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Researching the First Women’s Rights Convention

By Victoria Elliott

I’m grateful to have begun my CDRIP internship!

Figure 1: The Declaration Water Wall (pre-watering)

I spent my first week at Women’s Rights National Historical Park establishing the why, when, where, and who of the First Women’s Rights Convention. I began by researching the history of Seneca Falls following the American Revolution. I learned about the effect that the Seneca River, the implementation of the canal, and the railroad had on the prosperity and development of the town. If the Erie Canal hadn’t been built, Seneca Falls had the potential to become a city as large as Buffalo or Syracuse!

I also investigated the importance of religion and religious revivals in New York. The region underwent waves of religious change, inventions, and was filled with so much religious “fire” in the Second Great Awakening that central and western New York came to be known as the Burned-over district. Greater importance was placed on the individual’s responsibility to promote public welfare. At the same time, the industrial revolution and the middle class were both developing.

Figure 2: Notice of the Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention published in the Seneca County Courier on July 11, 1848

These conditions (along with many, many others) caused the First Women’s Rights Convention on July 19th and 20th, 1848 to occur when and where it did.

Since the close of my first week I’ve been researching the importance of the abolitionist movement and its relationship to the women’s rights movement, Seneca County’s specific links to the Underground Railroad, and African American abolition and women’s rights activists.

In the coming weeks I look forward to continuing my investigation of the early women’s rights movement in both its achievements and its failings.

 

Recent Events at Cape Hatteras

By Clara Chang

These past couple weeks I have been organizing the files on the Cape Hatteras Weather Bureau and aided my supervisor, Jami Lanier, with cataloging and labeling the boxes and files for storage in the archives.

I have also been aiding Jami with research requests and scanning/digitizing photos for researcher, Wayne Gray. Also regarding photos, I have been converting slides from both the Verde Watson photo collection and the Lost Colony photo collection, using a new slide converter. This way, these photos from past years of the Lost Colony play at Fort Raleigh and the 1950s-60s photos by past Park Naturalist, Verde Watson, can be digitized and shared more easily throughout NPS.

 

Figure 1: Scanning, Digitizing, Cataloguing and More!

Jami and I have also dedicated many hours to the 20th Anniversary of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Move event happening on Monday, July 1st. We spent a day this week setting up the artifacts and exhibits for display at the event, and attending meetings discussing many other logistics for the event.

Jami and I have also started a new photo project called “Then and Now” where we place an older photo against the modern-day background in an attempt to display the changes that have been made to the land and structures over time. We did editions for Bodie Island and Fort Raleigh these past couple weeks.

 

Figure 2: Many hours were dedicated to the 20th Anniversary of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse move

 

Racing to the Deadline

By Madisyn Rostro

Imagine having a whole picture gallery to fill objects within one week. That includes deciding what objects fit best in the space, are observable, creating labels for the objects, moving them from one building to the other, and hanging everything up and making sure it looks good in its spot. It’s a lot of pressure to get it done in one week, but the reward of getting people to see the exhibit is worth all of the stress. Especially going to the exhibit opening and seeing what people think about what we have done with the space. I have enjoyed hearing their comments about how beautiful the dress is and how well the exhibit has come together. I am beyond proud of how it turned out and I could not have done it without the help of the other curatorial staff.

These past two weeks have flown by a lot faster than I initially thought they would. The curatorial team has been busy working on several different projects and making sure they are done to the best of our abilities. Something new that I have learned is how to set up an exhibit and how to showcase it so that visitors will be interested in what they’re seeing. It’s also a good idea to make sure that the interpretation staff can also incorporate the information and to make connections for the visitors that our park gets throughout the season.

The curatorial team kept themselves busy getting an exhibit ready to be on view. We had a deadline of July 20th that was all in the back of our minds, but as Monday hit, we realized how fast we needed to work on this project. It first started with having the curator; Henry Duffy get the objects that he wanted to use for his exhibition out on a table. That way we can arrange them in a way that the viewer will find interesting and that they will be able to make connections. This step I feel like is the hardest due to the amount of time that we spend looking at different options on how to put everything together. Once we are all satisfied with an idea then we begin to form the label which explains the object itself. Creating the label in such a short time frame can be a bit of a task. Mainly because we must be careful not to smudge the ink on the paper and to cut the mat board with a beveled edge. We had several trial and errors trying to get the bevel just right and to make sure that there were no crinkles in the paper or making sure the mat board corners weren’t dented. The next step is hanging everything up in the gallery space and making sure that it looks good with the other objects. Sometimes when you hang things up on the wall you want to make sure that everything is proportioned.

After we completed all those steps, we did a few little tasks like cleaning the plexiglass for the cases, putting “Please Do Not Touch” signs on the objects stands for the chairs and the dress. We also cleaned the floors to ensure a clearer viewing. One of the last finishes was putting a bouquet in the entryway to add a little something extra for the visitors that come in. After completing this exhibit, I hope that the viewer will gain a deeper inside on who Augusta Saint-Gaudens was. I hope that they understand and appreciate how independent she became as her marriage wasn’t always the best. And that she enjoyed every bit of her life as she possibly could whether that be going out of the country and exploring or painting about her experiences that she was seeing while being away from Cornish.

 

 

A Workshop Field Trip

By Maeliz Colon

I had a wonderful opportunity to accompany the workshop for the National Endowment for the Humanities. There were teachers from all over the country participating in this week long workshop; most of them were history and social studies teachers. The overall objective for them was to work on a source set inquiry based lesson plan. I joined them on Monday, July 8th. I was ultimately there with them to represent the armory, as well as, bring my own knowledge and experience to the hypothetical table. The week was full of field trips, lectures, and lots of discussions. I have so many photos of all the interesting things I got to see and can go on and on about all the notes I took, but honestly it was so rewarding to spend time with those teachers and help them find primary and secondary sources from the collection at SPAR. The focus of the workshop was ultimately on New England history (mostly Massachusetts) and the development of the industry, I was able to learn a lot about Springfield and the neighboring areas.

We actually finished the week with a visit to the Springfield Art Museum and the neighboring museums. We were able to see the evolution of the paintings and the stories behind them. Interestingly enough, this was helpful for the teachers as well because pictures are considered primary sources as well and it aids with the understanding of interpretation. We also received a presentation/ lecture from Cassie Brown author of Rosie’s Mom: Forgotten Women Workers of the First World War. Which provided insight to a time period for women that isn’t discussed that too often.

On Wednesday July 10th we went over to where the SPAR watershops used to be and then took a trip to Old Sturbridge Village. We received a lecture from a University of Connecticut professor on currency and what type of social behaviors were associated to currency in the 1830s. Also taking a tour of the grounds was engaging and helps put the technology of the time in perspective; that these people were people and lived in circumstances that seem so alien in the modern day. The village contained tools and some people along the facilities were using the tools as they would in the 1830s.

I also chose to focus on a few days of my trip as opposed to the entire week, because I would be repeating the process with a new group of teachers. Nonetheless, the entire workshop was refreshing and I was able to get a different perspective from teachers and just lesson planning all together. I know that teaching and sharing information is an important part of raising awareness of resources and simply effectively conveying a historical story; being a part of this type of workshop is giving me a lot of exposure to a variety of themes and topics.

