June 14, 2021
In Burgundy, France, around forty workers are taking up an extraordinary challenge: to build a fortified castle using the techniques and materials used in the Middle Ages. It’s almost a surreal project and today we’re talking with Sarah Preston, a bilingual tour guide at Guédelon, a site that is literally resurrecting age old trades in the name of preservation, history and understanding.
I was introduced to Guédelon by a previous PreserveCast guest, Peter Ginn – who participated in “Secrets of the Castle,” a BBC series which explored the challenges of building a castle using only medieval techniques. Peter connected us to Sarah Preston, today’s guest, and the rest is history.
June 7, 2021
With every year that passes, the D-Day landings move further and further from memory to history – and how we protect, remember and honor those bloody beaches becomes a conflict between tourism and respect. Today’s guests are part of a Normandy based preservation organization opposed to the creation of a D-Day land – a cross between heritage and entertainment that has riled up the normally quiet bocage country.
May 10, 2021
Connecting place to story to digital resources is a challenge confronting communities across the globe. That’s why when I learned about nashvillesites.org, I knew we had a winner for PreserveCast. Not only is Nashville an amazing town – but this story holds many lessons for countless other places looking to bring their history to life.
There are over 150 metro markers, over 50 more state and nationally designated and recognized historic markers, sites, buildings, and districts in Metro Nashville. NashvilleSites.org augments Nashville’s unique history with multimedia information and dynamic online resources.
April 26, 2021
Candacy Taylor is an award-winning author, photographer and cultural documentarian working on a multidisciplinary project based on the Green Book. In Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America, Taylor has masterfully pulled together this story of resilience and segregation in a way that elevates and memorializes this history – a history still rooted in countless towns and cities across America.
March 22, 2021
I have been a big fan of Peter Ginn ever since I watched the first episode of Victorian Farm, where he portrayed a Victorian-era farmer in England alongside Ruth Goodman and Alex Langlands. Peter has deftly combined his knowledge of the past with entertainment and is a proud ambassador for preserving historic trades and crafts. In short, he’s the ideal PreserveCast guest.
February 15, 2021
What do you get when you cross information from George Washington’s own handwritten letters, records from the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, and the latest tech in data systems and digital modeling?
Tom Reinhart is here to explain how George Washington’s Mount Vernon is using and expanding Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology to piece together one of the most detailed architectural models ever.
Happy President's Day from PreserveCast!
January 11, 2021
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.
December 28, 2020
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.
December 7, 2020
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.
November 16, 2020
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.
November 2, 2020
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.
October 12, 2020
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.
September 29, 2020
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.
September 21, 2020
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.
September 14, 2020
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.
September 8, 2020
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.
August 17, 2020
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.
August 10, 2020
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.
August 3, 2020
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.
July 13, 2020
As America confronts, commemorates, and questions its history – preservationists like Catherine Fleming Bruce are helping to frame those conversations and providing powerful examples of how historic places can help us in these challenging times.
Bruce is the author of an award-winning book on sustaining the sacred spaces of civil rights, human rights, and social movements and how this work can support the march towards greater social justice. With her book, "The Sustainers: Being, Building and Doing Good through Activism in the Sacred Spaces of Civil Rights, Human Rights and Social Movements," she became the first African American winner of the annual Historic Preservation Book Prize, presented by the University of Mary Washington Center for Historic Preservation.
It’s a weighty topic – but one we must explore – and with someone who knows it well on this week’s PreserveCast.
June 15, 2020
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.
MORE ABOUT OUR GUEST
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.
June 1, 2020
Few guests to PreserveCast have commanded as large an audience as today’s guest, Ruth Goodman.
Ruth is an award-winning social and domestic historian of British history who has been involved in several highly-rated BBC television series and has used her knowledge and charm on the screen to make history approachable and interesting.
On this week’s PreserveCast we’re crossing the pond to learn from a master of public history in a time when history matters more than ever before.
April 20, 2020
On this special extra edition of PreserveCast, you'll hear from one of Preservation Maryland and PreserveCast's best friends, Mary Anthony, Executive Director of The 1772 foundation as she interviews her friends with the National Trust of Scotland about a very special fiddle. Just to *see* this 270-year-old violin in a glass case, you'd have to travel to the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, Scotland – but today you'll **hear** it and all about it...on this special recording of PreserveCast.
April 6, 2020
Why do we do what we do and why don’t others understand why it’s so important?
Those are the driving questions that prompted long-time preservationist and real estate expert Tom Moriarity to dive into a discourse on what preservation needs in the years ahead. It’s a big task – but one that we need to constantly revisit if we hope to save places that truly matter.
So, prepare yourself for some real talk from one of America’s most trusted voices in preservation on this week’s PreserveCast!
March 27, 2020
In this final episode of PreserveCast's special Healthy, Hip & Historic series, Greg Werkheiser of Cultural Heritage Partners and ARtGlass presents the awesome opportunities that preservationists have to shape the telling of history well into the future – if, we tap into trends afoot in augmented reality, drone imaging and 3D printing, and artificial intelligence.
Greg Werkheiser is a lawyer and entrepreneur who builds ventures that connect the lessons of our past to the leadership of our future. Greg believes that solving critical societal challenges requires leaders who draw on wisdom and strategy from across time, culture, sector, industry, and ideology. To preserve and leverage history, Greg’s ventures advance law, public policy, business strategy, and technology in the cultural heritage field globally. To forge leaders for our age, Greg’s ventures re-imagine leadership development for emerging entrepreneurs of public, private, and social enterprises. To enable all to serve and lead, Greg advocates for civil rights of oppressed communities.
Greg is the co-founder of Cultural Heritage Partners, the premier law, government affairs, and business strategy firm serving exclusively heritage-mission clients, including governments, professional associations, museums, tribes, preservation organizations, private businesses, families, and individuals. He also founded the aligned leadership consulting firm, the Heritas Group. He is also the founding CEO of ARtGlass, wearable augmented reality company helping cultural sites and museums create mind-bending experiences for visitors.