Posts Tagged ‘historical travel’

Historic Lord Baltimore Hotel Introduces Inclusive Packages to Experience City’s Rich Culture

June 30, 2014
Baltimore, Maryland's Inner Harbor is walking distance from the historic Lord Baltimore Hotel © 2014 Karen Rubin/

Baltimore, Maryland’s Inner Harbor is walking distance from the historic Lord Baltimore Hotel © 2014 Karen Rubin/

The Lord Baltimore Hotel, one of the crowning architectural jewels of Baltimore, Md. when it was built in 1928, has new inclusive guest packages to enrich guest experiences during their visits to Charm City. The historic hotel has partnered with the most popular cultural venues in the area, including the National Aquarium, the Walters Art Museum and the Baltimore Museum of Art, to provide affordable outings to engage visitors in the rich culture that is present throughout the city.

Seasonal offers and inclusive packages are the latest expansion to the recently restored and renovated hotel. The grand French Renaissance landmark, included on the National Register of Historic Places and regarded as a member of Historic Hotels of America, underwent a complete aesthetic transformation to bring the hotel back to life and officially re-opened in March of this year.

Packages currently being offered include:

Lord Baltimore Hotel guests are guaranteed a holistic cultural experience with the “See It All” package containing two Water Taxi passes that will cruise them across the iconic Baltimore Harbor. The experience continues with Harbor Passes, which include admission to plunge under the sea at the National Aquarium, discover the scientific phenomena that empower our planet at the Maryland Science Center and receive a panoramic view of the city from the 405-foot Top of the World Observation Level. Baseball fans will have the option to check out one of Baltimore’s favorite pastimes at Sports Legends at Camden Yards, while guests with children can find amusement at the hands-on Port Discovery Children’s Museum.

Visitors with a curiosity to uncover the city’s rich past can select the “History, Past & Present” package that celebrates the War of 1812*. This package includes two tickets on the Water Taxi for an excursion to Ft. McHenry, where Maryland-native Francis Scott Key authored the Star-Spangled Banner – celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. The historical experience continues with two tickets to the Babe Ruth Museum featuring their “O” Say Can You See: The Star Spangled Banner in Sports exhibit, and two 1812 Bicentennial Passport/Discount books.

Baltimore celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner with Star Spangled Summer from June 13-September 1, 2014 and Star Spangled Celebration from September 10-16, 2014. For more information on the many events and activities taking place as part of the celebration, visit

Hotel guests seeking to swim through every facet of the National Aquarium can purchase the “Lord & Lady Puffin Aquarium” package, which comes with a two 2-day passes to the Aquarium. In addition to trekking through the rainforest exhibit or exploring the Aquarium’s newest exhibit, Blacktip Reef, visitors receive tickets to enjoy a 4-D Immersion Film experience and a plush Lord and Lady Puffin.

Vacationers looking to get in of shape during their stay in Baltimore can participate in the “Fit To Be Royal” package, which comes with access to all of Elite Fitness’ group outings, passes to Brick Bodies, and discount coupons to City Sports and Under Armour in Harbor East. And a work out wouldn’t be complete without a bottle of water and a Power Bar.

“Our packages offer those traveling to Baltimore the opportunity to really get out and explore our wonderful city – full of history and culture,” said Gene-Michael Addid, general manager for the Lord Baltimore Hotel.

Guests staying in one of the hotel’s 440 rooms and suites can also enjoy dining, lounging and one of the city’s only rooftop event spaces offering panoramic views of Downtown Baltimore. The hotel features exceptional dining options including its signature restaurant, French Kitchen, and the contemporary take on a small-town American coffee house, LB Bakery, as well as LB Tavern, serving handcrafted cocktails and light fare.Art exhibitions are planned throughout the hotel’s public spaces and will highlight local, national and global artwork.

Rubell Hotels, a family-owned business well known for transforming architecturally significant historic hotels into affordable cultural hubs, acquired the property in March 2013 and immediately began applying the vision of owners Mera, Don, Jason and Jennifer Rubell – combining their love of art and architecture with a bright, modern feel. Interior designer Scott Sanders, formerly the lead interior designer at Ralph Lauren, who specializes in distinctive residential and commercial interiors for notable clients and properties, spearheaded the design, which typifies his “New American Style.” Inspired equally by classic men’s haberdashery and the six historical Lords Baltimore, Sanders has used traditional menswear fabrics in unconventional ways, resulting in an interior that seamlessly combines a fresh, clean modern look with all the warmth and grandeur of a historical property.

