Can you see the building behind me? It's Saint Paul's Church, the center of Saint Paul's Church National Historic Site! This afternoon my family drove to Mount Vernon, New York to see the church and the cemetery surrounding it. The weather was cool and crisp; fall is on its way!
The first thing we did at the site was pick up my Junior Ranger booklet! Then I explored the little museum at the entrance to the site. There was a lot of important information to learn there. I learned that the church served as a field hospital during the Revolutionary War. The Battle of Pell's Point also took place about a mile away. Another cool thing I learned was that three presidents attended services there! We went inside the church too, of course. Can you see the interior of the church behind me in this photo? There is a pipe organ inside that was built in 1833. There is also a bell that was installed in 1758; it was made in the same foundry in London that also made the Liberty Bell!
After I explored the church, I wandered around the cemetery. It has headstones that date back to 1704! We saw some that marked the resting places of children, soldiers, and families. It is a beautiful, quiet place.
The Junior Ranger booklet at Saint Paul's Church really taught me a lot about the site! I sat down behind the church and worked on it. There are a few trick questions, so if you go there yourself, keep an eye out!
After I finished the book, I headed back over to the museum to have my booklet checked. I did pretty well- except for the trick questions I mentioned! Oops!
When I got back to the museum, my Junior Ranger badge was waiting for me! I was so excited, because I really worked hard to earn it. You should definitely visit Saint Paul's Church if you are ever in the New York City area! I had a great time.
In this entry I'm wearing: a tee from American Girl Place with a custom decal, shorts by Pleasant Piper, and sneakers by American Girl.
This weekend, I had the chance to visit another National Park Service site- General Grant National Memorial. It's usually called Grant's Tomb and it's the resting place of Civil War General and US President Ulysses S. Grant. He was a great man and I felt honored to visit his resting place. The memorial is very large, white, and beautiful. In fact, it's the largest mausoleum in North America! Did you know that President Grant also created our nation's first national park? He signed the act creating Yellowstone National Park in 1872.
In order to do this Junior Ranger program, I visited the small museum in the Visitor Center and walked through the memorial itself. I learned a lot about General Grant and his wife, Julia. I didn't take any photos inside the memorial because I thought it would be disrespectful. The interior of the memorial is very beautiful with mosaics and a rotunda. I really enjoyed seeing it and was proud to be a visitor. Can you believe I've lived in New York City for so long and hadn't visited General Grant's memorial until now?
Here I am wearing my latest Junior Ranger badge! After the ranger pinned it on me, I went outside to look down over the Hudson River. It was such a beautiful day and I'm glad I spent it at General Grant National Memorial!
Yesterday I had the good luck to go with my family to Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Sandy Hook is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area! Sandy Hook is a barrier spit that juts into New York Bay. It's beautiful! My family goes there occasionally to visit the beach and ride bikes.
The water there was so beautiful! My family rode bikes around Sandy Hook- this picture is from when we stopped for a rest in Fort Hancock. I loved climbing on the rocks! There were lots of people with giant kites that I loved watching while we rode along the shore.
Can you see the buildings of Fort Hancock behind me? During World War II, the guns at Fort Hancock helped guard New York Harbor from German U-Boat (submarine) attacks. These days, it's a great place to picnic. A cool thing about Fort Hancock is that there are goats there who eat poison ivy! They are kept in by an electric fence. My family rode our bikes along the electric fence, but sadly we did not spot any goats.
What would a trip to a National Park Service site be without trying out the Junior Ranger program? I had done the Junior Ranger program at the old Ranger Station a few years ago, but now they have a new program at the lighthouse! You get to walk around the keeper's quarters and lighthouse and answer questions about the structures. The lighthouse at Sandy Hook is really nice. There are even tours if you are interested in learning more about it! We didn't go a tour because we did so much biking, but perhaps we'll try one on our next visit.
Here I am with a nice ranger getting my badge! Sandy Hook also has a cool patch with a lighthouse on it that you can purchase. I made sure to get the patch to add to my collection as well.
Here I am with my badge! Overall, it was a great day at Sandy Hook. I had been feeling sad that summer is almost over, so I'm really glad my family went to Sandy Hook to enjoy a summer day. If you are ever in the area, you should definitely check it out! Sandy Hook's website is found at http://www.nps.gov/gate/ .
Today I had the honor of visiting a new National Park Service site- Hamilton Grange National Memorial! Hamilton Grange is a really exciting site and I had a wonderful time visiting. It was the home of Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the United States. Alexander Hamilton was a crucial part of the creation of our Constitution and he was also an author of the Federalist Papers. As if that wasn't enough, he was also the first secretary of the treasury! Sadly, he was killed in a duel with Aaron Burr.
Here I am in front of Hamilton Grange. It's a pretty yellow home built in the Federalist style. It was designed by an architect named John McComb Jr. I got to walk around inside the house on a guided tour, but the memorial also has open house periods where you can explore the house with a ranger nearby. The rangers at Hamilton Grange are really nice and they were so friendly to me. I had a great time doing the Junior Ranger program there.
Here I am with a portrait of Alexander Hamilton. He had eight children with his wife! I saw the dining room, where I imagined the whole family seated around the table. I also saw the Hamilton family's original piano, which was very beautiful.
This is a really cool model of Hamilton Grange. It's on a lazy susan, so you can spin it around and see the model from all sides. I think it would make an awesome dollhouse!
At the end of the tour, I went back downstairs and said goodbye to the rangers. The woman in the photo is a really nice volunteer. She's the one who checked my Junior Ranger booklet and gave me my badge.
If you have the chance the visit Hamilton Grange National Memorial, you definitely should! The basement has a really nice museum with a movie room and a bookstore. If you'd like to learn more about Alexander Hamilton and Hamilton Grange, check out the memorial's website at www.nps.gov/hagr!