The American Precision Museum celebrates what came to be known in the nineteenth century as the “American system of manufacturing.” The “American system” made modern mass manufacturing possible by combining great refinements in the division of labor, growing precision in machine tooling, and the use of standardized parts. These three factors made it possible to produce manufactured items of high quality at a cost low enough to market to the mass public. The “American system” first developed during the 1840′s and 1850′s in New England with light metalworking industries, including firearms, clocks, watches, locks, and tools of various kinds. From there it spread to neighboring areas and other industries.
The American Precision Museum is housed in a historic building that was itself part of the new system, the Robbins and Lawrence Armory, a National Historic Landmark that was built in 1846. The armory is a fine example of nineteenth century American industrial architecture. The museum displays examples of mechanical and manufacturing technology from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including some of the interchangeable parts were first produced at the Robbins and Lawrence Armory. The collections also include historic hand and machine tools, guns, sewing machines, typewriters, scale models, measuring devices, and consumer products. A library and resource center are available to students and scholars. The museum also sponsors a variety of activities, including an archaeological excavation at a nearby gristmill site, lectures, demonstrations, and walking tours.
The American Precision Museum is located at 196 Main Street in Windsor, Vermont 05089. Windsor is just off Interstate 91 about 20 miles south of White River Junction, Vermont.
In early twentieth-century Kansas City, segregation confined the African American community to a neighborhood around 18th and Vine, isolated from the white world. In this neighborhood, the black community cultivated two forms of jazz music, swing, which was born in Kansas City, and Bebop, which came from elsewhere but grew and developed in the city. Kansas City now celebrates its jazz heritage at the American Jazz Museum. The museum features permanent exhibits on jazz greats Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Charlie “Bird” Parker. The “Studio 18th and Vine” exhibit displays the components of a working music studio with five listening stations to each visitors about the instrumental sections of a jazz band. A resource center called “Jazz Central” houses a collection of research materials, Internet access to jazz-related Web sites, and more than 100 great jazz recordings. The museum’s “Blue Room” recreates the old nightclub of the same name, which was one of the hottest venues in the 18th and Vine District during the 1930′s and 1940′s. The Blue Room displays exhibits on the Kansas City jazz heritage by day, and serves four nights a week as a working jazz club featuring local and national jazz artists. The Charlie Parker Memorial Plaza, featuring a 17-foot bronze reflection of “Bird,” is located just west of the American Jazz Museum at 17th and Vine. Charles Christopher Parker was born in Kansas City, Kansas, August 29,1920, but he cultivated his craft in the Missouri city. The museum is housed with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in 18th and Vine Complex, in the heart of Kansas City’s historic African American neighborhood.
Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village is on the site of several villages established by Native Americans around 1000 AD near what is now Mitchell, South Dakota. About a thousand people lived in the village in 70 huts constructed of timber frames and mud plaster. The site has been amazingly well preserved because the land has not been plowed in modern times, leaving the ground relatively untouched and full of artifacts. The museum consists of two facilities, the Boehnen Museum and the Archeodome. The Boehnen Museum houses the Patton Gallery, which exhibits an artifact display (including arrowheads and tools) and a replica of a prehistoric Indian Village lodge. The Archeodome is built over two earth lodges and serves as a year round archeological laboratory, allowing archaeologists unlimited access to the excavation site.
Baraboo is the original headquarters of the Ringling Brothers Circus. In 1884 the five Ringling brothers presented their first circus extravaganza in Baraboo, and continued to winter there until 1918. The following year the Ringling brothers, who had in 1907 purchased the Barnum & Bailey Circus, consolidated their holdings and moved to the warmer climate of Florida. In 1959 the original headquarters in Baraboo became The Circus World Museum. The museum complex preserves the original structures; showcases an incomparable collection of circus wagons and memorabilia; and best of all, provides visitors with a nostalgic journey to a bygone era. Circus World Museum is owned by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin and operated by Circus World Museum Foundation, a non-profit organization.
