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People You Meet in the Clouds

People You Meet in the Clouds

By: Jacob Hakim

One significant part of my 19th Amendment internship at Haleakalā National Park has been my simultaneous role as a Park Guide intern. Since my arrival in the park, I have been working a few shifts a week alongside Park Rangers from the Interpretation Team. Though I had anticipated doing mostly independent research for the duration of my internship, I have been thrilled at the chance to step into the shoes of an interpretive ranger and get some experience in park interpretation. 

Usually, these shifts involve a 4:45 AM start time (not so bad for me since I am lucky enough to live in park housing). After a short drive under usually clear, starry skies, I meet with one or two Park Rangers at Headquarters Visitor Center. From there we retrieve our radios and keys to government vehicles, and after calling in to park dispatch (located at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park) we drive the winding road to the summit of the volcano. Usually, rangers ride together, but because of COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures in the park, we drive separately as a safety measure. 

The drive to the summit is beautiful; starting at HQ at 7,000 feet, we drive up the two lane road to Haleakalā Visitor Center at 9,740 feet. The journey takes around twenty minutes, and the sky starts to glow incrementally in the east, starting as a pale blue and spreading into the full spectrum of the rainbow by the time we get to the top. There are usually several cars already in the parking lot, as the park opens for sunrise (with reservations) at 3 AM. 

Once we get to HVC, we walk around the area, talk story with visitors, and make sure everyone is generally having a good time (and not straying off trail — the rails go right up to the edge of the crater). This summer, the sun has risen between 5:45 and 6 AM every day. Once the rim of the sun’s disk appears over the horizon, we begin to chant the sunrise oli (Hawaiian chant), welcoming the sun and inviting it up into the sky. The oli is repeated until the sun is fully visible above the horizon, and the final shout of “e ala e!” echoes across the crater, the House of the Sun. 

The sun rises over the crater of Haleakalā


E ala e Awaken/ Arise

Ka Lā i ka hikina/ The sun in the east

I ka moana/ From the ocean

Ka moana hononu/ The ocean deep

Piʻi ka lewa/ Climbing (to) the heaven

Ka lewa nuʻu/ The heaven highest

I ka hikina/ In the east

Aia ka Lā/ There is the sun

E ala e!/ Awaken!

(Translation found here.)

This part of the morning can be very powerful, and it has been an honor and an amazing learning experience to be able to participate in this part of Haleakalā’s Hawaiian traditional culture. Many times visitors have come up to us after the oli is finished to express appreciation. Usually, we end up talking about the oli and other aspects of the park’s significance in Hawaiian culture. It is really amazing to be able to connect visitors with the cultural history and significance of this place, especially when that is an aspect of the park that might’ve been otherwise overlooked. 

Other times, it is the visitors themselves who begin the oli, and we are able to join in with them. It has been humbling to learn from the visitors, a situation where our roles in the park are reversed, and I come away from those experiences with renewed appreciation for this place. 

After the oli, I drive up to the summit parking lot, which is a few minutes up the road. The parking lot is usually crowded just after sunrise, and I have the chance to talk with lots of visitors. Many times our conversations revolve around the ʻāhinahina, also known as Haleakalā Silverswords, since there is a large silversword garden in the center of the parking lot. Since the start of my internship, several of the larger silverswords have bloomed, throwing up stalks thick with purple Aster flowers. Some of these plants are five feet tall! 

A garden of ʻāhinahina nestled among the clouds at the summit of Haleakalā

When I meet visitors in the parking lot or atop the stairs by the Summit Observatory, so many of them are thrilled to learn things they didn’t know about the silverswords. I also have the chance to stress the importance of staying on the designated trails, since the silverswords are endangered and very fragile. If we are up by the Observatory, I also point out the wonderful view of Big Island to the southeast. Many visitors assume that those ridges have to be somewhere on Maui, and they’re shocked at the clarity with which they can see the iconic volcanoes Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.

Ranger Boone and I stand near the Haleakalā Observatory, with the volcanoes of the Big Island in the background

Another place I have spent much of my time on duty is the Hosmer Grove trail, an often overlooked gem nestled near the park entrance. Hosmer Grove was originally an experimental patch of eucalyptus and pine trees planted by Forestry Superintendent Ralph Hosmer in 1909. Since then, those trees have spread wildly, competing with native species for space and resources, and increasing the risk of wildfires; park staff work diligently to monitor and restrict the spread of these species beyond the confines of this historic grove. 

Walking among the conifers of Hosmer Grove

Now there is a parking lot and campgrounds at the edge of the Grove. The campgrounds are closed now due to COVID-19, but are usually a popular first-come-first-serve camping spot. The Hosmer Grove trail itself is surprisingly short, a loop less than one mile long, with a shockingly good payoff: five minutes into the trail is a spot overlooking a gulch where visitors can spot five or six species of rare Hawaiian birds that are all but impossible to see even in the other islands. It is this place, next to the standing park binoculars, that I have had some of my most memorable encounters with visitors. 

Birdwatching at the lookout in Hosmer Grove. NPS photo A. Boone

The gulch in Hosmer Grove is a spectacular example of a hidden gem in one of America’s National Parks. Of course, the sunrise at the summit of Haleakalā is mind-blowing, and looking down into the crater from the summit (or one of the two overlooks, Kalahaku and Leleiwi) is otherworldly and magical. But I was always shocked to find that most visitors skipped a visit to Hosmer Grove. I always did my best to encourage visitors to stop by on their way down the mountain, especially considering how close the parking lot is to a place where you can see some of the world’s rarest birds. 

On the lucky days that I did get to spend time on the trail, I often met visitors who were at first inquisitive about the park’s birds, then frozen with awe as an ʻiʻiwi or ʻapapane landed on a branch just a few weeks away. Some visitors came with cameras or binoculars, and stayed for hours. I personally love the birds, and was especially excited to see the ʻiʻiwi, bright red as adults and a weird splotchy yellow, orange and black as juveniles, all with the iconic curved beak. These birds are thought to be extinct on Oʻahu, where I live, so seeing them bouncing from blossom to blossom in the ʻōhiʻa trees was like something out of a dream. 

My first attempt at bird photography: a juvenile ʻiʻiwi feeding on the nectar on a nearby ʻiliahi (sandalwood) tree

Sharing this wonder with visitors is more than fulfilling. It was a shared connection between people and place, something that can’t be replicated in another time or location. This, to me, is the true joy of interpretation.

That’s a Wrap!

That’s a Wrap!

By: Ariadne Argyros

Me and my dog, Johann

Me and my bearded dragon, Gaius









After 11 weeks, my time as a curatorial intern at the Boston National Historical Park  (BNHP) has come to an end. Looking back, it seems to have gone by pretty quickly, which is saying something considering the halted effect that COVID-19 has had. I’ve said this before in my previous posts, but my internship experience has been different than I originally expected. I have had to work exclusively from home and didn’t get to work with the BNHP museum and archival collections in a hands-on capacity, which is what this internship was supposed to be all about. Of course I’m disappointed to not have gotten to do that; I will always relish the opportunity to stroll through museum storage spaces and see everything that isn’t on display at the museum. That being said, I was able to go through some of the archival material at the BNHP and got a pretty decent grasp of the kinds of collections that the BNHP holds.

The first 8 pages of my BNHP archival guide project!

I also finally finished the archival guide! I’ll be keeping an eye out for its incorporation into the BNHP’s online access to collections. It was challenging in some ways, but now that it’s done, I can appreciate all the work that I put into it and it feels pretty good. It’s always nice to be able to actually see the finished product of weeks of effort right in front of you.

Overall, I really enjoyed being an intern at the Boston NHP. I had a lot of flexibility which allowed me to organize and execute my projects effectively and take weekly trips into the city and around the Greater Boston area to learn and then relay to you some of the history of this wonderful and historic city. Since the BNHP focuses on Boston’s role in the American Revolution, my trips were planned with the same intention as well. I was born and raised here, and I even attended the oldest public school in the country (which is a stop on the Freedom Trail), but I was never really taught about any of it. I wish my school had taken us on field trips to the Freedom and Black Heritage Trails. We were steps away from some incredibly historical sites and monuments, and I only really took advantage of them 6 years after graduating. I’m just glad that I was able to take my mom and sister on some of my adventures; my sister is still in high school and will be taking U.S. History. Hopefully seeing some of this stuff puts history in context for her!

I am really glad that I took advantage of every opportunity I had during the course of this internship. I have learned so much, and through all of it I’ve had the support of my supervisor and the ACE team. Thanks for everything, guys!

Homesteading National Parks

Homesteading National Parks

By: Sabrina Gonzalez

George Washington Carver was born near Diamond, Missouri in the 1860s. He was raised by Moses and Susan Carver, the slave owners of his parents, George and Mary. Susan taught him how to read and write while he was helping with domestic chores. He attended various educational institutions around Missouri and Kansas to complete his high school diploma. In 1886, he established a homestead land claim near Beeler, Kansas. He did not receive a patent for the homestead because he only lived on the land for three years. (Five years of residency were required to receive a land patent under the Homestead Act of 1862.) Rather than proving up on the land, he travelled to attend the Iowa State Agricultural College. In 1896, he earned his master of agriculture and became a professor at the Tuskegee Institute. He conducted extensive research that helped revolutionize farming techniques. These included the encouragement of crop rotation and the planting of peanuts and sweet potatoes to help with soil quality. For over forty years, Carver’s research assisted poor farmers. After his death in 1943, a national monument was established, the George Washington Carver National Monument. It is the first national monument dedicated to an African American.

