1916 era monument to National Road “modern imporvements” in Ohio

Photo on the Eagles Nest historic marker showing travel on the National Highway

Photo on the Eagles Nest historic marker showing travel on the National Highway

The Eagles Nest monument on the National Road (US 40) was erected around 1916 after a 29 mile stretch of the then umimproved and often nearly impassable road was replaced with concrete. The stretch of highway ran from Zanesville to Hebron.

The monument is a large granite rock with some interesting inscriptions carved into the surface. The photos show some of the details of the inscriptions, including a Conestoga wagon and mileage to Cumberland, Maryland, the starting point of the road.

The day we stopped here the conditions were very muddy and wet. What a reminder of some of the early muddy conditions that the early travelors faced as they traveled across country.

 

The Eagles Nest monument

The Eagles Nest monument

Conestoga wagon etched into the granite

Conestoga wagon etched into the granite

You are 220 miles from the start of the National Road in Cumberland, MD.

You are 220 miles from the start of the National Road in Cumberland, MD.

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Lincoln’s Tomb in Springfield, Illinois

The upper portion of the Lincoln tomb

The upper portion of the Lincoln tomb

Lincoln’s tomb is in the huge Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. This is a State historic site, not a National property. The impressive structure is on top of a hill in roughly the center of the cemetery grounds.

You enter the tomb into a small round room. There were two volunteers in the room answering questions. The tomb itself is reached via a marble lined hall way with different bronze statues of Lincon along the way.

Once you have seen the marker for Lincoln and the internment wall behind which are Lincoln’s wife and children you continue out another hallway. This was a very somber and, for me, emotional time. All of the history of Lincoln, the tragedy of the Civil War and of his untimely death seemed to come to life.

The photos do not really do justice to the magnificence of the exterior and the interior of tomb. This is a true must visit site if you are near Springfield.

You enter the tomb via the small door seen on the lower right of the structure.

You enter the tomb via the small door seen on the lower right of the structure.

In the entry room, this is a small version of the statue in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC

In the entry room, this is a small version of the statue in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC

Not a clear photo, but this shows the hall leading to the tomb.

Not a clear photo, but this shows the hall leading to the tomb.

One of several depictions of Lincoln in varioius places in the walkway.

One of several depictions of Lincoln in varioius places in the walkway.

Lincoln's casket is actually behind and 10 feet below this massive marker. It is encased in steel reinforced concrete.

Lincoln’s casket is actually behind and 10 feet below this massive marker. It is encased in steel reinforced concrete.

Lincoln's children are also here next to Mrs. Lincoln

Lincoln’s children are also here next to Mrs. Lincoln

One of four statues representing the Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery and Navy that fought in the Civil War, and that Lincoln commanded.

One of four statues representing the Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery and Navy that fought in the Civil War, and that Lincoln commanded.

Springfield, Illinois and Abe Lincoln

The formal parlor in the Lincoln home

The formal parlor in the Lincoln home

Today we enjoyed some of the sights and historic attractions in Springfield, Illinois. It seems that the only US National Park in Illinois is the four block area that includes the home of Abraham Lincoln and his family. Lincoln only owned one house during his life, and it was the one in Springfield.

Today the home is completely restored including what is touted as original Lincoln family furniture and other items. You have to go on a guided tour of the Lincoln home. Tickets are free but you do need a ticket. The tickets are available at the information center. There were not a lot of people there today but there were a couple of bus loads of kids on spring break. We did have to wait a couple of hours before our tour. On a real busy tourist day it might take a while to be able to take the tour.

The tour was quick, maybe a half hour at the most. I would have liked to really look at some of the furnishings of the house, but those NPS Rangers kept you moving, and by golly you better not even touch the walls or even the door jambs! I understand not wanting things worn out but to sort of yell at a fellow who puts his hand on a painted wood door jamb? Oh well,it was still fun to see the Lincoln house.

There are lots of displays in the info center as well as a couple of short films. And of course the gift shop was packed with just about everything Lincoln you could imagine.

Another 'classic' view of the home

Another ‘classic’ view of the home

These parlor chairs are said to be Lincoln's in this house. The NPS guide said they went into storage after Lincoln moved to DC. and were recovered.

These parlor chairs are said to be Lincoln’s in this house. The NPS guide said they went into storage after Lincoln moved to DC. and were recovered.

Lincoln's desk in his upstairs bedroom. Legend says he wrote his debates with Douglas at this desk.

Lincoln’s desk in his upstairs bedroom. Legend says he wrote his debates with Douglas at this desk.

Lincoln's dresser with wash basin and pitcher and shaving gear.

Lincoln’s dresser with wash basin and pitcher and shaving gear.

When it is too cold to go to the outhouse...

When it is too cold to go to the outhouse…

The four block historic area around the Lincoln home (that is it on the left)

The four block historic area around the Lincoln home (that is it on the left)

Mark Twain’s Hannibal, Missouri

Statue of a young Sam Clemens as a riverboat captain

Statue of a young Sam Clemens as a riverboat captain

Today we spent the day in Hannibal, Missouri. Famous for being the home of Samuel Clemens, also known as the author Mark Twain, Hannibal is a really interesting and very historic small town on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River.

Mark Twain is of course everywhere, both in name and in picture.  One local restaurant proudly proclaims that it has Mark Twain fried chicken on the menu. Hmmm I didn’t know that Twain had scooped the colonel.

The orignal homes of Clemen’s family and those of other real life people who became the fictional characteres in the Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn books are open for tours.

In addition to all the Mark Twain attractions, this river town is filled with some magnificent old Victorian homes, some restored, some in the midst of restoration and some in need of immediate attention.

