Fondly Remembered: Place and Memory in America

Home, vacation, business trip.

Though these words might have diverse meanings, they all carry distinctive images of one thing: place. Each word or phrase may have evoked different feelings, but each one is linked to definite ideas and memories of the places we live, work, and play.

In 2006 alone, the U.S. Census Bureau reported 50 million Americans moved to another home, while two-thirds of Americans in May 2009 said they were planning a summer vacation. With all these changes of scenery, capturing images of the places dearest or most fascinating to us assumes extra importance.

Every person has his or her own way of remembering. Maybe it's a tattered road map covered with notes, or a photo of the sunset from the back porch, or that cute figurine from a honeymoon to New York. Whatever they are, these items help us relive special places no matter where we go.


Rebecca Bush, University of South Carolina Public History Program