Search Results for Category: United States

SENIORS ENJOY CONNECTICUT


Seniors Visit Pomfret For The First Time

91_154.t.250.250Pomfret, a town in Windham County, Connecticut with a population of about 4,200, was incorporated in 1713. Wow, senior friends, Pomfret is  historical, one of the oldest towns in the state!  The town was named after Governor Saltonstall’s estate near Pontefract (meaning broken bridge) in Yorkshire, England, and agriculture and various mills along the town’s plentiful waterways supported the settlers’ earliest enterprises.

The town might be best known for the wolf’s den where Israel Putnam killed Connecticut’s last known wolf. Rocky paths connect to join the small cave which is the actual wolf den with a glacially positioned boulder called the Indian Chair. Now part of Mashamoquet Brook State Park, Wolf Den is on the National Register of Historic Places.

There are eerie remains of an 18th-Century Settlement in Pomfret where Welsh roots inspired the name of the new community. Obadiah Higginbotham and Jonathan Randall both settled the area in 1790. I love that first name.

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 Seniors Visit One Of Oldest Towns in Connecticut

This senior first came across the name of Pomfret while searching for top private schools in Connecticut. Pomfret School, with only 350+ students, is one of the state’s well known private schools.

Today, Pomfret is a residential community with light industry, including fiber optic manufacture, ample protected open land, and a large historic district listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

While the town is small it has several sites not to be missed: the Sharpe Hill Vineyard, Airline State Park Trail, Martha’s Herbary and Pomfret Wine and Spirits. I would want to pay a visit to Tyrone Farm, a uniquely beautiful 170 acre country estate. The farm is a fourth generation family business.

Senior Birders Take Note…

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Pomfret offers beautiful vistas, winding country roads, stone walls, and an eclectic collection of shops and restaurants. Town government has been sensitive to maintaining the rural environment and historic charm that makes Pomfret the quintessential New England Community.

 Listed on the National Register seniors will want to visit the Brayton Grist Mill, Gwyn Careg, Israel Putnam Wolf Den and the Pomfret Town House that was erected in 1841 and was used for many years as the site of Pomfret’s town meetings. It is now owned by the Pomfret Historical Society.

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Senior hikers will find extensive walking, hiking and horse trails. The Connecticut Audubon Center at Pomfret offers spectacular birding and is particularly known for its grassland habitats. The motto is “Close to Home…Far from Ordinary.”  Enjoy genealogy?  Read up on the local history that describes the town in detail.

Seems like there is always more to learn about a small community and Pomfret has its related topics all on one site. Seniors travelers, I think you will enjoy a stop in Pomfret.  -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States

SENIORS ENJOY THE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF LOUISIANA


Seniors Spend Time In St. Landry Parish

UnknownSt. Landry Parish, Louisiana, with a population that runs around 84,000, is the Zydeco Capital of the World. Senior travelers will find the parish seat, Opelousas, 21 miles north of Lafayette, and 126 miles west of New Orleans.

The Parish was created in 1807. Its history much precedes 1807 as the territory that became St. Landry Parish was inhabited as early as  10,500 B.C. Saint Landry is the patron saint of Opelousas and his feast day is celebrated June 10 of each year.

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The Parish is 939 square miles in area and there are 12 municipalities located within the Parish each with its own distinct personality. Senior visitors will see evidence of the French heritage in St. Landry Parish from the visitors guide en français, the signs, newspapers, restaurants menus, and the many surnames of its inhabitants.

Seniors Enjoy an Étouffée

La Table Française are local gatherings that take place throughout the Parish. It presents an opportunity for the locals to share conversation en français over a good cup of café. Having been a teacher of French for over 30 years, I’d like to think that I would fit right in…but with the local acadian accent…maybe not.

Senior travelers, head down to Arnaudville the end of May and take in the 32nd Annual Étouffée Festival. Étouffée is a “smothered” dish and a favorite among locals, enough to stir up some friendly rivalry.

