Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Fort McHenry 2017

We visited Fort McHenry again (see our last visit here) and managed to see some new stuff. We were happy that we arrived early enough to participate in the flag ceremony. Every morning at 10:00 and evening at 4:00 the flags are changed and visitors can assist. During the day they display a replica of the original flag from the battle. Overnight, they have a smaller, regular flag with lights on it (because the flag is supposed to be lit after dark).

Unfolding the big flag

Base of the flag pole

Slowly hoisting it 

Two flags pass each other

Almost at the top

We walked around the pathway on the fort and admired the defensive cannons.

Cannons defending the mouth of Baltimore Harbor

"Whoa, this is serious!"

View of the pathways

From the pathways, the flag in the fort looks mighty impressive.

Viewing our work

We weren't at the fort with the Cub Scouts, so we were free to wander. My children were interested in the ammunition magazines that circle the fort. In between the guns are mounds of buried rooms where ammunition was stored to be both convenient to the guns and safe from being blown up by incoming fire. We tried to go in a couple of the magazines but didn't see much.

One of the ammo storage areas

Little more than an entrance

We did go through some of the buildings and see what life was like at the fort. The officers' mess was set up for a meal, though the room was also the sleeping quarters as well as the dining room!

A meal fit for an officer circa 1814

The interior magazine holds a lot of simulated gunpowder, which the children enjoyed seeing.

Gunpowder reserve

Just outside the magazine is one the the cannon balls from the bombardment two hundred years ago!

British cannon ball

Checking out the spare cannons

The next area had displays on the history of the fort, including Major George Armistead's request for a larger flag: "We have no suitable ensign to display over the Star Fort, and it is my desire to have a flag so large that the British will have no difficulty in seeing it from a distance." The new flag was 30 feet high and 42 feet long. The smaller "storm flag" was only 17 by 25 feet!

Checking out Maj. Armistead

Reading flag trivia

Nicer officer quarters

In one of the fort's entryways the children discovered a small passage that sneaks around. It's not so impressive in this picture but we were amazed when a child went in the small hole and came out the back hole.

Secret passage!

We packed a picnic lunch and enjoyed eating it so much that we forgot to take pictures from the Seawall Trail out on the water's edge of the park. Maybe next time!

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