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History travel is time travel

WHEN THE TIME AND PLACE IS RIGHT, the present fades away and you find yourself transported back to another time, another place. The more you know history, the more you understand how we got here, the more you understand who we are. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Have you ever wondered what it was like to live in another time? Sometimes it’s the little details that tell the story of the past, things that at the time were taken for granted. Everything from spoons to medicine …

As a kid, nothing made a long drive complete like a stop at a historic site. From the battlefields of the Civil War, to time traveling back to early Plymouth at Plimoth Plantation, there’s more to American history than we realize, and it’s all around us. Just ahead at the next exit even.

Some towns and cities reek of history. New York City has history literally stacked on top of history. Other towns are like stepping back into time … from the curated Colonial Williamsburg, to the towns where the twentieth century was just slow to show up. Nearly all towns and cities have their history, if you know where to look.

All around the world, people celebrate their history. Hell, here in America we celebrate medieval history and we weren’t even around in the middle ages. Maybe it’s the costumes, maybe it’s just a chance for guys to play with weapons. While you might not get an authentic experience, you do get a healthy dose of fun and a lesson or two.

We’re still fighting the American Revolution in some places. The Civil War is still being played out on the streets and in courtrooms across the country. It’s hard to argue that the founding fathers would have been against gun control when one of the first things Washington did was require everyone to register their weapons. Would the original participants in the Boston Tea Party join today’s tea party? The oft times hidden side of history …

The History Trekker

Is it really the House of the Seven Gables? Perhaps, perhaps not. Either way the Turner-Ingersoll mansion in Salem breathes New England history thumbnail

"Halfway down a by-street of one of our New England towns stands a rusty wooden house, with seven acutely peaked gables, facing towards various points of the compass, and a huge, clustered chimney in the midst. The street is Pyncheon Street; the house is the old Pyncheon House; and an elm-tree, of wide circumference, rooted - Click to read more

The right to bear arms, the right to regulate guns, both guaranteed by the second amendment – a guarantee of conflict thumbnail

2nd amendment gives you the right to overthrow the government with guns, and gives the government the right to regulate guns. The ratification of the second amendment was uncontroversial, because taken as it was written, it was to provide for a militia for the common defense.

Piracy in Charleston, S.C.: The adoption of the gentleman pirate, Stede Bonnet thumbnail

A town with an ugly past, trades debauchery for a more genteel reputation, and in the process adopts the gentleman pirate to keep pirate tourism dollars growing. Intentional or not, it seems to be working.

Concerning the Battle of Setauket: a tale of two churches, a minor battle in the American Revolution and the village green today thumbnail

The 19th century artist William Sydney Mount came from Setauket, and would return back frequently to paint there, claiming it had the best light anywhere. The light is still there on Setauket Village Green, one of the best preserved greens to be found in New York. The Setaukets refer to the villages of Setauket and - Click to read more

A brief history of St. Patrick: Who was Patrick and what does he have to do with green beer? thumbnail

St. Patrick's day throughout the world has reduced the role of St. Patrick, and some would argue Ireland itself to a breakfast cereal character. Who was he? And why should we care?

Deconstructing myths of the American Revolution: Paul Revere’s ride in the words of Paul Revere himself and a travelogue thumbnail

What most people know about the midnight ride of Paul Revere comes not from the history books, but a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow which stretched the truth

Old Westbury Gardens: An English estate on Long Island’s Gold Coast thumbnail

The history of Westbury House and Old Westbury Gardens, home of the Jay Phipps family, one of the best-preserved estates on Long Island's Gold Coast, and the film set for everything from Hollywood classics to horror.

The Day We Realized Our Culture Was Broken thumbnail

We take great pride in our ancestor's innocence, the concept becoming a tenant in our mythical past. If we let the shootings go on, our innocence is gone forever. Thoughts inspired by the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings.

Christmas Ghost Stories: The Ghost of Christmas Past Goes Further Back Than You Might Realize thumbnail

  Philipsburg Manor in Winter, Sleepy Hollow, New York "When I returned to the drawing-room, I found the company seated around the fire, listening to the parson, who was deeply ensconced in a high-backed oaken chair, the work of some cunning artificer of yore, which had been brought from the library for his particular accommodation - Click to read more

The truth about Thanksgiving and the creation of an American myth thumbnail

American history is full of myth, and sorting the truth is never easy, particularly when discussing Thanksgiving. The first Thanksgiving wasn't what we think, or how we got from fasting to Black Friday.