Sarah Whitman Hooker Homestead, Connecticut

The Sarah Whitman Hooker Homestead, built in 1715, is the oldest surviving structure in West Hartford, Connecticut. The house, originally two-story structure with one room on each floor, was expanded several times during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Sarah Whitman Hooker lived in the house with her husband Thomas in the 1770’s. After Thomas died of disease at the siege of Boston in 1775, “the widow Hooker” was asked to lodge two Tory prisoners during the winter of 1775-76. During the winter, Sarah was forced to dissuade some of the townspeople from tarring and feathering her two guests. Sarah Hooker lived until 1830, but sold the house to her children in 1800. (The children later sold it to cousins.) The house is now open to the public on a limited schedule. The interior is furnished as it was during Sarah Whitman Hooker’s residence.

Sarah Whitman Hooker Homestead is located at 1237 New Britain Avenue West Hartford, Connecticut 06107, off Interstate 84 at exit 41.

Fort King George State Historic Site, Georgia

From 1721 to 1736, Fort King George was the southern outpost of the British Empire in North America. The fort was built to protect the young and struggling colony of Georgia against any potential threat from the Spanish in Florida to the south. The British constructed a cypress blockhouse, barracks, and palisaded earthen fort on the site in 1721. The fort was garrisoned by His Majesty’s Independent Company. The fort itself was eventually abandoned because of the hardship the garrison had to endure from the harsh coastal environment. But Scottish Highlanders came to the site in 1736 to found a settlement, called Darien, which eventually became a foremost export center of lumber until 1925. The state of Georgia has reconstructed the eighteenth-century fortifications using old records and plans. A museum offers displays and exhibits on the local Guale Indians, the old fort, the Scots of Darien, and the nineteenth century Darien sawmill.

Fort King George State Historic Site is located in southeastern Georgia, near Darien, 3 miles east of Interstate 95 exit 49.

Fort at No. 4 Living History Museum, New Hampshire

At the time of the French and Indian War, No. 4 was the northernmost British settlement, thirty miles from its nearest neighbor. The fort was actually a fortified village, created by pulling together five existing province houses, building a sixth one, and connecting them with leantos, and a large two-story building containing the only entry gate into the fort. The recreated fort now standing in Charlestown, New Hampshire is a living history museum of this early period.

Fort at No. 4 is located in Charlestown, New Hampshire, 1 1/2 miles from Exit 7, off I-91.

Mount Independence State Historic Site, Vermont

American Revolutionary troops built a fort complex to guard against a British attack from Canada at this site along the Vermont shore of Lake Champlain. The troops named it Mount Independence in honor of the Declaration of Independence. The fort faced north and stood across the lake from the fort at Ticonderoga. The site was evacuated when British General John Burgoyne forced the surrender of Ticonderoga. Today the state of Vermont preserves the site with several miles of hiking trails that lead to the batteries, blockhouses, hospital, barracks, and other archaeological remains of the fort. The visitor center museum contains exhibits featuring many of the artifacts recovered during recent archaeological investigations.

The site is located approximately 50 miles south of Burlington, just west of State Route 22A and the village of Orwell.

Historic Richmondtown, New York

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.

Alamance Battleground, North Carolina

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 State Historic Site, Maine

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 State Historic Site, Maine

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.

Fortifications of Québec National Historic Site, Canada

The French began fortifying the western approaches to Québec in the seventeenth century. By the time of the last French and Indian War in the middle of the eighteenth century, they had completed the western wall, leaving natural barriers (escarpments and the St. Charles and St. Lawrence Rivers) to protect the rest of the town’s perimeter. The wall was, however, considered inadequate by most French officers, and Montcalm’s strategy during the siege of the town in 1759 was to keep tQuebeche British army well away from approaching the town by land. British General James Wolfe’s surprise landing at the Anse au Foulon and his appearance on the Plains of Abraham just outside the wall disrupted this strategy, and after Montcalm’s death in the ensuing battle, the town quickly surrendered rather than attempting to withstand a siege behind the walls. During the next few deacdes, the British improved the French walls and expanded the fortifications around the rest of the Upper Town on top of Québec’ famous escarpment. Québec is now the only remaining fortified city in North America, and the walls around its old city certainly contribute to the charm which has led to its designation as a World Heritage City. The Fortifications of Québec National Historic Site preserves the city’s fortifications. For those who are interested in the history and the engineering of fortifications in the early modern era, a walk around the wall at Québec is one of the great treats in North America. Even those who do not share such arcance interests will appreciate wall’s aesthetic contribution to one of the finest city’s in the world.

Location and Directions

Links: Fortifications of Quebec National Historic Site Parks Canada

History of Canada: Fortifications of Quebec

 

Jamestown Colonial National Historical Park, Virginia

Jamestown, the site of the first permanent English colony in America, celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2007. The colony’s mere survival in its first years was a near-run thing: drought, disease, poor organization, and the hostility of the local Native Americans nearly brought Jamestown to the same fate as its short-lived predecessor at Roanoke. But mere survival was enough, and Virginia has been the fulcrum of American history ever since. Thomas Jefferson learned the philosophy that animated the Declaration of Independence at the College of William and Mary in nearby Williamsburg, and George Washington secured that independence across the peninsula at Yorktown. Jamestown settlers also bought “20 and odd Negroes” from a Dutch ship in 1619, and their Confederate descendants erected fortifications on the site of the old settlement during the Peninsula Campaign in 1862. Changes to the landscape and the shoreline had long made the exact site of the Jamestown settlement uncertain, but four recent seasons of excavation have uncovered 170 feet of palisade line, the east bulwark, three large trash pits, and a building, all part of the original James Fort. Currently three institutions interpret Jamestown: the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, the National Park Service, and Jamestown Settlement. Check the Web site above for activities related to the newest archaeological discoveries.

Location Information and Directions

Links:

Jamestown Colonial National Historical Park
Jamestown Settlement