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Subject: Living With History in your Backyard rss

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Lewis Goldberg
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After writing an email to someone in which I mentioned the Lewis & Clark Trail, it occurred to me that likely many other folks here in Chit Chat live in locales of historic note.

The below pic is just a couple of miles up the road from our little town, which is today situated on the Osage River just west of the confluence with the Missouri, but in Lewis & Clark's day was on the Missouri. The confluence moved east since then.

So what do you have close by?

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Wendell
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A few miles away is Huffman Prairie flying field, where Wilbur and Orville Wright perfected the first practical airplane.
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Walt
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Related to the Wright Bros., many, many WWII warplanes were created and built in Los Angeles, San Diego, and/or tested in what is now Edwards Air Force Base, including the P-51 Mustang:

The oldest settlement close that I'm aware of, still standing, is Mission San Juan Capistrano, founded October 30, 1775:

Not counting, of course, Native Americans, some of whom were visited by Polynesians.

Nearby is Dana Point, where Richard Henry Dana Jr. came; he later wrote Two Years Before the Mast, 1834-6, about his experiences in the coast-to-coast trade (via Cape Horn, S. of South America) before the Transcontinental Railroad.
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TonyKR
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When I lived in DC I cycled/camped along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal. It's about 180 miles long and goes through some beautiful scenery, especially around the Great Falls area of the Potomac. One of the really cool features about the canal are the 75 locks, which were used to raise and lower the boats for the next section of the canal. On the DC end where the canal runs into the Potomac is Lock 0, or as it was sometimes known, the "water gate." Here's a picture (ignore the hotel in the background):

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Justin Case
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My area is absolutely dripping with history, but the most history at the shortest distance would be the battleground memorial park where the Battle of Guilford Courthouse was fought in the Revolutionary War.



It's across town from me now (though Greensboro is a rather small city, to be honest), but for several years I lived almost adjacent to the park, more or less in what was the British camp or staging area before the battle.

The British narrowly won the battle that day, but it was a pyrrhic victory to be sure, as Lord Cornwallis lost 1/4 of his army, was forced to abandon his Southern Campaign and withdraw to the coast and then out of the Carolinas entirely, and surrendered in Yorktown (where I lived when I was a teenager) only seven months later.

cool

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Chuck Meeks
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Where I grew up in Glenrock, Wyoming you could throw a rock from our front porch and hit the wagon ruts from the Oregon Trail. Glenrock was also one of the Pony Express stops.
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Justin Case
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wifwendell wrote:
A few miles away is Huffman Prairie flying field, where Wilbur and Orville Wright perfected the first practical airplane.

Are you a Wright Brothers fan? My favorite place to vacation is just a few miles from Kitty Hawk.
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lgoldberg wrote:


So what do you have close by?



Right up the road from where I live used to be the house they filmed the Texas Chainsaw massacre.
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On Cornwallis.

After the war he oversaw the putting down of 1798 rebellion in Ireland. One of my ancestors was arrested as a suspected rebel and sent out to Australia with a bunch of others. After doing his time he settled in a locality northwest of the Sydney. The name? Cornwallis. I have wondered how he felt about that.

It's not near me, really, (about an hour drive maybe) but there's a creek a stones throw away from me - any run off from my yard would go into it - which flows into a river which snakes down and flows into another river, which then wends past "Cornwallis".
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kSwingrÜber
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I live very near the spot where Lewis & Clark encountered the Cathlapotles, AND it's also the birth place of U-Haul.

Of some historical (foot) note, but really not much to see...
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Harmonica
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Vincent van Gogh has learnt to draw here and in May 1940 a main German advance column came through.



On the back of the fotographer is the bridge over the Wilhelmina Canal, which has been blown up. Towers of the Koningshoeven monastry can be seen, where Trappist Beer is brewn.

Addition:
This place is 2 kilometers from my appartment. I regularly pass by on bike and the place more or less looks the same. The trees on the right have grown up. The sett road has been replaced by asphalt concrete. By the shadow of the poles I can see it is about 3:00 PM.

This photo has been found in German war archives some 5 years ago. It is special because it is in ... color.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Used to live in just outside Canterbury in the same village as a pub mentioned in The Canterbury tales.

as to where I live now no more then anywhere else.

A few miles form where a Zeppelin was shot down (and come to that WW2 bombers) an RAF station (And an RFC station the great war). I also live a few miles from an ancient battlefield (in this case Ashingdon).
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Edward Sexby
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MWChapel wrote:


Right up the road from where I live used to be the house they filmed the Texas Chainsaw massacre.


Sweet! I'm about two miles due north from the old docklands and Silverton, which Kubrick transformed into Hue City when filming Full Metal Jacket.

Living in London, I'm surrounded by history, but a few bits relating to my Ends (as a young person might say) - N.17, Tottenham - include:

The roads. The High Street, the A 10, is an old Roman road, going up to Cambridge. It was the junction to another Roman road going out towards Colchester and Essex. As such, Boudica led her Iceni Insurgents through here, on the way to pillage and burn the Roman city. Centuries later, Fairfax led the New Model Army in the other direction, on their way to put down the Royalist risings, in Essex, during the Second Civil War.

I live near to Bruce Grove park, named after the castle and manor house belonging to the Bruce family, as in the Scottish king, Robert The Bruce.