The photos I took are in no particular order:

Figure 1: A Visit to the Springfield Art Museum

Figure 2: The Early 20th Century American Gallery

Figure 3: A Vast Audience Experience a Perspective Rarely Seen

Figure 4: The Old Sturbridge Village

Figure 5: Tools of the 1830s

Figure 6: Closing out the Workshop Week with Teachers

 

 

 

Lincoln Home Blog

By Christian Rice

I’ve continued over the past two weeks to work with the artifacts in storage, and I’ve managed to complete the cataloging of another home. The Sprigg House was purchased by a widow, Mrs. Julia Sprigg, in 1853. Mrs. Sprigg became close friends with Mary Lincoln over the years, and Sprigg’s daughter once cared for the Lincoln’s sons.

Currently, I am working on artifacts from the Dean House. This house came to be named after its occupants Mrs. Harriet Dean and her husband Frederick, who purchased the home in 1849. Today, visitors to the site can tour through the Dean house as well as the garden established behind the home.

Figure 1: The Harriet Dean House

Another project I’ve been working on over the past few weeks has been to put together a new display for the Arnold House. In the house, there is a standing display that is themed “Left Behind,” in which items found during the archaeological digs and reconstructions are shown. Previously, the display was filled with items connected to the Morse House. Our goal was to replace the artifacts with some from the Robinson House.

Figure 2: The Heirloom Garden Located behind the Dean House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My main task within this project was to do background research for each of the artifacts that we used in the display in order to write descriptions for the information cards. The research involved a lot of searching for and deciphering of Maker’s Marks, materials used, and other identifying traits. This was my first time doing anything curator-like, and it was a process that I found I rather enjoyed.

This past week, I also completed part of my volunteer service project. I spent time at a local elementary school, where they host a day camp throughout the summer for kids in the community. Specifically, I helped with the Backpack Feeding program. The goal of this program is to send each child home on the weekends with a bag of various food items to ensure they have access to nutritious meals. It was a really great experience, and I enjoyed meeting new people and getting involved more in the community here in Springfield.

Figure 3: The new “Left Behind” display
featuring items from around the
Robinson House.

Conducting an Annual Inventory

By Juan Davila

In this past week, we have worked solely on the Annual inventory of CHAM. Our team leader, Mark Calamia, asked for the help of Rodney Souter a conservator in Chamizal to help us on the process and teach us along the way. After a meeting and being briefed on what encompasses an Annual inventory and the 3 parts that separate the workload. The Annual Inventory is done every year, although I was told before it was done every 3 years in the NPS. It consists of three lists: Controlled Items,
Randomized Items and Accessioned items.

Once we had been briefed and given a reminder for how to handle and take care of the possible items we would find, we headed over to the vault and moved out all the big objects so that we could walk with ease. Along with my team, we prepared our cotton gloves and started to look for the items.  Controlled inventory was fast, since ICMS picked only paintings, and they were easy to find in the racks.

The randomized inventory was a whole other adventure that took us two days to complete. The items were stored in several locations and somewhere on the warehouse that I had mentioned in my previous blog. My team was very grateful that we had taken time in the summer to organize the warehouse because if not the random object would have been an even bigger task. We found many interesting objects, including a ring from U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson. LBJ’s daughter gifted the ring to Chamizal because she felt it would honor her father and wanted it to be exposed in an exhibit of the Memorial. I also found correspondence between U.S. President John F. Kennedy and Mexican President Lopez Mateos concerning the treaty of Chamizal and the conversation that followed between Lopez Mateos and Lyndon B. Johnson after Kennedy’s assassination.

Figure 1: Working with my team at CHAM

After we finished the randomized  items list, we passed over to the non-accessioned items. This list was a headache because they had been wrongfully registered in the past. Instead of archival collections, each page or flyer was cataloged as its own item. To make it worst most items had inconsistent descriptions and we discovered many had the description of a different object. Most of the items were flyers or pamphlets from recitals or pianos. I got to see several flyers from the early 60’s promoting black face plays. This was shocking to me, I had read and seen them in class but once I saw the art in the posters, I could comprehend how atrocious those plays were. This week was a great learning experience. I gained valuable skills and knowledge from my peers and had a lot of fun finding objects in the vault.  I never expected I would find random pamphlets and signed documents from presidents.

Figure 2: Discovering Pamphlets and Documents from Signed Presidents

To The Women of New England: Internship Update and the Women who Made the Bunker Hill Monument Possible.

By Hannah Marcel

As summer rolls on here at Boston National Historical Park, so do the opportunities for learning! Work has continued on the annual inventory of the park and we have recently been focused on tracking down items on the accession inventory. This involved referencing the accession paperwork and previous inventories to gain context on the artifacts that we are locating. I have also been given the opportunity to participate in the examination of artifacts that have been sent to the park for potential accession. These projects have allowed me to gain a better understanding of the National Park Service accession process. I also participated in the housekeeping of artifact storage spaces, which included dusting, wiping down surfaces, vacuuming floors and shelf covers, and ensuring that the space is clean overall.

 

The recent project that I am most excited for, however, is the creation of a new exhibit panel to be displayed in the Bunker Hill Museum. This process started out with research to better understand the subject of the exhibit panel, two timbers from the apparatus used to build the first 37 feet of the Bunker Hill Monument. This allowed us to identify key points to share with the public when creating the exhibit panel. A lot goes in to exhibit creation that many people do not think about, including ADA accessibility. Participating in this process has allowed me to learn more about the guidelines that go into making exhibit panels that are not just engaging and informative, but accessible to as many visitors as possible.

 

Researching for this exhibit panel forced me to think critically about what went into the construction of the monument, whose height and obelisk shape was the first of its kind. (The Washington Monument would not be completed until 1848). The cornerstone of the monument was laid by Marquis De Lafayette in 1825, and the entire structure was completed in 1842. To get every Quincy granite block into place required clever design and meticulous equipment. Not only was the construction itself a feat of architecture, but so was the organization that went into funding the monument. I was able to reflect on this as I made the climb to the top, yes all 294 stairs! Even though I have made this climb a few times as a child, I had been putting it off for most of my visit. You tell me who really wants to climb 294 stairs, roughly 18 flights, in the middle of summer! Despite my reluctance, this felt like the right time to go, having researched the massive effort that went into this structures creation. The view of Boston from the top of the monument, almost made the climb worth it! So many people came together, including women, to make that monument possible.

Figure 1: Photo of me at the base of the Bunker Hill Monument

Figure 2: Zoomed in view of the Charlestown Navy Yard from the top of the Monument, on the left is the USS Cassin Young and on the right is the USS Constitution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dive Deeper:

What struck me the most was the role that everyone in New England, and beyond, played in the construction of the Bunker Hill Monument. This included the efforts of women and children across the region who banded together to raise the funds necessary for the project. So how did it all come to be?

 

Before there was the 221-foot tall obelisk commemorating the Battle of Bunker Hill, there was a monument honoring fallen patriot and Freemason Dr. Joseph Warren. Despite his status as a general, Dr. Warren insisted on fighting as a private during the battle because he believed other generals present had more experience, resulting in his death. In 1794, a group of Freemasons decided to build a memorial for their fellow Freemason, a replica of which sits in the bottom of the monument today. Despite this, citizens of New England felt that more should be done to honor those that had fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill. In 1823, the Bunker Hill Monument Association was formed to create a more substantial monument on the battlefield. Funding this memorial would prove to be a challenge, halting construction twice and forcing the Bunker Hill Monument Association to sell off a large portion of the battlefield to fund the project. This would not be enough however, leading a couple of wealthy donors and the women of New England to step up and fund the project.

