January 23, 2022

McMillan Interviewed by NBC-4 on Native American History & Culture Trail

Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation Lauren McMillan was interviewed on December 7th by NBC-4 in a segment about the Native American History and Culture Trail that her class has developed for King George County’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism. Students in HISP 471: Preservation in the Community worked in partnership with the Rappahannock and Patawomeck tribes to research, write, and design heritage trail signage.

Watch here: https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/northern-virginia/virginia-trail-to-spotlight-local-native-american-tribes/2904800/

Students in HISP 471: Preservation in the Community presenting trail signs to representatives of the Patawomeck and Rappahannock tribes, King George County's Department of Economic Development and Tourism, and other stakeholders.

Students in HISP 471: Preservation in the Community presenting trail signs to representatives of the Patawomeck and Rappahannock tribes, King George County’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism, and other stakeholders.

Sanford Provides Comments on Potential Enslaved Quarters on W&M Campus

Professor Emeritus of Historic Preservation Douglas Sanford

Professor Emeritus of Historic Preservation Douglas Sanford

Professor Emeritus of Historic Preservation Douglas Sanford provided comments for an article in The Virginia Gazette entitled, “Could there have been homes for enslaved people on William & Mary’s campus?”

One part of the case comes from help I sought from an expert on how enslaved people were housed, Douglas Sanford, professor emeritus of historic preservation at the University of Mary Washington. I had thought the larger structures might have been occupied by the enslaved, but Professor Sanford wrote me that “we do see plantations with ‘streets’ and ‘rows’ of aligned outbuildings and slave quarters, but usually the slave quarters are smaller structures, similar to the small, one-story buildings seen in the Graham drawing. Right now, I cannot think of an example, whether existing or documented historically, with multiple two-story buildings.” Read more.

Sanford to Participate on Panel on the History of Enslaved Housing

Professor Emeritus of Historic Preservation Douglas Sanford

Professor Emeritus of Historic Preservation Douglas Sanford

Professor Emeritus of Historic Preservation Douglas Sanford will participate in a free, virtual panel next week titled “The History and Documentation of Slave Housing in Virginia,” hosted by Historic Richmond, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving, rehabbing and revitalizing the city. Dr. Sanford is co-founder of the Virginia Slave Housing Project.

The free event will be held on Zoom at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 22, and will cover the experiences of enslaved and free Black people in Richmond and include photos of dwellings for the enslaved that still exist within Richmond and plans for recording and interpreting the sites.

Panelists also include public historian and researcher Elvatrice Belsches and historic architect Jobie Hill, former preservation architect and project manager of Mulberry Row enslaved quarters at Monticello.

Details and registration can be found here: https://historicrichmond.com/event/the-history-and-documentation-of-slave-housing-in-virginia/

Henry Helps Make Fredericksburg Historic Preservation Plan More Diverse and Inclusive

Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation Christine Henry

Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation Christine Henry

Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation Christine Henry is a member of a Historic Preservation Working Group in the City of Fredericksburg that has put forth a resolution to City Council to amend the historic preservation chapter in the city’s 2015 Comprehensive Plan. According to an article in The Free Lance-Star, “the amendments … outline eight overarching goals that city officials hope will shape their continuing efforts to foster diversity and inclusiveness.” Other group members include Architectural Review Board members Jonathan Gerlach and Helen P. Ross, National Park Service representative John Hennessy, Fredericksburg Main Street member Sophia Constantine, Historic Fredericksburg Foundation representative David James, as well as Jon Van Zandt from the local development community and Mitzi Brown of the city’s Economic Development Authority. Read more.

Center for Historic Preservation Awards Annual Book Prize

Winners of the 2021 Center for Historic Preservation Book PrizeThe 2021 University of Mary Washington Center for Historic Preservation Book Prize Committee is proud to announce that this year, they could not choose just one winner. There were two books that approached the discipline of historic preservation in new and groundbreaking ways: Thomas C. Hubka’s How the Working-Class Home Became Modern, 1900-1940 and Emily Williams’ Stories in Stone: Memorialization, the Creation of History and the Role of Preservation. From two very different perspectives and utilizing different methodologies, each volume successfully brought light to previously untold narratives in the past and teach us better, more rich ways of exploring the historic record. Both volumes challenge and expand the way we determine significance of a place or object.

