Friday, June 5, 2015
We left Clayton looking for a breakfast place but did not find any until we reached
a small town on the St. Lawrence River about 12 miles away. While nothing else was open at we cycled past the town’s waterfront and its
historical museum located in an old stone building. Cape Vincent
Much of our day’s journey was out of sight of the water. When possible we took side routes to the waters or entered the several state parks along the route. One of our side trips was to the town of
Harbor. While we had marked this town as
a possible place to visit, neither of us could remember why, nor did our notes
give any hints. We were pleasantly
surprised by what we found.
As we entered the town we saw lots of old brick buildings, some in bad condition, others restored. Some of these buildings pre-dated the War of 1812. At the town’s visitors center we learned that the US Navy had a major shipyard and its headquarters for the
Lakes. The Army also constructed a fort, barracks and
supporting infrastructure to defend the village and navy shipyard. By the fall
of 1814, this was the third-largest population center in the entire
state. Soon after the war, the Army strengthened its defenses on the
northern frontier by constructing Madison
Barracks. We learned that the
old buildings we first saw as we entered the town were the Madison
Barracks. The Madison
Barracks have been designated as a Historic District and they are slowly being redeveloped
as a planned commercial/residential area.
The receptionist at the visitor’s center also told us that Zebulon Pike is buried in
and President Ulysses S. Grant served two tours of duty at
Madison Barracks. However, there was no mention of George Washington
sleeping here. Sackets Harbor
We were also impressed by the town’s lively commercial district. We saw many small shops and restaurants as we cycled through before stopping at the Sackets Harbor Brewery for lunch and a beer. Besides brewing their beer, the sandwich rolls and chips were also made on site. It was a wonderful place for lunch.
we only had a short (10 mile) ride to Sackets Harbor for our nights lodging. Our motel is on the grounds of the Aspinwall
Homestead that was built in 1806, and currently serves as the motel’s office. The Henderson
was visited by Stonewall Jackson and artist Frederick Remington, and was used
by runaway slaves traveling to Canada
via the Underground Railroad system.