Tuesday, December 29, 2009

National Park Service Awards Grant

More than 139 years after its construction, the Cherokee National Capitol still stands and operates as a symbolic landmark for the Cherokee people. Now, through a unique grant sponsored by the National Park Service, Cherokee Nation has received $150,000 to help preserve the 1870-built Capitol for future generations. The building is Cherokee Nation’s only National Historic Landmark.

Awarded by a cooperative municipal program named, Save America’s Treasures, the federal money will go toward restoring the building’s roof and foundation, which has significantly deteriorated due to water infiltration. The funds will also aid in the installation of an appropriate drainage system.

The Cherokee National Capitol preservation project is scheduled to begin in 2010. The building currently houses the judicial branch of the Cherokee Nation and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“The Cherokee National Capitol is a source of great pride for the Cherokee people with its rich history, symbolism and continued functionality within today’s tribal government,” said Chad Smith, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. “Moving onward with the restoration, we look forward to sharing and educating the public on the historical significance of this building.”

The Cherokee National Capitol is one of 41 projects throughout the United States recognized in the National Park Service’s Save America’s Treasures $9.5 million grant award program for 2009. According to the National Park Service, the funds will assist the organizations and agencies to conserve significant United States cultural and historic treasures, which illustrate, interpret and are associated with the great events, ideas, and individuals that contribute to our nation’s history and culture.

National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis congratulated the recipients of the Save America’s Treasures awards saying, “The recipients of these grants deserve great credit for their commitment to the preservation of our nation’s history and culture. The historic properties and collections protected by Save America's Treasures grants for the last 10 years benefit all Americans, today and in the future. The National Park Service is proud of our role in administering this exceptional program with our partners.”

Since Cherokee Nation reunified its government in Indian Territory in 1839, the grounds on which the Capitol was built have been witness to much history. In 1843, the site played host to one of the most significant tribal gatherings in American history when more than 17 tribes from across the United States came to Tahlequah, Indian Territory, for the International Indian Council to renew ancient customs and strengthen tribal alliances. This historic convention is depicted in John Mix Stanley’s painting “International Indian Council,” which is displayed at Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Built in 1870, the Cherokee National Capitol was completed shortly after the American Civil War, a period in which the Cherokee Nation overcame turmoil and inter-tribal dissension to reunite and build its government seat. Over the years the building has survived numerous damages including fire. Today, the national landmark stands as a reminder of the progressive government and social system the Cherokee Nation established once it arrived in Indian Territory.

The Cherokee Nation’s commitment to preservation features four key projects including the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum and Ross Cemetery, which are currently underway, and the Cherokee National Capitol and Cherokee National Jail, which are scheduled for 2010.

Sikes Abernathie Architects in Tulsa, Okla., completed the assessment of the existing physical condition of the Cherokee National Capitol and provided a prioritized list of projects to be completed in the restoration of the property.

Additional information on the Save America’s Treasures program can be found on the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities web site at http://www.pcah.gov and/or the National Park Service web site at http://www.nps.gov/history/hps/treasures/.

About Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism DepartmentThe Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism Department is managed by Cherokee Nation Entertainment and was created in 2007 to promote the story of the Cherokee people. Efforts by the Cherokee Nation include developing guided community and educational tours, creating tourism partnerships and programs throughout northeastern Oklahoma, and launching a new Cherokee tourism-specific web site. For more information, please visit http://www.cherokeetourismok.com.

About Cherokee Nation Entertainment
Cherokee Nation Entertainment is the gaming, hospitality, retail and tourism entity of the Cherokee Nation. Cherokee Nation Entertainment owns and operates the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, five Cherokee Casinos, Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs, three hotels, two golf courses and many other retail operations in northeastern Oklahoma. For more information, please visit http://www.cherokeestarrewards.com.

About Cherokee Nation
The Cherokee Nation is the sovereign operating government of the Cherokee people. It is a federally recognized tribe of more than 280,000 Cherokee citizens, with its capitol located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Employing more than 6,500 people, Cherokee Nation’s annual economic impact in Oklahoma and surrounding areas is more than $1 billion dollars. To learn more, please visit http://www.cherokee.org.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ancient Rome & America Exhibit at The Constitution Center--A Must See!

The National Constitution Center announced today that it will host the world debut of Ancient Rome & America – a multi-million dollar, artifact-rich exhibition showcasing the cultural, political, and social connections between the lost world of ancient Rome and modern America – from February 19 through August 1, 2010.

The National Constitution Center has worked for three years to develop the exhibition, which features a unique and unprecedented collection of rare artifacts and artwork, in partnership with Contemporanea Progetti of Florence, Italy , in collaboration with the Ministero per i Beni e Le Attività Culturali, Rome , Italy .

Rome, like the United States , overcame a monarchy to become a republic. Long after the fall of ancient Rome , its heroes and legends have continued to influence future generations. From the battlefields of the revolution to the chambers of Congress, Rome became a part of America ’s foundation. Through marble sculptures, paintings, jewelry, coins, and ceramics, Ancient Rome & America draws striking comparisons between Roman and American culture, from theories of government to slavery and civil war, to continental expansion and worldwide influence.

“The connections between these two cultures separated by millennia and continents are startling and captivating,” said National Constitution Center President and CEO David Eisner. “Visitors will never think of either the lost world of ancient Rome or the founding values of America in the same way.”

Covering over 8,000 square feet, Ancient Rome & America is organized into five galleries: Introduction, Building a Republic, A Classical Revival, Expansion and Empire, and Epilogue.

The exhibition features more than 300 artifacts from Italy 's leading archaeological collections in Florence , Naples , and Rome , paired with objects from over 40 lending institutions in the United States . Highlights include:

•Two eagles depicting this classic symbol shared by ancient Rome and America . The American eagle is carved from gilt wood. It was made in 1804 by Samuel McIntire, an important early American architect. Of the Roman eagle, only the bronze head remains. It likely originated from the top of a Roman army military standard.

•Roman busts of Scipio Africanus, Julius Caesar, and Cicero. American busts of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson, each portrayed in togas.
•Gladiator/Football helmets. Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Harold Carmichael’s helmet will be on display with a gladiator helmet and four original pieces from the gladiator barracks of an amphitheater in Pompeii – a “greave” (shin guard), two spearheads, and a dagger.

•Excavated remnants from Pompeii , including silverware, a preserved piece of a wall fresco, and the cast of a man who did not escape the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius .

•A selection of classical works belonging to the Founding Fathers that helped shape their political thought during the early years of the American republic. John Adams’ personal copy of Plutarch’s Lives, John Dickenson’s personal copy of the works of Roman historian Tacitus, and John Quincy Adams’ personal copy of Cicero’s De Oratore.

•Two letters from August 1776 exchanged between John and Abigail Adams. In them, Abigail signs her name “Portia” after the wife of the Roman Senator Brutus. The letters are filled with classical references and ideas of republican virtue.

•Slave collars from ancient Rome and the United States . Both ancient Rome and America prior to 1865 were slave societies. Made in the early 1800s, the slave collar from the U.S. is a rare artifact that can be tied to one man’s quest for freedom. Ben, a slave who worked on a farm in Pennsylvania , tried to escape three times, and after the third time, his owner had an iron collar made for him.
The exhibition concludes with a video presentation about Rome ’s legacy. Though the Roman Empire declined and fell, it remains a powerful influence on the western world. As visitors depart the exhibition, they will be left to ponder the lessons ancient Rome teaches us about our nation’s future.

