Monday, July 06, 2015

Catching up

After a week of wedding happenings it was time to do some touring. On Tuesday we headed to Rochester, NY to visit the Eastman House. 
George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the world’s oldest film archives, opened to the public in 1949 as an independent, non-profit museum. It combines the world’s leading collections of photography and film with the stately pleasures of the landmark Colonial Revival mansion and gardens that George Eastman called home from 1905 to 1932. The Museum is a National Historic Landmark. Mr. Eastman, the founder of Eastman Kodak Company, is heralded as the father of modern photography and motion picture film.
Mr. Eastman (1854–1932) built his home at 900 East Avenue between 1902 and 1905. He created a unique urban estate complete with 10.5 acres of working farm land, formal gardens, greenhouses, stables, barns, pastures, and a 35,000-square-foot, 50-room Colonial Revival mansion with a fireproof structure made of reinforced concrete.

This pic is the west side of the house. This is where everyone visiting Mr Eastman would arrive. The ivied columns hold up the pull-though  where visitors would unload out of the weather.

This is the east side garden area where he would entertain guest.

The iron work in the house was made by the Samuel Yellen, the most famous blacksmith of the day.

Our next historic site was the Lorenzo House on Friday. This property is a State of New York park
John Lincklaen arrived in the United States in 1790 carrying a letter of introduction from Dutch banker Peter Stadnitski to Theophilus de Cazenove at the Holland Land Company’s headquarters in Philadelphia. Stadnitski was a family friend, and his firm was a principal investor in the Holland Land Company. When Lincklaen reached the shore of Cazenovia Lake in October 1792, he no doubt saw the site of his future in terms of high adventure. He wrote in his journal, “situation superb…fine land,” as he completed his survey of the Holland Land Company’s holdings. He returned the following spring as the Holland Land Company’s agent charged with selling the tract. Lincklaen envisioned a “great commercial city in the wilderness.”By 1803 the prospering land agent began to envision a home situated on a low rise at the south end of the Cazenovia Lake with expansive, unobstructed views to the north. The plan for the mansion may have been developed by master builder, the eminent Albany architect, Philip Hooker. Building plans accelerated in March 1807 when Lincklaen’s house on the lakeshore caught fire and burned to the ground. Lorenzo’s masonry structure was begun with the spring thaw in 1807 and completed eighteen months later.  Lincklaen and his family moved into the mansion on October 8, 1808.

We took the guided tour of the house. They did not allow photography in the house. When the state bought the property the deal was  that they got it with all the furnishings at the time of purchase. Some of the furnishings are from early 1800's.

The gardens

We have had some really nice weather lately which has allowed us to tour on the motorcycle. St. Rte. 20 is the main road across this this area. The views we get are spectacular.  The road goes up and down some really steep and long hills. On the way over pulling the trailer, the truck had to work really hard to pull some of these hills. The bike has no trouble and makes for some nice riding.

Saturday, a new neighbor arrived in the park. another bike riding couple. We chatted for a while and they said that they were history buffs. I mentioned that we were heading to Rome, NY to visit Fort Stanwix National Monument and the Oriskany Battlefield State Historic site. Sunday we left out of the campground about 9:00 am.
Fort Stanwix
For thousands of years the ancient trail that connects the Mohawk River and Wood Creek served as a vital link for people traveling between the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Ontario. Travelers used this well-worn route through Oneida Indian territory to carry trade goods and news, as well as diseases, to others far away. When Europeans arrived they called this trail the Oneida Carrying Place and inaugurated a significant period in American history--a period when nations fought for control of not only the Oneida Carrying Place, but the Mohawk Valley, the homelands of the Six Nations Confederacy, and the rich resources of North America as well. In this struggle Fort Stanwix would play a vital role.
men stand in formation on the corner of a fort wall as they level their muskets, smoke billows around them
Known as "the fort that never surrendered," Fort Stanwix, under the command of Col. Peter Gansevoort, successfully repelled a prolonged siege, in August 1777, by British, German, Loyalist, Canadian, and American Indian troops and warriors commanded by British Gen. Barry St. Leger. The failed siege combined with the battles at Oriskany, Bennington, and Saratoga thwarted a coordinated effort by the British in 1777, under the leadership of Gen. John Burgoyne, to take the northern colonies, and led to American alliances with France and the Netherlands. Troops from Fort Stanwix also participated in the 1779 Clinton-Sullivan Campaign and protected America's northwest frontier from British campaigns until finally being abandoned in 1781.
The fort has a very nice and informative displays.  

In 1973 the reconstruction of the fort begin.  First, they had to tear down all the buildings that had been built over the site. They were able to get detailed plans from England about the building of the fort. The new fort is built on the same foundation of the original one. 

It took them 3 years to finish but was done in time for the 1976 bicentennial celebration..

We took a Ranger led tour that ended with the for of us going through a canon loading exercise.  It took five artillery men to load and shoot the cannon.  Our new friends Dee and Rick were the bore cleaner and loader. Duane put in the wick, I handed Dee the ammo, and the demonstrator lit the fuse.  Our time was 23 seconds. Par was three times a minute.  A trained artillery team could do about 6.

After loading the canon we were paid with fort script. 

Enlisted mans quarters

Officers Quarters

Hand forged door handle

Leaving the fort we were hungry so stopped for a bite before heading to the next site.  To the left and across a ravine is the Fort.  In this area the British ambushed the colonials bringing supplies to the fort during the siege.

Oriskany Battlefield Monument

Considered to be a significant turning point in the War of Independence, the Battle of Oriskany, fought on August 6, 1777, has been described as one of the bloodiest battles of the war. A monument was dedicated on August 6, 1884, to serve as a memorial to those who fought so bravely and tenaciously to preserve freedom. Oriskany Battlefied was designated a New York State historic site in 1927. In recognition of the site's exceptional historic value, the battlefield was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963. - 

The ravine

Heading back to the campground, we wound our way through the countryside. There are a lot of  very scenic roads to ride up here. Lots of hills and sweeping curves.
We arrived back to the campground around 4 and at 6 we headed to the local BBQ with our new biker friends. We were told that this was a GREAT bbq stop. I guess my taste is a little different from others. I found the ribs have way to much pepper in the rub for my taste.  Louise still prefers southern bbg--Louisiana pulled pork and Texas brisket.

Today, Monday, we will hang out and rest up. Tonight we are going to Utica, NY to play a little pickleball. Tomorrow we will move on to a new location.

Till next time
Duane and Louise

1 comment:

Paul and Marsha Weaver OCT. 17, 2009 said...

The Eastman house is lovely.

How cool to see part of history come alive. I hope Louise didn't spend all that fort script in one place...hehe