October 24, 2022
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...
September 17, 2022
160 year ago, on Sept. 17, 1862, America saw the bloodiest day of the American Civil War with more than 23,000 casualties. Today, on the anniversary of the battle, we are re-releasing an episode with award-winning historical fiction and non-fiction author Kathleen Ernst.
The battle at Antietam Creek has gone down in history as the bloodiest day of the American Civil War. But as too often happens in significant military moments, people tend to overlook what this battle meant for the local civilian population. That's why this week's guest, the award-winning author Kathleen Ernst, decided to do exactly that. Join us as Kathleen discusses her non-fiction history of the Civil War and the Antietam campaign, as well as her fictional mystery series and books for American Girl, which have sold over 1.7 million copies combined. This is PreserveCast.
Listen here: https://www.preservecast.org/2017/06/26/kathleen-ernst-too-afraid-to-cry-maryland-civilians-in-the-antietam-campaign/
Producer's note: This episode is part of our focus series on the history of the Antietam Battlefield.
September 12, 2022
As we approach the 160th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam (September 17th, 1862), we are revisiting and episode about how authors and historians can keep writing new books on the same 'ole history.
Should it not ever 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 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 upcoming anniversary of the Battle of Antietam.
June 20, 2022
In 2021 - 158 years after the first Juneteenth - the celebration became a federal holiday, changing the understanding of awareness of the holiday for millions of Americans. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re talking with Dr. Dennis Doster, who runs the Black History Program for the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation about what the designation means and how Juneteenth fits into the broader American story.
Dennis A. Doster, Ph.D. is the director of the M-NCPPC Black History Program. Dr. Doster has close to 15 years of experience in the field of Public History. He has worked for the National Archives, the Johns Hopkins University, and the Alexandria Black History Museum. Additionally, he is an adjunct professor in African American Studies, History, and Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, University College.
Learn more at: https://www.pgparks.com/1378/Black-History
February 14, 2022
COVID-19 has changed all of our lives. It is a defining moment for this generation – and for American history – which means that the Smithsonian has made it a priority for collecting and interpreting for future generations. How we will remember this moment is something as a historian I’ve often thought about – and a reason I wanted to sit down with an expert at the Smithsonian who is focused on that very question. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re sitting down with Dr. Alexandra Lord, the Chair of the Chair Division of Medicine and Science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History to discuss how that institution is working to capture this moment in history. Dr. Alexandra Lord is an accomplished historian of medicine and health and is a leader in the effort to document COVID – a perfect guest as we approach the two-year anniversary of the onset of the pandemic.
More About Our Guest
Alexandra Lord is chair of the Division of Medicine and Science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. In this role, she oversees a division with over 100,000 objects, ranging from a Revolutionary War surgical kit to Bill Nye’s lab coat, and seeks to promote a better understanding of the history of medicine and science. As a historian, Lord’s research interests include public health history, how diseases related to women and children have been understood, and the intersections between cultural taboos and medicine. Previously, she was branch chief of the National Park Service, supervising the national preservation program, and a historian in the US Public Health Service.
Learn more at: https://americanhistory.si.edu/profile/1185
Learn more about the Smithsonian’s COVID collection at: https://www.si.edu/object/collecting-covid-19-pandemic-perspectives%3Ayt_RSv2RMrofMY
February 7, 2022
Pretzels. Few words are as synonymous with snacking – and they are ubiquitous on tables across the nation, no matter the region. Today’s guest, Tim Snyder, leads one of America’s oldest pretzel brands – where the history of the twisted treat is almost equally as important as the taste. Connecting food and history is a theme this year on PreserveCast, and this is a great place to start with an icon in the food industry.
As a part of our historic foods series – where we’re diving into preserving some of the most iconic foods and brands, we sat down with Tim Snyder, President of the Julius Sturgis Pretzel company, America’s oldest pretzel bakery, based in historic Lititz, Pennsylvania to talk about preserving the history and charting the future of one of America’s favorite snacks.
More About Our Guest
Since 2006, Tim Snynder has been the President and majority owner of the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, based in historic Lititz, Pennsylvania. A former educator, Tim has worked in the food industry for the past four decades representing and selling iconic brands across the region. Tim has also served Lititz on the Town Council from 1998 to 2005 and as Mayor since 2012.
Learn more at: https://juliussturgis.com/
January 31, 2022
As a part of our historic foods series – where we’re diving into preserving some of the most iconic foods and brands, we sat down with pizza historian Alexander Hughes to discuss his work chronicling the history of pizza in the United States and Canada and what is being done to preserve this slice of our history. Pizza, history and preservation are three of my favorite things – and it’s rare that they come together under one PreserveCast episode – but that’s what we’ve got in store this week; a topic and conversation made even sweeter by the fact that it is set in my hometown of Buffalo, New York where pizza historian Alexander Hughes conducted much of his research.
Get ready for a big bite of food history on this week’s PreserveCast.
