Thursday, October 2, 2014

George Rogers Clark not Lewis and Clark

Oaktown, Indiana
New Vision RV Park
Pull Thru #32

While we were at the MOC Rally in Goshen, someone asked us where we were headed.  I said we hadn't been to Vincennes and thought we'd visit while we were in Indiana.  Their reply was "why would you go there?"

The weather forecast called for rain and heavy winds.  Bill thought he felt well enough to go see a site.  We gathered the rain jackets as this is what it looked like out our window about 8 am.
The George Rogers State National Historic Park was our first stop.  We figured since it wasn't raining we'd do the outdoor sites first.  

The trees at the park haven't changed colors like they had in Goshen, but there were still some leaves on the ground.  
This was our first sight of the memorial.  I figured we'd walk around and be finished in less than 20 minutes.  Wrong!  
Tecumseh played a large role in the history of this area. 

As we walked into the visitor's center there was another RV couple from Minnesota.  The park ranger was telling them the story of George Rogers Clark.  She said they had a bus of 7th grade students who were late.  I asked if we could visit the memorial before they arrived.  She immediately grabbed her park ranger hat and keys and accompanied us outside.  She pointed out the site of Fort Sackville and its importance.  

Thirty three steps to the door, 80 feet high and 180 feet at the base which makes this only 18 and a half feet shorter than the Lincoln Memorial.  The walls are two feet thick and the exterior is made of granite. 

George Rogers Clark was a hero from the Revolutionary War.  William Clark was his younger brother and famous for the Lewis and Clark expedition.  

The ranger was great.  She told the four of us how important this surrender of Fort Sackville was in acquiring the Northwest Territory which includes, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota.  

Since the walls are two feet thick, voices really carried inside the rotunda.  I was so glad we were ahead of the 60 school students.  This memorial is the largest one of any American battlefield.

The ranger gave us headsets to listen to the story and tell us about the 7 murals.    

The ranger took photos of us and we had a precise place she wanted us to stand.  She wanted the dome, statue and murals in the photo.
She then got on the floor and took this photo.  She was an example of a perfect park ranger.  Lots of knowledge and truly excited about educating others.  
This is the Wabash River from the steps of the Memorial.  

Can you imagine carrying your rifles overhead and forging the river in February?  Notice the blue skies and sun?  It turned into a beautiful day and very warm.  
We learned more about Francis Vigo at another stop.  We returned to the visitors center to view a video about Clark. The video about Clark, did a great job of explaining the battle.

The best medicine for Bill is history.  He said he felt better so we crossed the bridge into Illinois for a look at the Lincoln monument.

Abraham Lincoln passed this way with his family entering the state of Illinois in 1830.  That was it, just a monument and parking for a couple of cars, back to Indiana.  

We did pass this sign showing the Wabash Cannonball Bridge was 3 miles down a road.  
Bill wanted to tour the French House and Indian Museum.  We had read a few reviews and they were all good.  The only problem, you have to call and schedule a tour.

The next stop on "what would you find interesting in Vincennes" was the William Henry Harrison mansion.  Wow!
If you are a regular reader you know we don't miss many of these places.  This has to be one of the best ones.  We rang the bell and were immediately greeted by someone in period clothing.  The only down side was we weren't allowed to photograph anything on the inside.  

Our guide was very knowledgeable but he was surprised when he asked if we knew the four states with a state gun.  I gave him, Utah and Arizona and Bill piped in with the other two, Indiana and West Virginia.  He showed us a Kentucky long rifle hand engraved by Small.  He said many people come to tour the mansion only to see the rifle on display.  

The tour was great and we were shown the basement, first floor and second floors.  Grouseland, the name Harrison gave the mansion because he liked to hunt grouse was built in 1803-1804.  

One thing I learned was the biggest earthquake wasn't in California.  It happened in 1811 and because of the construction of the mansion, there were only two rooms with cracks from it.  

The First Territorial Capital was next door so we walked over to tour it.  There was a sign that said on tour join us. Unfortunately, all the buildings were locked and there was no one to join.  
The red building was the capital.  

Bill was enjoying himself so he said, let's go visit the Red Skelton Museum.  I don't know if you knew that Red Skelton was from Vincennes, but that's your bit of trivia for the day. 

I guess I'm telling my age, in remembering Red Skelton.  They had a short video that was pretty good.  The museum went in a circle and had many interactive sections.  The one I liked was the radio background noise.  

One of his first movies, "The Fuller Brush Man".  
He transitioned from radio to television easily.  
He donated a lot to the Shriner's.  Red Skelton was a 33 degree Freemason, the highest degree obtainable. 

Do you remember Sheriff Deadeye?

Red Skelton will always be remembered for the USO shows he did.  He loved to make people laugh.  

I like his version of the the Pledge. (click on it to make it larger)

I learned that Red Skelton loved to paint.  There were many of his paintings displayed.  

We headed back to the RV park.  The rains came down about 6 pm.  If the rain clears, we'll pull out tomorrow.  Not sure what direction.  I missed the Truman library because of the Sunday hours on our way to the Escapade, so we may head back that way.  I guess we'll figure that out, when we come to a turn in the road.  

Turtle Safely........

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting today and please feel free to leave a comment. I enjoy reading your comments.