Carleton Martello Tower dates from the War of 1812 between Great Britain and the United States. The Tower was part of a defensive system constructed against a landward attack on New Brunswick from the west. The original Tower was typical of a design used during the Napoleaonic Wars. Over one hundred such towers erected in Britain during the period to guard against the possibility of French invasion. Like others of its kind, Carleton Martello was accessible through a doorway in the second story, or barrack floor. The ground floor contained storage space and a powder magazine. The tower’s flat roof was designed to accommodate artillery pieces and was surrounded by a parapet. The key structural feature was a circular brick pillar that supported both the roof and the arched brick ceiling which, along with the thick walls, was designed to absorb artillery fire.
The site is located in West Saint John, New Brunswick. From Highway 1, eastbound traffic should take the Digby Ferry (Exit 109) before the toll bridge and follow the Parks Canada Beaver signs and Digby Ferry signs to Market Place. At the end of Market Place, turn right at St. John/Dufferin streets to Whipple. Watch closely for the Beaver signs. From Highway 1, westbound traffic takes the Digby Ferry (Exit 109) after the harbour toll bridge. Again, right at St. John/Dufferin streets to Whipple. Watch closely for the Beaver signs.
According to CNN, “A massive northern California wildfire that’s threatening Yosemite National Park and San Francisco’s key water and power sources continues to grow, becoming the 13th largest in state history…”
“The Rim Fire, which has devoured 160,980 acres, has scorched an area about the size of the city of Chicago while more than 3,600 firefighters try to rein it in.”
Yosemite National Park may be the most spectacular of the national parks that preserve part of the landscape that existed before European settlement and development of the continent. As a natural preserve and natural history park, Yosemite has several major attractions: alpine wilderness, three groves of Giant Sequoias, and the glacially carved Yosemite Valley with impressive waterfalls, cliffs and unusual rock formations. Yosemite also has a living history exhibit on Native American life, the Indian Village of Ahwahnee. The Indian Museum has displays baskets, clothing, tools and jewelry along with demonstrations of beading and crafts. The Pioneer History Center (located in Wawona, 10 miles from the South Entrance Station) has historic buildings of many kinds collected from throughout the park and furnished with authentic period pieces. Let’s hope the fire is extinguished soon.
There are four entrances to the park: the south entrance on Highway 41 north from Fresno, the Arch Rock entrance on Highway 140 west from Merced, the Big Oak Flat entrance on Highway 120 west from Modesto and Manteca and the Tioga Pass entrance on Highway 120 east from Lee Vining and Highway 395. The Tioga Pass entrance is closed from the first major snowstorm in November until approximately early June due to snow. The roads entering the park on its west side are kept open all year, but may require tire chains because of snow anytime between November and April. Visitors may experience traffic delays or periods of restricted access on Highway 140 inside the park due to road construction. For this and other reasons, you might want to consider visiting Yosemite without your car. Visitors can ride YARTS buses from gateway communities outside the Park into Yosemite Valley. YARTS run buses on Highway 140, Highway 120 East, Highway 120 West, and between Wawona and Yosemite Valley.
On March 1, 1872, Yellowstone was established as the nation’s first national park, encompassing more than 2.2 million acres of wildlife, wilderness, and wondrous scenery. It is well known that Yellowstone contains an “embarrassment” of riches. This vast wilderness contains more than 10,000 hot springs, mud pots, hot pots, fumaroles, and other geothermal phenomena, including Old Faithful Geyser. Other treasures include waterfalls, wildlife, fossil forests, Yellowstone’s 1,500-foot deep Grand Canyon, Hayden Valley, Lower Falls, and Yellowstone Lake, the largest mountain lake in North America.