“The profound and pervasive legacy of ancient Rome is deeply embedded in the western culture of today; the lasting effects of Roman domination can be found almost anywhere,” said Linda Carioni of Contemporanea Progetti. “They can be seen in our judiciary and monetary systems, in our art and architectural patrimony, in the modern Romance languages, in our alphabet of 26 letters, as well as the calendar of Julius Caesar.”

To augment the exhibition, the Center’s public programming staff in the Annenberg Center for Education and Outreach is developing a variety of special programs and family activities. Also in keeping with the Center’s mission to foster discussion and citizen engagement, evening programs about current and historical topics related to the exhibition are planned. In addition, the Center is offering a special iPod audio tour in conjunction with the exhibition.

Admission to Ancient Rome & America is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors ages 65 and up, and $12 for children ages 4-12. Active military personnel and children ages 3 and under are free. Group rates are also available. Admission to the Center’s main exhibition, The Story of We the People, including the award-winning theater production “Freedom Rising,” is included. iPod audio tours cost an additional $5. For ticket information, call 215.409.6700 or visit www.constitutioncenter.org.

CBS 3 and The CW Philly are the official media partners of Ancient Rome & America. CBS 3 (KYW-TV) and The CW Philly 57 (WPSG-TV) are part of CBS Television Stations, a division of CBS Corporation.

The National Constitution Center, located at 525 Arch St. on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall, is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing public understanding of the U.S. Constitution and the ideas and values it represents. The Center serves as a museum, an education center, and a forum for debate on constitutional issues. The museum dramatically tells the story of the Constitution from Revolutionary times to the present through more than 100 interactive, multimedia exhibits, film, photographs, text, sculpture and artifacts, and features a powerful, award-winning theatrical performance, “Freedom Rising.” The Center also houses the Annenberg Center for Education and Outreach, which serves as the hub for national constitutional education. Also, as a nonpartisan forum for constitutional discourse, the Center presents – without endorsement – programs that contain diverse viewpoints on a broad range of issues. For more information, call 215.409.6700 or visit www.constitutioncenter.org.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sailors Saluted on Postage Stamps

Four members of the U.S. Navy will be immortalized on stamps: William S. Sims, Arleigh A. Burke, John McCloy and Doris Miller. The First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony for the four 44-cent First-Class collectible "Distinguished Sailors" stamps takes place in Washington, DC, Feb. 4, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. in the Arleigh and Roberta Burke Theater of the United States Navy Memorial www.navymemorial.org at 701 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. The event is free and open to the public.

Commander of U.S. naval forces in European waters during World War I, William S. Sims (1858-1936) was an outspoken reformer and innovator who helped shape the Navy into a modern fighting force.
Sims was born in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada, where his father, an American citizen, was a railroad engineer. The family moved to Vermont when Sims was about twelve and soon thereafter settled in Pennsylvania.
Sims attended the Naval Academy from 1876 to 1880. He then spent nearly two decades at sea, interrupted by a year (1889) in Paris studying French. From 1897 to 1900, he served as naval attaché to the U.S. embassy in France and to the ministry in Russia. During this time, he studied and made reports on European naval developments, which he found to be far more advanced than those in America. (While in France, he met his future wife, Anne Hitchcock, daughter of the U.S. Minister to Russia.)
In 1901, at great risk to his career, Sims circumvented his immediate superiors and wrote directly to President Theodore Roosevelt about “the extreme danger of the present very inefficient condition of the Navy,” emphasizing the glaring deficiencies of American battleships and the need for more accurate firepower. Roosevelt thanked Sims for the letter and encouraged him to continue offering suggestions. Sims was able to implement some of his ideas for reform, especially in the area of gunnery, while serving as inspector of target practice in the Navy’s Bureau of Navigation from 1902 to 1909. He trained officers and gun crews in a new gun control method called “continuous aim firing,” adapting the techniques of British officer Percy Scott and achieving significant improvements in firing speed and accuracy. He also served as President Roosevelt’s naval aide from 1907 to 1909.
Shortly before the United States entered World War I, Sims, by this time a rear admiral, was sent on a secret mission to gather information on wartime conditions and to confer with the British Royal Navy. Soon after America entered the war, he was appointed commander of U.S. naval forces operating near Europe. To counter the German strategy of unrestricted warfare by U-boats, Sims advocated various antisubmarine measures. He played a critical role in promoting and coordinating a system of convoys—using destroyers and other warships to escort merchant ships and transports through danger zones—that achieved dramatic reductions in Allied shipping losses. To the extent that the defeat of German submarine warfare was “the critical naval campaign of the war, essential to victory over the Central Powers,” as historian David Trask has written, Sims’s contribution to the Allied victory in World War I was profound.
After the war, Sims returned to the same position he had held previously at the Naval War College, serving as president until his retirement in 1922. He sparked a congressional investigation in 1920 of the wartime conduct of the Navy Department, leading to extensive hearings on the subject. He also wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning book about the war, Victory at Sea (1920).
Sims continued to write and lecture about naval reform until his death in 1936, at which time the New York Herald Tribune declared that he had “influenced our naval course more than any man who ever wore the uniform.” The Navy has named three destroyers after Sims. The most recent, USS W. S. Sims (DE-1059), was commissioned in 1970 and was decommissioned in 1991.

After serving as one of the top destroyer squadron commanders of World War II, Arleigh A. Burke (1901-1996) had an equally distinguished postwar career in which he played a major role in modernizing the Navy and guiding its response to the Cold War.
Born and raised on a farm near Boulder, Colorado, Burke secured an appointment to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1919 and graduated in 1923. After serving for five years in the battleship USS Arizona, he pursued postgraduate work in ordnance at the United States Naval Postgraduate School and then earned a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan in 1931. During the 1930s, Burke served in various capacities in a heavy cruiser and a destroyer before being given command of USS Mugford, which under Burke won the Destroyer Gunnery Trophy for 1939-1940.
At the outset of World War II, Burke was an inspector at the Naval Gun Factory in Washington. His repeated requests for sea duty went unheeded until he was given command in early 1943 of a destroyer division in the South Pacific. He soon gained a reputation for brilliance and innovation, especially after taking command that fall of Destroyer Squadron 23. Under Burke the squadron became known as “the Little Beavers” and fought in 22 separate actions in a four-month period, sinking or helping to sink 9 Japanese destroyers and downing some 30 of their airplanes. His exploits and his own nickname, “31-Knot Burke,” became widely known, and his performance in battle earned him an appointment in March 1944 as chief of staff to Vice Admiral Marc Mitscher in the famed Fast Carrier Task Force. According to the Dictionary of American Military Biography, in this post Burke “coordinated the operations of the largest naval striking force in history in the battles of the Philippine Sea, Leyte Gulf, and Okinawa.”
With the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, Burke was sent to Japan to serve as deputy chief of staff to the commander of U.S. naval forces in the Far East. In 1951, he briefly served as commander of Cruiser Division Five before being designated a member of the United Nations Truce Delegation, which sought to negotiate an armistice in Korea. In late 1951, Burke was summoned to Washington for a two-year tour as director of the Navy’s Strategic Plans Division. In 1955, while still a rear admiral, he reached the pinnacle of his profession when President Eisenhower appointed him Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), promoting him ahead of nearly 100 more senior officers. During an unprecedented three terms as CNO, Burke sped up the construction of nuclear-powered submarines and initiated the Polaris Ballistic Missile Program.
Burke retired from the Navy in 1961 after nearly forty years of service. (He remained an influential figure and was at the forefront of efforts to establish the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington, which was dedicated in 1987.) In 1977, Burke was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Navy honored him by naming a new class of guided missile destroyers after him. On July 4, 1991, the first of these, USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51), was commissioned in a ceremony attended by Burke and his wife Roberta.
When Burke died in 1996, he was hailed as a “sailor’s sailor” who defined what it meant to be a naval officer: “relentless in combat, resourceful in command, and revered by his crews.”

