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

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NewMexiKen photos 2013.

413!

August 24, 2016 Update: President Obama has designated 89,261 acres of land donated by Elliotsville Plantation, Inc. and located within the proposed national park and recreation area as the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument!”

Today President Obama designated Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument -- our nation’s newest national monument and the 413th site in the national park system.
Today President Obama designated Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument — our nation’s newest national monument and the 413th site in the national park system.

Source: U.S. Department of the Interior Instagram

Cedar Breaks National Monument (Utah)

… was proclaimed as such 83 years ago today (1933). This from the National Park Service:

A huge natural amphitheater has been eroded out of the variegated Pink Cliffs (Claron Formation) near Cedar City, Utah. Millions of years of sedimentation, uplift and erosion have created a deep canyon of rock walls, fins, spires and columns, that spans some three miles, and is over 2,000 feet deep. The rim of the canyon is over 10,000 feet above sea level, and is forested with islands of Englemann spruce, subalpine fir and aspen; separated by broad meadows of brilliant summertime wild flowers.

NewMexiKen photos 2005. Click any image for larger versions.

Colonial National Historical Park (Virginia)

… was established as Colonial National Monument on this date in 1930. It became a national historical park in 1936.

Colonial

On May 13, 1607, Jamestown was established as the first permanent English settlement in North America. Three cultures came together – European, Virginia Indian and African–to create a new society that would eventually seek independence from Great Britain. On October 19, 1781, American and French troops defeated the British at Yorktown in the last major battle of the American Revolutionary War.


Walk in the steps of Captain John Smith and Pocahontas where a successful English colonization of North America began. Despite early struggles to survive, the 1607 settlement evolved into a prosperous colony. As the colony expanded, the Virginia Indians were pushed out of their homeland. In 1619, the arrival of Africans was recorded, marking the origin of slavery in English North America.


Discover what it took for the United States to be independent as you explore the site of the last major battle of the Revolutionary War. Here at Yorktown, in the fall of 1781, General George Washington, with allied American and French forces, besieged General Charles Lord Cornwallis’s British army. On October 19, Cornwallis surrendered, effectively ending the war and ensuring independence.


The Colonial Parkway is a twenty-three mile scenic roadway stretching from the York River at Yorktown to the James River at Jamestown. It connects Virginia’s historic triangle: Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown. Several million travelers a year use this route to enjoy the natural and cultural beauty of Virginia.

Colonial National Historical Park

Cliff Palace

Cliff Palace

Richard Wetherill and his brother-in-law Charles Mason rode out on what is now Sun Point in search of lost cattle 127 years ago today (1888) and found Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde. That afternoon, Richard found Spruce Tree House, and the next day, the two men discovered Square Tower House. Al Wetherill, Richard’s brother, saw Cliff Palace sometime the year before, but he did not enter the dwelling, so the credit for “discovering” the dwelling has been given to Richard Wetherill and Charles Mason.

Wetherill

In 1901, Richard Wetherill homesteaded land that included Pueblo Bonito, Pueblo Del Arroyo, and Chetro Ketl in what is now Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Wetherill remained in Chaco Canyon, homesteading and operating a trading post at Pueblo Bonito until his murder in 1910. Chiishch’ilin Biy, charged with the murder, served time in prison, but was released in 1914 due to poor health. Wetherill is buried in the small cemetery west of Pueblo Bonito.

NewMexiKen took the photo of Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde National Park in 2006 and that of the Richard Wetherell [sic] grave marker at Chaco Culture National Historical Park in 2003. Click images for larger versions.

Capitol Reef (Utah)

… was designated a National Park 44 years ago today (1971). It had been a national monument since 1937.

Capitol Reef

The Waterpocket Fold, a 100-mile long wrinkle in the earth’s crust known as a monocline, extends from nearby Thousand Lakes Mountain to the Colorado River (now Lake Powell). Capitol Reef National Park was established to protect this grand and colorful geologic feature, as well as the unique natural and cultural history found in the area.

Capitol Reef National Park