Historical

McLemore House: A Step on Freedom's Ladder

Kathleen Walls

Franklin, Tennessee has a lot of stories to tell. Alma McLemore sat with me on the porch swing of McLemore House and told me some of that story. Alma's Porch Talks are famous around Franklin for telling about the town's African American history. Read more

Heart and Seoul in Gwinnett County

Eleanor Hendricks McDaniel

Gwinnett County is the most diverse county in Georgia. So much so that it voted for Stacy Abrams for governor. Only 30 miles from downtown Atlanta, it brings its own eclectic mix of international culture and cuisine, arts, music and more. Read more.

Westville: Something Old--Something New

Kathleen Walls

It's fun when something old gets refurbished to live again. But when that something gets a second rebirth it is really something unusual. This is happening now with Historic Westville.  You say you've never heard of Westville?  You will soon. It's quite a story. Read more.

The Real Cassadaga

Kathleen Walls

Cassadage Spiritualist Camp is one of the most unique places in Florida. It is possibly the most misunderstood as well.  So many people view mediums as charlatans at carnivals. Here you learn a completely different version. Read more

Oxford, MS Octet

Renee S. Gordon

Oxford, Mississippi, located in northern MS and the heart of the South, has a long and storied history that begins with the three great tribes, the Choctaw, Chickasaw and Natchez, that inhabited the region prior to European arrival in 1541. The land was meagerly populated until the end of the French and Indian War in 1763 and in 1798 Congress delineated the Mississippi Territory. The Chickasaw Indian Cession Treaty relocated the tribes in 1836 adding 6,283,804-acres to the territory, including what is now Oxford. Read more

Spring into Saint Augustine

Kathleen Walls

There’s a reason why USA Today counted St. Augustine among the top 10 travel destination in America last year and it was one of only three Florida cities included in TripAdvisor’s Top U.S. 25 Destinations in 2015. If you haven’t visited in a decade and remember a sleepy little town, you won’t recognize this new Oldest City. Read more

A Family Adventure in Cascais and Sintra, Portugal

Renée S. Gordon

Portugal is the primary destination for international visitors wishing to explore Europe. The country offers something for all ages from history, shopping and culinary adventures to beaches, hiking and panoramic views from castle walls. Portugal is a great value for the money, is the 4th safest country in the world and English is widely spoken, all things that make it ideal for families.  Read more

Charming Charleston

Renee S. Gordon

Travel + Leisure magazine, for the 6th year in a row, designated Charleston, SC the number one city in the US as well as the 10th best city worldwide. The city is a traveler’s dream with a complete range of dining experiences, entertainment venues, superior architecture, historic sites and blended cultures. The city was thriving years prior to the founding of the country and as one of the 13 original colonies the area has participated in every one of the nation’s pivotal historic events. Read more

Along the Hammock Coast:
St. Helena Island to Charlston, SC

By Renee S. Gordon

The majority of South Carolina’s 16 barrier Islands were formed during the Ice Age along with nearly 200-miles of Atlantic Ocean shoreline.  The Hammock Coast (HC), ...Read more

Fort Caroline: Where Jacksonville Began

Kathleen Walls

Jacksonville is fast making a mark on the tourism market. People come to see the art museums, like Cummer and Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). They visit TIAA Bank Field to see the Jaguars play football. Read More

Bountiful Beauford, SC

Renee S. Gordon

Beaufort, established in 1711, is the second oldest city in South Carolina and predates the founding of the US by sixty-five years. It is situated in the Lowcountry on Port Royal Island along the Atlantic shore.  Read more

Revolutionary War Field Days 
at Historic Camden

By Tom Straka

By 1778 the American Revolutionary War had stalemated, with the French joining the war to aid the Americans. With the northern campaign at an impasse, the British had decided on a southern strategy of focusing their efforts on the colonies of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.  Read more

 

Montréal Tech Trek

Renée S. Gordon

Jacques Cartier reached the island at the confluence of the Ottawa and St. Lawrence Rivers in October 1535 and became the first European to explore the area. A fortified indigenous village, Hochelaga, preexisted on the island and was described as having about 1,500 residents and 50 longhouses. The natives accompanied Cartier the crest of a small mountain on the island he named Mont Royal and from which Montréal gets its name. Read more.