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Historic Preservation Group now on Facebook!

PreservationDirectory.com, a leading online resource for historic preservation and cultural resource management, has launched a companion page on Facebook.

The focus of the Facebook page will be to disseminate historic preservation-related news and policy alerts, job postings for museum/architecture/organizations, and photos of historic places and structures. The goal will be to use the networking expertise of Facebook to keep members aware of preservation news, job information, and policy alerts.

According to Tim Cannan, President of PreservationDirectory.com, "the new Facebook page will allow us to reach members instantly with late-breaking historic preservation news. We are also very excited to be able alert our members to job listings as soon as they are added to PreservationDirectory.com."

To view the new PreservationDirectory.com Facebook page, go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/PreservationDirectorycom/182062916596.

To celebrate the launch of the new companion group page on Facebook, PreservationDirectory.com has added hundreds of photos from their personal achives to the new group page. The photos are some of their favorite shots of buildings, roadside attractions, and other cultural sites from travels across North America.

Collaboration is also a big part of PreservationDirectory.com - in that spirit, they are looking for photos from the public to add to the architectural photo gallery. To submit photos and to receive historic preservation-related alerts, join the Facebook historic preservation group at http://www.facebook.com/pages/PreservationDirectorycom/182062916596.

In addition to regular updates to the architectural photo gallery, look for job postings in the fields of historic preservation, cultural resources and architecture, and policy alerts with links to new and archived documents.

About PreservationDirectory.com:
PreservationDirectory.com is a primary online resource for historic preservation, building restoration and cultural resource management in the United States & Canada. Our goal is to foster the preservation of historic buildings, historic downtowns and neighborhoods, cultural resources and to promote heritage tourism by facilitating communication among historic preservation professionals and the general public. Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Portland, Oregon, PreservationDirectory.com has continually expanded and evolved to cover a comprehensive array of topics and resources of most interest to the historic and cultural resource community.


Tim Cannan, President
7017 N. Alma Ave
Portland, OR 97203

Friday, November 20, 2009

Smoky Mountain Heritage Festival

Townsend , Tenn. , a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park , hosts a series of
yearly events to preserve and promote the heritage, history and culture of Appalachia in order to educate and entertain visitors and locals alike. For more information about any of the events, please visit www.smokymountains.org or contact Jeanie Hilten at the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-525-6834 or (865) 448-6134.

Winter Heritage Festival: February 4-7, 2010
To share its heritage and natural beauty, preserve its history and allow visitors and locals to
experience and celebrate the culture that is authentic to Appalachia and East Tennessee , the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau, along with its partners host the Winter
Heritage Festival each year. The festival includes classes, exhibits, music, hikes, tours and demonstrations to provide first-hand experience and insight in the Great Smoky Mountains , Townsend area, and Cades Cove community. The award-winning event has been recognized as one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast and with an Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History.

WHEN: February 4-7, 2010
WHERE: The four-day event will be held at various locations throughout Townsend , Tenn.
CONTACT: For more information, please visit www.smokymountainfestivals.org or contact the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau at (800) 525-6834 or (865) 448-6134

Winter Heritage Classes: Various dates from Jan. 9—March 27, 2010

For those interested in learning a new skill, developing a hobby or simply learning about a craft and creating a unique work of art, the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau (SMCVB), will offer classes taught by local artisans during January, February and March 2010. The classes will showcase the many gifted and talented artisans and musicians in the area, as well as informing others of the traditional crafts and skills used in the Smokies. Participants can learn about basket-making, pottery, sewing and appliqué, rug hooking, and mandolin and flatpicking guitar.

WHEN: Pottery: January 9 and 23, and February 21, 2010.
Mandolin Workshop: February 12-13, 2010
Flatpicking Guitar Class: February 19-20, 2010
Basket Making Class: January 16, 21, 28 and 30, February 4, 18 and 27, and March 6, 25 and 28, 2010
Wool Applique: March 13, 2010
Rug Hooking: March 24 and March 27, 2010
WHERE: Townsend Visitors Center
7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway
Townsend , Tennessee 37882
CONTACT: For more information, please visit www.smokymountains.org or contact the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau at (800) 525-6834 or (865) 448-6134.

Smoky Mountain Fiber Arts Festival: March 19-20, 2010
Hosted by the Townsend Artisan Guild and Fine Arts Blount, this interactive fiber arts event connects the community with fiber arts activities. The festival will include fiber animal exhibitions, sheep to shawl contest, an arts exhibition, fashion show, workshops, educational demonstrations of fiber processes, spinning, weaving, needlecrafts, dyeing, hands-on projects with children and adults, Fiber Arts Market and more.

WHEN: March 19-21, 2010
WHERE: Townsend Visitors Center
7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway
Townsend , Tennessee 37882
CONTACT: For more information, please visit www.smokymountains.org, http://www.smfaf.org/ or contact the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau at (800) 525-6834 or (865) 448-6134.

Herb and Wildflower Day: April 3, 2010
The Smoky Mountains are home to more than 1,500 kinds of flowering plants, with a show of blooms beginning in March and running through October. The Herb and Wildflower Day at the Townsend Visitors Center is a great way to learn about these wildflowers and herbs, as well as their many practical and traditional medicinal uses. Participants can also buy locally grown plants, delicious baked goods and hand-made pottery.

WHEN: April 3, 2010 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
WHERE: Townsend Visitors Center
7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway
Townsend , Tennessee 37882
CONTACT: For more information, please visit http://www.smokymountains.org/info/herb_wildflower.html or contact the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau at (800) 525-6834 or (865) 448-6134.

Spring Festival and Old Timers Day: April 30-May 1, 2010
Take the time to stop and smell the flowers, learn a little about Appalachian culture, experience a bluegrass jam session or performance, enjoy the Young Pickers Talent Contest, taste some authentic Southern barbeque, listen to a story or two, and get your fill of arts, crafts and mountain heritage—and do it all for FREE at the 18th Annual Spring Festival and Old Timer’s Day in Townsend. The event celebrates the unique and enduring heritage of Townsend, Blount County and the Great Smoky Mountains .

WHEN: April 30-May 1, 2010 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
WHERE: Townsend Visitors Center
7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway
Townsend , Tennessee 37882
CONTACT: For more information, please visit www.smokymountainfestivals.org or contact the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau at (800) 525-6834 or (865) 448-6134

Smoky Mountain Pottery Festival: June 4-5, 2010
The Smoky Mountain Pottery Festival brings together potters from around the region in a juried event to exhibit, sell and demonstrate their craft. The festival emphasizes the finest pottery available in Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains , providing an opportunity to educate others about the long-time tradition of pottery and the various styles and methods used by potters in the past and present. The 2010 festival will have 35 pottery booths, an education and children’s tent, and Cynthia Bringle will be the featured potter.

