Thursday, July 14, 2016

Bedford, Pennsylvania

On Monday we moved our home from Wheeling to Bedford.   That town was not in our original plans but campgrounds in this part of the country are few and far between.  And it turned out to be a very good choice.  We found a lovely campground on a lake and an additional bonus was that Bedford has quite a bit of interesting places to see.  On Tuesday we took a walking tour of the town, armed with our usual tourist guide leaflets.  Our tour was pretty much centered around the town square, the land of which was set aside by the family of William Penn in1761 for Bedford.  Our first stop was a cemetery, where some of the graves are those of the Revolutionary soldiers.
Their graves are marked with a flag and gold medallion.  Several beautiful old brick churches surround this immediate area.  From this point we walked to the courthouse built in 1828-29.
The man who built the courthouse donated the front pillars with the stipulation that the front decorative columns represent God and Justice (left and right respectively).  Inside the courthouse are twin, self-supported staircases which lead to a second floor where portraits of all the judges who presided here are hung.
Our walk took us also to a tall statue of a Civil War monument with a strange name- "Old Man on the Monument".  It was erected in 1890.
In the main shopping district of this historic area are several buildings dating back to the 1700s, most important of which is the Espy House.
This house was the headquarters of President Washington during the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794.  It was the first and only time a U.S. President commanded a U.S. army in the field.  His army camped in the open fields of the town square.  What occurred was a rebellion of the local farmers toward an excise tax by Secretary of Treasury A.Hamilton on whiskey.  Washington led troops of 13,000 into this rebellion and the rebels dispelled into the hills.
Pictured above is another part of that story.  After a drive through the countryside Tuesday afternoon (more on that in the next posting) we stopped for supper at the Jean Bonnet Tavern, built in 1762.   Washington's troops were camped not far from this tavern during the Whiskey Rebellion.  It is a beautiful place with chestnut beams, massive fireplaces, and stone walls.  It has also remained a place for lodging over the years.

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