Enos A. Mills was born in Pleasanton, Kansas in 1870. As a teenager, he moved to Estes Park, Colorado. He travelled here because of his enjoyment for the outdoors as well as to recover from an unknown illness at the age of 14. One year later, he ascended the Long Peaks Mountain and became a nature guide. Over the course of his life, he provided visitors with over 300 tours. He found his love for naturalism here but was inspired by John Muir to conserve and protect the land in 1889. Four years later, he built a cabin on his 160 acre homestead that is now a museum. In 1902, Mills purchased the Long Peaks Inn. As it quickly became a vacation destination, he began to notice the destruction that was taking place by loggers, miners, and visitors. From Muir’s friendship and encouragement, he worked towards the protection of the Rocky Mountains through legislation. In 1915, President Woodrow Wilson signed the establishment of the Rocky Mountain National Park into law. Mills is known as the Father of the Rocky Mountain National Park. 

Nicodemus, Kansas was founded in 1877 by former slaves during the Reconstruction Era. African Americans, known as exodusters, escaped the South’s oppression in hope to own land from the Homestead Act of 1862. Benjamin Singleton, named the Father of the Exodus, was a former slave that campaigned for African Americans to resettle in Kansas and Tennessee. William Henry Smith, a black minister, motivated the relocation of former slaves specifically to Nicodemus, Kansas. Homesteading was a challenge to endure because of the economic and equipment essentials that were necessary to establish a successful land claim. This difficulty encouraged African American to settle together for community reliability. By 1880, Nicodemus’ population grew to 400. In 1887, it reached its peak population of 600. It is remembered as the largest former slave community after the Civil War. In 1996, Nicodemus National Historic Site was established.

Nicodemus, Kansas

Excursion to Harvard University and Archival Repository Guide Writing

Excursion to Harvard University and Archival Repository Guide Writing

By: Ariadne Argyros

Most people know Harvard because of its reputation as one of the top colleges in the United States, but a lesser known fact is that the school played a rather unusual role in the early days of the American Revolution. In the early days following the start of the Revolutionary War, Harvard turned its campus over to the newly formed American army where soldiers would sleep, train, and fortify Cambridge during the Siege of Boston. Schooling was temporarily moved to Concord, MA due to concerns about student safety; apparently, there were concerns that students would associate with the prole and therefore indecorous soldiers. Remember, this was 1775, a time when only young white males of considerable means were encouraged to pursue higher education. Many of the soldiers were made up of working-class boys and men; fraternization between the two groups was actively discouraged. 

Photo of Harvard’s Massachusetts Hall

During the soldiers’ stay at the college, five Harvard buildings were used to house 1,600 troops. Hollis and Massachusetts Halls held 640 soldiers each; Holden Chapel held 160; and Stoughton Hall bunked 240. Harvard Hall also served a similar function. Hundreds of tents and barracks were put up in Harvard Yard. Upon British surrender in March of 1776, the American troops headed south out of Boston, leaving a trail of damages in their wake. The troops had torn the metal roof off of Harvard Hall to melt into bullets, stripped brass doorknobs, box locks, and some of the interior woodwork from the building.

Archival Repository Guide

Front Cover of the BNHP Archival Guide

Last week I wrote a little bit about my work with the archival repository guide for the Boston National Historical Park Collections. I made a rough outline of what I wanted the guide to say and how it might look, and then I got to writing. This project has definitely been a challenge for me because I don’t have access to the finding aids, the collections, and only one of the other guides that I tracked down from other National Historical Parks, National Parks, Historical Societies, or universities has created a guide whose format is even somewhat similar to mine. So, it looks like this guide may well be one of the first of its kind! I have been using the Charlestown Navy Yard Historic Resource Study (HRS) and the Boston National Historical Park Collection Management Plan as a collections information guide. Many of the Navy Yard’s collections are listed in these two resources and by putting them together, I have the names and dates of the collections as well as the amount of material per collection and some brief entries summarizing materials. I still keep in constant contact with my supervisor and ask him questions whenever I am unclear about something, but I do believe that this project is really starting to come together. I am very excited to see what it will look like when it’s finished!

Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned

By: Marta Olmos

As I get near the end of my internship, people have been asking me “what is your favorite experience from this summer?” This question is difficult to answer because I have done a lot of amazing things this summer! I worked with some wonderful interpreters, I wrote content I was passionate about, and I made my dream video project. But when I think back on the past few months, the experiences that stick in my mind the most are the many small, informal interactions I had with visitors in the park.

Image from my video, “Getting Dressed in the 18th century”

I applied for this internship because I am passionate about interpretation. When I applied, I thought I would be doing lots of big flashy interpretive programs and living history events. But because of COVID, we had to strip our interpretive operations to the bare bones. In full honesty, this terrified me. My previous experiences had relied heavily on costumes and props and historic houses to drive interpretive experiences. I had no idea how to engage visitors without a scheduled tour or activity!

But now, looking back on the experience, I am so glad that it happened this way. This summer forced me to peel away all the layers and get to the core of interpretation and visitor interaction. It proved to me that I can engage with visitors without all those props. That I can foster meaningful experiences with just my own informal storytelling techniques. And most importantly, it reminded me why I love this work in the first place. I am passionate about helping visitors forge a meaningful connection with the cultural landscape, even during a global pandemic. Even wearing face masks and shouting at each other from six feet apart! Even without all the flashy props, I love this work. And I am so glad I was able to focus on the core of my interpretive craft this summer. I would not change it for the world. 

Minute Man Statue

Finishing Up

Finishing Up

By: Sonya Carrizales

Looking back now, my last three weeks at Yellowstone went by so quickly. I was so focused on getting my project done in time that I started working more hours to compensate for time I knew I was going to lose once my school year started. I didn’t take the time to sit on my porch and play my ukulele like I used to. I still enjoyed my last three weeks, but as I was driving to and from work or touring around Yellowstone with my family, I felt the clock ticking on my summer adventures in Yellowstone. 

During the late August timeframe, I was able to make a couple more museum visits to look at different women’s objects I had found and built tag sets for in ICMS, our database for accessing and cataloging museum objects. During my museum visits, I was able to connect with the women I was studying by flipping through their photo albums or feeling the fabric on their uniforms. My museum visits were able to transport me back in time. I was reliving the accounts of Pillow punchers, savages, and visitors left in the words of their memoirs. I was envisioning the lodges, landscapes, and norms of twentieth century Yellowstone through fading images in worn scrapbooks. However, I often felt a level of discomfort going through such personal mementos of women who I was studying. It felt like some of the items I looked at were supposed to be private documents meant only to be seen or read by the women who wrote these accounts. 

Photo of thirteen “Pillow punchers” I found in the museum collection. Photo Courtesy of National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park, Museum Collection (YELL 126069).

In my last two weeks at Yellowstone, I was very preoccupied with keeping up a double life where I worked full time on my internship project while also balancing a full college schedule. Luckily, I was able to stay on-site for my entire internship since my college decided to switch to remote learning this fall. With that being said, my college also decided to switch to an accelerated course system and start two weeks earlier than originally planned, which made my last two weeks incredibly challenging. Instead of balancing four classes with two weeks of material, I had to manage three courses with a month’s worth of material, as each course is slated to end halfway through the semester. In order to spend as much time as possible working on my Yellowstone project during the day, I did my best to schedule my classes to start at times outside my internship hours. I was waking up at 5:30 am every morning to make it to class by 6:00 am, attending class in the morning straight until my working hours, and getting home from work only to attend more classes or do school work until 9:30 pm when I had to start all over the next day.

Although my last two weeks were difficult to say the least, I’m very thankful to have had kindness and support from my on-site mentors and colleagues during this transition period. Everyone in my office decided to throw me a goodbye party where we ate lunch together and I received a parting card with a gift. My on-site supervisor also took my family and I out to lunch for the last day of my internship which was very kind. I invited a different colleague and mentor of mine to dinner on my final night and we were able to play my favorite card game together before parting ways. I was grateful to spend that quality time with my colleagues before ending my internship. As for my project, when I presented my research guide to my supervisors on the second to last day, I got stellar feedback from both of them, which made me feel proud of my accomplishments. 

Leaving Yellowstone, I felt a sense of nostalgia come over me as we were driving through beautiful vistas I had traveled through many times prior. I remembered the tour I took with my supervisor at the very beginning of my internship when the valleys were green in late June, or the drives between Norris and Old Faithful I went on with my grandma and brother. I remembered my solo trips between Canyon and Fishing Bridge where I pulled off in Hayden Valley to play my ukulele and watch the bison below. I remembered days of smoke-filled air from the Gardiner fire and California wildfires, as well as the days of heavy rain that washed the smoke away. I remembered the days of clear skies and sunshine that basked down on my face as I wandered from place to place in Wonderland.

Picture of geyser at Norris Porcelain Geyser Basin. Photo taken August 30, 2020.

Picture of trees at Norris Porcelain Geyser Basin. Photo taken August 30, 2020.

Final Reflection: Preservation Research in a COVID-19 Landscape

Final Reflection: Preservation Research in a COVID-19 Landscape

By: Anna Tiburzi

All good things must come to an end, and so, unfortunately, we’ve come to a close on my position. That being said, I’d like to reflect a little on my experience this summer working in a COVID-19 environment.

In a way, this project has been very similar to my work last year on the Liberty Island project, where I also spent a majority of my time working out of my own home and communicating remotely with the rest of the Liberty Team. It’s also not my first experience having to adapt to a COVID-19 work environment, as SUNY ESF has been operating on a distance learning basis since March. Therefore, I’m not unfamiliar with the challenges presented by social-distancing and the adaptation required for success under these circumstances.

