Monday, May 22, 2023

History at Brandywine

 

History at Brandywine Battlefield

We are fortunate to live a little over an hour away from the Brandywine Battlefield near Chadds Ford, PA.  Traveling the road to the Philadelphia airport we pass right by the entrance to the state park and historical site and say "someday, we are going to make a visit."  Well, a few weeks ago on a beautiful day we decided on the spur of the moment to take a drive and visit this historical site.   We joked that we are history buffs, but we knew very little about this battle and we were not even sure who won!  Spoiler alert - it was not the Patriots!
A few miles down the road from our home is this wonderful farm market...and besides great produce they have wonderful baked goods.  We love the apple cider donuts so we stopped for one to enjoy with our coffee along the trip.
The park opened at 10 AM with a tour (if a guide was available) at 10:30.  We arrived in the parking lot about 10:25 and a man walking past asked if we were here for the tour...we said yes, and he said he was the tour guide and would wait for us at the Ring Home - where George Washington made his headquarters.  We popped into the Visitors Center and paid for our visit, then headed to the Ring House.

We found a family with two young boys and another man with his dog waiting for us....and the guide started the tour.  He was a volunteer and was so well informed about the house and the Ring family.   He also explained that the battle did not take place so much on this site...a few miles away but this was where the colonists retreated and they tried to keep the British at bay....


The inside of the house was beautifully restored and our guide explained that the Ring's were quite well to do...
Our guide explained how Washington used this room as his headquarters and showed us the map that Washington's scouts had provided...which was bad information and made for the British advantage.

He had one of the young boys in our group try on the jacket...

and made sure his little brother got a try, too.
We then made our way over to the Gilpin House...this family was not quite as prosperous as the Ring family and it was interesting to compare the homes.



Our guide explained how the furniture in this house was the original...or closer to the original than the reproductions in the other house.  This is an Octarora clock made in Lancaster County.
On this property was this beautiful sycamore tree...over 400 years old.  It was amazing...and we were told that Andrew Wyeth - you can see his work at the Brandywine River Museum just a few miles away and a lot of the battle took place right near the river there - painted this tree many times.
I could not resist taking this photo of the tree through the old windows of the house....wondering how those people long ago must have felt as they looked out at this view during the battle!
Our guide was so wonderful...he spoke a very long time and we enjoyed every minute.  We asked for a recommendation for lunch and he directed us to the Chadds Ford Tavern.
A very old historic tavern that was the perfect spot for lunch that day.

We had fabulous crab cake sandwiches...and the fries were SO good!

After all that history I toasted all the brave colonists with a glass of wine!
After lunch we returned to the visitors center to watch the film that describes the battle and the famous people who were there...including Lafayette.  This was his first battle in America and he was wounded.  
This was a great day trip and it was wonderful learning about all the history of the battle. You can visit the website here to learn more - 
We are so glad we took the time to visit...and it has inspired us to find other historical sites within a short drive!
Do you have historical places near you that you have enjoyed?  I would love to hear about your adventures!  Please leave a comment below - I love hearing from you.
Wishing you a great week and a Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

3 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for posting this. My ancestors were colonist in VA. In fact, we lived in a former one room schoolhouse in a "Burned out county"

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  2. Ann, how fun to have a visit to this battlefield not too far from your home. I love taking those types of day trips. Thanks for taking us a long with you.
    I hope you have a nice week Ann.

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  3. Thank you for sharing your trip to Brandywine Battlefield. I've been to the museum but didn't know about the battlefield and houses to tour. It's amazing how much history is around us. We always drove by the Heinz Wildlife Rescue on the way to the airport and one day we decided to go visit. It was pretty cool to see all of the different wildlife living there. We've stopped at Gettysburg on the way home from Virginia and also been to Harpers Ferry on our trips to/through Virginia. I like touring some of the historic buildings in Philly too. Valley Forge National Park is huge and there are lots of historic spots around and in it. We haven't done a guided tour there yet but want to.

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