thread: 2015-08-31 : This August Past
On 2015-09-01, River wrote:
If you're interested in local history, try looking at Wikipedia's National Register of Historic Places listings (by county). For example, check out this PDF from 1966, when Old Deerfield Village (the whole thing!) entered that historic registry. While a lot of the PDFs for Franklin County have not yet been digitized, in places like my hometown (in Kootenai County, Idaho) many more places have already been added to the database. States also seem to sport smaller databases, and local tribes might have written histories to read. Individual buildings, towns, sacred places, even giant trails can get added to these historic registers. Unfortunately, a lot of history is based on archival research: reading journals, looking at immigration manifests, official records, sometimes ethnographic research conducted through interviews... That requires a bunch of effort, and not many historians can do that on a local level. And those that do, might not interpret the data well. The stories crafted from those snippets of history we have might not be the truth, and there are often absent voices. Finally, anyone who does local history often has a stake in the claims made by that historical study, which complicates things even further.