However, just because it is familiar, does not mean it comes easily. Working like this means being largely self-directed, with minimal oversight and only virtual guidance. Communication and file swapping with teams and mentors is largely limited to what can be dropped in online cloud storage and what you can show by sharing your screen in a video chat. This method of communication feels much less efficient, though it’s become an invaluable resource during a time of relative isolation.

Our knowledge of technology, our familiarity with the programs, and – almost more importantly – our knowledge of what is possible within the realm of technology and the ability to teach ourselves using online platforms, is an immeasurable strength and one that I have relied on immensely throughout my life and increasingly since quarantine began. I’m also thankful that I feel comfortable and confident enough to say that I have this to my advantage, since I know there are those that technology comes less easily to, those that lack access to resources, those who haven’t had the option to safely work from home, and those that have additional commitments and responsibilities that have made this transition more difficult. Therefore, while I am glad to have been able to overcome my own challenges during this period, I’m also aware of the privilege inherent in being able to say just that.

My home “office” for the summer

Working from home has brought its own challenges, as many others know themselves. Much of this project is reliant upon archival research and physical trips to archives, which is exceptionally difficult during this time when we have to be so very cognizant of our own health and the risks associated with in-person interactions.

Additionally, many of the archives that we may have used for the project are also currently closed to the public, forcing us to get more creative with what we can get from digital collections, reaching out to sources over email, and searching online. Many of these digital collections, while still yielding a wealth of material, are incomplete, which means that future trips to the physical archives will be necessary at a later date.

Various selected resources used throughout the project. Logos sourced from organization websites

All this being said, this has been such a rewarding experience. The project itself has kept me immersed daily, with new material to read, people to reach out to, tasks to accomplish, and questions to answer every day. Like I mentioned in my first post, research has always been a passion of mine and something I’ve enjoyed throughout my academic career. Returning to the Olmsted Center this summer in this capacity has been such a delight and a great opportunity to hone my skills in research, writing, project organization, and communication.

Partner organizations hosting the Stanton Project for Summer 2020. Logos sources from organization websites

With all this in mind, I’d like to thank my mentors at SUNY ESF and at the Olmsted Center, and my contacts at ACE, who have been so instrumental in making sure that I, along with the other associates, had whatever resources and support they could give in order to make our projects a success. Projects like this are truly a collaborative effort and it’s not without the dedication, passion, and patience of many that this experience has both been so fruitful and enjoyable.

So with that, I sign off on my last blog post for this project! Thank you to all who’ve taken the time to read this, or any other of my posts, as well as those who I’ve had the pleasure to work with over the course of the summer.

Thank you all!

Things to Watch, Places to Go, and a Person to Know

Things to Watch, Places to Go, and a Person to Know

By: Maria Smith

Hi Everyone!

This is sadly the last blog post of my internship. I am so incredibly grateful to the entire WORI team for welcoming me into their team. My internship was truly a group effort. I would not have as thorough or entertaining StoryMap if it weren’t for the comments and suggestions of the park rangers and Stephanie Freese (the 19th Amendment Centennial Coordinator). I embedded videos of park ranger talks within the StoryMap as well to add information that I couldn’t cover but desperately wanted to include. In our exit interview, I told Stephanie that even though this year was so different because of COVID-19, I think that it was a better year to intern with the Park because everyone was available to chat and collaborate in ways that they normally would not have been able to do with typical work schedules. If you’d like to check out the StoryMap, it can be found here:

In my last blog post, I’m going to cover quite a bit! I’ll be talking about the must-watch videos from Equality Weekend, my official park visit (seriously go visit the Women’s Rights National Historical Park if you can), and I will be ending with a vignette (story) about my favorite organizer Jane Hunt.

Equality Weekend

Equality weekend marked the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. For those of you who don’t know, the 19th Amendment provided U.S. citizens with the right to vote regardless of gender. Many people erroneously believe that the Amendment provided all women with the right to vote, but in 1920 the term U.S. citizen was a complicated notion. Due to Federal Laws in 1920, Asian American women, indigenous women, and women who married immigrant men were not considered U.S. citizens. In many parts of the U.S. Black women were kept out of the polls through exclusionary practices, like literacy tests, until 1965. So rather than view August 26th as the anniversary of women’s suffrage, we should celebrate it as a major milestone in women’s suffrage, but not the solution to universal suffrage. It is for this reason that my favorite event of Equality Weekend was “A Vote for What?” by Sylvea Hollis (found here: In her talk, Dr. Hollis shares her family’s history with voting and urges us all to explore voting through our family trees. I recommend that everyone watch “A Vote for What?” in preparation for the upcoming November election to contextualize our right to vote.

My Park Visit

Due to COVID-19, most of my internship has been done remotely, which as I mentioned at the beginning of this blog had its perks. The one downfall was that I wasn’t able to visit the sites in person. As an archaeologist, I believe in the importance of materials to understand the past. So, I was incredibly excited to see the Wesleyan Chapel, where the 1848 Women’s Rights Convention was held in Seneca Falls, and to see the houses where organizers of the Convention lived in 1848.

Me standing by the historic marker outside of the Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls, NY

My favorite moment on my visit was to see the wallpaper in the Stanton house that matched the wallpaper Stanton had in her home when she lived in Seneca Falls. As the park ranger pointed out, the wallpaper kind of looked like an abstract drawing of a frog dissection, but for whatever reason Stanton enjoyed it and it was interesting to glimpse deeper into Stanton’s personality through her home décor choices.

Me standing in front of the Stanton House

A Vignette of Jane Hunt

Jane Hunt is one of my favorite organizers because her life is most closely aligned with that of many other suffragists and abolitionists of her time. Jane Hunt is not a household name, out of all of the organizers she is the only one who does not have books written about her, and she is the only one of the organizers who does not have her photograph held in the Library of Congress collections.

Jane Hunt, Photo Credit: The National Park Service

Unlike many women of her time, Hunt lived a life of privilege, her husband Richard was one of the wealthiest men in Waterloo, NY. The Hunts had a large home and Irish servants to help around the house. The Hunts could dedicate themselves to reform movements that they believed in, because of their financial security.

Jane and Richard met through abolitionist Quaker circles and remained dedicated abolitionists during their marriage. The Hunts did not buy or consume products that had been made with/by enslaved labor. Their Waterloo home was a stop on the Underground Railroad. Many freedom seekers sought refuge in their home on their way to freedom in Canada.

Despite Richard Hunt’s enthusiastic support of the 1848 Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, Jane Hunt was subjected to many of the injustices that women were speaking out against. When Jane married Richard, she became his fourth wife and a stepmother to his three children. Together, they had four more children. Their daughter Jenny was born just before the 1848 Convention. Jane was expected to raise all seven children with little help from Richard.

Richard passed away in 1856. He included a clause in his Will that for Jane to receive money from his estate, she needed to stay in their Waterloo home. Due to laws in 1856, she could not fight the clause in court, and it was nearly impossible for women to hold a high paying job. Hunt could not become financially independent and keep her children if she chose to leave Waterloo. Therefore, Hunt lived in their home in Waterloo for the rest of her life to avoid financial destitution.

There is No Place like HOME

There is No Place like HOME 

By: Sabrina Gonzalez

American history is enriched because of the lives and stories of individuals from all walks of life. The ability for the Homestead Act of 1862 to grant anyone in the country, even immigrants, to obtain land ownership contains a threshold of history. Here, at Homestead National Monument of America, we research and share these stories with visitors as well as the future generations to come. 

The historic accomplishments of women on homesteads can be inspiring for everyone. It has the potential to generate feelings of strength, courage, and respect from learning about their individual efforts. I am thankful to be able to share this history with park visitors every single day. 

HOME’s orchards at the Heritage Center Visitor Center

I am a musical prodigy 

Every Wednesday morning at the park, I, and visitors, am fortunate enough to hear lovely music while going about my day. A moderate size group of dulcimers players perform for approximately two hours. This group started playing roughly fifteen years ago by Helen Burger. She has been playing for nearly twenty-five years simply because she wanted to find a new hobby. This group does not have a Facebook page, or any form of media presences. Every week they meet at the park, play beautiful music, have a fun time, laugh a little, and discuss the plans for the following week. I asked the group a few curious questions about how they learned to play the dulcimers and some of their songs. Daryl Doolittle said, “You can learn to play in two minutes, and we can play any song you want as long as you put it on a $20 bill.” I was shocked by this statement. Jane Stokebrand was generous enough to allow me to play her instrument and teach me a song too. I should have believed him because he was right. Before I knew it, I was playing a beginner song with the entire group. It may have not sounded as pitch perfect as everyone else, but I still know that I am a musical prodigy. 

Click this link to download a video of the Dulcimer Group playing!

Sabrina playing the dulcimer


History of the Freeman School 

Homestead National Monument of America is fortunate to share the history and significance of one-room classrooms on the western frontier at the Freeman School. It educated local children from 1871 to 1967. This site was donated to the National Park Service in 1970. The school is believed to be named after Thomas Freeman, no connection to Daniel Freeman, by his generous brick donation that established the school’s structure. There were multiple Freeman families within the local community and there is no record that provides a definitive answer to whom the school was named after. One-room classrooms provided local children with education and often became a second home for them. Before communities developed a school, the family home was the initial place for learning. The majority of formal schools on the frontier had only one teacher. The local childrens’ ages varied so the teacher would have to conduct multiple lesson plans to cater to the different educational needs. 

