Virtual Travel – Pennsylvania

As with Ohio I have spent considerable time in Pennsylvania, with Pittsburgh feeling like a ‘hometown’ (Go Pens/Pirates/Steelers!)

 

History & State Capitol

1938     1955     1956     1986     2013

 

 

As with most states, the state capital is located (somewhat) in the middle of the state. Given that the vast majority of the people of Pennsylvania live on the ends, this meant a smaller city has been the capital – Harrisburg.

While outside the Pennsylvania Capitol looks like many others, inside is amazing!

2018 05 07 282 Harrisburg PA State Capital - Copy

 

 

Unusual State Symbols

Official State Aircraft – Piper J-3 Cub. For decades Piper Cubs were built in Lock Haven, PA.

Piper J-3 Cub

 

State Colors – Blue and Gold Featured on the flag and every license plate ever.

Blue and gold PA license plate with keystone symbol

But in Pittsburgh the colors are Black & Gold! All the sports teams follow this color scheme.

Flag of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.svg

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Pennsylvania has a long industrial history, much of which has been lost. The city of Bethlehem has a vacant steel mill that is now a National Park site that serves as a reminder of this legacy.

 

 

 

Roads

1952     1960     1964     1973     1974

 

 

It is impossible to find a city with more cool bridges and tunnels than Pittsburgh. While it makes the commutes tough, it is a great visual experience driving around the city

 

 

 

The Pennsylvania Railroad was the largest, and most famous railroad in the country in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This history is celebrated at two major rail museums, Steamtown in Scranton, and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

 

 

Not to be outdone the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington, PA has a great collection of streetcars and interurbans.

 

 

 

 

1976 – Philadelphia

 

 

There is another large city in Pennsylvania other than Pittsburgh 🙂

Philadelphia of course is the seat of the independence movement in the 1700s. That history is on evidence everywhere in the city. Trivia moment of the day – there are only 2 cities that have been in the top 10 in population for every official United States Census – New York and Philadelphia.

 

 

 

 

 

Near Philadelphia is one of the world’s best gardens – Longwood.

 

 

1989 – Seasons

 

 

Most of Pennsylvania is beautiful rolling hills and mountains. Much of this area is filled with small towns and wooded countryside.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous structure is located in these hills – Fallingwater. Nearby is a second FLW house – Kentuck Knob. Both are stunning.

2008 09 06 29 Fallingwater.JPG

 

 

U.S. Route 6 traverses Northern Pennsylvania, and passes a number of interesting venues including Kinzua Bridge. When completed in 1882 it was the tallest bridge in the world, towering 300′ above the valley. It was decommissioned in the early 1960s and sold to the state with the purpose of becoming a park.

In 2003 a tornado struck the bridge and destroyed a large portion of it, but the remainder makes for a great walk.

 

 

As you make your way along U.S. 6 you pass the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum in Galeton, the Coudersport Ice Cave, and the Zippo Lighter Museum in Bradford.

 

 

 

1995 – Hunseckers Mill Bridge – Lancaster County

 

 

It is thought that Pennsylvania has more named places than any other states as each hill and valley seems to be another named small town. Some are more famous than others such as Punxsutawney – home of Phil! Each February 2nd this little town is overrun by 40,000 people coming to see a groundhog pulled out of it’s fake home to see it’s shadow.

It is celebrated with another collection of fiberglass statues.

 

 

The town of Ridgway has an annual Chainsaw Carving contest that draws artists from all over the world.

 

 

The C.F. Martin & Company has built outstanding guitars since 1833. Their factory is open for tours, and they welcome photography throughout! We have been of many tours of facilities over the years and this was one of the best.

 

 

 

 

2007 – Pittsburgh

Government State Pennsylvania 2007.jpg

 

As noted in the opening, while I was not born or raised there I grew up close enough, and have spent most of my adult life spending time there, that it feels like home.

Built on steep hills along the 3 rivers (Ohio, Allegheny, and Mon), it has character. With the long history of steel, the city had enough wealthy people in the early 1900s that there is a great collection of historic skyscrapers. With the lack of build able land, the skyscraper construction has continued to this day.

 

The interiors and trim are just as impressive.

 

Pittsburgh has it’s fair share of quirky places, including Randyland and Bicycle Heaven. The best, by far, is Anthrocon – 7000 people descending on the city dressed in furry animal costumes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual Travel – North Dakota

Today’s stop is North Dakota. A sparsely populated state along the Canadian border, North Dakota is a place with cold winters, hot summers and vast prairies.

 

History 

1954 – Natural Resources     1983 – State Capitol

 

Bismarck is the state capital. The Capitol is the tallest building in the state, measuring 241′ (73m) high. Nearby is the North Dakota State Museum.

