Saturday, June 23, 2012

Northeast Trip - West Point

We have wanted to see Maine for some time and decided this was the summer to do it in the Roadrunner.  Almost 20 years ago, we took a family trip and tent camped from Gettysburg to Boston and back.  But we never made it to Maine.

We picked another stop on the route which has interested us - West Point.  We have been to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis and we wanted to see West Point.
The military Recreation Area at Round Pond was a couple of miles away and adequate.  We had water and electric with the dump station close by.  The drive up to the campground was a bit steep but the road was recently paved and not bad.

We started our tour at the Visitor Center.  West Point has very excellent museums and displays.  The one at the Visitor Center included a short orientation movie and great displays with one of a replica cadet dorm room.
We took the bus tour and found our guide to be very well versed and knowledgeable.  We saw beautiful vistas overlooking the historic Hudson River Valley and walked among the statues of Trophy Point.
Thomas Jefferson was a leading voice behind the establishment of West Point, founded in 1802.  In the early days, the U.S. relied heavily on leaders and military experts from other countries.
It began as an engineering school with 10 students but by 1808 Congress authorized the expansion of the Corps of Cadets to 300.  The Commandant's quarters and Superintendent's quarters were built in 1819 and 1820 and are still used today.

The West Point Museum is excellent with an interested balance of facts, maps and displays.  Just the right amount of each to keep it interesting.  We saw a couple artifacts included Napoleon's pistol and sword.  There was another display of Hermann Goering's baton and some of Hitler's pistols.
We saw displays of early revolutionary war figures,  Civil War generals from both sides (Lee, Grant, Jackson and Sherman), World War I and II and famous men including Eisenhower, Bradley and MacArthur (a graduate as will as an Academy Superintendent).

We got a map for the Cemetery Walking tour and found the grave sites of Lt Col George A. Custer, Gen William C. Westmoreland, Lt Col Edward C. White (first American to walk in space). 
One interesting note was that the sisters Susan and Anna Warner lived close to West Point and are buried in the cemetery.  They held Bible Studies for the cadets and Anna wrote the words to 'Jesus Loves Me'.  
Our last stop at West Point was the beautiful Cadet Chapel.  It was build in 1910.

We  had a great time at West Point and were glad we took the time to see it.

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Our next stop on our Northeast Trip to Maine is - Boston!

Until next time...

2 comments:

  1. We very much enjoyed our visit to West Point and its attractions... We also took the bus tour and found that the docent leading the tour was very knowledgeable and enhanced our time there. The cadet chapel with its signatures of the famous generals, and the point where the chain was stretched across the river stand out in my mind. Glad you had the opportunity to see it.. Its a must for anyone that has had military experience.... Rod

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  2. What a great tour..and that chapel is stunning!! Lots of history in those walls...

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