Today a friend and I took a walk around a nearby small town using a brochure published by the local historical society as a walking tour of historical buildings. We not only had a great time, but we walked for 90 minutes without even thinking twice about it.
Sometimes we become so focused on the idea of getting fit that we forget that there are ways to get exercise that are a lot of fun as well. I have a standard “date” with a friend for a monthly adventure. We usually ski, snowshoe, bike, canoe, or something like that. But she hurt her neck last week and can’t do any of those activities yet. She was well enough to walk, but the trails have too much snow and ice to just hike. What were we to do?
She rummaged around in her files and found a flyer published by a local historical society which included a self-guided walking tour of a few commercial buildings, the churches, and quite a few houses. There are 48 buildings of interest in the flyer.
This is a midwest town, so we aren’t talking ancient buildings. The oldest was built in the 1860s. It’s a cute little town, but I hadn’t really ever looked so closely at the types of architecture. We walked around, in a low-impact activity for an hour and a half. That was great exercise for her until her neck heals, and a nice walk is always a pleasure for me.
We learned some interesting history including the fact that in 1896 a mill owner had been shot in his home (a Victorian mansion), and that the man who shot him went home to his own house (a Lake Cottage), shot his family and then himself, leaving the motive for the murder in perpetual mystery!
I had thought that I knew this town well, but now I know that I have only scratched the surface! I had never noticed so many details of architecture when driving by in a car.
The styles we saw included Federal, Georgian, Queen Anne, Michigan Farm House, Lake Cottage, Colonial, and two which were ordered as kits from the Sears Catalog around 1930!
So, for some education and an aerobic workout, call the local historical societies or Chambers of Commerce and see what they offer in terms of walking tours.
The pictures include Federal, Victorian, and Queen Anne Details.