Home Is Where We Park It: Shawnee State Park, Schellsburg, Pennsylvania
July 9, 2019
Temperature 88 Degrees
President Warren Harding Museum
Once again we were reaching for the covers last night. What a change from previous weeks in which the AC ran all night. We like it but we don’t believe it is going to stay this way.
We were up early this morning and ready to roll by 8:30 am. We were heading into Pennsylvania today, a state we didn’t believe we would see again until probably December. However, the first rule of full time RV life is always remain flexible.
Remember I said yesterday we were running up hill and down? Silly me, yesterday was nothing like today. I never really knew what the Ford V10 could do. Today I found out. It’s no speed burner but it gets you there. A couple of really, really long mountains that seemed to go up and up and up for miles. I was in second gear, tach at around 4500 rpm, yet we made it to the top. Sometimes only doing 50 mph when we got there. But, we made it. Thankfully, the temperature gauge on both the engine and the transmission never went up above where they normally sit. And to top it all off we’re still getting 6 mpg. No laughing all you who have diesel pushers.
Where are we? Before we get to that let me go back a day to Marion, Ohio. In the same building as the Popcorn Museum there was an exhibit in another part of the hall about Warren Harding the 29th President of the United States. A secret service agent stood watch at the entrance to the room.
This is a general view of the room. All of this and much more will be moved to the museum at his home in Marion when it is completed in 2020.
Warren Gamaliel Harding was born on November 2, 1865, on a farm in the small Ohio community of Blooming Grove). He was the oldest of eight children of George Harding (1843-1928), a farmer who later became a doctor and part owner of a local newspaper.
At the age of 19 along with two partners he purchased the bankrupt Marion Daily Star. After buying out his partners he steadily improved the paper and in time it became extremely profitable. He owned the paper for over forty years.
He served in the Ohio state Senate and as Lieutenant Governor, and unsuccessfully ran for Governor. He delivered the nominating address for President Taft at the 1912 Republican Convention. In 1914 he was elected to the Senate, which he found “a very pleasant place.” At the 1920 Republican National Convention he won the nomination for president on the 10th ballot. Coolidge was chosen as his running mate. In the summer of 1920 he launched his Presidential campaign from the front porch of his home. He was the fourth president – all from Ohio – to do so.
He gave more than 100 formal speeches from his front porch and more than 600,000 people traveled to Marion, Ohio to hear him speak. Due to the high volume of visitors, Harding’s front lawn had to be replaced with gravel.
In the general election, the Harding-Coolidge ticket defeated the Democrats in the largest landslide up to that time, capturing some 60 percent of the popular vote and an electoral margin of 404-127.
When he entered office he faced the task of of leading the nation through the transition from WW I to peacetime. In a post-war recession, America faced rising unemployment, a high national deficit and the fear of Communism. During his years in office he was able to realize many of his goals.
In the summer of 1923, Warren Harding embarked on a cross-country tour of the United States to promote his policies. During the trip, the 57-year-old president became sick, and on August 2 he died of what was likely a heart attack (no autopsy was conducted) at a San Francisco hotel.
The funeral train left California on August 2, 1923. It slowly traveled east stopping only for fuel and provisions. An estimated 3 million people lined the tracks to honor the President. In Chicago the crowds were so large police had to clear the tracks in front of the train.
On August 8, 1923 his funeral was held in the Capitol Rotunda. His body was then moved back to his hometown of Marion, Ohio. On August 10, 1923 his body was moved from his father’s home to the Marion cemetery.
A permanent resting place for the president and his wife in Marion was undertaken.
The total cost of the tomb, the landscaping, and grounds was $738,108. The money was privately amassed in a national fundraising event, including pennies contributed by more than 200,000 children.
Here it is today.
OK, moving from there to where we are today. We are at Shawnee State Park. Shawnee State Park is a 3,983-acre Pennsylvania state park. Shawnee Lake, a 451-acre warm water reservoir, is at the center of the park as its main attraction. The 290 campsites at Shawnee State Park have picnic tables and fire rings, and accommodate tents or trailers. In addition to some full-service campsites that have sewer, water, and electric, 98 sites have electric hookups. The park was authorized by the Pennsylvania legislature during 1947. During 1951, construction of the dam began, and during the same year, the park opened to the public.
Here is our new home until this Sunday. It is a pull through site with FHU. Unfortunately, this site is far from level and took some work to get there. Take a look at high we are in the front – have to be careful not to get a nose bleed! Gertrude is out in the back with a clear shot of the Southern sky so we are good all the way around. Our daughter Amanda is going to be joining us here at the end of the week for a couple of days. She will also be taking Marti home with her.
We are now at the end of our day on The Road of Retirement. We had a decent travel day, no traffic, no slow downs, and we were here within 4 hours. My kind of day. Time now to get some shut eye.
Thanks for joining us today, we always enjoy your company. Catch you tomorrow.
These are the voyages of Graybeard and it’s occupants, four paws and two humans. Our continuing mission: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have not been before
See you on down the road!