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Thread: Living Around History

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Living Around History

    I always thought it was cool to visit or see places where significant moments in history occured. For instance I visited Gettysburg, PA a few years ago and surveyed the famous civil war battlefield. I stood on little round top and tried to visualize where I thought Col. Chamberlain might have stood.

    It seems there are a few places in the US where you can go to see where historical events unfolded but they tend to increase in frequency the further east you travel. Theres really not much here in Michigan and the reason is clearly bcause we're a young country. I wonder what it would be like to live in Turkey, Egypt, Italy or some other place where you can hardly take a dump without going somewhere that Diocletian, Byron or Napolean went.

    I'm curious if anyone lives really close to an historical location and if so does the whole historical thing lose its charm very quickly? Or does it deepen one's appreciation of history?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Cirrus's avatar
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    Doesn't ever lose its charm.

  3. #3
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Well, I live in Oak Park, IL which was the first home of practicing Frank Lloyd Wright. I have riding my bike past his home and studio in the north central part of the village. You can stand there and see the the process of him refining his architectural style/philosophy just in the multiple additions to his home. Plus, you can walk around the block and see several of this residential designs. Since FLW is considered to be the greatest 20th century US architect, I think this location counts for someting.

    Go downtown Chicago and you can stand on a porition of the footprint of the first Fort Dearborn where Cheif Balckhawk started the 1817? Dearborn massacre of the soldiers/residents.

    Go the far southwest side of the City (actually in the City of Cicero) and stand at the Chicago Portage where LaSalle and Fr. Marquette started their 2 mile portage from the Des Plaines river to the South Branch of the Chicago river and subsequently the "discovery" of the future site of one of the greatest cities in North America.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Boru's avatar
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    I live in an area of Dublin called Clontarf. In 1014 the Battle of Clontarf occurred. Ireland had been partly occupied by those nasty nordic brutes, the Vikings since about the 7th century. They settled in various spots around the country and started up the first Irish Cities (Waterford and Dublin). After about 300 years of being pushed about the place like 90 pound weaklings on the beach, the native Irish (the Gaels) finally amassed an army strong enough to fight the Viking King Sitric Silkenbeard. Sitric had got whiff of the march of the Irish Armies on Dublin and summoned help from all over the Viking world (the cold and inhospitable parts of the then known world).

    The Irish, led by King Brian Boru (hence my moniker) fought the Vikings back into the sea, and ended Viking occupation of Ireland (Brian was beheaded by a berserker who broke into his tent near the end of the battle). After that the remaining Vikings intermarried with the Irish lassies, until you couldnt tell the difference between them. There used to be regular finds of bodies and mass graves at the begining of the last century when Clontarf and the surrounding areas were being developed, but not any more. The area is now enclosed by the rest of the city, and nothing remains which would signify that the largest battle to occur on Irish soil took place there.

    I never managed to stumble on any viking swords, no matter how much digging I did with my bucket and spade on the beach as a child.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    Having lived in various parts of Va the feeling of history has never warn off. Some areas it hits you more than others but every time I crest a hill and see Washington or Arlington etc I still catch my breath in awe of the history.

    I lived along the Panama' Canal for a few years and that never got old as well. The sheer size, manpower and suffering were always there.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  6. #6
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
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    Before I moved to Maryland 8 years ago, I never knew how close a lot of the famous Civil Wars battlegrounds are. Antietam, Gettysburg and Bull Run are all within an 1 to 1.5 hours away. In junior high, I thought the Battle of Bull Run had a stampede involved in it some way. I didn't know that Bull Run was a creek. I guess that's just regional vernacular.

    Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner 3 miles from my house at Ft. McHenry. F.Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby around the corner from my old apt.

    In southwest Baltimore near the B&O Railroad Museum is the birthplace of American railroading.
    I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
    is urging me to be myself but never follow someone else
    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

  7. #7
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Remember the Alamo!!!

    It seemed like every year in elementary school we would load up on a bus for a field trip to San Antonio to see the Alamo. If I have to take friends and relatives to the Alamo one more time, so help me...

    It has to be one of the most commercialized historical sites in the U.S.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    I think one of my favorite memories of all time was going to Independence Hall in Philly. We were there on a day when it wasn't crowded and you could stand there in absolute silence and bring it all in. In fact, that whole trip to Philly was filled with moments like that (sitting in the White Chapel is that the name? comes to mind.)

    I have had similar moments at some of the Anasazi ruins in the four corners area. Or at Little Big Horn.

    Historical locations close to me:
    Joe Hill was executed about 1/2 mile from where I live. Joe Hill was a labor leader in the early 1900's who came to UT for some rally, and was convicted of killing a store owner anda clerk. Most people believe he was framed.

