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Archive for the ‘Historical’ Category

Fort Ligonier

I arrived at the jeep from a hike along Grove Run. I checked the time and decided to travel the six to eight miles to visit Fort Ligonier.  (Present-day, Ligonier, Pennsylvania.) I hadn’t been to the fort in over fifteen years and was anxious to see what new renovations and restorations might be present to see.

One of many pieces of artillery on site.

A brief history of the fort is in order. The timing of history here in southwestern Pennsylvania was the French and Indian War. The Pennsylvania Colony was sided with the British against the French and their Indian allies. The Delaware (Leni-Lenape) with some Shawnee in present-day Kittanning were

British “Union Jack” flag

allied with the French. Fort Ligonier was a British fort erected along the Loyalhanna Creek in 1758. At this time in the war the fort was being used as a staging site for General John Forbes. Forbes mission was to attack the French Fort Duquesne at the forks of the rivers at present-day Pittsburgh. The site would become Fort Pitt after the French evacuated their presence.

Twice the Indians beseigfed the fort and both times the attack was a failure.

The site was a pace of heavy archeological diggings in recent past. Hundreds of relics were removed in the dig and are now on display at the Fort Ligonier musem. The fort, itself, has been erected and restored when possible. Walking through the fort gives a degree of how these brave men lived their day to day existence during war times. It wasn’t easy.

The fort was abandoned in 1766 after the French and Indian War along with Pontiac’s war ended.

To see more about Fort Ligonier see: http://www.fortligonier.org

 

 

Store house

 


Rock outcropping on the Loyalhanna Creek side.

 

Old “wavy” glass window

 

 

 

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Old Jacob with his new “peep” sight.

Most of my friends know how I enjoy hunting with the flintlock rifles.  I love the gracious flow of the wood, the character and beauty of the Pennsylvania long rifles of the eighteenth century. The last two flintlock seasons I had not done very well with my shooting abilities. I missed many deer with my flintlocks only tagging two. Last year I did not get any deer. Some of the shots I took traditionally would have been a “down-deer.” Trips to the eye doctor didn’t help despite numerous test on the eyes.  Last summer I contacted specialist about Lasik-surgery. I wasn’t a candidate. A friend suggested peep sights. I could readily see an advantage, but I wasn’t ready to place a more modern style of sight on my traditional rifle named, Old Jacob. Last year’s mishaps eventually forced a discussion with an avid flintlock shooter. (Old Jacob was a custom-made rifle of the Andrew Verner school of gun building. He lived in eastern Pennsylvania and created this style of stock. during the latter part of the seventeen-hundreds.)

I visited a friend, Curt Boal. He is the owner of a black powder shop near Fenelton, Pennsylvania. His shop is: Curt’s Blackpowder Shop. Visit: http://www.curtsblackpowdershop.com

Our discussion led me to decide to do a peep sight mounting. This morning, (April 2019) I picked up Old Jacob and I agreed with him that the sight looked good on the flinter. This peep sight is not a modern-style sight of today, but more in line with something found on an earlier rifle of the nineteenth century. The sight sets close on the barrel. I guess I can live with this. Fact is, I have to live with it or give up shooting and hunting deer.

To compensate for my feelings on this style of sight, I simply tell myself the colonial hunter would have had a peep sight if that knowledge of them would have been available.

Thank you Curt for a fine job!

 

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IN DEFENSE

I certainly do have an avid interest in history. The French and Indian War years interest me a lot since many events of this era happened in Pennsylvania and within a few miles from where I grew up.  The years for this war locally began  in 1754 and lasted to 1758 when the French abandoned Fort Duquesne in present-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania allowing General Forbes to take over the fort. He renamed the fort to Fort Pitt.

Within a mile from where I live is a community called Kittanning. During this war members, primarily, of the Lenni-lenape (Delaware) and Shawnee nations took up residence launching raids across Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. In September 1756, Lieutenant Colonel John Armstrong launched a raid upon Kit-Han-Ne. Mostly militia-style volunteers under Armstrong were involved in this attack. However, some Pennsylvania Provincial soldiers were involved. These soldiers would be dressed as shown in my painting called; IN DEFENSE.

