POSTS FROM ‘Historic Houses’

  • The Welk Homestead State Historic Site, a farm located near Strasburg in south central North Dakota, features a historic house, built in 1899 of sun-dried mud brick known locally as batsa. This is not a house of the wealthy, with beautiful decorative arts, but rather the comfortably and simply furnished house of an immigrant family— […]

  •   “Is everything original?” “Is this what the dining room looked like back then?” “Did he really sleep in that bed?” Anyone who has worked at a historic house has been asked this question in various forms, and knows how tricky it can be to accurately answer. Every interpreter has their own flair for responding: […]

  • This Annual Meeting is the BEST for Historic House Museums! Admittedly, I may be a little biased because I am the Chair of the AASLH Historic House Affinity Committee and I run a large historic site. But out of all of the conferences I have attended since I started my museum career more than 20 […]

  • At their best, historic sites and house museums provide meaningful and personal touchstones to the past. They provide a forum and a place to connect historical, social, and cultural issues with contemporary counterparts. They inspire us to think about and act on those issues in our own lives and communities. Yet for much of the […]

  • National History Day (NHD) was created in 1974 by a professor at Case Western Reserve University to combat the decline of the humanities in school curricula. It evolved into annual nationwide competitions held at the regional, state, and national levels with middle and high school competitors creating papers and projects on a designated theme; the […]

  • Since the AASLH offices were closed for Memorial Day, I decided to take my son on an outing–just the two of us. Nick is ten years old and just finished the fourth grade where Tennessee students get their first taste of American history. He is also a history buff, like his mom. He likes all […]

  • Wow!  What a day! For the last several hours we’ve had 5 fire trucks and about 20 men and women in turnout gear crawling all over our historic house museum!  No, we didn’t have a fire, fortunately; we had a training exercise. Long before I was in charge of a historic site I learned to […]

  • AASLH is helping historic sites around the US look at how they engage with their communities and their sustainability and in a one-day symposium, Reinventing the Historic House Museum. After successful workshops in session in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Atlanta, and Woodstock Vermont, last year, we kicked off this year with St. Louis in April. Another […]

  • Tucked along the C&O Canal (which runs through DC, MD, and WV) are over twenty stone structures that pay testament to the canal era, when boat horns would sound and lock keepers would scamper from the beds to open the locks. Today, visitors are invited to stay overnight in the lockhouses and experience life as […]

  • A few weeks ago I received a survey request from the National Council for Public History wanting to know what I think is lacking in museum studies/public history higher ed programs.  I paused for a minute just before I collapsed into paroxysms of uncontrolled laughter.  Sadly, the online survey form had character limits, so I […]