Print Friendly and PDF With Strings Attached: Travelog: before, between, and after

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Travelog: before, between, and after

Note:  This travelog is presented in four parts.  Two posts are about the Road Scholar courses we attended. This post is about the travel discoveries before, between, and after those courses.  
It has been years since we (well, since I) have added extra time for sightseeing to a Road Scholar trip. We made the most of the opportunity afforded by our 2,472-mile drive. 

The town of Dover, Ohio, popped up when I looked for motels along our route. The website said, "Home of the Warther Museum." We like to visit small museums so we decided to stop in Dover.   
WOW.  The Warther Museum is worth the visit.  When Ernest "Mooney" Warther (1885-1973) was five he found a knife in a field. He began to whittle. That began a life of artistry, from his signature wooden pliers (32 cuts from a single piece of wood) to walking sticks to 64 detailed, 1/12 scale models of steam locomotives. He was declared a national treasure by the Smithsonian, but he never sold his work.  The family business, Warther Cutlery, makes kitchen knives. The factory is adjacent to the museum. (Our souvenir:  two steak knives.)  

www.warthers.com is the website. If your travels take you to eastern Ohio, add this destination to your itinerary!




 Scale model of the steel mill where Mooney worked. All the figures move.   

Mooney used ebony and walnut, with ivory inlays.   This is Lincoln's funeral train.  










 
 Frieda Warther collected buttons. 73,000 of them are on display. 











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Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob
Fallingwateris a must-see for Frank Lloyd Wright fans, which we are.  (See these posts:  here and   here )   In 1935 the Kaufmann family commissioned Wright to design their country home in the mountains southeast of Pittsburgh. The house was completed in 1939. It is reinforced concrete and stone built into the mountain over a stream.  As with his other buildings, Wright was not very concerned about practicalities like maintenance.  Our tour guide said that water is a constant problem. 

The setting is beautiful. The house is extraordinary! 


Living room at Fallingwater




 Kentuck Knob is just down the road from Fallingwater. The Hagans, another Pittsburgh family, commissioned Wright to design it in 1953. It is a one-story Usonian house (in which the furniture was designed expressly for the house).  Anecdotes: the Hagans were advised to tell Wright that their budget and their timeline were half what they actually were, since Wright notoriously spent far more than he quoted and took far longer to build. They also insisted that Wright design to accommodate their 6'2" son. (Wright was 5'8" which he considered ideal, and designed accordingly.)

The house is now owned by Lord Peter Palumbo .  Because the artwork is from his collection interior photography is not allowed.  I could, however, take a picture of the patio.




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Battlefields and Historic Sites
We visited two battlefields and two national historic sites:  Antietam (9/7), Valley Forge (9/13), Gettysburg (9/14), and Johnstown (9/19). All are operated by the National Park service. Their visitor centers provide a wealth of information (including film presentations) and of course bookstore/souvenir stores.   


Dunkard Church at Antietam
The Battle of Antietam was September 17, 1862. 100,000 soldiers were engaged of whom 23,000 were killed, wounded, or missing.  The Union victory gave Lincoln a much-needed boost (after defeat at Manassas). Clara Barton brought bandages and food to the field hospital and was christened the Angel of the Battlefield. (See below for our next encounter with her work and legacy.) 


Lord Stirlng's headquarters 
In December, 1777, 12,000 soldiers and 400 women and children arrived at Valley Forge, west of Philadelphia. The winter encampment in the cornfields became the fourth largest city in America, with 1500 huts.  We purchased tickets for a one-hour bus tour which was both informative and efficient.  Stevens remembered visiting friends of his parents who owned Lord Stirling's headquarters. The privately-owned farmhouse is not on the tour, and the friends are long gone, but we stopped to see it. 


Demonstration of loading/firing a musket

Washington's headquarters

Little Round Top
It can take a week to see all of the Gettysburg battlefield. We didn't have that much time. We opted for the tour-and-museum package. That provided a ticket to the movie, to the restored 19th century Cyclorama (a picture-in-the-round of the battle), the museum, and a two-hour escorted bus tour. There are monuments to every military unit from every state -- more than 1300.












The South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club was an exclusive club for "sports" on the artificial Conemaugh Lake 14 miles upriver from Johnstown, PA, east of Pittsburgh.  They inadequately patched holes from an earlier dam break, lowered the top of the dam to provide better access for carriages, and put fish screens over the spillway.  8" of rain fell in late May, 1889. The fish screens clogged. The only way for water to get out was over the dam.  The dam failed completely at 3:15 p.m. releasing 20,000,000 tons (3,600,000,000 gallons) of water.  Small towns en route were destroyed and the city of Johnstown lost 1600 homes and 2,209 people, with $17 million in property damage.
This overlooks the site of the dam

Clara Barton's recently-established American Red Cross spearheaded the Johnstown relief effort. [In grade school I read a biography of Clara Barton. Seeing both Antietam and Johnstown helped complete the story for me.]

The South Fork Club House. 



 The South Fork Club said that the storm and the flood were acts of God so they were not liable for damages. The courts found in their favor. But the club went out of business and the river was not dammed again.










1 comment:

  1. So glad you were able to visit Dover and spend time at the Warther Museum. You will love your steak knives. I've had set of 3 (all different sizes) since we were married in 1971 (43 years now). They still sharpen them for free and will sharpen them for left handed use! Thanks for visiting our hometown!

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