Thursday, November 11, 2010

Baltimore . . . Part 2

Saturday, November 6:

On Saturday morning we went to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine which is famous as the spot that inspired the "Star-Spangled Banner." We took part in a ranger-led flag talk which taught us the importance of Ft. McHenry and the U.S. flag. Did you know that the Star-Spangled Banner had 15 stars and 15 stripes, representing the first 15 states and the 15th was Kentucky? Merkin reminds me that sixty-four percent of all the Americans killed in the War of 1812 were from Kentucky while they made up only 4.6 percent of the troops! After the flag talk, we toured the ramparts of the fort as well as several buildings. Unbelievably, there were only four deaths from the 27-hour bombardment.

Fort McHenry

"Star-Spangled Banner"

The Ravelin

One of the bombs that didn't burst in the air.

We went forward in history a few years from 1814 to the 1860s and toured a Civil War-era ship, the USS Constellation. Its mission was to stop the African slave ships. We learned about how they restored the deck. I can't believe it's still around! I'm glad I got to see it.

USS Constellation

Powder monkey

We crossed the harbor and moved forward again in history to World War II. and toured the USS Torsk. It was the last U.S. sub to sink an enemy ship in WWII. It was neat to actually see the gears, levers, cables, hatches, and all sorts of its working parts. It's unbelievable that so many men lived in such a small area. The three historical sites we visited today show us how important the water is to the city of Baltimore.

USS Torsk

10 officers and 71 enlisted crammed in the Torsk.

Sunday, November 7:

As we left Baltimore, we stopped by Church Hospital where Edgar Allan Poe died. Then we went to The Horse You Came In On Saloon at Fells Point to see where Poe was last seen drinking (supposedly).

Church Hospital

The Horse You Came In On Saloon

On our long drive back, we stopped at the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park. The C&O Canal was the B&O railroad's rival. They started construction on the same day and are both out of use now, but the railroad lasted longer. I was disappointed that they only had a small section of the canal preserved at that site. In the yard of the C&O Canal museum there was a WWII re-enactment encampment with men dressed as soldiers, airmen, sailors, and even a few Germans, including Sgt. Schultz. It was unexpected, but I'm glad I saw it. We kept very busy on our trip, but it was fun. I especially liked every historical connection.

Western Maryland Railway Station where the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park is located.

The canal

"Strudel . . ."


Adonis said...

Why is every reenactor you all encounter overweight?

Merkin J. Pus-Tart said...

Because of "Strudel . . ."

Aunt Pee said...

What an awesome trip!
Give me some of that strudel!

Anonymous said...

Flint...East St.Louis...Camden? Which city will you conquer next? Got the "Gold bug' on Alan Parsons album, too.

Merkin J. Pus-Tart said...

"East St.Louis . . ." Been there, done that. That is where our/your car broke down which is why we bought a new car!

Lora Gill said...


The Ravelin is my favorite picture of the bunch. It reminds me of M.C. Escher. My second favorite is the one of you behind the bars. Where was that?