Sunday, November 7, 2010

To Fort Churchill

Silly Guy had a project to go on a dry seed hunt.  I wanted to take him somewhere we would find a more native selection.  I thought...the lake.  We hopped in the van across 10 miles of desert.  The drive was nice and much shorter from our house than the hotel.  The lake is such a peaceful place so the kids and I are excited it isn't far from home.  As we were driving we saw three herds of wild horses grazing. It's like seeing sea turtles swimming in the ocean...beautiful.
Once we reached the lake and since we got there so quickly we decided to go a little further to somewhere we hadn't been-Fort Churchill.  We were so glad we did!  It was a neat place!
A little history...

The fort was established in 1860, as a United States military post.  The fort was established to protect against Indian raids along the Carson River.  Also it was an important factor in preserving Union allegiance in Nevada and California during the Civil War.  The fort was constructed of adobes made from material from the river flood plain.  Rocks for the foundations were taken from nearby hill and lumber was brought in from the Sierra's(hauled by mule).  The total cost to build the fort was near $180,000.
The fort had one surgeon in a 20 bed hospital.  The hospital remained full most of the time due to small pox and measles.  There were also two storehouses, a powder magazine, and a guardhouse. 
The Mess Hall- The diet of the typical frontier soldier consisted of beef, beans, saltpork, coffee, and some condiments such as sugar, salt, molasses, and vinegar. The men rarely were able to eat vegetables. Gardens were cultivated to supplement their diets. Each company had their own cook rarely trained. The favorite cooking method was boiling. They would combine meat and vegetables into stews called "slumgullion" or just "slum". The company cook was called the "slumburner". Sound yummy?

Barracks...Enlisted life was tough on the fort. The fort was an isolated, dreary outpost with a $13.00/month pay day.  The hardships and low pay caused many of the men to desert.  Enlisted barracks(lower right)had dirt floors were furnished with bunks and chairs.  Unlike most of the frontier post, soldiers had the luxury of their own bunk.  The bunks were furnished with a blanket and made of straw.  However, the officer quarters(lower left)were excellent.  Each had a parlor, dining room, two bedrooms and an attached woodshed with an indoor privy.  The officer quarters were described in 1864 as "the most comfortable quarters on the coast.  Many of the officers had their families living on post with them too.

We saw a nature trail path and the kids were begging me to go.  I am just not comfortable enough with the area yet(especially without dad) and because of these guys...
I felt like such a chicken but I can't help it.  I have a BIG fear of snakes.  Ever since childhood I've had this fear.  My brother used to have fun with it and put rubber snakes under my blankets.  I can remember it like it was yesterday.  So yeah, then you throw in the one around for miles, hospital an hour and a half away, barely a cell phone signal, poision, thank you!! I told them next time we'll bring dad and go on the nature hike.  Not that my husbands presence will change the factors but having him with me makes things better:)

Learning more about our new home...Great find! 


Phyllis said...

I love this post. We don't have any places to go around here that look anything like that. It is so nice to see places like this through blogs. Thanks for posting it.
I have nominated you for a blog award. Come on over and see...

Meg said...

Thank you Phyllis! It was a fun place to visit. Glad you enjoyed the post:)

Kristi said...

Great pics, girl. I love living vicariously (in Nevada) through you. Brings a smile every time. Tell the kiddos hi for us and great job on all the neat projects they've completed recently!

Meg said...

Kristi, We are enjoying the new scenery and new places to check out. Send hello's to your precious family as well:)


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