Articles Tagged with: historic town



Seniors Choose Chester For Historic Visit


Senior travelers will find that Chester, a city in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, with a population of around 34,000, is located on the Delaware River, between the cities of Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware.

Being on the eastern seaboard, Chester is loaded with history. Originally settled in 1644 by the Swedish as “Upland”, the name was changed to Chester in 1682. Chester is the oldest City in Pennsylvania.

In 1681, William Penn acquired the colonial settlement as a safe haven for Quakers. One year later he landed on the ship Welcome and renamed the settlement Chester, after the city in England.

Seniors Find Historically Prosperous City


For the first two hundred years of its history, Chester was prosperous and wealthy manufacturing community with industries concentrating on machinery, metal manufacturing, locomotive, shipbuilding, and textiles. These strong industries, paired with the city’s proximity to the Delaware River and major railways generated jobs and fueled a steady population growth.

John Bullock, Ye Olde (and very humble) Webmaster, has a great page that describes Old Chester in detail.  He notes that during much of its early history, Chester was a sleepy little village along the banks of the Delaware River.

This changed dramatically with the arrival of the Industrial Revolution during the 1850′s.  During those years industry boomed as did the population in order to feed the manpower needs of the new industries.


In 1850 Chester’s population numbered 1,667 but by 1860 it nearly tripled to 4,631.  Much of the city’s housing as well as other structures still standing was built during this period of explosive growth and through the early years of the 20th century.

 Seniors Enjoy Historic Places

Of particular interest to this senior, is the fact that since 1996, Chester has received 1.36 billion dollars in public and private investment. That’s a good chunk of change and with these funds, the city has restored its park system, improved and expanded housing, brought in new businesses and has generated many new job opportunities.

Chester has five nationally registered historic places that senior visitors find interesting. Chester County counts 113 historic places and senior visitors enjoy just traveling from one township to another taking in the old buildings and sites.


If you ask Chester residents what they envision for a proposed Arts and Culture District in their downtown, they’ll be the first to tell you that it’s got to be “Chester Made, through and through.”  Watch the video on this page and learn about the Chester Made initiative.

As you are driving across Pennsylvania, plan to stop by Chester.   -jeb

Filed under : United States


Seniors Enjoy Columbia County, NY

columbia-county-top-photoHudson is located along the west border of Columbia County, New York with a population of around 7,000. Senior visitors find that Hudson overflows with history. The city is named after the adjacent Hudson River and ultimately after the explorer Henry Hudson.

Hudson is said to be a lively urban gem set in the jewel-like natural environment of Columbia County.  “The city is a minor miracle and beautifully preserved with its 300 historic buildings representing every architectural style of the last three centuries, yet buzzing with all the ingredients of a much larger city.”


With its diverse and creative locals, world class retail and dining, and an exciting art and music scene, senior visitors discover it to be an America of the past, present and future.  Antique lovers enjoy strolling and browsing among the 51 stores and 10 miles of historic streets.

Seniors Enjoy One Of  The “Coolest Small Towns”

Hudson was the first chartered city in the United States and settled by the Dutch in the mid-17th century and at that time called Claverack Landing. Budget Travel labels Hudson “One of the coolest small towns in the U.S.A.”


Hudson has been called “one of the richest dictionaries of architectural history in New York state” and “a treasure house of architectural styles.” From 18th-century Federal buildings to 20th-century Arts and Crafts houses most of Hudson remains miraculously unscathed by urban renewal efforts that other communities have had to deal with.

Among the plethora of treasures is the Hudson Opera House that was constructed as Hudson’s city hall in 1855. Senior visitors also find the Columbia County Courthouse, and the Hudson Area Association Library, a structure once considered “the most handsome building in Hudson.”

Seniors Find Olana State Historic Site

Seniors, start with a visit to the FASNY Museum of Firefighting. Take The Farm to Glass Wine Tour and enjoy some of New York’s finest. Plan to enjoy a theater presentation at one of Hudson’s four theaters or take a Hudson Cruise.


I would not want to miss a visit to the Olana State Historic Site with its Persian Style mansion and environs. Olana was the home and estate of 19th century Hudson River School artist Frederic Edwin Church.

