Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hillcrest and St. Francis Cemteries

Hillcrest and St. Francis Cemeteries
            With its booming population in the late 1800's Harrington found itself in a quandary that many towns have, lack of a cemetery. Just to the south of Harrington proper you will find Hillcrest cemetery and St. Francis cemetery which are owned and maintained by the city. The Hillcrest grounds were designated and purchased as a cemetery in 1898 with the death and burial of Georgia May Bethel, the 13 year old daughter of Charlie and Belle. Georgia had contracted diphtheria she was the Bethels only child, they later left their ranch and built a Spanish style home on first street. Prior to this there had been an unofficial cemetery outside of town whose inhabitants were later reinterred at Hillcrest. The St Francis cemetery was originally maintained by the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic church but with the decline of the town transferred to the city.
            Situated on a slight hill with ample trees for shade and windbreak it is a very tranquil resting place. When walking the grounds you see headstones of all shapes, sizes and material that despite age have been well maintained.  With old interspersed with new, as the plots are situated by family not date, you can follow the rise and decline of the city of Harrington. The obvious wealth that the wheat fields yield can be seen when looking at the quality and ornate markers to families and individuals.
            Scattered records shed light on two interesting inhabitants of the cemetery. First we have Naomi Trumble who at the age of 25 in 1885 was committed to the Medical Lake Insane Asylum and then again in 1886. She would remain until her death in 1928. We then have poor misguided William Trumble who in 1886 had a Frontier Justice record for horse theft. Then in 1887 a Department of Corrections commitment record for....gasp horse stealing he was at this time aged 18. He died in 1888 we can only guess from what. You will also find the inventor and maker of the Harrington harvester among the headstones. Charles Erich half of Dunning and Erich who for 13 years manufactured the harvester before a fire destroyed their factory including all foundry moulds.
            The cemetery is still an active cemetery. So if you decide to visit be sure to show proper respect.
Trumble family marker. Photo taken by author

Georgia May Bethels two headstones. Photo taken by author.

William Trumbles family marker. Photo taken by author.

Photo taken by author.

Entrance pillar of St. Francis cemetery. Photo taken by author.

Entrance pillar of Hillcrest cemetery.  Photo taken by author

Georgia May Bethel. Photo courtesy of Prof. Cebula.

Monday, March 4, 2013

March 4

Horwitz's Civil War travels continued Taking him on a "wargasm" with Rob Hodge, an intense three day trip seeing as many sights in the eastern front as they could. This reading found Horwitz changing sides and wearing union blues. The two went from Manassas to Appomattox and finally to the burial place of Jackson and Lee. On there trip they camped at battle sites and wore the military clothes, at one point trying to eat rancid pork belly, making battle field visits "Hardcore". They also participate in a Pickets's charge at  Gettysburg, History channel reenactment.
                                                            (Image courtesy of

The Ken Burns video showed me that he doesn't lack for self confidence or pride in his work. Some say it is the best work in the filed of documentaries while others disdain Burns work. I really can't say if it is good or bad because I have not seen it.

Of the websites/mobile apps i liked Spokane and  new Orleans better then Cleveland's  but new Orleans seemed rather sparse on how many more stops they could have with its deep history. I did however like the Historical YouTube channel for Cleveland I thought that was a great idea. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Feb. 18

The first reading was in Hayden's The Power of Place about the building of a memorial to Biddy Mason. The  memorial to Biddy Mason is situated in the Broadway Spring Center. When building the center the planners contacted Hayden's group The Power of Place and asked for a suggestion, as the center is built over the original homestead. Hayden describes the teamwork and effort that went into creating this lasting monument.

(Courtesy of
Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz is one mans journey through the south in search of the Civil War and how it lives on today. Horwitz's experiences with the believers of the Southern cause are very entertaining. From the first "Hardcore" reenactors to the flag wielding Kentuckians you get a glimpse into the minds of the people who still live with the ghosts of the war in their backyards.The extremes to which they will go to preserve and commemorate the ideals of the Lost cause be it starving themselves to look like authentic soldiers or holding huge town meetings to save a school mascot.  And just cause it made me laugh out loud "Tim you've been peeing on your buttons again".

