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.
Food is powerful. It has the ability to transcend artificial divisions and to unite – and it can speak to our history and heritage if we’re willing to listen, or think with our tastebuds.
For today’s guest, using food to tell a story is all a part of his daily work. Brent Rosen is the President and CEO of NatFAB, the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, and the Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans, Louisiana.
So, pack your back, but don’t bring any food – we’ve got that covered on this week’s PreserveCast.
You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, but do you recall Rankin/Bass – the company behind some of America’s most beloved stop-action holiday films? Today’s guest, Rick Goldschmidt does. He’s a historian of Rankin/Bass Productions – the creative team that created Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Year without a Christmas, and dozens upon dozens more. Preserving the legacy of those films and the actual props has been a lifelong passion for Rick and on this week’s PreserveCast we’ll head back to the 1960s to talk TV preservation and memory with an authority on the subject.
Few names in American history inspire as much controversy, admiration, and consternation. He was a controversial figure in his own time and remains so today. No matter your opinion, Brown’s legacy is critically important and must be explored and remembered.
Today’s guest, Martha Swan, is the founder and Executive Director of John Brown Lives!, an organization dedicated to preserving Brown’s farm in upstate New York and using his legacy to inspire future generations.
On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re talking about John Brown, memory and how to use the past to engage the present.
The UK’s Kiplin Hall: Exploring the Ancestral Home of Maryland’s Most Prominent Colonists with Director James Etherington
When most Marylanders – or most Americans for that matter – think about the first European settlers they generally begin that story on the shores of North America.
However, in reality, these early colonists had long lives in their native countries before they ever set foot in America. Today’s guest, James Etherington, is the Director of Kiplin Hall – a historic site in England that interprets the ancestral home of the Calverts, one of Maryland’s earliest and most prominent colonial families.
On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re heading across the pond to tell the rest of the story of American colonization.
Change can be difficult. Building momentum, engaging diverse audiences, and bringing history to life is the tough stuff of preservation and community engagement.
Today’s guest, Dana Saylor, has made it her mission to help fellow preservationists, artists, community leaders, and interested citizens in developing strategies that turn ideas into action. Dana is a creative community connector and mentor to fellow changemakers. Her work is about building emotional connection to place. She is based in Buffalo, New York, and is an Advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re talking the nuts and bolts of making change happen with a leading voice for this critical and timely work.
Hey, Nick here, and before we get started – just a quick reminder to please consider making a donation – even $5 would go a long way – and you can do it at preservecast.org; also would you be willing to give us a five-star rating and maybe a quick review. We haven’t had a new review in way too long and I need your help! And, finally, today’s episode is made possible thanks to the support of The 1772 Foundation. Now, let’s make some change happen!
For most of us – Thanksgiving is a time of reflection, communion and appreciation – shared around a table groaning under the weight of rich foods with family and friends. Central to the holiday is a story dating back to the 1620s – when our European forbearers gathered with native peoples and peacefully celebrated a harvest. Or, at least, that’s what legend, myth and selective memory would lead us to believe.
Today’s guest, Dr. David J. Silverman, has authored a powerful new history of Thanksgiving which explores the story from all angles – and makes the case that the way we remember and consider Thanksgiving requires thoughtful reconsideration as we endeavor to tell the full story of American history.
Hey, Nick here – and as we approach Thanksgiving – I want to say thank you to all of our listeners – you have made this podcast a huge success and have grown us to become one of the most listened to history and preservation podcasts in the nation – no small feat for a podcast produced on a shoestring. Speaking of that shoestring, and thanks, would you consider making a quick donation today to help us bring more content like this to you in the year ahead? Every bit helps and we greatly appreciate whatever you can provide! Now, let’s head back to the 1620s to get the full story of Thanksgiving.
Olivia Williams of McLeod Plantation: Fighting Racism & Building Empathy through Honest Educational Interpretation
Today’s guest is a part of a powerful movement to share the authentic, painful and real history of slavery at some of America’s most visited plantation sites.
Olivia Williams is a cultural history interpreter at McLeod Plantation Historic Site in Charleston, South Carolina. She’s been featured in the BBC, CBS News and the New York Times for her work and for shining a light on the awkward and uncomfortable questions posed by many visitors which underscore the lack of understanding of America’s slaveholding past.
This week on PreserveCast, we’ll discuss this critical work with a master of the trade.
