It’s spring break and almost daylight savings, and so maybe I should be thinking about spring cleaning. But since we’re still dipping down into the single digits, and looking at 3-5 inches of snow and ice and frozenish crud tomorrow, and since I’m marrying a librarian and we can always justify acquiring more books, I went shopping at my local favorite, Riverby Books. Sure, there was the Columbia River and Captain Kidd, but there was also this:
L.B. Taylor, Jr., actually has a whole series of these books, and isn’t the only one writing on ghosts in Fredericksburg. Five bucks for a local history book that isn’t about a church or a battle sounds good to me, though. If I’m going to live here (and I am), I’m going to know something about here. I actually want to build up a bigger library of local history anyway, and eventually I’d like to teach a First-Year Seminar on local history–not even Virginia, but Fredericksburg “…and nearby environs.” It could maybe center on the Rappahannock, or the city and the counties immediately surrounding the ‘Burg–I’m not sure yet how to define the scope, but there are lots of sites and local archives and local historians to take advantage of. That would let me spend some time on Native American history, colonial exploration and settlement, tobacco planting, slavery, market economies, French and Indian War, George Washington, the American Revolution, inland ports, Civil War, major floods in the early 20th century, and who knows what else (can you tell I’m an early Americanist?). I have no idea if something like this would be useful for a class, but it should be a fun read and a good way to spook my kids.