Earlier this month #7 and I were going to a wedding in Lancaster, so we took the entire week off and decided to drive around the great state of Pennsylvania and look at some podcast-related sites.
First it was up to Forty Fort to see the Wyoming Monument, dedicated to the men killed in the Battle of Wyoming (“The War Between the States”). It’s lovely and solemn and clearly well-loved and well-maintained by the locals.
Which makes it a pity that so much of this history as presented by the monument and nearby historical markers is completely wrong. The troop numbers are off; the Americans force is understated by about 15% (300 defenders instead of 360) and the British force is overstated by 90% (1100 instead of 570). This is used to make it seem like the Americans were hopelessly outnumbered and that “numerical superiority alone gave success to the invader,” though the defenders fought “with a courage that deserved success.” In realty the boneheaded Americans marched out of a defensible position without scouting ahead and charged right into a classic feigned retreat, allowing Walter Butler and his Native American allies to surround them. There are also references to the ensuing “Wyoming Massacre” which never actually happened.
There’s also the matter as to whether we should even be raising monuments to the likes of Zeb Butler and Laz Stewart, but let’s not go there right now.
Then it was off to Valley Forge, which we haven’t really mentioned on the show, but it does have this swell monument which is covered with secret society symbols like eyes in pyramids and geometers and keystones. They’ll try to tell you that those are just “patriotic” symbols but that’s just what the Masons want you to believe!
Valley Forge also has this statue of General “Mad Anthony” Wayne, hero of the American Revolution. And… uh… let’s just say “victor” of the Northwest Indian War (“He Whooped to See Them Burn”) without implying anything about the morality of what he did to the Native Americans afterwards.
Gettysburg isn’t mentioned much on the show either, but you know what? Enjoy this monument to hunky artillerist Abner Doubleday instead. By now everyone should know that he didn’t actually invent baseball, but did fire the first shot in defense of Fort Sumter!
This is was a pleasant surprise at the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum in Hershey, a rare surviving example of a Nineteenth Century automobile, restored to remarkable condition. The keen-eyed may notice that the chassis was built by the Bauschke Brothers of Benton Harbor, MI. In addition to being automotive pioneers, the two men were also devout Christian Israelites and personally responsible for inviting “King” Ben Purnell to take over their colony (“Exceeding Great”).
Of course we went to some non-podcast-related sites on the trip as well, and to prove it, here’s the world’s largest coffee pot in Bedford, PA. Hey, you’ve got to have priorities.