Friday, July 31, 2009

Tredegar Iron Works

We drive down to North Carolina from Maryland a lot. This summer I thought it was time to start exploring the city we've driven through about a thousand times: Richmond, Virginia! The first place we decided to try was part of Richmond National Battlefield Park and called Tredegar Iron Works. Unfortunately, HORRIBLE summer beach traffic limited our first visit to a mere 45 minutes. We barely had time to flip through the Junior Ranger booklets before they were closing the place. SO. We stopped again on the way home :)

The booklets have great scavenger hunts in them - with pictures of things to find, great for my non-and-new readers. One of them I really liked because there was a picture for the kids to find and then they had to match the picture with a word that went with it. There was a picture of a big sword with a spur attached to it, and after reading about it in the museum you found out it went with the word "Calvary," another one was a picture of some old-fashioned sun glasses and they went with the word "sharpshooter." Who knew? Xavey was VERY interested in that one :)

There are maps and guns and models and cannons and movies to watch. The vistor's center is really well done and the grounds are fun to explore. After finishing their booklets, Sheely wanted to turn them in to the ranger, who gave them REAL patches!! She was so excited and let's be honest, so was I :) Then we went outside and had a good explore around the grounds. We saw the old company store (now just storing a bunch of stuff - aren't those shelves crazy-old looking! The sun was so bright I had to hold my hand up to the window to get any kind of picture of them at all :)The kids looked through the viewfinder and fussed about taking turns:Seriously, that picture of Preston giving me the hand just slays me, how true-to-life that one is :)

Xavey wanted to look at everything - old railroad tracks, cannons, gigantic heavy chains - he's an explorer like his mama.Before we left we got a picture taken with Abraham Lincoln (he's VERY hot, in that southern heat, by the way - and can you see that I had to give my melting daughter my sunglasses to get her to be a good sport outside??) The inscription in the back says "To Bind Up the Nation's Wounds." Apparently it's from his second inaugural address. Did you know that Lincoln visited Richmond? With his son Tad? You can read about it here :) That's his son that he's sitting next to in the statue. I love that.
I feel like we got some good Civil War info, some iron-working info, some Abraham Linocln info, and a look around a really historical spot. We've already got plans for what we'll go see next :)

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