The Lord Baltimore Hotel is located in the heart of downtown Baltimore and within walking distance to many local attractions. Towering over the Baltimore skyline at 23 stories, the hotel offers 440 new guest rooms and suites, more than 20,000 sq. ft. of meeting and event space and dining options including the French Kitchen, LB Tavern and LB Bakery. Art plays a major role in the hotel design with more than 2,500 pieces of artwork displayed throughout the building. Originally built in 1928, the hotel was purchased in 2013 and completely renovated by Rubell Hotels. The Lord Baltimore Hotel is a member of Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation (, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Lord Baltimore Hotel, 20 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD, 21201,

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New Vienna Walking ‘Seminar’ Explores Sigmund Freud’s ‘City of Dreams’

May 8, 2014
Judenplatz, the old Jewish Quarter in Vienna, where the Misrachi-Haus museum today houses the excavation of the medieval synagogue, destroyed in 1420, and where there is a Holocaust Memorial. A new walking "seminar" examines Sigmund Freud's Vienna © 2014 Karen Rubin/

Judenplatz, the old Jewish Quarter in Vienna, where the Misrachi-Haus museum today houses the excavation of the medieval synagogue, destroyed in 1420, and where there is a Holocaust Memorial. A new walking “seminar” examines Sigmund Freud’s Vienna © 2014 Karen Rubin/

A new walking seminar explores the life and work of Sigmund Freud, through his complex and fascinating relationship with the city of Vienna.

Context, organizer of critically acclaimed walking tours, expands its program in Vienna, with City of Dreams, Freud’s Vienna, a new walking tour that traces the life and work of Sigmund Freud and his relationship to Vienna.

The founding father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud spent most of his life in Vienna. His work in the field of psychotherapy remains highly influential, and today carries weight across a range of philosophies and disciplines. Such is the gravity of Freud’s legacy that Vienna has become known as the City of Dreams.

City of Dreams, Freud’s Vienna explores the places Freud lived and worked, to discover how the Austrian capital inspired his work, and how, in turn, his presence influenced the city. Though a successful doctor with a loyal local following, Freud’s story took a dark turn in the 1930s as the Nazis came to power. As a Jew, he and his family faced increasing persecution and were finally forced to flee following the German occupation of Austria.

As well as uncovering the charismatic psychoanalyst’s life, the tour takes an in-depth look at the wider socio-political upheaval that took place during Freud’s 47 years in Vienna. Led by a local scholar, City of Dreams, Freud’s Vienna, pays particular attention to the fate of Vienna’s Jewish community during World War II, and, in its aftermath, collective attempts at coming to terms with this difficult period of history.

“Freud spent the majority of his life in Vienna, and the interrelationship between him and the city is a fascinating story that we’re excited to tell,” says Natalie Holmes, who co-created the walk. “The tour not only covers the history of psychoanalysis and its inventor, but is also a journey into the collective conscience of the city itself.”

City of Dreams, Freud’s Vienna lasts three hours and is available daily. Group walks cost €70 per person. Private tours cost €305 per party. As with all Context walking seminars, groups are led by a credentialed expert and limited to six people maximum.

Founded by National Geographic writer Paul Bennett and designer Lani Bevacqua, Context Travel is a network of English-speaking scholars and professionals, including art historians, writers, architects and gastronomes, who organize and lead walking seminars in twenty-three (23) world cities, including: Florence, Rome, Venice, Naples, Paris, London, Edinburgh, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., Istanbul, Athens, Beijing, Shanghai, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Tokyo, and Kyoto. A certified B Corporation, Context Travel was named one of the fastest growing American companies in 2011 by Inc Magazine. Travel + Leisure has called Context one of the top European tour companies for its innovative approach to travel and the depth of its programs. To learn more about Context, visit its website

TourCrafters Offers D-Day Anniversary Trip to Paris and Normandy Beaches

February 9, 2014

If ever you thought about visiting Normandy and the D-Day Beaches, this —the 70th anniversary of D-Day—is the year to do it. It’s also an amazing World War II history lesson for the kids’ spring vacation.

