I know that places like Disney World think that they are magical places full of wonder and amazement but they aren’t. I’m sorry Walt Disney, your park is fun and it’s exciting but it’s not “magical.” At least, not to me. When I think of magical places I think of historical places. I think of places where wars were fought, great authors lived and wrote, powerful speeches were given, and history was made. I think of the places we read about in our history books and where life has been lived! When my husband and I think (and talk) about moving and my mind starts spinning about a few places I’d put at the top of my wish list they all have deep roots in American history. There are the obvious historical places like Washington D.C, New York, Boston, and Philadelphia but they don’t make my list of fascinating places I could live. Visit? Sure. Live? No. The “I-Could-Live-There” list is reserved for other places. Places like:
- Atlanta, Georgia – The roads you travel through Atlanta were worn from the Native Americans who first called the area home. The beautiful and serene fields and parks once were the battlefields of a nation torn apart in civil war. From the many railroad tracks crossing the area to the skyscrapers lining Peachtree Street to the world’s busiest airport you are able to live the story of two centuries of changing Atlanta. The Civil War began in 1861 (another history fact!) and in 1864 Union General William T. Sherman burned Atlanta to the ground (about 70 percent of its buildings were destroyed) on his infamous March to the Sea. The war ended the next year. Obviously, the city rebuilt and the history lives on! MLK Jr was born in Atlanta; later assassinated in Tennessee he was brought home to Atlanta for burial. Let’s not even get into the Atlanta sports history, we could be here all day!
- St. Louis, Missouri – St. Louis? Really? Historical? Yes, really, you would be surprised. In the late 1600s, French explorers started arriving. After the French and Indian War, a French trading company established the settlement of St. Louis in February 1764. The city established its location as a trading post on the Mississippi River and played a small role in the Revolutionary War. In 1803, the city was sold to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. The city’s proximity to free states during the Civil War caused it to become a center for the filing of freedom suits, such as the Dred Scott case, whose outcome was among the causes of the American Civil War. During the late 19th century, St. Louis became home to two Major League Baseball teams. It hosted the 1904 World’s Fair and the 1904 Summer Olympics. It is also the site of the origin of the Lewis & Clark Expedition. 🙂
- Charleston, South Carolina – Established in 1670 (that would make it…what…343 years old?) it was named for the King of England and was known as Charles Town. Its cosmopolitan status was established early and it was the 5th largest city in North America in 1690. The city’s streets and parks are not much changed from these colonial days (Hooray! Historic beauty!. Spires from the various churches in the city punctuate the skyline and many date to colonial days. That’s awesome because I love colonial day churches. They are so gorgeous and romantic. The Battery is a public park that is situated against the waterfront and you can take a chartered ferry to Fort Sumter which guards the bay. Yayyy! It was here that the first shots of the Civil War were fired as Confederate soldiers attempted to take this Federal stronghold in April 1861. Sorry, I couldn’t resist a little history lesson.
- Savannah, Georgia – This is Georgia’s oldest city established in 1733 by General James Oglethorpe. Its streets, laid-out in a perfect grid, represent an excellent example of early colonial city-planning. The city’s downtown is one of the largest National Historic Landmark districts. The city’s squares, numbering 22, are what make it unique. When the city was laid-out in 1733 it was designed around four open squares, anticipating room for growth and expansion of the grid. Forsyth Park is a 30 acre park established in the 1840s with a Confederate monument in the center of the park. River Street has old 19th century cotton warehouses that have been refurbished into shops and restaurants. Nearby Fort Pulaski, a national monument in of the National Park Service, is a masonry fort that overlooks the mouth of the Savannah River on Tybee Island and was completed in 1847. It sustained heavy damage by Union forces during the Civil War, when it was temporarily occupied by Confederate soldiers.
- Annapolis, Maryland – Annapolis has the oldest original state capitol building still in use by a legislature (Say it with me…whoa! I want to see that. I do. Call me nerdy, I don’t care). It dates to 1772 and it has the largest wooden dome construction without nails. Yes, I said without nails. Admit it, that’s impressive. The city has no less than 29 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places many of them finely preserved homes that are built in Georgian, Federal, and Greek Revival styles (GREEK REVIVAL! I love all things Greek). The Colonial Annapolis Historic District is a showpiece and contains 120 18th century buildings.
So, that’s it I think. Those are probably my top 5 and probably in that order. I hear people tell me, “St. Louis is in the top 3 cities of highest-crime rate!!! You can seriously consider moving there?!!” but my answer is, “Yes, I can and please research the statistic before you tear apart a city.” You see, when the crime rates are evaluated they consider all crime in the incorporated city limits. The incorporated city limits of St. Louis is very small because it was split apart sometime in the last 1800’s. St. Louis county is huge but the incorporated city is small and only those crimes count in statistical analysis. The incorporated area of Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Detroit, Miami, Baltimore, etc…etc…etc…is huge. Therein lies the difference. The crime rate for St. Louis county is actually quite low for a county, and region, that large.
So, where will we end up? I don’t really know. I’m job hunting and I’ll follow the work. We will go where the good Lord leads and I trust we will be led appropriately. I would like to at least visit the 5 cities on my list. They would be interesting vacations.