This 250 acre New York State Historic Site and National Historic Landmark  offers spectacular views of the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains and is one of the most popular cultural tourism destinations in the Hudson Valley.

Seniors, set your GPS for upstate New York and plan to spend some quality time in “one cool small town”.  -jeb


Seniors Explore Cimarron

millCimarron is a village in Colfax County, New Mexico, and senior travelers will find it on the eastern slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The population is not large (1,000+) however it is the 4th most populated municipality in Colfax County.


Established in 1857, the village is the Historic Heart of the Old West. “Cimarron” is Spanish for wild or unruly and the Village of Cimarron lived up to that description.

There was little if any law enforcement, arguments were settled with bullets and in many instances justice was a result of vigilantes. So welcome to Cimarron.

Upon further investigation of the naming of the village, I found it to be uncertain. Some feel Cimar- ron refers to the bighorn sheep that once roamed the nearby mountains. Back in 1960 a movie called Cimarron put the village on the map. Look up the trailer on YouTube.

Historically, to avoid the harsh conditions, lack of water, and attacks from Indians along the Cimarron Cutoff of the Santa Fe Trail, wagon traffic used the original Mountain Route during the 1840s.


Uncle Puzz Visits Cimarron

I remember my Uncle Puzz, yes, that was his nickname.  Harold as a youth, used to lie on his back, for hours, out on a grassy field watching white fluffy clouds pass by overhead. My dad, being “puzzled by his gaze,” gave him this name that stuck with him his entire life.

Uncle Puzz was a Boy Scout Leader and made many trips to Cimarron and the Philmont Scout Ranch with my cousin Dennis and the scout troupe from Olin, Iowa. The Ranch remains one of the main attractions in Cimarron along with the Old Mill Museum and the historic St James Hotel.


Seniors Stay At The Historic St. James Hotel

The saga of the St. James began in Washington D.C. with the arrival of a Frenchman by the name of Henri Lambert whose life became intertwined with the people and a place that became known as the Village of Cimarron. Lambert opened up a saloon that took on the name “Lambert’s Place.”

The St. James Hotel has been welcoming guests since 1872 and a host of famous western folks frequented the Hotel in the likes of Zane Grey, Wild Bill Hickock and the Earp brothers. Jesse James and his gang also had a room there.


Just walking around the town makes for a fun time, it is so loaded with scenic buildings with 14 historical markers. Me, I’d head for the cemetery like I did in Tombstone, Arizona.

There you can admire the surrounding mountain peaks and follow the flow of the Cimarron River out from the canyon, through town and down across the plains.

Seniors, pull up those cowboy boots, tighten up your big silver belt buckle, saddle up your GPS and head for Cimarron.  -jeb


Seniors Take A Break In Van Horn

IMG_1362Here is a new one for this senior, Van Horn, Texas. My wife’s sisters have been traveling and stopped in Van Horn. So, I just had to do a blog on this town. Van Horn, with a population of 2,400, is called by some, ‘the westernmost town in the U.S’.

While they did not stay at the Hotel El Capitan, I learned that this famous, historic site is not to be missed. The entire hotel recently went through a $2,500,000 renovation. Does that tell you something about the hotel?

Located just 2 blocks off Interstate I-10, The Hotel El Capitan is the new destination in Van Horn. The hotel has 52 rooms and suites. Historically, it was one of the five Gateway Hotels in a chain built by Charles Bassett in Eastern New Mexico and West Texas. The El Capitan Hotel, begun in 1927 and opened in 1930 was based on a design by the famous El Paso Architect Firm of Trost and Trost.


Seniors Hike In Guadalupe Mountains National Park

The town is named for Lt. James Judson Van Horn who commanded an army garrison at the Van Horn Wells beginning in 1859. Lt. Van Horn’s command was relatively short-lived as the post was seized by Confederate forces in 1861 and Lt. Van Horn taken prisoner. Poor guy.

In 1899 the first Old Settlers’ Reunion was held; it would become Van Horn’s biggest event, held annually on August 28 and featuring rodeo events, dancing, and a barbecue. Sounds like a fun event, especially that Texas barbecue.


