New England History-Literary Tour 2003

Tuesday, May 20, 2003, 44 excited people left Oklahoma City for a literary and historical pilgrimage to Boston, and other places in Massachusetts and New York. The group included 19 college students, 4 SNU professors Peggy Poteet, Carolyn Waterman of the English Department, Bob Lively of the History department, and Vera Hance of the Psychology department. The rest of the group were adults from the community. This was the sixth travel study tour sponsored by the English department since Dr. Poteet became chairman, the first provided in cooperation with the History Department. Three trips have been to parts of the South, including Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. In 1998 the department sponsored the first tour of Boston and New England; in 2001 the department sponsored a trip to England; and this spring our trip was back to New England.

The group participated in several types of activities, including visiting homes of literary and historical figures, visiting villages from specific eras, touring battlefields and visiting museums.

Among the homes visited were those of John and Abigail Adams, Mark Twain, Emily Dickinson, Franklin Roosevelt, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Herman Melville. The group visited and participated in historical activities at the Plimoth Plantation, a recreation of the pilgrim village of 1627, Old Sturbridge Village, an 1830 New England town, and Mystic Seaport Village, a whaling village.

We also walked the Freedom Trail in Boston, which took us through a large part of downtown from Park Street Church, to the old State House to Old North Church. A uniformed continental soldier escorted us through the Saratoga Battlefield, explaining the significance of that turning point battle in our revolution. In addition, some people visited the Basketball Hall of Fame, and all of us visited the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

In addition to the literary and historical visits, we also enjoyed a baseball game at historic Fenway Park, one of two original baseball parks left. Our trip concluded the last night with a festive exciting evening at the Boston Pops.

We left full of warm memories and exciting experiences to savor over the next year. One of the greatest aspects of our trips is the wonderful mingling of different aged people. Our youngest traveler was 15, and our oldest was 92. How we all enriched each others’ time. If you are interested in traveling with us in the future, we are planning a trip in 2005, in conjunction with the History department, to England and France. We will visit literary and historical sites in England, and also visit some important World War II sites in France. We will be posting information on this website to keep you up on what is happening in our department.