Lee's headquarters Gettysburg

Lee's headquarters Gettysburg
The recently restored area around Lee's Headquarters in Gettysburg PA!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Inn At Herr Ridge- Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

So, when we planned our trip through Gettysburg, we knew exactly where we wanted to stay this time.  The Inn at Herr Ridge.

This spot is VERY historic.  The main building went up in 1815.  In 1863, it would be used by the Confederates as a hospital.

Rooms 1-4 are said to be the rooms where amputations took place.  I have read that room #1 specifically saw a lot of sawing.  I have also read that it is haunted!

So, after some debate with my wife.....  We reserved room #1!

AND, we were the only couple in the Inn for the 3 nights (A Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday) we were there.  PLUS, the staff told us they left at 6....  So, I think we were pretty much alone in the place!

I guess I should go ahead and get our "ghost story" out of the way.

You know I am generally skeptical about these things, but I do love a good ghost story.  AND I do love strange history.

So, our first night at the Inn....  I am pretty sure it was right around midnight....  we both awoke to a strange noise!  It sounded like rocks being shaken in a box!

I got up to check things out, wondering if I was finally having a REAL ghost experience!

BUT, as I looked around, I realized exactly what we had heard.  When we checked in, the nice people at the Inn gave us a bottle of Champaign... in an ice bucket.  As you probably know, ice often melts in the buckets, and then shifts....  We had simply been startled by the sound of the ice melting, and breaking, and the glass bottle of Champaign shifting around in the bucket.

Oh well......  Still, we stayed in a very cool place, even without a ghostly experience.  Let me tell you about it!

Upon check-in, we were given a glass of Champaign!  We were then able to enjoy a rocking chair on the porch, for a few moments.  I personally don't drink at all, but I figured I should enjoy this glass as part of the experience.  I wasn't exactly able to finish less than half the glass... but I felt fancy.

We were shown around a bit, and made our way to our room, which I thought looked even nicer than it appeared on the web site.  It was open yet cozy.  The bathroom was small, but very usable.  There was a shower set up in a claw foot bathtub.  Again, it was small, but it felt appropriate for an inn over 200 years old.

The hardwood floors were nice... and authentically squeaky.  We did not mind at all.  In fact, it really added to the feel of the place.

AND, I do want to say that our room was very clean and new.  Yes, the inn had an extremely historic feel, but they were keeping the place up.  There was a nice big TV in our room, a Keurig coffee maker, and our bed was clean and comfortable.  We have seen some "historic" hotels who think that run down and outdated are part of their historic charm.  That was not the case here.  The place is classy.

Each morning we ate at 8 am.  Again, we were the only couple here, but they still took care of us.  We put in an entre order each evening.  The next morning we would come down for breakfast.  We had the same waitress two of our mornings (and I did not catch her name) but, like all of the staff we encountered here she was great.  I had an omelet two mornings, and French toast one.  My wife was happy with her egg whites.

AND, again, not compromising, we had a great layout of fruits, juices, and breads to go with our meal.  The Inn at Herr Ridge did not take any shortcuts just because of the fact that there were only two people there.

Like I said, the Inn at Herr Ridge is historic, and I wanted to soak that in while we were in Gettysburg.  Sure, there was lots to see out in town, but I wanted some time to read, and to just enjoy being at the Inn.

There is a very nice reading area right outside of the rooms 2-4, in the new add on area, but just outside of the original structure.  Slanted windows outside behind the chairs really made this a comfortable area.  It was a hot few days while we were in Gettysburg, but that was OK, the A/C worked great in our room, so reading in bed before going to sleep was very pleasant.

The Inn at Herr Ridge was an absolute winner on this trip.  Check out my photos!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Cashtown Inn- Cashtown, Pennsylvania

The Cashtown Inn was a very important place
during the Battle of Gettysburg.  It was used as a Confederate Headquarters and hospital.

We swung by briefly as we came into the area.  Here are a few photos.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Mister Ed's Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium- Orrtanna, Pennsylvania

I have heard about Mister Ed's for some time, and we decided to make a quick stop on our way to Gettysburg.

I figured the place would be funky, and over the top....  It was!

Inside and outside, Mister Ed's has some crazy d├ęcor, mostly relating to elephants.

I did a quick walk through the "Elephant Museum" part.  If you aren't a big elephant fan, you can take it all in in a few minutes.  If you love elephants though, you might be here for a while.  It is kind of a long hallway with glassed in shelves holding various elephants.  It is a one of a kind attraction.

In the main store area, the place has candy..  and other odd knickknacks everywhere.  We found several orange candies for a friend obsessed with orange.  There is an entire room of Pez dispensers.  AND, you know that they have peanuts!

Mister Ed's knows that they get a lot of Civil War fans in the area, so I saw some Civil War related toy soldiers and such.  There were some cool local history books for sale too.

Yeah, we wanted to utilize our Gettysburg time wisely, but we were sure glad that we stopped by Mister Ed's!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Flight 93 National Memorial- Pennsylvania

Seeing the Flight 93 National Memorial has been BIG on my list for some time.  Especially after our visit last year to the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City.

