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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PreserveCast Ep133: Creating Places for Nature in Urban Communities with Alden Stoner of Nature Sacred
In challenging times, nature brings us peace. From time immemorial, humans have taken to nature to soothe their anxious and tired souls. In today’s busy and built world, opportunities to experience and commune with nature are limited – but today’s guest is doing something about that.
Alden Stoner is the CEO of Nature Sacred, an organization dedicated to bringing natural sanctuaries to urban communities to reduce stress, improve health and strengthen communities. It is work that was important before and is becoming increasingly more important every day the nation confronts its current challenges.
Take a deep breath and find your favorite tree – we’re talking nature in urban spaces on this week’s PreserveCast.
PreserveCast Ep130: Marylanders Fight to Save the Union: The Old Line State in the Civil War with Dr. Timothy Orr
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.
Dr. Harrison Goodall has over forty-eight years of experience with historic structures and facilities management and nearly sixty years of experience in training and education throughout the country. As a contractor, volunteer, and purveyor of preservation materials, Harrison has been involved in preserving hundreds if not thousands of historic structures around the nation. A 2016 award from the National Park Service documented that Goodall completed over 135 volunteer historic preservation projects in 55 national parks and over 40 of those projects took place in Grand Teton National Park, where he has volunteered consistently since 1976. On This week’s PreserveCast, we’re sitting down to talk with a preservation trades legend about the future of craft and the lessons learned restoring America’s most iconic places.
PreserveCast Ep124: Leading from the Front: Aimee Jorjani, First Full-Time Chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
Today’s guest is a first for PreserveCast.
Aimee Jorjani was appointed by the President of the United States to be the first full-time chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation – the federal agency tasked with coordinating preservation policy across the government.
From the halls of Congress to the pueblos of the southwest – Chariman Jorjani is doing her bit to promote preservation and we’ll learn what she’s planning next on this week’s PreserveCast.
ABOUT OUR GUEST
Aimee Jorjani earned Senate confirmation in June 2019 as the first full-time chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP).
Ms. Jorjani has nearly 20 years of experience in the fields of government and cultural resources from a variety of perspectives including both executive and legislative branches, as well as the non-profit sector. Her career began on Capitol Hill in 1999 working as a legislative aide to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). In 2002, she moved to the US Department of the Interior (DOI) and held several positions, including serving as the Deputy Secretary’s Special Assistant for Historic Preservation.
A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ms. Jorjani graduated from Northern Michigan University with a major in political science and minor in public relations and later earned a Masters in Historic Preservation from Goucher College.
PreserveCast Ep122: What Civil War-Era Medicine Can Teach Us About Today’s Pandemic with Jake Wynn of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine
Walt Whitman once wrote that, “Future years will never know the seething hell and the black infernal background of countless minor scenes and interiors . . . of the Secession war; and it is best they should not—the real war will never get in the books.”
Although the painful, real stories of the Civil War and its grisly impacts may not have been accurately captured by authors – today’s guest, Jake Wynn, the Director of Interpretation at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, is dedicated to telling those stories – and highlighting the grave sacrifices and incredible compassion displayed during that era.
As we confront a medical crisis in our own time, we sat down with Jake to learn about epidemics, disease, and health during the Civil War – and what lessons there might be for our own time.
ABOUT TODAY'S GUEST
Jake Wynn is the Director of Interpretation at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine and the Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Museum. He is a 2015 graduate of Hood College in Frederick, MD. He writes independently about Pennsylvania history at Wynning History and the Pennsylvania in the Civil War blog.
PreserveCast Ep114: Making & Marketing New Reasons to Travel Along the C&O Canal with Heidi Glatfelter Schlag
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!
Few names are as synonymous with the Civil War as Gettysburg. For many Americans, Gettysburg is the Civil War – a touchstone of American history that has captured the imagination and interest of the nation since the battle was fought over 150 years ago. Today’s guest, Barbara Sanders, has worked for the National Park Service at the iconic battlefield for nearly twenty years where she’s helped thousands of young visitors learn about the meaning, value, and importance of this now peaceful field. On this week’s PreserveCast we’re taking a trip back to 1863 to talk about youth education and Civil War history.
Barbara Sanders has been Gettysburg National Military Park's Education Specialist since 1999, where she oversees thousands of students visiting the park each year – whether in-person or on virtual field trips. In addition, the park annually offers professional development opportunities for teachers, classroom loan materials and more. Barbara was the educator on the project team for the planning and construction of the visitor center and museum, which included the concept and design for exhibits, films, and computer interactive elements. Barbara began her career within the museums of Philadelphia, and she then moved to Washington, D.C. to earn a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from The George Washington University’s Museum Education program. She was recently awarded the National Park Service Northeast Region’s Freeman Tilden award which recognizes creativity, advancement, and ingenuity in the field.
