Favorite Historic Sites. Christine Johnson

I have a confession to make. I love historical markers and monuments, especially those big placards that tell what happened to make a site important. I’ve been known to veer off the highway when I see one.

National Parks passport
Summer is the time of year when I break out my Passport (to the U.S. National Parks) and set off in search of history.


At every U.S. national park (or monument) visitor center, I stamp the passport as proof I visited that site. The oldest stamp in my passport is from ten years ago. Do any of you have a National Parks passport?


Passport stamps
Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas is one of my favorites. This pre-Civil War era fort guarded the Straits of Florida and famously housed Dr. Samuel Mudd, the physician who was convicted for treating John Wilkes Booth’s broken leg after Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln.

Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas

It's also way out to sea, 70 miles from Key West, and thus one of the more difficult parks to get to. The islands are called the Dry Tortugas because there's no fresh water. Drinking water was a huge issue there!
Wright Memorial at Kitty Hawk

Last summer I visited North Carolina’s Outer Banks and Kitty Hawk where the memorial to the Wright brothers’ first flight is located. After studying aviation history for my first novel, Soaring Home, I drank in the windswept dunes and reproduction of their plane.


This summer, I went to Glacier National Park in Montana, the setting for my third book, All Roads Lead Home. In fact, I just got back home yesterday. Those mountains in the background are on the continental divide. Whenever I’m there, I think of the settlers and trappers and explorers who passed through and the peoples for whom this has long been home. Those people had fortitude!

Have you visited any historic sites lately? What’s your favorite? I’m always looking for new and exciting places to visit.

Happy trails,

Christine Johnson
The Marriage Barter (May 2013)
Website: http://christineelizabethjohnson.com
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Twitter: @ChristineJWrite