Genesis 1:31
"God saw all that he had made, and it was very good." (New International Version-NIV)

Truly Gods vast creation, landscape, wildlife and man is beautiful beyond description.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Mountain Meadows Lodge, Killington, Vermont, Jul 2013

I drove up and over here from Concord, New Hampshire. I am at Mountain Meadows Lodge where I am suppose to meet Jim, Goose and All The Way when they arrive here. The Appalachian Trail actually crosses the property a couple of hundred yards from the lodge. Description and photographs of the lodge are contained in my posting  Calvin Coolidge, Continued, 7/17/2013. What a beautiful location. I have about a day and a half to wait and boy is it hot. I went back to the deli that was recommended to me previously and got another one of those fabulous sandwiches. I was sitting in the shade in my favorite spot overlooking the lake and saw Jim, Goose and All The Way coming out of the woods and headed up the hill toward me. They got here roughly 3 hours early. They must have been really pushing it. They were glad to get here. I had already arranged for them to shower in my room. Extra towels had been provided. I guess after a week of sleeping out nightly in your little tent then walking all day, day after day in the heat a nice shower would feel wonderful. After all three of them cleaned up they wanted to eat. Goose had found out about a Chinese buffet in Rutland, Vermont and that is where we header. I had stayed in a motel there and that is where the Applebes is located that I liked. Rutland is about 10 miles from where we were staying. Rutland is a beautiful little town and one that I saw that I would like to live in. Those 3 ate like no tomorrow. I am sure the Chinese place lost money tonight. A couple of doors down was a Walmart and they headed there to replenish some supplies. Then back to Mountain Meadows Lodge where they did their laundry. I had prearranged for them to be able to do that. Goose and All The Way set up their tents in a prearranged location while Jim and I tried to get the one small fan to make it cool enough that we could sleep. The next morning we ate a wonderful breakfast prepared by the lodge. Again Goose and All The Way really put the food away. All The
 Way 's  wife had sent him some supplies to general delivery at the Killington, Vt. post office about a mile from the lodge. We drove up there to get his supplies and they both bought some drinks etc at the deli . Back to the lodge where All The Way backed away his new supplies and they said their goodbye and were off on the trail again.
Jim Taking A Picture Of All The Way Packing His Supplies
All The Way On The Left And Goose On The Right About To Resume 
Their Hike To The End Of The Trail. See Following Photograph
Mount Katahdin, Maine 487 Miles Away Is The End Of The Trail
Birch Arbor Set Up For Wedding Photographs. The Lodge Was A bee Hive Of 
Activity As They Were Preparing For A Big Wedding The Next Day.

Now the bummer part of the trip. Jim and I had planned to Drive down into Mass. to tour the Calvin Coolidge Library and Museum but I had found out that they are closed on Fridays and open to large private tours on Saturday by appointment. Could not figure out how Jim and I could be classed as a large group so we got Lady Blue ready and headed back to West Chester and arrived around 1:00 A. M. or so roughly 13 hours later.

It was a great trip. I saw some beautiful country, learned a lot about our past and especially learned a lot about hiking. Just in case you are wondering I am busy planning my trip in August to drive to California for Granddaughter Nicku's wedding and a lot of sight seeing. Probably my next posting will be around the middle of August or slightly before as I head west.

So until then, remember God Loves you and so do I.

Grandpa Bill

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Pierce Manse, Home of President Pierce, Concord, N. H. Jul 2013