While there are hundreds of great towns in Texas, there is only one “TOP” that sits north of Van Horn inside Guadalupe Mountains National Park.  Guadalupe Peak is 8,749 feet in the sky.  A trip to the top covers approximately 8.4 miles, takes 6-8 hours to hike, and includes 3,000 feet of elevation gain.

Now climb aboard as we ZIP through town on our way to the Guadalupe Mountains…and boy do we ever zip. Attach those seat belts.

 Seniors Enjoy History of Cattle, Mining And Railroads

Van Horn is loaded with Texas history. The best place to dig into its past history of cattle, mining, and railroads is the Clark Hotel Museum, a museum, not to be missed. The Museum was the first permanent structure in town, started in 1901 and the main portion was later completed in 1905 to 1906.


Senior visitors will find many relicts from the American Indians, pioneers and families who resided in the area. Included are artifacts from the railroad and the saloon in Van Horn.

Take a ride with me into Van Horn and note the hotel and historic main street. And sure enough, senior visitors will note the El Capitan and Clark Hotels. So now, you have been to and through Van Horn.  Plan to stop next time you are driving through. You will find Pure Texas all over town.  -jeb


Seniors Check Out Zelienople

customLogo.gifWith a name like Zelienople, I just had to pay a visit to discover what’s there for senior visitors to enjoy and the derivation of the name of the town. I learned that Zelienople is a borough in Butler County, Pennsylvania, 28 miles north of Pittsburgh. It’s small with a population right at 4,000.

The borough is situated on the south bank of Connoquenessign Creek in an area that is rich with coal and iron ore. Me, I find the names Connoquenessign Creek and Zelienople kind of go together, don’t you agree? Zelienople is called a ‘Modern Place with Old Fashioned Grace’.


There’s plenty for senior travelers to do,  from exploring museums and art galleries to enjoying the breathtaking scenery of great parks and rolling countryside. Relax at the spa, hit the greens or take in a memorable wine tasting experience.

Seniors Find Interesting Name, Interesting History

Zelienople was named for the eldest daughter, Zelie, of Baron Dettmar Basse (1762–1836).  Baron Basse arrived in 1802 from Germany and purchased a tract of 10,000 acres of land in Butler and Beaver counties.


He proceeded to lay out a village and build his own private residence, a three-story castle, complete with towers, turrets and battlements, named “The Bassenheim” (Basse’s Home). Basse then established a sawmill, brickyard, and an iron furnace.

For the past 44 years, one of the major annual events is the town’s summer Horse Trading Days Arts and Music Festival. Crafters, vendors, entertainers and tourists are drawn from the entire tri-state area to participate in the family-oriented event that features concerts, games, contests, shopping, food, and a 5-mile (8 km) run/walk event.

 Zelienople-Harmony Area Interests Senior Travelers


The neighboring town of Harmony grew from a pacifistic commune established by the Pietist “prophet” Johann Georg Rapp in 1803.

The 4000 acres, purchased from Barron Basse became the Harmony Society whose members pledged to combined their worldly goods and live as one spiritual family.

Steeped in rich history, the Zelienople-Harmony area provides senior tourists and travelers a variety of interesting facts and curious folklore.

Senior golfers, bring your clubs and play a round at the Cranberry Highlands Golf Course. TripAdvisor suggests you check out the Strand Theater.The Mussig Flower Shop is another worthwhile stop, along with both Fishers Bar and Restaurant and Rumors Bar and Grill for some quality dining. As you explore the streets of Zelienople, you’ll notice a fine old building on Main Street up a few doors from The Passavant House.


Stop at Zelienople’s Main Street Park at the four corners where there are a variety of events at the Annual Country Fall Festival.

Music, food, historic encampments, farmers market, pony rides and farm pets, antiques, crafters, and maybe take a free ride in a horse drawn trolley wagon and dine in a friendly restaurant. It’s all there in Zelienople -jeb


Seniors Roll Into “Buffalo City”


Jamestown, a year-round vacation area, is the ninth largest city in North Dakota, with a population around 16,000. Jamestown was founded in 1872 and today is known as “Buffalo City” , home to the World’s Largest Buffalo. Senior visitors will find Jamestown in the valley where the James and Pipestem rivers meet the city. 