Figure 3: Replica of the original monument to Dr. Warren & Statue of Dr. Warren located in the Bunker Hill Lodge

Motivation for the women of New England to raise these funds came from Sarah J. Hale, the influential editor of the magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book. Hale wrote Bunker Hill Monument Association asking if she could utilize her position to motivate the women of New England to raise the funds. Some felt that the women would be overstepping their position and would likely take the money from their husbands who had already donated anyway. Despite these criticisms, the association voted in favor of Hale’s offer. Women and children from all over New England donated funds and hand crafted objects to be sold at the week long Ladies Fair to fundraise. In total, Hale’s efforts raised over $30,000 for the monument, joining the contributions of Amos Lawrence and Judah Touro, who each donated $10,000.

Figure 4:
The exhibit panel in the Bunker Hill Museum discussing Sarah J. Hale. On display is a book of subscriptions received for the monument, a copper medal from the Ladies Fair, and a doll. In the exhibit is also a copy of Sarah J Hale’s original plea beginning with the words “To the women of New England”

 

Wall Text, Founder and Fairs, Bunker Hill Monument Museum, Charlestown, Boston Massachusetts.

 

“Bunker Hill Monument.” National Parks Service. Accessed July 19, 2019. https://www.nps.gov/bost/learn/historyculture/bhm.htm.

 

“The History of the Bunker Hill Monument Association during the First Century of the United States of America : Warren, George Washington, 1813-1883 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming.” Internet Archive, Boston : J. R. Osgood, 1 Jan. 1877, archive.org/details/historyofbunkerh00warr.

(Note: There is a copy of “The History of the Bunker Hill Monument Association during the First Century of the United States of America” in  the Boston National Historical Park collection however I chose to use a digital copy from the Library of Congress Archives to avoid having to add wear to the book)

 

 

 

Discovering Women’s Suffrage Specific to Missouri

By Elizabeth Eikmann

Weeks 2 and 3 were filled with visits to the archive, with a few more visits to the archive, and ending with a visit to the archive! I spent the majority of the past few weeks diving into women’s suffrage related ephemera–images, objects, and papers.

My first archive visit was to the Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center. The building was constructed in 1926 and was home to one of the largest Jewish synagogues in the nation for 62 years. In 1989, MHS purchased the building, renovating it to house their collections and archives. For more on the history of the building and to see a selection of historic images visit their website here.

Here are some images of the building I took while researching there:

Figure 1: Missouri History Museum Library

Figure: Beautiful Ceiling of Missouri History Museum Library

While at the Missouri History Museum Library and Research center, I explored the papers of the Couzin’s family–a nineteenth century St. Louis family with multiple family women involved in local and national suffrage activities. I reviewed the Civil War Claims books of Francis Minor, husband of suffragist Virginia Minor. I also sifted through what seems like hundreds of letters, pamphlets, and images related to suffrage.

Figure 3: Exploring the Papers of the Couzin’s family

Figure 4: St. Louis Public Library

Next I visited the St. Louis Public Library Central Branch, the first public library built in the city in 1865. The original building still houses the library and all of its archival collections. Though small, their women’s suffrage newspaper clippings and ephemera proved to be a mighty selection with some wonderful references and resources.

 

Here is a bird’s eye view of just a fraction of everything I uncovered the past two weeks:

Figure 5: Image of images!

Figure 6: Just a fraction of what I uncovered at the Library

…Now, back to work!

Figure 7: My work space

 

 

 

 

 

Boston National Historical Park: Blog Post 2

By Hannah Marcel

The past two weeks I have continued to work with the Museum Technician on various projects. This included some important housekeeping of our office space to keep things running smoothly. I have also continued to familiarize myself with the history, cultural significance, and goals of the Boston National Historical Park by reading assigned preservation materials. Site visits across Massachusetts are another important aspect of my internship. Exploring historical sites around the region provides necessary historical context to the objects in the collection. The visits also provide an opportunity to learn how my peers in the park service and at partner sites are operating. Below are pictures from a visit to the Boston Harbor Islands, specifically Georges Island. While on the island, we were able to explore Fort Warren, a civil war era fort located in Boston Harbor. The visit also gave me a new perspective on Boston Harbor, as Georges Island sits on the Narrows, the only way for larger ships to safely enter the harbor.

Figure 1: A visit to the Boston Harbor Shore Islands, specifically Georges Island

I have also continued work on the Boston National Historical Park annual inventory. Many of the artifacts in the inventory are from the USS Cassin Young, including many that are still on board. To further understand the significance of the ship to the Navy Yard, as well as preservation goals, I read the USS Cassin Young Historic Furnishings Report. I also took a ranger guided tour of the ship to familiarize myself with the history and layout before we boarded to take inventory.

Figure 2: I am working closely with the history of the USS Cassin Young

Dive Deeper: USS Cassin Young

As World War II raged on in Europe and the Pacific, naval shipyards across America began rapidly building a new class of ships. In total, 175 of these Fletcher-class destroyers would be commissioned, including the USS Cassin Young.  These ships were designed for increased speed while still being able to perform all of the important tasks of a destroyer.

The USS Cassin Young, was built in California and commissioned on December 31, 1943. From there the ship was sent to the Pacific to participate in the naval offensive against Japan, participating in the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. One of the biggest threats that the USS Cassin Young faced during World War II was kamikaze pilots, often using anti aircraft machinery to shoot the attacking planes out of the sky. Ultimately, the USS Cassin Young would be the victim of two kamikaze attacks, the second sending her back to the United States. The ship returned to California for repairs, before being decommissioned on May 28th, 1946, and placed on reserve.

Figure 3: USS Cassin Young went to the pacific and it had a great threat, Kamikaze pilots

The USS Cassin Young would remain on reserve until the outbreak of the Korean Conflict, being recommissioned on September 7th, 1951. The ship served in the Atlantic and Mediterranean until returning in 1952 for a massive overhaul. This overhaul occurred at the Navy Yard, her first connection with this location, and would return five more times for repairs between 1955 and 1959. The USS Cassin Young was again decommissioned on April 29th 1960.

 

Now the USS Cassin Young sits in the Charlestown Navy Yard, giving visitors a glimpse into what life may have been like on board. The Navy Yard participated in the construction of many of these Fletcher-class ships. Many more, including the USS Cassin Young, were brought here for repairs. The USS Cassin Young showcases the role that the Navy Yard played in the Second World War and beyond. It serves to emphasize the industrial nature of the location.

To learn more about the Cassin Young, you can visit the Boston National Historical Park website at https://www.nps.gov/bost/learn/historyculture/usscassinyoung.htm. For an interactive exploration of life aboard the ship, including interviews and photographs, you can visit https://www.nps.gov/features/bost/DD793/1.0/index.html.

 

Kickoff to my Internship at Martin Van Buren National Historic Site

By Michelle Dempsey

Figure 1: Lindenwald, built c. 1790, occupied by Martin Van Buren 1839 – 1862

I would like to start off this first blog post emphasizing how lucky I am to be interning at the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site. Not only is the home, Lindenwald, beautiful (the original house having been built in the late 18th century), but the grounds themselves include close to three hundred acres of meadows, hiking trails, and land farmed by Roxbury Farm, a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) member. Thus, not only is the site historical, but it is also beautiful!

Figure 2: Path leading from the Visitor Center and Park Headquarters to the main house

Figure 3: Me in front of Lindenwald, exploring on my first day

Without giving too much of a history lesson that can be found at Lindenwald’s website (https://www.nps.gov/mava/index.htm) or one of the not-so-many biographies on Van Buren, I will provide just enough context to help make sense of this and future blog posts about my experiences here.

