Learn about history through app

Published 10:15 pm Thursday, February 14, 2019

The average driver traveling through Suffolk might spot the familiar roadside silver signs that mark a moment and place in the area’s history, but not necessarily be able to stop long enough to read the post. It’s a pity when you consider how significant the city is to Virginia’s history and that of the nation.

Thankfully, there’s a way to read via contemporary technology what was missed on the road.

The new Virginia History Trails app is free and can point visitors and local residents alike to locations of interest. In Suffolk, the Great Dismal Swamp, Riddick’s Folly and the Nansemond Indian Nation’s Mattanock Town are all included on the app, with others potentially to be added.

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On the app alone, folks can learn about the swamp’s wildlife and its history as a waystation on the Underground Railroad as well as a refuge for the maroons who created colonies there; about Mills Riddick and his “folly” Greek Revival home that was used as a headquarters for the Union Army during the Civil War; and about the Nansemond Indian Nation’s history at Mattanock Town and along the Nansemond River.

Visitors can also find out more through the app by being pointed to websites and getting directions to visit these sites if they so choose.

We’re pleased that Suffolk history has been acknowledged and included in this history project for the commonwealth, which is all part of the American Evolution that’s commemorating the 400th anniversary of the arrival of several important events in Virginian and American history, most notably the arrival of the first African slaves to North America and the first representative legislative assembly in Virginia.

To learn more, the free Virginia History Trails app can be downloaded at www.americanevolution2019.com/engage/va-history-trails.

We encourage you to visit and learn more about regional and state history at a safe speed — sitting still.