Sunday, February 16, 2014

Fort Donelson living history

This weekend, Dudeboy and I braved the cold and joined the rest of the 9th Kentucky for a living history event at Fort Donelson (it was the 152nd anniversary).

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Darwin Day 2014

Dandy Darwin Day (& don't forget Lincoln) . . . the "Darwin's Finches" edition.
*as always, click picture to enlarge

Monday, February 3, 2014

Trip within a trip . . . part 2

Whew . . . this is the last entry for our our War of 1812 Tour - Year Two. Like the last entry, this one pertains to the more touristy type sites we visited in Canada.

I am sure you can guess where this is . . . so, I won't blather on about it much.

In the tunnels directly behind the falls . . . 

The Nikola Tesla Monument near the falls . . .

While eating at a restaurant near Brock's Monument, a certain celebrity was making the rounds and stopped by for a photo op. Apparently, the little guy's "travel" stops include War of 1812 battle sites. He certainly gets around.

The Mackenzie Printery and Newspaper Museum not far from Queenston Heights Battlefield.  It is Canada's largest working printing museum. As a tourism website states:
The restored home of rebel publisher William Lyon Mackenzie reveals 500 years of printing technology, amid the authentic ambiance of a period print shop. Rarest in the museum's collection is the Louis Roy Press, oldest in Canada and one of the few original wooden presses remaining in the world! A hands-on experience is encouraged with a working linotype and 8 operating heritage presses. 

In the above two photos, Dudeboy selects type and then works a press to print up a souvenir. I should note that the "rebel publisher" William Lyon Mackenzie was one of the leaders of the Upper Canada Rebellion . . . see next photo.

The Caroline Affair . . . just one of the many events along the US/Canada border which had the potential to escalate into something a bit more problematic. I find all of this awkward history odd given that we are so friendly nowadays, at least that is my impression. I know most Americans are completely ignorant of these incidents. But then again, we are pretty much ignorant about most things. The plaque reads:
On the night of December 29-30, 1837, some 60 volunteers acting on the orders of Col. Allan Napier MacNab, and commanded by Capt. Andrew Drew, R.N., set out from Chippawa in small boats to capture the American steamer "Caroline". That vessel, which had been supplying William Lyon Mackenzie's rebel forces on Navy Island, was moored at Fort Schlosser, N.Y. There she was boarded by Drew's men, her crew killed or driven ashore, and after an unsuccessful attempt to start the engines, her captors set the ship afire and left her to sink in the Niagara River. This action almost precipitated war between Britain and the United States.
The Battle of Ridgeway, part of the Fenian Raids of 1866-1871. The plaque reads
PRO PATRIA In abiding memory of the officers and men of the Queen's Own Rifles, 13th Hamilton Battalion, Caledonia and York Rifle Companies of Haldimand who fought here in defense of their country against Fenian Raiders, on 2nd June, 1866.
The Fenian Raids were instigated by irregular forces of Irish-Americans with the intent of giving support to those in Ireland seeking an independent republic. Many of the men involved were veterans of the US Civil War. And, there was a sizable group of men from Kentucky . . . the 17th Kentucky Regiment of Louisville, under the command of Col. Owen Starr (who was second-in-command on the battlefield). Alas, Kentucky and Canada share a lot of history and, I daresay, most of it antagonistic and primarily provoked by Kentucky.