 

Born and raised in the town of Kinderhook, NY, just twenty miles south of Albany, Van Buren grew up in a very insular Dutch community that had settled along the Hudson River in the early 17th century (In fact, Van Buren spoke English as a second language and had a Dutch accent his whole life). For this reason, Van Buren’s family can very much be tied to Dutch culture and history in the Hudson River Valley, which is only one of several historical story lines which can be found at Lindenwald.

 

Emphasized in more detail, however, is Van Buren’s antebellum life. Born at the end of the American Revolution, the first president to be born in the new Republic, and dying in the midst of the Civil War, Van Buren’s lifetime frames a crucial period of American history where the new Republic sought not only to remain a unified force in the face of much larger, much older nations, but also to establish who Americans were as a people. Van Buren, a Dutch New Yorker whose father owned slaves, whose first lady was his South Carolinian daughter-in-law, and whose own private residence was worked largely by Irish immigrants, had to contend with these issues throughout most of his political career. Thus, while you cannot escape a tour of Lindenwald without encountering politics, the site itself explores wider events of the antebellum period related to slavery, immigration, reform efforts, and voting rights, just to name a few.

Figure 4:
Enlarged political prints hanging in park headquarters

Martin Van Buren was the 8th president of the United States from 1837 to 1841. Having been shadowed by the Panic of 1837, the largest American economic downturn until the Great Depression of 1929, Van Buren’s presidency itself has very much become a blip in American historic and popular memory. However, Van Buren’s political career was long-lived and significant. Aside from his brief stint as president, Van Buren was a mover and shaper of American politics for much of the antebellum period. Perhaps his most crucial work (as many here at the site would argue), was in directly founding the Democratic party (e.g. of Andrew Jackson for whom he served first as Secretary of State and later Vice President) and indirectly helping to found the Republican party through his support (and presidential campaign) for the Free Soil party, which later became absorbed into the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln. Despite his short stature (for which he was nicknamed “Little Van”), Van Buren remained large in American political life until his death in 1862, as evidenced by the many political cartoons he continued to appear in until well after his presidential term ended.

Figure 5: 1848 cartoon from loc.gov. For more MVB cartoons, visit the Library of Congress’s online collection at https://www.loc.gov/collections/martin-van-buren-papers/articles-and-essays/selected-nineteenth-century-political-cartoons/

So what am I doing here? My job is twofold. First, I am helping to develop an educational program on civics and the history of voting rights in New York for local fifth graders. Second, I am expanding site research on the women of Lindenwald and Van Buren’s life, as the nation is coming up on the centennial of the 19th Amendment. The women of Lindenwald are quite a cast of characters, and I cannot wait to explore more deeply the lives they lived.

 

My first week here was largely spent familiarizing myself with the site, the village of Kinderhook, New York Dutch history, Martin Van Buren, and the early women’s rights movement. After conducting much secondary (and a little primary) research, I was able to help chaperone a group of Youth Conservation Corps teens, working here at Lindenwald, to Crailo State Historic Site and the New York State Museum. Crailo interprets the history of Dutch settlement in the Hudson River Valley, the site having been built on the bank of the Hudson River in the early eighteenth century by Hendrick Van Rensselaear, a founding family of the area. After learning that the Dutch used to sleep sitting up (for reasons still speculated upon today), we went to the State Museum, tried to find Martin Van Buren somewhere, and failed to do so. Again, he is a lost president, even to his own state!

Figure 6: The back of Crailo house

Figure 7: Garden alley of Crailo, facing the Hudson River

Figure 8: One of our first views walking into the main exhibit area of the New York State Museum!

Figure 9: Part of my research relates to changes in the lives of women in the antebellum period, including education! I also just really liked this print by popular landscape artist and printmaker Winslow Homer.

Figure 10: A Quote from Susan B. Anthony

It is near impossible to talk about antebellum New York history without discussing the various reform movements that swept across the state (and country) at the time. This wave of reform was aided by the finishing of the Erie Canal in 1825, which connected the state’s people, goods, and ideas like never before, and the Second Great Awakening, which infused Americans with a renewed evangelical fervor for projects related to temperance, prison reform, poor relief, education, antislavery and abolition, and women’s rights, among many others.

Figure 11: Our view of the state capital building from the fourth floor of the museum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transitioning Programs and a Field Visit to Liberty Island

By Anna Tiburzi

Welcome back! Buckle up, we’re in for a long one.

We’ve reached the end of week seven, which is the lucky week that marks the very beginning of what will be a very back and forth transition period. Up until now, as you may have read in earlier posts, I’ve been pretty deeply entrenched in CAD files and SketchUp models, adding things in, smoothing oddities out, and setting them up for later tasks just in general. Modeling isn’t really fast work, but we’re finally reaching a transition stage – while I’ve been sort of swimming in the deep end of SketchUp up until now, I finally get to dip my toes in Lumion.

Lumion, for those who may not be familiar, is a rendering software. In it, I can import SketchUp models and start adding materials, modeled trees, and other elements that will start bringing the models to life. I can also set up scenes and begin to adjust effects like sun position and clouds, wind and weather, color and light.

Figure 1: Original 1952 Model in SketchUp

Figure 2: Developed 1952 Model in SketchUp – terrain mesh smoothed and material applications underway

It’s not a clean transition from one program to the next, it never is. No matter how close you get the SketchUp model, once you get it into Lumion for further development, you always find things to go back and fix or change. Things you missed or things you didn’t even think of now seem to be obviously missing. As I continue to find and receive new information about materials, buildings, and vegetation, it becomes a pattern of bouncing between the two programs.

For example, if I can get information on what species each tree is, I can place those species in Lumion and get the model that much closer to what it is or was. We already have some idea of tree sizes and/or diameters from existing plans and the original SketchUp models – you may have remembered those white cylinders in pictures in my last post, they act as placeholder guides to give me an idea of heights and locations now that I’m in Lumion. That might seem like a lot of detail, but the character of a tree can sometimes have a lot of impact on a scene and the opportunity to really get the sense of place right – or really throw the viewer off if they know it’s wrong, so it really makes a difference if we can get as many details correct as we can.

Figure 3: 1952 model exported in Lumion, in workspace

Figure 4: 1952 model, in-progress

Only the 1952 model has been brought into Lumion so far. The work that needs to be done in SketchUp isn’t over yet, there’s elements here and there that I still need to model, including the fort entrance and that tricky seawall – though I have a plan for both of those. I’m learning more about materials every day, going back and adding lines to differentiate areas so I can add separate materials back in Lumion.

I’ve also begun setting up those vantages that I discussed in Post 1. Once I’ve gotten them squared away in the 1952 model, I can replace and import the other models into the 1952 model’s place and save them as their own files so all those scenes and vantages I set up will be preserved across all 6 models again, recreating those repeat photography images we’re striving for. But I’m not really ready to start swapping out models yet, the work I’m doing in 1952 still has a ways to go.

If you’re wondering why the 1952 model gets the special treatment as the Lumion guinea pig, I don’t have a great answer except it happened to be the furthest along at the moment I needed one to be ready. I needed to run some test renders and try some things out and the other five just weren’t anywhere close to being ready enough for me to pull a convincing scene from them.

Here I’ve included these two test renders, done in different views and styles, rendered in Lumion and processed in Adobe Photoshop. You can tell we’re not fully ready yet to be moving on from SketchUp – the fort is missing its coping stones, the buildings are still sort of nondescript, the trees are generic placeholders, the materials aren’t quite right – and that’s just what you can see from the viewpoints I’ve selected – but it’s obvious we’re really starting to get somewhere and these images make it possible to open a dialogue for others on the Liberty team to respond and react to as we move forward.

