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Pennsylvania - Valley Forge: Pennsylvania Columns
The Pennsylvania Columns, by sculptor Henry Kirke Bush-Brown, were started in 1909 but a lack of funds prevented its completion until 1912. The monument, which flanks Outer Line Drive, features two tall granite columns. At the base of each column there are two bronze plaques containing the bas-relief busts of two military officers--Colonel William Irvine and Adjutant General Joseph Reed; Major General Arthur St. Clair and Brigadier General John Cadwalader; Brigadier General John Armstrong and Brigadier General J. Peter G. Muhlenberg; Lieutenant Colonel Josiah Harman and Major General Thomas Mifflin. On the top of each column there is a bronze eagle with outspread wings, standing on a granite ball.
Valley Forge National Historical Park, encompassing 3,466-acres eighteen miles northwest of Philadelphia, preserves and reinterprets the site where the the main body of the Continental Army--between 10,000 and 12,000 troops--was encamped during from December 19, 1778 to June 19, 1778, the American Revolutionary War.
After the Battle of White Marsh (or Edge Hill), Washington chose Valley Forge as an encampment because it was between the Continental Congress in York, Supply Depots in Reading, and British forces in Philadelphia. Undernourished and poorly clothed through the harsh winter, Washington's troops were ravaged by disease, suffering as many as two thousand losses, with thousands more listed as unfit for futy. Despite the conditions, the winter at Valley Forge proved invaluable for the young army, which underwent its first uniform training regimen, under the guidance of Prussian drill master, Baron Friedrich von Steuben.
Valley Forge, named for the iron forge built along Valley Creek in the 1740's, was established as the first state park of Pennsylvania in 1893 by the Valley Forge Park Commission. In 1923, the VFPC was brought under the Department of Forests and Waters and later incorporated into the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in 1971. In 1976, Pennsylvania gave the park as a gift to the nation for the the Bicentennial. The National Park System established the area as Valley Forge National Historical Park on July 4, 1976.
Valley Forge National Historical Park National Register #66000657 (1966)
Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike
In1968, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) bypassed a couple tunnels (Sideling Hill and Rays Hill) which could no longer handle all the traffic that the 1940's turnpike now carried. Also bypassed was the Cove Valley Travel Plaza.
Nothing exists of the travel plaza except it's parking area, but the two tunnels are still there, and closed to the public. In some areas, the abandoned turnpike is still pretty good, in others, it's almost like a gravel road.
I really had no idea how to access the abandoned turnpike, so using some maps and some guessing, I found an old road that went under an old bridge, parked there, and climbed a steep enbankment. At the top, I found the abandoned turnpike. Sorta strange standing there and thinking about all the cars that once whizzed by.
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