History is all around us

Published 6:35 pm Tuesday, July 10, 2018

When thinking of history, for many, the very word conjures images of dusty old textbooks and dusty old teachers droning on at length about dead people and forgotten events. Worse yet, history is often thought of as the repetitive and forced memorization of times, dates and happenings that few remember and even fewer care about.

In this estimation, history certainly seems a boring and pedantic endeavor. When freed from the conventions of academia, however, studying the history of a place can be a fascinating and thrilling activity.

Take Beaufort County, for instance. This place we call home has more than 300 years of history behind it. Countless stories have transpired on the banks of the Pamlico, lived out in thousands of lives. Everywhere a person goes, they are touching a piece of history.

From the Native Americans who lived here long before the days of European settlement, to the founders of places such as Bath and Washington, on down to the freedom-seeking people who came through Washington on the Underground Railroad, this place is rich with stories.

Take any spot in this county and try to think back on how it was in days gone by. Perhaps it has been farmland for generations. Maybe the building currently occupying the space is built on the ruins of a place destroyed by the fires of war.

History is far more than rote memorization of dates, names and facts. To learn history enhances one’s appreciation of the places they see every day. It is critical to understanding the world and how it came to be as it is today.

We are fortunate to live in a place rich with history. Take the time to learn about the place you live and the people who came before. You may just find yourself with a deeper appreciation of this wonderful place we call home.