Figure 5: 1952 Test Render A

Figure 6: 1952 Test Render B

Figure 7: Sample video render of an early and in-progress 1952 Lumion model

Liberty Island Site Visit

As you can probably tell by now, I’ve dedicated a lot of time to the models, becoming familiar with them, working on their meshes, adding materials, putting in walls and steps…it goes on. I like to joke sometimes that I live in the models, or I’m at least a very frequent tourist, made slightly ironic by the fact that I’ve never actually been to Liberty Island in reality, never actually seen Liberty herself up close.

This week, not only did we rectify that, but I got to do something only a fraction of Liberty’s daily visitors get to do – I was going up in the crown.

I arrived in NYC late Monday afternoon. Joining me from Syracuse, NY was my mentor on the project, Professor Aidan Ackerman (SUNY ESF) and, from the OCLP office in Boston, Eliot Foulds and Julia Miller. My evening was free and, already having confirmed our meeting time tomorrow morning with the others, I decided to walk down to Battery Park, where I got my first glimpse on the trip of Liberty herself.

Figure 8: View of Liberty from Battle Park, NYC

View of Liberty from Battery Park, NYC

Having grown up in Westchester County, I’ve been a frequent visitor to New York City throughout my life, but I’ve never stayed the night, so this was my first opportunity to wake up in Manhattan surrounded by skyscraper after skyscraper. It’s a view you can really appreciate any day, any time – which is good, because it was 5:30 am and I was due in the lobby in just over an hour. I got dressed and hit a cafe on the corner for breakfast and a very necessary coffee. No one’s ever accused me of being a morning person.

Figure 9: View from my hotel room up on the 42nd floor

We boarded the 7:30 am ferry to the island. Just us and park staff, we had our pick of seats and amazing views of the skyline as we pulled away from Battery Park.

Figure 10: Looking back at the Manhattan skyline as we ride the ferry to Liberty Island

Figure 11: Rounding the edge of the island

The first public ferry doesn’t leave until 8am, so Liberty Island is quiet and almost serene in the morning sun. We’re not alone though, we’ve got some park staff with us, including Superintendent of Liberty Island, John Piltzecker.

Figure 12: The view as you approach Liberty

The entrance to the 11-point fort is massive – that’s a lot of granite blocks – and a welcome sight. I’d been frustrated trying to add the missing entrance to the 6 models, not having found enough information to satisfy me. Now that I’ve got some pictures and measurements to work with, I can start developing them when I get back to Syracuse.

Figure 13: The entrance to the star fort, which is still missing from each of the 6 models

Walking through the doors brings you into the pedestal lobby where Liberty’s original torch used to sit before it was moved into the new Visitor’s Center and Museum on the other side of the island. We went up a flight to the second floor of the fort and walked around before loading into the elevator which would take us up to the top of the pedestal. There’s no elevator in the statue itself, so from pedestal to crown, we’re on our own.

Figure 14: The double-helix staircase

Liberty’s staircase is a double-helix which rises straight up from pedestal to crown. The clearance in the helix is just over 6 feet, with a width of less than 20 inches. Made of relatively thin copper sheets with steel armature, it’s not exactly comfortable in Liberty. Each step is 9″ in height and 8″ wide – and there’s over 160 of them in the double helix alone.

Figure 15: The view from the crown

It’s a relief to finally take the last step onto the final landing. It’s not exactly a cool day out and so it’s definitely hot up there, but the view is beautiful and it’s the crown, so a little heat is worth it. The first public ferry is still working its way over to Liberty Island so we have some time to ourselves before other visitors bearing crown tickets even take a step onto the island. We hang out up there for about a half an hour, talking with the NPS staff who came up with us, asking them questions and discussing the island, the statue, and our projects.

Figure 16: Here I am (in my new ACE shirt) nestled in Liberty’s crown

Figure 17: If I look a little warm, here’s why. It’s a little toasty in the copper statue

We learn a lot, including why you can’t go any higher than the crown – and, for most, you wouldn’t really want to. While the double-helix staircase isn’t exactly a party, access to the torch is actually made by climbing onto a platform near Liberty’s shoulder and ascending a near vertical ladder which terminates in a manhole-like exit out onto the torch.

Figure 18: The view of the torch from the crown

At some point, we do have to come down, there’s work to be done. On our way down we explore the pedestal and terreplein. I’ve got a whole list of images I’d like to take for modeling later and measurements I want to grab for reference. I’m collecting pictures of materials, dimensions, vegetation, and skylines and getting a much better feel for the island’s scale and spatial relationships overall.

Figure 19: View of Liberty from the base of her pedestal

Figure 20: Looking over the new terreplein towards the new visitor center

We visited the new Visitor’s Center and Museum, where the original torch stands on display. It looks very different from the one Liberty currently holds, but the newer torch is actually much truer to Liberty’s original design by Bartholdi.

Figure 21: The original torch

Wrapping up on Liberty Island, we headed to Ellis Island – another place I’d never visited. We got to tour the old buildings, hard hats and all, and see areas like the quarantine wards, doctors’ residences, and morgue. Not immediately relevant in my modeling but it’s always a good idea to get an idea of the relationships between places and the character of related spaces, as well as what Liberty Island looks like from various perspectives. It’s all good information.

At some point, the day does come to a close and my feet are grateful. Armed with pictures, measurements, and a greater understanding of the island itself, it’s time to go back home.

If you made it all the way to the end of this lengthy post, thanks for staying, there’s more to come soon!

 

 

 

 

A Digital Glimpse into Liberty Island and a Week in Acadia

By Anna Tiburzi

Hi all!

First, a little about me – my name is Anna Tiburzi. I’m currently a graduate student studying Landscape Architecture at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) in Syracuse, NY. Before coming here, I received my Bachelor’s in Geography from SUNY Geneseo in 2015. Before you ask – yes, I do like maps and I’ve been known to have made a few, though I focused my geographical studies on the relationship between landscapes and people and how they shape each other.

The rare moments I’m not hunched over a drafting table or my laptop, I like to read – though I buy books at a faster pace then I can finish them. Other than that, I play video games, I buy art supplies, I plan adventures with friends – the usual. But like I said, I’m generally pretty attached to my laptop and lately I’ve been developing my skills and working out the strengths (and challenges) of the different programs I’ve learned to use so far after my first year in graduate school. This internship is an opportunity to get even more experience and expand what I know.

Over the next 11-weeks, I’ll be working with ACE in partnership with the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation (OCLP) in helping to develop the Cultural Landscape Report (CLR) for Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty National Monument by furthering existing 3D models of the island. Our goals for the project are to continue to develop current documentation and models that will help in future stewardship of the island, as well as create and document reusable workflows that can be adapted to other projects.

The OCLP’s Designing the Parks Internship Program offers the opportunity to participate in a week-long field experience trip to Acadia National Park, ME. So on June 8th, I pressed pause on Liberty Island and left Syracuse – along with three other OCLP interns from SUNY ESF – for Boston, MA to meet up with the other six interns who were also headed to Acadia.

