Historic America


Join me as I explore the places, people, and events that make America unique

Reenactors dressed as French soldiers at Fort Ticonderoga, 102 Fort Ti Rd, in Ticonderoga, New York.

De Montcalm’s Men

Reenactors dressed as French soldiers at Fort Ticonderoga, 102 Fort Ti Rd, in Ticonderoga, New York. French engineer Michel Chartier de Lotbinière, Marquis de Lotbinière constructed the fort between 1755 and 1757 during the French and Indian War. It was originally called Fort Carillon.

Monument to Maj. Gen. Daniel Adams Butterfield (1831-1901) in West Point Cemetery, 329 Washington Road, United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.

Stories in Stone: Daniel Butterfield

Monument to Maj. Gen. Daniel Adams Butterfield (1831-1901) in West Point Cemetery, 329 Washington Road, United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. A native New Yorker, Daniel Butterfield’s father had founded the company that became American Express. He had no military experience prior to the American Civil War, but rose from the rank […]

Coles County Ghost Towns: Hitesville, Farmington, and Curtisville

The following is an excerpt from my book Tales of Coles County, a collection of history, folklore, and true crime from one of the most interesting counties in Illinois. Order it in paperback or Kindle today. Hitesville James Hite, who immigrated from Kentucky to Coles County in 1831, created this village in Ashmore Township and […]

Stories in Stone: Captains of Industry

Almost untouchable in life, today anyone can visit the final resting places of these wealthy and powerful figures. America’s cemeteries are filled with rich and poor alike. In life, these wealthy industrialists were among the most powerful men alive. Yet today, their sometimes humble monuments can be found scattered among a sea of granite stones. […]

Former Manteno State Hospital in Manteno, Illinois.

The Manteno Madness

Manteno State Hospital was at one time the largest state mental hospital in Illinois, but its overcrowded corridors invited disaster. From typhoid epidemic to scandal, trace the tragic history of this forgotten asylum. “It is not by confining one’s neighbor that one is convinced of one’s own sanity.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky Novels (and the films based […]

Monument to British Maj. Gen. William Phillips (1731-1781) in Blandford Cemetery, 319 South Crater Road in Petersburg, Virginia.

Stories in Stone: Maj. Gen. William Phillips

Monument to British Maj. Gen. William Phillips (1731-1781) in Blandford Cemetery, 319 South Crater Road in Petersburg, Virginia. Phillips was an officer in the Royal Artillery and fought in the Seven Years’ War, and later in the American Revolutionary War on the British side. During the recapture of Fort Ticonderoga in Upstate New York, when […]

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