We made an early dash (hit the road at 6:30 AM) past Dover and Philadelphia to avoid the intense traffic that often cripples traffic in the area. We made it through and were well north on I476 toward Allentown PA before 9 am. We swung around Allentown and headed northeast to the Catskill Mountains and our campground near Wurtsboro, NY. We hadn't seen a decent hill since November because we've been hanging around the coast and Florida since then. We found some in the Catskills. They are nothing but hills compared to the standards out west but it does add a little character to the landscape. Not that you can really appreciate it much because trees are almost always blocking your view.
|Hasbrouck House - Washington HQ|
Our quest for historic sites continued along the Hudson River valley. The first stop was to the Hasbrouck House in Newburgh. This home was rented for use as a military headquarters for George Washington at the end of the Revolutionary War. He (and Martha actually stayed there, too) was there for 16 months, longer than any other HQ he had during the war. This was the HQ after the British had surrendered but before a peace treaty had been signed. The location was strategic to keep an eye on the British who still occupied New York City.
|Beacon Hill across the Hudson|
It is on the Hudson River and across the river on Beacon Hill was the last of a series of warning fire posts. The fire posts were positioned all along the river from NYC to here as a form of fast communication. If the British were to make a move the first fire would be lit and then lookouts at each fire post would see the other fire and light theirs, thus quickly sending a signal up the river to Washington. The Continental Army was ready nearby in case the British decided to try something.
Washington did many important things affecting history while at this location. One of the them was his vehement rejection of the suggestions that the nation become a Monarchy with him as the leader. Please use the following link for more information on all the fascinating things that Washington did while here. It was incredible to be in the building where so much history was made. Note - unfortunately they did not allow pictures inside.
|FDR home - Springwood|
|Library - office|
If you google Val-Kill and Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site there is a lot of information.
(Note: the term "kill" is Dutch for stream or small river, ie Val-Kill, Catskill, etc)