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19th Century Ghosts

Once Upon a Movember: Peter the Great’s Beard Tax

As I am enamored by both Russian history and beards, what better way to kick off Movember than with a post on Peter the Great, otherwise known as the Tsar who sheared a nation.

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Book Review of Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

Here I am actually talking about ghosts! But make no mistake, Ghostland by Colin Dickey is more than a compendium of ghost stories. Rather, Colin Dickey treats each of these tales as a case study for examining different types of hauntings, their origins and development. Most of all, he is interested in what these stories say about America’s relationship to its past.

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Rockwood Mansion in Wilmington, DE

If you’re ever lucky enough to go historic house hopping in Delaware, Rockwood Mansion would be a nice addition to your list. That is, if you’re in the mood for strolling the surrounding park grounds and admiring the architecture. To be brutally honest, this house museum is best appreciated from the outside…

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Nemours Mansion & Garden, a Historically Modern Marvel

Delaware’s Brandywine Valley is home to many beautiful historic houses. Dare I say that, among these many fine structures, the grandeur of Nemours Mansion & Gardens rivals them all (even the nearby Winterthur Museum). Having toured both, Nemours left me more in awe. I went on a humid Saturday in July and that afternoon’s downpour added a magical glisten to the facade and grounds.

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Cape May Victorian Weekend

Every October Cape May, NJ hosts “Victorian Weekend,” which promises to be a sort of portal to the past. While visitors can admire the quaint Victorian houses anytime of the year, this particular weekend has an itinerary full of murder mystery dinners, a fashion show, croquet, parlor games, and thematic walking tours.

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The Newly Illuminated New-York Historical Society

The New-York Historical Society’s fourth floor recently debuted its new look…

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Historic and Ghostly Fort Hancock

 

A near ghost town awaits your visit in the Jersey Shore’s north end. Here in Sandy Hook, among New Jersey’s finest beaches and hiking trails, lies a cluster of historic structures that have very much weathered the sands of time.

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Wonderfully Weird History in Philly

Philadelphia, PA is a wonderfully weird place. Though famously rich in early American history, I chose to forgo exploring old city for my first visit. My apologies, dear founding fathers, but two strange places beckoned me: the Mütter Museum and Eastern State Penitentiary.

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Book Review: The Ghost Map

“And so the ghosts of the Broad Street outbreak were reassembled for one final portrait, reincarnated as black bars lining the streets of their devastated neighborhood. In dying, they had collectively made a pattern that itself pointed to a fundamental truth, though it took a trained hand to make that pattern visible.”

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