 This posting will take a look at the home of President Franklin Pierce in Concord, New Hampshire and the Concord cemetery where Franklin is buried.  Franklin Pierce is the only person from New Hampshire to be elected President of the United States. This house was built in 1838 and is the only home owned by Franklin Pierce. Pierce resigned his U. S. Senate seat to be near his family and to concentrate on his law practice and at this time they moved into the Manse. Franklin and his family lived in the house from May 1842 to May 1847 when Franklin left to serve in the Mexican War. A year after moving into the Manse, the Pierce's second son, Franky, died of typhus at the age of 4. Shortly after his return from the war in 1848, Pierce sold the house and the family returned to boarding in Concord homes until he was inaugurated as 14th President of the United States in 1853. This was the only house ever owned by Franklin. As noted in earlier postings Mrs. Pierce observed a year long mourning period following the death of her 3 sons. She did eventually go to Washington to fulfill her White House duties as best as she could. After leaving the White House she and Franklin traveled Europe for more than two years in an attempt to restore her health. She died of Tuberculosis in 1863.
President Pierce Manse Concord, New Hampshire Home
Pierce Manse
The story of how the home became to be known as Pierce Manse. The Pierce family lived in what is now known as the Pierce Manse and the house was originally located on Montgomery street in downtown Concord. The house was moved to its current location in 1971 after it was slated for demolition as part of a urban renewal project. Community volunteers, known as the Pierce Brigade secured a land grant and raised money to relocate the house and restore the Manse to its original condition.They needed a name that would distinguish Franklin and Jane's Concord home from his birthplace in Hillsborough, The Pierce Homestead and the Pierce Mansion where he died the home was named Manse in 1969. The name means " a house lived in by it's owner ". The Salem, Massachusetts home of Franklin's long time friend Nathaniel Hawthorne was known as " Old Manse " and that served as the idea for the name.
Photograph Of he Home Being Moved To Its Current Location
Dining Room
Jane's Bedroom
Beaver Hat And Cane Used By Franklin
This was an interesting house with many interesting items which of course they did not want photographed. The welcome center is located just inside the front entrance and they have a few items for sale and a short video to watch. The tours are led by volunteers who were very pleasant, knowledgeable and seemed to enjoy what they were doing.

Next on to the Old North Cemetery where Many of the pierce family are buried. The wrought iron enclosure where he is buried is known as Minot enclosure. I did not track down how it got that name. Also note the plaque says that Franklin was popularly known as " Young Hickory of the Granite Hills ". In all of my visits this is the first I saw this name used to refer to Franklin.

Gate Leading Into Minot Enclosure
Franklin Pierce Grave Site
Names Of Pierce Family Members Buried Here. Interesting The Child That
 Lived Only A Couple Of Days Is Not Listed
The beautiful old white house by the cemetery is the McNeil house. He was Solomon McNeil and he married Nancy Pierce. An interesting bit of information is that Benjamin Pierce ( Franklin's ) father donated the land for this cemetery to the town of Concord with the proviso that he could continue to cut the grass and keep for his use.

Well folks that is about all I have to tell you about this 14th President of the United States who it seems to me was a very misunderstood person who had many troubling days in his life. It is time to try to find my way over, up, or what ever direction I need to go to find Jim and get him off the Appalachian Trail and safely back home. My next report will be from Mountain Meadows Lodge, Killington, Vermont.

As always remember that God loves you and so do I.

Grandpa Bill

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Franklin Pierce Homestead, Hillsborough, New Hampshire, Jul 2013

A few miles drive through the beautiful New Hampshire country side brings you to the Franklin Pierce Homestead  which is located about a hundred yards off a major state highway.  The home is open to the public and you take a guided tour through the house. These guided tours while nice and provide a lot of information are still very rushed and depending on how many people are involved often prohibit you from really getting to see things being pointed out by the guide. Today there were 2 young ladies manning the Barn which is attached to the house and serves as the visitors center and starting point of the tour. The young ladies who are state employees as opposed to volunteers take turn leading the tour and manning the visitor center.The most impressive features of this house are the size of the rooms and  the number of windows in the house.
Pierce Homestead
Franklin Pierce Homestead
Lady Blue Parked In Driveway Of Franklin Pierce Homestead. Red Building Is The Barn And Visitor Center. Yellow Building To The Left Is The Homestead
Front Of Franklin Pierce Homestead. Large Beautiful House Front Is Yellow And The Back Is Red Because Red Paint Was Cheaper. This Is True Through Out The Area.

Back Of House Is Red

Statue Of Franklin Pierce
Beautiful Sleigh Just Right For New Hampshire Winters
Franklin Pierce Homestead

Voter Registration Showing Benjamin And Franklin Registered To Vote
Kitchen, Fire Place For Cooking, Work Table Note The Old Iron Which
Would Be Heated By Fireplace Then Used. Plenty Of Cabinet Space.

