Academics often deride local history as poorly-researched, ill-written, and insular.
This criticism can and is levelled at history written on any level, but who can scorn local research as insufficient when so little material is in place? As to poorly-written, hell, even Gibbon can go on like he’s working with an empty bottle of port at his elbow. As to insularity, who can say that the storming of the Bastille isn’t local history to Parisians or the Beer Hall Putsch isn’t to Munich?
The least motes of history forge the narrative, and in the smallest arenas of mankind we find a locus of the whole. Let us treasure those who compelled by their love of place put before us a likeness of how it was before our time, helping us learn who we are, revealing how this part of the world shapes our lives.
A History of Greater Belhaven is available at the Greater Belhaven Neighborhood Foundation in Jackson, Mississippi.