WHEN: June 4-5, 2010
WHERE: Townsend Visitors Center
7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway
Townsend , Tennessee 37882
CONTACT: For more information, please visit http://www.smokymountains.org/pottery-festival.html or contact the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau at (800) 525-6834 or (865) 448-6134

Trout Fest: May 14-16, 2010
Troutfest is a yearly fly fishing exposition and fundraiser. Fly tyers will demonstrate their skills for many types of fly tying, such as trout, bass, panfish and saltwater. The event also features southern food and live bluegrass music. Fly fishermen will offer free seminars and share their expertise, and National Fly Tackle Manufacturers will have gear on site. Fly shops, artists, non-profit organizations and government fish and game agencies will also exhibit. Proceeds from this event are donated to Great Smoky Mountains National Park Fisheries Department, Friends of the Smokies Fisheries Scholarship Endowment or other youth educational conservation projects.
WHEN: May 14-16, 2010
WHERE: Townsend Visitors Center
7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway
Townsend , Tennessee 37882
CONTACT: For details, call Little River Outfitters at (865) 448-9459 or visit www.troutfest.org.
Christy Fest: June 16-20, 2010
Christy Fest is an annual event, held in Townsend , Tennessee , to celebrate the character of
“Christie”, the TV series, movies and classic novel by Catherine Marshall. Cast members,
producers, writers, directors and crew from both productions come to Christy Fest to share
memories, mingle with fans, and enjoy the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains , where the
television series was filmed.

WHEN: June 16-20, 2010
WHERE: Townsend, Tenn.
CONTACT: For a schedule of events, or to register for Christy Fest, please visit www.christyfest.org.

Fall Heritage Festival and Old Timers Day: September 24-25, 2010
The 18th Townsend Fall Heritage Festival and Old Timers Day will include a wide array of Appalachian experiences for guests—everything from bluegrass music and clogging, to an antique tractor and engine show, storytelling, children's activities, crafts by local artisans, great food and demonstrations of a variety of traditional skills such as basketry, spinning, weaving, sorghum molasses, apple butter making, lye soap, beekeeping and blacksmithing. The two-day festival is free, and it celebrates Southern Appalachian Mountain culture and heritage. It has been voted several times as one of the top 20 events in the Southeast.

WHEN: September 24-25 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
WHERE: Townsend Visitors Center
7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway
Townsend , Tennessee 37882
CONTACT: For more information, please visit www.smokymountainfestivals.org or contact the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau at (800) 525-6834 or (865) 448-6134

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Where is the Best Place to Buy an Old House?

As part of the ongoing commitment to the preservation community, PreservationDirectory.com has once again teamed up with This Old House magazine to promote their search for "The Best Places to Buy an Old House." An upcoming issue and Web feature from TOH will feature the 3rd annual "The Best Places to Buy an Old House" article, which strives to identify affordable—or just plain magnificent—homes in historic neighborhoods and districts across the United States.

According to This Old House Associate Editor, Keith Pandolfi, “In the past two years, TOH has introduced our readers to more than 100 great neighborhoods jam-packed with older homes, and residents determined to both restore them—and maintain them—for future generations. This year, we’re looking for 51 more (one in each state, and one in Canada) to add to our list of the Best Places to Buy an Old House. As always, we’re especially interested in overlooked places known for affordable houses that are heavy on architectural details.

In order to most effectively accomplish this search, This Old House and PreservationDirectory.com are seeking the help of dedicated preservationists, neighborhood boosters and heritage travelers! To nominate your historic district, town or city, please submit the following information:

  • The name of the neighborhood, town or district you wish to nominate
  • A brief history of the area
  • A brief description of the types of houses available, including architectural styles, the period in which they were built; and the average price range.
  • A short paragraph on why you think the area deserves to be included on our list.
  • At least five high-res digital photographs (300 DPI, at about 8.5 by 6.5) of houses and/or streetscapes in the neighborhood.

The top picks, as determined by the This Old House staff, will be published in a future issue of This Old House and will be featured on the homepage of PreservationDirectory.com. Past "winners" include Centre Park Historic District in Reading, PA; Old Louisville, KY; Albany, OR; Washington, GA; Victorian Flatbush, Brooklyn, NY; and Georgetown, TX.

To view last year's Best Places article, go to www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20283021,00.html

Nominations are due no later than November 16, 2009. Please send information outlined above to This Old House Associate Editor, Keith Pandolfi at keith_pandolfi@timeinc.com.

About PreservationDirectory.com:
PreservationDirectory.com is a primary online resource for historic preservation, building restoration and cultural resource management in the United States & Canada. Our goal is to foster the preservation of historic buildings, historic downtowns and neighborhoods, cultural resources and to promote heritage tourism by facilitating communication among historic preservation professionals and the general public. Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Portland, Oregon, PreservationDirectory.com has continually expanded and evolved to cover a comprehensive array of topics and resources of most interest to the historic and cultural resource community.

Monday, September 28, 2009

What a great line up of holiday events in St. Joseph, Missouri!

St. Joseph, Missouri, the birthplace of the Pony Express, which will celebrate its sesquicentennial next year, will offer a full line-up of festive activities this holiday season.

The Pony Express theme will add to holiday cheer through the popular “Christmas Card Ride” program, offered December 19th and 20th by the Patee House Museum. For 50 cents per card, or $5 for 10 or more cards, your postage-paid, ready-to-mail holiday cards will receive an authentic Pony Express stamp—just like mail carried in the mochilas of Johnny Fry, Pony Bob, Wild Bill Hickok and other Pony Express Riders from April 3, 1860 through October 26, 1861. The Patee House is located at 12th & Penn Streets; (816) 232-8206, www.ponyexpressjessejames.com .

The Albrecht Kemper Museum of Art will kick off the holiday season with the annual Sparkling Sugarplum Festival 2009...Fabulous, Festive, Fancies, in which local and re gional vendors transform the museum into a sparkling holiday gift gallery! A “Preview Open House: Eat, Drink, Shop & Be Merry” will take place 6-8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 12 ($30 admission, or $100 for patrons including weekend admission and parking pass). “Ladies Night Out” is set for 5-8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 13 ($15 includes admission and wine tasting). Gift Gallery hours will be 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 13, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat., Nov. 14 ($5 admission). In addition, the much-anticipated “Breakfast with Santa” event will take place Saturday, Dec. 5. Santa’s pancakes will be served hot off the griddle with bacon, juice, and coffee--plus a special treat for each child. Cameras will be welcome! Choose the 9 or 10:30 a.m. seating. ($10 per person).

The museum’s Third Thursday Wine Tastings, presented by Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits, will offer a sampling of fine wines for holiday enjoyment and entertaining, 5:50-7:30 p.m., Nov. 19 and Dec. 17 ($10 per person). An opening reception will be held for the museum’s holiday-season exhibits, “Bruce McCombs: Master Prints from the Albrecht-Kemper Collection,” and works by Northwest Missouri State University Art Faculty, 4-7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 20. Both exhibits will be on view from Nov. 21 through Jan. 11, 2010. The museum is located at 2818 Frederick St.; (816) 233-7003, www.albrecht--kemper.org.

The holidays are a special time at St. Joseph Museums, Inc.’s Wyeth-Tootle Mansion Museum. The 1879 Gothic home typifies St. Joseph’s “Golden Age.” The annual holiday lighting ceremony, “Come Home For The Holidays,” will take place at 6 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 3, followed by holiday music by the Hosea elementary School Bell Choir and the St. Joseph Community Chorus Dickens Singers. The free event also will feature home tours, carriage rides, Santa and Mrs. Claus, refreshments and children’s crafts. On Saturday, Dec. 5, the mansion will offer “Nature’s Noel,” a winter crafts workshop for families ($3 adults, $1.50 students, free for children age 6 and under). The Wyeth-Tootle Mansion is located at 1100 Charles; (816) 232-8471, www.stjosephmuseum.org.