To commemorate the anniversary, TourCrafters has designed a 7-Day/6-Night D-Day package that starts at $1,659 per person, based on four persons traveling together.

TourCrafters’ land-only price includes three nights hotel accommodation in Paris, three nights in Bayeux, daily buffet breakfast, round-trip 1st-class train Paris-Bayeux, transfers to and from the rail stations and a tour of the D-Day Landing Beaches. It does not include air fare. Departures are daily through October.

There’s free time to explore the “City of Light,” to see the Eiffel Tower, visit the Louvre and Notre Dame, walk around the beguiling streets of the Left Bank, have a croque monsieur in a café, or even take a photogenic Bateau Mouche cruise on the River Seine.  The Paris hotel, the 4-star Emeraude Louvre Montana boasts a perfect location—steps from the Tuileries and the Louvre—and a friendly, helpful staff.

In Bayeux, the  first  French  city to be  liberated in June of 1944, you  will be picked up for a D-Day Tour of the American Sector, to visit Omaha Beach where the Americans landed, to see the site of the German gun battery at Pointe du Hoc (where Rangers famously scaled the impossible 100-foot cliffs), and to wander through the thousands of white crosses and Stars of David in the very moving American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer.  There’s also free time in Bayeux, to stroll its medieval streets, tour its 11th-century cathedral, visit the Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy, and see the famed Bayeux Tapestry, a 230-foot embroidery that tells the story of William the Conqueror’s invasion of England.  The charming 3-star Hotel Churchill has an equally perfect location—in the very center of Bayeux—and its lovely, gracious  owner speaks perfect English.

All prices quoted are per person, double occupancy, and are subject to availability.  (They are higher from April to August.) For additional information about the land-only  70th Anniversary D-Day package, visit  For reservations, call 800-482-5995.

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Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection Honors 70th Anniversary of D-Day in Normandy

January 9, 2014
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is offering the opportunity to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy with an all-inclusive “Paris & Normandy” cruise.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is offering the opportunity to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy with an all-inclusive “Paris & Normandy” cruise.

Nearly 70 years ago, a mighty armada embarked on an invasion that forever changed world history. The Nazi grip on western Europe was cracked on June 6, 1944, as brave soldiers crossed a slender ribbon of sea from England into Normandy and initiated one of the most influential battles of WWII. D-Day has been recalled by the veterans who fought it, the newsreels that depicted it, and thousands of dedicated historians – yet few have actually set foot on the infamous beaches.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is offering the opportunity to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy with an all-inclusive “Paris & Normandy” cruise. Guests explore the D-Day museum in Mulberry Harbor and venture to the Juno and Omaha Beach landing sites. The American Cemetery serves as a haunting reminder of the Allied forces’ hard-won fight for freedom, and Uniworld guests attend a wreath-laying ceremony and moment of silence to honor the fallen American soldiers.

This itinerary deftly combines history with culture, cuisine and the brilliant landscapes of northern France. Watch the evening lights dance along the Seine River in Paris, marvel at Notre Dame’s sneering gargoyles, and behold the scenery that inspired some of the world’s greatest artists. Breathe in the fragrance of Monet’s garden in Giverny and walk in the footsteps of Vincent van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise.

“Paris & Normandy” is an 8-day river cruise from Paris to Paris. Prices start at $3,199 per person, land only.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is part of a joint initiative with The TreadRight Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation established by The Travel Corporation to encourage sustainable tourism within its family of brands and in the places we visit. To date, TreadRight has donated more than $2 million to sustainable tourism projects around the world (

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New ‘Civil War and Madrid Under Franco’ Walk in Madrid Commemorates 75th Anniversary of Guernica Bombing

August 2, 2012

Context, organizer of critically acclaimed walking tours, expands its program in Madrid with a new walk designed and led by historians and political experts to commemorate the 75thth anniversary of the Guernica bombing.

“Civil War and Madrid under Franco” traces a path through the center of the city where key events of the Spanish Civil War took place. The walk explores the origins of the war, the deep division between the Republicans and Francists, and finally, how the latter attained victory. It also looks at the fundamental role of international media, and volunteers who came to the aid of the Republicans, including American Lincoln Brigade and the Canadian Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion.

