St. Ignace Mission, Michigan

Preserved within Marquette Mission Park is the site of the St. Ignace Mission, established by Fr. Marquette in the 17th century. A monument marks the burial site of the Jesuit missionary/explorer, and the Museum of Ojibwe Culture is housed in an adjacent building. Its exhibits highlight 17th century St. Ignace and the Contact Period when the Ojibwe, Huron, and French cultures mixed. The featured culture is the Ojibwa, the region’s original occupants. Included among the exhibits are a Huron long house and a garden with typical Native American plantings. Continue to explore the heritage of The Straits of Mackinac at sites throughout the St. Ignace region, including those linked by The Mackinac State Parks on Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

The park and museum are located at 500-566 N. State Street in downtown St. Ignace at the intersection of Marquette and State Streets. St. Ignace is located at the northern terminus of the Mackinac Bridge, on the Upper Peninsula, at the junction of US-2 and I-75.

            

Fort at No. 4 Living History Museum, New Hampshire

At the time of the French and Indian War, No. 4 was the northernmost British settlement, thirty miles from its nearest neighbor. The fort was actually a fortified village, created by pulling together five existing province houses, building a sixth one, and connecting them with leantos, and a large two-story building containing the only entry gate into the fort. The recreated fort now standing in Charlestown, New Hampshire is a living history museum of this early period.

Fort at No. 4 is located in Charlestown, New Hampshire, 1 1/2 miles from Exit 7, off I-91.

Hubbardton Battlefield, Vermont

Before Vermont was even a state, when it was still a sparsly settled region whose political status was disputed by New York and New Hampshire, Vermonters made two contributions to winning what was probably the most important campaign in the Revolutionary War. As General John Burgoyne advanced south through the Lake Champlain Valley toward Albany, he easily drove American forces out of Fort Ticonderoga, which had been assumed to be the major obstacle in his path. The American army retreated in haste from Ticonderoga toward Hubbardton, Vermont, which then has all of two houses. At Hubbardton, a detachment of the American army joined with some local militia to hold off the British pursuit for several hours. Only the arrival of Hessian reinforcements, and the prospect that the larger British forces would then be able to outflank them, drove the Americans from the field. Hubbardton was the first engagement in the campaign to show Burgoyne’s regulars that American troops could stand up to them in the field. Many of the Americans who fought at Hubbardton were also with General John Stark several weeks later when he inflicted a disastrous defeat on a Hessian detachment at the Battle of Bennington. The Hubbardton Battlefield is now preserved as an historic site by the state of Vermont. A visitor’s reception center houses a museum with exhibits on the battle and the Revolutionary War.

Hubbardton Battlefield is located 7 miles off U.S. Route 4, near East Hubbardton, Vermont.

Historic St. Mary’s City, Maryland

St. Mary’s City was the fourth permanent English settlement in North America and the first capital of the Province of Maryland. The first statute providing for (limited) religious toleration was enacted in the State House that is reconstructed on the site. The site features very little in the way of reconstruction, however, making it something an anti-Williamsburg, leaving most of the city’s colonial appearance to the imagination. (Which approach is more to your taste is something like the difference between preferring television or radio: it is endlessly debatable but in the end, you can enjoy both.) The site is off the beaten track (although a reasonable drive from Washington, D.C., or Baltimore) and seldom crowded, providing a wonderful atmosphere for leisurely viewing the exhibits in the Visitor Center and roaming the grounds to give the imagination time to do its work. One special feature is that archaeologists are busy on the grounds during the summer season. It’s usually possible to get a close-up look at their work and to find an eager archaeological field student to explain what they’re doing.

Located off Route 5 in Southern Maryland, travel time to Historic St. Mary’s City is less than two hours from Washington, D.C. and Annapolis and less than three hours from Richmond and Baltimore.

Confederate Memorial Park, Alabama

Confederate Memorial Park is the site of Alabama’s only Confederate veterans home, which operated from 1902-1939 to care for elderly veterans, wives of veterans, and the widows of veterans. The park has two cemeteries where more than three hundred residents of the veterans home are buried. A museum houses artifacts from the “Old Soldiers Home,” as well as an extensive collection of uniforms, weapons, equipment and other items associated with the Civil War.