On Tuesday, Dec. 15, St. Joseph Museums will sponsor a “Spirit of Christmas Past” Holiday Day Trip, featuring guided tours of the mansions in Independence, including “A Christmas Victorian Wedding” at the Vaile Mansion, a 31-room Second Empire Victorian home; an 1850s holiday boutique at the 1859 Federalist-style Marshal’s Home; a tour of the National Frontier Trails Museum; and “A Dickens of a Christmas” at the 1890 Bingham-Waggoner Estate, where dinner will be served in this 26-room mansion. The finale will be a driving tour of Kansas City’s new Power & Light District and the famed Country Club Plaza, where 80 miles of holiday lights will illuminate the night sky. The trip will leave the St. Joseph Museum, 3406 Frederick Ave., at 11:30 a.m., and return by approximately 8:30 p.m. ($75 for museum members. $90 for non-members; includes motor coach transportation, admission fees, dinner, snacks, driving tour, and gratuity. Reservations requir! ed).

On Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 5 and 6, the National Military Heritage Museum will hold its annual “Patriotic Christmas” celebration, where children will have the opportunity to have their picture taken with Santa—in a helicopter. The museum is at 701 Messanie; (816) 233-4321, www.nationalmilitaryheritagemseum.com. St. Joseph’s oldest home, the Robidoux Row Museum, will put on its holiday finery during its “Home for the Holidays” celebration. Its nine rooms will be decorated by local merchants and the Saint Joseph Historical Society. Candlelight tours will be offered 1-8 p.m., Saturday-Monday, Dec. 5-7, and Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 12-13. ($2 in advance, $3 at the door). The museum is located at 3rd and Poulin; (816) 232-5861; www.RobidouxRowMuseum.org

The largest annual holiday lights display in Northwest Missouri will once again take place at Krug Park at the northern end of St. Joseph’s famed Parkway. The park will become “Holiday Park,” 6-10 p.m. from Friday, Nov. 27 through Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010 (including Christmas night). Started in 1981, today more than 100,000 visitors drive through each year to see the lavish display of lighted arches and trees, winter scenes and the park’s lovely Italianate buildings breathtakingly outlined in lights. At the southern end of the Parkway, Hyde Park also will be dazzlingly lit for the holiday season. Admission will be free to both parks. (816) 233-9652, http://www.ci.st-joseph.mo.us/parks/holiday_park.cfm.

The St. Joseph Arts Community has planned a busy holiday schedule of theatre and music. The Robidoux Resident Theatre will present “Holiday in Plaid,” a gala dinner show, Thursday, Dec. 3 through Sunday, Dec. 20 at the Rodiboux Landing Playhouse, 103 W. Francis; ($9-$30; group discounts available). The players also will offer “The Lion In Winter,” Friday, Dec. 11 through Sunday, Dec. 13, at the Missouri Theatre, 717 Edmond; ($9-$16). Don’t miss this classic show featuring a hilariously dysfunctional royal family on Christmas Day, 1185. For more information about both productions, please call (816) 232-1778 or visitwww.rrtstjoe.org.

The season would not be complete without a performance of Handel’s “Messiah.” The St. Joseph Community Chorus, in collaboration with community church choirs, will present this holiday favorite at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5, and 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 6, at the Frederick Boulevard Baptist Church, 5502 Frederick Blvd. ($10 adults, $8 seniors, $5 students). The chorus also will present its annual winter concert, “Christmas at the Cathedral,” at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 12 and 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 13, at St. Joseph Cathedral, 318 N. 11th St. ($12 adults, $10 seniors, $5 students). For more information about both concerts please call (816) 271-4420.

And the Sanctuary Choir of First Presbyterian Church of St. Joseph will invite audience participation at its “Celebrate Christmas In Song” program, featuring Christmas carols and holiday music accompanied by piano, organ, brass and percussion, 3-4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 20. The church is located at 301 N. 7th St.; (816) 279-5062, www.firstpres301.com. (Free admission).

For more information about the Pony Express Christmas Card Ride, other holiday happenings in St. Joseph, Missouri, as well as the Pony Express Sesquicentennial plus lodging, dining, shopping and attractions in St. Joseph, MO, please contact the St. Joseph Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 785-0360 or visit www.stjomo.com.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Reading on a Rainy Day

I recently had surgery and while it wasn't life threatening, it has caused about 10 days of bed rest, new medications, etc. In the meantime, I've been able to do to a LOT of reading (I should be writing, but not enough energy yet). SO...while some of the books I've read are NOT historical, most have been and I wanted to share them with you in the hopes that you will share some of your good reads with me!

First, I read Blood on the Moon by Edward Steers, Jr. The book is a gripping account of the Lincoln assassination and capture/trial of Booth and his co-conspirators. Reads very much like a novel and is very fast-paced.

Next, I'm reading Public Enemies by Bryan Burrough. This book is what the movie starring Johnny Depp by the same name is based on. Another fast-paced book, it follows the years 1933 and 1934 and how the different gangsters orbited around one another in various parts of the country and the birth of the FBI.

Let me know what you're reading!



Battlefield Journal

Traveling Through History

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mindy Belloff is Recreating The Declaration of Independence!

Set by Hand, ONE LETTER AT A TIME, as Printed by a Woman in 1777, the portfolio will include essays with introductory text by David Armitage, Professor of History Harvard University & author of The Declaration of Independence: A Global History. Limited edition begins September 2.

In 1777, Congress commissioned Mary Katherine Goddard of Baltimore to print 13 copies of the Declaration of Independence, one for each of the colonies forming the United States of America. It was the first time the Declaration revealed the identity of the signors. She put herself at risk for treason by printing the document and adding her name at the bottom. To honor this American pioneer, artist Mindy Belloff will reproduce Goddard’s elegant two-column design, hand set over 7,500 characters in Caslon typeface as the original, and letterpress print them one at a time on paper made specifically for the historic recreation. Only nine known copies of the Goddard Broadside exist today, which makes it inaccessible to a wide audience. The new edition will be limited to no more than 150 copies. The project began on August 12th, as the first batch of type arrived at the artist's print shop, the same month and day of Mary Katherine Goddard’s death (August 12, 1816 at the age of 78). The date is symbolic as a celebration not only of our Founding Fathers’ drafting of this important document, but of the life’s achievement of a woman who stood up for freedom of the press and the rights of women in the newly formed UNITED STATES.

We hold these Truths to be self-evident,
that all Men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their CREATOR
with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty
and the pursuit of Happiness.

We hold these Truths to be self-evident,
that all People are created equal,
that they are endowed by their CREATOR
with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty
and the pursuit of Happiness.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Send me information on...

I'm very interested in gathering the stories behind street names...what does Gallows Hill Rd mean and who does John. J. Quagmire Lane represent?

Send me your stories about street names in your town!

Kristie Poehler, Editor
Battlefield Journal
Traveling Through History


Okay, I've had a chance to look around this site...I registered, even downloaded their exclusive screensaver. It is a very cool site!

I love the blogs--the chance to comment on different historic sites and share photos and tips with other travelers. This is indeed a travelers dream site. There is even an e-postcard screen where you can send a quick note to your friends along with a photo of a site you love.

Of course, I contributed to the Civil War blog. My topic was Gettysburg and my deep soul-searching ties to the hallowed ground there. Tell me what you would talk about if you visited Gozaic...

I look forward to hearing your comments on this new site, sponsored by Heritage Travel, a subsidiary of National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Kristie Poehler, Editor
Battlefield Journal
Traveling Through History

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Vancouver Art Gallery Exhibit

Check out this great exhibit...and be ready to have our first discussion about Gozaic.com!

