Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Little History, A Little Fun!

On April Fools' Day, we visited Fort Granger in Franklin, TN. Fort Granger is connected to Pinkerton Park. So we combined some learning with some fun!
Information about Fort Granger.
Fort Granger is located atop a hill that overlooked most of Franklin. It was quite a hike to the fort.
From the outside, it is not very impressive.
As you climbed the stairs to enter the fort, you began to understand why the fort was built here.
The fort contained a Cavalier, basically a smaller fort within the larger fort.
Here is the Cavalier.
This sign talked about the defenses of the fort.

The Fort was quite beautiful & peaceful inside. It was quite large with lots of room for soldiers.
This is one of the beautiful bushes on the trail to the fort.
Tucked in the woods was this peaceful meadow complete with a stage & seating.
One playground area.
A second playground area.
A third playground area.
The last playground area.

Jamie swinging!
David hiding!
Jessica on the spinner!
Jamie & Jessica playing together.
David the monkey!
Jessica just content to sit!
Jamie content to sit.
A neat bridge across the river.
The beautiful view of the river.
We had a great day of family fun!

Tennessee River Museum

On March 31st, we went to the Tennessee River Museum in Savannah, TN. This neat little museum was free for kids & only $3 per adult.
One room was devoted to the fossils found in the Tennessee River area.
The next room was devoted to the arrowheads found in this area.
The next room told the story of the Shiloh Mound Builders. You can visit the mounds at Shiloh National Park.
This was the most famous artifact found at Shiloh.
The next room was a sad room. It told the story of the Cherokee Indians & the Natchez trail or the "Trail of Tears."
David loved this room. It was dedicated to the Ironclads of the Civil War.
The Union Army commanded by General Grant won many victories because the Union Navy with their Ironclads, commanded by Admiral Foote, were always there to back them up on the river!
This exhibit talked about the canon balls used on the Ironclads.
After the Civil War, the river was used for commerce, transportation, recreation & tourism.
Being able to captain a steamboat was the highlight of the museum for the kids.
The river provided jobs for the area. Musseling was a big industry. They even had synthetic pearl farms along the river.
The last room of the museum was dedicated to challenging us to remember the past & preserve history so we don't repeat the mistakes of the past.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center

On March 30th, we travelled down to Corinth, Mississippi & went to the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center.
This center is part of Shiloh National Military Park.
Corinth is important because of its location.
Corinth was a railroad town. Whoever controlled the railroads would control the war.
Because of the railroads, troops could be easily restocked here.
After the battle of Shiloh, Corinth became a hospital town. Unfortunately, the war came to them.
As the Union Army approached Corinth they built several entrenchments to protect themselves.
Corinth was an important location not only because of the railroads, but also because a Union win here would open the way to Vicksburg for Grant.
After the Union won possession of Corinth they set up a camp for slaves who came to them seeking freedom. They set up farms & at one point the former slaves were clearing $4,000-$5,000 a month combined.
For the first time, many former slaves went to school. Learning opened the door to the future!
Behind the interpretive center was an impressive water feature. This piece of art told the history of our country.
The fountain at the beginning symbolized our jump from Britain into freedom! Every 3.5 inches represents a year until the it widens & divides.
This section divides into 2 streams just like our country did in 1860. Each big black block marks a year of the Civil War. The red blocks in the center represent 56 of the most significant battles of the war.
The size of each block represents the number of casualties in that battle. The names of the battles may be different on each side due to the fact that the Union & Confederate Armies often had different names for the same battle.
The 3 big blocks at the end of the fountain stand for the 13th, 14th & 15th amendments to our Constitution. The reflecting pool at the end represents our nation today.
The leaves at the end of the fountain each stand for the states the fought in the Civil War. Indiana is represented by a Tulip Leaf. Can you find it?
The other neat feature of this center was the artifacts found around the pathway from the parking lot.
These bronze pieces represent the items one might find on this battlefield after the war.
The wagon wheel was a favorite of Jessica.
Here's a soldier's haversack.
Bullet shells & a boot print.
David loved the gun. He tried to pick it up!
This bronze relief was located right outside the front door. Overall, the kids learned a lot here. I did too!