This inquiry is an exploration into the concepts of time, continuity, and change in a community with the dual purpose of establishing students’ understandings of the passage of time and explaining why the past matters today. The inquiry taps into a common student assumption about the authority of the present and its existence independent of past events and contexts. One way to explore present circumstances is through an examination of the short- and long-term effects of the past. The constructs of cause and effect are complex, chiefly because multiple causes may be associated with one event, just as multiple effects can be tied to a single cause. Through identifying the relationship of cause and effect, students learn to recognize how continuity and change over time help us understand historical developments in our present communities.