August 15, 2020

McMillan Publishes Book Chapter

Lauren McMillan

Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation Lauren McMillan

Lauren McMillan, assistant professor in the Department of Historic Preservation, published a book chapter entitled “Diamonds and Triangles: Two Locally-Made Pipes from the 17th-century Chesapeake” in the book Artifacts that Enlighten: The Ordinary and the Unexpected. The chapter examines the multi-racial and ethnic influences of clay tobacco pipe making in colonial Virginia.

UMW Community Works with City on Freedom Rides Historical Marker

Last fall, UMW students and city residents retraced the route of the Freedom Rides, the historic protest to desegregate interstate travel, organized by James Farmer. Members of the UMW community are working with the City to establish a historic marker on the site of the old bus station in Fredericksburg, the Freedom Riders' first stop on their 1961 trip. Photo by Lynda Allen.

Last fall, UMW students and city residents retraced the route of the Freedom Rides, the historic protest to desegregate interstate travel, organized by James Farmer. Members of the UMW community are working with the City to establish a historic marker on the site of the old bus station in Fredericksburg, the Freedom Riders’ first stop on their 1961 trip. Photo by Lynda Allen.

James Farmer Multicultural Center Assistant Director Chris Williams, Assistant Professor of History Erin Devlin and Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation Christine Henry were interviewed in The Free Lance-Star about their efforts to work with the City of Fredericksburg to establish a Virginia state historical marker at the site of the old bus station where the Freedom Riders stopped first in their quest to desegregate interstate transportation in 1961. The station formerly stood on the corner of Princess Anne and Wolfe streets, near where the fire station is now.

Some of the riders were arrested in North Carolina, South Carolina and Mississippi. In Anniston, Ala., a mob of Ku Klux Klan members slashed the bus’s tires as it attempted to leave the terminal, and later threw a firebomb at it.

UMW students and staff and community members visited the field where the bombing occurred last fall, as part of a trip recreating the journey of the Freedom Riders.

“To our surprise, there was no marker out there. No historical marker saying that right here, the original 13 Freedom Riders were fire-bombed,” said Chris Williams, assistant director of UMW’s James Farmer Multicultural Center, which organized the trip. “I was enraged and so were the students.”

Back home in Fredericksburg, Williams was still thinking about ways the story of the Freedom Riders and James Farmer could be told better—and that led to the idea of placing a highway marker at the site of the old bus station.

Williams, Devlin and Henry, in partnership with the City of Fredericksburg, have started the process of applying for the marker from the state Department of Historical Resources. Read more.

McMillan Elected President of Archaeological Conference

Lauren McMillan

Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation Lauren McMillan

Lauren McMillan, assistant professor of historic preservation, was recently elected president of the Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference. She will serve as the president-elect until March 2021, at which time she will transition into the president position. The Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference facilitates a yearly conference and professional journal for archaeologists working the Mid-Atlantic region. McMillan has been a member of this conference since 2007, while a student at UMW, and has previously served as the program chair, social media chair, and as a student paper judge.

Faculty, Students Select Center for Historic Preservation Book Prize

Preservation and Place: Historic Preservation by and of LGBTQ Communities in the United States, edited by Katherine Crawford-Lackey and Megan E. Springate.

Preservation and Place:
Historic Preservation by and of LGBTQ Communities in the United States, edited by Katherine Crawford-Lackey and Megan E. Springate.

The jury for the Center for Historic Preservation Book Prize recently met over Zoom and selected this year’s winner. The make up of the jury and a blurb about the book are below. Details about the Book Prize can be found here: https://cas.umw.edu/hisp/chp/book-prize/

University of Mary Washington Center for Historic Preservation Book Prize

2020 Book Prize Winner:
Preservation and Place: Historic Preservation by and of LGBTQ Communities in the United States, edited by Katherine Crawford-Lackey and Megan E. Springate

Book Prize Jury:
Paloma Bolasny, UMW class of 2006
Youth Programs Coordinator, Cultural Resources Office of Interpretation and Education
National Park Service

Lily Eghtessad, UMW class of 2020
Student/Knight Fellow
University of Mary Washington, Department of Historic Preservation

Michael J. Emmons, Jr.
Assistant Director, Center for Historic Architecture & Design
University of Delaware, Biden School of Public Policy and Administration

Daniel Hubbard, CPA, PhD
Associate Professor
University of Mary Washington, Department of Historic Preservation

Lauren McMillan, PhD (Chair)
Assistant Professor
University of Mary Washington, Department of Historic Preservation

Bryan Orthel, PhD
Associate Professor of Design
Indiana University Bloomington, Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design

Preservation and Place: Historic Preservation by and of LGBTQ Communities in the United States is a groundbreaking volume that starts a new conversation within the historic preservation profession. The editors and contributing authors explore various aspects of preservation of historic, cultural, and archaeological sites of LGBTQ communities across the United States. This timely volume advances topics little represented within the literature, or within the discipline in general, providing a context and model for other preservationists who wish to research and interpret sites associated with LGBTQ history. One of the more innovative aspects of this volume is that it was written to engage multiple audiences: practitioners, academics, advocates, students, and anyone who wants to employ inclusive and diverse preservation practices. Through multiple case studies, Preservation and Place helps to open new avenues to explore within the field of historic preservation, providing a useful and innovative handbook.