Mining Historic Stream Beds for the Newest Innovation in Eco-Friendly Paint with Michelle Shively of True Pigments
In some cases, the legacy of history is buried deep – requiring research, archaeology, or exploration to find it. In other cases, the legacy of history literally clouds our streams. On today’s PreserveCast, we’re blending modern environmentalism with a discussion of the legacy of mining in rural Ohio – and how old damage is creating new vibrancy with Michelle Shively, the Director of Project Development for True Pigments – a project aimed at using pollution to give the world a fresh coat of paint. Make sure you have your painting smock on because we’re about to let the pigments fly on this week’s PreserveCast.
Our nation is confronting challenges on almost every front – so why invest money in historic sites when the challenges are so great?
Places like Historic Sotterley, located in Southern Maryland, can make the case for why we should invest. Sotterley has worked to become an exceptional cultural and educational resource for its region and state, and through ongoing work strives to help build a better community with local and regional partners.
On today’s episode of PreserveCast, we’re talking with Nancy Easterling, the Executive Director of Historic Sotterley about tackling the complex history of a plantation and how that conversation can improve communities.
On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re taking a departure from our normal programming to bring you a tale of old about the story of Michael Zittle – the Wizard of South Mountain.
Much of what we know of Michael Zittle and the lore of South Mountain comes from Madeline Vinton Dahlgren, a 19th-century author, tavern keeper, anti-suffragist, and owner of the still-operational South Mountain Inn. New research, writing, and dramatic reading by your host, Nicholas Redding.
As the chill of autumn arrives and we approach All Hallows Eve, we'll indulge in this haunted history and talk of wizards, spells, and sorcery...
There are some topics that are easy to introduce to our PreserveCast listeners. Today’s episode is not one of those – but it is a topic we feel compelled to cover and explore.
Among his many responsibilities and positions, today’s guest, Dr. David Fakunle, is also currently serving as the as Chair of the Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the first state body in the United States dedicated to chronicling and bringing justice to racial terror lynchings.
It is a dark and painful chapter in our history – but a history which we’ll confront and discuss on this week’s PreserveCast with a leader dealing with the legacy of lynchings and the effort to bring justice to those who were denied it.
As a child growing up in Western New York, with Mohawk cousins, the history and world of native American culture always fascinated me. The story of the native peoples of America speak through many voices – music, art, culture – but all too often are missing from the landscape of museums and historic sites.
Today’s guest, G. Peter Jemison, is a renaissance figure in native culture, art, and heritage and also serves as the Historic Site Manager of Ganondagan State Historic Site, the location of a 17th-century Seneca town in Victor, NY.
On today’s PreserveCast, we will explore the rich history of the Iroquois and learn how their heritage continues in the present.
Today on PreserveCast, we’re talking with Richard Carlin and Ken Bloom, the co-authors of Eubie Blake: Rags, Rhythm and Race, a new biography of one of the key composers of 20th century American popular song and jazz.
A gifted musician, Blake rose from performing in dance halls and bordellos of his native Baltimore to the heights of Broadway. As successful as his career and music were, racism and bad luck hampered Blake's career. Remarkably, the third act of Blake's life found him heralded in his 90s at major jazz festivals, in Broadway shows, and on television and recordings.
Now, let’s get jazzy on this week’s PreserveCast!
Best of the West with Katherine Wonson of the National Park Service’s Western Center for Historic Preservation
Wyoming is a mysterious and magical place. The very word conjures up visions of roughhewn buildings, horses, and wide open spaces. Preservation seems a natural fit in that majestic setting – and today’s guest is plying the craft and trade of preservation in Jackson Hole as the Director of the National Park Service’s Western Center for Historic Preservation. So, tighten your girth and slacken your rein, we’re headed to Wyoming to talk preservation, western style, on this week’s PreserveCast.
Foxfire is the bioluminescence created by some species of fungi present in decaying wood. It is a wonderfully evocative word selected by a teacher and student over 50 years ago to be the title for their new project to document life in the southern Appalachians.
What started initially as a student project has live on for decades and is today an open-air museum and outdoor village with over 20 historic log buildings and the Foxfire Archive, which consists of over 50 years of oral history interviews, images, and video.
With the light of the foxfire marking our path, on this week’s PreserveCast we’re talking with Kami Ahrens, the Assistant Curator for the Foxfire Museum about the special work they’re doing to preserve the past.