We began work in Acadia on June 9th, developing six Cultural Landscape Inventories (CLI) for the park at Sieur de Monts, Cadillac Mountain, Jordan Pond, Thunder Hole, Blackwoods campground, and Seawall campground. Working on the CLIs and meeting with different park staff, including the park superintendent, trail foreman, and curator, kept us all busy, but we found moments between to explore the park and Mt Desert Island – crossing the land bridge to Bar Island, ducking in and out of shops in the pouring rain, waking up before dawn to see the sunrise on top of Cadillac Mountain, and visiting the Abbe Museum. It was great meeting and working with the other interns and having the chance to get to know them all.

 Now back in Syracuse, NY, there was work to be done. Currently there are SketchUp models of Liberty Island across six different time periods: 1840, 1880, 1902, 1937, 1952, and 2018. One of our goals is to create digital repeat photography across each of these time periods for six different vantages of the island and its topography, views and vistas, spatial orientation, and circulation. I began by setting up preliminary scenes in SketchUp across all six models for comparison and to assess where further views and adjustments might be needed. I also began collecting examples of concepts for the project’s graphic style and exploring journal articles and other literature for precedents in digital historical reconstruction and speculative/uncertainty visualization.

Further development of the models is also underway, though very much still in the early stages. Along with setting up scenes across each of the models, I’ve begun developing terrain meshes from the existing contour information and CAD files and isolating the paths and walkways in each to be manipulated later. The terrain meshes are presenting some challenges; despite having both the SketchUp model and the CAD drawings, the geometry of the produced meshes are flawed in areas. More time will have to be devoted to fixing these areas, but I didn’t expect them all to come out perfect on their first try anyway.

While many of the vantages are based on views from existing photographs or concept images, there’s still a lot to be done perfecting the angles and using other techniques, such as strategically ghosting out blocking elements or features. Current trees have been temporarily hidden on their own layer and replaced by placeholders to make it easier to visualize and work with the model at this stage. I’m also looking for and researching any missing elements that can be added in; at this time, I’m working on the sea wall that surrounds the island, which is missing from each of the models.

Working with and between different programs presents its own challenges, but overall, the models, photographs, and maps that I’ve been given a chance to work with are amazing. It’s a look into Liberty Island’s past in a way that I’ve never had the chance to do before and I’m looking forward to progressing even further with the project and becoming more familiar with the resources at hand and the models themselves, as well as adding to them and helping create more comprehensive models and imagery.

Minute Man National Historic Park Blog Post #3

By Allison Hillman

 

July 7th-13th 

This work week was full of Junior Ranger initiations, Parker’s Revenge tours, and North Bridge talks.

Junior Rangers, July 7th 

I mentioned in the last blog post that I get to swear in Junior Rangers and help them complete their activity books, and this week was no different. I got to help these adorable siblings aged four and six years old complete their activity books. The little girl insisted on calling me “teacher” and refused to let anybody but me help her, which was really sweet. This photo was taken by my supervisor who posted it on the official Minute Man Facebook page. If you can’t tell from my hair, it was very humid that day. The siblings got their badges and clutched their Junior Ranger certificates as they were leaving, and the little girl contemplated where she would hide it so that nobody would steal it from her.

Figure 1: Swearing in the Sweetest Junior Rangers!

Parker’s Revenge Talk, July 12th 

One of my duties as an intern ranger here is to give tours of the Parker’s Revenge archaeological site. A few years ago, a team of archaeologists came to Minute Man and excavated a site where it was speculated that a group of Minute Men ambushed the retreating British army. This talk is about thirty minutes and I get to take people on a short walk to the site itself. We have the thirty-two musket balls excavated from the site on display in the Minute Man Visitor’s Center. This talk pictured below was attended by over forty people which was by far the largest crowd I’ve had. We had people from California as far as Spain on this talk, which is part of the reason why I love this job so much. It is a delight to talk to these people and get their perspective on the history.

Figure 2: Guiding Tours on the Parker’s Revenge Archaeological Site

North Bridge Talk, July 13th 

I gave a few talks at the North Bridge in Concord where the “shot heard round the world” was fired. It is a twenty minute talk that details the events that took place at the bridge on April 19, 1775. The talk pictured here was attended by about fifteen people who were very interested in the history. This is the site where the colonists were ordered to fire against their own British army for the very first time, committing treason, and officially starting the Revolutionary War. This was the second talk I gave here at the bridge and I was very pleased with how it went.

Figure 3: Giving a Talk About “The Shot Heard ‘Round the World”.

Taking Part in the Annual Measurement of the Lighthouse Crack!

By Clara Chang

On Monday, I attended the 20th Anniversary of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Move event in Buxton, and listened to all the speakers and panelists on their own personal accounts and memories of the historic event. I also participated in an oral history interview given by Aida Havel and my supervisor, Jami. Also while at Cape Hatteras, Jami and I conducted the monthly measurements of the cracks in the Lighthouse base using an electronic digital caliper.

Figure 1: The Annual Measurement of the Crack in the Lighthouse

This past week I also began taking photos of cataloged archaeological objects at the Museum Resource Center to eventually add to the cataloging system. I also digitized slides from the Fort Raleigh collection as well as the Wright Brothers collection using a slide converter. As we also received a research request for photos of the Wright Brothers National Monument construction from the early 1930s, I began organizing and sorting through the Wright Brothers photo collection. In addition to finding the photos for the request, I also integrated more photos into the chronological collection.

Finally, I also spent a couple days at the Outer Banks Group Headquarters to copy and archive compliance files for transfer to the Museum Resource Center.

 

Studying Virginia Minor Through Primary Documents

By Elizabeth Eikmann

It’s great to finally be an official CRDIP Intern! I began my first two weeks as an intern with the Gateway Arch National Park diving into primary source material on suffrage organizing in St. Louis, MO. A player that is central to the project is a woman named Virginia Minor who, along with her husband, Francis Minor, sued for her right to vote in St. Louis in 1873.

I’ve discovered a number of fantastic primary documents that will prove useful for the project’s research. At the St. Louis County Public library, I discovered Virginia Minor’s will. I also found in the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports of her death along with an article where Susan B. Anthony, well-known suffrage activist from Rochester, NY, mistakenly thought Minor left her $100,000 upon her death instead of measly $1,000 that she did…whoops!

Figure 1: Virginia Minor’s Will

Figure 2: Susan B. Anthony though the will was $100,00 when in reality, it was $1,000

I combed through Susan B. Anthony’s suffrage newspaper The Revolution and found a few articles on Virginia and Francis. This is a great source that will connect the Minors and St. Louis to the larger national movement.

Figure 3: “The Revolution” in Susan B. Anthony’s suffrage newspaper

I’m working on developing a Minor family tree to ideally discover Francis and Virginia Minors’ descendants.

 

Figure 4: I am working on the family tree to tru to discover Francis and Virginia’s descendants

I’ll end this blog with one of my favorite random clippings from a historic newspaper I stumbled on throughout my dig. It reminds me of a dark early 2000s Facebook status update:

Figure 5: Can you picture this early 2000’s Facebook post?

 

Getting to Know the Sites Around Lowell

By Chaya Sophon

From the last week in June, I finally got my PIV card which gives me access to be a digital web author on Lowell National Historic Park’s website. With this came the time for learning the tools of the National Park Service (NPS)’s content management system (CMS). The park’s CMS platform is Commonspot, owned by a company called Paperthin. You may know of other CMS platforms, such as WordPress. So I had to orient myself to the CMS guidelines of the park system, which with it includes accessibility considerations for authoring web content. I had the privilege of not really considering accessibility before taking the NPS’s web course trainings.

