Friday, May 15, 2009

Living History

from Emily Bryan . . .
What wife hasn't wished her husband into stocks at least once? I got my chance this week in St. Georges, Bermuda. This little town on the northernmost island of the Bermuda chain is still as quaint and lovely as you could wish. (Of course, they still dunk "gossipping wives" in the dunking chair every noon for the tourists' amusement, but I didn't find that nearly as funny as my DH in stocks.)

The little archipelago of Bermuda has been inhabited for 400 years. In 1609, a ship foundered on its treacherous reefs and the 150 survivors decided this was as good a place as any to settle. They found a dense cedar forest, a profusion of oleander and hibiscus, and plenty of wild hogs. (How the hogs got there is a mystery, but you can bet a shipwreck is part of that untold story.)

In addition to the hogs, the island was overrun with birds called "cahows." Their loud cries caused Bermuda to be named "Devil's Isle" by early cartographers, who were certain they heard the cries of the damned from the safety of their ships.

The islands are so beautiful (and there are 138 of them! Back in 1609, there were over 170 but the ocean level has risen since then) it's hard to imagine anyone equating them with anything but paradise. If you'd like to see more, please visit

As a writer, I'm always looking for fresh ways to research history. Travel is my hand's down favorite.

What fun historic place have you visited?


Terri May 16, 2009 at 3:45 AM  

Oh, that sounds so nice to visit...or even live. I love visiting historical spots. Of course, part of that has to do with living in the first county settled in Maryland and going to college in St Mary's City, the first capital. They have been doing lots of historical work there and have several buildings reconstructed on their original sites. Several years ago they found the graves of original settlers.

Our favorite quick get away is Williamsburg, VA. I love just walking through the historical downtown and visiting Chowning (sp?)tavern after dark. They have wondering musicians to entertain and if you are there long enough, the waitress will teach you travern games from 300 years ago. It only happens after dark when all the little kiddies are gone. Some of the songs can get risque.


EmilyBryan May 16, 2009 at 4:53 AM  

Williamsburg sounds like fun. I used to live in NC, but I never made it up to Williamsburg like I should have. The kids always wanted to go to Busch Gardens instead (go figure!)

Mari May 16, 2009 at 9:33 AM  

The coolest place I visited was the catacombs in Paris. It was fascinating, but I wouldn't want to visit late at night alone!

C.L. Wilson May 16, 2009 at 4:38 PM  

Bermuda sounds gorgeous, Emily. That's a place I've never been and would love to go.

Coolest place i've ever visted? Pompeii in Italy - the ancient roman village that was buried in ash from the pyroclastic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius thousands of years ago.

2nd Coolest place - Big Island, Hawaii, standing 12 feet from pahoehoe lava flowing into the ocean and forming a new black sand beach. It was an amazing sight.

I love to travel, and wish I could do much more of it than I do. :)

EmilyBryan May 17, 2009 at 5:00 PM  

Mari--I didn't realize Paris had catacombs. I always think Rome when I hear catacombs.

CL--Pompeii sounds fascinating. My oldest daughter has been there, but she was on a class trip instead of with us, darn it!

My fav Hawaiian island is Maui. At the end of the windiest road on earth there's a little village called Hana. I go to Hana in my mind at least once a day!

Cindy Holby

Gerri Russell

Joy Nash

Bonnie Vanak

Emily Bryan

C.L. Wilson

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