I finished reading Becky Wade’s newest novel, True to You, last week which features a historic village that the heroine owns, so I thought it would be cool to feature a few historic villages in the U.S. to celebrate keeping history alive 😊
I haven’t visited most of these, but I’d LOVE to, because you really do get a sense of stepping-back-in-time when you walk down a street surrounded by period buildings (AND have people dressed in period clothing reenacting daily jobs or activities).
Let’s start with the biggest – and one I’ve actually visited.
In the 1920s Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr. combined forces to begin restoration of the largest British outpost in colonial America. The 18th century village provides over 300 acres of a historic world, complete with buildings, people, furnishings…and even animals. Step inside a place set to backdrop America’s journey toward revolution and experience what life looked like on the cusp of the creation of a great nation.
If you’re more inclined to take a more ‘frontier’ adventure, you might enjoy a trip to Fishers, Indiana. 1836 Connor Prairietown is the restoration of a early 19th century rural town on the edge of the White River. Started in the 1930s by Eli Lilly, the museum began with the restoration of the William Connor House and then expanded to include an entire village for people to explore. Kid activities, reenactments, and even…oh oh, one of my favorite parts, a hot air balloon launch to celebrate man’s early advancements in flight. I think a little trip westward sounds like a great idea.
People with lots of money and a little (or lot) of eccentricity do some interesting things sometimes. Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan is a plethora of historic wonder. Henry Ford created this 80-acre farm to honor people he admired, particularly from the early 1900s. In some cases, he recreated buildings, in other cases he restored or saved them. It includes the birthplaces, homes, or workshops of people like Thomas Edison, Noah Webster, or the Wright Brothers. It even includes the courthouse where Abraham Lincoln practiced law. Henry Ford loved the innovative mind, and it shows in the fact that Greenfield has a running steam locomotive and opportunities to ride in a Model T (of course). There are interactive exhibits, a horse-and-buggy rides, a carousel, and all sorts of hands-on activities. Sounds AMAZING for those of us who LOVE history!
Believe it or not, there are a great many living history museums throughout the US, but these are a few of the best (and biggest).
Some honorable mentions would be Mount Vernon, Mystic Seaport, OK Corral, Plimouth Plantation (I REALLY WANT TO VISIT THIS ONE), Jamestown, and Stone Mountain Antebellum Plantation.
Have you ever visited a Living History Museum? What did you think? What era or place in history would you like to see recreated?
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