The Vancouver Art Gallery will present the first exhibition to compare the extraordinary work of American and Canadian landscape artists during the formative days of each nation. Beginning with the American Civil War and ending with the conclusion of the First World War, Expanding Horizons: Painting and Photography of American and Canadian Landscape 1860-1918 presents some of North America ’s greatest artworks from a time when each country was aggressively extending their boundaries westward. On view from October 17, 2009 to January 17, 2010, the exhibition, organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, includes more than 175 of the most celebrated examples of landscape painting and photography from this decisive period selected from outstanding international public and private collections.

“The revolutionary approach of Expanding Horizons makes a major contribution to the understanding of landscape art in North America,” said Kathleen Bartels director of the Vancouver Art Gallery . “The Gallery is proud to offer visitors the first opportunity in a major exhibition to compare how Canadian and American artists expressed the enormity of the North American wilderness and its transformation during this dramatic era of change.”

Expanding Horizons focuses on a time when transcontinental ambitions of Canada and the United States set both countries on a trajectory of westward expansion. This period coincided with the emergence of sophisticated communities of artists in both countries. The exhibition explores how these artists fostered and reinforced national identities in their work and how portrayals of landscape on each side of the boarder differed as a result. As well, the exhibition draws attention to the representation of Indigenous people who were often depicted as existing apart from the sense of nationalism that artists were celebrating. The exhibition concludes with the stylistic innovations of the early 20th century and the new directions artists in each country were taking to communicate changing ideas about the North American landscape.

“From crashing waterfalls and luminous mountain sunsets to Voyageurs shooting the rapids and bustling urban thoroughfares, the exceptional artworks included in Expanding Horizons transport viewers to this remarkable period in North American history,” said Vancouver Art Gallery senior curator Ian Thom. “The exhibition provides powerful insight into how some of our nations’ most important artists interpreted the breathtaking beauty of their fledgling nations, and explores how the nationalistic visions of the day played an integral role.”

Through massive sweeping vistas of Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon and the Catskill Mountains and in more intimately scaled paintings of Canada’s Eastern townships, the Alberta prairie and Pacific coast, Expanding Horizons reveals much about the tendencies of both nations and their artists. Following a chronological flow, the exhibition is divided into six sections exploring stylistic developments and changing subject matter in both countries. Nature Transcendent explores how artist imbued their landscapes with a sense of spiritually. The Stage of History and the Theatre of Myth explores how artists manipulated the landscape to perpetuate ideals of national identity. Man versus Nature investigates how the transformation, exploitation and destruction of nature were presented in the name of progress. The works included in Nature Domesticated present nature as a realm for idyllic escapism in reaction to increasing urbanization in each country. The Urban Landscape examines how artist endowed their compositions of the city with a similar optimism previously used to express pristine nature. Finally, Return to Nature addresses the “rediscovery” of the spiritual qualities of nature by artists representing the landscape with vivid, abstract colour, simplified forms, and minimized human activity to evoke nature’s sacred dimensions.

Included in the exhibition are works by many of the most important landscape painters and photographers working around the turn of the 19th century. Outstanding paintings by Canadian artists include works by William Brymner, Emily Carr, Maurice Cullen, Aaron Allan Edson, John Arthur Fraser, Clarence Gagnon, Lawren Stewart Harris, Alexander Young Jackson, Otto Reinhold Jacobi, Ozias Leduc, James Edward Hervey MacDonald, David Milne, James Wilson Morrice, Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté, Tom Thomson and Frederick Arthur Verner; and photography by Benjamin Baltzly, Alexander Henderson and William Notman.

American painting is represented by such artists as Albert Bierstadt, William Merritt Chase, Frederic Edwin Church, Jasper Francis Cropsey, Robert S. Duncanson, Thomas Eakins, Marsden Hartley, Frederick Childe Hassam, Martin Johnson Heade, Winslow Homer, George Inness, John Frederick Kensett, Thomas Moran, Georgia O’Keeffe, Frederic Remington, John Singer Sargent and John Henry Twachtman; and photography by Alvin Langdon Coburn, Asahel Curtis, William Henry Jackson, Eadweard James Muybridge, Timothy O’Sullivan, Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand and Carleton E. Watkins.

This exhibition is organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and curated by Hilliard Goldfarb, associate chief curator, and has been supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Hi all!
I stumbled across a site suggested by my American History magazine. It is called Gozaic.com and is sponsored by Heritage Traveler and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Well, our names are written all over this website!

This is what the site explains:
At Gozaic, you can find life-enriching travel experiences, interact with those who share your interests, discover new places rich in history and culture, and build itineraries to visit the places that matter. Tom C. joined Gozaic and created a personal profile, where he shares his experiences visiting great Civil War battlefields and connects with a community of people who are also passionate about heritage and history.

As a member of the Gozaic community, Tom explores heritage sites and destinations, writes reviews and posts photos of the places he’s passionate about. Plus, he can create and share the itineraries for his upcoming trips. Gozaic makes it easy for Tom to connect with other Civil War enthusiasts and discover interesting facts about historic battlefields that he didn’t already know.

So, let's take a little blogging journey alright?--after all, we are Traveling Through History. Let's visit and interact on some of the newest and maybe not so new History websites and discuss them.

What do you say? Tomorrow--same time, same place...well, okay maybe not the same time...

MISSION: Explore Gozaic.com, join some communities, bring back your findings.


Kristie Poehler, Editor
Battlefield Journal
Traveling Through History

Friday, July 31, 2009

Railfest Weekend

For the first time in more than 70 years, a magnificent steam train will make its way between Carson City and Virginia City on the historic Virginia & Truckee Railroad (http://www.vtrailway.org/), Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 15-16, 2009. The rumble of wheels – steel on steel, the melodic tempo of a train highballing down the track, the steam whistle cutting through the air – all signal the near completion of a project 17 years in the making.

An inaugural run features a ceremonial ride for VIPs, dignitaries and politicians along a 12.8-mile reconstructed portion of the 16.7-mile original route between Nevada’s sister cities, Friday, Aug. 14.

Beginning Saturday, August 15 and Sunday, August 16 and every consecutive Saturday through Oct. 31, the public can ride the rails. Trains leave Carson City from Eastgate Siding on Flint Drive at 10 a.m. arriving in Virginia City at 11:30 a.m. Then depart the F Street station in Virginia City at 3:30 p.m. to return to Carson City at 4:30 p.m. Roundtrip tickets are $48 per adult, $36 for children 12 and under and $40 for seniors over 65. One way tickets will be available for $29 adults, $23 for children and $25 for seniors. To reserve tickets, call 800-NEVADA-1 or visit https://www.dynamicticketsolutions.com/cccvb/.

The 60-90-minute train rides will include scenic vistas of the “old west” countryside, views of the Carson River, two tunnels and occasional sightings of wild stallions. Commemorative plaques with slices of historic track will be available to riders for $20 during the opening weekend with proceeds benefitting the Nevada Commission for the Reconstruction of the V&T Railway.

The V&T Railway, the richest short-line in American history, originally operated during the raucous silver strike era of the infamous Comstock Lode from 1869 to 1938. When completed in 2011, the reconstructed track traces all 16.7 miles of the 19th century route between Carson City and Virginia City and is expected to serve as a major tourism attraction to the area. Train rides will be packaged with lodging stays and award-winning restaurants to link the area’s fabled past to the present and shape its promising future as a prominent vacation destination. The Carson City Convention & Visitors Bureau and Carson City have pledged $21 million and Storey County has contributed $2 million to the $54.9 million project.

The 1860’s V&T was privately funded and featured the finest appointments with the most luxurious interiors money could buy, including gold-leaf and brass-adorned locomotives to wooden coaches. The line brought entrepreneurs, gamblers and aristocrats to the Comstock. Along with these characters, the train carried the Mother Lode’s gold and silver to Carson City and lumber from Lake Tahoe to build the mines in Virginia City.