The discussion, led by historians and political experts, presents first hand testimonials accompanied by personal artifacts of the era, supported by a clear analysis of the facts from the point of view of the international media, illustrated by rare photographic documentation. The walk ends in the Reina Sophia Museum with a focus on Picasso’s Guernica, a work of both art and denunciation.

“The events of the Spanish Civil War are still fresh in the minds of many Spanish people as well as Americans and British who participated in the battle.” said historian Almudena Cros, one of the docents leading the walk. “This is a difficult, but fundamental subject to discuss in order to understand modern Spain. I think this walk achieves this”.

Civil War and Madrid under Franco, launching this month, draws upon the expertise of Context’s network in Madrid, which includes historians, political experts and social historians. As with all of Context’s programs, groups are limited to six people. Civil War and Madrid under Franco runs Monday to Saturday at 10 am as group walks (Euro 65 per person). Private groups can be scheduled upon request (Euro 290 flat fee).

Founded by National Geographic writer Paul Bennett and graphic designer Lani Bevacqua, Context is
a network of English-speaking scholars and professionals, including art historians, writers, architects
and gastronomes, who organize and lead walking seminars in eighteen world cities, including: Florence, Rome, Venice, Naples, Paris, London, Edinburgh, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., Istanbul, and Athens. A certified B Corporation, Context Travel was named one of the fastest growing American companies in 2011 by Inc Magazine. Travel + Leisure has called Context one of the top European tour companies for its innovative approach to travel and the depth of its programs. To learn more about Context, visit its website at

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Ticket, Package Options Make it Easy to Include Jamestown, Yorktown in Williamsburg Trip

March 30, 2012

From a weekend getaway to a week-long vacation, there are many ways to include Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center in a Williamsburg destination itinerary, with a range of ticket and package options available at

The two living-history museums tell the story of the nation’s beginnings, from the arrival of America’s first permanent English colonists in Virginia in 1607 to the American Revolution and the formation of the new nation. Jamestown Settlement’s expansive permanent exhibition galleries and introductory film chronicle 17th-century Virginia in the context of its Powhatan Indian, English and west central African cultures. Historical interpreters interact with visitors at outdoor re-creations of a Powhatan Indian village, the three ships that sailed from England to Virginia in 1607, and a 1610-14 colonial fort. At the Yorktown Victory Center, a museum of the American Revolution, gallery exhibits and an evocative film portray the Revolutionary era from the perspectives of citizens and soldiers. Outdoors, visitors can explore a re-created Continental Army encampment and 1780s farm.

Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center are included with Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens and other attractions in a variety of Williamsburg area best-value ticket options in 2012 featuring unlimited admission for seven consecutive days, free admission for children under 6 and free parking. All are available at and can be packaged with lodging:

The basic History is Fun! combination ticket for Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center, $20 for adults and $10 for ages 6 through 12 and available year-round, is a 20 percent savings over individual admission rates. Purchased online, the ticket is good for seven consecutive days of unlimited admission, while admission tickets purchased on arrival are for one museum visit. History, Shopping and Fun! provides seven consecutive days of admission to the two museums along with a voucher for a Williamsburg Premium Outlets VIP Coupon Book and a Historic Yorktown Rewards Card for shopping and dining discounts.

The Jamestown and Yorktown Four-Site Value ticket, good for seven consecutive days of unlimited admission to Jamestown Settlement, Historic Jamestowne, Yorktown Battlefield and Yorktown Victory Center, is $30 for adults, $20 for ages 13-15 and $10 for ages 6-12 and is available year-round.

America’s Historic Triangle, one ticket for seven consecutive days of unlimited visits to five historical attractions – Jamestown Settlement, Historic Jamestowne, Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area and Art Museums, Yorktown Battlefield, and Yorktown Victory Center – is $81 for adults and $35.50 for ages 6-17 and is available year-round. From March 18 through November 4, 2012, the free Historic Triangle Shuttle connects the Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown attractions.

The Williamsburg Flex ticket, available March 24 to October 28 in 2012, provides seven consecutive days of unlimited visits to Jamestown Settlement, Historic Jamestowne, Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area and Art Museums, Yorktown Battlefield, Yorktown Victory Center, and Busch Gardens. Water Country USA is a free added bonus between May 19 and September 3. The Williamsburg Flex ticket is $178.20 for adults, $138.70 for ages 6-17.

Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, until 6 p.m. from June 15 through August 15. The two museums are administered by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, a Virginia state agency accredited by the American Association of Museums. Jamestown Settlement is located on Route 31 South at the Colonial Parkway next to Historic Jamestowne, administered by the National Park Service and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (on behalf of Preservation Virginia). The Yorktown Victory Center is located on Route 1020 in Yorktown near Yorktown Battlefield, administered by the National Park Service. For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838, or visit


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Journey Through Hallowed Ground Launches Overnight History Adventure Summer Camp

May 4, 2011

This July, for the first time, middle-school-aged students from around the globe can experience Extreme Journey Summer Camp, which combines U.S. history and heritage with adventure and multimedia in the most historic region in the nation – the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area that runs from Gettysburg, PA to Thomas Jefferson’s home, outside Charlottesville, VA © 2011 Karen Rubin/

This July, for the first time, middle-school-aged students from around the globe can experience Extreme Journey Summer Camp, which combines U.S. history and heritage with adventure and multimedia in the most historic region in the nation – the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area that runs from Gettysburg, PA to Thomas Jefferson’s home, outside Charlottesville, VA.

The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership, which overseas the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, will team with Woodberry Forest School, an internationally recognized independent boarding school in Madison County, Virginia, to host a two-week overnight camp that builds on the enormous popularity of the JTHG Partnership’s day camp, Extreme Journey Summer Camp.

“We transform traditional text-book learning into a truly stimulating experience that exists only outside the confines of the classroom,” said Cate Magennis Wyatt, president of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership.  “Combining digital media technology, creative on-site visits, and expert accounts with outdoor adventures, Extreme Journey leaves students riveted by the past and ready to discover the future.”

Extreme Journey camps – both the day camp and overnight camp — take 6th through 8th grade boys and girls on historic adventures through Presidential homes, internationally known heritage sites, and through some of our nation’s most significant national parks.  From the battlefields in Gettysburg to James Madison’s Montpelier, they hike, bike, canoe and spend time with National Park Service Rangers, expert historians, archaeologists, and educators to unlock stories and lessons of leadership found in the region.

During their adventure, Extreme Journey campers assume the identities of key historical figures and are faced with the virtually the same set of facts and scenarios, enabling campers to “walk in the boots” of the historical men and women and better understand the choices and decisions of those who forged this nation.

Using digital media tools, the campers record their experiences, creating a video documentary or Vodcast, focusing on “what leadership means to me.” Their Vodcasts are shared on the JTHG Partnership website, Facebook, and YouTube, creating a “viral” effect of the campers’ insight into national heritage.

“We are proud to serve as ‘home base’ for this exciting summer program,” said Dennis Campbell, headmaster for Woodberry Forest School.  “Woodberry’s superb location and facilities will guarantee an outstanding experience for boys and girls fascinated by American history.”

The two-week overnight camp runs from Sunday, July 10- Friday, July 22, where campers will reside in an air-conditioned dorm at Woodberry Forest School.  There, they can also enjoy the school’s outstanding amenities.  Founded in 1889 and situated on 1,200 beautiful acres in the Virginia Piedmont, Woodberry Forest is recognized internationally as a leader in the education of boys in grades 9 through 12.

This is the fifth year that the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership has offered Extreme Journey day camp, which is hosted in conjunction with the school districts in Albemarle and Loudoun counties in Virginia and in Adams County, Pennsylvania.

Educating teachers, students, citizens and visitors is one of the primary objectives of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership.  Since its inception in 2005,this non-profit, four-state, public-private partnership has developed a variety of educational programs, including the award-winning Of the Student, By the Student, For the Student ™ service-learning program, a high-school Summer Enrichment Camp with the University of Virginia, programs for Loudoun County Applied History classes, the semester-long teacher certificate course taught through the Virginia Community College System, teacher workshops, and semester courses for graduate students at the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

With 400 years of European, American and African-American heritage, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground is a National Heritage Area with a National Scenic Byway running through it.  From Gettysburg to Monticello, it’s known as the region Where America Happened.  It contains more history than any other region in the nation, including National and World Heritage sites; more than 10,000 sites on the National Register of Historic Places; 49 National Heritage districts; nine presidential homes; 13 national park units; hundreds of African American and Native American heritage sites; 30 Historic Main Street communities; sites from the Revolutionary War, French and Indian War, and the War of 1812; and the largest single collection of Civil War sites in the nation.