Another View Of The Kitchen
Dining Room, Large Windows, Table, Fireplace. Note The Orange Paint And The
Dining Room Table And Cabinet
Ball Room. Room Is Full Width Of The House. Dances And Meetings Were Held Here. Note The Brilliant Colors And Stenciling. The Original Stenciling Was In Good Shape And They Were Able To Have It Duplicated So Accurately That It Is Thought To Be The Best In The Nation.
Another View Of Ball Room
Rope Bed At Opposite End Of Ball Room. Ropes Run Side To Side And Head To Foot
At The Foot Of The Bed There Is A Tool With Which You Can Tighten The Ropes For Proper Support.
Franklin Pierce Chair. Typically The Men Wore Very Tight Fitting Pants And A
 Sword So They Sat On He Very Front Edge Of The Chair.
Large Piece Of Furniture
Parlor Room. Very Luxurious Table Settings And Wall Paper
China On Table Piano In Back Ground
Beautiful Original Wall Paper Brought From France In 1824 And Depicts Scenes From Bay Of Naples
It Took 5 Or 6 Rolls To Cover The Room From The Chair Rail To The Ceiling. The Paper Is 170 Years Old.The Next Few Photographs Are Of the Wall Paper
Wall Paper
Wall Paper
Wall Paper Scene
Wall Paper Scene
Wall Paper Scene
Wall Paper Scene

Spinning Wheel
Master Bedroom
Double Exposure I Don't Know Why But This Is The Girls Bedroom And Canopy Bed. Note The Bright Yellow Walls. Franklin's Father Would Bring Poor Destitute Girls Whose Families Could Not Support Them Down Out Of The Mountains And Let Them Live In His Home. They Stayed Basically In The Same Room As His Own Girls And They Were Treated Like Family.
Toys In Girls Room
Cellar With Access By Stairs From The First Floor And Was Located Under The Kitchen. There Was An Outside Entry With A Sloping Walkway Through Which Barrels Could Be Rolled And Boxes Carried Into The Basement. Franklin's Father Operated A Tavern In The House.
Jefferson Davis And His Wife Were Close Friends Of Franklin & Jane And This Friendship Cost Franklin Dearly
Nathanial  Hawthorne Was A Close Friend Of Franklin's And Visited Often During Summers

I want to expand a little on some of the comment under the above photographs and perhaps interject some new thoughts about Franklin's life and I might repeat some particulars but bear with me. Concerning the children of Franklin and Jane. When Franklin was in Congress his first son was born in New Hampshire. A telegram was sent to him telling him of the birth of a boy and 2 or 3 days later a telegram was sent to him saying the baby had died. Another boy was born to them and this boy died at the age of 4 1/2 of typhus. As noted above the 3rd son Benjamin was killed at the age of 14 in a train wreck.

Concerning the friendship Of Franklin and Jane with Jefferson Davis that cost him so much.The problem was that Davis ending up fighting for the Confederacy. Many people blamed Franklin for the loss of so many lives. One of the admirable traits of Franklin was if you were his friend you were his friend always no matter what others thought.

Another friend of Franklin was Nathan Hawthorne  and when they attended college together they became very close. Hawthorne came to visit Franklin several summers however the length of these visits is not known. It is known that Hawthorne was very sickly and Franklin at his own expense took him up to the mountains for his health and the good air. They went as far as Plymouth, New Hampshire where Hawthorne died,

This house was built by Franklin's father and originally it served as a tavern and home at the same time. People came from all around to drink and discuss politics, weather, and whatever else they wanted to discuss. Often political and military leaders came to talk to Franklin's father. Many of these visitors had been in the Indian wars and the Revolutionary war and almost always these visitors ended up telling war stories and singing war songs. This was heaven for young Franklin who listened and soaked it all in until he would be told to leave the room. Of course the room was the large room upstairs known as the Ball Room the things young Franklin heard is bound to have had an influence on him.
As you approach the area the first house on the corner is the house Franklin's father gave to his daughter ( Elizabeth ) and her husband Tom McNeil. Next house is the Pierce Homestead.
Home of Tom & Elizabeth McNeil
All of the land in this area was farm land back in the time of Franklin's father but now is mostly forested. Franklin was born 1804 in a house that no longer exists in Hillsborough, New Hampshire just a few miles from the homestead. The homestead house was built in 1787 when Benjamin Pierce ( Franklin's father ) came to Hillsborough.

