Thoughts on Local History
In the broadest sense, history is simply the story of civilization. And because the natural and man-made environments of local history are familiar to us, its story is approachable, our connection to it often visceral and intimate.
Here is what historian and philosopher Will Durant said about civilization and its story:
Local history seems to most often involve the stories of activity along the banks. To be sure, the local past is not without the inevitable “killing, stealing, [and] shouting…,” but its tight focus usually includes a larger proportion of everyday activities.
Alongside and within these stories of the Everyday, of building homes and writing poetry, singing, children, and love, we often gain a sense of empathy, of understanding and connection — what the History Center’s Mission Statement calls “an awareness of the role we all play on the greater continuum of…history.” To me this perspective is engaging and life-enhancing.
I eagerly welcome you to our new website. May it lead to greater interaction among our members, friends, and neighbors, and become a place to not only learn about the past, but to enjoy and connect to it. Here’s to Life on the Banks of civilization’s stream.