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Get a taste of the competition at the Mayor’s Cook-off, which will feature a diverse variety of étouffées including crawfish, seafood, vegetable, and even wild game. Arnaudville is a haven for musicians, artists, and champions of the French language itself. Look up their cultural events on Google.

 Seniors Like the Mardi Gras in Eunice

Be sure to sample the Gumbo, a dish that originated in southern Louisiana from the Louisiana Creole people during the 18th century. St. Landry Parish is the site of one of the oldest European settlements in Louisiana, le Poste des Opélousas, an administrative territory established by the French in 1720.

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The local cuisine naturally reflects its dramatic history and diverse cultures. It is said that one might best describe the history of St. Landry Parish’s cuisine as that of a cultural gumbo. Blackberry pie would be high on my dining dishes.

Eunice is known as the “Prairie Cajun Capital” and is popular for its annual Mardi Gras celebration. Seniors, spend some time in Eunice visiting the Cajun Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the Liberty Theater, a restored 1924 Vaudeville Theatre.

I would not want to overlook Grand Coteau (Big Ridge en français), that is on the National Register of Historic Places, that includes over 70 structures with a wide variety of architectural styles.

Krotz Springs, Leonville, Palmetto and Lebeau…the town list goes on. St. Landry Parish claims a state tourism honor and for good reason. Set your GPS for St. Landry, seniors, and enjoy some great music, Louisiana food and scenery that will be memorable. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States

SENIORS VISIT OHIO


Seniors Check Out Reynoldsburg

a-welcome-sign-in-reynoldsburg-ohio-usa-boasts-that-the-midwestern-EMXTEY Reynoldsburg, senior travelers learn, a city in Fairfield, Franklin, and Licking counties in the  state of Ohio, is a suburban community in the Columbus, Ohio metropolitan area with a population of nearly 36,000.

Originally called Frenchtown, Reynoldsburg was platted back in 1831 by John French, and named for him. The present name is for John C. Reynolds, a local merchant. A post office called Reynoldsburg was established in 1833, and the name was later changed to Reynoldsburg. The area started developing rapidly after the National Road was built.

For you salad lovers, the city is known as the birthplace of the tomato and it celebrates a fun annual summer festival dedicated to tomatoes. Reynoldsburg’s Tomato Festival features a host of activities, all revolving around the tomato.

Seniors Hike the Trails at Blacklick Woods

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The area also has some interesting historical sites. The Alexander W. Livingston House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house was built in in 1864-1865 by Livingston, a horticulturist, who is world famous as the developer of the tomato into a stable commercial crop.

For me personally, I’d want to check out Smokey Bones Bar and Fire Grill, The Thirsty Turtle and spend some quality time in Blacklick Woods Metro Park. In addition to the golf courses, the park offers an extensive network of hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, and a nature center.

Before departing I would visit the Reynoldsburg Truro Historical Society, a group dedicated to promoting and preserving the local history. Senior visitors will find an interesting collection of tools, costumes, photos, household furniture, farm items and published materials relating to historic Reynoldsburg and Truro Township.

 Seniors Enjoy Reynoldsburg’s Scottish Heritage

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Also known as the Heritage Sports Complex, Huber Park is situated on 42 acres of land. The park includes a classic paved trail that can be used for biking or jogging.

Reynoldsburg has a very active Scottish American Society, which celebrates the city Scottish heritage year-round. The society’s main event of the year is the Reynoldsburg Tartan Day that highlights pipers, Scottish highland and country dancers, Scottish games, athletic demonstrations and weaponry displays.

Senior bikers, the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum is nearby in a suburb called Pickerington where over 200 motorcyclists are enshrined into the Hall of Fame, one of the museum’s main galleries.

Senior travelers, plan a stop in Reynoldsburg when you are in the Columbus, Ohio area. A fun time awaits your visit. -jeb

SENIORS STAY A LITTLE LONGER IN CALIFORNIA


Seniors Visit The Old Community of Newhall

newhallwalking240x160Senior travelers will find Newhall, California, the southernmost and oldest community of Santa Clarita, just outside of Los Angeles. Established in the 1850′s as a stagecoach stop, today, it is notable for its antique car shows, mountain surroundings, and ranch houses.

