An Extraordinary Resource: Historical Travels

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Aug 12, 2009 / 0 comments

Long-time readers of Wandering Educators will know that I am always poking around the web, finding the coolest sites to share! Well, I found a GREAT travel and history site, entitled Historical Travels: Tales of visits to historical sites in the Middle Atlantic states.  Created by Douglas Pologe, this new site looks to be an excellent resource for the traveler who loves to soak in some history and culture while traveling (well, that describes all of us, doesn't it?).  On Historical Travels, Doug takes us on trips with him - describing the history, sharing maps and excellent photos of a place. It is WAY better than taking a field trip on a busy day - we can read the history that Doug shares with us, and check out the maps and great photos. I've already incorporated Historical Travels into our homeschooling - our daughter is interested in lighthouses and all aspects of marine life, and we've had fun learning about Sandy Hook and the Maritime Museum at Kingston, NY. When our 7-year old asks to visit a history site again, We Listen.  Historical Travels is an extraordinary website already - we're very much looking forward to exploring more with Doug.

We were lucky enough to be able to sit down and talk with Doug, about his site, researching articles, and more. Here's what he had to say...



WE: Please tell us about your site, Historical Travels...

DP: It's a blog about historical sites that I visit; after visiting a new place of interest I create a page about that site.  I live in Rockland County, NY, which sits on the New Jersey border, so I concentrate on the Middle Atlantic states.



WE:  What was the impetus for starting your site?

DP: I lived overseas for ten years, and during that time I developed an appreciation for the life I always had back in "The States". I never had much of an interest in U.S. history, but after returning I started to listen to audio books on subjects such as the American Revolution and the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  I've been doing software development work as a contractor for the last few years, and the most recent contract ended at the end of November.  At that time the economy was entering a recession, so I decided to develop my own web sites and see how far I could go with that.  First I developed a site on the Lewis and Clark Trail, then a blog on the same subject, and now I'm working on Historical Travels.


Maritime Museum, NY - Historical Travels

From the Maritime Museum at Kingston, NY



WE:  What can readers find on your site?

DP: For each article I start with some historical background, working from the overall scenario to the specifics of the destination that I'm writing about.  Usually a couple of maps are included to help the reader visualize both the situation as it was, and how it relates to present-day geography.  They will also find some photographs with accompanying explanation, so that you can get a good feel for what the destination has to offer.



WE:  How do you research your articles?

DP: When I visit a site I spend a lot of time there, acquiring as much information as possible.  Very often I photograph written information displayed at exhibits, in order to save information for use in the article. I also speak with on-location guides as much as possible - that's a great way to clear up questions and misunderstandings that you might have.


Sandy Hook, Lighthouse, Historical Travels

From Sandy Hook: Gateway to NY Harbor



WE:  Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

DP: When it comes to history I really am an amateur, so I'm learning by means of creating new articles. The articles are written for someone who knows as little as I did before the visit; they're really a report on what I've learned.  That's why I always start with general information on the subject of interest, then show how the geographical location being discussed fits in to the larger story.  Then I move to information specific to the site that I visited.


Steam Railroading - Historical Travels

From Rediscovering Steam Railroading



WE: Thanks so very much, Doug. We already love your site, and highly recommend it to our readers!


For more information, please see:


All photos courtesy and copyright of Douglas Pologe, Historical Travels.