On July 1, we moved with the Hoffmans to Death Ridge Brewery (Harvest Host) in Jeffersonton, Virginia. It rained that night, and in the morning, someone had to tow us out with their tractor.
The next morning, we split up with the Hoffmans, and us Wongs drove to our next stop. On the way, we visited Friendship Hill National Historic Site in Point Marion, Pennsylvania. Friendship Hill is where Albert Gallatin lived with his family. Born in Geneva, he moved to America and became the Secretary of the Treasury while Jefferson and Madison were president. He helped with the Louisiana Purchase, and Lewis and Clark named a river after him, as Gallatin was a big political figure in his time.
Inside Gallatin’s house, we learned about the times at which different parts were built, and we got to see how it would’ve looked during Gallatin’s time.
We stayed at Christian Klay Winery (Harvest Host) in Chalkhill, Pennsylvania. In the morning, we went Fort Necessity Battlefield, which is about the battle which started the French and Indian War occurred.
Accounts differ on whether the French or British fired first, but either way, French leader Jumonville was killed, setting both sides against each other. Washington, 21 years old at the time, fought for the British and was in the battle at Jumonville Glen. Afterward, he built Fort Necessity to prepare for the revenge of the French. The battle at Fort Necessity ended up with Washington surrendering the fort to the French. He also unknowingly signed a document claiming he was responsible for the death of Jumonville.
After that, we moved to 1889 Park in South Fork, Pennsylvania, where we met up with the Hoffmans. The RV park had wild blackberries around the tree line, and we picked and ate some of those.
On the way to the RV park, we stopped at Flight 93 National Memorial in Stoystown, Pennsylvania. The memorial told the story of 9/11 and a flight that was hijacked and meant to crash into the U.S. Capitol. However, the passengers on the flight fought back, and the hijackers were forced to crash the plane short of their destination. It was a suicide mission, and everyone on the plane died.
The museum had displays on what happened, artifacts, and information on how the FBI figured out everything.
On July 4, we (the Wongs) went to Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site in Gallitzin, Pennsylvania. The railroad was used in the early 1800’s to move boats over the mountains to the body of water on the other side. Thus, it was part of the Pennsylvania Mainline Canal. People also travelled on the railroad, and it was a way escaped slaves could flee to freedom.
After that, us and the Hoffmans went to Johnstown Flood National Memorial in South Fork, Pennsylvania. The museum told us about how people built a city on the floodplain at the convergence of two rivers. Spring floods were normal, and it was on one of these rainy days that the South Fork dam failed. This was due to lack of maintenance and large amounts of water. The dam crumbled, sending a big wave which rushed downstream, 45 minutes later wiping out Johnstown and killing over 2,000 people.
The museum had some survivors’ stories, as well as information on the dam, its owner, and Johnstown during that time.