For more information on the Extreme Journey Summer Camps, including a video overview, go to:

For more information on the Woodberry Forest Overnight Extreme Camp, go to:

The JTHG Partnership is a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness of the unparalleled history from Monticello to Gettysburg.   It has successfully created the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area and has had the Old Carolina Road (Rt. 15/20/231) from Gettysburg, through Maryland, to Monticello designated a National Scenic Byway. For more information, go to:

For more on the 150th anniveresary of the Civil War see:

Tennessee launches Civil War Heritage Trail in time for Sesquicentennial  and slideshow

Chattanooga is key stop on Tennessee’s Civil War Heritage Trail and slideshow

 Civil War comes home to Spring Hill on Tennessee’s Heritage Trail and slideshow

Battle of Franklin: Bloodiest 5 Hours of Civil War marks death of the Old South and slideshow

Carnton Plantation and ‘The Widow of the South’ on Tennessee’s Civil War Trail and slideshow

Nashville’s Metro Historical Commission Launches Civil War Series April 9

March 15, 2011

Tennessee launches five-year commemoration of 150th anniversary of Civil War with a color guard of Union and Confederate soldiers at Nashville's Tennessee State Museum © 2011 Karen Rubin/

Nashville, TN, March 4, 2011—

The commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War is already underway, as key events are marked. The state of Tennessee, the only state which has been declared a Civil War Heritage Area, has launched the most ambitious and comprehensive program with a Civil War Heritage Trail that encompasses the entire state, with scores of events taking place over the next five years. In its entirety, the depth and breadth provides an unparalleled opportunity to re-connect with the complex and tormenting history and understand it in a way that is eerily, horrifyingly relevant to today.

Nashville’s Metropolitan Historical Commission will commence its Civil War Sesquicentennial program Saturday, April 9, at The Downtown Presbyterian Church in Nashville with a series of presentations called “The War Begins:  Causes of the Secession Crisis in Tennessee.” The church is located at the corner of Church Street and Fifth Avenue, North.

At 8:30 a. m., Mayor Karl Dean will make opening remarks.  He will be followed by Jim Hoobler, chairman of Metro Historical Commission’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee, who will give a brief history of The Downtown Presbyterian Church and its use during the Civil War.

Starting at 9 a. m., Dr. Jonathan Atkins, of Berry College in Mt. Berry, Georgia, will speak on “Parties, Politics and Sectional Conflict in Tennessee 1832-1861,” in which he will describe the causes in Tennessee leading to its involvement in the Civil War.

Dr. Kristopher Ray, of Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, and editor of the Tennessee Historical Quarterly, will explain at 10 a. m. how the leaders in both the North and South reinterpreted the precepts of America’s founding fathers to suit their own political, social and economic purposes.

At 11 a. m., The Fisk Jubilee Singers will perform spirituals and other songs appropriate to the Civil War period.  Their performance is partially funded by a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission.

The program will end at noon.

“The Civil War was a defining event in American history,” Hoobler says.  “The causes of the war defined who we had been as a country, and the outcome of the war determined that we are a country.  Mayor Dean has asked that we as a community commemorate the brave men and women, North and South, who fought and died in this struggle. This event will mark the beginning of a five year activity of commemoration and remembrance.  The citizens of Nashville are encouraged to participate in these events and to remember our shared past.”

The event is free and open to the public.  Free parking is available in the Premier Parking Lot at Fifth and Church to those people who tell the attendant that they are attending the Symposium. For more information, contact Jim Hoobler at

See our series about Tennessee’s Civil War Trail launching soon at


August 18, 2010


A blacksmith at Old Bethpage, LI demonstrates the craft; Grafton Forge is offering classes this fall © 2010 Karen Rubin/

Grafton Forge, a regional center for the preservation, promotion and education of the art of blacksmithing is offering two learn to blacksmith programs this fall. One class will be a week-long class in September and the other will be a three consecutive weekend program in November. For those wishing to stay on the premises, a special lodging price is offered at The Old Tavern at Grafton, an historic country inn located steps from Grafton Forge.

