Please join me on the last day, September 2, for a celebration photo walk! Registration details are here.
|One of the fort’s corners.|
|Come on in!|
My friend Norma and I went to Fort Frederick State Park, west of Hagerstown, Maryland. We arrived and parked at the Visitor Center. It was just spitting a little rain, but we walked from there along the paths to the restored stone fort.
The fort was built between 1756 and 1757 to provide protection for Maryland Forces and area settlers on this western frontier, primarily from the French, who were making claims in North America, unleashing the power of their Indian allies against colonists. However, with the capture of the French Fort Dusquesne in 1758, the need for such defense was alleviated, and the fort was abandoned in 1759.
|Barn Swallow Babies!!|
The fort saw action again in various capacities over the years, as a prisoner of war camp during the American Revolution, and again briefly during the Civil War. However, the land was purchased by Nathan Williams, a freed black slave, whose family successfully farmed it for more than 130 years. In 1922, the crumbling fort and its acreage were purchased again by the state of Maryland, and in the 1930’s, the Civilian Conservation Corps rebuilt the fort and its barracks, after conducting extensive archeological digs at the site.
|Musket Firing Demo|
The fort’s stone walls are impressive. From the air, the fort forms a square with arrow head corners, with its walls three feet thick at the base. Inside the tall, wooden gates, the grounds are grassy, with white, two story wooden barracks. One houses a museum; the other is outfitted with beds and tables, the way it would have looked in 1758.
|Fort Gate Hardware|
Costumed interpreters met us at the gate. We were joined by a group of 4-H youth and their leaders, who were conducting a bicycle trip along the C&O Canal. The Western Maryland Rail Trail and canal are nearby.
|I’d call this “Coral Reef Fungus.”|
An interpreter with a red woolen coat, dressed as one of the Maryland Forces, conducted a musket firing for us, explaining his uniform, the living conditions within the fort, and how the musket was able to fire. He had a beautiful British accent, which really lent to the authenticity, since many of the men living at the fort would have come from England.
|I’d call this “Velvet Leaf Fungus.”|
After we left the fort, we walked back to the Visitor Center and drove to Big Pool, part of the state park. This area had a really green lake, choked with duckweed, a boat ramp, and a campground. We walked along the beaver trail, which followed the lake side for some distance. We found great fungi, but no beavers.
It was a great trip — take the kids. In the fall, this is a must see destination, when all the leaves are in full color.
disaster relief, and I will send you a 5×7 print of your choice from
any of my daily photo walks or from my website. Offer good until
September 2, 2013.