I am sure I have mentioned here before that I was in downtown Cleveland doing social work stuff on that day.  Well, Flight 93 was in Cleveland airspace at one point that day (I believe it was taken over by the hijackers while in the area).

Anyway, the memorial to the flight (and the amazing passengers who made sure the plain did not get to it's intended location) is now at the crash site, in Somerset County Pennsylvania.

We stopped by as we traveled from Pittsburgh to Gettysburg.  There is a very nice visitor center here, with a small but moving museum.  The museum reminded me of a much smaller version of the one we saw in New York.  We talked to a friendly ranger while we were here.  It is great that this site is managed by the National Park Service.

There is a glassed in room inside of the visitor center where you can see the crash site, the debris field, and other landmarks associated with the crash.  I think this is great for someone who would like to briefly visit the Memorial, but that may not be able to fully explore it.

BUT, there is a nice walking trail to the crash site area (the exact spot is fenced off).

This is a very pleasant Memorial.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Incline, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Postcard

The back of this postcard describes-

Operating since 1870.  Length 640 feet.  Altitude, 370 feet.  38 degree rise.

Its still there!  This blogger has been on it!

The card itself was sent in 1942, from Pittsburg.  The sender says that they did shopping in town, and saw (bandleader) Ted Lewis at the theatre.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Lily Pond and Phipps Conservatory, Schenley Park, Pittsburgh, PA.

This postcard showing Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, was sent to Atlantic City in 1921!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Recent Gettysburg Trip

So, we recently got back from a visit to Gettysburg.  We made this a fun loop trip, going through Pittsburgh, Gettysburg, Harper's Ferry WV, and Staunton VA.

Most of our time was spent in Gettysburg though.  This was our third trip to the exceptionally historic town.

Its funny, I was talking to an acquaintance the other day.  They recently took their family to Gettysburg.  They said that they got to town, went to the battlefield, and then they weren't sure of what to do next.  They spent a few hours driving around, then they were back on the road.

I told them that I would be there for a full 3 days, and that would not be enough time on this visit.  I literally had a check list of things I wanted to do, almost all of them different from previous trips.  Even now, after getting back home from this third visit, I could put another jam packed 3 day itinerary together of things I would still like to do in town.

There are museums we haven't visited.  There are numerous inns and B&Bs in the area, all worthy of a stay.  There are parts of the battlefield I would love to spend more quality time visiting.

BUT, we really did hit some of the main attractions we simply didn't have time to get to last time around.

Plus, we were able to see several other great places as we looped around several states, keeping the focus of our trip mostly on the Civil War. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Helm Cemetery- Elizabethtown, Kentucky

Right behind a Wendy's in Elizabethtown is the Helm Family Cemetery.  It is up on a hill and it is very small.

The remains of former Kentucky Governor John Helm are here, as are the remains of his son, Benjamin Hardin Helm.

Benjamin Hardin Helm commanded the legendary Orphan Brigade (1st Kentucky Brigade) for the South.  Reports I have read establish that he was loved by his Confederate soldiers.  AND, he was married to the half-sister of first lady Mary Todd Lincoln.

Benjamin was killed (by a sharpshooter from the 15th Kentucky Union Infantry) at Chickamauga.

The Lincoln's went through a personal period of mourning, and Helm's widow was given safe passage to be with her family at the White House. 

Anyway, here are some photos I took at the Helm Cemetery, where John and Benjamin rest.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Lincoln Heritage House- Elizabethtown, Kentucky

Here are a few photos I took of the Lincoln Heritage House in Elizabethtown!  Abe's dad helped with the construction.  A fire did some damage to it in 2009, and it looks like they are still working on getting it back in shape.  I heard that they are trying to use period accurate tools and replacement wood...  so it sounds like they are trying to restore it the right way!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Back Home Restaurant- Elizabethtown Kentucky

We wanted to try something new while we were in Elizabethtown.  Well, something new to us anyway.

We saw that Back Home Restaurant rated pretty high online.  We were not familiar with it, but we would be passing near it on our trip, so we checked it out!

I was a bit upset when I read their history though.  They have been around for 30 years, and I am just finding out about it!  I need to keep up with things.

Back Home Restaurant is in an old house that is in a very attractive setting.  We went in and we were taken to a dim, cozy booth.  The set up is very unique and hard to describe, but comfortable.

Check out their menu online.  They have a lot of good home cookin' comfort food kind of items.  I had a BLT, AND we had some pretzel bite appetizers with beer cheese dip.  I'll come back for that.

our waitress and a hostess were both Kentucky Country sweet, and it was just fun chatting with these ladies.  One told us some of the history of the building (it had been several businesses over the years).  They were funny, helpful, and fun to be around.

As we paid our bill to leave, we were tempted by some sweets available on the way out.  At least some were made by our waitress earlier!

AND, there is a boutique shop upstairs.  Its very cute and original too!

Back Home Restaurant gets my highest possible recommendation.  I can't wait to dine here again!