More About Our Guest
Alexander Hughes is a sixth year PhD Candidate in the Department of History at York University. His soon to be defended dissertation, “Lake Effect Pizza: Pizza Culture and Consumption in Toronto, Ontario and Buffalo, New York 1945-1990” explores the commodification of pizza in two regional cities. He served as the Curator of the History of Pizza Exhibit at the Canadian Pizza Museum. He has a Masters from Wilfrid Laurier University, where his thesis examined representations of US History in Disneyland Park. His research interests include postwar Canada and the United States, urban, food, business, and cultural history.
Learn more at: https://mralexhughes.com/
January 17, 2022
Established in 1969, the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture is the nation’s first-ever ethnic commission and has a 50-year track record of exploring, researching, commemorating and preserving important places associated with the African American history of the Old Line State. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re talking with Chanel Compton, the Executive Director of the Commission, about their work and the exciting future of African American preservation in Maryland and beyond.
The Commission is the oldest ethnic commission in the nation and doesn’t just talk about preserving history – it directly invests millions of dollars in brick-and-mortar projects across the state. It’s a Maryland story with national implications and one we had to bring to PreserveCast.
MORE ABOUT OUR GUEST
Chanel Compton is inspired and passionate about her role as Executive Director for the Banneker-Douglass Museum (BDM) and Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture (MCAAHC). She also currently serves as Board Chair of the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center and board member to Afro Charities, Maryland Humanities and Future History Now. Compton has been a life-long supporter of museums; stating, “A museum can be such a powerful place. As a young person, it was my initial visit to museums and galleries that opened my eyes and mind to new perspectives, cultures, and history. African American museums are instrumental in inspiring a new generation of leaders and innovators because it is a place of empowerment, of learning, and a place of individual and collective transformation.” As Executive Director of BDM and MCAAHC, Compton is dedicated to serving arts communities and artists in Maryland. She has a home and art studio in Baltimore, Maryland.
December 20, 2021
There is perhaps no author or person who has made more of an impact on the modern notion of Christmas than Charles Dickens. The famed author is now almost synonymous with Christmas – and his legendary work, A Christmas Carol, has sold millions of copies and has been turned into no fewer than 135 different movies. With this legendary success, how best to tell his story? That’s the subject of today’s PreserveCast – a deep dive into the legacy and story of Dickens with Dr. Cindy Sughrue, the Director of the Charles Dickens Museum.
Living in the past, present and future is the work of preservation – and today’s guest is working to keep the legacy of Charles Dickens, arguably the father of our modern Christmas, alive at his home in London, England.
At this festive time of the year, we’re talking with Dr. Cindy Sughrue, the Director of the Charles Dickens Museum.
“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me.” – Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
December 13, 2021
On this fifth edition of PreserveCast Conversations: The Professor and the Practitioner, a new monthly feature of PreserveCast, co-hosts Nicholas Redding and Dr. Whitney Martinko explore the trends, topics and issues that are making headlines in the world of preservation this month. They’re covering a lot of ground in today’s conversation on preservation and the issues that matter. For regular listeners, also, be sure to send any questions you have about this episode or questions you’d like answered in next month’s conversation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Whitney Martinko is an associate professor of History at Villanova University, where she teaches classes about the early United States, environmental history and sustainability, and material culture. She also directs the graduate program in public history. She earned her AB in History from Harvard College and her MA and PhD in History from the University of Virginia. She lives in West Philadelphia. Learn more about Martinko and her work at https://www.whitneymartinko.com/
December 6, 2021
Today we're speaking with Roland Ennos, author of The Age of Wood: Our Most Useful Material and the Construction of Civilization.
As the dominant species on Earth, humans have made astonishing progress since our ancestors came down from the trees. But how did the descendants of small primates manage to walk upright, become top predators, and populate the world? How were humans able to develop civilizations and produce a globalized economy? Now, in The Age of Wood, Roland Ennos shows for the first time that the key to our success has been our relationship with wood.
Roland Ennos is a visiting professor of biological sciences at the University of Hull. He is the author of successful textbooks on plants, biomechanics, and statistics, and his popular book Trees, published by the Natural History Museum, is now in its second edition. He lives in England.
November 29, 2021
Christmas at a historic home normally conjures up images of a roaring Victorian fireplace or perhaps even an early 20th century Christmas with tin toys and pleasant smells coming from the kitchen. But, what about the kitschy charm of the 1970s? On this week’s PreserveCast we’re revisiting with James Etherington, the Director of Kiplin Hall – a historic site in England which interprets the ancestral home of the Calverts, one of Maryland’s earliest and most prominent colonial families – to hear about their very 1970s Christmas and what we can learn from the way we celebrated exactly 50 years ago.
James previously joined us on PreserveCast to talk about how Kiplin Hall, a historic site in the UK, addresses the story of the Calverts, one of the earliest European families in Maryland. When Kiplin Hall reached out about their unique 1970s Christmas celebration – it seemed the perfect fit as we here in the states’ begin to grapple with preserving the vestiges of that decade as it becomes eligible for preservation 50 years later.
