Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The History around You

Naomi Rawlings here today, and I'm wondering if you've ever paused to consider the history around you?


Every area has history, the town where you grew up, the place where you currently live, and even the spot on the map where your parents or grandparents were raised. 

Growing up, you were busy going to school, playing, learning to drive, and having your first date. You might not have paid too much attention to the history surrounding you (except for a boring class period or two where your history teacher touched on local history). But everywhere has a history--including your home town. Sometimes you just have to go digging for it.

Your current town or county likely has a historical society and possibly even a small museum about the area's history. And archives (often located in the same building as the local library) are filled with old newspaper clippings, government documents, and even some handwritten notes.

So who first settled the area where you live? Why was it settled?



I live in northern Michigan near Lake Superior, and Native Americans were very active in our region, mining copper. That same copper then brought European settlers to the area in the mid 1800s as mines grew bigger and became more industrialized. The largest mass of copper ever to be discovered was pulled off the river that runs through my home town. The copper mass is currently at the Smithsonian, though no longer on display. Furthermore, the region where I live supplied almost all the copper that the Union Army used during the Civil War.


So my town has a lot of interesting local history, but I bet your town has a story that's equally as interesting. Have you visited any local historical sites? I'd be thrilled if you shared some of your local history in the comments below.
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A mother of two young boys, Naomi Rawlings spends her days picking up, cleaning, playing and, of course, writing. Her husband pastors a small church in Michigan’s rugged Upper Peninsula, where her family shares its ten wooded acres with black bears, wolves, coyotes, deer and bald eagles. Naomi and her family live only three miles from Lake Superior, where the scenery is beautiful and they average 200 inches of snow per winter, and she is looking forward to the release of her next book, The Wyoming Heir in January 2014. For more information about Naomi, please visit her website at www.NaomiRawlings.com.

11 comments:

Christine Johnson said...

Hi Naomi from a fellow Michigander! Like many lower peninsula towns, the one I live in now was founded on the lumber industry. Logs were floated down the river and then put through sawmills and loaded on ships. Several years ago, the city rebuilt the streets near the harbor. When I looked in the holes, I saw logs and sawdust from over a century before. The whole area had been filled with leftovers from the timber industry!

Merrillee said...

The town where we used to live in Florida had a lot of fascinating history. Out here in Arizona we recently visited Tombstone. I have no idea how people lived in these climates without air conditioning. :)

Pamela Tracy said...

I'm in Arizona, too. Believe it or not, it didn't use to be so hot. Oh, it was hot mind you, but as more people moved into the area they cut down trees (no shade), put in roads (roads that acted as magnets keeping the heat low longer) and such. I live just two miles from the Indian reservation. AZ's history is so new that I live in the historic district. My house was built in 1958.

Karen Kirst said...

Cool post, Naomi! It sounds like you have a lot of same wildlife as we have here in East Tennessee. I live near the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, so there are tons of historical sites to tour. Makes research easy. Have you based any of your books in your hometown?

Christina said...

So true! I just picked up a book in a village shop in my area that the shop merchants put together. A fascinating history of the village. The wheels are turning and I'm thinking with a little research I might have a great novel idea to start working on.

Naomi Rawlings said...

Oh goodness everyone. I apologize for being so late. I completely forgot I had a post scheduled for today. I'm so sorry!

Anyway, it's fascinating to hear all the local history, especially that which has been compiled by merchants or people with deep roots in a certain area.

Naomi Rawlings said...

Oh my, Merrillee and Pamela, it's hard for me to imagine Arizona heat even with air conditioning. I totally can't imagine living without it!

Naomi Rawlings said...

Have any of you ladies ever wondered how those southern belles on the huge plantations in Louisiana and Mississippi managed to where all those layers of dresses and petticoats? I think that explains a lot about why women were so prone to fainting!

Lyn Cote said...

You should stop by when you're on HWY 51 sometime
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Optimistic Existentialist said...

Hi Naomi!! The town that I grew up in has a lot of fascinating history as well. After reading this, I want to appreciate it more :)

Jean C. Gordon said...

The township we life in was founded by the Dutch. Originally part of the Stephen Van Rensselaer patten, it was settled in the mid-1600s. Our house, which was built in the early 1800s, is not on any historic registry. Too "new." :)