Sunday, March 9, 2014

Hunt for History in your Hometown

By Nina Kendall

What makes your hometown unique? Is there a place that everyone knows? Are you from the Fern Capital of the World? Do you live down the street from an important battlefield? Every town has a story to tell. It is the collective story of a place and all those who have lived there. You can find it in what the town has kept and preserved and in what the town has abandoned and destroyed.  The natural and built landscape share a story with you. Do you know what it is?

Americans have a history of moving from place to place. Most Americans will live in many places within their lifetime. Moving to a new place can be exciting. You get a new job, new house, and new things to learn.  Learning about your community whether you are new to town or all your life can be exciting. Enjoying public art can be a great place to start.

Monuments, murals, and statues help to define a place and tell its story. They can reveal what is important to your communities past or celebrate a famous citizen. You can learn about industries of the past, current popular pastimes, or visions of the future. Sometimes you can simple see how the place was used in the past.  If you have been lucky enough to enjoy a cow parade, you have seen local public art highlight the facets of your community and its history.
What public art is in your community? It is time to find  out. Take a  trip for yourself or create a scavenger hunt for your kids.  Enjoy the vistas of your hometown and learn about the history of your community. Share what you find with us on twitter @Histocrats using the hashtag #hometownhistory.
Enjoy these examples of public art. Can you guess what state they are from?



  1. Hello! Did you know about the app called Field Trip that gives you museums and heritage sites nearby? It was only Android before, but iPhone in the works I believe.

  2. I love the iPhone app called Clio:
    It was created by David Trowbridge, an historian at Marshall University, with the help of his students. Anyone can add to it--educators, students, enthusiasts. It works really well and I've been impressed at the continued additions: