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Old 10-05-2016, 02:00 PM
 
5,835 posts, read 10,778,440 times
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Which of the former 13 colonies states (or regions/groups of states if you prefer which I might make the case for) is the best in terms of experiencing seeing colonial history and/or where colonial history and heritage seems most integrated into modern life?

I am basing this question largely on structures/buildings that still stand form early American history, but also where they are. Specifically I am using info from Wikipedia that lists both oldest buildings in the US, but also by state.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._United_States

First off, I think that perhaps the BEST state for a lover of history, where history is part of the lifestyle and culture has to be New Mexico bar none.

Not he Anasazi ruins are found in the four corners area, but when the Anasazi cliff dwellings (mostly) were abandoned, the people moved to new pueblo structures in present day New Mexico (Taos and Acoma especially) where people to this day still live in (or within walking distance) of the original structures from 700 years ago! On top of that, Santa Fe is THE oldest European founded settlement and has buildings that are older by over 25 years than anything found on the east coast.


Now, that we have the Land of Enchantment out of the way, lets look at the original 13 colony states:




Based on the list, and based on other prior knowledge, although there were three major colonial regions with distinct traditions, I think Southern New England (Mass/Conn/RI)/NYC tri-state area (surrounding suburbs/exurbs) seem to win over the other 13 colonies.

Tidewater Virginia is no doubt one of the hearts of American origins, was site of the first English settlement at Jamestown, however, as the settlements were more based around wealthy landed gentry with plantations and manor houses, there are simply MUCH fewer actual historic buildings, and since the culture was less centered around towns as they were in New England, the manor homes are in more rural areas away from where most people are.

So Virginia (and by extension into Maryland/Delaware/Carolinas) have more stately historic homes, they are much fewer, are found in more rural locations, and since this region has seen so much more transplanting of people with no roots to the region, I would say that the colonial history is less integrated.

Charleston maybe one of the top colonial cities, but its all in the 1700s.

The Delaware valley centered around Philadelphia , and extending into northern Delaware/Maryland and New Jersey is certainly one of the three main colonial regions, and has so much history, but for the most part since it all began with William Penn and the Quakers, settlement didn't really begin until 1680 (when Virginia and New England colonies were already established 50 years prior. And since Philly grew to be so big, the urban landscape might make the historic places a big more swallowed up.

Then you have southern New England + areas surrounding NYC.

Looking at the list, the number of historic colonial buildings are DOMINATED by Conn/Mass/RI/NY (mostly Staten Island/Long Island/Westchester county). The other colonies don't come close. Plus since southern New England is spread out in so many towns, and the historic sites are spread out across so many towns, I imagine, that Southern New England + NYC suburbs/exurbs might have a clear edge of being the region with colonial/early American history everywhere. Plus it might be the case that this region might be a little dominated by the old money of people who have roots from "those who came over on the Mayflower" more so than further south?

What do you think? Especially for those of you who know these places very well. Do you think the southern New England colonies have an edge over the other former 13 colony states for having "history everywhere"
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Old 10-05-2016, 03:40 PM
 
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There are parts of NY north of NYC that are historic. Albany is one of the oldest cities in the US(1664). There are multiple French and Indian War, Revolutionary War and War of 1812 battle sites as well. I guess their locations further inland rule them out.
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Old 10-05-2016, 05:19 PM
 
151 posts, read 83,474 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex?Il? View Post
Which of the former 13 colonies states (or regions/groups of states if you prefer which I might make the case for) is the best in terms of experiencing seeing colonial history and/or where colonial history and heritage seems most integrated into modern life?

I am basing this question largely on structures/buildings that still stand form early American history, but also where they are. Specifically I am using info from Wikipedia that lists both oldest buildings in the US, but also by state.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._United_States

First off, I think that perhaps the BEST state for a lover of history, where history is part of the lifestyle and culture has to be New Mexico bar none.

Not he Anasazi ruins are found in the four corners area, but when the Anasazi cliff dwellings (mostly) were abandoned, the people moved to new pueblo structures in present day New Mexico (Taos and Acoma especially) where people to this day still live in (or within walking distance) of the original structures from 700 years ago! On top of that, Santa Fe is THE oldest European founded settlement and has buildings that are older by over 25 years than anything found on the east coast.


Now, that we have the Land of Enchantment out of the way, lets look at the original 13 colony states:




Based on the list, and based on other prior knowledge, although there were three major colonial regions with distinct traditions, I think Southern New England (Mass/Conn/RI)/NYC tri-state area (surrounding suburbs/exurbs) seem to win over the other 13 colonies.

