SECOND FAVORITE SPOT – THE FORT AT NO. 4 – 20 June 2015

Today, the weather again was just too perfect – soon to change as remnants of Storm Bill are stirring up outside. BLUE BELLE (BB2) and I left about 11:30, and returned 54 miles and five hours later. Only planned stop was The Fort at No. 4 in Charlestown, NH.

The first Thanksgiving we were in New Hampshire (2002), Cathy and I enjoyed the Thanksgiving Feast by candlelight in the Great Hall at the Fort. We became members, and visited often each year, taking company, enjoying mock battles, additional Thanksgiving Feasts, and the earlier amazing Pickpockets, Rogues & Highwaymen Halloween Evenings.

View of the interior of Fort Number 4 from the Watchtower.

View of the interior of Fort Number 4 from the Watchtower.

As outposts were established along the Connecticut River Valley in the 1700s, the northernmost point was No. 4 (now Charlestown). Walpole was designated No. 3. The original proprietors, due to uneasy peace with Natives and England and France decided to build a fort in 1743. It actually was a fortified village created by pulling the existing homes together, connecting them with other structures, and surrounding it with a log palisade. By 1761, its usefulness had passed, and the fort (originally on Main Street – Route 12) fell into disrepair and was demolished. During the 1960s the fort was reconstructed as a living history museum north of town on a perfect spot on the Connecticut River. I encourage you to read more of the history by clicking on this link. The year after Cathy died the fort closed due to financial problems, but within a year fortunately was saved, and successfully reopened six years ago.

I visited earlier this month on 7 June for the French and Indian War Encampment and mock battle. But, today I returned because I realized I just needed to become a member again. If you believe in something, you should VOTE with YOUR DOLLARS. Recently I have been giving to various historical organizations, maybe from the awareness I have gotten from being Treasurer of the Walpole Historical Society, and the competing need for ever scarcer funds.

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You know I enjoy images looking through something. Here is a gun port from the stairway going up into the watchtower. Note the logs of the Palisade (Stockade). They were deliberately spaced apart so muskets could be fired through to the enemy. Also, the spacing prevented snow from drifting against the stockade. A drift would form a ramp allowing attackers to gain entrance over the top. This was learned (sadly) from the 1704 raid at Deerfield, Massachusetts.

 

A view crossing through the center area heading to the Parker House.

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This is the two-story Parker House. Lieutenant Parker was one of the first settlers in the area. I could live in this house.

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And, two interior shots of the Parker House. Remember that you can click on my images to enlarge them.

This weekend was General Stark’s Muster and Garrison at the fort. I enjoy reading about both John Stark and Ethan Allen. I never was really interested in the French and Indian War period and the American Revolution until I moved here. Not much has changed in this area in those over 250 years, thus it is easier to understand what happened then. Here is where the General was quartered.

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But the troops were in tents outside.

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And cooked, etc. outside too.

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I have always been fascinated by the Three Sisters, so I am sharing this so you can read about them. (if hard to read, click to enlarge)

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Upon leaving I chatted more with Wendy, the Fort’s paid director. I said that I have always wanted to assist in some way, and she promised to call me.

Lunch? I remembered – just cross the river, and stop at The Silver Bullet. Remember I was there on May 16th, and said I would return? Now, how can you not go again for a third and more times when you walk up to the food cart and the owners say, “Hi Ray, nice to see you back.” “You remember me?” “Of course, you did such a great write-up about us.” Their selections are amazing. I had smoked potatoes and a pulled pork and ham sandwich (actually a meal). I did confess that I liked my selection on my first visit more, but I love their interesting creations — not to mention feeling part of a “special club.”  Yes, I will be back, and have to bring a friend or two.  Here is today’s meal (and it is now 11PM and I never needed supper).

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BB2 and I then scooted into Springfield, then up over the hills to Chester, and visited the common. I then stopped at the Stone House Antique Center, but did not find any treasures. But it is the hunt!!! You may not know how important this spot is to me, and here is the spot:

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when we bumped into a friend (we were on an overnight holiday from Connecticut) who said, “if you have a long range plan, do it now.” Cathy and I looked at each other, our non-verbal communication kicked in and we knew we were going to move. We sold and bought in two weeks, and I have that documented in our miracle story.

It was then down Route 103 to the Vermont Country Store. Always a fun place to browse, and often an afternoon drive for me for a break. I got an old fashion soda, and sat on the porch awhile watching the world go by (and seeing people enjoy looking at BB2).

Then I decided to take Pleasant Valley Road over the hill to Saxtons River, and then head home. But arriving in thriving downtown Saxtons River (that is a joke if you have not been there), I turned left to Vermont Academy to explore the roads beyond it. Well, there was only one, and YEAH it turned into dirt. It could only lead back to Route 103, and probably at the Rockingham Meeting House. Great road, great fields and woods, and I was correct.

1787 Rockingham Meeting House - Rockingham, Vermont

1787 Rockingham Meeting House – Rockingham, Vermont

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I peeked in through a window, and it looks like BLUE BELLE was trying to do the same thing.

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Well, we felt like sliding home, and that is what we did. A perfect day out BB2 and I.

RAY RECOMMENDS:
1] Visit The Fort at No. 4 in Charlestown, NH, and become a member
2] If you believe in an organization or cause, become a member and/or donate. Good causes, museums, etc. will only survive if we give whatever we can.
3] Attend functions at The Fort at No. 4 — here are a few images from my visit on 7 June during the French and Indian War Encampment

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And, a movie as all the “players” were leaving the battlefield.

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