Tag: Finding Unusual Tourist Sites

Fort Delaware  5516 NY Route 97 Narrowsburg, NY 12764

Fort Delaware 5516 NY Route 97 Narrowsburg, NY 12764

Fort Delaware

5516 NY Route 97

Narrowsburg, NY  12764

(845) 252-6660

https://delawareriver.natgeotourism.com/content/fort-delaware-museum-of-colonial-history-narrowsburg-ny/del1b250d73b4094e445

http://sullivanny.us/Departments/ParksRecreation/FortDelaware

Open: Last Weekend in June until Labor Day Weekend (repairs will be made on the facility after that until next year) Friday-Sunday 10:00am-5:00pm (last tour at 4:00pm) and Monday (Labor Day) 10:00am-5:00pm

Fee: Adults $7.00/ Seniors (62+) $5.00/ Children 4-12 $4.00/Veterans with ID and Children under 5 with adults Free. Special rates for school groups and group tours

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48227-d3386995-Reviews-Fort_Delaware_Museum-Narrowsburg_Catskill_Region_New_York.html?m=19905

 

Fort Delaware is a recreation of an old fort that used to be located on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River. It is a great place to take children who like to learn from ‘hands on history’ and watch Blacksmiths, Candle makers and farmers wives perform chores and show the way of life at a time before the Revolutionary War.

Fort Delaware.jpg

Fort Delaware

According to one of the actors I was talking to who was the Blacksmith, this type of fort would not be one people would have lived in full time. It was meant more for when the Native Americans would have attacked the settlement, which he said only happened once and for the most part the settlers and the Native Americans got along well.

As you tour the fort, you will see all the things that were done to support the settlement from  raising poultry and cows, candle stick making, the process to weave wool and flax from the raw materials, to weaving and spinning yarn to the process of making clothes and the work of the Blacksmith in making nails, axes and shoeing for horses.

Inside each of the little cabins, it will show the life inside and outside the fort at that time period including living quarters, a small school, workman’s shops and where the members of the fort did their business for trade. You can also walk the outside  decks that overlook the river to see how the gunneries worked and where the munitions were held.

Fort Delaware IV

The cabins inside the Fort

You can see the entire fort in about an hour and for small children, I think they would find it fascinating. For teenagers, unless they like history, I don’t think they would find it that interesting.  Leave yourself about an hour for touring.

Fort Delaware III

The inside living quarters

 

History of the Museum:

The Fort Delaware Museum is a recreation of the original fort and was built in 1957 by James W. Burbank, the second Sullivan County historian. Burbank was fascinated with the history of the settlement which at the time was called Cushetunk. He was influenced by the Davy Crockett craze at the time in the 50’s and wanted the fort to be a money making venture. He added things like pillories and stocks which were popular at the time. He ran Fort Delaware from 1957 to 1970 when he sold it to the County. The County of Sullivan runs it under the Department of Parks, Recreation and Beautification (History of Fort Delaware-RecordonLine.com)

History of the Fort:

(From the County of Sullivan Parks & Recreation Department)

Much attention is paid to the people who settled the main cities of New York but those who decided to take on the wilderness are often forgotten. At Fort Delaware, the daily life of the wilderness settler is explored through exhibits, crafts, demonstrations and tours. The Fort is a reconstruction of the original frontier settlement of the Cushetunk settlement on the Delaware River, with its stockades and stout log homes, which offered the only protection from hostile Native Americans and later English troops. The Fort consists of a small settlement entirely surrounded by high log walls or stockades. During your visit, you will see the blockhouse (where arms and ammunition were stored), settlers cabins, a spinning, weaving and barn loom area, blacksmith shop, candle-making shed and much more. Period-dressed interpreters demonstrate 18th century life skills, including: cooking, baking bread, animal care, dipping candles and the firing of a 1/2 pound British swivel cannon.

Background of the Fort:

Fort Delaware is a representation of the first white settlement on the Upper Delaware River called Cushetunk. Today’s Fort represents the development of the settlement over a thirty year period. The original settlers were farmers who came primarily from Central Connecticut and were of English descent. They were searching for more land because it had become too crowded in Connecticut to suit colonial farming techniques. A group of Connecticut men formed “The Delaware Company” and became proprietors. In the traditional New England way of land distribution they owned the land and either sold or leased it to farmers moving into this frontier, these proprietors moved their families to the frontier and never sold their land. The Delaware Company purchased land from the Lenape Indians, with the first deed signed in 1754.

