We’d like to close out February by looking forward to spring and summer. Spring is certainly not fully here although it has teased us a bit in recent weeks. The forecast is pretty clear that next week will not be springlike, at least not in North Georgia.
March is always tricky and should never be trusted as winter and spring tend to swap out and it is possible to experience both, perhaps even in the same day. However, by the end of March, it will likely be springtime.
Spring and summer mean adventures, small and large. So we are sharing some of our favorites from our YouTube channel.
Ft Pulaski was built to guard the mouth of the Savannah River. For over 100 years the post served as a military installation different eras contributed different renovations and additions, including the demilune.
Below the surface, Ft McAllister was an impervious fortification where troops were well protected from any shipboard weapons of its era. No artillery assault could defeat it. Only a infantry charge by an overwhelming force defeated the McAllister garrison.
Above the surface, Ft McAllister is one of the most beautiful locations in all of Georgia. With living history encampments and re-enactments as well as car shows, musical performances, and other events, McAllister is a great destination for a day trip or even a week at the cottages or campground.
Milledgeville served as the state capital from 1807 to 1868. Now the Old Capitol Museum tells the story of that era, when a city specifically designed and planned to be the state capital served in that capacity.
Milledgeville received the entirety of the state administration, treasury and documents, via a convoy of 15 wagons that travelled from Louisville to Milledgeville in 1807. The seat of a larger government moved to a larger city, the resurrecting Atlanta in 1868.
Any history fanatic has to visit Colonial Williamsburg. Seeing the militia demonstrations on the town green are but one of the amazing experiences that await.
Sam Burnham, Curator
I pray I will always live in places where spires dominate the skyline"
With that tweet began several conversations that would lead to this article. The idea of finding cities and towns where spires and other beautiful vertical architectural features dominate the skyline took off. After some chats with friends, we came up with a few locations.
So much American history is tied to Williamsburg, Virginia. The Brewron Parish Church was the center of town life. The church was the place of worship for Virginia Burgesses, the Governor, and other colonial and state officials. Compulsory church attendance during British rule made the church more than an option for residents. That center is symbolized by the spire that rises over Duke of Gloucester Street. The spire can be seen from much of town and overlooks the town green where the militia is often reviewed by military leaders such as Marquis de Lafayette.
Closer to home, another seat of power kept the locals looking up. Milledgeville served as the state capital of Georgia from 1807 to 1868 (and still should but that’s another story.) Here we find the Old Capitol, one of the first example of gothic architecture in a public building in America. With its main tower, it’s battlements, even its chimneys, rising above compelling the glances of passersby to rise to admire the architectural fixtures.
The Presbyterian Church still stands at the end of the same block as the Old Capitol. During the occupation of November, 1864, Union soldiers poured honey in the church’s organ pipes, completely ruining the instrument. But eventually the organ was replaced and the music plays to this day.
Among the aligned squares of Savannah you’ll find several historic churches. Notably, the twin spires of The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist tower over the town. With a historic district that mostly sports a canopy of live oaks for a skyline, Savannah lacks the type of buildings that would obscure the massive white spires.
Charleston is probably the most beautiful cities in America. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a city that can rival it. “The Holy City” got its nickname from the many churches on its peninsula. The city’s commitment to its beauty has led to regulations that leave spires towering over all the other structures. The spires remain recognizable even when viewed from out at Ft. Sumter at the mouth of the harbor. Anyone familiar with the town would instantly recognize the skyline at first glance.
While a skyscraper tends to get people looking up, the scale and the modern materials and designs don’t project the beauty of the structures and cities I’ve listed here. When confronted with the claim that spires do not dominate the skylines of “cities of any size” I just want to say, that’s the point of my prayer at the opening of this article. These cities and towns are big enough for anything I care to do. There are many more that fit the description. I plan to take my stand in these places. That’s my personal preference and I don’t claim that it must be universal.
“The Father of our country,” George Washington was a man of various talents. He was a surveyor, a farmer, a researcher, a soldier, a businessman, a distiller and a gifted dancer. He was a man who could thrive in a formal gathering or on the frontier. He was a man of noted strength and ability. He’s also the man who refused to be king. He set the example for presidents by willingly laying down power after his second term. He did the same by handing control of his army to the Continental Congress at the end of the Revolution. He willingly and intentionally shed power at every opportunity, something our modern politicians could never fathom. In trying to become lesser, he only became greater.
We don’t focus enough on what made Washington great and that needs to change but on his birthday we offer this small tribute the the man who was “First in War, First in Peace, a First in the Hearts of His Countrymen.”
Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire