What we preserve tells as much about us as it does about the history itself. Preservation is a movement with a history unto itself – but all too often that story is overlooked in favor of the history of the sites that are preserved. Whitney Martinko, an associate professor of History at Villanova University, is tackling that story and recently published Historic Real Estate: Market Morality and the Politics of Preservation in the Early United States, an in-depth look at why and what we preserve and how interconnected our preservation landscape is to our market driven economy. On this week’s PreserveCast we’re talking about the impulse to preserve and what it says about us, the preservers.
Gettysburg is a special place and has been since the ground was made hallowed by soldiers nearly 160 years ago. Today, as America grapples with its history – especially its Civil War history – places like Gettysburg are critical to the understanding of who we are and where we are headed.
Today’s guest is responsible for leading the effort to interpret that history. Christopher Gwinn is the Supervisory Park Ranger for the division of Interpretation and Education and is working hard to reach all Americans with the story of Gettysburg.
Grab your knapsack and toss on your forage cap, we’re headed to the crossroads town of Gettysburg on this week’s PreserveCast.
PreserveCast Ep130: Marylanders Fight to Save the Union: The Old Line State in the Civil War with Dr. Timothy Orr
For Civil War readers and historians, Maryland has always been confounding. Its location along the Mason-Dixon Line meant it was the seat of war for many pitched battles – and divided the loyalties of its citizens. But, for all the impact, bloodshed and division – its contribution to the Union Army is often overlooked. Confederate memory clouds the history – but today, the clouds are lifting thanks to the work of professor and historian Timothy Orr. Dr. Orr has begun to chronicle Marylanders who served in the ranks of the Union Army of the Potomac – a story long overdue that we’ll begin to explore on this episode of PreserveCast.
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Timothy J. Orr is Associate Professor of History at Old Dominion University. He earned his Ph.D. at the Richards Civil War Era Center at Penn State University and he worked for eight years as a seasonal Park Ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park. His publications include Last to Leave the Field: The Life and Letters of First Sergeant Ambrose Henry Hayward (University of Tennessee Press, 2011), Never Call Me a Hero: A Legendary American Dive-Bomber Pilot Remembers the Battle of Midway, a volume co-authored with N. Jack “Dusty” Kleiss and Laura Lawfer Orr (William Morrow, 2017), as well as several scholarly essays about the Army of the Potomac.
PreserveCast Ep. 107: Training a New Generation in the Traditional Trades with Moss Rudley of the National Historic Preservation Training Center
Saving the historic fabric of America's national parks is a massive job, and it requires a wide range of skills. Teaching those skills, and passing down the historic trades within the National Park Service is the responsibility of the National Historic Preservation Training Center. Established in 1977, and headquartered in Frederick, Maryland, the center is the Parks Service's premier preservation training center.
Today's guest, Moss Rudely, is the superintendent of the center and a historic mason by training. And in 2018, Preservation Maryland signed an agreement with the center to launch a new initiative, The Campaign for Historic Trades, which is designed to expand the Center's apprenticeship program. So grab your safety goggles and hammer because, on this week's PreserveCast, we're talking about the role of this unique Center and their efforts to train America's next generation of historic tradespeople.
Moss Rudley is a native of Greenbrier County, West Virginia, where he was raised on a working cattle farm filled with historic vernacular structures. He was first exposed to the trades and the field of historic preservation through the care of hand-hewn log structures of the Scots-Irish and German. A graduate of Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, he has been with the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Training Center since 2000. A historic mason by training, after over 17 years with the Center he was promoted to Superintendent in 2017.
How are battlefields preserved? Why are battlefields preserved? What should we do with a battlefield site once it is protected? These are all important questions, and we are fortunate to be joined by someone who can possibly provide the answers. Jim Lighthizer is the President of the Civil War Trust and an expert in battlefield preservation. Join Nick as Jim shares insight into how he maintains momentum at the head of the nations leading Civil War Battlefield Preservation Organization on this week's PreserveCast.
This episode is part of focus series on the history of the Antietam Battlefield.
Few historic moments continue to reverberate through our nation quite like the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. But despite the way the history lives on, there are some parts that will always be challenging for us to face as a nation. Joe McGill, the founder of the Slave Dwelling Project, joined me to discuss the work he does to shed light on some of the most painful, yet powerful, places in America. Join us for a discussion on the value of remember all aspects of our past, from slave dwellings to Confederate monuments, on this week’s PreserveCast.
Producer's note: This episode is part of our focus series on the history of the Antietam Battlefield.