On our first day out I decided to take my daughter to Valley Forge, not because she would appreciate the history but because I knew it was a large space where she could run around, it was only a 10 minute drive from the hotel and it was free! I have to admit I knew nothing about Valley Forge though I had heard the name a thousand times I could not tell you what it was. It was actually a winter encampment for George Washington and 15,000 troops in 1777. From what I was told this is where the American Army was collectively formed. There were groups of troops from different states and this brought them together and it was decided that there would be 1 large Army in stead of lots of small groups fighting during the American Revolutionary War.
These cabins are not the originals but replicas built to the exact measurements of the originals. There were 2,000 of them built and 12 men lived in each one. Around 2,500 men died here from starvation and illness- the government did not provide them with basic necessities.
The park was huge, well maintained and beautiful. They day we were there was hot and sunny- it was perfect. This would be a wonderful place to take a long hike or run. It was a Tuesday in the middle of July so there were not many people there at all which made it even more enjoyable.
This is the house George and Martha Washington lived in that winter, they rented it from someone and it was also used as a place for leaders to meet, stay and strategize. It was the Pentagon of their time.
|The house George Washington stayed in, I have to say it was really cool to stand in the same place someone so iconic stood.|
So it was a place the troops stayed during a winter in the 1700's...why the big deal? It cost 6 million dollars per year to maintain a National Park, and I can't even imagine how much it cost to create the park, there are some very large statues and limestone arches that are BIG bucks-I kept thinking - why all this money dedicated to a place where troops lived for a winter? I did a little more reading and I guess the winter spent here was very brutal and thousands of troops died from illness, starvation and not having adaquet basic supplies like shoes. I really don't know much more than that but it has inspired me to read more about it. The lack of knowledge I posess about American history is shameful...I'm working on it and visiting Valley Forge has inspired me to read more this significant time in America's past.
|All I could think when I saw this was "how much did it cost to build it?"|
The en scripture on the top of the reads "Naked and starving as they are we cannot enough admire the incomparable patience and fidelity of the soldiery"- George Washington
|Look at that detail-that's a lot of work and money!|
Here are some more pics from our day...
|She was very intrigued by the reenactors.|
|This was all farm land and the cabins were torn down immediately after usage so the farmers could start growing their crops.|
|This field and beyond was where over 2,000 cabins were built and 20,000 soldiers, women and children lived. Women were given a salary for laundry and health care services provided.|
|Ok Mom- leave me alone I want to play in this big house|
|It's small for a 1 year old- imagine 12 adult males living in this tiny cabin|
|Desperate to climb up to the top to ride the horse statue|
|Oh Phil! This guy was great-very knowledgeable and friendly-played lots of old instruments for us|
|George Washington and my darling-very important people have walked up these stairs|
|Taking a break in the middle of the sidewalk- she was smoked!|
|The house George and Martha Washington rented-original stone, structure and floors|
|My little sweetie after 5 hot hours at a historical park and my army of freckles that come out after 5 minutes in the sun.|
|enlisting in the Continental Army|