Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Annapolis, a furnace, and captivity

I was close enough to Annapolis to drive over from Mt. Vernon and spend a few days.

The town is very water oriented....

and very, very charming.

It is lovely to see a downtown that still has the buildings from its birth.

and the buildings are cared for and used.

Finally it was time to head north out of Maryland.

 Along the road north on Rte 806 I came to this interesting site--The Catoctin Furnace.

This furnace was for iron-making from 1776 to 1903.  It provided the raw  pig iron necessary for munitions used in the Revolutionary War plus the iron needed for tools for cooking and farming as well as rails and cars for the railroad.

It was built in this location because of the lush forest all around it.  When it was in full blast  it required one acre of harvested wood per every 24 hours of operation.  The forest around the furnace was devastated and all the trees there now are less than 100 years old.

It was furnaces like this that 'fueled' the development of the country and the rise of the industrial revolution. 

The little community that surrounds the furnace has several homes that survived that era but it must have been a mixed blessing to live there.  When the furnace was in full blast the roar of the operation was constant,  never stopping year around during night or day.  The black charcoal dust filled the air and covered the village.  And at night there was always a red glow that lit the sky.

That night I camped in a State Park......

 and discovered these beauties.

At first I was aghast that there were at least a dozen in cages and on display in the park ...

Until I learned they were 'rescued'.

They had been wounded in some way and rescued by the rangers in the park and these were the birds that were not able to be reintroduced back into the wild.

1 comment:

  1. Toni,
    Reading this has been so much fun. Your pictures have been great, and I've really enjoyed your comments on the history, and the present circumstances of the areas you've passed through. The sections on the sights to be seen in the Washington area were terrific.
    Naturally I was sad to hear about what happened to Don, both for him and for you. But there is perhaps a little bit of a silver lining, for you at least, since it sounds like they are having a truly hellacious summer in that area this year. Maybe you can spend some time in New England in the fall, which is said to be a lovely season, although you'll probably need some warmer clothes.
    I hope you missed out on the storm and flooding in Florida recently -- I thought of you when I saw the news reports.
    I know you posted your email address someplace in this blog, but I can't find it. Could you give it again?
    Lynda G