Something to consider out of this, is how I could make any content online accessible as possible, so sometimes the answer is simpler is better. It’d be tempting to pick interesting fonts, for example, but color and sizing needs to be considered for disabilities related to sight loss and mobility respectively. The park’s CMS handles a lot of the formatting needs, but digital authors are still responsible for addressing accessibility needs, such as: text equivalents are provided for images, appropriate naming of links, videos are captioned and audio-described, PDFs are accessible, etc.

My week mostly consisted of web training and taking the first steps into the CMS, but on July 1st I took a boat tour on the Pawtucket Canal. I had been on the Merrimack River, but I never went on to the canals before. On the tour, the history of who dug the canals was taught, and obviously it was extremely dangerous as they had to clear it before dynamite was even invented. The park preserved the historic guard locks to go through passing from canal to river. The water would rise as the tour boat was secluded in the locks, then we’d match the river’s water level to continue the tour. All that plus the fact that the park still maintained the traditional way of operating the locks by having human muscle push it open and close. The sights along the river would be completely different compared to the times of the city’s founding. Now there are trees hugging virtually the whole riversides, but in the past this would be cleared to allow horse-drawn barges and boats. And despite the change in the landscape over time, it’s been an ever-present thing that kids would jump into the canal and swim in it (when they should definitely not)!

 

Figure 1: Boat tour on the Pawtucket Canal

The other thing of note on this short week before the 4th of July, was that I attended the park’s reading of Frederick Douglas’s “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” Between the public, park staff, and volunteers a wide demographic read different sections of Douglas’s speech in the historic St Anne’s Church. Kirk Boott and the Merrimack Manufacturing Corporation made provisions for the religious workers of their company, and the Church has been in Lowell since 1884. The only other time I stepped inside the church was for my old kung fu lessons.

Figure 2: Reading of “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

Relating History and the STEM Field

By Maeliz Colon

Last week I learned about the history of the parks, especially Springfield Armory National Historic Site, and how they are being managed by the park staff. Which was very useful in setting up a foundation for myself. After getting the introduction out of the way I have been able to get more specific information about the museum collection and ultimately how the culture has evolved over the years at the Springfield Armory (SPAR). My ultimate project for the summer is to take the information at SPAR, which includes, but is not limited to, the museum collection, primary sources (ordinance reports and records), and secondary sources (studies done by historians on SPAR), and combine it with my own engineering background to be able to extract the S.T.E.M. topics and explain them.

To my own understanding I believe there has definitely been a misconception that history and engineering are exclusive from one another. However, I have been able to take basic S.T.E.M. fundamentals and make them relevant to the material here at the armory. The main goal is to have more resources for the public to be able to see the broader Springfield Armory story. While being here I have been able to understand how important interpretative themes are here at the armory, they help tell the story. Not only is what I am focusing on for the public but also for my fellow park rangers; who have been benefitting from the S.T.E.M. explanations I have been working on and appreciate it.

My project topics are mostly centered around the Life Saving Gun i.e. the Lyle Gun. This life saving apparatus encompasses many of the S.T.E.M. topics that I have been exploring. This wasn’t done out of pure convenience, but the curator here at the SPAR explained that it would be beneficial if I can apply most of all topics to one specific instance and then make broader more general statements that can be applied to the other pieces of the collection. The projectiles of the Lyle Gun were designed to help in instances of a ship wreck; where it would be too dangerous to get another boat out into the water, this gun would shoot out a projectile attached to a line to help people get across to safety. However, there were many challenges faced by David A. Lyle who the gun is named after, and he kept very descriptive data of his tests and research, which I am reading and using to better explain the dynamics of this gun.

Figure 1: Image of the Lyle gun at Springfield Armory National Historic Site

 

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

By Madisyn Rostro

Five weeks have gone by now and it’s hard to believe that I have already reached the halfway mark. I feel as if my internship is flying by before my eyes and soon enough, I will be back home starting my second year of college. Since this is my halfway point I have been getting more involved with the activities that are hosted at SAGA and the activities that are hosted with our sister park, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. I have also been able to meet more people at SAGA and make connections that will last me a lifetime. I am getting more and more excited to come to work every day knowing that I am doing something that I love and I get to work with people who understand the hard work that it takes to run a museum.

During week four we went to the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, VT. There we had the opportunity to talk to the head of the education department at the Montshire. She had the time to sit down with us and chat about how she got where she is now. She also gave us some advice about finding a job in the future and how to look for your dream job. She mentioned that if your dream job isn’t available yet then you could work at another museum close by and gain more experience until a position at the other museum opens. This was good advice to hear since I will eventually be looking for a permanent job once I have graduated from college.

During the middle of the week, we started the first big bronze cleaning project. We spent all day in 90-degree weather covering the monument with water and soaking with suds to clean the monument. Then once that had dried in the hot sun, we went back in to apply a general wax over the monument for it to shine and to protect it against the harsh weather. This was a very fun filled project that we got to use scaffolding for. It was my first time being on scaffolding and since I am afraid of heights, I stood very close to the ladder in case I needed to get down. I had a lot of fun cleaning the Shaw Memorial and I gained more valuable experience with cleaning a prestigious memorial and I also got to see certain details that the average person is not able to see down on the ground.

Another thing that we worked on during the fourth week was brainstorming a capstone project that I must present in front of the park interpretation staff in August before I leave. I took a lot of time to think about this because I wanted my point to go across and I wanted to enjoy the project that I chose and the area of interest that I chose as well. After a couple of days of thinking I decided to work on a project dedicated to the Shaw Memorial that we have on grounds here at SAGA. I wanted to focus more on the racial interpretation that Saint-Gaudens used for the African American models for his sculpture. I am in the beginning stages of my research project and something that I know for a fact is that Saint-Gaudens father Bernard was an abolitionist who started the first black freemasons and got kicked out of the white freemasons because of it. It is unclear if Saint-Gaudens was racist or not racist himself but that not the point I’m trying to prove or deny. I am simply showing how he looked at the models for his sculpture and how we can now use the interpretation of this information for other people to understand from a whole new perspective.

That weekend Zoe and I decided to go to Portland, ME. It was the first time that I had ever been to Maine and it was an experience that I will never forget. When I was a child, I wanted to move to Maine so I could eat all the seafood I wanted for a cheaper price. Now having been there I know that the seafood is indeed cheaper there and the land is more beautiful than I have seen in pictures. The first day that Zoe and I were there we spent the time exploring the downtown area with the different souvenir shops and the boutiques, I had to do a little shopping. During the second day, we went to Cape Elizabeth and even though it was raining the whole time I think we both had a blast running through the rain trying to get good photos that we could look back on. I

am beyond grateful that I got to go to Maine since it is a place I have wanted to go for years and hopefully I can visit again in the future and explore more of the area.

During the fifth week, it went by faster. We were busy trying to get projects completed before the holiday (Independence Day). I got to work on a very exciting task and that was unpackaging trunks that were Augustus Saint-Gaudens, his wife, his son, and their maid. It was interesting to see all the labels of the different trips they were taking. It was also interesting to see the type of condition that the trunks were in after over 100 plus years of being in storage. We were able to unwrap every trunk without damaging it and then we also decided to vacuum the trunks as well just to clean up any debris that might have gotten on the trunks over that past years. This was very time consuming but also intriguing. It was interesting to see the different vacuum tools that we were using in cleaning up the trunks and how careful we had to be with the fabric in case it started to rip.

