The Ties that Bind Us
I attended a lecture at the Narramissic (an Algonquin word meaning "hard to find") Farm owned by the Bridgeton Historical Society. I was there to hear a lecture by Colin Woodard about his book American Nations. I was also there to see the interior of the barn where the lecture was held. It is nearly 200 years old and is a rare example of barn building employing the English Tying Joint. It turned out to be a nice metaphor for the lecture as well.
Colin Woodward is an awarding winning author and journalist and a Maine native. His book postulates the idea of an America of distinct regions. Regions based on not geography but on who originally settled the area. It was fascinating and explained a lot of the current conflict we see in the country today.
The evening also reminded me of the New England tradition of local Lyceums where people would gather to hear lectures. Abolitionists of the mid-18th century, some of whom were my ancestors, would gather in places just like this around New England and the Mid-West to advocate for the eradication of slavery, a system Woodard shows in his book was entrenched in the south because of the slave culture of the people that settled there.
I am not doing justice to the scope and depth of Woodard's book but I do suggest you read it if you want a clearer understanding of the history and development of America. The barn and Woodard's lecture added more depth and richness to my genealogical research on my own family's story.
UPDATE: Our exhibit at the fair, which I posted yesterday, won first place in the judging! We are thrilled!