Named after businessman Henry Newhall, Newhall is home to the William S. Hart County Park, featuring tours of the famous silent movie maker’s mansion.

The Old West still lives in Newhall’s Western Walk of Fame and the William S. Hart Regional Park with its exhibition of Western life and an example of an old-time ranch house and the original Saugus train station.

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Seniors Find Interesting History

Newhall is also home to the Pioneer Oil Refinery, the oldest surviving oil refinery in the world and the first commercially successful refinery in California. Senior visitors can enjoy the William S. Hart Museum and Ranch along with the Placerita Canyon Nature Center and Old-Town main street shops. Then there are car shows and a meal at the legendary Way Station.

Decades before the city of Santa Clarita, there were two small towns in the Valley: Newhall and Saugus. The Santa Clarita Valley was simply an area of ranches and farms in northern Los Angeles County.

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Newhall was the place where ranchers bought groceries and other needs — and, at Saugus, shipped out what they produced via the railroad.  Eventually, Newhall and Saugus were absorbed into what is now Santa Clarita.

Beale’s Cut was the first man made passage from the San Fernando Valley to Santa Clarita and Northern California. Beale’s Cut was completed in 1864 by a crew headed by General Edward F. Beale and was 90 feet deep.

 Seniors Have Fun At the Cowboy Festival

Santa Clarita has hosted countless location shoots in its scrubby hills for Hollywood’s cowboy pictures. The Walk of Western Stars is an extensive sidewalk tribute to the movie, TV and radio legends.

The small shops in downtown Newhall mostly close by dinner time. Not a bad time for a stroll —  It’s just you and the memories of Clayton Moore, the original Lone Ranger; Tex Ritter the singing cowboy; Hoot Gibson, rodeo champ actor and director. Remember all those folks? Maybe not if you are not as old as this senior, but I loved them all and watched many black and white TV shows featuring those cowboys.

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You don’t have to be a cowboy to enjoy the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival in Old Town Newhall. Suspending inside a larger than life horse shoe, festival goers will step back in time to the 1860’s.

This is Newhall, seniors. Set your GPS for this exciting old western setting and enjoy the flavor. -jeb

 

Filed under : Family Travel, United States

SENIORS ENJOY VISITING WASHINGTON


Seniors Find Burlington/Skagit County Scenic

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Burlington is a city in Skagit County, Washington with a population around 8,500. Dotted with hundreds of lakes and blessed with millions of acres of forest land, Skagit County has something for every senior sportsperson: fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, rock-hounding and even paragliding.

Originally, Burlington’s businesses were centered around Fairhaven Avenue. Today, Fairhaven Avenue is the center of Burlington’s old downtown, and provides a gathering place for the whole city during the annual summer Berry Dairy Days.

Fishing is a top attraction. “As one of the longest rivers on the West Coast, the Skagit River meanders from its headwaters high in Canada 150 miles to its delta just southwest of the world-famous tulip fields of the Skagit Valley.

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Seniors Awed By The North Cascades

“In less than 35 minutes you can be in mountains, taking in the beautiful North Cascades. The North Cascades National Park Complex spans the Cascade Crest from the temperate rainforest of the wet west-side to the dry ponderosa pine ecosystem of the east.”

Burlington began as a logging camp, established by John P. Millett and William McKay, in 1882. It was officially incorporated on June 16, 1902. Today Burlington is locally famous for its proliferation of shopping malls and for having some of the best youth sports fields in Washington.

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A short 35 minute drive from Burlington west on Highway 20 will bring you to scenic, historic and unforgettable Deception Pass State Park, a 4,134-acre marine and camping park with 77,000 feet of saltwater shoreline as well as 33,900 feet of freshwater shoreline on four lakes.

Senior Hiking/Biking Paradise

Seniors can enjoy a stop at the Trainwreck Bar and a visit to the Sakuma Brothers Farm. Then there’s Orca whale watching, white water rafting and kayaking through Deception Pass. Senior hikers and bikers can enjoy bicycling through the Valley or hiking one of the many trails in the national parks and forests. The views will take your breath away.

