Sugarloaf Mountain
Wednesday October 24th 2007, 12:36 pm
Filed under: Life

View from Sugarloaf Mtn, MDWhen I was a kid, it was a tradition in our family that the Saturday before Easter every year we would make the drive out to Sugarloaf Mountain and hike the trail up to the top and have a picnic. Sugarloaf had a Civil War cannon still there at the summit, ready to help defend Washington, and it was there that a group of Union soldiers saw Lee’s men crossing the Potomac in hopes that Maryland would rise up with the South. Maryland did not. Barbara Frietchie became an urban legend for supposedly leaning out her upper window in Frederick and taunting the Confederates to shoot her old gray head and shaming them for not honoring her flag and theirs, too. Actually, she was 95 and sick in bed on the day and they shot that flag up, but never mind; she had been an old friend of Francis Scott Key and had participated in a memorial service at George Washington’s passing, so John Greenleaf Whittier ‘s 1864 poem used her as a symbol of the goodness of the Union. Propaganda and future tourism and all that.

Richard and Karen and I were out and about last week when I happened to mention that I hadn’t been on Sugarloaf in decades. Karen immediately answered, “You want to go?” Richard agreed, and go we did.Sugarloaf Mountain

You can drive most of the way up, but there is no way I can hike the rest of it now. I wanted to see that cannon again, but it’s okay; we climbed on and around the tiny stone fort there near the parking lot, which, having gone immediately past it to get up to the summit all those times as a kid, I somehow had no memory of. The fort had been something to simply get past, is all, I suppose. That and the tiny dark slits for windows and the connection to the ugliness of the Civil War, I probably hadn’t liked the looks of the thing back in the day.Civil War fort at Sugarloaf Mountain, Maryland

We teased each other: you want to go in there? What do you think is in there? Bears? Foxes? Wouldn’t want to wake them up, right?

Ghosts of the past and stone steps upwards to see the ever-widening view, looking out. May we always learn from where we’ve been.

Steps to the top of Sugarloaf’s fort

6 Comments so far
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Isn’t it interesting what we scorned
as children now interests us as
adults?! We learn the importance
of history.

Comment by Sue H 10.24.07 @ 12:51 pm

I can’t believe you know Stephen Colbert!! That is soooooo cool!

I also think old forts are worth keeping and exploring, even if for awful parts in our history. That one looks particularly neat. I’m glad you got to go through it and have fun.

Comment by Carina 10.24.07 @ 2:44 pm

That looks really neat.

Comment by Amanda 10.24.07 @ 3:36 pm

Saying I know him would be too much of a stretch; I don’t think he was old enough to remember me when they moved away. But we Jeppsons all remember the Colberts; they had a kid to match each of ours to go play with. And my stars, they went through so much.

Comment by AlisonH 10.24.07 @ 4:32 pm

I always love how your posts remind me of things long forgotten in my own life. I need to take the time more often just to reminisce.

Comment by Lisa 10.24.07 @ 5:46 pm

Sorry I missed meeting you at Stitches East–just couldn’t quite make it there. Looking through your blog, it looks like you had a wonderful time at Stitches, and touring several places in MD. I’m from a different part of MD, so while the names sound familiar, I haven’t been to many of them. I’ll have to change that!

Comment by Ruth 10.26.07 @ 6:24 pm

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