Category Archives: 17th century

America’s worst naval disaster?

Imagine a quintessential Maine seacoast town. What does it look like? Shaded streets, white buildings, a green in the middle? Many Maine coastal villages have these features, but few boast such a fascinating history as Castine. Situated on a narrow … Continue reading

Posted in 17th century, 18th century, American Revolution, city/town, fort, military | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Paddling in a birchbark canoe

I’ve been going to Maine annually for a number of years, going back to a rental house on the water and enjoying the beauty of Mount Desert Island. Most people visit Acadia National Park for the scenery, unrivaled on the … Continue reading

Posted in 17th century, 19th century, 20th century, art and culture, national park, Native American, pre-America, tourism, transportation | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A whalebone sidewalk and more

While perhaps best known for its spectacular aquarium, its otters and Cannery Row, Monterey, California has a fascinating history that illustrates the turmoil of shifting power over many years. Monterey was the capital of the region of Alta California under both … Continue reading

Posted in 16th century, 17th century, 18th century, 19th century, city/town, International, religion, West | 4 Comments

Jamestown’s foothold in the New World

The three ships look surprisingly small for an ocean voyage. Even smaller when you consider that 104 passengers were crammed into them for five months. Reproductions of the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery sit at anchor in a cove of the James … Continue reading

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A little known monument in east London

In London, directly across the Thames River from the O2 arena sits a rather obscure memorial, lost among the high rise apartment buildings surrounding it. A passerby might think it’s a modern sculpture of sorts. It’s a pile of gray … Continue reading

Posted in 17th century, exploration, International, pre-America | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Boston favorites

I just returned from Boston and once again enjoyed walking miles through the neighborhoods. It is truly one of America’s great walkable cities. I took a guided walking tour of historic Beacon Hill and no surprise, ended up on the … Continue reading

Posted in 17th century, 18th century, 19th century, American Revolution, art and culture, cemetery/grave, national park, religion | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Washington Square in Philly

I would venture a guess that most people outside of Philadelphia have never heard of Washington Square, a 6.4 acre park sitting diagonal on the city grid from Independence Hall, birthplace of the United States.  This vast grassy park is … Continue reading

Posted in 17th century, 18th century, 19th century, American Revolution, cemetery/grave, city/town, national park, President | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Conflicting thoughts about Plymouth

It’s Thanksgiving in America and our thoughts turn to Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, or Virginia or wherever it really happened. I think Virginia and Massachusetts are still arguing that one. In any case, I visited Plymouth, Massachusetts … Continue reading

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Forget the witches – Salem, MA

I first visited Salem, Massachusetts several years ago. All of the guidebooks warned that it was a commercial mess, focused on the witches in American history, specifically the Salem witch trials of 1692. Admittedly, I had absolutely no interest in … Continue reading

Posted in 17th century, 18th century, 19th century, city/town, house, national park, transportation | 2 Comments

Nahant, a New England paradise

Nothing beats a personal tour of someone’s neighborhood. For a while my friend had been inviting me to visit his slice of paradise, an idyllic New England peninsula with Atlantic Ocean on one side and miniature Boston skyline across the … Continue reading

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