I’m continuing with great quotes this week — there are so many right now in my life! God is so faithful to keep them coming, and I’d like to pass them on to you, as they’ve been a huge encouragement to me.
History is of no use if we don’t remember it. The rich heritage of God’s mighty works gives neither insight nor inspiration if we are ignorant of it.” –Eugene Peterson
As Christians, we see the acts of God in history as an essential part of our faith. We make a mistake if we think that Christianity is based solely on the catechisms and the teachings of Jesus (the Beatitudes, etc.). Christianity is rooted in history. We believe that our life is critically affected by things that happened in the past. Old Testament history shows God at work for his people. The promises God made to his people were fulfilled in historical events. That’s why it was important for Jewish parents to keep reminding their children of them through stories and through historical psalms like Psalm 77, 78, 81 and 83. These examples of God’s acting on behalf of his people give new generations, including our own, hope that God will continue to act for us. In this way, we see history truly as his story. —One Year Book of Psalms, 6/24
My dad loved studying the history of the early homesteaders in Jackson Hole. He logged over 3,400 hours of volunteer work for the Historical Center, organizing six file cabinets of information, tagging them digitally and providing an index. Here he’s seen with my friend, Cathy, at the museum, explaining about the early homesteaders.
He took Sarah and me to the Geraldine Lucas home, which is not a normal tourist destination.
We also spent some time with him in various places looking for burials of early pioneers.
But one of the most unique activities (when our children were small) was riding on historic Menor’s Ferry the summer that Daddy volunteered to take visitors back and forth across the Snake River. That was a treat!
One of the fun things to do in Boston is to follow the pathway of the Freedom Trail. I walked the entire route while Sarah was working during the day. I love American history and this was exactly what I wanted to see.
It was amazing to walk into the Old North Church.
My favorite part of the church is the Newman window. It is said that the Sexton, Robert Newman, used this window to escape from the church after displaying the signal lanterns on April 18, 1775 that sent Paul Revere on his famous midnight ride.
I loved following the cobblestone streets of old Boston.
Part of the Freedom Trail goes past Paul Revere’s house, and I was able to tour the small building. Isn’t it great to see?
Here is the grave of Paul Revere himself at the Cranary Burial Ground.
This one is said to be the grave of the original “Mother Goose.”
I was pleased to see the old State House — scene of many famous incidents in American history:
site of the puritan’s stocks and whipping posts
earliest town market
seat of British royal government in Massachusetts
site of James Otis’ 1761 speech against the Writs of Assistance
1770 Boston Massacre
1776 first reading to Bostonians of the Declaration of Independence
1789 visit of President George Washington
I’m thankful that historians rescued this building from demolition.
The final part of the Freedom Trail took me to Bunker Hill and to the 1797 USS Constitution–“Old Ironsides.” What a wonderful journey through history!
One of the other places that Baxter took me was to the village of Harrisville, NH. It was amazing to see a water powered, brick mill town that has been spinning wool since 1794. It is the only 18th century American industrial village of its type that still exists in its original form.
After seeing the fake Plymouth we drove into the real site of America’s first colony. Of course, it does not look the same as when the pilgrim’s arrived. But we found the location of the first settlement. There are two churches there now, both claiming to be the first church in America.
Then we went into the 1749 court house museum. Here I was pleased to see some of the artifacts from archaeological digs in the region.
The lady here knew more about the local history than anyone I had questioned at the fake colony. She answered a lot of questions and surprised me by telling me that the location of John Alden’s home was right across the street, and that I would see a marker at the site of this ancestor’s 1620 home.
I went into the cemetery, right behind the site, and it was interesting to visit but I didn’t have much time and didn’t know where to begin looking for any of my ancestors.
Of course a visit to Plymouth must include a stop at Plymouth Rock.
What I loved about this site was not the rock but the view of the bay. I loved seeing the true historical setting of each of these areas.
Last of all, we stopped at Duxbury and managed to find one of the original Alden homes. This is true history. This is the real thing, although I’m sure it has been greatly altered through the years.
But I was happy to have visited the actual sites where my ancestors started their lives in the new world. What an amazing adventure it was for them, and how brave they all were.