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 Senior visitors will love the Skagit Valley. The Skagit River system is home to many year-round resident Bald Eagles but each winter their numbers increase dramatically with the return of spawning salmon. In all, five different species of salmon return to the Skagit River to spawn, then die along the shores of the river. With such an abundance of food during these circle-of-life phenomena, eagles have found the Skagit to be an excellent fishing spot.

Then there’s Skagit Speedway, the premier motorsports facility in the northwest United States. Each year hundreds of thousands of fans of fixed-wing dirt track racing flock to the Speedway to enjoy an evening of exciting fun.

Hiking trails abound in the region and vary widely as far as difficulty. Senior hikers, try the flat Cascade Trail that follows an abandoned railroad line.  So what are you waiting for senior travelers? Burlington sounds like a great destination area. -jeb

SENIORS DISCOVER MOUNT DESERT ISLAND, MAINE


Seniors Enjoy A Top Destination In The US

5816684222_055f700ccd_b Senior travelers, TripAdvisor recently listed the Top 25 Destinations in the US and up came Mount Desert (pronounced like dessert) Island as #15. News to me as the others I had heard of and even have written blogs on several of them.

Mount Desert Island, is the largest island off the Down East coast of Maine, always referred to by the locals in Hancock County simply as “The Island.

French explorer Samuel de Champlain’s observation that the summits of the island’s mountains were free of vegetation as seen from the sea led him to call the island “île des Monts Déserts”, or Island of the Bare Mountains.

There are four towns on Mount Desert Island with beautiful seashore views for visitors to enjoy. The Island is crowded with visitors during the summer months, but seniors can still find solitude by taking one the Island’s famed hiking trails. Shore Path is an enjoyable walk along the ocean next to Bar Harbor. Summer visitors discover that each of the villages has its own unique flavor and attractions.

 Seniors Find Crown Jewel In Acadia National Park

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Bar Harbor is the largest town, but Southwest Harbor and Bass Harbor on the southwestern end affords senior visitors with both a quieter and more affordable stay. Frenchman Bay, named for Samuel de Champlain, the French explorer who visited the area in 1604, is a popular aquatic scene.

Acadia National Park—one of the most popular parks in the United States—is Mount Desert Island’s crown jewel: some 40,000 acres of mountains, river valleys, glacial lakes, bluffs, and beaches. Mount Desert Island is rich in geological history dating back to approximately 550 million years.

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The island has a year-round population of 10,500+, although it is roughly estimated that two and a half million tourists a year visit Acadia National Park.

Seniors May Run Into Some Notables

The island is home to numerous well-known summer colonies such as Northeast Harbor and Bar Harbor. A few of current notable summer residents include George Mitchell, Tim Robbins, David Rockefeller, Susan Sarandon, and Martha Stewart. Nature abounds as do scenic views in every direction.

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Mount Desert Island has a rich history, established culture and thriving economy separate from Acadia National Park. The island has a  population that swells every summer.

Senior travelers will not want to miss the fantastic drive along the 27-mile Park Loop Road and then perhaps hike one of the great trails. Enjoy your time on Mount Desert Island. Perhaps I will see you there. -jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL IN CONNECTICUT


Seniors Visit the Best Small Town in Connecticut

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Sherman has been named “Best Small Town in Connecticut” three times by Connecticut Magazine. The Appalachian Trail goes through the northern end of Sherman and part of Squantz Pond State Park is in the town.

Sherman is the northernmost and least populous town of Fairfield County. The population runs right at 3,600. The town was formed in 1802 and is named for Roger Sherman, the only person who signed all 4 founding documents of the United States of America.

He had a cobblers shop in the north end of town which has been reconstructed behind the Northrup House in the center of town.

 Seniors Enjoy a Winery and a Playhouse

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Senior visitors can enjoy a visit to White Silo Farm and Winery, an award winning farm and winery located in the attractive foothills surrounding Sherman. White Silo Farm is a family operated boutique winery where you can also harvest a variety of berries, fruits and vegetables.

