The final focus of my birthday trip centers on a trip to Maysville, Kentucky and the historical district that spawned Harriet Beecher Stowe’s writing of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” In 1833, while a guest in the Marshall Key home, Mrs. Stowe (then Beecher) witnessed a slave auction on the lawn of the Court House, prompting her to want to educate people about slavery concerns. Today the Harriet Beecher Stowe Slavery to Freedom Museum is housed next door to the Court House auction site and documents the details of slave sales -- and of the Underground Railroad which was active in the same home!
Maysville is a terraced city on the Ohio River dating back to 1786, and has 155 buildings listed on the National Historic Register. With so much to see and tour our afternoon visit focused on the Harriet Beecher Stowe story, with a private tour of several buildings influenced by her visit at the age of 18 years old. Here are some pictures of the buildings along Old Main Street.
Our tour, while lasting a full 2 hours, only covered a short stretch of the buildings on Old Main Street, and I have tucked away the self-guided tour pamphlet for a return trip. With 155 buildings to look through -- it might take a lot more than one more trip!
Nestled in Adam's County off St. Rt. 32 about an hour east of Cincinnati on 25 wooded acres is the Rooster's Nest Bed and Breakfast. This rustic cabin is the real deal, with hand-carved logs that date back to 1788 and a rural setting that is authentic inside and out and accentuated with roosters, roosters, rooster! Over 1,500 roosters!
In this setting, Lois, Cindy and I set up camp for an overnight while on my birthday road trip! (described in my previous post)
Here are some pictures from our all too brief stay at the Rooster's Nest.
Check back for one more post on this extraordinary trip -- our tour of the inspiration for "Uncle Tom's Cabin!"
Turning 60 is amazing when good friends mark it with a noteworthy road trip! This adventure had nothing to do with the Silvermine and camping, but is notable for every other detail, and thus deserves a ‘streamin’ blog entry.
The purpose of the jaunt was two-fold: to celebrate my birthday and to visit a teacher friend who lives in rural Ohio south and east of Cincinnati. Years ago Margie found her little retirement dream in the middle of quiet Amish countryside and has since worked to fine-tune her homestead vision. She is now fully retired and firmly established in a little piece of heaven that all originated out of a wilderness hunter’s cabin that originally had an outhouse and no electricity or water! Lois and Cindy and I made the 4-hour journey to see Margie’s latest and final transformation of her little cabin in the woods to her retirement retreat.
The original hunter's cabin was the basis around which this sanctuary was built. All by itself it is a functional haven in the woods; downstairs sitting area and upstairs sleeping loft, with an accommodating chamber pot for midnight convenience! During her final teaching years Margie retreated to the little cabin during weekends to plot her restoration and build her future.
Next, Margie added an "annex" to the complex; it was a very serviceable outpost with bathroom facilities, kitchenette, indoor dog kennels (did I mention she raises award winning Doberman Pincher?) and a beautiful indoor aviary a-fly with exotic finches. This served for several years as her weekend retirement base as she took care of winding up her working life as a high school biology teacher in Northwest Ohio.
Finally, Margie established permanent residency in her wooded utopia and began connecting the little cabin with the annex to provide a full-featured home. Or course, the logistics of the building addition is not the only WOW factor of Margie's home -- the details of a life-long love of antiques and collecting have all accumulated to create an environment that has a permanent atmosphere of backwoods paradise.
It was in this delightful setting that Cindy, Lois and I spent two afternoons with Margie, enjoying her hospitality and the chance to see her finished dream. Thank you Margie for inviting us to spend time in your beautiful haven.My only regret is that I did not get pictures of the outside -- which just means another future visit!
Aside from sharing her home with us, Margie arranged for us to stay at a wonderful Bed and Breakfast and took us on an historical tour full of surprises down by the Ohio River. You will have to come back in a few days to read about this continuing adventure.
Renewed and rested we departed Grandma’s house ready for Natchez, Mississippi and the start of the Natchez Trace Trail and beyond – a total of 494 miles for the day! The Natchez Trace is a historical path that extends from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. It is a restful parkway drive with little traffic, no commercial distractions and splendid woodsy background.
Our destination was a resort-style campground in Vicksburg, Mississippi where we would spend two nights touring the Vicksburg Battlefield and the old downtown of Vicksburg.
“Vicksburg is the nail head that holds the South's two halves together...Vicksburg is the key" and with that in mind, Lincoln set in motion the Vicksburg Campaign in the early summer of 1863. A 47-day siege ended in the surrender of the city and gave the Union control of the Mississippi River.
The 16 mile battlefield road was lined with 1,325 historic monuments and markers, 20 miles of historic trenches and earthworks, a 12.5-mile walking trail, two antebellum homes, and 144 cannons. Following the map with commentaries provided by the National Park Service we enjoyed the circuit.
Our next, and last touring stop on this vacation was the National Battle Park of Shiloh, TN. The Battle of Shiloh was one of the first major battles in the Western Theater of the American Civil War. The two-day battle involved 65,000 Union troops under Ulysses S. Grant and 44,000 Confederate under Albert Johnston who was killed in the battle. The battle resulted in nearly 24,000 killed, wounded and missing. The battle is named after Shiloh Methodist Church, a small wooden structure.
This was by no means the end of our vacation, but it did signal the end of our Civil War and historical explorations.
The rest of the vacation was planned for one of our all-time favorite settings -- Elkmont campground in The Great Smoky Mts. National Park! We had reservations for three nights and plans to meet up with family and friends for part of the stay.
The only time I got the camera out was for a quick picture of our campsite!
So that wraps up the end of this trip. Here are a few statistics:
Total miles on the trip: 4485 Total miles on the Silvermine: 4141 Total days gone: 21
Our calendar is fairly blank until the end of July and we look forward to planning short trips whenever the spirit moves us!
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown