Sample Chapter – The Earliest Possible Date for the First Thanksgiving Day

September 21, 1621 – The Earliest Possible Date for the First Thanksgiving Day
Thanksgiving feasts were a common practice for the European settlers and their native neighbors. It was tradition for the Europeans to set aside days of thanksgiving. They celebrated for a bountiful harvest, drought-ending rains or other providential events. These events did not have any connection with their worship service. They were set during week and commonly involved fasting beforehand. After the fasting, they would have one or several days of celebratory feasting. The Indians had similar traditions. They had thanksgiving celebrations sporadically throughout the year for special events. Thus, both peoples had traditions of this type of celebration. Continue reading Sample Chapter – The Earliest Possible Date for the First Thanksgiving Day

Sample Chapter – Evolution of Road Building Materials

The first roads developed from well used places like stream and river fords, mountain passes and other high traffic areas. From there these early roads most likely followed game trails and natural features of the land. Sometimes extensive networks developed which connected settlements for trade and travel, though they were little more than dirt paths in most cases. The predominant traffic on these early roads would have been foot traffic. Later on horses with travois and then wagons would have used them. Continue reading Sample Chapter – Evolution of Road Building Materials

Sample Chapter – Early Greek and Roman Railways

Early Greek and Roman Railways
First Railways
Archeological evidence indicates that the Greeks, and later the Romans, built paved trackways as early as 600 BC. These trackways consisted of grooves carved into limestone road beds that guided wooden wheeled vehicles along a path. Called the Diolkos, the trackway was about 5 miles long and allowed men to pull boats across the land using some type of wheeled vehicle. This provided a shortcut across the narrowest part of the Isthmus of Corinth. The shortcut gave boats a way to escape the arduous sea voyage around the Peloponnese peninsula. The Greeks used this trackway for about 700 years. The Romans also built similar trackways later on.
Mid-16th century (1550) –Hand-propelled mining tubs
Coal mine workers in the 1550’s used hand propelled mining tubs called hunds to transport the coal from the mine pit to the surface. These vehicles rolled on two wooden planks. A pin in the center of the tub that penetrated the gap between the two planks kept the tub going the right way. The Germans exported the technology to England. Continue reading Sample Chapter – Early Greek and Roman Railways

Sample Chapter – Ancient Gardens – Forest Gardens

The first efforts at gardening appeared in the equatorial regions of Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. No one knows when humans first started cultivating plants, however archeological evidence exists that suggests human first began choosing plants to grow to provide food around 45,000 years ago in forest gardens. These gardens were usually in tracts of land bordering rivers. A forest garden is still a forest, however it contains a large percentage of edible fruit species. Continue reading Sample Chapter – Ancient Gardens – Forest Gardens

Sample Chapter – A Brief History of Napoleon

A Brief History of Napoleon
On February 9, 1820 the town of Napoleon was laid out by William Wilson from a 160 acre government land grant. The village takes its name from the former French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Seven days later he started selling lots. Ten first 32 lots were purchased by George Craig of Vevay, Indiana. Craig went on to build the first Ripley County Court House in Versailles. He later represented Ripley and Switzerland Counties in the Indiana Senate from 1822 – 1824. Continue reading Sample Chapter – A Brief History of Napoleon

Sample Chapter – Eleazer Wheelock Ripley (April 15, 1782 – March 2, 1839)

Eleazer Wheelock Ripley (April 15, 1782 – March 2, 1839)
The son of Sylvanus Ripley and Abigail Wheelock, Eleazer was native to Hanover, New Hampshire. Ripley attended Dartmouth College, graduating in 1800 with a law degree. He opened a practice in Portland, Maine, when Maine was still part of Massachusetts. He served in both the Massachusetts House Representatives and the Massachusetts Senate. When the War of 1812 broke out, he organized the 21st United States Infantry Regiment. Continue reading Sample Chapter – Eleazer Wheelock Ripley (April 15, 1782 – March 2, 1839)

Sample Chapter – General Geology Clifty Falls State Park

The area of Clifty Falls State Park lies on an area geologists call the Cincinnati Arch. This geological formation stretches between the Illinois Basin, in south central Illinois, and the Appalachian Basin, which slants southwest through eastern Virginia. The rock layers in the area of the park slant towards the west with the younger rock faces to the west and the older to the east. The exposed rock is mostly composed of a substance geologists call Laurel Dolomite. Continue reading Sample Chapter – General Geology Clifty Falls State Park