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.
PreserveCast Ep. 107: Training a New Generation in the Traditional Trades with Moss Rudley of the National Historic Preservation Training Center
Saving the historic fabric of America's national parks is a massive job, and it requires a wide range of skills. Teaching those skills, and passing down the historic trades within the National Park Service is the responsibility of the National Historic Preservation Training Center. Established in 1977, and headquartered in Frederick, Maryland, the center is the Parks Service's premier preservation training center.
Today's guest, Moss Rudely, is the superintendent of the center and a historic mason by training. And in 2018, Preservation Maryland signed an agreement with the center to launch a new initiative, The Campaign for Historic Trades, which is designed to expand the Center's apprenticeship program. So grab your safety goggles and hammer because, on this week's PreserveCast, we're talking about the role of this unique Center and their efforts to train America's next generation of historic tradespeople.
Moss Rudley is a native of Greenbrier County, West Virginia, where he was raised on a working cattle farm filled with historic vernacular structures. He was first exposed to the trades and the field of historic preservation through the care of hand-hewn log structures of the Scots-Irish and German. A graduate of Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, he has been with the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Training Center since 2000. A historic mason by training, after over 17 years with the Center he was promoted to Superintendent in 2017.
PreserveCast Ep. 94: Training a Volunteer Workforce to Save Historic Places with Towny Anderson of HistoriCorps
Towny Anderson has over 40 years of experience with historic preservation. He has restored historic properties first as craftsman, then contractor, and later developer and owner. He was an independent scholar, cum laude graduate of Middlebury College and attended the Preservation Leadership Training program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Anderson served as Vermont’s first appointed State Historic Preservation Officer, as a Director of the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers and as Chair of the Vermont Historic Preservation Advisory Council. He is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum. Anderson co-wrote groundbreaking statewide legislation encouraging reinvestment in Vermont’s historic downtowns. He was a founding board member of MainStreet Steamboat Springs. Two of his certified historic rehabilitation projects received National Trust Preservation Honor awards. Appointed Executive Director of HistoriCorps in August 2012, Towny Anderson is bringing together everything he loves about historic preservation – buildings, people, beautiful places, and education.
PreserveCast Ep. 91: Preserving Cultural Landscapes with Dr. John Sprinkle and the National Park Service’s Park History Program
Reflection of the term "cultural landscapes" conjures up sweeping images of natural wonders and vast landscapes. More specifically, it refers to the historic and contemporary interventions we have made upon those landscapes.
Today’s guest, Dr. John Sprinkle, is the Bureau Historian for the National Park Service’s Park History Program. Recently, he has written Saving Spaces: Historic Land Conservation in the United States, which details efforts to preserve significant land and structures. The book explores how the places we preserve reflect our cultural, societal, and generational values.
Today Nick and Dr. Sprinkle discuss what spurred his exploration of historic land conservation. In this episode you will learn: a cross-examination of preservation cannon, conventions, and practices; why there is seemingly pervasive disconnect between preservationists and cemetery preservation; the history of open space conservation that operated during the era of Urban Renewal; and a surprising anniversary on this day in history. So get ready to dig deep into the history of American historic preservation on this week’s PreserveCast!
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PreserveCast Ep. 89: Down in the Shenandoah Valley with Kristie Kendall and the Piedmont Environmental Council
Virginia’s Piedmont is a magical place filled with rich, verdant farmland and the Shenandoah National Park. Protecting a place this large and special is no simple task. Fortunately, the Piedmont Environmental Council has been on the job since 1972 and has preserved hundreds of thousands of acres of land. Recently, they’ve launched a new historic preservation initiative to connect the influx of new residents to historic places throughout Virginia. Today’s guest, Kristie Kendall is leading that initiative.
Kristie is no stranger to landscape preservation. While growing up in Fairfax County, Virginia, she watched the obliteration of important farmland and historical sites near her home. It was then that she learned the importance of protecting land. While earning her Master's degree as a former employee of the American Battlefield Protection Program in Washington, D.C., Kristie has advocated for the preservation of significant battlefield landscapes across the country.
Today, she leads outreach initiatives to build connections between the growing number of new, international residents in Virginia to the state's historic places and parks.
