­

Short stories about historical events

Look Out for the Ice!

As I was scraping ice off my windshield again the other morning, my mind began to wander to things like: How much would it cost to live in New Orleans for the winter? And, frozen bird shit is easier to scrape off the car than the liquid variety. Ice at Oquawka, Illinois I

By |February 3rd, 2014|Historical shorts|0 Comments

From Slave to Emancipator

Keokuk, Iowa on the Mississippi River About 70 miles north of Hannibal, Missouri, the Mississippi floodplain is bisected by a five-mile wide valley carved by the Des Moines River. South of the river is the State of Missouri; north is Iowa. It's a scenic area but not especially remarkable. The Missouri side has

By |February 14th, 2013|Historical shorts|0 Comments

Far North, Part 2

About twenty miles from Angle Inlet, the only town in the Northwest Angle, the sealed road ends and you jostle and bump along a wide gravel surface the rest of the way. This is better than the way things used to be. There was no all-season road before 1969. The Angle may seem remote, but

By |August 24th, 2011|Historical shorts|1 Comment

Far North, Part 1

Minnesota If don’t remember the shape of the State of Minnesota, glance at the map I posted and look at the very top. You’ll notice a small part, roughly in the shape of a chimney or a partly smashed top hat, that extends farther north than the rest of Minnesota, which is known

By |August 17th, 2011|Historical shorts|1 Comment

Carved in Stone

Cyrus Hill; Revolutionary War veteran I have an unnatural interest in graveyards, I suppose. When I was a more active genealogist a few years ago, trips to cemeteries were just part of the routine. While I always hoped that the next cemetery would be the one with critical clues to open up a new generation

By |November 13th, 2008|Historical shorts|0 Comments

Election Day Special

In honor of Election Day, I offer three short stories of nineteenth century political games in Mississippi River towns. As new areas were settled, communities fought contentious political battles over the location of the county seat, like these places did. Enjoy! Rock Island County (Illinois) In 1833, Hampton and rival Farnhamsburg (now Rock Island) competed

By |November 4th, 2008|Historical shorts|2 Comments