In How the Working-Class Home Became Modern, Hubka works to correct our focus on high-style and upper-class housing by demonstrating the importance of change over time in small and often over-looked buildings. His sweeping work provides a way to study vernacular architecture of the working class as a topic worthy of its own focus. In so doing, Hubka makes a compelling argument that historic preservation has historically ignored the significance of working-class houses and the manner in which their owners were able to expand their properties and acquire services such as water, electricity, gas, sewer, kitchen appliances, and the indoor three-fixture bathroom suite. Through a wealth of illustrations, period photographs and drawings, and detailed timelines of the introduction of new technologies, Hubka has produced an enduring resource that will allow architectural historians to better assess and contextualize the fragmented and gradual modernization of vernacular buildings.

Williams’ Stories in Stone is a powerful demonstration of how a multidisciplinary micro-historical and object-biography approach can uncover an expansive story that reveals not only the rich history of the objects themselves, but can also combat areas in which the historical narrative has long been too narrow or circumscribed. Williams examines two gravestones from Williamsburg’s 19th-century African American community that could have been relegated to a footnote in the historical record. Instead, through an exploration of the life cycle of the gravestones, Williams uses the excavation, curation, public engagement, and interpretation of the objects to deepen our understanding of free African American agency, to create a historiography of the preservation discipline, and to assess how we create and maintain memory. The work provides an excellent model for preservationists interested in using compelling artifacts to address histories previously suppressed or ignored in the historic record.

These impactful and evocative books provide us a way to study and understand the power of the narrative in the object. One book is more technical and methodological, providing a guide to understanding the tangible and the history and use of those objects, and the other weaves an expansion of the historical record through a painstaking examination of two objects. Both Hubka and Williams add richness to the histories of groups long underrepresented in elitist histories and traditional preservation practice, creating resources that preservationists can employ to broaden our understanding of the past and our discipline.

The University of Mary Washington Center for Historic Preservation has awarded this prize annually since 1989 to the book (or books) with the most potential for positively impacting the discipline of historic preservation in the United States. In making its selection, the jury focuses on books that break new ground or contribute to the intellectual vitality of the preservation movement. Winners receive a monetary prize and are invited to give a lecture at UMW. This year is the first time since 1990 in which two books have received the prize, which according to this year’s jury, is reflective of the diversity of modern preservation practice. The jury was comprised of preservation academics, professionals, alumni, and a current student.

 

2021 University of Mary Washington Book Prize Committee:

Dr Lauren K. McMillan, Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation, University of Mary Washington (Chair)

Dr. Dan Hubbard, Associate Professor of Historic Preservation, University of Mary Washington

Dr. Lisa P. Davidson, Historian, National Park Service

Claire Ross, UMW Class of 2021, Departments of Historic Preservation and Anthropology, University of Mary Washington

Dr. Ellen Chapman, Cultural Resources Specialist, Cultural Heritage Partners

Maribeth B. Mills, Development Coordinator, Restoration Housing

 

Mary Talks: “Preservation of an American Theme Park”

Mary Talks, Christine Henry

Join us ONLINE for the final Mary Talk of the 2020-21 academic year!

Amusement parks have held a special allure for Americans as places to gather, relax, and have fun. During the baby boom, more family-oriented theme parks were developed. But besides Disneyland, few of these fairy-tale playlands survived into the 21st Century.

Dr. Christine Henry, assistant professor of historic preservation, will share the case study of one theme park as she presents “Storybook Ending: Preservation of an American Theme Park.” Using vintage postcards, images, and newspapers, Professor Henry will discuss the evolution of American leisure, focusing on the surprising tale of a baby-boom-era park, The Enchanted Forest in Ellicott City, Maryland. It’s a story worthy of Mother Goose herself.

Wednesday, April 28
7:30-9:00 p.m. (EDT)
Online (via Zoom)

To watch the Talk online, register here. You then will receive a link to the streaming video, which can be watched live or at a later time. You also will have the opportunity to submit questions to be asked of the speaker at the end of the Talk.

We look forward to seeing you online!

Register

Henry Discusses History of Roadside Attractions on C-SPAN Podcast

Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation Christine Henry

Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation Christine Henry

Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation Christine Henry appeared on C-SPAN’s Lectures in History podcast, discussing the history of roadside attractions and her own experience traveling to a freshwater pond in Ohio called the Blue Hole. Listen here.

McMillan Quoted in the New York Times

Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation Lauren McMillan

Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation Lauren McMillan

Lauren McMillan, assistant professor in the department of historic preservation, was recently quoted in a New York Times story entitled “Roanoke’s ‘Lost Colony’ Was Never Lost, New Book Says.”

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.