 

Moorish Influences in Lisbon, Portugal 

Renée S. Gordon  

Portugal is the westernmost country in Europe and, along with Spain, makes up the Iberian Peninsula. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the south and west, with 500-miles of ocean coastline and is the approximate size of Maine. The country’s geography shaped its more than 800-year history and culture and continues to affect tourism. 
Read more 

A Portuguese Odyssey: 
Óbidos, Alcobaça, Batalha, Nazaré and Fatima
  

Renée S. Gordon

Lisbon is so filled with activities, fine cuisine and wines that it is difficult for visitors to tear themselves away from the city but I assure you there are wonders throughout the country.  Some of Portugal’s most historic sites and monuments, as well as unique experiences, are to be found within a day’s drive of Lisbon and the small cities and quaint villages provide glimpses into the heart of the country. You can opt to rent a vehicle or book a Gray Line tour to one or more of these destinations. Read more

 

Washington DC, America's Pulse

Renee S. Gordon

President George Washington surveyed and chose a location on the Potomac River to become the permanent site of the nation's capital and the 1790 Residence Act made his dream a reality. He commissioned Pierre L'Enfant to design the city. L'Enfant  tired for one-year then he abandoned the project taking his plans with him. Benjamin Banneker, a free African American, recreated those plans from memory so that the work could continue.  Read more

Asbury Park, New Jersey Rocks On!

Renee S. Gordon

The thing about Icons is that we somehow expect them to be arrested in time and evoke our feelings In the same way forever.  They do not disappoint and they certainly do not succumb to the lure of changing times.  This can prove daunting for artists, structures and, most of all, cities. Asbury Park, New Jersey has managed to strike the perfect balance between memory and modernization, retro and revitalization and is a wonderful destination for families, group or solo getaways, beach lovers and music aficionados.Read more

 

Turpentining in Georgia

Story by Tom Straka
Photos by Pat Straka

My spell checker tells me I have two suspicious words in the title. It has not heard of turpentining or a catface. Many of the readers can probably figure out what the former means, but I bet they don’t know what the latter is. There are lots of festivals across the country which provide a travel adventure immersed in local history and folk culture. The CatfaceTurpentine Festival held annually in early October in Portal, Georgia is one of those. Read more

Fort Ligioner

by Kathleen Walls     11-29-2018

Long before United States was born, there was a world war. It started in the American colonies and spread across Europe. There it was called the Seven Years' War.Read more

 

California Coast  Town and Gown College Tour

by Renee S. Gordon     11-29-2018

While academic programming may be considered the most important factor in selecting a college, also essential to success are both the campus and local culture. College tours are an excellent way to experience a slice...Read more

Saxonburg:
Best Pennsylvania Town You Never Heard of

by Kathleen Walls          11-29-2018

Saxonburg, Pennsylvania is a beautiful example of what one immigrant can do for this country. John Roebling and his brother, Carl, came here in 1832 to escape totalitarian conditions in Germany. 
.
read more

 

Hampton Four Centuries on the Bay

By Renee S. Gordon                     11-29-2018

At the end of August in 1619 the White Lionlanded at Old Point Comfort, in what is now Hampton, Virginia, and exchanged “20 and odd negroes” for food and supplies. These Angolan ... Read more

 

Western New York's Famed Corrider:
Buffalo to Niagara

By Renee S. Gordon        11-29-2018

The Buffalo-Niagara Corridor in Western New York has the distinction of having always been both a permanent sanctuary and a reliable embarkation point. Geography, accessibility to  the Falls and ... Read more

The Natural Bridge of Virginia

By Thomas Straka            9-1-2018

One of the best attractions along Interstate 81 is the Natural Bridge of Virginia. Early in the nation’s history, Hudson River School artists painted the landscapes of America’s most iconic natural scenes. These are the large landscapes that hang in the U.S. and state capitols. The Natural Bridge, Virginia, painted by Frederic Edwin Church, is one of them. That landscape is little-changed from 1852 when he painted it... Read more

America's Oldest Unsolved Mystery

By Kathleen Walls              9-1-2018

American's oldest mystery has never been solved.The story began with the settlement of Roanoke in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The prelude was the earlier all-male expeditions. The first led by Arthur Barlowe and Philip Amadas, in 1584 was more of an exploratory one.  Read more

Enchanted Mountains of New York

By Renee S. Gordon and Kathleen Walls          9-1-2018

Cattaraugus County New York is known as the Enchanted Mountains for good reason. It may be a lesser known destination but there is so much to see and do among those picturesque mountains you will be enchanted.Read More

Louisiana's Plantation Country River Road

by Renee S. Gordon            9-1-2018

No experience has so impacted the United States as profoundly and lastingly as the years of black enslavement from 1619 to the end of the Civil War. “The peculiar institution” remains a defining characteristic of who we were, are and will become as a nation. How do we align the events of the past with the view of ourselves that we are a country founded on the principles of liberty for all and malice toward none? Read more