Tidewater Virginia is no doubt one of the hearts of American origins, was site of the first English settlement at Jamestown, however, as the settlements were more based around wealthy landed gentry with plantations and manor houses, there are simply MUCH fewer actual historic buildings, and since the culture was less centered around towns as they were in New England, the manor homes are in more rural areas away from where most people are.

So Virginia (and by extension into Maryland/Delaware/Carolinas) have more stately historic homes, they are much fewer, are found in more rural locations, and since this region has seen so much more transplanting of people with no roots to the region, I would say that the colonial history is less integrated.

Charleston maybe one of the top colonial cities, but its all in the 1700s.

The Delaware valley centered around Philadelphia , and extending into northern Delaware/Maryland and New Jersey is certainly one of the three main colonial regions, and has so much history, but for the most part since it all began with William Penn and the Quakers, settlement didn't really begin until 1680 (when Virginia and New England colonies were already established 50 years prior. And since Philly grew to be so big, the urban landscape might make the historic places a big more swallowed up.

Then you have southern New England + areas surrounding NYC.

Looking at the list, the number of historic colonial buildings are DOMINATED by Conn/Mass/RI/NY (mostly Staten Island/Long Island/Westchester county). The other colonies don't come close. Plus since southern New England is spread out in so many towns, and the historic sites are spread out across so many towns, I imagine, that Southern New England + NYC suburbs/exurbs might have a clear edge of being the region with colonial/early American history everywhere. Plus it might be the case that this region might be a little dominated by the old money of people who have roots from "those who came over on the Mayflower" more so than further south?

What do you think? Especially for those of you who know these places very well. Do you think the southern New England colonies have an edge over the other former 13 colony states for having "history everywhere"

Most New England housing stock is wood though, around those parts. In the Philadelphia area it's stone. The stone looks 1000% better. There is also more brick around Philadelphia as well. It's colonial footprint is larger.
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Old 10-05-2016, 05:20 PM
 
151 posts, read 83,474 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
There are parts of NY north of NYC that are historic. Albany is one of the oldest cities in the US(1664). There are multiple French and Indian War, Revolutionary War and War of 1812 battle sites as well. I guess their locations further inland rule them out.

Yeah apparently Albany, Utica, Hudson/Mohawk Valleys don't exist.

Its so annoying.

Albany is older than Boston, New York and Philadelphia for **** sake. But no mention.
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Old 10-05-2016, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
3,144 posts, read 2,824,419 times
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Mass wins.
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Old 10-05-2016, 06:13 PM
 
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VA and MA comes to my mind. Love visiting those areas and their history.
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:12 PM
 
151 posts, read 83,474 times
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Massachusetts is too small.
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Cbus
1,720 posts, read 1,399,662 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirite View Post
Massachusetts is too small.
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:18 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,219 posts, read 19,521,254 times
Reputation: 12961
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex?Il? View Post
Which of the former 13 colonies states ... is the best in terms of experiencing seeing colonial history and/or where colonial history and heritage seems most integrated into modern life?
Have you been to Colonial Williamsburg?

That is probably the best spot to experience colonial history in action.
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:31 PM
 
145 posts, read 103,969 times
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Definitely eastern (Tidewater) Virginia from Alexandria to Norfolk. Perhaps the most historic highway in the country is State Route 5, a designated Virginia "Scenic Byway". This two-lane gently winding roadway parallels the north shore of the historic James River and connects Richmond with Williamsburg, a distance of about 50 miles. Starting at Jefferson's Capitol building in Richmond and driving east, one can experience the following:

Saint John's Church in Richmond where Patrick Henry gave his "Liberty or Death" speech

Richmond National Battlefield Park--site of many Civil War battlefields

Varina Farms--home of John Rolfe and Pocahontas (1614-1616)

Shirley Plantation (1723)--ancestral home the Lee family

Berkeley Plantation (mansion built 1726)--birthplace of William Henry Harrison, 9th U.S. president; site of first official Thanksgiving (12/04/1619), and site of the first playing of "TAPS" during the Civil War

Sherwood Forest Plantation (1730) home of U.S. president John Tyler. It is the longest frame house in the country

Westover Plantation (1730) home of William Byrd II, who founded the city of Richmond in 1742

Williamsburg--Virginia's Colonial capital (1699--1780). Within the town's historic area are 88 buildings that were built in the 1700s (most famous probably being the "Wren Building" on the campus of the College of William and Mary). Plus there are over 400 other buildings faithfully reconstructed on their original sites. Most famous of these are the Governor's Palace and the Capitol. A walk down Duke of Gloucester Street really feels like a step into the past.

From Williamsburg, short drives on the Colonial Parkway will take you to Jamestown and Yorktown. There is no place in America that I can think of where you can experience the feel of Colonial life better than in Williamsburg and Jamestown.
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