The land purchased was a 10 mile long strip along both sides of the Delaware River (situate in modern day New York and Pennsylvania). Procedures for filing land claims were very different in the 18th Century. Also at that time, the States of Pennsylvania and New York were engaged in a boundary dispute , disputes of other colonies really didn’t matter much to those early Connecticut farmers, so they claimed the land for Connecticut! They called their community “Cushetunk”. To those white settlers, it sounded like what the Lenapes were calling the place. KASH-ET-Unk or “a place of red stone hills”.

By 1760, there were thirty cabins, a gristmill and a sawmill. Each spring saw the arrival of more people willing to hack a new life out of the frontier. These people faced hardships they probably never conceived of in Connecticut. Indian attacks, the remote wilderness, rough winters and the possibly that farming this land would not sustain them. They came into the area during the French and Indian Wars (1755-1763). In 1761, a stockade was erected around three homes to serve as protection for the entire settlement against attack. In 1763, the settlement was attacked by a Lenape war party. The lower part of the settlement was destroyed with no known survivors. By the time the war party moved up the settlement, people had gathered into the Fort for protection. The attackers were held off with two casualties among the settlers.

It is this Fort, which is represented today at Fort Delaware even though it was known as “the lower fort” during the 18th Century. Another Fort was situated in the upper part of the settlement. The Fort was never used as a Military post, only for civilian protection. In 1764, a rafting business was introduced into the community and became very successful. It brought cash into the community on a steady basis and Cushetunk experienced a lot of development. In the years between the French and Indian Wars and the American Revolution, the fort was abandoned as the threat of Indian attack decreased and people began building what they called “fair houses”. The period of the American Revolution (1775-1783) was a turbulent time for the people of Cushetunk. Generally, the inhabitants were “Tories” (or those who were loyal to the Crown). However, there were also a handful of patriots or Whigs as well.

As time went on neighbors became hated enemies. Many residents of Cushetunk took up arms for the British and Continental armies. Some fought with local militias. In some instances families were torn, brothers fighting on opposing armies. There were many occurences in the settlement of neighbors (who once depended on each other for survival) fighting, looting and even murdering each other. Some of the Patriots from the settlement fought not far from their homes at the Battle of Minisink on July 21, 1779. After the Revolution, the Patriots returned victorious to reclaim their land and many loyalists left to settle in Canada. Today the descendants of these early settlers can still be in the area.

(This information on the history of Fort Delaware and the settlement was taken from the County of Sullivan Department of Parks and Recreation and I give them full credit on the information. Please see the attached website for more information on the Fort).

 

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Grover Cleveland Birthplace                    207 Bloomfield Avenue Caldwell, NJ 07006

Grover Cleveland Birthplace 207 Bloomfield Avenue Caldwell, NJ 07006

Grover Cleveland Birthplace

207 Bloomfield Avenue

Caldwell, NJ   07006

(973) 226-0001

https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/presidents/grover_cleveland_birthplace.html

Open:  Sunday 1:00pm-4:00pm/Monday & Tuesday Closed/Wednesday-Saturday 10:00am-12:00pm-1:00pm-4:00pm. Closed on all major holidays.

Fee: Free New Jersey State Park System/Free Parking on premise

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46338-d2661291-Reviews-The_Grover_Cleveland_Birthplace-Caldwell_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

 

I recently visited the birthplace of of our 22nd and 24th President of the United States of America and it is an interesting look into one man’s past. The Grover Cleveland Birthplace Museum was originally the pastor’s residence for the First Presbyterian Church in Caldwell, NJ.

Grover Cleveland

President Grover Cleveland

What I found interesting about this historical home is that the President’s sister, Susan, saved everything of the family’s past. Things like furniture, home furnishings, cooking utensils, paintings and photos of the family plus personal items of the President such as his clothes, pipes, shaving kits and traveling cases so there is a lot of interesting items to see and well thought up display cases.

The house is broken up into the kitchen area, the living chambers, the former living room area which has most of the displays and then the front hallway where more family displays are located.

Grover Cleveland Birthplace IV

President  Cleveland and Mrs. Cleveland’s personal clothes

Try to take a tour with the tour guide, Paula, who knows the house backwards and forwards and gives you an interesting take on the family. She will be able to point out all the family objects and personal items that have been donated by family members. Things from formal clothes to a piece of the President’s wedding cake.

Grover Cleveland Birthplace III

A piece of the President’s wedding cake

The whole tour takes about an hour and you will find yourself memorized  by the displays and the family history of the children and grandchildren. It is interesting to see how the family grew when they were living in Caldwell, NJ.