I’d want to follow up with an evening at the Sherman Playhouse with my wife. For over 89 years the Sherman Players has provided Sherman and the surrounding communities a full range of high quality theatre.

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History is packed into every corner in Sherman however it was only after the flooding of Candlewood Lake that Sherman began to increase in size. Candlewood Lake attracts many visitors and would be a great spot for a picnic. This artificial lake is the largest in Connecticut.

 Seniors Walk The Historic District

The Sherman Historic District is a favorite for senior visitors who enjoy a walk around and through older structures. A old historic federal house was named for the Northrop family, prominent Sherman residents for several generations.

The Old Store and Museum, the first store at this site is listed in the Sherman land records as a mercantile belonging to David Northrop, Jr. in 1829.  It was acquired by the Society in 1999, preserved with the intent of “reviving” the Old Store.

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Featuring displays from its past, the Old Store has a wide range of gifts for the family and for friends. The Old Mercantile sold for every need, so does the Museum Shop of today.  A store museum c. 1867 gives visitors a chance to reminisce and a second floor gallery shows rotating historical and art exhibitions.

Tobacco was a large cash crop grown during the early 1900′s. Considered to be of superior quality, it was dried in barns and shipped out as the wrapper leaf for cigars.

Facebook has a take on Sherman including the evaluation and opinions of folks who have been there. Seniors, swing by Sherman for a memorable visit. -jeb

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Filed under : Family Travel, United States

SENIORS DISCOVER SOUTH COUNTY, RHODE ISLAND


Seniors Find A Real Treasure

00001I rarely focus in on a county or country per se, but this exception pays off for senior visitors in Rhode Island. South County’s vacation appeal reaches to charming villages, rolling countryside, historic sites and hundreds of acres of woodlands.

 Senior travelers will enjoy unlimited opportunities for hiking, canoeing, cycling, shopping and touring. History and culture are evident throughout South County as well.

Historic inns and bed & breakfast establishments offer senior visitors the opportunity to personally experience Colonial- and Victorian-era South County.

Regional history thrives at local museums like South County Museum, Gilbert Stuart Birthplace and Smith Castle, while summer stock theatre productions delight audiences at charming Theatre by the Sea.

Seniors Enjoy Cultural Hotspot

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South County is long recognized as a cultural hotspot with its thriving arts scene. The numerous art galleries alone are a major draw for many tourists. Parks and recreation areas dot the landscape.

The Matunuk Oyster Bar would be high on my choices for a dining experience, learning about all the work the owner goes through to put oysters on the table in his Bar.

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South County’s reputation for coastal beauty precedes itself.  With 100 miles of breathtaking coastline, the wide variety of beaches are the jewels in Southern Rhode Island’s crown. From tame, foot high, family friendly waves to pristine stretches of sand, South County is an ideal spot for seniors seeking rejuvenation.

Seniors Enjoy South County’s Villages

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Historic downtown Westerly is another major draw along the coast. I would put the South County History Center on my bucket list as it is located at the Old Washington County Jail ( 1858-1861) in historic Kingston Village.

TripAdvisor offers 184 things for senior visitors to see and do. TripAdvisor further notes that South County is one of New England’s favorite vacation spots.

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking for adventure or you want a peaceful setting where you can simply relax and unwind, South County is the perfect vacation destination.

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For you oenophiles, South County features some awesome vineyards. Scarborough, Misquamicut, Narragansett, Charlestown, and Matunuck beaches, offer open sand, some surfing, equipment rentals, and pavilions with plenty of summer food.

Senior travelers, you are welcome in South County, a place you can’t help but enjoy -jeb

SENIORS ENJOY VIRGINIA


Seniors Head for Fairfax County, Virginia…

hd-vienna-va-2…and here’s why: seniors, it’s for a visit to Vienna, a town ranked third by CNN/Money and Money magazine on its list of the 100 best places to live in the United States.

Vienna…brings back memories of my daughter’s and my trip to Vienna, Austria a few years ago. What a neat trip that was!