Owned by the Windham Foundation and operated by noted blacksmith and educator Adam Howard, Grafton Forge’s mission is to further of the art of blacksmithing and the share its vital role past and present in the daily life, economy and community of Grafton and rural Vermont.

“This season’s class offerings are for the beginner or for those with limited experience,” explained Adam Howard, director of Grafton Forge. “Each student will execute a project of their own design. Classes are small and very hands on.”

The shop is host to visitors from far and near including numerous school groups and others interested in learning about this ancient art and its contemporary applications.

The Old Tavern at Grafton is an historic country inn with 45 rooms including seen suites and four guest houses. The inn is located in the heart of Grafton, Vermont, which has been named one of the 10 most beautiful places in America by USA Magazine.

A week-long Forge Class is being offered September 19-24, 2010, at $600 which Includes lodging at The Old Tavern at Grafton, daily breakfast and daily classes at Grafton Forge (for class only, the program is $300).

Or, you can opt for a Three-consecutive Weekend Forge Class (perfect for locals or weekend warriors) is available weekends: Nov. 6 & 7, 13 & 14 and 19 & 20, 2010, and costs $300 for six days of classes (consecutive weekends). (If you desire lodging, it is $165 per night with a full country breakfast.)

To book, contact: Adam Howard, Grafton Forge, 802-843-1029,

Headquartered in Grafton, Vermont, the Windham Foundation is an operating foundation engaged in philanthropic, charitable and educational activities. Since its inception in 1963, its mission is to promote the vitality of Grafton and Vermont’s rural communities through its philanthropic and educational programs and its subsidiaries whose operations contribute to these endeavors. The Foundation is the owner of Grafton Village Cheese Co., The Old Tavern at Grafton, the Retreat Farm and Grafton Village Nursery.

A Schooner Gam on the American Eagle, historic Maine Windjammer

June 18, 2010

Gathering of the Fleet: nearly a dozen of the Maine Windjammers raft up making an incredible spectacle © 2010 Karen Rubin/

It is one of those truly memorable experiences that travel affords: a  Gathering of the Fleet of Maine’s Windjammers, a collection of about a dozen tall ships, most of which are National Historic Landmarks, which sail in the Penobscot Bay (and some, further on).

 This is the “Schooner Gam,” which kicked off this summer’s season, and encompassed just about the entire fleet, highlighted by a Raft-Up – where all the boats tie up together.

 As we sail from Swans Island where we spent the night anchored in a cove, we see them far on the horizon, like leviathans gliding on the water. The  ships come from various directions, closer and closer, and gradually, we start to form a parade of sorts as we tacked into a cove for the gathering.

 They are majestic, magnificent, graceful and powerful and proud.

 The ships (or rather the captains and crew) do this marvelously choreographed, painstaking maneuver to slowly come along side each other, “raft up” – tie up with one another.

 Our ship, the American Eagle, captained by its owner, John Foss, who is one of the most senior of the Windjammer captains with 35 years (25 years with this ship which he restored, and 10 years with his first ship, the Lewis R. French, built in 1871), eases along side the Victory Chimes.

 As the majestic ships, most of them more than a century old, fill the cove, you forget what century you are in.

 Then the party starts, and all of us passengers can climb from one ship to the other, visiting and greeting, tasting the appetizers that have been set out.

 For the captains and the crews, it is a chance to meet up with old friends and colleagues.

For the passengers, many of whom had just set out on their journey that morning, it is the rarest opportunity to meet others who hail from all parts of the country, and even from abroad, so different, yet sharing this desire to experience a form of travel and a kind of life that has all but disappeared.

 On our port side, music breaks out on the Mercantile, a National Historic Landmark, built in 1916 to carry fish, barrel staves and firewood, reconfigured to its new career to carry 29 guests. This sailing has two family reunions on board.

 On our starboard side is the Victory Chimes. Built in 1900, it is the largest passenger schooner in America and one of the only three-masted schooners left. On board is the great-grandson of George K Phillips, whose shipyard built the Victory Chimes (he was also on the 2000 sailing to mark the 100th anniversary of the ship) and 30 others like it (the Victory Chimes is one of only a few surviving). The chef breaks out the lobster pot to begin preparing their evening’s dinner – the fresh-caught lobster bake that is a tradition of every windjammer cruise.