Spencer to Give Talk Feb. 13 at Branch Museum in Richmond

Michael Spencer, associate professor and director for the Center for Historic Preservation

Michael Spencer, associate professor and director for the Center for Historic Preservation

This evening, Thursday, Feb. 13 at 6 p.m., Michael Spencer, associate professor and chair of the Department of Historic Preservation, will give a talk at the Branch Museum of Architecture and Design in Richmond, focusing on Charles M. Robinson’s designs for institutions of higher education in Virginia. More information and tickets ($20, or $10 for Branch members) can be found here: https://branchmuseum.org/calendar/

Spencer Leads Gallery Talk at The Branch in Richmond, Nov. 9

Michael Spencer, associate professor and director for the Center for Historic Preservation

Michael Spencer, associate professor and director for the Center for Historic Preservation

Michael Spencer, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Historic Preservation, will lead a Gallery Talk at The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design in Richmond on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 4 p.m. Titled “Charles Robinson’s Higher Calling,” the talk will focus on Charles M. Robinson’s designs for institutions of higher education in Virginia. Tickets are $20 for Branch non-members and $10 for members. https://branchmuseum.org/

McMillan Discussed Experimental Archaeology on Town Talk

Lauren McMillan

Assistant Professor Lauren McMillan

Lauren McMillan, assistant professor of historic preservation, was a guest on the Town Talk radio show on October 22nd. McMillan discussed the Reconstructive and Experimental Archaeology Conference, that is being hosted at UMW on October 25th.

https://www.newstalk1230.net/episode/town-talk-oct-22-2/

https://exarc.net/meetings/rearc

Spencer Presents Lecture for Washington Heritage Museums’ Speaker Series

Michael Spencer, associate professor and director for the Center for Historic Preservation

Michael Spencer, associate professor and director for the Center for Historic Preservation

Michael Spencer, associate professor and chair of the Department of Historic Preservation, was the October speaker for Washington Heritage Museums’ speaker series. Spencer, who is the board chair of the Washington Heritage Museums, presented a free, public lecture entitled “Dendrochronology: Using Tree Rings to Date the Mary Washington House,” on the morning of Thursday, Oct. 3. Read more. 

Beate Jensen: Rooting for Retirement

Beate Jensen, cultural resources manager at Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont, who retires this month after 20 years on the job. Photo by Suzanne Rossi.

Beate Jensen, cultural resources manager at Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont, who retires this month after 20 years on the job. Photo by Suzanne Rossi.

Beate Jensen ’99 has gardened in just about every climate. Born and raised in Norway, she married a Marine stationed in Scotland and scattered seeds far and wide as they moved from Hawaii to Spain and everywhere in between. But it wasn’t until she came to Fredericksburg in 1996 that she began planting roots.

“I went to the library one day and copied down addresses for every college in Virginia. I requested course catalogs and read each one with care,” Jensen said. “Mary Washington’s historic preservation program caught my eye, and I haven’t looked back since.”

Jensen’s commitment to research landed her the job of cultural resources manager at Gari Melchers Home and Studio (GMHS) at Belmont, a position she’s retiring from this month after 20 years. She’s done everything, from controlling pests in the garden to pestering contractors to follow her guidelines. She and her staff keep the Stafford County estate looking just as it did when American Impressionist painter Gari Melchers and wife Corinne lived there in the early 1900s – but for 21st-century visitors to enjoy.

Along the way, Jensen earned a master’s degree in library science, spurring her to record the building and landscape features into Belmont’s collections management system. Aided by the Garden Club of Virginia and other grants and gifts, her work to restore the Melchers’ home and grounds has earned accolades, including Stafford County Historical Commission’s annual Historic Preservation Award.

“Fulfilling Corinne Melchers’ wish for Belmont to serve as a memorial to her husband and a park for local residents has been a labor of love,” Jensen said. “And I cannot stress enough that this has been a team effort – my staff is the most dedicated group of professionals you can find.”

 

Beate Jensen, with her standard poodle, Tommi, at Belmont. Photo by Suzanne Rossi.

Beate Jensen, with her standard poodle, Tommi, at Belmont. Photo by Suzanne Rossi.

Q: What’s your favorite GMHS project?
A: The conclusion of each garden restoration project, no matter how large or small, is always satisfying. But I’m particularly proud of saving the Fannie Roots House [a historic cottage that was home to the civil rights activist by the same name]. I was recognized by Stafford County in 2011 for this project, but I’ve always felt the award should have gone to David Ludeker, [Belmont building and grounds assistant], as his skills and hard work prevented this building from being torn down. It’s a treasure – an outstanding example of post-Civil War vernacular architecture that rarely survives today.

Q: Do you have any favorite plants that the Melchers also enjoyed?
A: It’s been fun researching and bringing back old root stock roses that they grew in their garden.

Q: What’s your advice for novice gardeners?
A: Don’t create too many flower beds. Keep things simple by planting a variety of evergreen and flowering shrubs. Use mulch and clean up the garden in the fall to save yourself time and energy in the spring.

Q: What are your retirement plans?
A: My husband, Ken, who I met here in Virginia, and I are moving to Vermont, near my daughter’s farm. We’ll be just a few minutes from the mountains where I’ll get to hike with my dogs and go fishing.

Q: What’s your motto?
A: If it doesn’t feel good, you aren’t doing it right.

Spencer Gives Behind-the-Scenes Tour at Rising Sun Tavern

Michael Spencer, associate professor and director for the Center for Historic Preservation

Michael Spencer, associate professor and director for the Center for Historic Preservation

The Free Lance-Star ran an article this week about a behind-the-scenes tour Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Historic Preservation Michael Spencer gave at the Rising Sun Tavern, along with the help of UMW students. Sponsored by the Washington Heritage Museums, the tour gave visitors access to areas that are normally roped off or barricaded, and even gave them the opportunity to climb or crawl into spaces that aren’t seen by the general public. “A lot of concealed spaces tell us so much about a building,” Spencer said. “We always want to go into the basements because people don’t change basements. They change kitchens.”

Read more.