Auburn: A Sanctuary City

 by Renee S. Gordon        9-1-2018


In 1793 when Revolutionary War veteran Colonel John Hardenbergh, the first documented white settler in the Finger Lakes area, arrived in the Auburn, NY region it was home of the Haudenosaunee and was called 
Ahskuby.” Read more

Charming Charleston

Renee S. Gordon

Travel + Leisure magazine, for the 6th year in a row, designated Charleston, SC the number one city in the US as well as the 10th best city worldwide. The city is a traveler’s dream with a complete range of dining experiences, entertainment venues, superior architecture, historic sites and blended cultures. The city was thriving years prior to the founding of the country and as one of the 13 original colonies the area has participated in every one of the nation’s pivotal historic events. Read more

Along the Hammock Coast:
St. Helena Island to Charlston, SC

By Renee S. Gordon

The majority of South Carolina’s 16 barrier Islands were formed during the Ice Age along with nearly 200-miles of Atlantic Ocean shoreline.  The Hammock Coast (HC), the region from Myrtle Beach to Charleston, includes the Gullah culture, quiet beaches, historic sites, fine dining and exquisite regional cuisine. From Beaufort you can set out on the 170-mile drive north into the state’s 493-year biography. Read more

Fort Caroline: Where Jacksonville Began

Kathleen Walls

Jacksonville is fast making a mark on the tourism market. People come to see the art museums, like Cummer and Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). They visit TIAA Bank Field to see the Jaguars play football. They ride the River Taxi from The Landing for a Sunset Cruise or over to see The Museum of Science & History (MOSH) but they often miss the original Jacksonville. Read More

Bountiful Beauford, SC

Renee S. Gordon

Beaufort, established in 1711, is the second oldest city in South Carolina and predates the founding of the US by sixty-five years. It is situated in the Lowcountry on Port Royal Island along the Atlantic shore. By virtue of its age and location it has been a participant and a witness to the events that shaped our country. To interpret those stories it offers seventy sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the largest Gullah community, an unparalleled number of architectural treasures. Read more

Revolutionary War Field Days
at Historic Camden

By Tom Straka

By 1778 the American Revolutionary War had stalemated, with the French joining the war to aid the Americans. With the northern campaign at an impasse, the British had decided on a southern strategy of focusing their efforts on the colonies of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.  Read more

A Portuguese Odyssey:
Óbidos, Alcobaça, Batalha, Nazaré and Fatima
  

Renée S. Gordon

Lisbon is so filled with activities, fine cuisine and wines that it is difficult for visitors to tear themselves away from the city but I assure you there are wonders throughout the country.  Some of Portugal’s most historic sites and monuments, as well as unique experiences, are to be found within a day’s drive of Lisbon and the small cities and quaint villages provide glimpses into the heart of the country. You can opt to rent a vehicle or book a Gray Line tour to one or more of these destinations. Read more

A Letter's Legacy

 

Kathleen Walls                            

Letter from the Birmingham
 Jail is one of the most notable documents from the Civil Rights movement. On a recent press trip to Birmingham I got to visit and appreciate these places in a whole new light. It's one thing to read about a place or see it on TV. It's an entire different matter when you walk in the footsteps of these folks. Read more


Stories from OregonTrail

Anne Jenkins

Stories from the Oregon Trail enthrall, terrify or impress with their perserverance and strong sense of hope. People from all walks of life packed up their belongings, loaded wagons and walked thousands of miles over months in search of a better life. Read more

Road Tripping Georgia's I-75 Corridor

Kathleen Walls

A road trip down Georgia’s I-75 from Tennessee to Florida offers lots of fun stops along the way. Navigating I-75 through Georgia can be a nightmare. Or it can be fun. The difference is in finding good food and interesting attractions with convenient stops en-route. Turpentining in Georgia

Turpintining in Georgia

Story by Tom Straka
Photos by Pat Straka

My spell checker tells me I have two suspicious words in the title. It has not heard of turpentining or a catface. Many of the readers can probably figure out what the former means, but I bet they don’t know what the latter is.  Read more

Cajun Food: A Way of Life in Lafayette

by Kathleen Walls

Food is an intricate part of Cajun culture. Café Vermillionville, (circa 1835) was built as an inn for salesmen in Lafayette then named Vermillionville. During a Union occupation during the Civil war supposedly a Cajun shot a Union soldier for making advances at the man's wife. Rumors claim the old build is still haunted by the soldier as well a young female ghost. Read more

Fort Ligonier

by Kathleen Walls

Long before United States was born, there was a world war. It started in the American colonies and spread across Europe. There it was called the Seven Years' War. We called it the French and Indian War. It's not mentioned much today in discussions about history but it launched the career of a man whose name everyone recognizes, George Washington.
Read more