Jamestown was founded in 1872 and General Thomas Rosser of Northern Pacific named it after his hometown in Virginia. Jamestown offers a variety of entertainment, excellent accommodations, and fine dining.

Jamestown is home to both the National Buffalo Museum and the North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame. Museum exhibits include Plains Indian artifacts, artwork, 19th century firearms used by bison hunters, remains of prehistoric bison, a children’s room featuring wildlife of North Dakota, and a video presentation about the history of bison.

Seniors Enjoy the Sports Hall of Fame

The Sports Hall of Fame honors those who have made outstanding contributions in sports. Roger Maris is an example who spent his youth in Jamestown. Phil Jackson, head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, Darin Erstad, Travis Hafner and Jim Kleinsasser all hail from North Dakota.


Jamestown, also known as Pride of the Prairie, extends friendly hospitality to senior visitors. Whether touring the Frontier Village, a re-created prairie town of more than 20 buildings, viewing a live herd of buffalo, visiting historical sites, or joining folks for a tournament at one of the town’s sporting complexes, you will enjoy Jamestown.

Senior visitors can enjoy the great outdoors with 21 lakes, a variety of campgrounds, and over 35 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails.

 Seniors Find A Basilica, Wagon Train And White Cloud


Housed in the historic Arts and Crafts-style Lutz Mansion, the Stutsman County Memorial Museum features period antiques and memorabilia in such themed rooms as the Library, Railroad Room, Music Room, Parlor, Kitchen, Ballroom, Country Store, Barber/Beauty Shop, Nursery Room, Medical Room and the Post Office. The Museum is open from June to October.

The Basilica of St. James is a major landmark in Jamestown. This stunning American Gothic-style church was erected between 1910-1914. It has been designated a Basilica by the Holy See because of its antiquity, dignity and historical significance. Guided tours are available by appointment.


Drop by and see White Cloud, a female white buffalo, rare indeed. Perhaps visit the campus of the Jamestown College, home of the Jimmies. Follow the Jamestown Historic District which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Jamestown’s downtown area offers a self-guided walking tour which includes the childhood home of Louis L’Amour, a world-renowned western author.

Seniors, stop in on your way across North Dakota and plan to spend a day or two enjoying the sites and attractions in and around Jamestown. jeb


Seniors Find ‘The First Town In The First State’

imagesLewes is located on the Delaware Bay in eastern Sussex County, Delaware with a population of 3,000. Senior visitors will be welcomed to a quiet but progressive town where the sun, the sand, and the sea are still the number one attractions.

Founded in 1631, the townspeople have taken great pride in their historic heritage and enjoy the opportunity of sharing it with visiting seniors. Among the town’s several honors, it professes to be “The First Town in The First State.”


Lewes is named after the town of Lewes in England, which is situated in Sussex county. The National Trust for Historic Preservation selected Lewes as one of its Dozen Distinctive Destinations.

Lewes is home to one of Delaware’s oldest buildings, erected in the 17th century. Southern Living magazine called Lewes a “Delaware Seashore Surprise.” They suggested that visitors take the ferry across the Delaware Bay to Cape May, New Jersey, and back again just for the thrill of it. Coastal Living calls Lewes “The Sleeper on the Bay,” highly complementary and deserving.

Seniors Find Beautiful Beaches, Nature Trails And Bird Sanctuaries

On a map, Lewes is situated where the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean meet at Cape Henlopen. Nowhere can the beauty of Cape Henlopen State Park be equaled. In this preserved land senior visitors will find miles of beautiful beaches, nature trails and bird sanctuaries. All the natural beauty includes a spectacular bay and ocean vistas, a unique saltwater lagoon (Gordons Pond), and the Great Dune which rises 80 feet above sea level.


A two-mile paved trail recently was added for walkers, runners, cyclists, and skaters. For senior hikers, Lewes is a walking town. Within a half-square mile you will find the Historic District, museums, several Inns, Bed & Breakfasts, fine restaurants, and a variety of fine shops.

