Taking a trip into yesterday is today's hottest vacation trend.
One of the many positive side effects of last fall's tragic events, surely unanticipated by the perpetrators, has been a surge in interest in exploring America's historic sites.
Along with a national outpouring of patriotism came a renewed appreciation for the struggles and challenges, the setbacks and triumphs that make up the American saga. It's not just an interest in the “great men” who led our history, but in the ordinary Americans who fought the battles and settled the frontier. Just look at television: The soldiers of HBO's smash hit “A Band of Brothers,” after all, were our parents and grandparents (or husbands or brothers — or us). The homesteaders whose tribulations are re-created in “Frontier House,” a new reality show airing on PBS on April 29, were our ancestors. (For more on that show and on tracing your frontier ancestors, see the June issue of our regular Family Tree Magazine, on sale April 23.)
Though most of those people who made our history are gone, the places where they lived, worked, fought, dreamed and died remain — often painstakingly restored and even populated by dedicated re-enactors. In the wake of Sept. 11, Americans have been seeking out those places in record numbers.