Do you ever wonder how authors and historians can keep writing new books about the same 'ole history?
Shouldn’t it never change because it’s all in the past?
The truth is anything but.
No one can explain that better than our guest, Dennis Frye – having been involved in everything from giving tours to leading nationally important preservation and battlefield protection organizations, few people know the complexities of Civil War history like Dennis.
In his recent book, Antietam Shadows: Mystery, Myth & Machination, Dennis makes the case that history should never lie dormant, it always needs to be re-examined, stating, “Historians should always be challenging themselves. They should always be a detective. They should always be mining for new information, and if it completely reverses something that’s conventional, good, good. Throw it out there and let people see it in a different way, in a different manner, in a different light.”
Listen in to this episode of PreserveCast to hear from Dennis about his investigative and inclusive approach to historical research on this special re-broadcast in commemoration of the Anniversary of the Battle of Antietam.
In a world where rational, scientific explanations are more available than ever, belief in the unprovable and irrational – in fringe – is on the rise: from Atlantis to aliens, from Flat Earth to the Loch Ness monster, the list goes on.
Enter Colin Dickey, Cultural Historian and Tour Guide of the Weird.
With the same curiosity and insight that made Ghostland a hit with readers and critics, Colin looks at what all fringe beliefs have in common, explaining that today's Illuminati is yesterday's Flat Earth: the attempt to find meaning in a world stripped of wonder.
On this week’s PreserveCast things are about to get weird as we enter The Unidentified: Mythical Monsters, Alien Encounters, and Our Obsession with the Unexplained.
It has been historically all too easy for the places associated with underrepresented communities to fall through the cracks of the historic record.
To a degree, that has been the case with the overly-simplified history presented of the Women’s Suffrage Movement. But with the recent spotlight on the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, new research and a more inclusive and accurate telling of the complex history has started to fill in those cracks.
In this rereleased episode, your host Nick Redding was joined by historian Kacy Rohn, the author of Maryland's historic context report focused on uncovering the stories of the remarkable women of Maryland's suffrage movement.
Join us for a discussion on the fight for women’s right to vote in the United States, and the power of place to help us remember that fight.
This is PreserveCast.
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.
Going Net Zero at Historic Sites with Siân Phillips of the National Trust of England, Wales & Northern Ireland
When most people think of a historic site or landscape, they don’t think about the future...
Today’s guest is not most people.
Siân Phillips is a renewable energy specialist with the National Trust of England, Wales and Northern Ireland – a legendary preservation organization which is charting a new course for historic places – they’re using our past to literally power the future.
This isn’t your grandaddy’s preservation – and we’re thrilled to bring it to you on this week’s PreserveCast.
Few names have become as synonymous with grit, determination, and liberty as Harriet Tubman. A Moses for her people, Tubman has become an almost mythical character who represents the best of the American spirit in the face of incredible suffering and inhumanity. Yet, for many years, she lacked a rigorous and scholarly biography.
Today’s guest, Dr. Kate Clifford Larson, addressed that historical inequity and helped bring Harriet’s real story to a new generation. On this week’s PreserveCast, we're heading back to the brackish marshes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore to talk Tubman, slavery, and freedom.
PreserveCast is powered by Preservation Maryland, a non-profit organization.
Nestled among the verdant fields and winding streams of the Genesee River Valley in upstate New York is one of America’s largest living history museums. Founded in 1966, the Genesee Country Village & Museum features 68 historic structures from the 19th century, moved from locations throughout Western New York, a gallery of sporting art, and a nature center and attracts more than 90,000 visitors each year. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re headed back to the 19th century to talk with Genesee Country Village & Museum CEO Becky Wehle and Curator of Collections Peter Wisbey about the future of open-air museums and the historic trades.
We all need role models – and we need to see ourselves represented – whether in film, print . . . or in Mattel’s iconic Barbie. Today’s guest, Despina Stratigakos, Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence at the University at Buffalo, is a writer, historian, and professor. She is the author of three books that explore the intersections of power and architecture. Her most recent book, Where Are the Women Architects? confronts the challenges women face in the architectural profession. Despina also participated in a fascinating effort to get the Mattel Corporation to give Barbie a career in architecture. It was a study in representation and the future of the field – a story that we’ll detail in miniature and more on this week’s PreserveCast.