Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fort Loudoun

Fort Loudoun Marker Q-4k on Loudoun Street, Winchester, VACity of Winchester, Virginia
Marker No. Q-4k

Marker Text: Here in May 1756, overlooking the frontier town of Winchester, construction began on Fort Loudoun during the period of the French and Indian War (Seven Years' War in Europe). The fort, named for John Campbell, earl of Loudoun, was a square fortification with four bastions constructed of earth, wood, and stone. Col. George Washington, commander of the Virginia Regiment, designed the fort and supervised its construction until 1758. It served as Washington's command center for a series of forts authorized by the Virginia House of Burgesses and built on the frontier that extended from the Potomac River to North Carolina. A well, dug through limestone bedrock, survives.

Location: At the intersection of Loudoun Street and Peyton Street, about 200 feet north of the intersection, near 419 Loudoun Street, Winchester. Erected by the Department of Historic Resources in 2006.

Fort Loudoun Marker Q-4k on Loudoun Street looking toward Winchester.

Photo taken looking toward downtown Winchester.  The fort sat on this hill overlooking the small frontier town. (Click any photo to  enlarge)

  Today, it is difficult for the traveller to imagine that this location in Winchester, VA was once at the crossroads of the western U.S. Today, we clearly view Winchester in the eastern U.S., but it one time it was on the frontier of the west. At the time Winchester, founded in 1752, was the first and only English-speaking settlement west of the Blue Ridge Mountains and nothing more than a frontier town with four cross streets during fort’s construction.

  This state historical marker at 419 N. Loudoun Street marks the spot where ground was broken for the fort’s construction on May 18, 1756. There is also a brass marker pictured below placed by The French and Indian War Foundation in 2006.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mother of Stonewall Jackson

Mother Stonewall Jackson, Marker F-15Marker No. F-15
Loudoun County, VA

Marker Text: In this vicinity (and according to tradition two miles east at Peach Orchard) was born Julia Beckwith Neale, mother of Stonewall Jackson, February 29, 1798. She married Jonathan Jackson in 1818 and died, October, 1831.

Location: On U.S. Route 15 (James Monroe Highway) about 200 feet, north of the intersection with U.S. Route 50 (John Mosby Highway), on right when traveling north on U.S. Route 15 east of the town of Aldie. Grouped with marker F-4 (President Monroe's Home). Erected by the Virginia Conservation Commission in 1942.

Mother Stonewall Jackson, Marker next to President Monroe's Home marker  General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson is a much beloved character in Virginia history for his role as a commander during the American Civil War. His presence is remains throughout Virginia considering the number of roads, building, etc. that are named for him. As a result, all things related to Stonewall Jackson are remembered including his mother. Today's marker is located in Loudoun County, VA near the site where Jackson's mother, Julia Beckwith Neale was born. I have not found many historic markers that remind the traveller about the mother of an historic figure. There is another marker in West Virginia that I have about Jackson's mother burial site and two other markers in Loudoun County about the birthplace of the Wright Brothers mother.  This marker is only located about 12 miles north of where General Jackson received his name “Stonewall” during the First Battle of Manassas.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

George Washington dined at The Dutchman

George Washington dined at The Dutchman, Frederick Co., MDFrederick County, MD

George Washington
on his way to Frederick
Friday, August 5, 1785
Dined in a building on this site known as
The Dutchman's
One mile south of here is
Noland's Ferry frequently used by Washington on his travels.

Erected by William J. Grove, Lime Kiln, MD. 1932

Location: On Maryland Route 28 (Tuscarora Road) west of Maryland Route 85 (Buckeystown Pike) Near Tuscarora, Maryland, in Frederick County. About a mile north of the Potomac River.

  Traveling through Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia or West Virginia, the visitor will come across many markers both state markers and smaller markers and plaques telling the visitor that George Washington did something at this location. When I was younger taking vacations with my parents, we would generally include visiting historical sites combined with visiting relatives.

George Washington dined at The Dutchman, MD Route 28 (Click any photo to Enlarge)  Since my early years with my limited range of understanding of history, I found myself drawn to any marker related to any particular person I had learned about in school, such as, George Washington. I was fascinated by the the fact that I might be now standing at a place where George Washington once stood. I believe these early experiences that developed my interest in American history.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

John Marshall's Birthplace

John Marshall Birthplace, Marker CL-3 Fauquier Co. VAMarker No. CL-3
Fauquier County, VA

Marker Text: About one half mile southeast, just across the railroad, a stone marks the site of the birthplace, September 24, 1755. He died at Philadelphia, July 6, 1835. Revolutionary officer, congressman, Secretary of State, he is immortal as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. During his long term of office his wise interpretation of the U.S. Constitution gave it enduring life.

Location: On VA Route 28 (Catlett Road), 0.1 miles south of Smith Midland Lane, on the west side of the road near Midland, VA. Erected by the Virginia Conservation Commission in 1950.

“The events of my life are too unimportant, and have too little interest for any person not of my immediate family, to render them worth communicating or preserving” John Marshall

John Marshall Birthplace, Marker CL-3 on VA Route 28  The above quote were made by John Marshall as he composed a short autobiographical sketch for his old friend and colleague Joseph Story. The year was 1827, when Marshall was seventy-two years old.

  John Marshall, known as The Great Chief Justice was instrumental in assuring America's acceptance of the judiciary as the third branch of government and establishing its power to overturn legislation whose language was in conflict with the Constitution. As Chief Justice, John Marshall embodied the majesty of the Judicial Branch as fully as the President of the United States represents the power of the Executive Branch.