Finally, down the end of our old street, about a mile south towards Tottenham Hale and near the present day Redemption brewery, was the site of one of the "Tottenham Outrages", where, a few years before the outbreak of W.W.I, a Russian Anarchist shot and killed a couple of cops, thus sparking a nationwide moral panic and some pretty harsh repression, aimed at the local Jewish and Irish communities. The whole thing culminated in the Siege Of Sydney Street, where the Met cornered some of the culprits and the then Home Secretary, Winston Churchill, was famously pictured loading a shotgun in preparation for an assault on the house.
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It's funny the connections you can make.

My grandfathers brother was killed in may 1940, I'm not sure exactly where but he was from not too far away from where that photograph was taken.

And I lived a few miles up the A10 from Edward for a short time.
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Steve Vondra
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Charlottesville, VA. - Jefferson's Monticello is just south of town, his next door neighbor was James Monroe (although not as close as you would think, these were big plantations) and in the next county is James Madison's Montpelier plantation home. If you travel about twenty min. there's the the Wilderness Battlefield, and the Shenandoah Valley (Jackson's Valley Campaign - 1862) is just over the mountain.

It's Virginia, you can't throw a rock without hitting a Civil War Battleground. There's even a small display in a shopping center celebrating a small cavalry raid called the "Battle of Rio Hill" which happened where the shopping center is now. I like to picture the Yankees storming the Kroger!


edit: Was I thinking of the grocery store when I mistyped "Yamkees"?
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Christopher Dearlove
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I live in Britain, England to be more precise. History is everywhere. The city I live in goes back to Roman times, but I don't know anything significant left from then. For that you need to go a few miles down the road to a first century Roman town, some walls still surviving, and a Norman castle built on he foundations (which you can tour) of a temple to Claudius. But back where I do live, we of course have churches (plural) that predate Columbus, but then everyone's got those. Our unique claim to fame is signposted on the way in to town as "The Birthplace of Radio" where Marconi set up in the nineteenth century.

Of course I can already hear the Italians pointing out that's nothing. And the Egyptians gently coughing about the Italians thinking their stuff is old.
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Lewis Goldberg
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tall_walt wrote:
The oldest settlement close that I'm aware of, still standing, is Mission San Juan Capistrano, founded October 30, 1775:


Dearlove wrote:
Of course I can already hear the Italians pointing out that's nothing. And the Egyptians gently coughing about the Italians thinking their stuff is old.


When I was a kid, I went on a school field trip to Mission SJC, and was gushing to my Mom afterwards about how old it was. She was from Poland, and said something to the effect of "we have public restrooms older than that back home."
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Harmonica
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Some ten years ago I worked on the right-end of "that big square building", mentioned after 3:20 and one of the main targets of Operation Oyster. Today they are industrial monuments. They are beautiful.

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Harmonica
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This photo is taken 1 kilometer from my appartment. Early september 1944 the British army was advancing north through Belgium. A company or batallion - elements of Schwerer Jagdpanzer Abteilung 559 - of Jagdpanthers and Sturmgeschütze were transported to the railway placement of Tilburg, about 500 meters north from where the picture was illegally taken.

The railway staff was gone and people watching were forced to help unloading. Here an impressive Jagdpanther crosses the road towards Belgium, where they were pretty successful. However one by one they were taken out during the liberation of the province of North-Brabant, which goes together with operation Market-Garden.

The crossing looks today more or less the same. I often passes by on bike. The crossing now has traffic lights. The water tower and the graveyard with the statues of many saints are still there.



Sorry, I couldn't find a bigger picture.
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Justin Case
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Btw, readers in this thread may well be interested in this fun geeklist:

I Can See My House From Here!!!

The list is about finding the actual place you live (or very close to it) on game boards, so most of the games in the list are wargames and historical games of one variety or another.


cool

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Billy McBoatface
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Yes indeedy, history is near my house. This is the Old North Bridge, 15 minutes drive from me, where the first shot of the revolutionary war was fired:



Some claim that the first shot was in Lexington, at a place about a mile from my house, but that's baloney. Nobody knows who fired the shot in Lexington, not even whether it was the British or the revolutionaries, it didn't hit anybody, most likely somebody had a jittery finger and accidentally set off their gun. The first intentional shot, aimed at the enemy, was at the bridge above, a few hours after the Lexington incident.
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Wendell
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Gambiteer wrote:
wifwendell wrote:
A few miles away is Huffman Prairie flying field, where Wilbur and Orville Wright perfected the first practical airplane.

Are you a Wright Brothers fan? My favorite place to vacation is just a few miles from Kitty Hawk.


I am. But I've never been to Kitty Hawk (though I wouldn't mind going there). They just needed a flat and reliably windy place and thanks to the kind advice of a US government weather expert, that was the pick!
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Cal Macewan
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My town (Malton) is built upon the site of the Roman fort of Derventio Brigantum, about 20 miles NE of Eboracum (York).
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Raymond Morehouse
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I recently moved back to the States from St Andrews, Scotland. You could tell nearly the entire history of Scotland in terms of St Andrews (as a parade does each year) but here is a little piece of board game lore:

The building pictured is Dean's Court. It was built in the 12th century and serves as a university residence. In the early 1980's it became the birthplace of Talisman: The Magical Quest Game, which of course has gone on to be a little industry of itself. You can read the whole story here: http://www.harris-authors.com/talisman_history.html

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David Bush
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I live in Madison County, Virginia, about 6 miles North, and slightly to the West, of James Madison's Montpelier. This being Virginia, there are doubtless many closer sites where something pivotal in history took place but I don't know about it. The neighbors down the road sometimes leave their billy goat on a chain near the road so that I can pet him.
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