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.
November 15, 2021
On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re heading to the brackish waters of the Chesapeake Bay to talk with Imani Black, founder of Minorities in Aquaculture, a dynamic new organization that is using heritage and history and a host of other innovative tools to develop opportunities for minorities to engage in this growing and sustainable industry.
Like many guests, I read about Imani in an article and knew we had to get her on PreserveCast – especially because of her background, heritage and focus on using history to get minorities interested and engaged in careers in aquaculture. We’re talking sustainability, environmentalism, history and the bay on this week’s PreserveCast.
March 15, 2021
Without trained hands able to restore buildings – we can’t “do” preservation. It’s just that simple. Today’s guest is a true trailblazer in the preservation trades; an accomplished historic architect, accomplished tradesperson and notably, the first woman to complete the National Park Service preservation trades training program. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re talking with Lisa Sasser about women in the trades and the future of trades training in America.
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.
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 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 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 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!
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 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.
June 29, 2020
Americans have long admired the resistance, tenacity and spirit of those brave souls who were travelers and conductors on the Underground Railroad. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re heading back to those days to dredge up another chapter – and one far less proud – that of the reverse Underground Railroad which brought captured formerly free blacks back to slavery. It’s a difficult history – but one we must confront and we’ll explore it with Dr. Richard Bell, a distinguished scholar who recently authored a book on this overlooked story from American history.
Dr. Richard Bell is Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland. He holds a PhD from Harvard University and is author of the new book Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home. He has won more than a dozen teaching awards, including the University System of Maryland Board of Regents Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest honor for teaching faculty in the Maryland state system. He has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge, and the Library of Congress and is the recipient of the National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar award. He serves as a Trustee of the Maryland Historical Society, as an elected member of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and as a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
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 8, 2020
When you think of pirates – you may think of far-off warm islands and tropical beaches or perhaps your mind goes to modern-day piracy off the dangerous horn of Africa – but you probably don’t think of the brackish waters of the Chesapeake Bay off the coast of Maryland and Virginia.
But, today’s guest, Dr. Jamie Goodall, has spent years studying that very story – and has recently published a compelling account of piracy on these now quiet waters.
Let’s set sail for Chesapeake Bay – but keep a clear eye because these waters be dangerous!
May 18, 2020
Few names are as synonymous with Civil War battlefields as “The Bloody Cornfield.” It conjures up visions of harrowing bloodshed and the tragedy of fratricidal combat.
Yet, for over 150 years, the story of this struggle has been difficult to track – the sway of battle back and forth over David R. Miller’s cornfield was a confusing melee of destruction. To help interpret this pivotal story, historian and author David A. Welker has produced a detailed study of this pivotal moment in American history which captures the reader and makes the compelling case for the national significance of these 20+ acres of Maryland soil.
On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re taking a trip back to Sharpsburg, Maryland, on the morning of September 17, 1862, and descending into the Bloody Cornfield.
March 24, 2020
As COVID-19 has changed the everyday ways that we interact with each other and our communities, it’s clear that our environment has important physical and psychological effects on us all.
This podcast is part 2 of a five-part special series presented by PreserveCast and powered by Preservation Maryland and includes the audio recording of Dr. Jeremy C. Wells' presentation of this subject at a Preservation Maryland conference in 2016.
Dr. Jeremy C. Wells is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland's School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, with a research focus on the ways that people interact with their environment and the ways historic places – their decay and patina – influence their psychological and social health.
Dr. Wells’ research utilizes applied social science methods and presents new approaches for heritage rules, laws, and regulations. In this context of health and behavior, there is additional importance placed on the work of community planning, historic preservation, and evaluating what it is to live a healthy life in a healthy place.
February 3, 2020
With 4.4 million visitors in 2018, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal is one of America’s most visited national park sites – a linear treasure of 184.5 miles of history, heritage and nature balanced precariously on the edge of the Potomac River as it curves from Georgetown in the District of Columbia to the foothills of the Alleghenies in Cumberland, Maryland.
Today’s guest, Heidi Glatfelter Schlag, is a preservation and heritage communications professional who works with the award-winning Friends group organized to help support, advocate, and fundraise on behalf of this national treasure. The C&O Canal Trust’s innovative and entrepreneurial approach to its work is changing the way visitors interact with the canal and its history.
So, keep your head down as we pass below the low bridges and keep a clear eye for the next lock – we’re headed to the C&O canal!
September 9, 2019
Do you ever wonder how people can write new books about 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, as we approach the 157th Anniversary of the Battle of Antietam.
Having been involved in everything from giving tours to leading nationally important preservation and battlefield protection organizations, few people know 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 157th Anniversary of the Battle of Antietam.
May 6, 2019
When you think of industrial furnaces you may think of the late 19th or early 20th centuries and places like Baltimore, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh. But, the history of American industry goes back much further – and one of the earliest industrial sites in Maryland is located in the foothills of Frederick County at the Catoctin Furnace.
Today’s guest, Elizabeth Comer, a professional archaeologist, is a member of the Board of the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society – an organization dedicated to preserving and interpreting this unique story. Elizabeth is instrumental in coordinating the Historical Society's Historic Building Trades Program in partnership with Silver Oak Academy, a residential boarding school for at-risk teens overseen by the State of Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. Participating students learn valuable construction skills while working alongside preservation experts gaining marketable real-world job skills that attract potential employers in preservation, conservation, museums, and the trades – or may even inspire students to start their own company. The partnership between the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society and Silver Oak Academy embodies the mythology of the phoenix rising from the ashes as the symbol of renewed life for both the historic buildings and the young people who take part in their preservation.