    This Is The Place Monument is about 2 miles from my house, where Brigham Young declared the SL Valley to be the mormon stopping place.
    Last edited by cololi; 08 Aug 2005 at 2:39 PM.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    One of my favorite places in Chicago is Haymarket Square, where the clash between laborers and the police that is now remembered in virtually every country in the world except the United States occured in May of 1886.

  10. #10
    I used to work along Boston's Freedom trail - on a particularly narrow sidewalk stretch. I used to get annoyed when a family would stand in the middle of the sidewalk debating whether to eat or buy film while I was rushing off to a meeting. But most of the time it was kind of nice to walk around places where other folks walked around 200+ years before.

    I live on a historic park where Coretta Scott King once lived across the street and Martin Luther King lived a couple blocks down. Malcolm X lived in multiple buildings in the neighborhood. Its beautiful and not touristy, so its a fantastic place to live.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Boru's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    One of my favorite places in Chicago is Haymarket Square, where the clash between laborers and the police that is now remembered in virtually every country in the world except the United States occured in May of 1886.
    The whole 1st of may being "Mayday" and a day of celebration of workers. Did that start there?

  12. #12
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Boru
    The whole 1st of may being "Mayday" and a day of celebration of workers. Did that start there?
    To an extent. May Day had been celebrated (with unrest) for a few years prior to the Haymarket. The Haymarket occured on May 4th and was a culumination of strikes and unrest in the city that began on May 1st of that year.

    After 1886, May Day took on new meaning, especially as the executed labor leaders were held up as martyrs. This lead to the supression of May Day in the United States and the adoption of it in the rest of the world as the day to celebrate labor.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    I think the most significant one near me that I can think of is the famous chase and shootout between Chicago gangster Baby Face Nelson and FBI Agents on Northwest Highway near Barrington, IL. It occurred in the 1930s, and nearly everyone involved in the chase and shootout died.

    Here's a summary of the case by the FBI:
    http://www.fbi.gov/libref/historic/f...e/babyface.htm
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
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  14. #14
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    I'm curious if anyone lives really close to an historical location and if so does the whole historical thing lose its charm very quickly? Or does it deepen one's appreciation of history?
    I think it depends on the person, and your own interest in history, as to whether the particular historic location matters to you.

    For instance, I'm very intrigued by anything that has to do with my own family history. The areas where my first ancestors came to the US, places they lived, things they might have seen are way cool to me. An now that I'm in Europe, I get most excited about visiting regions that I have ancestral ties to. But in an area where 500-plus year old churches and castles abound, the novelty of that does wear off after a while. And I don't know a whole lot about the history of the region I live in, only that no "major" things (i.e. covered in a general European history overview) happened here. On the other hand, living within a community whose street patterns, institutions, etc. have a long history does have a special feeling if you tune in to it.

    When I lived in eastern Pennsylvania, I loved all the old stone farmhouses, the stories of the founding fathers that lived in them, "slept there", etc. Not being a native of the region, and having a special interest in architecture, I had an appreciation for how unusual and unique that landscape is. I got a kick out of tracing the ownership of my property back to the land grant at the local register of deeds. On the other hand, many long-time residents just valued the farm properties for their future development potential...

  15. #15
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    We all live in a place of historic significance but each of us have a different idea of what is and is not significant. Personally, I love historic downtowns and neighborhoods that are well maintained, interactive, and providing for pedestrian interaction. Kalamazoo is a great example of that, but there are many places that are much older that are not thought of as historic.

    I guess as the idea of what is significant changes, the feeling of being there may also change. Reading is a good example. George Washington stayed there, it was the home of the Reading Railroad, and is over 250 years old. I loved being there until I realized how the city truly was, then I just wanted to get out.
    You get what you give.

  16. #16
         
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    Lewis and Clark were here, there are historical markers all over the area.
    Daniel Boon lived here as well.
    I appreciate and am extremely interested in it, however the different views the citizens have on its significance makes my job unbearable sometimes...
    I do enjoy studying and learning why buildings were constructed certain ways due to the history of the area....

  17. #17
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    I live about a half of a mile from where Henry Ford went to school as a boy, back when the neighborhood I am in was farms. There is quite a bit of Ford history spots in my area including his mansion, the mansion of his 'other wife', his museum and his village.

    Oh and I am also close to the spot (Ritz Carleton) where Tom Arnold married his second wife after he divorced Roseanne Barr, how is that for history?????

  18. #18
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    Oh and I am also close to the spot (Ritz Carleton) where Tom Arnold married his second wife after he divorced Roseanne Barr, how is that for history?????
    Must make it difficult to concentrate on much else knowing that one is so close to a world shaping historical event.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
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    Hummm I live in what used to be a few hundred (or so) years ago, the estate of one of our war hero's Grandfather....that must have been around the early 19th century... and well none of that exists now... (you can barely see buildings from the early 20th century now...)