In addition to highly ranked public schools, this town of 16,000 includes a downtown with many small businesses, a Washington Metro station,  and a portion of the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park, with a hiker/biker trail cutting through the center of town.

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 Seniors Learn Interesting History

In 1754, prominent soldier and landowner Colonel Charles Broadwater settled within the town boundaries. Broadwater’s son-in-law, John Hunter built the first recorded house there in 1767, naming it Ayr Hill, recalling his birthplace, Ayr, Scotland.

That name was subsequently applied to the tiny, developing community. The name of the town was changed in the 1850s, when a doctor named William Hendrick settled there on the condition that the town would rename itself after his hometown, Phelps, New York, then known as Vienna.

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Senior travelers will find Vienna just south of the Potomac River and west of Washington D.C. Fabulous high-end shopping and dining can be found at Fairfax Square, a shopper’s heaven that includes Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton and Morton’s Steakhouse. The steakhouse looks good to me.

Seniors Find A ‘Safest City’

Senior visitors can find a performance of their choosing at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. And then there’s Meadowlark Botanical Garden that folks say is “utterly enchanting”. This Master Gardener would first head for the Garden.

FYI… Vienna was recently named one of the 15 safest places in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Seniors, set your GPS for Vienna and explore all  that this city has to offer. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States

SENIORS TRAVEL TO ALASKA


Seniors Head North To Ketchikan

Welcome to KetchikanKetchikan, population 8,214, is an Alaskan city that senior travelers will find facing the Inside Passage, a popular cruise route along the state’s southeastern coast. It’s known for its many Native American totem poles, on display throughout the town.

Ketchikan is known as Alaska’s “first city” due to its location at the southern tip of the Inside Passage. This city, 689 miles northwest of Seattle, is the first city you reach as you cruise north, and for many visitors, their first introduction to the beauty and majesty of Alaska.

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Nearby Misty Fiords National Monument is a glacier-carved wilderness that features snow capped mountains, waterfalls and salmon spawning streams. It’s also home to rich wildlife including black bears, wolves and bald eagles.

Seniors Like The Totem Poles

Its history goes back to 1885 when a fellow named Mike Martin purchased 160 acres of land from Chief Kyan, and this area later became the township of Ketchikan.

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The Cape Fox Tlingits and Tongass used Ketchikan Creek as a fish camp. They called the area ‘kitschk-hin.’ The large resources of timber and fish attracted the non-natives to Ketchikan. In 1892, the Ketchikan Post Office was established. Seven canneries were in operation by 1936. Later on, several lumber mills opened in the city.

The living, artistic traditions of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian peoples gave rise to the original totem poles that are on display in The Totem Heritage Center. Senior visitors can enjoy the Ketchikan Public Library, the oldest continually-operating library in the State of Alaska, founded in 1901.

 Seniors Enjoy Alaska’s First City

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There are a good number of lakes like Fawn Lake and Scout Lake, where your chances of landing one are good, so toss in your best rod and reel. I’d want to visit the Tongass Historical Museum where seniors will learn the history of Alaska’s feisty “First City.” The Museum tells the authentic tale of Ketchikan as a Native fish camp, gold and copper mining center, fishing port, timber town, cannery site, transportation hub, and lively community.

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Then there’s Dolly’s House – the only “den of iniquity” that still stands today at Number 24 Creek Street. Its green dollhouse appearance looks much like it did during its heyday. Inside you’ll find photos of Dolly, the cabbage rose wallpaper she favored, and you might even spot the “secret closet” in Dolly’s bedroom, where she stashed contraband liquor during the Prohibition years.

The 40 acre Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary, 8 miles from Ketchikan, has tall stands of spruce, hemlock and cedar trees with a forest floor saturated with mosses, wild flowers and a variety of berries.

Ketchikan, the fifth most populous city in the state, is truly the beginning of the last frontier. Set at the southernmost entrance to Alaska’s famed Inside Passage—a network of waterways that snake through some of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful wilderness in the world—Ketchikan is best known for three things: feisty salmon, idyllic scenery, and an incredibly rich Alaska Native culture.

Seniors, enjoy Ketchikan. -jeb

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