In 1899, Daniel Freeman intervened in the school teacher’s, Miss Edith Beecher, instructions. She was a woman of strong religious belief that conducted religious activities at the school. The school board approved and defended Beecher’s lessons but Daniel objected to them. He sued the Gage County District Court for allowing biblical education at the public school. He lost his suit at this district court and appealed to the Nebraska Supreme Court, Daniel Freeman v. John Scheve, Et. al.. In 1902, the state’s court ruled that the school violated Article 8, Section 11 of the Nebraska Constitution. It was not until the 1960s Supreme Court cases of Engel v. Viate (1962) and Abington School District (1963) that supported the separation of church and state in public schools. 

Inside the Freeman School at HOME

Archival Guide Research and Excursions to The Freedom Trail and Salem

Archival Guide Research and Excursions to The Freedom Trail and Salem

By: Ariadne Argyros

In my last blog post, I wrote about some of the online resources that I used to virtually tour some of the historical sites and monuments in the city of Boston. This week, I was able to actually go and do an in-person self-guided Freedom Trail tour! Just like I did with the Black Heritage Trail, I used the NPS Boston free app to navigate the trail and provide important background information on each site that I visited. I have briefly summarized some of these sites below!

Massachusetts State House

Immediately recognizable by its golden dome, the Massachusetts State House was constructed on land once owned by John Hancock, the first elected governor of the state. It is the state capitol and home to the State Senate, House of Representatives, and the Governor’s office. The dome was originally made of wood, but it constantly leaked, causing it to be covered with copper by Paul Revere’s Revere Copper Company in 1802. Fun fact: Revere was the first American to form copper into sheets and effectively sell it for profit. It was gilded in gold leaf in 1874 and again after World War II in 1997. It sits at the top of Beacon Hill and faces the Boston Common and the historic 54th Regiment Memorial.

The Park Street Church

The Park Street Church dates to 1804 with its cornerstone laid five years later in 1809. The structure stands at 217 feet, which in the early 18th century meant that it was the tallest building in the United States from about 1810 to 1828. It was the first landmark that travelers saw when approaching Boston during this time as well. The Freedom Trail website has posted a nice virtual tour of the steeple that showcases the wonderful views of downtown Boston.

First Public School

Boston Latin School, the country’s first public school (and my alma mater!), was founded on April 23rd, 1635 and the schoolhouse was constructed 10 years later. Although the original wooden building was torn down in 1745 in order to enlarge King’s Chapel, BLS is still operating today. The original site is marked by a mosaic and a nearby bronze statue of Benjamin Franklin, a former student (and dropout!) at the school.

Boston Massacre Site

Located under the Old State House balcony, this cobblestone circle marks the site of the Boston Massacre. On March 5th, 1770, a group of American colonists began to taunt British soldiers by throwing snowballs and rocks. It escalated into a street brawl and quickly spiraled into a chaotic and bloody slaughter. The British fired upon the crowd and killed 5 colonists including Crispus Attucks. Something that I found out was that John Adams, a then Boston lawyer and future American president, successfully defended these soldiers in court against murder charges.

Old North Church

The Old North Church was built in 1723 and is Boston’s oldest surviving church building. Its fame began on the night of April 18, 1775 when two lanterns were hung from the steeple as a signal from Paul Revere that the British were approaching Lexington and Concord by sea across the Charles River.

Bunker Hill Monument

This monument commemorates the Battle of Bunker Hill in which New England soldiers took on the British army for the first time  in a prearranged battle  on June 17, 1775. The cornerstone of the 221 ft granite obelisk was placed 50 years after the battle by the Marquis De Lafayette. Click here to take a virtual climb of the monument with one of the NPS Rangers to the viewing platform where you can see some really fantastic views of Boston!

USS Constitution

Built in the North End and launched in 1797, the USS Constitution is the world’s oldest commissioned naval vessel still afloat. The USS Constitution Museum has been conducting daily 10 am EST livestreams on Facebook of different sailors giving virtual tours of the ship. I recommend checking one of these tours out one morning if you can!

Salem, MA

I also took a day trip to see the historic town of Salem. In addition to visiting the Witch House to see the home of Jonathan Corwin, the presiding judge over the Salem Witch trials of 1692, I also visited the Salem Maritime National Historic Site and the Old North Bridge, site of Colonel Leslie’s Retreat.

Established on March 17th, 1938, the Salem Maritime National Historic Site is the country’s first National Historic Site. It is located along the Salem waterfront and consists of 12 historic structures on its 9 acres of land. Unfortunately, much of the site was still closed and/or restricted due to the ongoing pandemic, but I was still able to learn a bit about its history and purpose. I found that this site focuses on the Triangle Trade during the colonial period and the actions of private individuals who were commissioned by government to engage in maritime warfare during the Revolutionary War. Basically, they were pirates with papers!







“Leslie’s Retreat” is the name given to the failed attempt by British troops to cross the bridge over Salem’s North River to seize a stockpile of local weaponry on February 26th, 1775, approximately two months before the Battles of Lexington and Concord. When General Gage heard reports that a cannon and ammunition was being secretly stored in modern-day Salem, he sent Colonel Alexander Leslie and 300 British soldiers from Boston to Marblehead by ship. In response, forewarned local citizens and militiamen took up arms and gathered at the North Bridge and raised the draw. The photos above show the modern-day North Bridge and what is left of the North River; obviously, neither do justice to the original landmarks. It has been long thought that if a compromise had not been reached by Colonel Pickering and Colon Mason of the local militia and Colonel Leslie on that day, this would have been the first battle of the Revolutionary War. The draw was lowered and the British troops marched on and headed back to Marblehead.

Boston National Historical Park Archival Repository Guide









Between my trips to visit sites with ties to the American Revolution, I have also been working on creating an archival guide to the Boston National Historical Park’s collections. For those of you who don’t know exactly what this means, I am essentially creating a guide that brings the BNHP’s collection materials together in one place for the convenience of museum staff and researchers. I will be working largely with finding aids, which are tools that help the user find information about a specific collection or series of archival materials. I have been doing a lot of research and exploring dozens of university libraries and archives, other national (historical) parks, state and federal archives, and historical societies to find examples from which to draw. Unfortunately for me, that has been a more difficult task than anticipated because more often than not, the aforementioned archives don’t have their own archival guides. On the plus side, though, it seems like I will have more creative license over the final product! So far, I have found Yosemite’s Guide to its National Park Archives (pictured above) to be very helpful; it is quite thorough, includes many photographs from its collections, and is pretty easy to follow. Stay tuned for more in the next blog post!

Dressing the Part

Dressing the Part

By: Marta Olmos

I have always wanted to make one of those “getting dressed in the past” videos that are popular on YouTube, and at Minute Man I finally got to make this dream a reality! I was able to write, direct, and perform our new educational video, “Getting Dressed in 1775.” Before COVID changed park operations, I was planning on being in costume every day, so I was thoroughly excited at the chance to dress up again.

Walking around the garden during the filming of the video!

Wearing an 18th century gown

I had a lot of fun writing the script for the video. I wanted to address two themes: the different layers worn by women at the time, and the ways that clothing reflected the complexities of colonial identity. 18th century Massachusetts was both British and not-British, the result of over a century of cultural divergence. Colonial citizens were both proud of their place in the empire, and frustrated by it. These tensions can be seen in their clothing choices. One of the biggest manifestations of this complexity was fabric choice. The colonies had a long and complicated relationship with British fabric. Mercantilist policies favored British manufacturing and saw the colonies as a captive market for British goods. Legislation like the Wool Act of 1699 limited sales of textiles manufactured in the colonies and forced colonists to rely on British exports. These tensions continued throughout the colonial period, and contributed to the textile boycotts during the non-importation movement and the rise in homespun clothing.

Pulling on silk stockings during filming

This project ended up being a lot more challenging than I initially imagined. I was responsible for the entire creative design of the project, which was something I had never done before. We ended up having to do a re-shoot because of technical errors, but ultimately I think the project was a success. It will be available on the website and on social media, as well as distributed in the park’s educational packets.

Getting into the Field

Getting into the Field

By: Isaac St. John

My time is up!! I am finally able to get out and be in the field, as well as work with artifacts!! Walking my tribal lands really brings a sense of home to my heart, as I haven’t been able to do so in nearly five years. Going out abroad to learn and build skills for use back home is nice and all, but it really makes you yearn for where you’re from. Seeing, smelling, hearing, and feeling all that there is on the land brings me back to when I was younger and not really appreciating what I was in. But now, with all the growth I’ve done, and still more to come, I can see and say that I am truly gifted with some beautiful landscapes.

Maliseet tribal land

All of this to say that correlating reports of lofty terms and special jargon to seeing and being on the land that they are talking about makes processing the information all that much easier. Not only can you see the features around the recorders speak about, but you can also imagine the things, like temperature and noise, the investigators felt, as well as possibly seeing trail the people took through nature to get there. Not only putting yourself into those shoes of the investigators, but also into the shoes of the people, the ancestors that have lived there before you. Trying to figure out why they would choose that spot over another, figuring out what they were exactly seeing to make that spot special, imagining the smells and sounds and questioning if they were the same during their time. It is both a lesson in imagination and time travel to do this work, as you can only know so much about a spot, but through traditional knowledge, you know it all. What plant does what, what fish swims where; those things change from time to time, but overall, they’re still there from time immemorial. It brings a tear to my eye to make that connection to my people throughout time and space and see how they thought about an area by seeing that they lived there for years upon years upon years. 

The Meduxnekeag River

Pre-European Settlement History: The Onondaga and the Cayuga of the Haudenosaunee

Pre-European Settlement History: The Onondaga and the Cayuga of the Haudenosaunee

By: Anna Tiburzi

In my first post, I promised to start getting into the landscapes and their history, exploring how they evolved over time from the historic land of the Cayuga of the Haudenosaunee to the home of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and to finally the property of the National Park Service. 

