Richmond Town began as a hamlet in 1690 and by 1730 it was the seat of the county government. The Staten Island Historical Society began restoration of the old hamlet in 1936 to portray the evolution of a Staten Island settlement during the seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries. Historic Richmondtown is now a 100-acre park with more than two dozen historic buildings representing a variety of architectural styles across four centuries. The buildings include the Voorlezer’s House (circa 1696), the oldest remaining elementary school in the country, the Treasure House (circa 1700), where $5,000 in gold coins was found behind a wall, and the Grocery Store (circa 1870), which now displays the equipment of an old printing shop. The buildings display authentic furnishings, antique toys, vehicles, costumes, and memorabilia. Costumed reenactors model the life and the activities of householders, farmers, merchants, and tradesman of earlier eras.
Historic Richmondtown is located at 441 Clarke Avenue, Staten Island, New York 10306. To reach Historic Richmondtown by bus, take S #74 to Richmond Road and Court Place. By car, take the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to the Richmond Road/Clove Road exit, and then turn left onto Richmond Avenue. Take Richmond approximately 5 miles. Historic Richmondtown is on the left. Or take the West Shore Expressway to Richmond Avenue, and turn left onto Arthur Kill Road to Clarke Avenue.
Holy Trinity is the oldest Christian congregation in the Delaware Valley. The first Christian services in the region were led by a priest of the Church of Sweden at Fort Christina in 1640. The church building was dedicated on Holy Trinity Sunday, July 4, 1699. When the last Swedish priest, Lars Girelius, left in 1791, the congregation called Joseph Clarkson, the Anglican assistant to Nils Collin in Philadelphia. In 1795, the charter was amended to allow the calling of one “ordained according to the ordination of the Lutheran or Episcopal Church.” The church graveyard holds the burial sites of many prominent leaders and churchmen of the colonial and revolutionary eras.
Old Swedes’ Church is located at 606 Church Street, in Wilmington, DE 19801.
Alamance Battleground preserves the site of an 1771 battle between armed farmers from the North carolina backcountry, called “Regulators,” and the colonial militia led by royal governor William Tryon. The Regulators had a number of grievances against the colonial government. These grievances were not yet, as they would be in a few years, with the form of the government itself, but rather with official abuses such as excessive taxes, dishonest sheriffs, imposition of illegal fees, and even the scarcity of money with which to pay the taxes and fees they owed. The association of “Regulators” was formed in the backcountry in 1768 to address the farmers’ grievances to officials in the eastern part of the colony. When their appeals to the government failed, the Regulators refused to pay taxes and fees, resisted administration of the law, and disrupted court proceedings. Governor Tryon mustered the militia, and marched against the Regulators in the spring of 1771. On May 16, the militia confronted about 2,000 Regulators on the banks of Alamance Creek in the heart of the backcountry. The relatively undisciplined Regulators were completely unable to hold their own against the colonial militia (who were about to prove in a few years that they could not stand in the field against real professional soldiers). The militia lost nine killed and sixty-one wounded; Regulator losses were much greater. Tryon executed seven of the fifteen prisoners he took. Many Regulators moved on to other frontier areas beyond North Carolina. Those who stayed were offered pardons by the governor in exchange for pledging an oath of allegiance to the royal government. Alamance Battleground is preserved today with a granite monument that was erected as a memorial in 1880. The park grounds also contain the Allen House, a log dwelling characteristic of the frontier, built by backcountry farmer John Allen around 1780 for his family. The house was moved to Alamance Battleground and restored after John Allen’s descendants donated it to the state of North Carolina in 1967.
Alamance Battleground is located in Burlington, North Carolina 27215. Burlington is in central North Carolina, off Interstate 40/85 between Durham and Greensboro. From Interstate 40/85 in Burlington take N.C. 62 south (exit 143). Follow the directional signs on N.C. 62 for approximately six miles. The site entrance is located on the right.
Fort Popham is located at the mouth of the Kennebec River, near the place where English colonists made their first attempt to establish a settlement in New England in 1607. (The Popham colony, unlike the colony established at Jamestown the same year, did not survive.) Fortifications were erected at the site of Fort Popham to protect the communities along the Kennebec River during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Fort Popham itself is a semi-circular granite fort with thirty-foot walls. It was built in 1861 to protect the maine coast from Confederate raiders. Modifications were made during the late nineteenth century and the fort remained garrison in the Spanish American War and World War I.
Fort Popham State Historic Site is located on Route 209 near Phippsburg, Maine 04562, 15 miles from Bath and two miles away from Popham Beach State Park.
Colonial Pemaquid is located at the mouth of the Pemaquid River near Bristol, Maine. The site was a frontier settlement in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. A fort, called William Henry, was constructed to protect the settlement from Indian raids and pirate attacks. Archaeological excavations have unearthed the foundations of colonial structures and the officers’ quarters at Fort William Henry. A museum displays many artifacts uncovered at the site, including musket balls, coins, pottery, and early hardware. The site includes a reconstruction of Fort William Henry, which also houses museum exhibits. Guided tours are available during the summer months.
Colonial Pemaquid is located four miles from Damariscotta on Maine Route 129, then take Maine Route 130 for nine miles, bear right one mile.