That weekend I got the opportunity for our sculpture in residence, Dan Willig to draw me for his portrait class. I found this to be a relaxing time to just sit in a chair and watch the outdoors. Halfway through the process, it started to rain bad but that didn’t bother Dan, so he kept drawing me and even with the rain it was calmer. After he finished the drawing, I got to look at it and keep it. It was funny how much I thought I looked like my mother and kind of scary as well. But Dan gave me some knowledge about the artistic world of drawing people. He said that if you make even the tiniest line thicker or thinner than you really change the persons facial features and in total change, the persons face altogether.

I don’t have as much to talk about during the fifth week because we had the day off and I spent the fourth relaxing and getting to know more interns at a cookout/potluck. I’m looking forward to the next two weeks in being able to pull together a visitor center exhibit and to work on my capstone project. I’m not exactly sure how I will present the project or even which way I will direct my statements or thoughts. I do look forward to more adventures that I will take along the weekend and what I will be doing at work throughout the weekdays.

 

 

Life on Lava:Rattlesnake Training

By Julianna Falcomata

This week I did one of the most insane things that I have ever attempted in my life. I participated in a rattlesnake training in which we were instructed on how to properly transport a snake that may be in a dangerous spot for guests or in a hazardous location for the snake itself. I am deathly afraid of snakes so this gave me a ton of anxiety beforehand. I had trouble sleeping for about a week before the training. I was a nervous wreck, and Rattlesnakes can kill you. Why would I voluntarily get up close and personal with one? Well I did. And it was terrifying.

Figure 1: Up close and personal with a rattlesnake!

Rattlesnakes are widespread across the United States and are incredibly adaptive. They live in extremely arid areas as well as grass and wetlands. It is common to see different types of rattlesnakes in this part of New Mexico, and I have heard of people getting bit. The instructor of the course was very reassuring. He owns a rattlesnake museum in Albuquerque and knew a lot about the behaviors of the snakes.  He described snakes as mostly being solitary animals, and that they usually only strike when they feel threatened. While it is possible to die from being bitten by a rattlesnake, it is uncommon. Only about 1 out of every 1000 people who are bitten die. About 20% of bites are “dry” meaning the snake doesn’t inject you with any venom. After hearing this information, my nerves calmed down a little bit, or so I thought.

We were all given the opportunity to move the snake into a different bucket safely, using a long hook. I was still very hesitant about participating, but as I watched people I work with, I became more comfortable. The snake they had us practice on was a rescue western diamondback, which had been in captivity for around 15 years. The snake was pretty calm, as it was used to these types of trainings. Since they do not de-fang the snakes that they rescue, they use snakes that are calm and used to people for training purposes. As everyone took their turn, the snake usually went into the bucket no problem. They asked if everyone that had wanted to participate got the chance, and even though I had anxiety, I decided to give it a shot.

I was really confident until I was unscrewing the bucket the snake was in and I heard it start to rattle. My heart started racing and I wanted to back out, but everyone was watching and encouraging me.  I continued and opened the lid. The snake was inside, so I used the hook and started trying to maneuver it out. The snake was very heavy, so it took me longer then I thought it would. I successfully put the snake into the adjacent bucket, and was getting ready to screw on the lid when it decided to start slithering out. I think that the snake was tired of being moved around, no longer wanted to be in a bucket. I had trouble getting it to stay in the bucket, and it was really frustrating and scary, especially when it looked me in the eyes. I felt like it was taking forever because everything was going in slow motion. When I finally was able to get the snake into the bucket and close the lid, I felt instant relief. I survived! I couldn’t believe I actually successfully completed the training. I am still terrified of snakes and hope I never have to do that again, but I am glad I was able to come out of my comfort zone and do something even though I was scared. This is one of many experiences I have had here at EL Malpais that will stick with me forever.

Figure 2: An experience that will stay with me forever

Alas! I got to Take Park in the Living Historical Farm

By Sabrina Gonzalez

Playing Dress-Up 

This week was quite exciting. Finally, after waiting for weeks and weeks I dressed up as a pioneer women and, possibly even, a future Halloween costume. This was all for the living historical farm at the park to provide visitors with a visual representation of what life would have been like during the early nineteenth century when Abraham Lincoln lived in Southern Indiana.

Figure 1: Early 18th century wear

This entire outfit consists of a chemise, dress, pocket, skirt, apron, mop-cap, tall socks and leather boots. The chemise is a white gown that hangs just above my ankles and was worn throughout the entire day. Pioneer men and women would work and slept in these gowns. The proper way to assemble the outfit was to place the dress over the chemise then tie the pocket on the hip followed by the skirt and apron. Lastly, putting on the mop-cap, socks and shoes.

Figure 2: Finally getting to dress up for the living historical farm

Unfortunately, in both photos I am not historically accurate. My hair is down which beats the purpose of the mop-cap. It is designed to make sure my hair stays as clean as possible while I am completing my womanly duties on the farm and in the cabin. During this time, in the early nineteenth century, I would not have bathe often so finding ways to keep clean was important. My glasses and my clean teeth are also not historically accurate but for my safety and hygiene I will just have to inform visitors of what a proper pioneer women would have looked like.

Life on the Farm

Aside from wearing a three layered outfit in the Indiana heat, I also have to complete a few farm duties. This starts with feeding the chickens in the morning, unlocking the cabin to the public, and helping with herding the sheep to an enclosed field for the day. Once this is done we welcome the public to the living historical farm and ask questions that they have. “Where did Arbarham Lincoln sleep?” “In the loft upstairs.” “Are there any original items here?” “Unfortunately, not in the cabin. We do have an original piece by Thomas Lincoln in the museum.” Questions like this are asked all day. The other interpreters and I try to answer them to the best of our knowledge. This is a highlight of my day because it drives me to research more about Lincoln’s young so I can answer the puzzling questions the visitors may have.

Figure 3: Depicting an early 19th century home

Throughout the day we also try to maintain the garden. The tomatoes and onions should bloom in a few weeks. I am looking forward to using them in my meals because this farm is completely organic and everything is done by hand. We do this because we try to create an exact replica of what the Lincolns farm would have looked like and would have done for a good harvest. The garden picture in this log post was taken after I pulled weeds in the tomato and onion patches.

Figure 4: The tomatoes and onions should bloom in a few weeks!

Being a Museum Technician

For the summer Mike Capps, Chief of Interpretation, is having me complete the museum collections catalog. What this means is that I have to classify, describe, measure, and research each item that has not been cataloged yet so that it can be filed into the park’s museum collections. The hard part about this job is when Mike and I do not know what an artifact is. This is where the research comes in. The park has a small library that has a majority of books about Lincoln’s young and woodworking equipment. Most of the artifacts that we are unable to identify are some sort of woodworking tool so the research runs smoothly.

Figure 5: Completing the Museum Collections Catalog

For artifacts that we do know, such as this tombstone from the Pioneer Cemetery, the filing is pretty much just filling in a museum catalog record sheet. This tombstone is significant and in the museum collections because the infant was part of the Gentry Family. When the Lincoln left Indiana to move to Illinois in 1830 they sold their farm to the Gentry family.

Free Time Activities

When I am not working I try my best to explore the perks of living in Southern Indiana. I am fortunate enough to live next to the Lincoln State Park and Hoosier National Forest. I often go on hikes in both locations and enjoy the scenery. This week I decided to take it up a notch by repelling with a few of my work colleagues at Hoosier National Forest. That was an experience that I believe everyone should try at least once in their life. It is truly thrilling.

Figure 6: I had the opportunity to go repelling with a few co-workers in Hoosier National Forest

What I Have Learned So Far

The National Park Service is a place where I want to continue to learn and grow.

Figure 7: This seasons’ team at Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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