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"We tend to get kind of nostalgic for a slower, simpler time period and think fondly of life when our great and great-great grandparents were alive," writes Melissa Harris."They were looking forward to a time where there was more ease and more time-saving devices." Based on the thoughtful suggestions of hundreds of contributors (many of whom are listed at the end of this story) here is a glimpse of — and homage to — the vast number of people in this variegated country who are honoring the past by living in it in one way or another.
It is a steep learning curve," says Jason Walsh in Alaska.Amanda's Bequest is another historic farm stay in Michigan.History Hot Spots Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia is a hallmark for many Americans with a hankering to experience the past.We made cheese, butter and yogurt from the milk that we milked from our own goats.We made juice from our grapes, dinner could be chicken we raised with potatoes we raised, salad from the garden, sour dough bread I baked, and [dessert], baked apples from our trees with honey from our hives." And there are scads of people in every place — cigar-box-guitar maker Bruce Graham in New Hampshire; blacksmiths Lewis Meyer in Kentucky, David Osmundsen in Wyoming and Mike Hensley in North Carolina; leather worker Cliff Pequet in Indiana; chair caner Cathryn Peters in Minnesota; textile evangelist Abby Franquemont and decoy carver Laurel Dabbs in Ohio; ladderback-chair maker Russ Filbeck, farrier Erin Simmons,winemaker Kat Mc Donald and invitation designer Kari Dias in California; broom-maker John Potter, the book preservationists at Eidolon House and bookbinder H.De Lea Sayers in Texas; potter Reggie Britton Delarm and cheese-maker Sister Noella Marcellino in Connecticut; potters Brenda Hornsby Heindl in North Carolina and my cousins Dale and Brin Baucum in Tennessee; schooner chef Anna Miller in Maine; silhouette snipper Lauren Muney in Maryland; cooper Marshall Scheetz in Virginia; photographers Charles Trentelman in Utah, Jen Jansen in Illinois, Mark and France Scully Osterman in New York and Wendell Decker in Tennessee; Windsor-chair maker Jim Van Hoven; apple grower Ken Weston and metalworkers Thomas and Catherine Latane in Wisconsin; the hand weavers of Tierra Wools in New Mexico; baker Evrim Dogu in Virginia; glassblowers like Blenko in West Virginia and Charlie Jenkins in Maine and quilters at the Vermont Quilt Festival; scrimshaw artist Tina White, ax crafter Kyle Leslie and the flint knappers of Puget Sound Knappers in Washington; Southern chef Benjamin Dennis in South Carolina; hammock-maker Mark Richardson in Washington; and Virginia Taylor of the Farm at Frost Corner in Virginia — who swear by particular techniques, ingredients, materials of yesteryear.All across America people are doing it the old-fashioned way — painting murals in New York, making lace in Rhode Island, producing books in Kentucky ..."It is 1910 at my farmstead," says Susan Odom, who runs Hillside Homestead in Michigan.A food historian, Odom routinely serves "turn-of-the-century fare" such as escalloped eggs and graham gems.More than 600 people from around the country sent in star-spangled ideas of American history in action. As the crowd of sources points out in this crowdsourced story, a fair number of our present-day neighbors in the United States dwell in the past — hunting or gathering or going through days (or parts of days) as their ancestors did.They dress up in vintage clothes, speak in distant syntax, use their hands and brains like citizens of yore.