 We traipse across to the Angelique, rare in that it was purpose-built for windjamming in 1980 and patterned after the 19th century sailing ships that fished off the coast of England. It has a deckhouse salon with a piano, and is being used for this trip by Exploritas (formerly Elderhostel), and there is a board listing activities that include various lectures and discussions.

 Each of the dozen ships in the fleet is unique in its structure and its “story”, and has its own personality largely formed by the Captain and crew. Each sailing aboard a Maine Windjammer is uniquely formed by the weather and wind and the particular combination of passengers – as the many passengers we meet who were repeat cruisers attest. A windjammer cruise is the essence of serendipity.

 Alec, our first mate, has put on a fancy jacket that looks like an English hunting jacket but makes him look like a World War I soldier, a shirt and tie decorated with schooners, khaki pants and no shoes, prompting “oohs” and “ahs” from his colleagues on the other boats.

 It drizzles while we have dinner, so we go below in the American Eagle galley, but after dinner, the sun breaks through casting this fabulous golden light. We have our freshly churned ice cream on deck and the mingling with the other passengers and crews of the other boats begins anew.

 Captain Foss gives the order to pull around the rowboat so we can get to the water line to row around all the boats to witness the full spectacle and take pictures.

 It is a spectacular sight – you sense what treasures these ships are, and are so grateful for the captains and crew who give these ships – which in a former life hauled timber, granite, fish –  a new working life and an economic basis.

 As the sun sets, several of the captains, including Captain Foss, fire off a cannon and bring down their flags.

 Three of the ships fall away from the group – taking some of the passengers that belong on another ship, prompting enormous laughter (no matter, a rowboat returns them to the right ship), and we gently separate and motor a short distance away.

 Gradually, all the boats separate and find their own little patch of the cove to weigh anchor, as the sky deepens in color – yellow to pink to red at the horizon, azure to royal blue higher in the sky. A crescent moon with Venus shining brightly above. Several of us stay on deck to sit around and chat in the light of kerosene lanterns, then go below where Alec is playing a guitar and singing humorous songs.

 That’s the other hallmark of windjamming: the camaraderie that forms when you have only conversation, story-telling and song as distractions.

 There are other opportunities throughout the season for gatherings of the fleet – for races or rendezvous.

 Windjammer Days, June 23, there is a grand sail parade through picturesque Boothbay Harbor.

 The 34th anniversary of the Great Schooner Race, North America’s largest annual gathering of tall ships, takes place the week of July 5, when more than two dozen tall ships gather for an all-day race in which guests may participate. This is another Raft-Up opportunity.

 The Maine Windjammer Parade is scheduled for Friday, July 16, when the entire fleet joins an afternoon Parade of Sail past the mile-long Rockland Breakwater.

 Many windjammers gather during the week of August 2 for the Sweet Chariot Music Festival on Swans Island.

 The fleet gathers in pictures Camden Harbor on Sept. 3-4, for the Camden Windjammer Festival, reminiscent of the days when hundreds of coastal schooners lined the waterfront. This is another Raft-Up opportunity.

 The WoodenBoat Sail-In takes place Tuesday, Sept 14, in Brooklin, Maine. This fall gathering of the fleet is in its 24th year, and there are refreshments, live music, tours and a harbor full of historic schooners.

 The Maine Windjammer Association includes 12 traditional tall ships, ranging in size from 46 to 132 feet on deck. Seven of them are National Historic Landmarks. They carry between 6 and 40 guests and 2-10 crew members They offer a variety of special interest cruises including wine tasting, pirate adventure, art and photography, festival, lighthouses, whale-bird and naturalist, knitters’ weekend, music and story-telling, plus family and kids getaways; there are also “Fairwinds and Fairways” golf and cruise packages; land and sea packages with Historic Inns of Rockland, and an Air & Sea Package with Cape Air from flying from Boston to Rockland. (800-807-WIND,

 Our schooner, the American Eagle, sails 4 and 6 night cruises, plus a 13-night voyage to Nova Scotia, attending the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival. Capt. Foss is also the only Maine schooner racing for the historic Esperanto Cup in Gloucester, Massachusetts, every Labor Day weekend (he won 8 out of 21 tries, including 2009) (Schooner American Eagle, 207-594-8007, 800-648-4544,,

 For more about our voyage aboard the American Eagle and the Maine Windjammers and more photos, visit

 –Karen Rubin