The Town Myth

What unites most locations in the U.S. in terms of their Native history are the myths of Native Disappearance. This myth usually has two parts: 1) The first European replaces the Native people immediately and establishes firsts (church, school, cornfields, etc.) and 2) The last Native person leaves the location forever. What is the story of how the land changed hands between them? If possible, find out who, according to the town’s story,  was the first European, and who was the last Native person.

The first step in obtaining the town’s sense of its own history is to meet the reference librarians at your campus library.  Take a photograph of you together with them and make sure to get their contact info for the future.

Where to find the town’s story of how the land under your campus passed from native to US hands?  Most towns have a dusty old book that narrates the town’s history, and it is likely to sit in your campus library.  This would be a good place to start to learn the settlers’ story of Native disappearance in your area, but if you or your reference librarian find other sources, that works, too. 


Places to start searching for the town myth:

Sonoma State Campus in Rohnert Park 

Truman State University in Kirksville

UNC Asheville 

SUNY Geneseo

Keene State College

University of Farmington

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