day trip · history · slice of life

Definitely Not a Marriott

Standing in front of a log hut at Muhlenberg’s Brigade.

This morning, the kids and I met Lynne and Ralph for brunch. (Yes, you can do brunch on a weekday!) Afterward, we drove to Valley Forge National Historical Park, where the Continental Army encamped from December 1777 to June 1778. After a stop at the Visitors Center, we walked Muhlenberg’s Brigade, the “site of the encampment of troops led by Brigadier General Peter Muhlenberg during the winter of 1777-78. Today the area consists of nine reconstructed log soldiers’ huts facing a gravel company street.”

We entered the first log hut, which Ari said: “wouldn’t be that warm in the winter.” It was filled with placards I read to the kids. In the next hut, we saw bunks that were “horrible beds,” according to Isabelle. A hut or two later, we discovered an officer’s hut, which the kids felt was nicer since it had mattresses, blankets, and a table. This allowed us to discuss the difference in accommodations between officers and soldiers.

The final hut we came upon had twelve wooden bunks. The kids couldn’t believe 12 soldiers (and possibly the soldiers’ families) would be cramped in that space. The kids were unimpressed with the soldiers’ accommodations at Valley Forge. That’s when I looked at them and asked, “What were you expecting, the Marriott Marquis?!” That garnered a chuckle from both of them.

Unfortunately, it began to rain, so we could not walk around Washington’s Headquarters. We plan to return in several weeks (since Valley Forge isn’t far from our house) to check it out. Visiting historical sites like this reminds us of what many people sacrificed to fight for our independence in the late 1700s.

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8 thoughts on “Definitely Not a Marriott

  1. Wow! You really did see a lot! I love your comment about the Marriott! When you do a return visit, Ralph and I will join you. Washington Memorial Chapel (which you probably passed) gives tours. Have you ever toured the James Audubon House? Great to see you and the kids today!

  2. What an interesting place to live near. I feel like we visited Valley Forge once when I was a kid, but I barely remember it – your description brings it back a little. And this reminds me of a trip we took to Gettysburg when the kids were little. Might have to blog about that!

  3. I was once in Valley Forge and you have reminded me about that trip. When I lived in South Jersey we were always visiting the historical sites. I have only taken my own children to the mint. Maybe this is our summer to do a Philly tour? They are old enough to appreciate it now. Last time they were only interested in seeing the “money grandmas” on all the advertisements. Maybe this time they’ll have a better appreciation for the Founding Fathers!

    1. It’s worth checking out when you are in Philly. I think it would be great to go to Independence Hall first and then make your way out there if the kids have not done either one.

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