Make sure you have your blast shields down...we’re headed into the furnace on this week’s PreserveCast.
April 1, 2019
This week’s guest has used social media and Marylanders love for our quirky state flag to build an apparel brand from the ground up. Ali von Paris took a dorm room project and turned it into a career – and has used state pride as the backbone for that endeavor. We’ll explore that story and its fascinating intersection with history and the lessons it may hold for preservationists around the nation on this week’s PreserveCast.
December 10, 2018
Historic places and resources come in all shapes and sizes. On Maryland’s eastern shore, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum preserves and restores a wide variety of historic resources – including historic boats and ships. Today’s guest, Pete Lesher, the chief curator of the museum is assisting in the latest restoration project of the 1882 Chesapeake Bay nine-log bugeye Edna E. Lockwood. You don’t know what a bugeye is? Well batten down the hatches and check your port and starboard as we set sail for this week’s PreserveCast.
Pete Lesher is chief curator at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, where he has served on staff since 1991 and now oversees museum collections, exhibitions, and programs. He graduated Lafayette College, holds an MA in history from Columbia University, and studied maritime history at Mystic Seaport’s summer Munson Institute for American Maritime Studies.
Active in his community, Pete is a member of the Talbot County Council, chairs the St. Michaels Historic District Commission, and serves on the boards of the Maryland Humanities Council, Council of American Maritime Museums, and Maryland Heritage Areas Authority. In his spare time he sails, taking particular pleasure in his role as jib tender on the 1882 Chesapeake Bay sailing log canoe Island Bird.
October 26, 2018
If you work in historic preservation long enough, inevitably the question comes up, "Do you believe in ghosts?" For today’s guest, Mindie Burgoyne, she’s made a career of telling those stories as a travel writer, blogger, author, and most famously, a tour operator.
Her focus is traveling within the context of a story to the mystical places that stir the mind and spirit. Her tour company has three subsidiaries: Chesapeake Ghost Walks, a cluster of ten regional ghost walks on the Eastern Shore of Maryland; Thin Places Mystical Tours, which hosts annual tours and travel services to sacred, off-the-beaten path destinations in Ireland; and Travel Hag Adventures, "a travel club for girlfriends."
In this episode, Nick and Mindie discuss how she began hosting ghost tours both domestically and abroad. You will learn: a creative approach to marketing history and preservation to non-preservationists; how to maintain historic integrity while sharing local lore and ghost stories, how to combat negative perceptions of the paranormal within the field of preservation, the difference between educating and conjuring, and if Mindie actually believes in ghosts herself.
So leave the light on or risked getting spooked on this year's PreserveCast Spooktacular.
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October 22, 2018
The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy is truly a renaissance organization. With a proud history of land conservation, the conservancy also operates the Center for Towns, a program focused on the health and sustainability of the Eastern Shore’s historic communities. Most recently, one of the organization's projects has been selected as one of Preservation Maryland's Six-to-Fix projects for 2019. In this episode, Nick speaks to Katie Parks White, the vice-president of conservation for the Conservancy to learn about this exciting adaptive reuse project at the historic Phillips Packing Plant project in Cambridge, Maryland.
In this episode you will learn: how to foster economic growth in a historically rural community without adding intrusive development; how to engage a community into revitalization efforts; how to conserve land and maintain cultural landscapes amid rising pressures to grow from surrounding metropolitan areas.
Grab a pail and dig into the agricultural and industrial history of Maryland's Eastern Shore on this episode of PreserveCast!
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September 10, 2018
Ellicott City, Maryland is a place that exudes authenticity. It has been flooded repeatedly, traipsed over by Civil War soldiers, and stained by locomotive smoke. Unfortunately, the most recent floods have resulted in local officials calling to demolish large portions of the historic district, a move that could set a terrible precedent here in Maryland and beyond.
Today’s guest, Mary Catherine Cochran is working to stop that plan and to find a way to balance life, history, and safety. As a Howard County native and lifelong preservationist, Mary Catherine co-founded Preservation Howard County and has served as the executive director of the Patapsco Heritage Greenway. In recognition of her work, she was inducted into the Howard County Women's Hall of Fame in 2017.
As a tireless defender of Ellicott City, Mary Catherine is working in partnership with a grassroots collective of supporters and larger organizations like Preservation Maryland to defeat a new proposal that would demolish large portions of this historic town.
In this episode, Nick and Mary discuss:
- the importance of making science-based decisions to mitigate flooding in an age of climate change
- ways to engage a community that has been traumatized with the physical and the financial losses of their businesses
- the challenges associated with public acquisition of private businesses located in historic buildings
- how to contact the Howard County Council to voice your opinion on saving this community
Grab your hard hats and get to work with Nick and Mary on this week's episode of PreserveCast!
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September 3, 2018
For today’s guest, heading back to the eighteenth century is a daily occurrence and a requirement. Karen Theimer Brown is the vice-president of preservation at Historic Annapolis, a non-profit organization tasked with protecting, preserving and interpreting the history of Maryland’s capital city. Founded in 1649, Annapolis remains one of the most authentic and intact colonial towns in all of America.
For Karen and her colleagues at Historic Annapolis, it’s a full-time job to protect that authenticity from rising tides and pressure to grow. Grab you Old Bay and get your crab mallet ready. We’re headed to Naptown to talk preservation’s past and future on this week's PreserveCast.
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