California Coast  Town and Gown College Tour

by Renee S. Gordon

While academic programming may be considered the most important factor in selecting a college, also essential to success are both the campus and local culture.  Read more

 Saxonburg:
 Best Pennsylvania Town You Never Heard of

by Kathleen Walls

Saxonburg, Pennsylvania is a beautiful example of what one immigrant can do for this country. John Roebling and his brother, Carl, came here in 1832 to escape totalitarian conditions in Germany.They founded the town of Saxonburg .. .read more

From Slavery to Freedom

By Kathleen Walls 

Pittsburgh has so much history related to the Underground Railroad. Senator John Heinz History Center has an exhibit, From Slavery to Freedom, that tells the story well. They use the term “freedom seekers” or “runaway” instead of fugitive slaves. The exhibit begins with the slave trade. The image used in my header is the first one you see as you enter.. read more

History Lives at First Colony Inn

By Kathleen Walls 

First Colony Inn is the perfect place to immerse yourself in Outer Banks history while enjoying all the modern conveniences. Lost Colony Inn is not luxurious but it is comfortable and so welcoming. From the minute you step in and register you feel like you are home.

 
The Natural Bridge of Virginia

By Thomas Straka

One of the best attractions along Interstate 81 is the Natural Bridge of Virginia. Early in the nation’s history, Hudson River School artists painted the landscapes of America’s most iconic natural scenes. These are the large landscapes that hang in the U.S. and state capitols. The Natural Bridge, Virginia, painted by Frederic Edwin Church, is one of them. That landscape is little-changed from 1852 when he painted it... Read more

 America's Oldest Unsolved Mystery

By Kathleen Walls 

American's oldest mystery has never been solved.The story began with the settlement of Roanoke in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The prelude was the earlier all-male expeditions.  Read more

Enchanted Mountains of New York

By Renee S. Gordon and Kathleen Walls 

Cattaraugus County New York is known as the Enchanted Mountains for good reason. It may be a lesser known destination but there is so much to see and do among those picturesque mountains you will be enchanted.Read More

North Carolina's Newest Treasure: Carvers Creek State Park  

By Kathleen Walls 

It's always exciting to watch a new state park develop. North Carolina's newest is Carvers Creek State Park. It was authorized in 2005 and opened the first stage in September 2013. Park Superintend Jane Connolly, told us about the park's background. In the mid 1700s Scottish immigrants began moving into the area. Read more

Louisiana's Plantation Country River Roads

by Renee S. Gordon 

No experience has so impacted the United States as profoundly and lastingly as the years of black enslavement from 1619 to the end of the Civil War. “The peculiar institution” remains a defining characteristic of who we were, are and will become as a nation.  Read more

Delaware's Quaint Cities of Kent County

  by Renee S. Gordon


Delaware really is the most amazing state. It was the first of the original colonies to join the Union and is the second smallest state, a tiny jewel filled with history, mystery, quirky sites and a plethora of outdoor activities. The state consists of three counties. Read more      


 Auburn: A Sanctuary City

by Renee S. Gordon 


In 1793 when Revolutionary War veteran Colonel John Hardenbergh, the first documented white settler in the Finger Lakes area, arrived in the Auburn, NY region it was home of the Haudenosaunee and was called 
Ahskuby.” Read more

Mother Earth's Powerhouse: Niagara Falls

by Kathleen Walls

 There is nothing more beautiful than Mother Nature's most powerful places. Niagara Falls is one of those special places. I just returned from a visit there and was literally blown away. At the top of Cave of the Winds as I stood on Hurricane Deck I felt as if I was experiencing the most powerful storm.Read more


Wildwood Sanitarium: Do You Want to Spend The Night?  

By Kathleen Walls

Today the stately stone building in Salamanca, New York looks deserted and run down but just looking you feel that there is a strange history. You would be right.  Read more

 St. Simons: A Georgia Barrier Island Bursting With Charm

by Christine Tibbets

Barrier islands distinguish Georgia’s coast.Their geography’s   interesting to know, and to see up close. What’s happening on the one named St. Simons Island is robust, ever changing while holding on to historic charms. The tides here are distinctive; consider them metaphor for beachfront lodging, expansive culinary, bustling downtown and personal ways to delve into the history. Read more    
                  

 Fayetteville Can Bragg

  by Kathleen Walls    

 When it comes to the telling American war history, Fayetterville, North Carolina has bragging rights. Fort Bragg's 82d Airborne Division War Memorial Museum commemorates the sacrifices made by the 82 nd Airborne and Special Operation Troops in wars from WWII and ongoing today. There are even more veterans honored in the NC Veterans Park. Read more 