IN DEFIANCE

The Indians of the time were brave warriors. The painting shown here called: IN DEFIANCE, depicts a naïve warrior defying the soldier. Eastern Indians usually wore little into battle preferring to paint themselves to aid in terrorizing the enemy. However, as cooler weather approached  clothing would be worn as needed.

These paintings were created  in 2004 and 2006.

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Climax Tunnel Area

New Climax Tunnel repairs

 

This stone is behind the new addition.

 

Always go towards the light…

Last weekend was a cold and breezy day. However, Laurie and I walked some along the Redbank Valley trail bordering Redbank Creek. I wanted to check on a Bald Eagle nest, as well.

We crossed out of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania at the small community of Climax. The one lane bridge over the creek is a rather new bridge. I remember some time back when this bridge was a metal bridge. Once we crossed the bridge to park for a trail hike we were in Clarion County.

Beaver cuttings

The Climax Tunnel, or the original name of Anthony Loup Tunnel,  goes through a rocky hillside. the tunnel was an old railroad passage many years ago.  The

Mergansers

Anthony Loup on Redbank is an amazing waterways for the waters goes way out, maybe a mile or so before turning back sharply making for an area possibly separated with only a couple of hundred yards of land mass at one point.

The tunnel has recently been renovated and improved by the Redbank  Valley Trails organization. Water leaking through the stones along with freeze/thaw cycles had an effect on the ceiling areas. the tunnel had been closed for quite some time for hikers for fear of injury. the tunnel is 520 feet in length. The tunnel was built between 1878 and 1877.

The eagle nest didn’t appear to be complete. High winds over the last few months must have blown much of the bulk down. However, after going through the tunnel and looking high in a White Pine I could see a huge nest. This nest was across Redbank Creek and about halfway up the slope. Could this be the new nest of the Bald eagles?

We walked along the trail for a time seeing five Mergansers on the creek.

 

 

Light at the end of the tunnel.

 

Probable Bald Eagle Nest

 

Redbank Creek

 

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THE TRUTH ABOUT THE SECOND AMENDMENT
Larry A, Smail

The Constitution of the United States has been facing actions to dismantle the truth of the words for many years. I often refer to these actions as a “chipping away” process, bit by bit. This process happens due to politicians eager to force their ideologues and agenda upon all Americans. Another example is the Freedom of Speech. This Right is well on its way out because of the politically correct society America has become. The Freedom of Religion has drifted far from its original intent, as well. However, this writing is dealing with the Second Amendment and the truth about the Founder’s concept.

There are people of America today actively and vocally demanding the repeal of this precious Right guaranteed through the writings of our Bill of Rights. Many others are pushing for more restrictive laws to slowly erode the Right, but these people are destroying the value with a subtler attack. These individuals are trying to hide their true plans to ensure votes. We are engulfed within some very sad times.

Socialist ideals and subtle communism plans are becoming even more popular with a populace lost from knowledge of our history and the world history. The leftists have grown in numbers and have become much emboldened over the years. The last twelve years, or so, this momentum has spread far and wide across this great nation.

The educational system has been infiltrated by the same groups listed above. This has been happening for many years. Each teaching year has more pronounced indoctrination being the result. Like I said…little by little with a chipping away technique. Another reality are those calling themselves Americans, yet their agendas are to promote the mind-set of a Constitution being obsolete on old faded paper.

THE SECOND AMENDMENT
“A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

 

WHY WAS THE SECOND AMENDMENT SUCH A BIG DEAL?

During the years prior to the independence of the thirteen colonies, in other words, the years before the forming of the United States of America, the colonists had witnessed forms of tyranny. This tyranny was being delivered from the European-styles of governing in England. The king in position was King George III. The people living in the New World had first hand knowledge of the ways of Europe. Most colonists of these times remembered England or had heard stories from parents and/or grandparents as to why this land had become occupied. Religious persecution was a primary reason to leave the motherlands. So most people born in the colonies were not very far-removed from the times mentioned above.
The mid 1750 era had brought about what was known here as the French and Indian war. This war was fought between England and France with the colonists on the side of Britain. England won the war but had acquired a huge debt. The king and Parliament began placing tariffs and taxes upon the colonists to pay for the war. Some taxes and acts became known as the Sugar tax, Townshend Act, Stamp Act and the Tea tax. A cry of the day was No Taxation Without Representation. This became reality for the colonists were not included in the representation in the English Parliament. The heat was simmering!

