Eisenhower National Historic Site (Pennsylvania)

… was designated 49 years ago today (1967). It is the only home Eisenhower ever owned.

Eisenhower National Historic Site is the home and farm of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Located adjacent to the Gettysburg Battlefield, the farm served the President as a weekend retreat and a meeting place for world leaders. With its peaceful setting and view of South Mountain, it was a much needed respite from Washington and a backdrop for efforts to reduce Cold War tensions.


Eisenhower National Historic Site comprises 690 acres and includes four farms, three of which were used by President Eisenhower for his show herd of black Angus cattle. Today the farm is maintained as it was during the Eisenhower years and the President’s home retains nearly all its original furnishings. You are invited to tour the home and grounds, and take a walk to the cattle barns and skeet range.

Eisenhower National Historic Site

Fort Bowie National Historic Site (Arizona)

… was authorized on this date in 1964. According to the National Park Service:

FortBowie.jpg

Fort Bowie commemorates in its 1000 acres, the story of the bitter conflict between the Chiricahua Apaches and the United States military. For more than 30 years Fort Bowie and Apache Pass were the focal point of military operations eventually culminating in the surrender of Geronimo in 1886 and the banishment of the Chiricahuas to Florida and Alabama. It was the site of the Bascom Affair, a wagon train massacre, and the battle of Apache Pass, where a large force of Chiricahua Apaches under Mangus Colorados and Cochise fought the California Volunteers. The remains of Fort Bowie today are carefully preserved, the adobe walls of various post buildings and the ruins of a Butterfield Stage Station.

Visiting Fort Bowie requires a three mile round trip hike — unless you use the handicap entrance, which they keep a secret until you show up after walking a mile-and-a-half on a July afternoon with a daughter eight months pregnant and a two-year-old grandson.

NewMexiKen photo, 2003. Can you see the deer?
NewMexiKen photo, 2003. Can you see the deer?

Antietam National Battlefield (Maryland)

… was established as a national battlefield site on this date in 1890. It was redesignated a national battlefield in 1978.

Antietam Sunrise

23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing after twelve hours of savage combat on September 17, 1862. The Battle of Antietam ended the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia’s first invasion into the North and led to Abraham Lincoln’s issuance of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.

Antietam National Battlefield

It was the bloodiest day in American history. Among the battlefields I’ve visited, Antietam is my favorite, perhaps because it less congested and monumented-up than Gettysburg. It retains, it seems, more of its 1862 feel.

NewMexiKen photo, 2009
NewMexiKen photo, 2009

Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site (Arizona)

… was authorized on this date in 1965.

The squeaky wooden floor greets your entry into the oldest operating trading post on the Navajo Nation. When your eyes adjust to the dim light in the “bullpen” you find you’ve just entered a mercantile. Hubbell’s has been serving Ganado selling groceries, grain, hardware, horse tack, coffee and Native American Art since 1878.

Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site

IMG_0598

IMG_0599

NewMexiKen photos 2013.

Conservation President

Obama the Monument Maker, informative essay on federal conservation, monuments and parks by Douglas Brinkley. President Obama has designated 23 new national monuments. 

25 national monuments — including four in New Mexico — are managed by the Bureau of Land Management (rather than the National Park Service).