Thanksgiving is the most Norman Rockwell of all our holidays. Rockwell’s painting shows us a mythologized past of America in the middle of the twentieth century. For some of us it’s not far off the mark, but for most, it’s an America which never existed. Yet like America, the holiday is a melting pot of […]
The History Trekker
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 …
Modern technology sounds a death knell for old ways. This has been true since the stone age gave way to the iron age I’m sure. But is it possible that modern conveniences screw us up, as much as help? Old Bethpage Village Restoration on Long Island holds Candlelight Evenings each December. While most of the […]
William Atterbury, my namesake was born in England ca 1700-1710, and was a laborer living in London, somewhere in the area of St. James Church and Westminster Abbey. Around the end of 1731, or the beginning of 1732, William went bad, and was nicked stealing five yards of linsey woolsey – a cloth made from […]
Top: Medicine box beside Washington Irving’s deathbed When you’re touring a historic home museum, keep an eye out for the little details which speak volumes about the people who lived there. Sunnyside was the home of American author Washington Irving, who wrote most famously, the short stories The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and Rip Van […]
Nashville, Tennessee has been called the Athens of the South since the mid 19th century. In a part of the country which at the time, wasn’t renowned for educating its citizens, Nashville could boast not only a public school system, but several colleges and universities as well. By century’s end, Belmont University, Fisk University, Meharry Medical College, […]
We don’t give a lot of thought to our silverware, a part of our daily life our ancestors didn’t take for granted A quick history of spoons and status in colonial era Dutch and English New York, at Philipsburg Manor, Sleepy Hollow, New York
I’m no stranger to taverns, and if I lived in the days of colonial America, it’s a safe bet I’d be found in one of the colonial inns that still dot the east coast. In fact, you still can when I have a chance. In the century or so leading up to the Revolution, colonial taverns […]
I’m from the midwest, where for the most part, people are friendly. Outgoing even. If you meet a person outside in the dead of winter, you’re likely to find yourself standing out in the cold, talking about how cold it is. While visiting the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm Manor House in Newbury, Massachusetts, I found myself in a […]
Some things we took for granted, and among them was drying clothes on a clothes line. Certainly not the speediest method, but there’s a charm to the process that isn’t matched by a dryer. Time didn’t seem as pressing back then. People had patience. Our lives weren’t timed in fifteen minute increments. When you hang […]
The Old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts, was the site of the first real skirmish of the American Revolution. Earlier on the morning of April 19, 1775, British soldiers opened fire on a company of militia down the road in Lexington, but that hardly qualifies as a skirmish. The colonial militia at Lexington didn’t intend […]