Clemen's (Tom Sawyer's) home and that famous white-washed fence

Clemen’s (Tom Sawyer’s) home and that famous white-washed fence

Tom Sawyer's first love, Beck Thatcher, who exisited in real life when Clemens was but a young lad

Tom Sawyer’s first love, Beck Thatcher, who exisited in real life when Clemens was but a young lad

Well of course there is a Mark Twain Dinette in Hannibal!

Well of course there is a Mark Twain Dinette in Hannibal!

" the extensive view up and down the river is ... one of the best on the Mississippi."

” the extensive view up and down the river is … one of the best on the Mississippi.”

Spotted a bald eagle

Near Pere Marquette State Park north of Grafton, Illinois we saw a magnificent bald eagle in the top of a tree. What a treat to see our National Symbol in the flesh, er….in the feather. Info boards at the park said that in the year 2000 there were 43 active nests of bald eagles in Illinois.

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A German WWII Buzz Bomb in Greencastle, Indiana??

As Sher and I were driving west on the National Road (aka US 40) I about drove off the street when we went through Greencastle, a town west of Indianapolis. There mounted on a large concrete “V” shaped base was one of the infamous WWII German terror weapons: a V1 Buzz Bomb. This flying bomb was the first ‘cruise missle’.

Complete with accurate paint colors is the Buzz Bomb on the town square in Greencastle

Complete with accurate paint colors is the Buzz Bomb on the town square in Greencastle

I recognized it immediately and I’m sure I startled Sher when I said “What the heck is that doing here?”

It turns out that the Greencastle requested this relic for the monument they erected to honor those from their county (Putnam) who gave their lives in WWII. There is, according to the plaque, only one other V1 in the states and it is at the Smithsonian in DC.

No Sherman tank or artillery piece for Greencastle. No they have one of the rarest of artifacts from WWII as their memorial. Wow.

Another view

Another view

From the rear

From the rear

The story of the Greencastle V1

The story of the Greencastle V1

We took Anheuser-Busch brewery tour in St Louis

Mash tank in the brew house. The production areas were not only spotless, but the building interior painted and beautiful.

Mash tank in the brew house. The production areas were not only spotless, but the building interior painted and beautiful.

Just now Sher and I took the free tour of the Anheuser-Busch brewery, home of Budweiser beer. We were able to park in the designated tour parking lot. We had time to visit the welcome center and gift shop before our tour started after a short 20 minute wait.

This tour is just amazing. Two tour guides narrated the tour with mic’s so you could easily hear. It takes about 50 minutes and does require a lot of walking. The first stop is the Budweiser Clydesdale stable. Talk about pampered animals!

The tour will give you a concise history of the company and you see the actual brewing vats and learn the brewing procedures as well. It was striking how big the facility is and how much beer is brewed there each year.  Hope you enjoy the pictures below!

Storyboard of the brewing process. We got a sample of Bud Lite at this stop.

Storyboard of the brewing process. We got a sample of Bud Lite at this stop.

Luke, one of the Budweiser Clydesdales in rotation to pull the famous Budweiser wagons

Luke, one of the Budweiser Clydesdales in rotation to pull the famous Budweiser wagons

One of four Budweiser wagons in the stable rotundra

One of four Budweiser wagons in the stable rotundra

Beechwood aging tanks, the last step before final filtering and packaging. Each tank holds 3600 barrels of beer!

Beechwood aging tanks, the last step before final filtering and packaging. Each tank holds 3600 barrels of beer!

Exterior of the Brew House, built in 1891 - 1892.

Exterior of the Brew House, built in 1891 – 1892.

World’s largest wind chime

You see some out of the ordinary things on US 40, the National Road. Casey, Illinois has some of those things. The world’s largest wind chimes broiught us to a halt a we drove through this little town. The “coming soon” foundations for the allegeded largest rocking chair was a hoot. I wondered how long the chair has been “coming soon”.

World's largest wind chime

World’s largest wind chime

And it will arrive when??

And it will arrive when??

 

Travel on the National Road (US 40)

This is a section of the very old road! Watch for the signs which will occasionally lead you to a short stretch like this one.

This is a section of the very old road! Watch for the signs which will occasionally lead you to a short stretch like this one.

Sher and I are traveling on the National Road, aka US 40. We will be sharing photos of some of the things that we “discovered” along the way. Our first leg was eastbound from Richmond Indiana towards Columbus Ohio. We traced from Columbus east for a while and then returned to Indiana for family business.

The last couple of days we traveled west from Indy towards St. Louis. It is a treat to cruise along at 50 mph and really take in the sights. (Saves gas too!)

 

 

 

 

In Brownville, Ohio you can see one of the remaining original mileage markers.

In Brownville, Ohio you can see one of the remaining original mileage markers.

Real Chicago style pizza in Ohio

On a recent trip to Columbus Ohio to visit family we all ended up downtown looking for a place to eat. Our son recommended a place called Fabian’s Pizza. This place serves real Chicago style deep dish pizza for sure.

Sher's veggie deluxe

Sher’s veggie deluxe

Located on High Street a few blocks north of the convention center, Fabian’s can’t claim fast service, but the pizza is excellent. Served at your table in piping hot deep dish pans, I had the chicken BBQ and Sher had her favorite, the veggie special.

Pepperoni ! !

Pepperoni ! !

Our son and his wife and three kids had a large pepperoni and a small supreme. Coupled with a large house salad to start the meal off, we all were more than full when we left. (Sher and I both had leftovers in a take out box!)

Inside Fabian's

Inside Fabian’s

It did take about an hour after we ordered to get our pizzas, but I have to say it was worth the wait. If you like Chicago style deep dish pizza and find yourself in downtown Columbus, be sure to get to Fabian’s. You won’t regret it.

Supreme deep dish

Supreme deep dish