However, it’s so difficult to cover it all with any semblance of brevity and, as I’ve recently presented on the project in a way that I feel sufficiently covers the broader scope of the history of the landscape, I’ll attach a link to that presentation here. For those who haven’t yet seen it but would like to know more about Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the early Women’s Rights Movement, and the landscapes at the Stanton and Chamberlain Houses, I encourage you to view it at the following: 

The landscape is rife with history and, as such, there are so many stories that could be told from it, whether it’s of the early women’s rights movement, the lives of the working women who made Stanton’s work possible, the industrial history of the area, or the development of the Cayuga-Seneca Canal. Today, I’d like to just focus on one aspect of the landscape’s evolution and take the time to tell the story of the pre-European settlement of the area as the land of the Cayuga Nation, of the Haudenosaunee. 

For those that have already heard my presentation, or who have been along for the ride during the time I spend researching and investigating the early history of the land, some of this may be familiar, and so I appreciate you taking the time to read through this and hope you enjoy the additional detail and events that I’ve included here today.  

The land that the Stanton and Chamberlain Houses sit on is historically Cayuga Nation land, of the Haudenosaunee. Image source:

The American Revolution brought disaster upon the Haudenosaunee. In 1779, Washington ordered his generals to destroy Native American villages, orchards, and fields in western New York and the Cayuga and Seneca people were forced to flee, attempting to escape the rape and indiscriminate slaughter of women and children by the American army and therefore seeking protection at the British post at Fort Niagara, where they suffered from extreme cold, hunger, and sickness. 

After the war, some of the Haudenosaunee stay at Buffalo Creek, where they form a new leadership council, and others return to the homeland, the traditional seat of the Haudenosaunee. 

At this time, the states of New York and Massachusetts are both attempting to obtain the lands of the Six Nations – the land which today makes up western New York. Massachusetts’ colonial charter stated no western boundary and, as such, the state sought to claim the land, while the governor of New York was trying to acquire as much of this same land as possible before the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, which would change the rules of Native American diplomacy forever.

1771 Map showing what is today the northeastern United States. Source

A compromise between the two states was found in 1786 at the Treaty of Hartford, which gave New York legal jurisdiction over the lands, but declared preemptive purchasing power to the State of Massachusetts, should the Haudenosaunee ever decide to sell. 

In the Phelps-Gorham Purchase, these preemption rights were sold by the commonwealth of Massachusetts to Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham who, in July 1788, established a treaty with the refugee nations at Buffalo Creek. In 1991, the land west of the Pre-emption Line is sold to Pulteney Associates, a British land brokerage firm.

And so began a series of appeals and treaties between the State of New York and the Haudenosaunee, who were still recovering from the ravages of the Revolutionary War, but who agree to a shared-use arrangement of the land. 

At the 1784 Treaty at Fort Schuyler – the former Fort Stanwix – New York is represented by Governor Clinton and the Onondagas of the Haundenosaunee by Chief Black Cap. Representatives of the Genesee Company of Adventurers, and others, attempted to disrupt the proceedings by telling the Native Americans that the governor intended to purchase the lands, which the Native People had leased to the company, and would drive the Native Tribes off of them. In turn, the governor assures the Onondagas that they could not rely on the Genesee Company of Adventurers for payment, as the leases were drawn up without the consent of the state, and thus the state would not be able to interfere on the behalf of the Haudenosaunee should the Company decided to stop adhering to their agreement and cease payment for rent and use of the land.

Records showing the 1784 Treaty between the State of New York and the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations) from an 1899 Land Cessions schedule of Treaties and Acts of Congress. Source: Library of Congress American Memory: Remaining Collections

Black Cap rejected the legitimacy of the lease with the Genesee Company of Adventurers. Though some Onondagas had been witness to the transaction, they’d had no agency in the treaty and therefore disapproved of the agreement. Thus, the Onondaga treat with the State of New York, agreeing to cede a majority of their lands – a vast expanse from Lake Ontario to Pennsylvania – to the state with an agreement of joint-use of the territory, with the exception of a few reservations set aside for exclusive use by the Onondaga and the Cayuga in an effort to retain control of the land with which they relied upon for their culture and their survival. 

The Onondaga’s signing of the treaty could be attributed in part to their weakness after the Revolutionary War, with their numbers diminished and nation divided between the Buffalo Creek Council Fire, Ontario, and other in central New York. 

At this time, the Haudenosaunee of the homeland and of Buffalo Creek disagree on what to do with the remainder of their territory, with the Buffalo Creek faction pushing to sell, and the homeland determined to keep their land. 

These divisions have led some historians to argue that Black Cap, the Onondaga Chief who acted as representative at the Fort Schuyler treaty, lacked the authority to cede the lands on behalf of the Onondaga or the Haudenosaunee. A new Council Fire had been rekindled at Buffalo Creek, but not at Onondaga, which was the traditional heart of the Haudenosaunee. Those at Buffalo Creek wrote to Governor Clinton objecting not the sale of the land but that they did not feel that the representatives at the treaty had the right to sell and negotiate the lands on behalf of the Nation without the consent or knowledge of the Chiefs, and thus looked upon the Fort Schuyler treaty as fraudulent. 

The Onondaga continue to hunt and fish on the ceded lands, while the New Yorkers’ population grew, evident in their logging, clearing of land, construction of salt works, and other erected development. 

The 1789 Treaty. On February 25, 1789, the Cayuga of the Haudenosaunee sell by treaty all their land to the State of New York, with the exception of 64,000 acres (100 square miles) and two smaller tracts of land. This 64,000 acres is to become what is known at the Cayuga Reservation. 

The boundaries of the Cayuga Reservation, as outlined in a treaty held in the City of Albany, February 1789. Source:

(As as note, today’s Route 414, which runs south from the village of Seneca Falls, was formerly called Reservation Road and formed the western boundary of the Cayuga Reservation. This boundary would have run northward to Seneca River and along the waters to the outlet of Cayuga Lake, situating both the Stanton and Chamberlain properties firmly on the former land of the Cayuga Reservation.)

The 1793 Treaty. In November of 1793, John Cantine and Simeon DeWitt, who was responsible for the platting of the Military Tract of Central New York of the same year, visit the Onondaga on behalf of Governor Clinton with the goal of discovering whether the Onondaga were interested in leasing – or, as word of the Onondagas in the west suggested, perhaps selling – their remaining land or if they intended to continue to live on it. The sachem at Buffalo Creek had indicated a desire to sell the entirety of the territory, however, those in the homeland had no wish to part with it. The Onondaga expressed this to Cantine and DeWitt, but said they would be happy to renew the 1788 treaty with which they were still satisfied with the terms.

Selection from the 1st sheet of DeWitt’s State Map of New York, illustrating the platting of the Military Tract of Central New York. Note the locations of the Onondaga and Cayuga Reservations. Source: Onondaga Historical Assocation

Cantine and DeWitt told them that the 1788 treaty would remain unaltered. However, they could make the reservation more productive to the Onondaga, if they leased the land to the state. Funds from renting the land would provide the Onondaga with more money than if they continued to farm it. The Onondaga were hesitant to lease, but cognizant of the possibility that those in Buffalo Creek would sell the entire reservation out from underneath the Onondaga at the homeland, they agreed to a limited lease of their lands. Though these negotiations discussed the terms of a lease for the land, the actual treaty language read that the Onondagas relinquished all claim to the land of the Onondaga Reservation to the State of New York, demonstrating how Cantine, DeWitt, and the State of New York had defrauded the Onondagas. 

The 1794 Treaty. In February of 1794, New York officials meet with the Onondaga sachems at Albany. Kakitikon, an Onondaga sachem who had signed the 1788 accord, now commonly spoke for the Onondaga following the death of Black Cap in 1791. Kakitikon presented Governor Clinton with gifts and said that the Onondaga were satisfied with the terms of the 1788 agreement, if the state would honor its obligations.

The Onondaga rejected the fraudulent accord of 1793 and thought that New York had violated the spirit of the original shared-use agreement negotiated at Fort Schuyler; they felt that the state had taken too much, settled too many people, built too many salt works, and deforested too much land. 

The 1795 Treaty.  In 1795, Governor Clinton eliminated the Onondagas’ access to the Salt Lake, securing control for New York over the resource though another fraudulent and illegal treaty and, bypassing the Onondaga leadership of the homeland with whom he had been treating, meets with the Buffalo Creek sachem at Cayuga Ferry. 

At this treaty and those that follow, the Buffalo Creek Onondaga and Cayuga cede the rights to their reservations and the remainder of their land. No federal commissioner was present at Cayuga Ferry, violating the federal Indian Trade and Intercourse Acts which required federal approval and oversight for any cession of native land and thus the 1795 agreement was never ratified by the US Senate. 

The agreement was negotiated with the Onondaga and Cayuga of Buffalo Creek, bypassing the Onondagas’ recognized leaders who they had treated with in 1788 and in 1794 (and in 1793, fraudulently, with Cantine and DeWitt as messengers), in favor of the Buffalo Creek faction, giving New York State the rights to the remainder of the Onondaga territory. 

By May 18th, 1803, the Cayuga have sold all their remaining land to the State of New York, which includes the entirety of their reservation, part of which would become the future site of the Stanton and Chamberlain Houses. 

Thus, the West Cayuga Reservation Tract is platted, including the 250-acres of Lot No. 6, which becomes part of the Town of Junius, County of Seneca. 

1836 Map of Seneca Falls. Note the platting of Lot No. 6 (to the south and east of the Seneca River), which was formerly the site of the Cayuga Reservation. Source: Seneca Falls Historical Society

And so we’ve set the stage for the landscape, this Lot No. 6, which is the setting for both the Stanton and Chamberlain Houses. 