The grounds include a number of statues and monuments including Sakakawea, a Shoshone woman who helped Lewis & Clark make their way to the west coast.

2015 09 07 133 Bismarck ND

 

Unique Symbols of North Dakota

Official State March – The Flickertail March. I am not certain it would work for the military but the Flickertail is a squirrel that has a distinctive jerk of their tails, or flicks, while running – and North Dakota has saw fit to make this their State March! (photos from statesymbols.org)

 

State Fossil – Teredo Petrified Wood. This petrified wood is unique in that it has ‘worming’ of the original wood that is clearly present in the fossils.

 

 

 

The Landscape

1958 & 1983 – Theodore Roosevelt National Park     1994          2002/2003     2011     2013

 

Theodore Roosevelt National Park is located in the far western part of the state. This massive park is a tribute to Roosevelt, who came to the area in 1883. After family tragedy, he returned to North Dakota the following year, and spent a few years in the area.

The area’s badlands and wildlife make for a scenic experience.

2015 09 08 108 Theodore Roosevelt National Park ND

 

 

 

Uniquely North Dakota

1965 – Rest Area     1984 – Interstate in the Badlands     2005 – Trail of Legends

 

 

Fargo is the largest city in the state, with 125,00 residents. It is on the Red River, which forms the border of Minnesota. The visitor center has the woodchipper from the movie ‘Fargo’

 

 

Medora is a small town near the national park. Among the attractions here is the cabin that Roosevelt lived in.

 

 

As you leave Bismarck headed west you come to the small town of New Salem, with the giant fiberglass cow – Sue.

 

 

 

1973 & 2009 – Native Americans

 

Native American’s have inhabited the North Dakota area for thousands of years. Today there are 30,000 Native Americans living in the state, one of the largest percentages of any state, giving the state a strong native presence.

Sisseton Wahpeton Powwow Grounds (photo from Flickr)

Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate powwow grounds, Agency Village, La… | Flickr

 

 

Many have capitalized on the ability to have casinos to sustain their tribes, including Spirit Lake

Spirit Lake Nation suspends referendum on liquor sales at casino

 

 

Today’s younger Native American’s continue to take pride in their culture and lands. (photo from Earthjustice.com)

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Takes Action to Protect Culture and ...

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual Travel – New Jersey

Welcome to New Jersey – my usual first views of the state are landing at Newark airport, for better or worse.

 

At the other end you can take a ferry from Delaware.

1988 06 14 2 Ocean City-Cape May.jpg

 

 

 

Overview

1955     2000     2002/2003/2004

 

 

The New Jersey State Capitol is in Trenton. (Photo from Flickr)

 

The unusual state symbols of the day include:

State Colors – Jersey Blue and Buff. This dates from the Revolutionary War when Washington assigned the colors to the regiments of the New Jersey Continental Line. It is thought he chose these because New Jersey (as well as New York) were settled by the Dutch, and those colors are the Netherlands colors.

 

 

State Tall Ship – A.J. Meerwald. This ship, built in 1928, is featured on maps below. It is a Oyster Schooner.

 

 

Officially known as the New Jersey State House, the building was completed in the 1790s, behind the capitols in Maryland and Virginia.

New Jersey State Capital | State capitals, Capitol building, Building

 

 

 

Let’s visit some other cities in the state starting with Atlantic City. It’s main business since being started in the 1850s has been tourism. It was marketed to the crowded city folks in New York and Philadelphia as a healthy resort on the ocean.

By the 1870s more than 500,000 people a day made their way to Atlantic City. By the early 1900s it had large hotels lining the coast, along those streets whose names have been made famous by the board game Monopoly, as well as the notoriety from the Miss America Pagent.

The mayor of the time quoted during Prohibition ‘we have whiskey, wine, women, song and slot machines. I won’t deny it and I won’t apologize for it.’

 

 

By the 1970s it had fallen on hard times, so they introduced legalized gambling. These photos show the rebirth in the 1980s, but the convention hall still being the showpiece.

 

Today it is similar, only with so many cities introducing gambling, the city has one again fallen on hard times. (photo from NJ public radio)

What do you think of when you think of Atlantic City?

 

Much of the Jersey Shore (not beach or coast) has some cool/kitschy features, but the best is easily Lucy the Elephant in Margate. This 140 year old elephant still brings in the tourists.

Lucy2011.JPG

 

 

 

 

Jersey City – The second largest city in New Jersey has the good fortune of being located just across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan. While the city has had it’s ups and downs, peaking out at 316,000 people in 1930, it dropped down to a low of 223,000 by 1980. This reflected the exodus of people from New York City as well, as everyone was headed to the suburbs.