History of the Cleveland Birthplace Museum:

Grover Cleveland’s birthplace was built in 1832 as the Manse or pastor’s residence for the First Presbyterian Church of Caldwell. Cleveland’s father, the Reverend Richard Fally Cleveland was the minister here from 1834-1841.

Originally this frame home had a two-story main section with a one-story kitchen to the east and a one-story lean-to at the rear. It was enlarged several times between 1848-1870 to meet the growing needs of the Presbyterian clergy. The house is a good example of local vernacular architecture.

Grover Cleveland Birthplace

The Birthplace house

The historical significance of the Manse was first noted in 1881 when Cleveland was running for Governor of New York. As his political star  ascended, so did the interest in preserving his birthplace as a museum. A group of Cleveland’s friends and admirers began negotiations to purchase the Manse in 1907. Their efforts culminated in the opening of the house to the public on March 18, 1913.

Most of the first floor rooms portray the Manse as it was in 1837, the year Grover Cleveland was born. The decidedly middle-class character of the rooms reflect the day to day life of the Reverend Richard Cleveland and his family. Among the artifacts on display from Cleveland’s early years are his cradle and original family portraits.

Grover Cleveland Birthplace II

Grover Cleveland’s crib where he was born

Contrasting sharply with the humble beginnings portrayed in these rooms, the exhibit gallery features a striking display of artifacts that reflect the financial and political success Cleveland achieved during the last quarter of the 19th Century. Here, the mud-slinging campaign of 1884, the public’s intense interest in his wife and children and America’s political climate throughout his split terms of office are explored.

The Grover Cleveland Birthplace State Historic Site is the only house museum in the country dedicated to the interpretation of President Cleveland’s life. It is the nation’s leading repository of Cleveland artifacts and political memorabilia. The Grover Cleveland Birthplace is listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places.

The President’s time in New Jersey:

Stephen Grover Cleveland was born on March 18, 1837 to the Reverend Richard Cleveland and his wife, Ann. Named for the first ordained pastor of the First Presbyterian Church at Caldwell, he would in time become known by his middle name, Grover.

Cleveland was raised in a strict, modest home. As the son of a minister and the fifth of nine children, he had a religious and principled upbringing with few luxuries. When Grover was four, Reverend Cleveland moved his family to Fayetteville, NY.

(The Grover Cleveland Birthplace Museum pamphlet)

Welcome to ‘VisitingaMuseum.com’, a trip through smaller museums, cultural sites and parks & gardens in NYC and beyond.

Welcome to ‘VisitingaMuseum.com’, a trip through smaller museums, cultural sites and parks & gardens in NYC and beyond.

My name is Justin Watrel and welcome to ‘VisitingaMuseum.com’, a trip through cultural sites, small unique museums,  historic mansions and homes and pocket parks & community gardens in New York City and beyond its borders. I created this blog site to cross reference all the cultural sites that I came across when I was traveling through Manhattan  for my walking blog, “MywalkinManhattan.com”. I was inspired by all these sites that I had missed over the years and never knew existed in New York City and its suburbs.  Many of these being in Bergen County, NJ where I live. I found that most people feel the same way. The only way you would know that these sites existed is by walking past them.

So I created this site to showcase all these smaller, largely unexplored ‘gems’ in Manhattan, the rest of New York City and places outside the greater New York City area. I concentrate on smaller, more off beat places that you might miss in the tour books or may just find by passing them on the street. This has lead me to  becoming a member of the Bergen County Historical Society in Riveredge, NJ as well as other cultural sites in the area.

There is so many interesting historical sites, parks, gardens and homes to explore that I want to share it with all of you. They are tucked behind buildings and walls, locked behind gates or hidden behind trees only for you to want to discover them.

I want to give these smaller and unique ‘gems’ more exposure and ‘sing their praises’  to an audience (namely out of town tourists) who might overlook them. It is hard for a lot of these cultural site because of the lack of volunteers or volunteers getting older or the absence of money to properly advertise these sites.

So join me in the extension of “MywalkinManhattan.com” with my new site “VisitingaMuseum.com” and share the adventure with me. Join me also on my sister blog sites, “DiningonaShoeStringinNYC@Wordpress.com” and ‘LittleShoponMainStreet@Wordpress.com’ for restaurants and small shops.

These sites featuring all sorts of small restaurants, bodegas and bakeries, where a quality meal can be had for $10.00 and under and unusual stores with unique merchandise that just stand out in their respective neighborhoods. It is important to support small business owners especially in this economy.

So join me here as I take “MywalkinManhattan” to some unique and special historical sites and open spaces.