England was wanting more from the colonies. In a sense the Brits believed the colonies owed the homeland a stronger allegiance because of the French and Indian War results. The taxations and the thoughts of tyranny intensified. Physical encounters grew and shots would be fired. The conflict known as the Boston massacre was one result. England began with attempts to disarm the colonists. Such actions were viewed by many as the prelude to war with England. The Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. That war would be reality! That war was the Revolutionary War.

Once the war was victorious over England new problems erupted. The colonies now needed their own working government. This new government led by a group known as the Founding fathers created a Constitution and Bill of Rights. This once ratified would become the guideline, or the contract, as to how this new United States of America was to be governed.

The Founders understanding tyranny in government wished to avoid such a government in the future. Part of that control over tyranny in government was the SECOND AMENDMENT. The Founders understood tyranny in government easily creeps into reality. They wished to avoid tyranny for the future.

The Thirteen States all issued similar words of the Second Amendment within their own State Constitutions. I live in Pennsylvania and the words for Second Amendment are: Section 21.:
THE RIGHT OF THE CITIZENS TO BEAR ARMS IN DEFENSE OF THEMSELVES AND THE STATE SHALL NOT BE QUESTIONED.”

These words can not be any plainer to understand!

A BREAKDOWN OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT

Today, the left-leaning media, Hollywood elitists and progressive, liberal politicians look upon the Second Amendment as a curse. They wish this “Freedom Right” could be greatly curtailed or eliminated completely. We are in a dangerous time in America.

The above-mentioned people view the “Militia” as a bunch of red-necked kooks, dressed in camo stockpiling firearms and ammunition in preparation of taking over the government through a force. The “MILITIA” at the time of the Bill of Rights and founding of the United states consisted of all able-bodied men. These men were to be prepared to take up arms to defend their families, their communities and their state and their country whenever evil threats became reality.

These groups were to be “WELL-REGULATED”. In other words, these men were to be prepared to defend. Many communities would, actually, have a leader or “captain” to oversee the training. Often times in these early years the defense may be against Indian raids. However, this preparation was, also, to be organized against any attacks concerning any foreign and domestic threats against America’s way of life. This threat included any American tyrannical government of the future.

This is the “SECURITY OF A FREE STATE” thinking behind the Second Amendment. Note the Founders added “Necessary.” They wrote: “NECESSARY TO THE SECURITY OF A FREE STATE.” These men understood actions to defend their free state may be “necessary” sometime in the future. These men knew evil was real and the Second amendment was added within the Bill of Rights as a safeguard against such future evil intents.

Those next words of the Second Amendment include, “THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS.” The people are those of America needed to defend and keep evil and tyranny out of government and families, communities and states. Is this so difficult to grasp?

The Founders wrote next to the right of the people the words: “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.” Their words didn’t say possibly not be infringed. The word “SHALL” means exactly wat it says.

You may hate the Second Amendment, you may try to twist and distort what the founders meant through their wording, but you would be incorrect and falling into the mindset of the leftist progressives. Your personal ideologue doesn’t change the reality of the Second Amendment.

HOW DO WE KNOW THE FOUNDER’S ORIGINAL INTENT?

The Founders, and justices of the times, and after, left behind many, many written words and rulings pertaining to the Second Amendment. Space would not allow to record many for this narrative. They are available to read to anyone not afraid to be educated to their words.

ISSUES OF TODAY
Therein allows for another issue of failings. The educational system, both schools and colleges, have become so progressive in thought that words of wisdom concerning the Founding of America and the freedoms bestowed for us are not being taught or worse being distorted to fit political agendas. Today, we see an ignorance of knowledge of history. We are seeing socialism creeping into all walks of America. Again, this fact is due to the educational system failings in teaching and an acceptance blindness to truth or a stupor. Add an unwillingness to question the educators and following like sheep to slaughter and we have a recipe for disaster approaching this country. The narrative of America has been a cleverly created utopia potential with a pre-World War 2 mindset similar to Nazi propaganda.

We in America are facing an America I never believed I would see in my life.
Today we live in a time where there are no absolutes.
God help us all!

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Flight 93- A Day of Bravery.

 

This boulder marks the site where Flight 93 ended the journey.

