Sunday, August 8, 2010

Day 40 DE & Fort McHenry, MD

We spent the night with my best friend from childhood Ron Powell and his wife Susan.
They both work for DuPont in Wimington, DE and live in southern Chester Co. PA near the Mason-Dixon Line.

Ron has a good size wine cellar and he had Wanda's favorite, Chateau la Pouff ( or something like that) . We plan on visiting them again the next time we go to Philly and Wanda wants to have another bottle of wine.

The smallest state we visited also had the smallest sign.We were also on a 2 lane back road.

I had planned on seeing the "Point Marked West" and Arc monuments of the Mason-Dixon Line at the State Park. This is where the Mason-Dixon line began and the point of the Arc of the northern boundary of Delaware. I had read that they were only a few 100' of the road- they are. However, the reality was that you had to park & hike about 2 miles round trip to each one. Wanda wasn't up to hiking and I didn't want to leave her in the car for hours so we headed to Maryland.

I missed the road sign in the middle of the median so I turned around at the next light & went back to the last light. While waiting for the green light to make a U-turn, I took this picture in the car side mirror and then
took this driving by on the way to I-95 .

I had been to Fort McHenry when I was 9 or 10 and still have the souvenir cannon I bought in my museum at home.

The visitor center was rather small but had this 3D display of the fort and a few military exhibits.

I use this picture of the bombardment in class when we cover the war of 1812. The movie in the visitor center was a bit different than most we've seen.
After the historical portion of the video, a curtain covering a glass wall opened up with a view of the fort & flagpole as the "Star Spangled Banner" started playing. Very impressive.

The fort is the classic star shape with a Ravelin providing protection for the entrance

or Sally Port. I don't know where the name "Sally" comes from, but to "Sally Forth" refers to leaving the fort or castle.

The Fort has a large variety of cannons mounted on the ramparts, most of them are from the Civil & Spanish-Amer. Wars.

Most of the cannons were Rodman or Columbiads. For non-military history folks, these cannons are classified by the weight of the cannonballs they fire; i.e. 10, 20, 50 pounder

The Fort was built to guard Baltimore Harbor which is still a major port.
I heard the stereo system on the yellow sightseeing boat before it rounded the point into view.

The port has a wide variety of types of ships and cargoes.

I guess as a kid I climbed all over the ramparts and walls and went into every bombproof & storeroom.

The heat was mid 90's and having been out west in dry heat for weeks, the humidity was really oppressive so I limited my touring to taking pictures of the major features.
Most of the barracks buildings were open with displays

of soldiers lives, uniforms, weapons, etc.
This exhibit covered the differences between the artillery & infantry soldiers in the fort.

This is the cross brace for the original flag pole that was discovered during excavations in the 1990's

The cannons & mortars are from the Rev. , 1812 & Civil Wars
There were 4 powder magazines that were open, 2 were underground in the ravelin & one under the Sally Port & one above ground.
No powder in these barrels

The flagpole is in the original location in the parade ground inside the fort.
We were planning on spending the night in Wheaton, MD with my best friend John Jones , but 10,000+ people in the DC area were out of power from a storm 3 days earlier so we went to his house at Cobb Island, MD for electricity & A/C.

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