Finding Historic Places

For a slight change of pace, today’s post is about finding places to visit rather than highlighting one I’ve visited (or intend to).

It’s not that hard to find places–indeed, in some parts it’s easy enough to trip over them. But there’s a wide range of types of places to find and explore, based in part on any given site’s nature or type (ex. building v. land), owner (private, quasi-public, public), and funding (see previous).

At least in the United States, many states, counties, and cities have historical societies or other organizations who maintain places and sometimes maps bringing together sites regardless of who maintains them. At the federal level, the National Park Service operates a lot of historic sites, so does the Bureau of Land Management (at least in the west). And of course there’s the National Register of Historic Places, plus state equivalents, which keeps an eye on some (but may miss others). Many states and towns own historic buildings, and often operate within them. Academic institutions likewise. And there are a number of stand-alone non-profit entities which own and operate historic sites.

Things are, insofar as I can tell, similar to a degree in a number of other countries. There are national-level organizations operating some properties & local others.

And then there are too many who fall by the wayside. Certain ones tend to be very, very popular–others, not so much. And even those which are popular may need more upkeep than the operating entity can afford.

All of which means, to me, that I might as well visit places and absorb atmospheres now–because who knows what will happen later? And while I will occasionally grumble to myself about entrance fees, I know most of these organizations don’t have much money and need the fees to help keep the property up.

So as the weather turns, cooler or warmer, and climate change threatens many a place–visit those you can as you can. If you’re reading this, you’re likely interested enough in history that you’ll enjoy it.

Good travels to you!

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