I was driving a pick up towards southern Armstrong County , Pennsylvania. I was delivering  signs for a bridge repair job. I turned the radio on to hear of a plane hitting one of the World Trade Towers in New York City. Suddenly, the reporter exclaimed of a second plane striking the second tower. I remember looking at my friend and saying, “We are under attack!”

The faces of those 40 brave individuals.

Yes, that day was one of fear and wonderment as to what was next to occur. Soon words were heard of a third plane at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.  Time would continue with reports of a plane going down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. We would learn of bravery among the passengers taking

People leave items for closure.

this plane down to prevent a fourth hit to an unknown position, possibly the United States Capitol building. The crash was eighteen minutes from Washington D.C.

That evening all of America was glued to the televisions attempting to understand what had happened this day and by whom.

Eventually, we would learn of the Islamic terrorists being the culprits to such tragedies. As I type this the events occurred seventeen years ago on September 11, 2001.

Today, we visited the Shanksville area to see the Fight 93 memorial.

The day began rainy, but at the time we arrived at the site the rains stopped and blue skies and some sun began to be the norm.  Laurie and I visited the visitor’s center which is a museum. Very little of the jet was discovered with the impact of over five-hundred miles per hour. (563 MPH) The massive fireball could be seen for miles. Thirty-three passengers and seven crew members passed away in an instant. The four terrorists died too.  The probable target was the United States Capitol building. Their bravery and willingness to act with a plan that meant certain death was heroic. I must admit the wet eyes happened periodically as we traveled about the site with thoughts of that day. Little else was found at the site because the fire destroyed so much.                                                                                                                                         

A tower under construction is one where forty chimes will be placed. Workmen were present at this memorial. The tower is called the TOWER OF VOICES!

At the visitor’s center one has the opportunity to pick up phones to listen to the frantic calls of that day. Laurie picked one up and quickly returned the phone. I wasn’t as brave. I knew what would happen to me.

We walked this bridge over a wetlands.

Later we walked the 1.7 mile trail and ended up at the actual crash site.  The memorial construction and mowed grass in the field makes it easy to see the flight path of the 747 jet.

We walked away saddened  to realize such an event could easily happen again under a lapse in security or intelligence.  A sad reminder is how so many of the young people of today do not have any realization of that terrible time in our history.

God bless America!

GOD BLESS THE USA

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Land stage of the Red-Spotted Newt.

We sure had a lot of rain stemming from the movements of Tropical Storm Gordon. I can’t say exactly how many inches of water fell, but a local paper had over five inches of moisture on Armstrong County. The creek below the house rose over its banks  and as write this entry the yard is very soggy. THERE WILL BE NO MOWING THIS WEEK! On Monday I saw a gobbler behind the house and a ‘possum at night. I haven’t seen my rabbits since the rain began to fall. Did they float downstream?

 

Foggy river hillside

This morning was in the fifties, but the humidity must have been up for my time afield was damp. I was exploring additional lands within a local state game lands.

Monarch Caterpillar

I arrived fairly early once I saw the weather forecast. No rain they said. Well, I felt something wet falling several different times throughout the morning. The wetness must have been my imagination, I guess! Thick fog moved about during the morning whenever weather conditions were just right.

 

 

Old rusty gas shanty

The exploratory mission had me seeing some areas I had never been before. High hills, steep hills bordering the Allegheny River and some deep valleys. I saw lots of Autumn Olive  trees loaded with berries. Those berries will be relished by everything from small birds to bear in short order.

 

Vultures

One interesting discovery were five different Red-Spotted Newts along the rim of the steep hill. The newts are the land stage  and they will become aquatic later. I saw six or so deer throughout my morning jaunt. I only saw one squirrel. A Cooper’s Hawk fluttered from a high tree. At one site I saw vultures flying around, but five were settled in an old snag trying to keep dry enough for future flights.

Field of Goldenrods.

I saw a few Monarch Caterpillars on Milkweed stalks. I guess they survived the deluge well.

 

Fog over the Allegheny River

 

White Snakeroot

 

On a sad note, we must remember the terrible disaster that occurred this day seventeen years ago. The Twin Towers were struck by terrorists. The Pentagon was struck by terrorists and the saving of some planned attack by the terrorists due to the actions of very brave AMERICANS on Flight 93.  WE must never forget!!!!

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