April 19, 2021
In this week’s PreserveCast, we’re spilling the tea on the history of this favorite drink and how one company is resurrecting historic blends for modern palates.
We can experience history in many ways – oftentimes that experience happens at a site or by reading an account – but all too often we overlook the powerful experience of tasting history. For today’s guest, serving up a taste of the past is all in a day’s work as the owner of Oliver Pluff and Company, which is dedicated to producing early American tea, coffee, and spice blends for historical and gourmet markets.
April 12, 2021
If these walls could talk is an old refrain used by lovers of historic places and buildings, and thanks to the in-depth research and loving care of today’s guest, a historic log cabin in West Virginia’s historic panhandle is talking again.
Joe Goss is a somewhat unlikely preservationist – an engineer with decades of experience in large-scale infrastructure projects – but the purchase of a historic, circa 1780 log home in Shepherdstown, West Virginia tested his skills and critical thinking to the utmost. On this week’s PreserveCast we’re talking preservation, research and logs with a passionate advocate for one home’s story.
March 29, 2021
The Jingle Dress project originated from a dream to unite the beauty of the land and the healing power of the jingle dance during these uncertain times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The origin of the jingle dance to the Ojibwe people happened during the influenza pandemic of 1918-19. It came as a dream to a father whose daughter was sick with the virus. His dream revealed the new dress and dance that had the power to heal. When the dresses were made, they were given to four women to perform the dance. When the little girl heard the sound of the jingles, she became stronger. By the end of the night she was dancing too.
Today’s guest, Eugene Tapahe, also has a dream to take this healing power to the land, to travel and capture a series of images that will document spiritual places where ancestors once walked. The goal is to unite and give hope to the world through art, dance and culture to help us all to heal together. Learn more about the project and support it at: https://tapahe.com/jingle-dress-project.html
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.
March 8, 2021
Collecting, cataloguing, conserving. The heart of a museum is its collection, but how do Museums make decisions and who gets to answer the question, “Why Keep That?” The innovative staff at the National World War I Museum and Memorial have taken that question and built an entire exhibit around it. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re talking with Stacie Peterson, Collections Registrar, National World War I Museum and Memorial, about the challenge of collecting, interpreting and exhibiting.
March 1, 2021
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.
February 22, 2021
Historian, businesswoman, investor, developer, and philanthropist. Colonel Jennifer Pritzker has led an amazing life. A retired Lieutenant Colonel of the U.S. Army, for nearly three decades Col. Pritzker served in the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve, and the Illinois Army National Guard. Today, her legacy of service continues in her philanthropic investments across the nation in heritage, veterans’ issues and beyond. On Today’s PreserveCast we’re talking with a legend of preservation philanthropy. Learn more at: tawanifoundation.org
February 1, 2021
For lovers of early American architecture, folkways, crafts and tools, there are few who compare to Eric Sloane. Sloane was a prolific chronicler of the American past – and had a reverence for the way we were that was at moments charming, beautiful and absurd all at once. Today, the legacy of this collector and accomplished artist is being cared for and reinterpreted by the State of Connecticut.
Originally from West Virginia, where he received his B.A. in Social Studies Education from Shepherd University, Andrew comes to the Eric Sloane Museum with experience working at public history sites like Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park, South Mountain State Battlefield for the Maryland Park Service, and Henricus Historical Park managing their 17th century Virginia tobacco farm. In his spare time, Andrew is an avid agriculturalist and supporter of historical trades and may be found climbing the lines, working aboard tall ships. He and his wife are thrilled to be living in New England in a small timber-framed farmhouse with their two pups and cat. Andrew is honored to be a steward of one of Connecticut’s valuable cultural resources.
January 25, 2021
As nearly anyone who has seriously studied American history can attest – there is no American story without the story of slavery. It is central to our origin and must be included in order to get a full and complete picture of our history. Unfortunately, the records of slavery are spread far and wide and are often siloed and incomplete. In this two part series, we’re talking to two of the minds behind Enslaved: Peoples of the Historic Slave Trade – a digital preservation effort aimed at connected the dots and knocking down the silos of slave history. Learn more at www.enslaved.org.
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.
January 4, 2021
The American Civil War was the first war to be truly photo-documented. The haunting images stare back at us and make the brutal conflict real and humanize the tragedy. Yet, for all of the photos, many of the identities of the individuals captured are now unknown. Today, Civil War Photo Sleuth is using modern-day technology to rediscover the lost identities in American Civil War-era photographs. This new endeavor holds tremendous potential not only to uncover the lost history of the Civil War–but of countless other anonymous photographs. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re talking artificial intelligence, Civil War history and the future of historical investigations.
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 21, 2020
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.
December 14, 2020
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.
November 9, 2020
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.
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 26, 2020
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...
October 19, 2020
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.
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.
October 5, 2020
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!
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 31, 2020
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.
August 24, 2020
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.
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.