Thursday, October 27, 2016

Historical Mile Markers and Why I Pass Without Stopping

     I have traveled all over this country and on almost every road that I have traversed, there have been historical markers along side the road.   I almost never stop and check out the markers.   I like history and I love to explore.  So why don't I stop. When I was younger, I would occasionally stop at these historical markers and without fail they usually read something like "1/10 of 1 mile to the west is the grave of John Smith, who in 1874 invented a whatchamacallit that changed the way we do whatever." 
     I began to think that they should change the name to historical proximity markers. These markers were seldom at the site of anything. Recently, I moved to a small town in western North Carolina called Bryson City. There are three or four local monuments around this town. In an effort to get a feel for the location where I'm staying I did a little web searching on the subjects represented in these markers. I stumbled upon it a webpage that is a database of all of the historical markers all over the United States. It is called the historical marker database   So now I don't have to feel guilty about driving past these historical markers. I can just pull out my computer and read about them at the next rest stop.
     If you want to go old school and hold a book in your hand, there are books on almost every state.  A quick search of Amazon brought up one dedicated to the markers in this state,  Guide to North Carolina Highway Historical Markers has been revised ten times since it was first printed.