Confederate Memorial Park is located between Birmingham and Montgomery, a few miles off Interstate 65 and Highway 31 at 437 County Road 63, Marbury, Alabama 36051.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, Texas

The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library Museum is part of a system of presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The library preserves the papers and memorabilia of President Lyndon Baines Johnson and provides access to these materials for research purposes. In addition, the Library actively collects the papers of Johnson’s contemporaries and conducts an oral history program designed to supplement the written record. The library holds more than 44 million documents, an extensive audiovisual collection, and oral history interviews with more than 1,000 individuals. The papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, which form the core of the Library’s holdings, include the White House files of his presidency, 1963-1969, and papers from his service as a U.S. Congressman, 1937-1949; U.S. Senator, 1949-1961; and Vice President, 1961-1963. Materials in the Library are available on an equal basis to all researchers. However, some collections have not yet been processed and therefore are not open for research. Contact the library for information about access to the library’s collections. Museum exhibits include the 1968 “stretch” Lincoln automobile Johnson used in Washington and a scale replica of the Oval Office as it was during the Johnson presidency, with audio activated by a button.

The Library is located on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin, just off Interstate 35. It may be reached by taking the 26th Street exit, marked “LBJ Library and Museum,” and following the signs to the Library.

American Precision Museum, Vermont

The American Precision Museum celebrates what came to be known in the nineteenth century as the “American system of manufacturing.” The “American system” made modern mass manufacturing possible by combining great refinements in the division of labor, growing precision in machine tooling, and the use of standardized parts. These three factors made it possible to produce manufactured items of high quality at a cost low enough to market to the mass public. The “American system” first developed during the 1840’s and 1850’s in New England with light metalworking industries, including firearms, clocks, watches, locks, and tools of various kinds. From there it spread to neighboring areas and other industries.

The American Precision Museum is housed in a historic building that was itself part of the new system, the Robbins and Lawrence Armory, a National Historic Landmark that was built in 1846. The armory is a fine example of nineteenth century American industrial architecture. The museum displays examples of mechanical and manufacturing technology from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including some of the interchangeable parts were first produced at the Robbins and Lawrence Armory. The collections also include historic hand and machine tools, guns, sewing machines, typewriters, scale models, measuring devices, and consumer products. A library and resource center are available to students and scholars. The museum also sponsors a variety of activities, including an archaeological excavation at a nearby gristmill site, lectures, demonstrations, and walking tours.

The American Precision Museum is located at 196 Main Street in Windsor, Vermont 05089. Windsor is just off Interstate 91 about 20 miles south of White River Junction, Vermont.

Circus World Museum, Baraboo, Wisconsin

Baraboo is the original headquarters of the Ringling Brothers Circus. In 1884 the five Ringling brothers presented their first circus extravaganza in Baraboo, and continued to winter there until 1918. The following year the Ringling brothers, who had in 1907 purchased the Barnum & Bailey Circus, consolidated their holdings and moved to the warmer climate of Florida. In 1959 the original headquarters in Baraboo became The Circus World Museum. The museum complex preserves the original structures; showcases an incomparable collection of circus wagons and memorabilia; and best of all, provides visitors with a nostalgic journey to a bygone era. Circus World Museum is owned by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin and operated by Circus World Museum Foundation, a non-profit organization.

Carter Center, Atlanta, Georgia

The Carter Center is unique among twentieth century post-presidential institutions. Like other ex-presidents, Carter has established the requisite presidential library and museum (right next door to the Center). The Carter Center, however, has been the institutional vehicle for Carter’s activist post-presidential life. And Carter’s only rival for distinguished post-presidential service is John Quincy Adams, who led the fight in Congress against suppression of antislavery petitions, no less. The institution’s own mission statement declares that “The Carter Center, in partnership with Emory University, is guided by a fundamental commitment to human rights and the alleviation of human suffering; it seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health.” To these ends, the center runs health and peace programs internationally, and claims accomplishments like successful election monitoring and refugee relief. The Carter Center itself is open to the public by business appointment or for special events. The museum of the adjoining Jimmy Carter Library is open to the public daily, as are the grounds surrounding the complex. By the way, the Carter Center is also one of the top venues in Atlanta for hosting special events, weddings and receptions, and bar/bat mitzvahs.

Location and Directions

Links: Jimmy Carter Library and Museum

Naval War College Museum, Rhode Island

The Naval War College is an elite institution for training career naval officers in military strategy and naval operations for command, staff, and management positions in the United States Navy. The college has been located at Coasters Harbor Island, two miles north of the center of Newport, Rhode Island, since 1884. The college was originally located in a large stone building that had formerly been the Newport Asylum for the Poor. (Legend has it that Commodore Stephen B. Luce, USN, opened the front door of the old asylum when he first came to establish the new college and solemnly announced, “Poor little poorhouse, I christen thee United States Naval War College.”) Today the old asylum, now known as “Founders Hall,” is a National Historic Landmark and home to the Naval War College Museum. The Museum chronicles the history of naval warfare in general, and especially American naval warfare from colonial times to the present. The museum features permanent exhibits which focus on the planning and exceution of naval campaigns, and temporary exhibits on current developments in naval warfare.

Location and Directions

Links: Naval War College Museum