Since then though, with significant renewal of the waterfront area the population has gone back up to 265,000, and continues to grow.

2019 08 08 28 New York City

 

 

Just upriver Hoboken is experiencing a similar rebirth, but retains the fabulous Hoboken Terminal for New Jersey Transit Trains, and ferries to Manhattan.

2018 04 30 22 New York City

2019 06 11 38 New York City

 

 

 

 

Statue of Liberty

1983     1986

 

It is interesting that New Jersey has featured the Statue of Liberty on the cover of some of the maps, as technically it is in New York. The island that the statue sits on is in New Jersey water, but is a federally owned island that belongs to Manhattan.

This is a result of a dispute dating (amazingly) from 1664, that stated the New Jersey borders did not extend to the middle of the river, or bay. In 1834 the US Congress did set the boundary in the middle of the waterways, however specifically exempted Liberty Island, stating it would remain in New York. This was held up in 1908 by the Supreme Court, and again in 1987 when New Jersey sued to take control of the island. Clearly these maps from 1983 and 1984 were when Jersey was confident the island would once again be theirs.

 

Ellis Island however is much simpler, it is in New Jersey. So all those ancestors of ours who were so proud to step of the boat onto New York, really set foot in New Jersey.

Interestingly it is connected to New Jersey by a bridge that is not open to the public, just park service personnel.

Those immigrants – unless you were headed to New England, you were herded onto barges and sent to the train stations in Jersey City and Hoboken, having never set foot in New York.

2018 05 30 40 New York Ellis Island

 

 

Liberty State Park in Jersey City is along the mainland near both islands. The park is on an area that was once large rail yards, with the centerpiece being the Jersey City Terminal of the Central Railroad of New Jersey. This building dates from 1889, and is currently undergoing renovations (for years).

2018 05 29 179 Jersey City NJ Liberty State Pkark.jpg

 

2018 05 29 181 Jersey City NJ Liberty State Pkark.jpg

 

 

 

Outdoors in New Jersey

1988     1990     1992     2007  Holgate    2009     2012/2014/2015  AJ Meerwald

Government State New Jersey 2007

 

 

Sandy Hook is a spit at the far northern end of the Jersey Shore, sticking out into New York Harbor. It is home to a vacant military facility, but is now a vast park, including large areas of natural settings with views across the harbor to Brooklyn and Manhattan.

2014 09 14 Sandy Hook NJ 4.jpg2014 09 14 Sandy Hook NJ 10.jpg

2014 09 14 Sandy Hook NJ 7.jpg

2014 09 14 Sandy Hook NJ 6.jpg

 

 

 

New Jersey Palisades.  This geological feature along the Hudson River just north of New York City has been protected since 1900, as the industry of the times were blasting it away for crushed stone. (all photos in this section fromonlyinyourstate.com)

The Palisades: a National Natural Landmark.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frankfort, Kentucky – May 2019 – A Small Capital City

Even though Kentucky is middle of the pack in terms of states by population , their capital city Frankfort is the 4th smallest of all. There are less than 30,000 people in the city.



For the most part it feels like any other small town. They have a small downtown business district.



Interestingly there is a freight rail line going down the middle of main street.



The town is quite old – it was established in 1786.



There are a few restaurants and coffee shops in town.



In the center of town is the Old Kentucky State Capitol. It was completed in 1830 and used until 1910 as the Capitol.


William Goebel was elected governor in 1900, and served for 4 days before being assassinated. He was known for being a deal maker, and a deal breaker.

He had gained so many enemies that he walked with bodyguards, but to no avail – On January 30, 1900 shots fired from the state capitol building – leading to chaos in the Kentucky state government. He died 4 days later.



As you drive around town you see an interesting mix of old and new, with nearly all the new being the government buildings.



The lampposts have banners celebrating famous Kentuckians – while Johnny Depp was born in Kentucky he was raised elsewhere



We are in Kentucky so we need to celebrate horse racing.



Much like many of the state government buildings, the county courthouse is modern as well.



The original state arsenal however, is not. It dates from 1850 and now serves as a military museum.



Across the river and up a hill is the ‘new’ state capitol grounds. Included here is the Governor’s Mansion – which in it’s Beaux Arts style bears a strong resemblance to the White House.


The new capitol building was completed in 1910.



The grounds look back down upon the town.


An additional annex building is located behind the capitol.


One of the most famous attractions is the floral clock that spells out Kentucky – although without a rise to view it from above it is tricky to see.

Frankfort seems an unusual place to have the state capitol, but politics often leads to unusual deals.