Worthwhile sites you will not want to miss include the Zwaanendael Museum built in 1931 that was created to honor the 300th anniversary of Delaware’s first European settlement, Zwaanendael, back in 1631.

Cape Henlopen State Park is a 5,193 acre Delaware State Park. William Penn made the beaches of Cape Henlopen one of the first public lands established in 1682. The Bay and ocean beaches in and near Lewes provide swimming, fishing, boating and other water-sports. Beaches, nature trails and the Seaside Nature Center can be found at Cape Henlopen State Park.

So drop by Lewes and enjoy this historic and fun city. jeb


Seniors Enjoy a Stopover in Deming

imagesDeming, New Mexico, located 60 miles west of Las Cruces, is only 33 miles north of the Mexican border,  with a population right at 15,000. Senior visitors will find Deming rich with history, atmosphere, and sunshine, all in great abundance.

The desert with the Florida mountains in the background offer spectacular views year round. The local state parks are diverse from one end of the desert to the other and into the mountains of the Black Range. The water and the agricultural influence make Deming a true oasis in the desert.

Deming is named after Mary Ann Deming Crocker, wife of Charles Crocker, one of the Big Four of the railroad industry. The city, founded in 1881 and incorporated in 1902, was an important port of entry on the US-Mexican border until the Gadsen Purchase of 1853. A nickname was given to the city at the time of its founding, “New Chicago”.

Seniors Enjoy The Mimbres Museum


At the Luna Mimbres Museum, senior visitors can enjoy a replica of the streets of pioneer Deming, a cowboy exhibit based on the Diamond A Ranch and military history.

They will also find a gem and mineral room, an art gallery, automobiles, dolls, books and toys from past generations. Then there is the  Hispanic room; and Mimbres Indian pottery and basketry.

For senior oenophiles, Deming has some fine wineries and vineyards to be enjoyed that include the St. Clair and Luna Rossa Wineries.

While copper mining and refining have been a primary source of wealth in the surrounding area for most of the twentieth century, Luna County has a proud and successful heritage in farming and ranching producing chilies, pecans, cotton, melons, sweet onions, and grapes.


 Senior Rockhounds Take Note

For you rock hounds like my daughter, the Rockhound State Park in the Little Florida Mountains, with elevations that range up to 7,700 feet, offers access to silica minerals, quartz crystals, chalcedony, blue agate, and white and pink common opals.

Senior rockhounds are invited to gather up to 15 pounds of rock to take home with you. The park offers picnic facilities, hiking trails, wildlife including Persion Ibex and attractive gardens. You will discover a variety of rock formations that make Deming a beautiful scenic wonder.


Deming’s downtown commercial buildings retain much of their historic integrity and remain part of a historic zone. Presently, 16 buildings have been placed on the State Historic Register and four of the 16 buildings are on the National Register of Historic places. My wife and I love those old historic buildings.

There are numerous ancient Native American sites around Deming. The Mimbres and Casa Grandes cultures made pottery of remarkable quality, and the Deming area is rich in native pottery artifacts, as well as beads, stone implements, stone carvings, graves, etc. I feel you will find Deming to be to your liking.  Senior travelers can easily spend a few days there.  -jeb


Seniors Explore Roosevelt Island


On one of my recent tours as a guide at Taliesin West in Scottsdale, AZ, I met a couple who said that they lived on Roosevelt Island in New York City. I was acquainted with Long Island, but Roosevelt Island was a new one for this senior.

So I just had to check it out. Roosevelt Island is a narrow island in New York City’s East River. It lies between Manhattan Island to its west and the borough of Queens on Long Island to its east, and is part of the borough of Manhattan. It is around 2 miles long and has a maximum width of only 800 feet.

Lonely Planet notes that it was once Blackwell’s Island, then Welfare Island, has been home to insane asylums and prisons, and later hospital out-patients and UN workers. A boxy-red tram and later the subway only reached the island in the mid ’70s. The population runs just under 10,000.

Seniors Enjoy The Octagon


Though small, Roosevelt Island has a distinguished architectural history. It has several architecturally significant buildings, and has been the site of numerous important unbuilt architectural competitions and proposals.

