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Thursday, July 09, 2015

Minute Man Jr Ranger Badge

Today we went up to Lexington and Concord, to the Minute Man National Park.

We passed the Polar Dry factory.
My favorite New England drink ! We love their seltzers

The road to the battlefield
Ready to go!
History Bit from Wikipedia (so it is really brief)

The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first military engagements of the American Revolutionary War. They were fought on April 19, 1775, in Middlesex County, Province of Massachusetts Bay, within the towns of Lexington, Concord, Lincoln, Menotomy (present-day Arlington), and Cambridge, near Boston. The battles marked the outbreak of open armed conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen of its colonies on the mainland of British America.
In late 1774 the Suffolk Resolves were adopted to resist the enforcement of the alterations made to the Massachusetts colonial government by the British parliament following the Boston Tea Party. An illegal Patriot shadow government known as the Massachusetts Provincial Congress was subsequently formed and called for local militias to begin training for possible hostilities. The rebel government exercised effective control of the colony outside of British-controlled Boston. In response, the British government in February 1775 declared Massachusetts to be in a state of rebellion. About 700 British Army regulars in Boston, under Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith, were given secret orders to capture and destroy rebel military supplies that were reportedly stored by the Massachusetts militia at Concord. Through effective intelligence gathering, Patriot colonials had received word weeks before the expedition that their supplies might be at risk and had moved most of them to other locations. They also received details about British plans on the night before the battle and were able to rapidly notify the area militias of the British expedition.
The first shots were fired just as the sun was rising at Lexington. The militia were outnumbered and fell back, and the regulars proceeded on to Concord, where they searched for the supplies. At the North Bridge in Concord, approximately 500 militiamen engaged three companies of the King's troops at about an hour before Noon, resulting in casualties on both sides. The outnumbered regulars fell back from the bridge and rejoined the main body of British forces in Concord.

Having completed their search for military supplies, the British forces began their return march to Boston. More militiamen continued to arrive from neighboring towns, and not long after, gunfire erupted again between the two sides and continued throughout the day as the regulars marched back towards Boston. Upon returning to Lexington, Lt. Col. Smith's expedition was rescued by reinforcements under Brigadier General Hugh Percy a future duke (of Northumberland, known as Earl Percy). The combined force, now of about 1,700 men, marched back to Boston under heavy fire in a tactical withdrawal and eventually reached the safety of Charlestown. The accumulated militias blockaded the narrow land accesses to Charlestown and Boston, starting the Siege of Boston.

The pond near the visitor's center

Showing off all his badges, he was still working on the Minute Man badge

Lon remembered that I used to read him the Longfellow poem!

The Hartwell  Tavern. Lon had a segment to do there.

This cool looking rock is at the start of the Walden Trail.  Yes, we were near that Walden.

The pond, again, can you spot the turtle?

Lon had to repair a few things he did not get correct, but once he did that he got his 64th Jr. Ranger Badge!

We drove through Concord. This is the Wayside Inn. Sadly, it was closed for renovations

The Orchard House

This is Louisa May Alcott's house.

Downtown Concord

The cemetery downtown. Lots of old graves

We were getting really hungry!! We stopped at a place called Papa Razzi. WOW. What a great place that is!  The food was amazing.  I have chicken parmigan and Mark had linguine with clams.   We got dessert too, a lemoncello cake and a chocolate torte.  SO good.

We ate so much we planned on skipping dinner

This is the original Hebert's Candy. It is called Colonial Candies now. The Heberts name was sold, the family thought they wanted to be done candy making. They then decided they were not, so they opened Colonial Candies.  The Heberts still live upstairs in the candy mansion.

We got lots and lots of good things!  The chocolate candies we will make sure to eat before we leave

I think this is in Monson, Mass. A mill town

Monson, Mass

I think this is back in Connecticut, it was just a cool looking big barn

Near Franklin, Connecticut

The blemish is on my car window

 The frog on the bridge in Willimantic. It is thread city.

There was a frog fright in Williamantic

History Bit from Connecticut

Visitors to Willimantic, a former city now consolidated with the town of Windham, may wonder why the bridge that spans the Willimantic River is so festively decorated with frog sculptures. The bronze sculptures by Leo Jensen were added to an already existing bridge in the 1990s, but the answer to why they are there lies in the story of the famous Windham Frog Fight (or Fright), which occurred in June of 1754 and still provides Connecticut residents with an opportunity to laugh at themselves and, in particular, at their susceptibility to spooky phenomena.
A rational explanation for the events that occurred on that June night has long been in place, but the existence of such an explanation has hardly put an end to the storytelling. In 1754, Connecticut residents lived in fear—of frontier turmoil and war with the French and Indians; of the devil lurking in the wilderness. Any number of natural phenomena easily frightened the residents of Windham.
Night Terrors
According to diarists, local historians, and storytellers, it was well after the residents of Windham had gone to bed on that June night that they heard a dreadful sound throughout the surrounding hills. Some believed it was the screams of warring tribal people or, perhaps, the bellowing trumpets of Judgment Day, and some residents reported hearing their names being called out at high volume. Successive parties of brave men ventured outdoors to investigate the origin of the roiling noises and determinedly fired off their muskets in its general direction. As the night’s darkness gave way to morning light, it became clear that the sound was coming from the bottom of a hill somewhere to the east of town.
An Unusual Natural Phenomenon
Daylight and the morning’s quiet brought about a gradual and startling revelation of the truth: a long-standing drought had reduced the entire area’s standing water to a single small pond and every frog for miles around had descended on the Windham area in a desperate search for water. The jostling and battling of these frogs, and their struggle to gain access to the area’s only remaining water, had been the source of the previous night’s unearthly din. In the aftermath of the night’s melee, hundreds of bullfrog corpses littered the landscape, hence the tradition that the Frog Fright was, indeed, brought about by a Frog Fight. In the ensuing years, the event was—and has—continued to be commemorated by tales, songs, and decorative traditions, including that of the giant green frogs that gambol playfully at both ends of the Willimantic Bridge.

Known officially as the Thread City Crossing, the bridge over the Willimantic River opened in 2000 and replaced an 1857 arched stone bridge that is now a garden walkway within the Windham Mills State Heritage Park. The newer bridge, decorated with large spools in recognition of Willimantic’s long history of textile and thread manufacturing, sports its 11-foot-tall bronze frogs in commemoration of one of the city’s most vivid legends.

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