Week 9 began with more filming. I supervised a couple of different groups, and it’s really interesting to see the similarities and differences in what shots each group wants to get. Some groups were more focused on staging scenes and getting action shots, while other groups were getting more building and interior shots.
On the 3rd, I actually got a visit from the family that had inquired about the grave at Mount Hope. They had been able to find the grave earlier that day and came by to express their thanks again in person. It turns out that they had been looking for their father for over 50 years! The son lives in China and had come for a visit and was to leave in a few days. Had the directory not been in existence, the likelihood that they would have found the grave was very low. The Chinese Burial grounds are in an isolated part of the cemetery, and the families of those buried there often never knew what happened to them. A fair number of the headstones are faded and broken, but luckily this headstone was still in quite a good condition. Finally after decades, the son was able to pay respects to his father. They were also able to locate the location of the laundromat the his father had worked at in one of the old directories we have in our archive.
On the 4th, I accompanied the teen program on a field trip to the African Meeting House and Black Heritage Trail. They started in the basement of the Meeting House with an icebreaker and then got to learn more about NPS, this time from the interpretation side.
After the presentation, they played some team-building games. After a month together, they were pretty good at them. They also got to see a talk in the main part of the building.
After a break for lunch, we went on a tour of the Black Heritage Trail.
Despite coming from the area, this was actually my first time on the Black Heritage Trail as well. In school, if we went on field trips out to Boston, it was always the Freedom Trail or the Museum of Science.
The teens’ favorite stop was probably the Lewis and Harriet Hayden House because of the stories that came with the site. It was one of the safest stops on the Underground Railroad. Lewis Hayden was known to answer the door with a loaded shotgun and a lit candle. If the slave catchers weren’t disturbed by the shotgun, it was revealed that there were two barrels of gunpowder by the door, hence the lit candle.
We then returned to the basement of the African Meeting House, where the teens got to think up sites for their own heritage trails. A lot of the groups chose the Chinatown Gate as their site because of how iconic it is. For visitors especially, this is what Chinatown is. Through their video project, however, they will be complicating this image of Chinatown. They will be showing that Chinatown is a living community