One particular structure sticks out for senior visitors. Called The Octagon, now a high-end apartment community, it is one of the island’s six landmarks. This national landmark building was restored in 2006.

Several well-known folks call(ed) Roosevelt Island home. Do you remember the comedian Buddy Hackett and “Grandpa” Al Lewis from the Munsters show?  They, along with Sarah Jessica Parker, settled in this community.

Known for its wealth of promenades, green space, and incredible views of the New York skyline, Roosevelt Island’s natural beauty makes it a truly remarkable place to call home as my visitor friends discovered.


 ‘An Affordable Island In The Sun’

It you have no fear of heights, the Roosevelt Island Aerial Tram above the East River is an exciting means to get to the Island and is accessible at 60th Street and Second Avenue. A 4-mile esplanade encircles the Island and is a favorite path for joggers and hikers.

The Roosevelt Island Visitor Center, adjacent to the tram station, is housed inside a restored kiosk that was once the entrance to the tracks for the trolley car service that ran to the island from 1912 to 1955. The NY Times calls Roosevelt Island an “Affordable Island In the Sun.”


So what are you going to do once you arrive via the red tram?  Plenty to keep you busy for more than a full day. For you gourmet seniors, check out the 4-Star Trellis restaurant. The Roosevelt Island Historical Society promotes awareness of the Island’s unique story and pursues preservation of its landmarks and artifacts.

The F. D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on the south tip of the Island is dedicated to the former president. Going the other direction, senior visitors will find the The Blackwell Lighthouse, another historic landmark.

Enjoy the Island.  -jeb


Seniors Journey Uphill to Fairplay

Home_page_B_Nagy Fairplay, just south of Breckenridge, is located in South Park at an elevation of 9,953 feet with a population of 672 hardy folks. Senior travelers find a small town that is loaded with history.

This historic gold mining settlement was founded in 1859 and incorporated in 1872 during the early days of the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush. The town got its name by settlers who were upset by the generous mining claims given to the earliest prospectors and promised a more equitable system for its residents.


Surrounded by Kenosha Pass to the North, Wilkerson Pass to the East, Trout Creek Pass to the South and Weston Pass to the West sits the quiet valley of South Park in the Central Colorado Rockies.

In the heart of this valley lays Fairplay, one of the many wild mining towns from the time of gold and silver and the largest community in this grassland basin.

Less than 200 years ago, the Nomadic Ute and Arapaho native Americans did great battle over what was once incredibly rich summer hunting grounds. Famed frontiersmen like Zebulan Pike, Kit Carson and John Fremont crossed the region in their explorations of Colorado.

Seniors Say Yes To Burros, Trout Fishing and History


Among the major events in Fairplay is the Burro Days Festival held on the last weekend of July. The event celebrates the town’s mining heritage with many colorful burros. The main feature of the festival is a 29-mile burro race over rough terrain and approximately 3,000-ft elevation from downtown Fairplay to the 13,000-ft summit of Mosquito Pass.

Senior visitors enjoy an authentic restoration of a mining boomtown dating back to the 1880s. Originally called Tarryall, Fairplay sprang into life about 1859 as miners found gold along the South Platt river. A church built in 1874 still stands as does the 1874 courthouse.

Fairplay, Colorado 7-71 112

Also interesting to note  beside the Hand hotel, ia the grave of a burro that worked in the mines for 62 years. Rupert M. Sherwood, partner to the burro, requested when he died he be cremated and buried beside Prunes, his burro. Where else in the world can one find a grave for a renown burro?

The local Chambers notes that… “Today, Fairplay is the center of commerce for Park County, with a thriving business community and vibrant local arts. The many lodging, dining and retail options reflect the unique character of this quaint mountain town.Surrounded by majestic peaks and pastoral beauty and fall foliage, Fairplay calls out to artists of all media, many of whom have made Fairplay home.”

Fairplay is known as the official Trout Fishing Capital of Colorado.  Senior visitors enjoy the unique mountain character of Fairplay, Colorado scenery at its best, good food and ambiance that this unique town has to offer. -jeb

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