Remember WEC in Ft. Washington, PA (hey, it was just last week!)? Well as many of you know I am very intrigued by old houses/estates and this one totally intrigued me. On our last day there I tracked down a brochure that detailed the property’s rich history plus a CD with some pictures of it in its heyday. And since I found it interesting – I thought you might also! Here goes – (a very condensed version)
Long before it was a beautiful summer estate, it was the location of Gen. George Washington’s encampment before he moved to Valley Forge. That’s when it became known as “Camp Hill”. This historic spot was chosen in 1882 as the site of the country estate of Susan Drexel (daughter of the founder of Drexel University) and her husband John Fell and was called Camp Hill Hall. After she died in 1929 it was sold for a military academy. That failed and the estate remained vacant and was subject to vandals, tramps and souvenir hunters until 1951 when WEC and Christian Literature Crusade put together an offer to purchase the property. They were then able to sell a portion to State of PA for the 309 Expressway which then paid off the mortgage. The story goes on – really miracle after miracle. Today it’s the beautiful headquarters for WEC and several buildings have been added for housing and meetings. Here are a couple of then and now shots.
Not the exact same angle – but you can see some of the differences.
Here’s a print from an article about the estate – the water tower and surrounding gardens:
OK, so that’s all for that history lesson.
But still backing up – we did several geocaches on the way to Chattanooga and then we even did a couple with Chris. She lives very close to the Chattanooga National Cemetery and there were two “virtual” caches there. (A virtual cache is one where you need to gather information and log that in before you can actually log it in as “found”). Anyway this is a beautiful Civil War era cemetery, we were there just at dusk – and I couldn’t resist a couple of shots.
And then there was the Aquarium today – very very nice! There were virtually no crowds, so we were able to take our time and really enjoy the day. Great exhibits – here are a couple of shots, and there are more here. I know, I know. A lot of them are of butterflies, and they aren’t exactly found IN an aquarium, but they did have a cool butterfly garden. And they are much easier to take pictures of than fish and such!
These fish totally posed for us – plus we were able to (more or less) get in the photo too!
And here is one of those butterflies…..
And finally….(still backing up!)
We started on our trip to Chattanooga pre-dawn on Monday. As the sun was rising on our left I grabbed the camera and tried to snap a couple of quick shots. I never know what they are going to look like ( it’s hard to compose a shot when you’re traveling 65 mph down an interstate) – but I was pretty pleased with this one….
Oh just one more “backing-up” – we’re back in the Central Time Zone. Move those clocks back one hour!