J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Newfangled Displays at Pluckemin and Concord

Last month Boston 1775 reader Bill Welsch sent me an interesting link to a virtual recreation of the Continental Army artillery park in Pluckemin, New Jersey. The website explains:
The Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House announced the release of the 3D Visualization of the Pluckemin Artillery Cantonment, the lost 1778-1779 winter cantonment of General Henry Knox’s artillery in Pluckemin, New Jersey. While no buildings survive on the site except General Knox’s Headquarters at the Jacobus Vanderveer House, significant archeological work and other historical records permitted the creation of the first of its kind 3D virtual renderings of the buildings and area that made up the cantonment.

This 3D visualization is an interpretive guide for visitors who now can come to General Knox’s Headquarters at the Jacobus Vanderveer House Museum and understand the Pluckemin Artillery Cantonment’s importance to American Revolutionary War history.
Knox had about a thousand troops under his command at Pluckemin. Gen. George Washington’s infantry, about 8,000 strong, camped nearby at Middlebrook.

Closer to home, the Minute Man National Historical Park has revamped the display in the visitor center at Concord, above the North Bridge. The Boston Globe reported:
Until recently, the centerpiece of the three-room space was a glass-encased diorama showing soldiers dotting the hillside on both sides of the Concord River and over the bridge.

Along with the new video, produced by Northern Light Productions of Boston, which brings the Battle of Concord to life by filming historical reenactors on location, the exhibitions area now contains displays of archeological artifacts, documents, and weaponry, including an original cannon.

“We focus on three men who played key roles in the Revolutionary War: Captain David Brown, whose house foundation is visible from the park; Colonel James Barrett; and Major John Buttrick,” [chief of interpretation Leslie] Obleschuk said. “Those are names that may be fairly well known in Concord, but definitely are not known to visitors from across the country and around the world.”
The “Hancock” cannon is still on display, but it’s been taken off its carriage to make room for other artifacts and exhibits.

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