Researching Historical Fiction

When you want things to go bump in the night…

... they rarely do. I found that out on my first ghost hunt last night (Friday the 13th) at historic Paxton Manor in Leesburg, Va. The 32-room house, built for Rachel and Charles Paxton in 1872, featured many decorative interior details such as silver hardware and elaborate plasterwork. The exterior reflects the influence of Second… Continue reading When you want things to go bump in the night…

Researching Historical Fiction

History in your own backyard

I live on the East Coast, which makes visits to historic sites in the West a bit of a challenge. For my novel, I researched classic one-room schoolhouses to help me get a better sense of the kind of education a young woman might have had in the Midwest in the 1860s to about 1870… Continue reading History in your own backyard

Researching Historical Fiction

When you can’t go to Bodie in person…

I recently stumbled on “Gold Rush Ghost Towns,” an episode in the History Channel’s Save Our History series hosted by Steve Thomas (of “This Old House” fame). It’s a fascinating mix of old photos and modern-day footage of the ghost towns of Bodie, Calif., and Bannack and Garnet in Montana. And it offers a treasure… Continue reading When you can’t go to Bodie in person…