Day 46, Thursday, August 30, 2018
Fort Stanwix National Monument, Rome, New York
Construction of Fort Stanwix was begun in 1758 and completed in 1762. This star-shaped fort was built to protect the British interests at a well-used portage known as the Oneida Carry during the French and Indian War. What’s a portage you ask? When goods are being transported by water (especially rivers) there are times when the goods have to be hauled overland in order to get around some sort of obstacle (often a waterfall) along the water route. It’s along these portages that the goods being transported and the people transporting them are most vulnerable to attack, so that’s where Fort Stanwix came in.
In 1768, the British and the Iroquois signed a peace treaty, to establish boundary lines between the tribal lands and white settlements. However, the two sides did not include the other area tribes in the negotiations, so it actually inflamed hostilities, which would make things more challenging for both the British and the colonists later on.
In 1776, at the beginning of the Revolutionary War, the colonists occupied the fort, and set about rebuilding it. They also renamed it Fort Schuyler. Of course, the British weren’t ready to let the colonists go quite so easily, and began a siege of the fort. Fortunately for the colonists, the British siege was not successful!
In 1781, the fort burned down and was not rebuilt. The site was designated as a National Monument on August 21, 1935, but it wasn’t until 1974 that construction began on a replica fort. In 1978, it was completed, and now about 85,000 people visit each year.
There is a dry moat around the fort and it was interesting to enter and see inside the star-shaped fort. There is an informative movie about the history of the fort and the engagements that occurred there, and then you have a chance to wander and see the different areas of the fort.
There is a parade ground, living quarters, a magazine, and more! I enjoyed checking it out!
After Fort Stanwix, I had a beer and a snack at the Copper City Brewing Company. The Pete’s Pale Gansevoort Ale was a great way to relax a bit before I set off to find my next home for the night!
Home was a campground in Saratoga Springs that was hands down the weirdest campground of my trip. It was a marina, with a very rough section of dilapidated trailers and other detritus, with some boats in the small marina. Clearly this was home for many of these campers. The campground for temporary campers was a field – drive through and pick your spot. There were picnic tables randomly scattered throughout, with seemingly no rhyme or reason as to their placement. And the bathroom – that’s another story! This was the only shower that I said no to during my entire trip! Not with my flip flops would I step in there! Hard Pass! EWWW!!! But it was cheap, and I did have a nice chat with a woman who traveled a lot in her RV with her dogs… It’s not a road trip without some good stories right?