Guest Author - Rebecca Graf
When one thinks of history, thoughts of places like Philadelphia, Boston, London, or Rome come to mind. Sadly, history that is right in your own backyard gets ignored. Your local history can be very colorful and part of the larger picture and you donít even know. You need to discover your local history.
Where do You Start?
It is funny how hard it is to know where history is in your own hometown. You grow up so used to it that you never think about it. In fact, you have no idea where to start. Itís easy as can be. Start with your local Chamber of Commerce and your local library.
Chamber of Commerce
Most towns have a Chamber of Commerce. They have the pulse of all businesses in town. That includes nonprofit organizations and material for visitors and people new to the community. They will have maps, tourist guides, and even information on where to find more historical information.
This probably is your best bet to finding out local history. They will have books, pamphlets, newspapers, and so much more. The local librarian will be able to tell you places to visit off the beaten path that you will find so interesting. You might even be shocked at how colorful your local history really is.
Make an Adventure Out of It
When it comes to discovering local history, make an adventure out of it. Turn it into a scavenger hunt or a picnic. You can even kill two birds with one stone and research your genealogy while you are doing it.
Pretend you are tourists for the day. See how visitors see your hometown. If you live in a big city, you have probably thousands of things to see that you never even knew was there. If you live in a small town, you pass by historical markers that you never read.
Find the local ghosts. With all these tales come local history. It might be the most fun you family has all year. Make it a regular event and move further out from home. Youíll discover amazing cemeteries, historical homes, tales of ghosts and mischief, and stand where famous people once stood.
I lived near the place where the Second Great Awakening began and never knew it. I was born there and visited many times. Never did my mother tell me that the cemetery we visited was where the meeting house was located. I was studying the history in my own backyard and didnít know it.
Explore your hometown and find local history that is amazing and exciting.