There are man-made wonders as well: numerous park lodges, museums, a road system designed to show off many of the wonders, and the historic Old Faithful Inn. The awe-inspiring Old Faithful Inn was built in 1903 – 1904 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987. This log hotel, with gabled roof, gnarled logs, and seven-story interior log lobby stands adjacent to the world’s best-known geyser, Old Faithful. Designed by Robert Reamer, the rustic grandeur of the Inn was a first for the National Park Service. The Inn continues as an active hotel with accommodations of varying price levels. Even if you aren’t a guest of the Inn, it definitely deserves a visit.
And that’s just for starters. Summon up your reserve energy, because the park offers unbounded, year-round recreational opportunities.
Legend has it that Indians had identified healing springs in the mountains of what later became “Arkansas” long before Europeans reached the region. In 1856, Dr. Alvah Jackson claimed that the waters from Basin Spring in northwestern Arkansas had cured his son of an eye ailment. After the Civil War, Dr. Jackson started a business selling “Dr. Jackson’s Eye Water,” and people began to flock to the site of the healing springs. By 1879, about 400 people had settled around the springs, and the new town of Eureka Springs was established in 1880. When the railroad arrived a few years later, Eureka Springs entered a golden age as one of America’s top spa towns. Fifty fine hotels, along with hundreds of commercial buildings and residences, were built in the town during the thirty years from 1880 to 1910. These beautiful old structures are now the heart of the Eureka Springs Historic District, which has over 33 significant and 250 contributing structures registered with the National Register of Historic Places. Basin Spring itself is located in Basin Park downtown. Other highlights of the historic district include: the 1886 Crescent Hotel, Eureka’s first stone structure, which is perched on top of one of the town’s hills; the 1900 New Orleans Hotel, which features fancy iron grillwork reminiscent of its namesake city; Hatchet Hall, lovingly named in remembrance of its most famous resident, Carrie Nation, who spent the last three years of her life in Eureka Springs; the Crescent Cottage Inn, originally a home built in 1881 by former Arkansas Governor Powell Clayton; and the Bank of Eureka Springs, with a meticulously restored interior of oak furniture, brass tellers’ cages, and antique business machines. The Eureka Springs Historical Museum is located in the former Califf House, which was built in 1889 as a residence and general store. The museum offers self-guided exhibits on local history, a doll collection, and historic photographs.
I came upon this site unexpectedly while returning from an archaeological investigation I conducted near Marion, Indiana. I often drive on the back roads and “Blue Highways” when I am out doing field work. Interesting discoveries can be made when driving “off the beaten path.” The Mississinewa Battlefield is one of a number of historic sites in the Old Northwest Territories associated with the War of 1812.
Michilimackinac and Detroit were captured by the British by the summer of 1812 mostly with the assistance of the Native American Indiana populations in the region. Some from the Miami and Delaware groups had assembled along the Mississinewa River, a tributary of the Wabash River. Uneasy with the growing number of Indians gathering here William Henry Harrison, commander of the North Western Army, directed Lieutenant Colonel John B. Campbell to rout these people.
With a force of approximately 600 men Campbell marched through the regions burning villages they encountered. By the middle of December the returned to the site of their first attack along the Mississinewa River to camp. Early the next morning the were ambushed by an undetermined number of Indians. The battle was brief. Fifteen Indians and eight of Campbell’s soldiers had been killed. Forty two soldiers and an unknown number of Indians were badly wounded. Campbell gathered his forces and retreated to Greenville.
Today the battlefield can be found seven miles northwest of Marion, Indiana. It has two monuments: one dedicated to the American Indians and one to the American Soldiers. There are also twelve marked graves on the site. Every Autumn there is a reenactment of the battle at the site.
Independence National Historical Park, located in downtown (‘Center City’) Philadelphia, features two icons of American history. Independence Hall was originally the State House of the Pennsylvania colony. The Continental Congress first met there in 1774, and adopted the Declaration of Independence there in 1776. Later, the Confederation Congress and the Constitutional Convention also met in Independence Hall. The Liberty Bell, which was originally the official bell of the Pennsylvania State House, is housed in a special display center just down the street from Independence Hall.
Location Information and directions