Sunday, September 13, 2009

Visiting Lancaster - Fulton Opera House, Lancaster Cemetery, Wheatland

After visiting and learning about three sites in Lancaster, you would think we are done, but we aren't! There is still more to see and learn during our time in the city. After we visited the Stevens and Smith site, we walked a few blocks to our next stop. On our way, Julia and Nathan showed me one of their favorite places in the city - Central Market. They told me which stands to visit to get the best cookies, vegetables, and chocolate milk. Market wasn't open on the day we visited, so I will have to come back and stay with them again so I can get one of those cookies!

We stopped outside the Fulton Opera House on Prince Street. The Fulton Opera House was built in 1852. It is proud to say it is the oldest continuously operating theaters and a National Historic Landmark. During the Civil War militias drilled here, and it is said that Union officers planned here. All the talk of cookies made the children hungry, so we stopped in a local coffee shop for hot chocolate and treats. It gave us a chance to talk some more before we ventured to the Lancaster Cemetery.

Once we had a treat, we got in the car and drove across town to the Lancaster Cemetery. We found the Reynolds family plot very easily. Here we found General Reynolds' large gravestone.
General Reynolds was a Union Major General. He was considered to be one of the top Union Generals of the war. General Reynolds was in charge of the left wing of the army on the approach to Gettysburg. He was shot in the neck on July 1 during the battle of Gettysburg. He was the first and highest ranking officer to be killed in the battle.
We spent a lot of time at the cemetery reading the stones and markers. It was amazing how much detail was carved into the four sides of General Reynolds' stone. We were happy to see the flags that were left at this veteran's grave. Right next to General Reynold's grave we saw his brother's grave stone. It had an anchor on the top because William Reynolds was a Civil War Union Naval Officer. During the Civil War he served on the USS New Hampshire in the Navy blockades in the south.

Next we drove out of the city and stopped at Wheatland. Wheatland was the home of President James Buchanan, who was the president right before Abraham Lincoln. He was the only President who never married, and he was the only President from Pennsylvania. His Presidency was marked by a nation that was becoming divided. While we were at Wheatland, I got my first PA Civil War Trails stamp. I hope to visit some more sites highlighted in my Civil War Trails passport!

I had a great visit to Lancaster. Julia and Nathan loved to read with me, talk with me, and learn with me. I had many hugs and kisses from them. I hope to come back and visit some other historic sites soon!

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