101 Ideas for Writing a Local History


There are endless possibilities for writing local histories. The following are ideas for elements of local history. Any of these ideas could represent a snippet, a chapter or become a local history unto itself:

Professions
Farming, mining, ranching, medicine, crafts, craftsmanship, banking, manufacturing, logging, science, technology, information, inventions, merchants, wholesalers, working conditions, etc.

Institutions
Schools, courts, military units, libraries, government agencies, fire departments, law enforcement, etc.
Associations. Sports teams, Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Woodmen of the World, unions, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4H, philanthropic, social, fraternal, activist, etc.

Religious Groups
Churches, synagogues, mosques, religious movements, religious colonies, etc.

Transportation
Freighters, wagon roads, railroads, stage companies, stations or airports, riverboats, barges, trails or roads, aerospace, aeronautics, etc.

People
Famous or notorious, leaders, office holders, women, children, what became of (e.g. a school class), the poor, ethnic groups, religious groups, etc.

Events
Natural disasters, on this day, during this year, anniversaries, economic depression, loss or gain of a major employer, politics, etc.

Architecture
Neighborhoods, downtown, building styles, building techniques, public buildings, historic homes, etc.
Transitions. Town into city, fort into town, farm into metropolis, boom to bust, populated to ghost town, etc.

Customs
Marriages, burials, holidays, celebrations, 4th of July, parades, rallies, expectations, manners, roles for men and women, expectations of children, economic class, etc.

Entertainment
Music, art, dance, theater, movies, plays, books, museums, carnivals, festivals, leisure, traveling acts, circus, etc.

With an endless number of ideas for writing a local history, your challenge is to determine how many different topics will be covered in your book, over what time period, and how you will weave the stories together.



Dina C. Carson is the author of Publish a Local History: A Step-by-Step Guide from Finding the Right Project to Finished Book, available from www.irongate.com, Amazon.com (for Kindle) or other fine bookstores.

© 2016 Dina C Carson
Contact information:
Iron Gate Publishing, email, www.irongate.com; Books for Genealogists and Local Historians
Boulder Pioneers Project, www.boulderpioneers.org, www.facebook.com/Boulder.Pioneers.Project
Artwork, www.CafePress.com/GraveArt; www.CafePress.com/LilacGardenArt