My Colonial States Trip~Part 11

28 Jan

A Slice of Life
Bill Lites

Bill Red Spot Plane

Somehow I missed the turn (or maybe I wasn’t paying attention) outside of Harrisburg and ended up on I-81 (south) instead of following US #15 (south). This caused me to miss getting to visit the Gettysburg Train Museum and the Gettysburg Battlefield Museum, both of which I’m sure I would have enjoyed. It wasn’t until I came upon the Maryland Welcome Station that I realized what had happened, and by then it was too late in the day to go back, so I just kept on trucking. Just down the road I stopped to check out the Hagerstown Air Museum in Hagerstown, MD where I learned that several of the WW II USAAF training and transport aircraft were built by Fairchild Aircraft in 1some of the hangers where the museum’s aircraft are now housed. Among notable aircraft built by Fairchild during and shortly after WWII included the PT-19/PT-23/PT-26 Cornell trainers, the AT-21 Gunner twin-engine trainer, the C-61 Argus (For the RAF), and the C-82 Packet, C-119 Flying Boxcar and the C-123 Provider cargo planes. The museum wasn’t officially open, but one of the guys working at the airport hangar (where “Greta” delivered me) agreed to show me the museum’s aircraft collection and tell me a little about Fairchild’s roll in wartime Hagerstown.

Next I headed southeast to visit the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederic, MD which was a disturbing and visually graphic education of primitive methods of 2medical treatment used on the fighting men during the Civil War. It is surprising to me that as many men as did, survived their treatments, surgeries and amputations during that war. I guess the main reason for their survival rate was that they were young and healthy when they went into the war. It makes one appreciate modern medical practices such as the advances in cleanliness, antiseptics, surgical applications and especially prosthetics technology.

When I first arrived at the museum, I couldn’t see any place to park, as there were businesses on both sides of the street and signs were posted as “Commercial Loading Zones.” There were cars parked in those loading zones, on both sides of the street, so I stopped in 3front of the museum just long enough to go in and ask where to park. I couldn’t have been in the museum more than 3 or 4 minutes, but when I came out to move my car I had a parking ticket and the writer of that ticket was nowhere to be seen. He/she must have been lurking in some doorway, close by, just waiting for me to walk away from my car, because the ticket was a computer print-out with a “lot” of automobile information that had to have been observed and entered into their hand-held device. Man, was that fast! Needless to say, that was a costly museum visit.

Next on my list, as I continued east, was The Firehouse Museum in Ellicott, MD which was closed that day. As you can see from the photo below, the museum is very small and is only open on Saturdays and Sundays. The museum is located in the very first Ellicott volunteer firehouse, which was built in 1889, and served as the town meeting hall, among other things, over the years. Then it was on east to Laurel, MD for dinner and the motel for the night.


—–To Be Continued—–

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