I am a nerd.
I'm sorry to have to tell you this. I know it's shocking news.
You see, I have an addiction to history. In other words, I'm fascinated by stuff that happened a long time ago. Even though I was a communications major in college, I took several world and U.S. history classes, which I found a lot more interesting. It's not really the major events and famous people that intrigue me--it's everyone else. I love to learn about the not-so-well-known people who made a difference in this world, no matter how small.
I'm lucky enough to live in a part of the United States where history lives and breathes all around me. Native American history. Civil War history. Oregon Trail history. Presidential history.
And my favorite, Wild West history.
My friend Meredith and I recently took a road trip to an old Wild West town on our day off work. (Meredith is a nerd too, except much cooler). This town has several really cool museums and old buildings which have been preserved from the 1800s.
On our way there, we found this hole-in-the-wall hot dog place in the middle of nowhere. So, obviously, we had to eat there. We were surprised by the amount of variety at this small place. They had everything from chili dogs to Chicago dogs to the most bizarre creations (salsa and sauerkraut dog...um, no thanks).
Once we got to the Wild West town, we were in heaven. Everything was so cool. We toured an old dentist office, general store, pharmacy, bank, and our favorite, a newspaper building (Meredith and I are both reporters).
What struck us was how short all the ceilings and doors were in each place we went. According to our tour guide, people were much shorter 200 years ago.
I am five feet tall and here I am standing in a saloon that has been restored to its original 1800s look.
Meredith, who is a few inches taller, was almost brushing the ceiling with her head!
Afterwards, we went to a museum which had the coolest and creepiest old toys, gorgeous Wild West gowns and accessories, and a giant train.
To kill time we played the museum's game where you had to go through each exhibit and find something that doesn't belong in each area. (For example, in the fashion area we found a brand new glue gun, and in a bedroom area we found a clock radio). The prize for getting all the answers correct was a share in the railroad stock. I was really excited because I thought if we won, Meredith and I were going to get rich.
When we finished the game, the museum curator told us, we in fact, did win. She gave us our stock and I ran down the street squealing with excitement. But then we did some research and found out that the railroad we were given stock for doesn't even exist anymore. The company fell apart in 1908. I felt cheated and sorely disappointed. It was just a game after all. Meredith and I were not going to get rich. The realization hit me hard and I was sad all the way home.
But overall, it was a fantastic day and I learned a lot.
Did you know that back in old times all the rich households and hotels had "fainting couches" (chaises) because women wore extremely tight corsets that made them likely to faint throughout the day?
And, the legendary sharp shooter, Annie Oakley, was my height: five feet tall?
Oh, and the requirements to be a mailman for the Pony Express: you had to be under 18, skinny, male, and an orphan. (Because there was a 90% chance you were going to die on the way to deliver the mail across the country and they didn't want to deal with grieving families).
Anyway, you get the point.
Am I the only history nerd out here? Is there anything historical that fascinates you?
PS. Don't forget to enter my giveaway!