You and Your Favorite Historic Site

Below are historic sites that some of the alumni of Historical Solutions LLC have sent to me, along with a few reasons why these places mean so much to them. Send your favorite historic site to me (and some thoughts as to why it made such a strong impression on you) and I’ll post it below. My email is dan@historicalsolutions.com (be sure to scroll down below)

burnsidebridgeKelly: “Antietam National Battlefield. I visited as a teenager with one of my best friends and her parents. I couldn’t believe how I felt when I stood near Burnside Bridge or the Sunken Road and realized that just a few feet away, right in front of me, where there was so much beauty there had been such tragedy a few generations ago. I can still sense the emotion I felt.”

arlingtonSue: “Arlington National Cemetery. I stood in awe of all the crosses and grave markers, thinking about the wars that have been fought in our nation’s history. The people there made the ultimate sacrifice for us. I know there are civilians buried there, but it’s the soldiers and sailors that I thought about first.”




flwrebeccaRebecca: “Falling Water, Frank Lloyd Wright’s magnificent work on Bear Run in southwestern PA. As we rounded the corner and walked toward the house, I was almost brought to tears. And as we toured inside, I felt such a connection to the place and felt such peace in its surroundings. That an architect could accomplish this in me just as Beethoven can was a revelation to me.”




littleroundtopTim: “Gettysburg. I went with my uncle and the two of us didn’t follow the normal paths. We walked and sometimes ran all through the places that the soldiers did. Near Little Round Top we ran down the hill just like Chamberlain’s 20th Maine.”







WilliamsburgFifeDrumMike: “Colonial Williamsburg. I have great memories of many family vacations there while I was growing up.”



Dave: “I would have to say Valley Forge. When I was 12 our parents took our family to Philadelphia to celebrate the Bicentennial. Seeing the Liberty Bell was cool. Visiting Independence Hall was nice. But listening to the story of Valley Forge, while standing at the place where the events actually took place, made a lifelong impression. How those patriots sacrificed their own personal well being for a belief, in freedom, and also for belief in man, Washington and each other, was inspirational. To this day I wonder how Washington was able to keep his men from turning on him and the cause. The lesson of overcoming extreme hardship and sacrificing for the common
good is one that I will never forget.”


Steve: “The original Indiana state capitol in Corydon. Why? This has nostalgic value…I visited there as a kid in 4th grade as part of a class trip. It was the first historic place that I had visited and I liked it’s simplicity and ‘smallness’.”

Rick: “Fort Sumter and Battery Row in Charleston, South Carolina. As I walked along the Battery and looked at Ft Sumter in the distance I wondered about the thoughts of the men who were starting the domino effect toward death and destruction. They probably thought the capture of Fort Sumter was going to be an easy path to the independence of the South. I wonder if any of the men involved were still alive 4 years later. I wondered if they ever reflected upon their part in starting something that would kill 600,000 plus Americans, 100,000’s more maimed and untold destruction of their countryside. Were these actions things that had to happen? Were the actions inevitable in a country that was growing so quickly that the north and the south cultures could not bond? Anyway I saw Charleston as a significant position on the timeline of this country’s growing pains.”


Dan: “Where George Washington resigned from the Continental Army, the Old Senate Chamber of the Maryland State House in Annapolis, Maryland. Small room, very defined and contained. But in such a small space an event of global proportions occurred. A leader at the height of his popularity and purpose chose to leave, and to do so in a fledgling, experimental, and highly imperfect republic. Standing in that room makes you know that history boils down to one person at a time, doing what they decide needs to be done.”


Haley: “The village at Spring Mill State Park near Mitchell, Indiana. It gives you a look on what life was like during that time, and the detail in the village is incredible.”

Bill: “The first place that came to my mind was Mathousen concentration camp in Vienna, Austria. I wasn’t going to give this as an answer because it’s not exactly my ‘favorite’ place, but it came to my mind because it had the greatest impact on my family, making the atrocities so much more real to us.”

Tammie: “Gettysburg National Military Park. It is beautiful, a hallowed ground where Lincoln’s speech was both redeeming and hopeful. My mom’s family history traces to ownership of Trossel Barn on the site.”

Kat: “Theodore Roosevelt Island near Washington DC. The monument is spectacular with the waterfall and the quotes embedded in stone. I’ll never forget it.”

Meri: “Old Ironsides kept in Boston harbor. It’s really cool that it’s been around in the exact condition since the early 1800s and its service against the British Navy.”

Lynn: “I choose Gettysburg. When I was a teenager, my best friend went on a trip with me and my family. My father studied the Civil War and so we had our own personal tour guide who was able to tell us a lot of details about the battle, the people, the land and the times. He would take one of us at a time on the motorcycle and we were able to visit places “off the beaten path.” I have many good memories about this trip! I believe that trips like this can encourage a life-long love of history.Thanks Dan! I love reading what others have written.”

Carly: “Mt. Rushmore in the evening. The lights on the magnificent four presidential faces, the patriotic music playing–all of it moved me to tears.”

Kevin: “Kilkenny Castle in Ireland. It was right next door to the pub where we had our rehearsal dinner and the day before our wedding, so we were with all of our closest friend and family and in a celebrative mood!”

Wendy: “The Arizona in HI because of the reverent atmosphere and the sense of loss one experiences there.”