While this history predates the period of significance for the Stanton and Chamberlain properties by over half a century, the story of the Haudenosaunee and how the property came to be owned by the State of New York – and later under private ownership – is an important one, especially since it is still fraught with debate as to whether the Cayuga of Buffalo Creek had a right to sell the land, whether the State of New York defrauded the Haudenosaunee, and whether the Cayuga of the homeland still have a right to the land, having never relinquished their claim.

Thank you all for reading, I appreciate you taking the time, see you soon!


Document Sources: 

National Park Service, US DOI (2015). Women’s Rights National Historical Park (WORI) National Register Nomination.

National Park Service, US DOI. (1998). WORI Stanton House Cultural Landscapes Inventory.

Oberg, Michael Leroy (2007). Good Neighbors: The Onondagas and the Fort Schuyler Treaty of September 1788. New York History 88 (Fall 2007), 391-418.

Royce, Charles C. (1899). Eighteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1896-97: Indian Land Cessions in the United States. Library of Congress, American Memory: Remaining Collection. 

Weber, Sandra S. (1985). Women’s Rights NHP Special History Study. National Park Service, US DOI. 

Wellman, Judith. The Road to Seneca Falls: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the First Woman’s Rights Convention. University of Illinois Press, 2004.

National Park Service, US DOI (1991). Seneca Falls Historic District Nomination Form.


Additional Web Sources:

Diving into Haleakalā’s History

Diving into Haleakalā’s History

By: Jacob Hakim

Here at Haleakalā National Park, my job is first and foremost as a 19th Amendment Intern. There are currently four main goals for my time here: 1) to design and write two displays for cases at Kahului Airport (Maui’s international airport) about women who have played important roles in the park’s history; 2) to create an annotated bibliography of resources for women’s history, at Haleakalā; 3) to publish posts to Haleakalā NP’s social media for the month of August celebrating the centennial; and 4) to create content for a new page on the park website about women’s history. 

I had a bit of a late start this summer, and arrived in Maui in early July. There has been no shortage of project activities for me since I came, but I have some other duties here that are equally exciting. Twice a week, for example, I wake up at 4 AM to meet a park ranger at park HQ. From there we drive up to the summit (HQ is at 7,000 feet, while the summit Visitor’s Center is at around 10,000 feet) and rove the two summit locations. We arrive before sunrise and talk with visitors, who are usually bundled up and huddling out of the wind (the temperature can drop to 30 degrees Farenheit on a cold day). When the sun rises, we perform one of a few of the Hawaiian oli (chants) that we learned during a week of training workshops in early July. 

With the date of the centennial of the 19th Amendment rapidly approaching, I spent the first weeks of my internship diving into every available resource to learn what I could about the women who have been part of the history of this Maui mountain. Working together with several of the awesome interpretive rangers who work in the park, I made a work plan for my time on the mountain and started outlining ideas for the displays. I went down into Makawao, one of the towns nestled on the slopes of the volcano, and visited Makawao History Museum. With the help of Katie, a ranger who volunteers at the museum, I was able to look through their resources about Ethel Baldwin, one of the women we are highlighting for this project. 

The Makawao History Museum, located in downtown Makawao, is dedicated to telling the stories of the small Maui town.

Ethel Baldwin stands in her home in Makawao (courtesy of Makawao History Museum)

As part of my internship, I have also been responsible for writing social media posts for the park about my research. Here is the text from the post I made about Ethel:

“Ethel Baldwin was born in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi in 1879. She married Harry Baldwin, son of H.P. Baldwin, who was one of the owners of Haleakalā Ranch, in 1897. After moving to Maui with her husband, Ethel would go on to become a leader in the Makawao community (and indeed for all of Maui). In 1919, she was unanimously chosen as the president of the Maui Women’s Suffrage Association, and she spoke about women’s suffrage to numerous groups across the island. She helped establish community resources like the Kula Sanitarium (now Kula Hospital) and the Board of Child Welfare and Old Age Pensions for the citizens of Maui. An avid supporter of the arts, she even founded an arts society, Hui Noeau, and was a passionate artist herself. After she passed away in 1967 the Baldwin home, Kaluanui, was donated to Hui Noeau, and still serves as a center of the arts in the region. Ethel was an exemplary leader for all the people of Maui, and she devoted her life to the communities of people living on the slopes of Haleakalā.”

While I was looking around Makawao History Museum, I also had a chance to leaf through some of the museum resources, which had some information about Rose Freitas. Rose is a resident of Makawao and a national rodeo champion, and she will also be featured in this project. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to talk with Rose on the phone, and she sounds as energetic as ever, even in her late 80s. Here is the post I wrote for Rose:

“After being raised on a Maui plantation, Rose Freitas would grow up to be a talented paniolo and cowgirl. She is a nationwide rodeo champion, having won over 140 awards and trophies, and she has paved the way for cowgirls in Maui, even going on to create the Maui All Girls Rodeo with her daughter in 1972, the first rodeo of its kind in Hawaiʻi. She has worked as a volunteer with the National Park Service since the 1950s, traveling down to the cabins of Haleakalā Wilderness Area by horse and mule, and became a deputized ranger along with her husband, Raymond. She is still an active part of Makawao rodeo culture, and was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 2006. “

An exhibit for Maui’s paniolo, the Hawaiian cowboys, at Makawao History Museum.

The picture used in posts about Rose on Haleakalā’s social media pages. The frame was created by interpretive ranger Katie Matthew.

We are also highlighting a woman named Mary Evanson, who worked alongside park rangers to maintain the park and its natural resources for decades. She was an ardently outspoken leader in Mauiʻs conservation movement. Sadly, I did not get to meet her, as she passed away in May of 2019. Here is the text I wrote for a social media post about Mary:

“Mary Evanson was an avid defender of Maui’s wildlife. Born in Oʻahu, Mary moved to Maui after she retired from her job as a preschool teacher. From then on, she devoted her time and energy to preserving and teaching others about the endemic wildlife of Haleakalā. She started as a volunteer on the Haleakalā fencing project; at the time she was the only woman helping to build the fence, which has protected Haleakalā from destructive invasive species such as goats, pigs and deer since its construction.

Mary went on to found the non-profit advocacy and volunteer group Friends of Haleakalā, which is dedicated to educational outreach about wildlife and conservation in the park, as well as volunteer activities for the maintenance of the park and its facilities. Mary also wrote in Maui newspapers, using every medium available to spread awareness about issues threatening the ancient habitat of the park. Though Mary passed away in 2019, her work to protect the park continues with the members of Friends of Haleakalā, Park Rangers, and countless others whom she influenced over the course of her life.”

Mary Evanson sits on the steps of one of the cabins in Haleakalā Crater (Courtesy of Valerie Monson, the Maui News)

Finally, I was lucky enough that Honeygirl, an interpretive ranger who has worked in the park for ten years, put me in touch with Nan Cabatbat, who recently retired after working with the park service for thirty years. I got to spend some time talking on the phone with auntie Nan, and she talked to me like I was an old friend even though we had never met. Speaking with her was a joy. Here is the post I wrote about auntie Nan:

“Nan Cabatbat recently retired from working in Haleakalā National Park for 30 years as an employee of Hawaiʻi Pacific Parks Association. Nan worked in the summit visitor’s center every day, and performed Hawaiian oli each day at sunrise. She has been the park’s leader in stewardship of Hawaiian knowledge and traditions, and trained generations of interpretive rangers, student interns, and other park staff. Until her retirement in 2019, Nan was always a welcoming presence at the summit of Haleakalā, and she was a mentor who strived to inspire curiosity in everyone she met.”

Nan Cabatbat performing a sunrise oli (traditional Hawaiian chant) at the summit of Haleakalā alongside ranger Honeygirl Duman (Courtesy of Honeygirl Duman).

This research process has been awesome, with support from interpretive rangers and other park staff during every step. Together, we have been able to accomplish so much in a short time, and I am proud to work alongside the stewards of this park in sharing the stories of these truly awesome women and their impacts on the island and its community. 

Professional Organizations for Architectural Conservators

Professional Organizations for Architectural Conservators

By: Héctor J. Berdecía-Hernández, Assoc. AIA 

Materials Conservation Assistant, National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT)

One of the most important aspects for anyone that is a member of an established discipline is engaging with the professional community. Getting involved with different groups and associations is vital for getting to know people, current trends in the field, and getting involved in professional development opportunities. As the Historic Preservation field keeps growing, there are several professional organizations in which Architectural Conservators can be parts of, such as the American Institute for Conservation and the Association for Preservation Technology. In this blog post, I am going to discuss some organizations within the professional Historic Preservation field that are relevant for seasoned or emerging Architectural Conservators.