November 22, 2021
There are many ways to be a historian – and on this week’s PreserveCast we’re exploring the world of historians for hire – contract historians who do work to help organizations, corporations, agencies and law firms dig deep into history when the stakes are high.
During his time at History Associates Incorporated, Scott Vierick has traveled from the Colorado mountains to the Florida Everglades, and from the National Archives to frozen Civil War Battlefields. As a historian and project manager with the company, he works with clients and stakeholders to produce engaging historical content for museum exhibits, smartphone apps, and websites.
October 25, 2021
Some holidays are so ingrained into our lives, it’s hard to imagine the time before they existed – but Halloween wasn’t always the holiday we know today. On this year’s PreserveCast Spooktacular we’re talking with Lisa Morton. Morton recently published Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween, a comprehensive history of one of America’s favorite holidays.
September 20, 2021
On this week's episode of PreserveCast, we are excited to be talking with Kara Harris, a blogger, historian and Maryland food lover. Kara Harris is the blogger and historian behind "Old Line Plate," a fantastic Maryland based food history website that I personally love, and something that I knew we had to bring to this week's episode of PreserveCast. The blog "Old Line Plate," a play on Maryland's historic state nickname "Old Line State," seeks to tell the story of Maryland's historic foodways and cooking traditions.
Let's sink our teeth into today's episode of PreserveCast!
September 13, 2021
Yep, you guessed it, I connected with Christina on Twitter – where she learned about a historic rehabilitation project Preservation Maryland was undertaking. Since then, I’ve become a huge fan of her work and the way in which she expertly weaves history and food together – two of my biggest passions. For anyone with an appetite, this is the interview for you.
Christina Tkacik has spent her career telling important stories – and has a talent for weaving history and food together as the dining reporter for the Baltimore Sun. From crabcakes to sno-balls to log cabins, Christina is doing her part to preserve our past in the pages of the Baltimore Sun and is serving up a tasty helping on this week’s PreserveCast.
September 9, 2021
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.
August 30, 2021
On this week’s re-release of PreserveCast, we’re heading back to the brackish marshes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore to talk Tubman, slavery, and freedom.
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.
August 23, 2021
Sara Bronin has spent her career exploring, researching, and publishing on the intersection of law, policy, and preservation. Today, as the preservation community grapples with the challenges of equity, climate and inclusionary zoning – Sara’s research and expertise is filling an important role. Bronin was recently nominated by the Biden administration to chair the U.S. Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) and will have an opportunity to shape preservation policy at a seminal moment – a perfect guest for this week’s PreserveCast.
Sara and I connected via Twitter following her appointment by President Biden to chair the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation – and with her long list of credentials, publications and keen awareness of equitable land use planning, I felt she’d make an ideal guest as our field grapples with these heavy but important issues when it comes to saving historic places.
August 16, 2021
A two-time Pulitzer Prize winning artist, Bill Mauldin’s cartoons embodied the spirit of the infantryman during World War II before turning his critical pen to those in the political sphere. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re talking with James Brundage, the curator of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library to explore the preservation of this unique art and how Mauldin’s message still resonates.
I’ve personally always loved the art of Bill Mauldin – it’s honest, real and sometimes even a little cheeky. In many ways, the art has come to define the GI of World War II and colors our memory of that conflict. That’s why when the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, long-time friends of the podcast, approached us about their new exhibit, I felt it was a story perfect for PreserveCast.
July 12, 2021
This week’s guest is unique; we’re bringing back Bonnie McDonald to talk about the work of her organization, Landmarks Illinois, as they celebrate their 50th anniversary and look forward to the next 50 years of saving places and making preservation relevant in a rapidly changing world.
June 28, 2021
On this second edition of PreserveCast Conversations: The Professor and the Practitioner, a new monthly feature of PreserveCast, co-hosts Nicholas Redding and Dr. Whitney Martinko explore the trends, topics and issues that are making headlines in the world of preservation this month. From philanthropy to Mohawk ironworkers, they're covering a lot of ground in today's conversation on preservation and the issues that matter. For regular listeners, also, be sure to send any questions you have about this episode or questions you’d like answered in next month’s conversation to email@example.com.
June 21, 2021
On this week’s PreserveCast, we’ll explore the intersection between heritage, education and entertainment with Nigel Hetherington, the founder of Past Preservers. With a global reach, Past Preservers serves as a creative hub between the media and heritage worlds. The heart of the operation lies in their expert database which currently contains over 1,400 professionals from over twenty countries and includes archaeologists, historians, Egyptologists, classicists, conservationists, forensic biologists, anthropologists, authors, and heritage consultants.
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 17, 2021
To regular listeners of PreserveCast, you know that I’m a huge fan of the BBC “farm” series – which have explored Tudor, Victorian, Edwardian and other eras of British history. Alex Langlands rounds out our interviews with each of the presenters from the series – and Alex also recently published a new book, Craeft: An Inquiry into the Origins and True Meaning of Traditional Crafts, which is a perfect topic of conversation at a moment when the world is almost entirely virtual.