 Franklin went to a school not to distant from the homestead. He loved the area, nature, woods and the streams. Following is a photograph of a rock bridge that was a wood bridge when Franklin was a child and would have walked across. It can be assumed that young Franklin may have stopped and played on the rocks around the beautiful stream.
Stone Bridge
Water Flows Over Large Boulders
At the age of 12 Franklin went to high school in Hancock, New Hampshire 14 miles away so he had to board. The current house of the Hancock Historic Society was then home of the Henry Cumming,  Founder of the academy Franklin was attending.
Hancock Historical Society
Hancock, New Hampshire is a beautiful town. I never know whether to call these locations " towns", " villages " or what so town it will be. The Hancock Inn was built in 1789 and is still in use today. It supposedly is the oldest Inn in New Hampshire.
The Hancock Inn
Hancock was a much larger town than Hillsborough  and is mostly in tact today which is unusual for towns like this because most of the beautiful old buildings are gone but not so for Hancock. It is reportedly the best preserved town in New Hampshire.

After Hancock Franklin moved to a school in Francestown, New Hampshire where he stayed in the house of Peter Woodberry. This house was about the size and style of his fathers. Franklin studied here for 1 semester. While here he became friends with Levi Woodberry who lived 1789 - 1851 and was born in Francestown. Levi was older than Franklin and had a positive influence on him. Levi  went on to serve in the  state legislature, Judge, Governor, U.S. Senator, Secretary of Navy, Secretary of Treasury, and US Supreme Court. His record of public service has been unmatched by any other New Hampshire citizen. Franklin's father had been a positive influence on Levi and it is thought that Levi was in a way repaying this by being a positive influence on young Franklin.
In school Franklin went through several changes . It is reported at first that he was afraid and ran off to go home. Later he became rather mischievous  in breaking into other students rooms and messing thing up Many of these room were in other peoples homes and they were out looking for Franklin. It is said that when he left for another school that some folks were glad.

Next he went to Bowdoin College where at first he was not a very good student. It appears he was a party animal and did not apply himself to his studies. Some people at the college recognized his potential and had a heart to heart talk with him and by the time he graduated he was 3rd in his class. After graduation from Bowdoin he did not attend school again. He came back to Hillsborough and set up a law office across the street from the homestead in a barn built by his father.
Barn Which Housed Franklin's First Law Office
At this time his father was Governor of New Hampshire and Franklin entered the political arena. His father owned a graphite mine in Goshen and his father sent him to check on things. His frequent trips gave him the opportunity to travel through many small towns and talk to people. One such town was Washington Center New Hampshire where his father owned a lot of land and he was sent there to check on the status of the farms. In Washington Center was  the Faxon House which was built in 1790. The Faxons were friends of Franklin's father and he no doubt spent time there. This house is thought to be a model for the Pierce Homestead.
Faxon House

Front Entrance Of Faxon House
Faxon House
Franklin's law practice is going well and he has an office in a newer building he bought from his brother in law John McNeil. His father helped make it larger and he fixed it up. He later married Jane and brought her to live in the house but she did not like Hillsborough. She thought the area was a little to rustic. After 4 years they sold the house and moved to Concord, New Hampshire.
Franklin's Second Law Office
Franklin And Jane's Hillsborough Home
The area around Hillsborough is hilly to say the least and beautiful. Originally only the hill tops were cleared of timber because the soil was shallow and the stumps were easy to remove. Of course the shallow soil did not support agriculture very long and the trees took over again. At the earlier time the view from these hilltops was spectacular. Even with this being said many of the areas today look much like they did in Franklin's time. The following photos are of photos showing some of the grand old houses rock fences, narrow roads, rock bridges and hills. Note some of the beautiful fall colors.
Beautiful Old Buildings
Stone Bridge
Stone Fences
Looking Out Over The Fields At Hills  And Mountains
Next we will look at the cemetery where Franklin is buried and The Pierce Manse House and the meeting up with Jim and his buddies as they come off the Appalachian Trail for a nights rest and resupply. Until then remember that God Loves you and so do I.

Grandpa Bill