  • American Institute for Conservation (AIC) – The American Institute for Conservation (AIC) is the leading membership association for current and aspiring conservators and allied professionals who preserve cultural heritage. The organization aims to support conservation professionals in preserving cultural heritage by establishing and upholding professional standards, promoting research and publications, providing educational opportunities, and fostering the exchange of knowledge among conservators, allied professionals, and the public. The AIC was incorporated in 1972 as an American offshoot of the American Group of the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (IIC). An Architectural Conservator can become a certified Professional Associate member or a Fellow member of the AIC. The Architecture Specialty Group is a group dedicated to discussing topics related to Architectural Conservation and host all professionals and allied professionals in the field. The Emerging Conservation Professionals Network from the AIC is dedicated to students and emerging conservators seeking professional development opportunities in the field. For more info, visit –

AIC 46th Annual Meeting in Houston, TX. Source

  • Association for Preservation Technology International (APTI) – The Association for Preservation Technology International (APT) is a multi-disciplinary, membership organization dedicated to promoting the best technology for protecting historic structures and their settings. Membership in APT provides exceptional opportunities for networking and the exchange of ideas. APT members, a wide range of professionals, including Architectural Conservators, are directly involved in the application of methods and materials to maintain, conserve, and protect historic structures and sites for future use and appreciation. The APT offers members the opportunity to participate in publications, conferences, training courses, awards, student scholarships, regional chapters, and technical committees. For more info, visit

Climate Change and Heritage Symposium at the APTI Miami 2019 International Conference

  • International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (IIC) – The IIC was founded in 1950 by a group of men and women who witnessed dramatic events during WWII. It is an independent international professional institute that brings together over 7,000 international conservation professionals. Today IIC provides its members access to a robust global network of distinguished Fellows, members, and institutions representing more than 70 countries. For more info, visit


  • International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) – ICOMOS is a global non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting the application of theory, methodology, and scientific techniques to the conservation of the architectural and archaeological heritage. ICOMOS provides its members with a network of interdisciplinary experts, including conservators. The organization contributes to improving the preservation of heritage, the standards, and the techniques for each type of cultural heritage property: buildings, historic cities, cultural landscapes, and archaeological sites. Every country has its national Chapter and there are over 20 International Technical Scientific Committees that supports the international organization For more info – visit the international organization at or the US/ICOMOS at 


Besides the common membership benefits, each organization provides access to their peer-reviewed journals and additional databases. As part of my research regarding Weathering steel and graffiti removal methods, these resources were really helpful.

Musings on Quarantine Activities

Musings on Quarantine Activities

By: Isaac St. John

Quarantine is quite the thing for mental and physical health. Knowing that you cannot go out and do the things you’d like to do shows you just how much time we spend on fluff to keep the days busy, at least for professionals. But, luckily for me, my field excels at busy work, with reports and notes to review. This allows for vicarious outdoor living through field notes, reading and trying to figure out how a site was orientated or how many test pits were dug. 

Counting down the days until I am able to get out into the field and walk the sites that I am reading about keeps me going through these first-world hard times, where I can’t interact with people, but have all the comforts of home. Luckily, that very dog that made the trip up north with me is the quarantine companion I keep, so we both don’t go insane without contact. Whenever the words make me drowsy, she is there to pep me up; whenever a site doesn’t quite make sense, she is there as a nap companion; and when an artifact catalogue doesn’t quite grab my attention, sitting outside with her, while still being social distant, focuses my mind. 

Almond Joy, waiting to go outside

But not all is doom and gloom in quarantine; with all the time I have now to read, I do so. Without having to go into an office or sit in a car for any amount of time a day, I have more time to devote to analysis. Looking at language present in the reports in regards to sites and people really tells a story about what the attitude of the time was, regarding my people, the Wabanaki, specifically the Maliseet. Looking at topics in a current lens allows us to see the change in people and aspects, either for good or for bad. Regarding people as people is, generally speaking, good, while not accepting that the people that lived on the land being studied are still around is generally bad. It is nice to see that the reports I am currently reading are of the former camp and not the latter, as the people working on them at the time had some connection to the people and places they were studying. A vested interest in the people themselves and not just what they created can go a long way in humanizing a group. Science and the humanities haven’t always been so forgiving and equal footed with the people they have studied, so the history has been rocky at best for those being studied and faith in the studies. As I sit here in my uncomfortable office chair, I am comforted by the idea that no matter what time and place, there will be some people that see the human in the subject and try to make it better for them in some way. 

A small example of the reports being read

Who is a “Real” Archaeologist?

Who is a “Real” Archaeologist?: highlighting alternatives to digging holes in the ground

By: Maeve Marino

So I’ve spent many a blog post line talking about all my outdoor activities and this week I really want to highlight that not all archaeology is digging in the dirt, and in fact, I have yet to dig a single hole all summer long. Archaeology for me this summer means digging into archives and reports and trying to make sense of 50 years of information. Now I know I have briefly mentioned going into the archives before, but never fully expanded on the fact that all this work I’ve been doing is still “real” archaeology. 

I want to highlight this because at times you may come across a person who has determined that the only “real” archaeologists are the ones covered in dirt, with a trowel in one hand and a screen in the other. This is the traditional picture of an archaeologist after all. But this discounts all the people who do lab work and are in offices synthesizing reports and making sense of decades of research. Being a “real” archaeologist does not require going out to do field work each summer, being a “real” archaeologist means thinking critically about our past, adding to our knowledge, and doing good work in any capacity related to archaeology. Personally, very little of my own research has ever involved doing fieldwork, there is way too much that has already been dug and never researched! Beyond researching already dug up data, other archaeological routes could mean being an artist and focusing on photographing and drawing artifacts, maintaining collections in museums, or being in a lab and refitting pottery shards into a vessel. There are hundreds of jobs that archaeologists have that never require digging a hole. 

So, if you are interested in archaeology but have been deterred because you are unable to, or just aren’t interested in doing field work, well you can totally still be an archaeologist! Everything I did this summer could have been done with no fieldwork and been just as well done. Archaeology can be a completely accessible profession for anyone who wants to pursue it.

Visiting Historic Sites and Monuments in the Greater Boston Area

Visiting Historic Sites and Monuments in the Greater Boston Area

By: Ariadne Argyros

I was tasked with creating a list of museums and cultural institutions that I would like to visit upon their reopening. While the Boston National Historical Park is getting ready to open some of their buildings, I am still going to be working remotely for the time being. Therefore, I took a few liberties and included some individual historic sites and monuments/memorials in the Greater Boston area. This way I was able to go see some of the free and open monuments in Lexington, Concord, and Cambridge, MA like the Battle Green, the Cambridge Common Cannons, and the Fort Washington Mounds.

One of the most iconic tours in Boston is the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile route that showcases 16 historically significant sites. I went onto their website and discovered distance learning resources filled with virtual tours, educational resources, lectures, and podcasts that are available to the public. I devoted a few days to checking out these cool online resources and then I went ahead and did my own in-person self-guided tour of the Black Heritage trail. I used the NPS Boston free app to navigate the trail and provide important background information on each site that I visited. I have briefly summarized some of these sites below!

Black Heritage Trail

Map of Boston’s Black Heritage Trail located in Beacon Hill

The Black Heritage trail is a 1.6-mile tour that explores the history of Boston’s 19th century African American community who lived on the north slope of Beacon Hill. For some context, in 1783 Massachusetts became the first US state to make slavery illegal—this was due largely because the state was grateful for black participation in the Revolutionary War. Consequentially, many freed persons and escaped slaves flocked to the Boston area, settling in Beacon Hill. There are 14 historic sites included on the tour, including the 54th Regiment memorial, the African Meeting House, and several stations on the Underground Railroad.

The African Meeting House

The African Meeting House opened in 1806 and is recognized as being the oldest surviving black church in the United States. Constructed by Boston’s local African American community, this building served as a church, school, and gathering place for political activism in the abolitionist movement.

John Coburn House

Pictured above is the house of John Coburn, a clothing retailer and activist who lived between 1811 and 1873. He served as the treasurer of the New England Freedom Association, an organization dedicated to helping people escape the shackles of slavery. He was also the co-founder and captain of the Massasoit Guards, which was a Boston-based black military company in the 1850s that was a forerunner to the famous 54th Regiment.

The Lewis and Harriet Hayden House








The next stop on the Black Heritage Trail led me to the house of Lewis and Harriet Hayden. Lewis was born into slavery in Lexington, KY in 1816. He married Harriet and together they escaped and settled in Boston. Mr. Hayden became deeply involved in the abolitionist movement—the Hayden house even became an integral stop on the Underground Railroad! It is said that the Haydens kept a supply of gunpowder hidden in their home so as to scare away any potential slave catchers that tried to enter. Lewis also recruited for the 54th Regiment and was also elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

The Phillips School

This building was constructed in 1824 and for several decades it was a segregated “whites only” schoolhouse until 1855. Black children attended school on the first floor of the African Meeting House or, after 1834, the Abiel Smith School which was located right next door to the Meeting House. When Massachusetts Legislature abolished segregated schooling in 1855, the Phillips School became one of the city’s first integrated schools.

George Middleton House

This house, built in 1787, is one of Beacon Hill’s oldest standing homes. One of the original owners was George Middleton, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War. He led the Bucks of America, one of three black militias that fought against the ‘Regulars’ (aka the British). After the war ended, Middleton became an activist and community leader, assisting in founding the Free African Society. 

The Robert Gould Shaw and 54th Regiment Memorial

This tour came to an end at the Boston Common where the famed memorial depicting Colonel Shaw and the Massachusetts 54th Regiment stands today. The memorial depicts the first black regiment from the north to serve in the Civil War. Through their heroic acts of bravery at the battle of Fort Wagner, SC, this regiment was integral in helping overcome public opposition to black people serving in the northern armies. Over 180,000 African Americans served in Union forces by the war’s end.

I also went to visit several Revolutionary-era historic sites and monuments outside of the city of Boston. Armed with a list, I traveled to Lincoln, Lexington, Somerville, and Cambridge, MA to experience some of the history of sites that bore witness to some of the most significant moments in the founding of this country.

Minuteman National Historical Park

First, I went to the Minuteman National Historical Park out in Lincoln, MA and walked the trail where Paul Revere, William Dawes, and Dr. Samuel Prescott rode on horseback to warn the colonial militia in Concord of British arrival. Unfortunately, before the three riders could reach Concord, they ran into a British patrol. Prescott hurtled over a wall and managed to escape, and Dawes allegedly created a clever ruse into scaring off some of the soldiers, but Revere was seized. The capture site is pictured above.