Fort Constitution was one of seven forts that once constituted the defenses of Portsmouth Harbor. The first fortification on the site was an earthwork with four “great guns” erected in 1632. A timber blockhouse was built in 1666. A stronger fort, named Fort William and Mary, was erected later as one of the “castles” established along the Atlantic coastal to protect the colonies of British America. This fort was seized by Patriots at the beginning of the American Revolution. In 1791 the State of New Hampshire gave Fort William and Mary to the United States. The fort was repaired, renamed Fort Constitution, and garrisoned with a company of United States artillery. The fort was used during the War of 1812 and was a training center during the Civil War. The old fort was replaced after the Civil War with a massive, three-tiered granite structure that served as part of the modernized coastal defenses in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Fort Constitution State Historic Site is located on a peninsula at the northeast corner of New Castle Island, overlooking both the Pisquatua River and the Atlantic Ocean.
Fort Constitution Historic Site is located on New Hampshire Route 1B at the U.S. Coast Guard Station, New Castle.
Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park preserves the remains of a Revolutionary War fort that was the scene of a famous and controversial attack by British forces under the notorious Benedict Arnold. On September 6, 1781, Arnold’s forces landed near Groton, Connecticut and advanced against the fort, which was garrisoned by about 150 colonial militia and local men under the command of Colonel William Ledyard. The British regulars quickly captured the fort. What happened next is a matter of controversy. The Americans claimed that Ledyard gave up his sword in surrender, only to be immediately killed along with 88 of his men. The British version of events makes no mention of the massacre or the manner of Ledyard’s death. Whatever the truth about the massacre, the entire battle had lasted only 40 minutes.
The fort is located at the corner of Monument St. and Park Ave., in Groton, Connecticut 06340 (exit 87 off I-95).
The first father and son to have both served as U.S. presidents were John and John Quincy Adams. Both John and John Quincy had long and distinguished careers in public service. For both, the presidency was the least successful and probably least satisfying experience in public service. John and John Quincy Adams were the only two one-term presidents among the first six men to hold the offcie. Both were driven from office by the leaders of broad popular movements against the more elitist style of politics represented by the Adamses. The Adams National Historic Site includes the birthplaces of John and John Quincy Adams, as well as the “Old House,” which was home to four generations of the Adams family. The site also includes the United First Parish Church, where both Presidents and their First Ladies are entombed in the Adams family crypt.
From Boston and Route 128: Traveling south on U.S. Interstate 93 or Route 128, take exit 7 – Route 3 south to Braintree and Cape Cod. Take the first exit off Route 3 south – exit 18, Washington Street and the Quincy Adams T. Continue straight on Burgin Parkway through six sets of traffic lights. At the seventh set of traffic lights, turn right onto Dimmock Street. Follow Dimmock Street one block to the intersection of Hancock Street. Turn right onto Hancock Street. The National Park Service Visitor Center, located in the Galleria at President’s Place is two blocks on your left, 1250 Hancock Street. Parking is in the garage in the rear of the building, turn left just before the building. From Cape Cod: Traveling north on Route 3, take exit 19, Quincy Adams T. Quincy Center. Continue straight on Burgin Parkway through six sets of traffic lights. At the seventh set of traffic lights, turn right on to Dimmock Street. Follow Dimmock Street one block to the intersection of Hancock Street. Turn right on to Hancock Street. The National Park Service Visitor Center located in the Galleria at Presidents Place is two blocks on your left, 1250 Hancock Street. Validated parking is in the garage in the rear of the building, turn left just before the building.
James K. Polk was one of the most successful American presidents, at least in his own terms. He set out so complete the annexation of Texas, acquire California from Mexico, settle the boundary of the Oregon Territory, and lower the tariff. He accomplished these things, and went home at the end of one term to Tennessee. Unfortunately, his acquisition of the southwestern territories from Mexico ignited the last stage of the long dispute over the expansion of slavery, and resulted in Civil War just eleven years after Polk left office. Polk himself died less than four months after leaving office. This site is located on land once owned by Polk’s parents. The memorial commemorates significant events in the Polk administration: the Mexican War, settlement of the Oregon boundary dispute, and the annexation of California. Reconstructions of typical homestead buildings-a log house, separate kitchen, and barn-are authentically furnished. The Visitor Center features a film on Polk’s life and civic contributions.
The James K. Polk Memorial is located in near Charlotte, North Carolina. From Interstate 77 south of Charlotte take Interstate 485 east (Exit 2). At the Pineville exit take U.S. 521 south through the town of Pineville for about one and one-half miles. The Polk Memorial is on the left.
The famous home of Thomas Jefferson was a work-in-progress during most of Jefferson’s lifetime, designed and redesigned, built and rebuilt over more than forty years. Jefferson described the house as his ‘essay in architecture.’ The final product is a monument to Enlightenment rationality and the cultivation of a refined and contemplative way of life. The home and grounds are now lovingly (that’s not too strong a word) maintained by the private Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation. The waiting line for entrance to the house can be two or even three hours long during the summer. It’s worth it, but even a stroll around the grounds is rewarding if you don’t have the time to wait. The guides are very well informed, so ask lots of questions. Don’t ask about Sally Hemings, though (somebody will bring that up anyway). Ask about the contributions of slave labor to Jefferson’s way of life, and why he (unlike Washington and Madison) did not free all his slaves in his will.
Located in the Virginia Piedmont, Monticello is about two miles southeast of Charlottesville and approximately 125 miles from Washington, D.C.; 110 miles from Williamsburg, Virginia; and 70 miles from Richmond, Virginia. From Interstate 64, take exit 121 (if traveling westbound) or 121 A (eastbound) to Route 20 South (If traveling westbound, turn south, or left, on Route 20). To go to the Monticello Visitors Center, turn right at the first stoplight. To go to Monticello, turn left on Route 53, just after the first stoplight. The entrance to Monticello is located on the left, approximately one and a half miles from Route 20.