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Manifesto, by L. Neil Smith now downloadable as an audiobook!
Number 937, August 27, 2017

“We’re all free men, protected by the Constitution”

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Fort Necessity
Fort Necessity

From the Rust Belt to the Asteroid Belt: Exploring Greater Appalachia
by Jeff Fullerton

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

Been a lousy summer for writing on the account of being busy with the usual stuff and trying to decide the best topic thread to go with. There was almost a midsummer edition of the Norseman’s Diaries but it got abandoned because some of the parts I was attempting to send the editor were getting stuck in the outbox and time was running out. It could be said I have more excuses than Heinz has pickles—but I thought I might be overdoing the Norseman’s Diaries a bit anyway. Especially in a summer season that remains so far relatively benign as far as weather goes.

Been mostly on the warm side with a few hot spells here and there and some wet spells sufficient to quench the local Dry Belt weather pattern with life giving rains that made it possible to keep the ponds topped off and even run the waterfalls quite a bit. As part of the ongoing incremental improvements talked about in earlier writings; I devised a really neat dam and spillway from the native stones and a little leftover concrete to catch water earlier in the summer when we had the first dry spell. Right after that we had a day of good steady rain that was heavy at times going on into the night and soon the flow went from barely a trickle to a torrent overflowing the dam and a thick stream discharging from the end of the 3/4-inch pipe into the main pond system at the head of the inlet below the Rosyside Pool.

Had a few more good ones like that through the summer but we are in a drier pattern again and the spring flow just can’t keep up with the demands of the trees that keep sucking up the water so it is back to a trickle again and the pond level is down and I must conserve water again.

Furthermore I’m currently troubleshooting a problem with the water level dropping in the Behlen tank pool in the lower DD pens that are home to the young Japanese Pond Turtles. Not absolutely sure but I think it is from the splashing where the water discharges from the biological filter into the upper pool. The ground and rocks on that end are constantly wet so I’m going to try elbowing the discharge pipe downward and then into the pool to reduce the height and splashing. Yet another issue to keep me tied to home as I’ve been trying to get out and visit some of the local attractions that are to be the subject of this article.

Earlier this week it was mowing the yards and field and a major weed pulling and pruning operation to open up the area around the greenhouse more. And just before that ; the final expansion of the perimeter fence on the upper end of the compound at the other site. And before that; lots of other projects to upgrade various turtle pens and other things. That’s where most of the summer went. And now the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting cooler which means time is running out. Much like this day is running out. And so I must push to make this happen along with the acquisition of material for my latest project.

I was going to go to Baker’s which is always good for getting pipe fittings. But it is now closing on noon and that place is in the opposite direction of where I want to go—which Fort Necessity—an important historical site of the French & Indian War. So I decided to try Rural King which is right on the way and has a very good selection of plumbing supplies. The plan now is to grab a quick bite, gather up my stuff and move out; composing the remainder of this story on the road!

Approach to the Fort
Approach to the Fort


View through the walls
View through the walls toward the woods where the main body of the attackers came

The Earthworks
The Earthworks

From where the defending British force tried to hold off the French and their Indian allies who assaulted the Fort from three directions. The French were fairly decent in the end after Washington surrendered—allowing him and his men safe passage back to the east with most of their equipment and weapons.

Braddock's Road
Braddock’s Road

I managed to find this on my return leg. It is not far from the site of Fort Necessity and is the site where the mortally wounded General Braddock died and was buried on the retreat from the failed attempt to take Fort Duquesne a year later as the great clash of the two European powers was heating up.

Ruts of Braddock's Road
Ruts of Braddock’s Road

And the monument of the grave where the General was reburried after his remains were found again many years later. He was originally buried under the old road itself so the traffic of the retreat would hide the site from the enemy as it was feared that the Indians might exhume and desecrate the body. A lot like concerns expressed over Confederate sympathizers in regard to the body of Lincoln.

The Secret Grave
The Secret Grave

The detailed story and historic artwork depicting the burial of Braddock. Was really glad I bothered to double back when I saw this site in passing. It was well worth the time. Regrettably I did not have time to visit the site of Jumondville Glen which is on the way back just as you reach the summit above the descent to Uniontown. That was the place where the Seneca chieftain Half King —an alley of the British—killed the French officer —the Marquis de Jumondville; which was one of the major factors in starting the war.

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