The Battle Green








Located in the historic town common of Lexington, MA, the Battle Green is the site in which the famous “shot heard round the world” that initiated the Battles of Lexington and Concord was fired on April 19, 1775. On this day, men from local militia led by Captain John Parker emerged from the Buckman Tavern and faced off against the British troops, marking the beginning of the American Revolutionary War.

The Old Belfry

The Old Belfry is a historic bell tower that was used to warn the militiamen of the approach of the British troops before the Battle of Lexington. It was originally erected on a hill in 1761, but it was moved to the Common in 1768 where it remained until its removal to the Parker Homestead in 1797. Eventually, it was brought back to the hill in 1891 by the Lexington Historical Society. Unfortunately, the bell tower was destroyed by excessively strong winds in 1909, and was rebuilt in 1910. When I visited the Old Belfry, I found that it was located in a quiet and peaceful place; there was even a red-tailed hawk perched on the lowest branches of a tree nearby! 

The Old Powder House

Located in Somerville, MA, the Old Powder House is the oldest stone structure in the state of Massachusetts. Built in 1703 or 1704, this building originally functioned as a family windmill until it was sold to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1747, where it was turned into a gun powder storage unit leading up to the American Revolution. On September 1st, 1774, General Thomas Gage and his British troops seized 250 barrels of gunpowder that were being stored here, which marked the first act of British aggression against the colonies and consequently triggered the “Powder Alarm,” where people from the surrounding villages, albeit rather prematurely, took up arms in preparation for a march to Boston for battle.

Cambridge Common Cannons

The three cannons that sit in the middle of the Cambridge Common were abandoned by British forces at Fort Independence after British forces evacuated Boston on March 17th, 1776. However, other sources state that these cannons were brought to Cambridge from Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point by Colonel Henry Knox. In 1875, the Massachusetts State legislature gifted these three cannons to the city of Cambridge, MA to place on the Cambridge Common in perpetuum. Nearby, a tree and a commemorative plaque mark the spot where General George Washington is said to have gathered troops as he first assumed command of the Continental Army. 

Fort Washington Park

Also located in Cambridge, MA, Fort Washington is the oldest surviving fortification from the Revolutionary War and the only surviving fortification from the Siege of Boston. It was built as a formal training ground by Continental Army soldiers under the orders of George Washington in November of 1775. The cannons were not originally on this site during the Revolution; they were cast either during or after the war at Fort Warren and placed there in 1858. The cut metal figures represent soldiers from the Continental Army and a seated Victorian woman. According to the artist, the goal of this art project “was to recreate the Fort’s encampment setting and to recall the park’s creation and heyday,” and to celebrate the park’s long and layered history. 

Psuedo-Pen to Verified Paper

Psuedo-Pen to Verified Paper

By: Timothy Maze

When all is said and done, the purpose of this project is to create the information that will be given to parks interpretative staff so they can communicate this history to park visitors. This means that an extensive part of this project will be the actual writing of this report, and the time for writing has come. Exciting site visitations have now taken the back seat to brainstorming, drafting, and throwing words at a virtual piece of paper. 

The historiography exists as the meat of this project, as it explains not the history of indigenous copper, but the history of how that history has been handled and distributed. Due to the quasi-political nature of this history, I need to remind myself that I need to stay neutral to the truth, and let the truth, as it exists as a cultural dynamic, to be the main point of this project. But that leads me to my next struggle; the audience. I need to not only identify, but keep heavily in mind, that my audience is not only made up of other archaeologists. This information needs to be able to be understood by parks interpretative staff, visitors, historians, and everyone in between. To help me achieve this, I have called and read some paragraphs to close friends and family who aren’t in the same field as I am, and asking them what they comprehend, and what they do not. This also allows me to include my community in the writing of this project, as their voice should be heard. After all, not only is this a part of indigenous history, but also the history of the modern United States. 

It has been interesting to research about the ways that hyperdiffusion has permeated itself in modern culture. Everyone wants to know a secret, and instead of finding the truth, it seems they create the secret themselves. This has been an interesting project so far, and I imagine it to continue being all the more interesting. 

The photo above depicts two structures from two different cultures that exist on opposite parts of the world. Due to the circular structure/face and the animals being symmetrical, the author of this post claims that the design comes from one singular culture, and has been diffused between others around the world. This same idea is being applied to the copper mining, as well as various other cultural traits and traditions from around the world. My task is arduous. But I am up for it. 

Coming Full Circle

Coming Full Circle

By: Sonya Carrizales

Today I want to write about a woman named Mildred Ericson and her mission to create interpretive programming for children, which has left a lasting impact in Yellowstone National Park. Mildred Ericson broke the decade-long trend of women naturalists being excluded from National Park Service jobs in Yellowstone when she was hired as a ranger naturalist in 1946. Given the political climate around women being hired in the National Park Service at the time, Ericson had to prove why she deserved an official ranger naturalist role. I believe she did just that by creating the Junior Explorers Nature Program. 

Photo of the “Junior Explorers” Nature Program cohort with leader Midlred Ericson in 1947. Photo Courtesy of National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park, Rare Book Collection.

During her second season as a ranger naturalist, Mildred Ericson established the Junior Explorers Nature Program in 1947 as Yellowstone’s first junior ranger program. The Junior Explorers Nature Program invited children ages six to fourteen to attend programs on weekdays from 2:00 to 4:30 pm in Mammoth Hot Springs. Some of the official activities of the Junior Explorers Nature Program included: 

  1. Hikes to Clematis Gulch, Hot Spring Terrace, and Beaver Dams explore different ecosystems in Yellowstone. 
  2. Crafting “plasters of Paris tracks of animal footprints”, “Spatter prints of leaves”, or “Crayon prints”.
  3. Nature games where children tried to name at least one animal, plant, or geothermal feature in Yellowstone starting with every letter of the alphabet.
  4. Miscellaneous activities such as, drawing maps of the area, “write-up observations”, and treasure hunts led by different campers each week. 

Photo of a page from Mildred Ericson’s field notes capturing the day-to-day events and activities of the Junior Explorers Nature Program. One notable feature of Ericson’s entries are the signatures she would keep from each camper who participated in programming that day. Courtesy of National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park, Rare Book Collection.

According to a report about the Junior Explorers Nature Program written by Ericson herself, the purpose of the program was to give children the opportunity to study nature and appreciate the natural resources Yellowstone has to offer. Despite only receiving publicity through the postcards Ericson wrote to local families or posters Ericson pinned around Mammoth Hot Springs herself, the Junior Explorer Nature Program had a total of 246 children participate in programming over the summer of 1947. Participants were both Mammoth employee children and visitors’ children from all over the United States and Canada. The positive comments from visiting children’s parents and local parents alike indicate the massive success the Junior Explorers program achieved by the end of the 1947 season. 

It is unclear whether Mildred Ericson continued leading the Junior Explorers Nature Program over the next three consecutive seasons she worked in the park, but her vision for educational programming catered to Mammoth community children is still recognized today through the work of the Little People’s Learning Center. According to their website, “​Little People’s Learning Center (LPLC), a non-profit early learning center providing educational experiences to children ages 6 weeks – 10 years in the Yellowstone National Park community of Mammoth, is dedicated to cultivating a life-long love of learning in each one of our students.” The Little People’s Learning Center bolsters their mission by focusing their curriculum around four main principles: Education of the Whole Child, Place-Based Education, Emergent Learning, and Project-Based Learning. Last Tuesday, I got the incredible opportunity to volunteer with the Park Ranger Classroom at the Little People’s Learning Center. I wanted to teach the children about Mildred Ericson and other influential women in Yellowstone’s history, so I practiced a few songs from a songbook compiled by Beulah Brown and planned out an activity from Ericson’s Junior Explorers program I could replicate.

Photo of my field notes captured in the same way Ericson wrote her field notes. Included are signatures from some children who were at the Little People Learning Center when I volunteered.

For anyone who has read my previous blog posts, the name Beulah Brown may sound familiar since I briefly mentioned her in my blog post “Finding My Footing”. A woman of many talents, Beulah Brown compiled and published a songbook titled, “Songs of the Yellowstone Park Camps” in 1925 while working as a manager at Mammoth Camp. Dating back to 1922 when she directed the Program of Pageantry for Yellowstone National Park’s fiftieth anniversary, Brown became heavily involved in facilitating nighttime entertainment and campfire performances that defined Yellowstone Park Camps. In order to commemorate Brown’s contributions to Yellowstone’s history, I decided to select a handful of songs from Brown’s songbook and perform a few songs I practiced on the ukulele for the Park Ranger classroom. 

Photo of “Songs of the Yellowstone Park Camps”, a songbook compiled and published by Beulah Brown in 1925. Courtesy of National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park, Pamphlet/Vertical File Collection.

One of the songs I performed from the songbook is called, “A Gymnastic Relief” and it involves some dance moves the children were able to replicate by following the lead of their classroom teacher. While I had a nature game from Mildred Ericson’s field notes planned out, I decided to simply ask each camper about their favorite animal in Yellowstone National Park during snack time and let the children lead the way during playtime. Volunteering at the Little People’s Learning Center was a great change of pace from my typical research tasks, which are done quietly at the Heritage and Research Center or remotely from my house. Moreover, volunteering provided me a great opportunity for me to connect with the Mammoth community and teach today’s youth about the women like Beulah Brown and Mildred Ericson who contributed to Yellowstone’s legacy.

Photo of me volunteering at the Little People’s Learning Center in Mammoth.