This week, Nick and Kristie discuss the challenges associated with preserving historic landscapes in a rapidly changing world. You will learn: the importance of protecting natural and historical landscapes beyond the physical boundaries of a national park; how the PEC defeated a proposal for major land development and disruption from a mega media giant; and how to engage communities of residents that may not have historical ties to historical places
Gather round, we’re sharing the secrets to community building within historic spaces on this week’s PreserveCast!
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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, and no one can explain that better than today’s guest, Dennis Frye. 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. And in his new book, Antietam Shadows, he makes the case that history should never lie dormant, it always needs to be re-examined. Join as Nick and Dennis talk about Dennis’ new book, highlights from his career in preservation, and more on this week’s PreserveCast.
Preservationists come in all shapes and sizes, but have you ever heard of a preservationist cut-out doll? Today’s guest, Sarah Marsom, is a jack of all trades in terms of historic preservation. She’s a consultant, she’s a co-founder of the Rust Belt Coalition of Young Preservationists, and to top it all off she created the Tiny Activist Project, which raises funds through the sale of dolls that celebrate inspirational figures in preservation, like Jane Jacobs. Sarah and I cover all these programs and more. Stick around for a ~little~ while, on this week’s PreserveCast!
You’ve probably heard of Andrew Carnegie or the Rockefeller family, but have you heard of Julius Rosenwald? Today’s guest may be able to help with that. Aviva Kempner is a Peabody award winning documentary filmmaker, whose work focuses on unsung heroes from Jewish history. I spoke with Aviva about her most recent work which details the life of Julius Rosenwald, who during the turn of the century both revolutionized the business of Sears and Roebuck, and vastly influenced black education in the Jim Crow South with his philanthropy.
PreserveCast Ep. 58: Highway to History: Archaeology and Preservation in the State Highway Administration
At first glance, it might seem strange to think of an archaeologist working in a state’s highway administration office. But in reality the two can go hand in hand. Julie Schablitsky has conducted archaeological research and digs everywhere from Scotland to Maryland to California, she has utilized augmented reality to allow people to explore reconstructions of slave quarters, and she has done all this as the chief of the Cultural Resources Section at the Maryland State Highway Administration. Move out of the passing lane, you don’t want to miss this week’s PreserveCast.
It may not come as a surprise that some historians and museum professionals are not always quick to adapt to change, but that’s only some of us. There are others out there, like today’s guest Frank Vagnone, who not only are capable of adapting, but thrive on inverting the status quo of museums and public history. Frank and I spoke about the book he co-authored, The Anarchist’s Guide to Historic House Museums, his position as the President and CEO of Old Salem, and examples of good ways for house museums to defy expectations. There's anarchy in the USA, the U.K., and beyond on this week's PreserveCast.
Editor's note: The music in the segment came from a 1994 recording of a Virginia Pow Wow, and included a traditional Eastern Woodlands and Iroqouis song/dance called Gadasjot.
How are battlefields preserved? Why are battlefields preserved? What should we do with a battlefield site once it is protected? These are all important questions, and we are fortunate to be joined by someone who can possibly provide the answers. Jim Lighthizer is the President of the Civil War Trust and an expert in battlefield preservation. Join Nick as Jim shares insight into how he maintains momentum at the head of the nations leading Civil War Battlefield Preservation Organization on this week's PreserveCast.
This episode is part of focus series on the history of the Antietam Battlefield.
It doesn't matter if it's your molar, your canine, or what, everybody has some kind of sweet tooth. Something that you may not be thinking about is how that sweet tooth has played a role in history. Susan Benjamin is the founder of True Treats Candy in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and author of the book Sweet as Sin: The Unwrapped Story of How Candy Became America’s Favorite Pleasure. Susan has appeared on platforms from NPR to NBC, and she joined us on PreserveCast to share the rich history of candy in American culture, from pre-Colombian Native Americans to the working poor of the Industrial Revolution. Go ahead and spoil your dinner with this week’s PreserveCast.
Editor's note: Many thanks to the Storm Boyz Lenne Lenape Drum, whose music was used in the today's segment of "Preservation Explanation."
It's hard to talk about the history of the Civil War without touching on the Maryland Campaign, which came to an end with the Battle of Antietam. This battle was not only the single bloodiest day of the War, but also preicpated Abraham Lincoln's issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation. And as important as the battle was, it would be extremely challenging to pass the history of that day on to future generations without the preserved Antietam Battlefield in its proper context, which is the way it is today thanks to Dr. Tom Clemens and the other members of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation. Learn more on this week's PreserveCast.
Producer's note: This episode is part of our focus series on the history of the Antietam Battlefield.