Friday, April 28, 2017

A Day Trip to the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park

I have been on an absolute binge of making photo books on Shutterfly (seriously, I'm on my third right now), and as I was looking through my Adobe Lightroom catalog of photos from last summer, I noticed that in the flurry of all of those summer activities, there are several interesting field trips and school activities that I didn't write about.

Absolute gasp, right?

You may not know this, but I don't actually blog in order to braggy brag about my life, but to write about my life--well, *some* parts of my life... and to display my photos, all annotated and edited and organized. And looking at those unedited photos of our George Rogers Clark trip, the, you know, five almost identical photos of each pose that I haven't narrowed down to the one in which most of the family is looking in my direction with non-sour expressions, I immediately noticed photos of things that I'd forgotten the interesting stories behind, and the historical significance of.

Absolute gasp.

So yes, you're getting those photos now, before I forget even MORE of the interesting stories behind them!

Our trip to the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park was part of last summer's American Revolution unit study, but imagine my surprise when before we found that small national park, as we wandered around lost and quibbled with our GPS, we found William Henry Harrison's house!

I'm just excited that we randomly came across William Henry Harrison's house. I actually HATE Harrison!

We thought about going inside, but it was $24 I didn't want to spend, and also I hate William Henry Harrison.
I was more excited about being in the capital of Indiana Territory, on the bicentennial of Indiana's statehood!
Because I didn't write this adventure up promptly, I now don't remember exactly what this little row of buildings was meant to be. A representation of the capital city of Indiana Territory? A small section of historic Vincennes? Something exciting, it seems!

I did a better job with this random section of field, probably because I care deeply about this subject:

I have written before about visiting Prophetstown and the battle that Harrison would later laud as "Tippecanoe" and use to win the presidency (barf). Here's another important part from that history, the site where Tecumseh met Governor Harrison in order to voice his protest at Harrison's sneaky, manipulative dealings with Native Americans.
And because I am THAT big of a nerd, here I have the famous painting of that meeting pulled up on the phone, and I have used it to locate exactly where the meeting took place:

So after booing Harrison and fangirling over Tecumseh some more, we FINALLY made it to the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park. To make what was basically an educational romp through history fun for the kids, we treated them to fast food first. We're pretty great like that.

And then we pointed them at the visitor center to start working on their Junior Ranger badges!

I can't retell the battle for you, as it's been too long since this trip for me to remember all the best details, but the gist of the story is that he was a plucky American soldier who, with his ragtag band of patriots, captured British forts on the frontier.

Also, he captured and executed Native Americans as an intimidation tactic, because the Native Americans were always treated as pawns and manipulated or intimidated into alliances.

This huge monument has a pretty sanitized portrayal of Clark's exploits, and supposedly stands on the site of the former Fort Sackville. The site where Clark executed a bunch of random Native Americans just to make a point is not marked.

The battle also entailed some sneaky sneaking across the river. Here's the river:

I love that my kid uses irony quotes.
I don't know if this was part of the national park site, but as we hiked back from the Wabash River, I spied some old headstones next to a nearby church, so we hopped the little fence and investigated:
Consort, eh?

The kids did, indeed, earn their Junior Ranger badges, and sated on history, we were heading home, when from the car I spied another delightful historical surprise!

Why, it's a prehistoric Native American mound! You know I LOVE those!!!
I could hardly believe it, but we were allowed to hike right up it!

And although the sign prohibited sledding or biking down it, it did NOT prohibit two kids running down it at full speed, coming thisclose to breaking their fool necks:

It was a VERY full day of adventure.


Kristy Tillman said...

Julie...Julie...Oh how I love thee and your detailed and completely unsarcastic representation of your adventures!

julie said...

But you hate William Henry Harrison, right? I feel like that's the important takeaway here. And we for sure side-eye George Rogers Clark, too.