windows from the mid 1800's in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The buildings are part of the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Some of the buildings have been restored to appear as they did around the time of the US Civil War. Also see My World Tuesday on my other blog and A stroll through Harpers Ferry on this one.

Dry goods window looking out

Frankel Bros. colthing, shoes and hats

Alfred Burton jewelry and watch repair

Windows with shutters

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

DSL problems

My hopes for reliable DSL have been dashed! It has returned to being up for a minute or 2 and down for three or more. Verizon Tech was to be here today, but no sign of one yet. Call to the 800 number before supper said I should be hearing from someone soon!!! I was lucky to get My World Tuesday posted last night and view a few of your blogs.

Monday, August 17, 2009

My World Tuesday - Harpers Ferry

The town of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia (a 30 minute drive from us) has a unique place in US history. Many settlers passed through the area moving west and south, the town became an important industrial center in the 1800's and was the site of several events in the Civil War. The lower town, as well as surrounding land is now Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. The US National Park Service has an excellent web site and I used it as a primary source for the information in this post. On August 3, my grandson, Chris, and I visited the park. This is the first in a series of posts on Harpers Ferry. (Pictures posted are mine.)

Confluence of Potomac (left) and Shenandoah (right) Rivers

The town is located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. The location is also a gap in the mountains, providing access to the Shenandoah Valley and western Maryland. An aerial view is on the NPS site. Robert Harper, a millwright from Pennsylvania, was hired by Quakers to build a meetinghouse in Winchester, Virginia. Recognizing the availability of waterpower and transportation, Harper obtained 125 acres between the rivers in 1751. Harper operated a ferry from the point to the other banks of both rivers.

In 1799 the US Army purchased land from Robert Harper's heirs to build an arsenal and armory in Harpers Ferry. This established the town as an industrial center. George Washington had noted that the ample waterpower was a valuable resource and a canal was built along the Shenandoah River to channel water to the turbines. Foundries, sawmills, flourmills, and cotton mills flourished.

Wagon and railroad trestle

In the 1830's the town became even more of a transportation center with the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the railroad reaching Harpers Ferry. The C&O Canal is itself a Nation Park, running the length of the Potomac River from Washington, DC to Cumberland, MD on the Maryland side of the river.

Where there is water flowing through narrow gaps, there is the danger of flooding. The rivers that brought prosperity to Harpers Ferry also were its downfall. The height of the water is marked here by the year of the flood. At the top is 1936 followed by 1889. The ground where Chris is standing is about 20 feet above the river.

Flood marker

Today the National Park occupies the lower land of the town and historical sites along the Shenandoah River and the Maryland Heights. The present day town of Harpers Ferry adjoins the Park and on higher ground and has a little over 300 residents. The lower town has been restored to mid 1800 appearance. There are exhibits and presentations (including video) of the history of the town and Civil War. Here are a few scenes.

High Street

High Street runs from the point up the hill out of the Park and into the town. The houses on the left are in the Park. The buildings up near the Wax Museum are outside the National Park.

Roeder house and confectionery

Frederick Roeder was a German baker and Union sympathizer. He also operated White Hall Tavern on Potomac Street. About this point in our tour, Chris and I were both ready for some liquid refreshment. We found root beer a little further up the street.

White Hall Tavern

Odd shots - Wooden tractor

I drove to one of our local orchards Sunday to pickup some fresh peaches and spotted this old tractor (built before the green paint was invented?).

No, not so odd after all! It is an appropriate part of the kids' play area they built this year.

To see more Odd Shots, start at Katney's Kaboodle and follow the links.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

PhotoHunt - Artificial butterfly

This glass butterfly adorns the entrance to our house.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sky Watch Friday - Reflected skies

Some more sky shots from August 1. The vintage VW's were all clean and polished becoming mirrors to the world (and sky) around.

This vase or large jar seems to float among the clouds reflected in the window of an antique shop.

And the tinted windows of this building provide great reflections of the sky behind the camera. I have posted shots of this building before, the latest in my Then and Now post of July 25.