    Earthquakes and high land values destroy history

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    There's only a lot of history where I am if you're into Disney...

  21. #21

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    I am fortunate enough to live in a place called Cromford. Cromford is a small village in the county of Derbyshire, England. The village is also within the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.



    Here is a very brief history of Cromford from fairly modern times, but also explains why the site is a world heritage site. In 1771 Richard Arkwright came to Cromford, whose inhabitants were dependent upon agriculture and the mining and smelting of lead. Arkwright had developed a mechanical spinning machine which he put into production in a mill in Nottingham. The machinery was driven by horse power, but Arkwright wanted a more efficient means of power and he found it in Cromford. There was a constant supply of water - Bonsall Brook and Cromford Sough - which was said never to dry up or freeze. Arkwright and his partners signed a lease to land and water rights, and by December the first water-powered mill in the world was practically complete.

    The first mill constructed was 5 storeys high and the machinery was driven night and day. About 200 people worked there in 12 hour shifts, spinning at night and carding, combing etc in the day. Arkwright now started to mechanise other parts of the process in order to keep pace with the spinning. On 16 December 1775 he took out a patent covering ten machines, including machines for carding and cleaning the cotton.

    1776 saw the completion of Richard Arkwright's second cotton mill of seven storeys, and to celebrate he held a festival for his work people. About 500 of them paraded around the village led by a band, returning to the mill for cakes and ale. This became an annual event.

    In 1776/1777 North Street, Cromford was built to house mill workers, being named after the Prime Minister, Lord North. It was the first planned industrial housing in Derbyshire, with two rows of gritstone 3-storied houses with a living room and bedroom. There were framework knitting looms in the top floor which were used to make the yarn from the mills into fabric. Similar houses were then built elsewhere in the village.

    In 1778 Arkwright built the Greyhound Hotel, originally named the Black Dog, to cater for businessmen and his many visitors. The mill site was continually being expanded with the building of warehouses, workshops, offices and a house for the mill manager. He improved the water supply, constructing a series of reservoirs along the course of the Bonsall brook, and separating Cromford Sough along an aqueduct to power a larger waterwheel.

    Arkwrights next mill, Masson Mill was opened in 1784, a short distance away from the main mill site. It was built of red brick and was the only one of the Cromford mills to be powered by the River Derwent. Arkwright had achieved commercial success and built up a personal fortune. In 1786 he was knighted for his work in the cotton industry, and in 1787 he was appointed High Sheriff of Derbyshire.

    In 20 years Arkwright had created a new Cromford. The old corn mill and lead smelting works near Cromford Bridge were destroyed by the new developments.

    John Byng wrote on visiting Cromford in 1790:
    "Below Matlock a new creation of Sir Richard Arkwright is started up, which has crowded the village of Cromford with cottages supported by his three magnificent cotton mills. . . . Every rural sound is sunk in the clamours of cotton works, and the simplest peasant is changed into the impudent mechanic."

    One can only guess at what the original inhabitants thought about it all.

    It's a fantastic place to live, with all the local history surrounded by breathtaking scenary. When I get round to it I shall post a small tour of the village with pictures.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    I used to live were Abraham Lincoln was born and spent the first 8 years of his life. There is a small national park there which is kinda neat. Currently, I live near a site where one of the few Native American mounds are. There's a small state park around the site.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  23. #23
    Cyburbian DecaturHawk's avatar
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    I live in a house which will someday be memorialized as the home of an American President, a Nobel prize winner, a Grammy Award winning vocalist, a great American novelist, and their loving parents. History is being made here.
    SOME say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice.
    From what I’ve tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate
    To know that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice.

    Robert Frost (1874–1963) (From Harper’s Magazine, December 1920.)

  24. #24
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    When I lived in Ketchikan, AK, the historic district was Creek Street. Built largely along and over Ketchikan Creek, it was in its heyday where the fishermen, miners, and lumbermen went to recreate. "Creek Street - Where Men and Salmon Come to Spawn." was the motto. Dolly's was the must-see attraction. The woman who owned the building would dress in period hussy garb. Sort of amusing to see her riding home on the bus in full regalia.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  25. #25
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by otterpop
    "dress in period hussy garb."
    Off-topic:
    You don't own a copyright on that phrase do you? LOL! I have got to incorporate this phrase into my conversation somehow today!!!! Such comic genius - juxtaposing the low (hussy) with the high (garb). It's inevitable that some designer is going to eventually come out with the 'hussy garb' line. Probably go over big time with the Britney Spears worshipping set.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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