The timing of the V&T route re-opening appropriately coincides with Railfest, an annual celebration of the V& T Railway observed that weekend in both cities with a plethora of railroad activities.

In addition to the V&T’s newly re-opened route, steam engines in both towns will also offer shorter rides along existing track. In Virginia City where the V&T has run for more than 30 years under the ownership of the Gray family, the popular 5-mile route to Gold Hill will also be in full operation. In Carson City, “steam-ups” will take visitors along the 1-mile route that surrounds the Nevada State Railroad Museum, adjacent to Highway 50 downtown.

The Gray family began to reconstruct the tracks between Virginia City and Gold Hill in 1972. Since then, they have run trains daily between the two cities, keeping the V&T alive. Without their help, the reconstruction project between Virginia City and Carson City would not have been possible, http://VirginiaTruckee.com/.

Silver Line Express tickets, a city pass for savings on train and trolley rides, merchant discounts and local attractions around Virginia City and Gold Hill, are available at visitors center, 86 South C St. Various options are available, including trolley tours, admission to the Ponderosa Mine, Historic Radio Museum, the Mark Twain Museum at the Territorial Enterprise, The Way It Was Museum, the Fourth Ward School, Chollar Mine and Comstock Gold Mill. A 1914 Pullman car and a Railway President’s 1907 gentlemen’s car will be on display. Other activities include historic railroad memorabilia displays, free face painting, a balloon magician, bounce house, and children’s games. Call 775-847-4386 or visit http://www.visitvirginiacitynv.com/.

As part of Railfest weekend in Carson City, the Nevada State Railroad Museum will feature live music at the Depot. In conjunction with KNPB-TV and the Carson City Arts & Culture Coalition, the museum will screen The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, a film by award-winning director Ken Burns, outdoors on the side of the Jacobsen Interpretive Center at the museum at 8:30 p.m. Saturday night. Call 775-687-6953 or visit http://www.visitcarsoncity.com/. Allll aboard!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Historic Theater involved in John Dillinger's last bank heist for sale in auction!

Just 90 miles East of Chicago, near the University of Notre Dame, State Theatre sits as a true landmark in the heart of Downtown South Bend, Indiana. Since opening its doors in 1921 as the Blackstone Theatre Vaudeville House, it has had an amazing 88-year history.

Listed on the National Historic Register of Places in 1985, it was once host to former President Ronald Reagan for the premier of "Knute Rockne All American" and the scene of infamous gangster John Dillinger’s last bank robbery. This unique, historic landmark is being sold in an online auction with bidding set to begin on July 16.
And now you can own this piece of American History.

The property is currently owned by Way of Life, a non-profit group. Proceeds from the building’s sale will help continue the organization’s mission of providing hope to the Community. “When the recession hit last fall, non-profits were hit the hardest. In these economic times, people have less money to donate, so we had some difficult decisions to make regarding our organization’s assets," said Lester L. Sumrall, President and Founder of Way of Life.

The two-week long auction will end on July 30 and is being conducted by commercial real estate broker, NAI Global, based in Albuquerque, NM. Ironically, the auction coincides with the release of the film “Public Enemies”, starring Johnny Depp. The movie, which profiles Dillinger, has generated a resurgence of interest in the gangster’s legacy.

On June 30, 1934 John Dillinger’s last robbery at Merchants Bank took place across the street from the theater. The incident netted Dillinger’s gang almost $30,000, leaving eight wounded and one police officer dead. Recounting the details of the incident, Sumrall said “They grabbed hostages and shot over 100 shots down the street as they were escaping. During this gunfight with police they shot up our facade and marquee.”

The landmark property has already received considerable interest from both corporate and private buyers due to its versatility and location near the College Football Hall of Fame.

“We’ve been pleased by all of the positive response we’ve gotten from the Chicago-Sun Times article, the NBC Chicago coverage and now the Fox News story,” Sumrall said. "The State Theatre is sure to become a valuable asset to its new owners ... There's a lot of big things that can happen here, and I believe they will."

For more information on the auction, please visit statetheatreauction.com for full details.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Ghost Walk through Appalachia!

Appalachian GhostWalks
Haunted Vacations Ghost and History Tours

Start a new tradition this year and bring your whole family, or tour group on a Tennessee "Haunted Vacation" with Appalachian GhostWalks' Tennessee and Virginia Ghost Tours... TRI-CITIES, Tennessee - It's that time of year when we all start dreaming of our next get away. Why not start a new tradition this year and bring your whole family or tour group on a "Haunted Vacation".
Appalachian GhostWalks Ghost and History Tours are lantern-led by real, professionally Certified Ghost Hunters who recount "spine-tingling" stories of real history and real ghosts! Bring your whole family, or tour group on a Tennessee and Virginia "Haunted Vacation" with Appalachian GhostWalks' Tennessee and Virginia Ghost Tours... "Appalachian GhostWalks" has designed tour packages to help save Tennessee travelers money on their next visit to the mountains. Additional information on all of their "Spook and Save" vacation partners is available on their award winning website where visitors will find links to their "Discount Haunted Vacation Planning Packages".
Here, you will find a variety of elegant, quaint, old-world style, and haunted bed and breakfasts, but also more modernized accommodations for those who prefer an alternate setting for their stay... There are several different tours in the Northeastern Tennessee Mountains presently available to choose from all located just a short drive from Dollywood, Ober Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Tennessee tours include the "Haunted Historic Erwin and Unicoi County Heritage Museum GhostWalk", the "Haunted Historic Jonesborough GhostWalk", the "East Tennessee State University Campus GhostWalk", the "Historic Tipton-Haynes GhostWalk", the "Haunted Historic Greeneville GhostWalk", the "Haunted Historic Rogersville GhostWalk", the "Haunted Historic Blountville GhostWalk", and downtown Johnson City's "Little Chicago GhostWalk". Appalachian GhostWalks' Virginia ghost tours presently include the "Historic Abingdon Virginia GhostWalk" departing from the Barter Theatre Stage II Cafe, and the "Haunted Historic Bristol GhostWalk" - the Birthplace of Country Music...
Beginning Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 Appalachian GhostWalks will introduce its newest tour - currently under production. Join us for a tour of Tennessee's Second oldest incorporated town with the "Haunted Historic Dandridge GhostWalk"! Two bus tours will follow in production for a 2010 inauguration including the Upper and Lower "Great Smoky Mountains Haunted Adventure Tour"...
Each of their historically accurate tours offer a small piece of a much larger puzzle of regional history and rhetoric as your very own Certified Ghost Hunter Guide and Historian weaves a chilly tale of our region's vast cultural heritage coupled with true, spine-tingling ghost stories. Catering to both couples, as well as larger groups, one simple phone call to their knowledgeable staff will help you create a memorable Tennessee Vacation designed specifically for you and your travel companions... Appalachian GhostWalks is proud to have won a Merit Award at the Pinnacle Awards early in 2007 as presented by the Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association and the company continues to grow. A spokesperson for the company announced that visits to their award winning website for this year had grown more than four hundred percent above this time last year with over twelve million hits. Also, Appalachian GhostWalks was the recipient of the Washington D.C. based U.S. Local Business Association's 2008 "Tour Operators and Promoters" Award. In addition, Appalachian GhostWalks and Ghost Tours was voted one of the top five ghost tour companies in the United States by Haunted America in New Orleans, Louisiana for the past four years and counting...