Oregon Trail

by Anne Jenkins  

Stories from the Oregon Trail enthrall, terrify or impress with their perserverance and strong sense of hope. People from all walks of life packed up their belongings, loaded wagons and walked thousands of miles over months in search of a better life. A great place to get an inkling of what it all entailed is at the National Oregon Trail Interpretive Center on the outskirts of Baker City in Easter Oregon. Read more 

Visiting Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station

by Kathleen Walls

Before the days of the Coast Guard guarding our shores to prevent shipwreck deaths, another facility was hard at work.  Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station fought to prevent drowning death in the Outer Banks since 1874. Their museum is one of the most complete U.S. Lifesaving Stations left in the country. The present station was constructed in 1911. It's located on Rodanthe. The name means shifting or sinking sand and considering its beach location that is so appropriate.Read More


Sleeping with Civil War History
 
By Eleanor Hendricks McDaniel
 
History buffs and those interested in America’s Civil War must travel to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the site of the most unforgettable and important military conflict of the war and President Abraham Lincoln’s most famous speech, “The Gettysburg Address.” Gettysburg National Military Park is mentioned in the book, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die in the USA and Canada. Read More

Living History at Conner Prairie

By Tom Straka
Photographs by Pat Straka    

Conner Prairie calls itself an interactive history park. I'd use the term living history museum. It is located just northeast of Indianapolis, is one of the largest attractions in the region, and one of the most-visited outdoor museums in the country.
Read more.


Hewn Timber Cabins Tell Florence History

By Kathleen Walls

Much has been told about the way enslaved people worked and interacted with the white owners in the old South. Little is known about their personal lives when their work was done and they went home. Did you ever wonder what was it like to live in a slave cabin in the 1830s and 40s? Read more

American's Colonial History at Historic Camden
 

By Kathleen Walls

 Camden is South Carolina’s oldest inland town. It witnessed many of the events leading to the birth of our country. The old town played host to Revolutionary notables including Nathanial Greene, Horatio Gates, Casmir Pulaski, Francis Marion, Thaddeus Kosciuszko, Light-Horse Harry Lee, Thomas Sumter, Marquis de Lafayette, Andrew Jackson, Johann de Kalb, and George Washington. It was an involuntary host to Lord Cornwallis and his British troops. Read more 

 Sojourn in Saint Augustine

by Jim DeLillo    

Whether young lovers or just young at heart, romance can undoubtedly be found at the dreamy Casa de Suenos in Florida’s historic city of St. Augustine.  The first impression of this cozy bed and breakfast is one of a sheltered haven from the hustle and bustle of larger towns, lodgings, and the interstate left far behind.  From wherever you may have come, the pastel yellow stucco welcomes you in the warmth that is echoed within by its soft colonial decor. Read more


Georgia's Footsteps of MLK

by Renee S. Gordon


April 4, 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee. The single shot did not erase the legacy of the dreamer or the end of the dream. Although he traveled worldwide Georgia was his home and Georgia has embraced him as its most honored native son. Visitors can trace his physical life from birth to burial, his philosophical and ideological stances  Read more

Always Unique Clearwater, Florida

By Renee S. Gordon

In 1528 Spanish explorer Panfilo de Narvaez came to Pinellas peninsula and probably stepped ashore in Clear Water harbor, named for the now nonexistent springs, in the bay. He encount-ered Tocobaga Indians who inhabited the area for thousands of years, a maritime culture whose villages lined the shore. By the early 1700s the tribe was virtually wiped out by European diseases and Spanish brutality. Narvaez was accompanied by black explorers including Estevanico. Read more.

Mississippi Blues Trail Highway 61 Redux

by Renee S. Gordon

The history of the Delta, the triangular floodplain that lies between the Yazoo and Mississippi rivers, has long been noted as some of America's most fertile land and it was home to Native Americans for more than 1300-years before Columbus. The French, the first European settlers, began importing slaves from Africa in 1720. They attempted to grow various crops but by the end of the 1700s cotton...Read more

 
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela's 2018 Centenary Celebration:


Renee S. Gordon


Nelson Mandela, widely referred to by a tribal honorific, Madiba, would have been 100 years old this year. South Africa, and the world, has taken this opportunity to commemorate his life and legacy Read more. 


Pews and Pulpits Ramble
 
by Christine Tibbets

Some hold Sunday services. Some only special events now and then. 
But several dozen historic southern churches share their stories of resilience in personal, up-close ways on lively tours called the Pews and Pulpits Ramble. Happens twice a year. Read more.


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