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Focus Term: History Happened Here

Elevating Opportunity in 2023—Reflections From the Trails Movement
December 14, 2023
It has been described as a “tipping point,” “critical mass” and “milestone” achievement. Regardless of what it’s called, there’s no doubt that the proliferation of trail networks around the United States is significant.
Ohio's Cleveland Foundation Centennial Lake Link Trail | Photo by Jason Cohn
Awaiting Takeoff: The Wright Brothers’ Biking Legacy
December 04, 2023
On a gray North Carolina beach, 120 years ago this December, Wright Brothers completed the first powered flight of a heavier-than-air aircraft.
Wilbur Wright working in the Wright brothers’ Dayton, Ohio, bicycle shop in 1897
End of the Line: How Timber and Train Tracks Transformed the Olympic Peninsula
October 25, 2023
This History Along the Great American Rail-Trail® feature explores the timber industry and creation of two railroads on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula in the early 1900s. The late-1918 completion of the Spruce Railroad, which was meant to aid the war effort, led to a national scandal.
U.S. Spruce Production Division splicing an eye into cable during a logging operation | Photo courtesy Bert Kellogg Collection of the North Olympic Library System
Remembering the Chinese Forerunners Who Built the Northern Pacific
May 05, 2023
On Aug. 22, 1883, the final tracks of the Northern Pacific Railway were laid when a Chinese crew from the West met an Eastern crew of mostly Irish and Slavic workers near Inde­pendence Creek, Montana.
A Chinese railroad worker on the developing Northern Pacific line in 1905 | Photo courtesy University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Wisconsin’s Ozaukee Interurban Trail
April 07, 2023
This is the Ozaukee Interurban Trail, a paved, 30-mile route flanking the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan through the northern suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Wisconsin's Ozaukee Interurban Trail in Cedarburg | Photo courtesy Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department
Explore Trails While Learning About the Nation’s Rich History
April 04, 2023
According to The Historical Marker Database, there are more than 176,000 historic markers, and there will be even more historic markers dedicated to elevating the stories of people and places along the Great American Rail-Trail®
Red Brick Road | Photo by Gene Bisbee
Pennsylvania’s Schuylkill River Trail
March 03, 2023
The Schuylkill River Trail (SRT) is a multiuse path that will ultimately extend 120 miles between the small town of Frackville in east-central Pennsylvania and the confluence of the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers in Philadelphia.
Overlook at 61st Street along Pennsylvania's Schuylkill River Trail | Photo courtesy SRDC
Washington’s Centennial Trail
February 14, 2023
Traversing a region in northwest Washington known for its rural farmlands, lush riverbeds, forests and lakesides, as well as its historic districts with that timeless small-town feel, Snohomish County’s Centennial Trail is a popular route among the nearly 90 rail-trails in the state.
Washington's Centennial Trail | Photo by Barbara Richey
Travels Through Time on the Tahoe-Pyramid Trail
February 13, 2023
The bi-state Tahoe-Pyramid Trail (TPT) intersects some of the richest histories that have shaped the West as it follows the Truckee River on its developing 114-mile journey from the Lake Tahoe shoreline in California to Nevada’s Pyramid Lake. Here we showcase some of the diverse historical events trail users can learn about along the way
Photo by Helena Guglielmino
Industrial Heartland History: Scott’s Run—the Most Diverse Coal Camp in America
February 02, 2023
Take a step inside the Scott’s Run Museum in Osage, West Virginia, on a Saturday afternoon, and you’re in for a story time like no other.
Once the most thriving coal district in the U.S., Scott’s Run fell on hard times in the 1920s. Residents who were not allowed to move to the nearby New Deal community of Arthurdale banded together, forming workers alliances and cooperatives to survive. (1937) | Photo by Lewis Hine