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Bill Thayer

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An American Scrapbook

A country in the Americas: 9,630,000 square kilometers. 2000 population: 281,400,000. Capital: Washington, D. C.

[image ALT: One side of a residential street, with its sidewalk, extending 200 meters to the background: lawns and barren trees, and low single-story and two-story houses with pitched roofs. It is a view of the 1700 block of West Arthur Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.]

The United States are my home; in fact, you're looking at my house here at the very beginning of spring: it's the one with the green door, in a typical working-class neighborhood of Chicago.

After nearly ten years online building a very large site on Italy, in the late winter of 2006 it finally struck me that I didn't have much on my own country: I'm an American after all, and proud to be one. So now I'm repairing that, little by little — although I don't yet have much fresh photographic material; when I was running around the States, I had no camera, and now that I have a good camera, I tend to stay put: life is peculiar.

[image ALT: A domed and pedimented building in a park, with a monumental bronze statue in the foreground. It is a view of the Old State Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky (eastern central United States).]

Kentucky — a beautiful state — is represented onsite by a growing selection of what little of it I've seen so far; not as much as I'd like. A glimpse of the coal mining area of Letcher County in the Appalachians; the grave of the iconic Kentuckian hero Daniel Boone; the ghost town of Cannel City in Morgan County, the mysterious petroglyphs of the Marked Rock at Manchester.

[ 8/8/06: 43 webpages, 64 photos; 141 pages of print ]

[image ALT: A wooden telephone pole and a tall brick steeple with a steep pointed copper roof peeking out from a raised railroad embankment. It is a view taken from the 6400 block of North Ravenswood Avenue in Chicago.]

The churches of my neighborhood — for now, a placeholder page — are the first instalment in what I expect will be a largish site on the city of Chicago, where I live. Stay tuned.

[ 10/31/07: 1 webpage, 21 churches, 21 photos ]

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Also in Chicago, The Stephen A. Douglas Memorial, where the 19c politician is buried. It's an attractive place, with several different historical resonances.

[ 1/21/10: 3 webpages, 15 photos ]

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My site on Louisiana isn't actually part of this Scrapbook, but it's very large and full of information, and if I didn't include it here, at least for now, the page on your screen would feel very bare. Gayarré's History of Louisiana, Kendall's History of New Orleans, and Grace King's book on the Crescent City are the most important works onsite, but there are some other interesting items too.

[ 3/12/06: 2275 pages of print, presented in 94 webpages;
56 photos, 10 maps, 132 other illustrations ]

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Page updated: 21 Jan 10