Travel discounts are available on accommodations for recreational vehicles and tourists including a wonderful choice of very historic and sometimes haunted bed and breakfasts, camping, white water rafting, caving, bike and horseback riding, a local gem mine, a day at the spa, planetarium shows, barge and carriage rides, area museums and exhibits, visits to local water parks, skiing, seeing a live play, or a concert, casual and fine dining, with more on the way. Packages featuring a wide variety of area attractions to include both day and night time activities offer visitors something to keep you and your travel companions enchanted and entertained during their stay... Rates vary according to the number in your party and advance reservations are required. We accept Visa, Mastercard, and Discover. We tend to stay busy throughout the year so please call when you have a convenient moment with your date, or dates... Now offering so many ways to save and make the most of your visit to the Southern Appalachian Mountains, Appalachian GhostWalks invites you and that special someone, or group to join them in saying, "Tennessee Sounds Good To Me"! Visit them online at www.AppalachianGhostWalks.com for additional information, or for a SPOOK-tacular good time please call (423) 743-WALK (9255) for reservations...

Very truly and hauntingly yours...

Stacey Allen McGee, Tour Director
Appalachian GhostWalks
Haunted Vacations Ghost and History Tours

Friday, June 19, 2009


Lieutenant Andrew Baldwin of “The Bachelor Show” Awarded DAR Medal of Honor

On May 7, 2009, the D. C. DAR held a Gala Dinner and Silent Auction in the 19th Century Ballroom of Historic Gadsby’s Tavern in Alexandria, Virginia.

State Regent Priscilla Baker presented the DAR Medal of Honor to Lieutenant Andrew Baldwin, a distinguished U. S. Naval Officer, ironman triathlete, humanitarian, and physician. He is best known to the American television audience as the bachelor of the tenth season of the reality dating show “The Bachelor.”

The award was recommended jointly by members of the DAR in Arizona and the District of Columbia and approved by the President-General of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. The award is given to an American citizen who has displayed extraordinary leadership, patriotism and humanitarianism is his/her personal and professional endeavors.

Baldwin was awarded Humanitarian of the Year by Competitor Magazine at the Competitor Sports Awards, named one of Washington DC’s Most Influential People under 40 in 2009, and was listed as one of People Magazine’s hottest bachelors in 2008.

The speaker for the evening was Joan Brierton, Past Trustee and Vice President of the D. C. Preservation League and Senior Historic Preservation Specialist with the U. S. General Services Administration Center for Historic Buildings.

April 18 Grave Marking Ceremony at Congressional Cemetery

19 Senators and 71 Representatives are interred at the Congressional Cemetery while monuments honor 120 other members of congress who died in office.
Congressional Cemetery, a privately owned cemetery, is managed by the non-profit Association for the Preservation of Historic Congressional Cemetery. Buildings, grounds and monuments are maintained through private donations.

The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), founded in 1890 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America’s future through better education for children. DAR members volunteer more than 60,000 hours annually to veteran patients, award over $150,000 in scholarships and financial aid each year to students, and support schools for the underprivileged with annual donations exceeding one million dollars.

DC DAR website: http://www.dcdar.org/membersonly.htm
Judge Lynn website: http://www.dcdar.org/JudgeLynnChapter.htm
National DAR website: http://dar.org/

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Home of U.S. Golf

(photo courtesy of www.newengland.com)

Brookline Country Club--

Back in 1913, a twenty-year old former caddie and amateur golfer, Francis Ouimette, stunned audiences when he won the U.S. Open against superstar golfer Harry Vardon. He did this at a legendary country club in Brookline, Massachusetts, outside of Boston, that just happened to double as Ouimette's backyard.

Called simply The Country Club or TCC, this former equestian club and racetrack was established in 1882. Horseback riding and other outdoor activities brought wealthy men together for some quality time away from the big city and created the first "country" club.

In 1893, a new game from Scotland was introduced. The act of hitting wooden clubs against a small ball across a green and into a hole peaked interest in the United States and it seemed that The Country Club was a natural candidate for conversion to a golf course. Not welcome by all members, those looking to take up the sport had to fight those betting on the horse races nearby.

Initially, an unsophisticated six holes were landscaped and Willie Campbell, a pro from Scotland was hired to manage the links. The Country Club continued to buy parcels of land and Campbell helped to grow the course to a full 18 holes by 1899.

Over these eight years golf exploded in the United States and as early as 1894, tournaments were organized and the first official open was held in Newport, Rhode Island in 1895. The golfers played thirty-six holes in one day--proving the need for a great deal of stamina with the sport. Ironically, Horace Rawlings from England won and put golf on the map in New England.

As the game grew, so did the need for good equipment. Clubs were redesigned by course pros like Willie Campbell and balls were made to travel faster. Even Harry Vardon contributed with a new ball. TCC's golf membership grew and between 1902 and 1908 three new holes were added.

Four clubs joined Brookline to form the United States Golf Association. They hoped to pool their resources and each sponsor a major amateur tournament. The other four clubs were Newport Country Club, Andrews Club in Yonkers, NY., the Chicago Country Club and Shinnecock Hills in Long Island. They also created the official rules of the game. Theodore Havermayer was elected president of the USGA. In 1902, the first woman's amateur championship was held.

TCC had its turn at hosting the U.S. Open in 1913. By this time, golf had solid footing on a global level. Harry Vardon, the Tiger Woods of his day, and the inventor of the grip used by most golfers today, had been touring the U.S., showcasing clubs and helping stores like Jordan Marsh sell out of their stock in record time. Vardon won the 1900 U.S. Open and had taken the British Open Championship four times before contrating tuberculosis.

Francis Ouimette played against Vardon in 1913 and the tournament, a nail-biter to say the least, showed how golf was for everyone, even former caddies, even for boys from the wrong side of the country club lawns. To further the legend, Ouimette used as his caddie, ten-year-old Eddie Lowery. Adding poignancy to the win, the Ouimette family home was opposite the 17th hole. Young Francis had stared out his bedroom window for years and knew that hole like the back of his hand. His win at the U.S. Open; his win at this particular course summed up his dream.

Ouimette's victory had a direct bearing on the sport tripling in numbers. Everyone knew they too could learn to play and that money didn't influence the outcome of the game. The U.S. Open was played in Brookline in 1963 and 1988, on the 50th and 75th anniversaries of Francis Ouimette's stunning win.

In 1927, another nine holes were added. Designed by William Flynn, one of the most creative course architects of his day. Eight major amateur tournaments have been played at the course since 1913 along with a handful of other tournaments.

With the Massachusetts Amateur Tournament being played at TCC in July 2009, another dream will come true on the course at Brookline, perhaps even the chance to become another Francis Ouimette or Tiger Woods.

The Country Club Homepage--http://www.tcclub.org/

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


We all have a desire, no matter how small, to lose ourselves in the past. Through luminaries like George Washington, Amelia Earhart and Jim Lovell and events like the Women's Rights Convention at Seneca Falls, NY, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and the fight along the Peninsula during the Civil War, we entice our imaginations, and connect with a piece of ourselves.

Traveling Through History is a reader's blog and a writer's blog! In it, you will read articles about things like the Historic Colleges of New England, taking a trip to historic Frederick, Maryland and other travel articles, Hannah Rantoul and her fight to start the U.S. Sanitary Commission, the Faces of Gettysburg, and the first soldier buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Our readers will comment, connect, and contribute with relevant pieces of their own. We will include interviews, book reviews, photo essays and more!

As always, we welcome your story ideas, press releases and suggestions. I know you will enjoy your journey as much as will!

Yours in history,

Kristie Poehler, Editor
Battlefield Journal
Traveling Through History