The date is July 22, 2014, and I am standing on te first floor of the Orange County Historical Museum located in Hillsborough, North Carolina.
As mentioned in my previous posting, my lovely wife and I are in the Tar Heel State enjoying a mini-vacation while our trio of children spend time away at a summer camp. So how did we come to choose North Carolina as our first stop on a four-day respite? The quick and truthful answer is we are a couple who are good at procrastination.
Well, that’s not the entire picture. We are quite good at planning as evidenced by the fact that we had been talking about this mini-getaway for a good six weeks before the actual event. And we talked. And we talked. And we talked some more, but we didn’t actually start planning our destination until six days ago.
Our first choice was Las Vegas. Rather than being a fan of gambling, I dearly wanted to visit Sin City so that I could see Penn and Teller live on stage. However, last-minute flights to Nevada’s most populous city are pricey. In fact, even with the bevy of “last-minute deal” locations on the Internet, we still found it impossible to find any online spur-of-the-moment airline seats that didn’t require us to sell any bodily fluids to purchase.
Option Number Two was a cruise to nowhere. I enjoy being on cruise ships as it gives me the simple opportunity to do nothing but read and partake in the occasional trivia contest. However, much to our chagrin, there were no ships leaving from Baltimore (our closest port of departure) or even New York City (second closest) that fit our schedule.
With time running short and with our first two selections being unavailable, we broke out Google Maps to see which cities were within a day’s drive of us. That is how Chapel Hill, North Carolina, wound up as our first destination which enabled us to visit Raleigh along with its twin museums of science and North Carolina history…which, by the by, are both free and nothing beats the price of zero.
Our last day in North Carolina finds us in Hillsborough courtesy of the woman at the Orange County Visitor’s Center. We had dropped by the day before to ask about the sights to see. The helpful woman at the counter pointed us to Hillsborough saying there were historic homes and museums to see. On her advice we drove north from Chapel Hill which is how we find ourselves at the aforementioned Orange County Historical Museum. This museum has artifacts from the Native American inhabitants, from the colonial times, from the Civil War era, and from North Carolina’s industrial history (i.e., textiles).
However, it was here in this museum that I learned something about our country’s history before the American Revolution that I had never learned before.
TIL – The Regulators were a group of people, mainly lower-class citizens from the backwater areas of North and South Carolina, who waged a campaign – sometimes through force – against corrupt colonial officials.
The Regulation War, fought from 1765 to 1771, was a contest between wealthy officials who collected taxes and non-wealthy farmers who thought they were being over-taxed, if not outright cheated. While those who identified themselves as Regulators were defeated at the Battle of Almanace, there are some who claim that this conflict was a catalyst for the American Revolution.
It’s a good day when you learn something new.