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 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 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 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 27, 2020
We all need role models – and we need to see ourselves represented – whether in film, print . . . or in Mattel’s iconic Barbie. Today’s guest, Despina Stratigakos, Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence at the University at Buffalo, is a writer, historian, and professor. She is the author of three books that explore the intersections of power and architecture. Her most recent book, Where Are the Women Architects? confronts the challenges women face in the architectural profession. Despina also participated in a fascinating effort to get the Mattel Corporation to give Barbie a career in architecture. It was a study in representation and the future of the field – a story that we’ll detail in miniature and more on this week’s PreserveCast.
July 20, 2020
The story of where we live is uniquely personal. Many historic homes have been preserved and opened to the public – places that tell a story about the way we once lived.
However, American public housing – places built and maintained by governments – has been long been overlooked, forgotten, and worse yet, maligned.
Today’s guest, Dr. Lisa Lee, is working to solve that gap in memory and understanding as the Executive Director of the National Public Housing Museum, the only cultural institution devoted to telling the story of public housing in the United States.
Find the best spot to sit and relax in the place you call home as we talk about the history of housing on this week’s PreserveCast.
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.
July 6, 2020
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.
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 22, 2020
As the nation confronts a crippling pandemic – we find ourselves drawn to history for parallels. History provides context for the confusion.
Today’s guest has dedicated her career to exploring those connections. Dr. Marian Moser Jones is a social historian and ethicist of public health who studies the way in which Americans care for other Americans – and how that shapes our response in emergencies like the current pandemic.
Stay calm – we’ll get through this – and we’ll learn how 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 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!
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.
May 25, 2020
Born in an 1850s Greek Revival home that was lovingly restored by her parents (and having attended more country auctions than she can count), Elizabeth Finkelstein’s love for crown molding and decorative ironwork runs in her gene pool. After high school, she left the quiet of the countryside for the bright lights of the big city to entrench herself in New York’s great history and architecture. While there, she earned a Masters in Historic Preservation and spent years working in the field of professional preservation advocacy (and started a few geeky architecture blogs to boot!).
A licensed tour guide, professor and architectural historian, Elizabeth is also Country Living Magazine‘s official real estate columnist. Through @circahouses and @cheapoldhouses, Elizabeth is proud to maintain two of the most popular Instagram feeds devoted specifically to historical homes for sale. The wildly popular, viral feed @cheapoldhouses has been featured in New York Magazine, The Financial Times, Money Magazine, Buzzfeed, and numerous other influential publications.
Elizabeth and her husband Ethan fantasize simultaneously about owning a Brooklyn brownstone and buying a big, old farmhouse somewhere far, far away. In the meantime, CIRCA keeps them dreaming...