Since many of the barns that Aged Woods uses for reclaimed wood are between 100 and 200 years old it is interesting to take a look back at some of the events that were happening around the world when these structures were constructed. 1818 was a relatively peaceful time, unlike what would happen a century later.

The year kicked off on New Year’s Day with the official reopening of the White House after its reconstruction from its burning during the British occupation of Washington DC in 1814. President James Monroe is probably only too happy to move back in. Two days later Venus occults (passes between Earth) Jupiter, the last such time that this happens until November 22, 2065. Mark your calendars! One of the great horror novels of all time is published for the first time on March 11 in London. Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein is published anonymously. In the US General Andrew Jackson also known as Old Hickory leads American troops into Florida to fight the Seminole tribe. This begins a series of conflicts that will last for decades until the Seminole tribe was paid to leave in 1858. Jackson’s men did not carry with them the new US flag, which had just been adopted on April 4. It had 13 red and white stripes and a star for each state on a blue field.

Three days later the Brooks Brothers clothing store opened its doors in New York City. It is the oldest clothing retailer in the United States. Sports history was made on October 8 when two English boxers used padded gloves for the first time. On October 20 a sticky situation was resolved by treaty between the United States and United Kingdom setting the boundary between the two on the 49th parallel from the Lake of the Woods to the Rocky Mountains. This created a geographic anomaly called the Northwest Angle in what would become Minnesota, which is still in existence to this day. The two sides also agreed to jointly control the Oregon Territory. The United States admitted its 21st state on December 3 when Illinois entered the Union. Farmers in this new state would get the advice of the Farmer’s Almanac, which was published on an unknown date during the year.

On October 24 a nine year old Felix Mendelssohn performed his first public concert in Berlin. Not to be outdone in Austria at the St. Nikolaus parish church in Oberndorf bei Salzburg Stille Nacht (Silent Night) is performed for the first time. The church priest, Josef Mohr, wrote the words and the church organist, Franz Xaver Gruber, wrote the music.

Among those who came into the world include slave and future abolitionist Frederick Douglass on February 14 (his actual birthday was never known since he was born into slavery but he adopted this date), Russian Emperor Alexander II (April 17), revolutionary socialist Karl Marx (May 5), Italian astronomer and the first to state that the sun is a star Angelo Secchi (June 29), English writer Emily Bronte (July 30), American inventor Richard Gatling (September 12), future Confederate postmaster general John Reagan (October 8), future Union generals Irvin McDowell (October 15), Edward Ord (October 18) and Benjamin “Spoons” Butler (November 5), future first lady Mary Todd Lincoln (December 13), American scientist and the inventor of the inverted microscope J. Lawrence Smith (December 17) and English physicist James Prescott Joule (December 24).

Among those who left this world in 1818 include American war hero George Rogers Clark (February 13), silversmith and patriot Paul Revere (May 10), Russian general Barclay de Tolly (May 26), Abraham Lincoln’s mother Nancy Hanks (October 5) and the second first lady Abigail Adams (October 28).