Some of the most interesting things for RV’ers to experience on the road are the many events held all around the country dealing with American history.
I have toured many battle sites for instance; from the Boston Tea Party and Bunker Hill in Charlestown, to Lexington and Concord. Places that help us remember the price of freedom, like Fort McHenry and Fort Sumter, or the many battlefields of the Civil War. Places of infamy such as Andersonville, and sites dipicting the Trail of Tears, when the Cherokee Nation was forced into the West. Little Big Horn. We celebrate great victories in Yorktown and Washington’s raid across the Delaware.There are docked naval vessels of all conflicts, from the Constitution (Old Ironsides) to the Nautilus atomic submarine.
All across the United States, whether your family were Confederate sympathizers or Yankee die-hards, there is a panoply of history in myriad locations, in every state; places and things that interest most of us.
Old west mines and ghost towns like Virginia City, Nevada, Deadwood, South Dakota and Langtry,Texas where Judge Roy Bean dispensed the law west of the Pecos River. Wherever you travel there is something to remind you of the way things were, and often how far we have (or have not) progressed.
Museums abound in all parts of our nation that memorialize the progress of our industries, our arts and all aspects of our culture. The struggle for equanimity, for civil rights….you name it. Every sojourn in your RV can find you in a place of rich enlightenment for the whole family. The privilege of being able to bring your kids to the actual places is something we, with recreational vehicles don’t think of as a luxury…but it IS truly that!
This week found me in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, where their second annual Living History Event took place on Saturday and Sunday. At four distinct sites around this town, which dates back to 1735 and is located north of Manchester and west of the capitol city of Concord, volunteers and townspeople remembered the 14th president Franklin Pierce, who was born here. There was a French and Indian war re-enactment and encampment true to the ways and customs of that time. A mounted cavalry performed a Civil War drill. The old center of Hillsboro (as it is often now known, thanks to the U.S.Postal Service) boasts an old schoolhouse, historic architecture, an old cemetery, and a work shop operated by a second- generation pewterer of great skill. His facility is like stepping back to another time in many ways, as well. Downtown, in the section once known as Hillsboro Bridge (There were mills along the Contoocook River), stands an old firehouse which has been converted to a Heritage Museum, with artifacts from the town’s colorful history, including theater screens from the old movie house. Incidently, this town was also the birthplace of B.F. Keith, who built theaters across the country, and with his partner E.F.Albee, presented the country’s first moving pictures at their Bijou Theater in Boston. They went on to become the fathers of vaudeville, which captivated the American audience for fifty years (and until Ed Sullivan). They took over the Orpheum chain of ornate theaters and vaudeville circuit, and later, with Radio Pictures, became RKO (Radio/Keith/Orpheum). For many, Hillsborough is most famous for it’s stone arch bridges. Both single and double arches! There are six in all, along Beard Brook and the Contoocook River (one is submerged, but still intact),all built originally without mortar.
Lots of activities for young and old marked this wonderful two days in just another New England town (but……NOT just any other….for so many) !