The three online readings focused on the slave narrative in our history. In Historiann we see that despite the huge impact slavery had in the south not many of the musuems to historical places want to share that history. It is best to gloss over the largest population that lived on all the plantaions in favor of focusing on the beauty of the house and the family that inhabited it. Coffmans letter was a little different. That of a white man remembering his experiences with slavery and the ills that befell both the slave and the master who treated them badly. Then of course the rewriting of history though pictures as shown in the Hndler and Tuite essay. 

The website for the CSV is a one sided view of the war and its causes. In the store you can purchase what I'm sure are the most well regarded books on the War and other paraphernalia of the south. The site might come in handy if you have ancestors from the south because they do have an extensive network of genealogists in their ranks.                                                                                                                  

And to quote the fantastic youtube video "the South never won no war sir"


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Feb 11.

In the first section of Delores Hayden's The Power of Place she discusses place in both the physical and social aspects. "Place is one of the trickiest words in the English language, a suitcase so overfilled one can never shut the lid"(15)
In the the first chapter the physical aspect of place was discussed, specifically architecture and historical importance. Using a debate between Herbert J. Gans and Louise Huxtable, Hayden shows us the differing viewpoints that exist in the preservation of buildings and neighborhoods. One side based on structural beauty the other on social importance, Upper west side versus the Bronx.
(Courtesy of                            (Courtesy of

In the second we delve into the social meanings of place. Place will shape a person in their views of gender and race. Raised in a predominately white area with strong male dominance and little to no interaction with other races will create a toatlly different person then one raised in a multicultural city.

The last chapter uses specific examples of different groups and the attempt at preservation. A book Brass Valley led to the emergance of ethnic and cultural preservation among the working class such as the chinatown history project. The preservation of the important places of the woman's suffrage movement in New York and the Black heritage Trail in Boston.    

Monday, February 4, 2013

Feb. 4
The essay by James T. Sparrow discusses the evolving world of history and the internet. The difficulties many historians are having going from the physical realm of museums and collections to the digital age. In some respects I agree with the old school historians that need to see the real object to prove it's validity, but at the same time going to my computer and doing a search is much easier then the going to a library or archive. We also lose security and legitimacy, any nut job can create a website go and type in 9/11 and see what you get. The internet is far from a secure place Sparrows own project has been hacked(go to the special collections tab its the third collection "Here is New York"). Nevertheless the digital age is here good and bad we need to adapt. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Jan. 28

Let's start with the little video clip of Eastern Stated Penitentiary as an historic site is it right that they should degrade themselves by opening up a seasonal "haunted" house? I say yes for two reasons the first being that they probably make more money in that month then the rest of the year and that money is used to preserve the site as a whole. Secondly some of the visitors might get interested in the building from their haunted visit and go back on a regular day. Plus i kinda want to go now.

Cebulas Open Letter and the response. It.s either very brave or very misguided to tell a southern woman museum coordinator that her history is wrong. That wasn't going to end well. While i agreed with the points made, it's hard to sway minds when it comes local history.

In Gardner and LaPaglia the first essay by Antoinette J. Lee tells us what it is to be an historical preservationist, the training needed and the difference between preservation and academia. Preservation historians are tasked with documenting, preserving and sharing the cultural significance.  Historical preservation is the crazy uncle of the history world looked down upon by the academics but more interesting to the outside world.
Mark Howell's essay on museum interpreters went over and effective exhibit and how one goes about setting it up. The need to reach your whole audience without alienating some. In that he talks about generational differences that need to be accounted for but I think it more then generational it's regional, spiritual and political differences that can be the major pitfalls.

Wallace's A History od Historic Preservation in the United States. Starts off by telling us that our forefathers didn't really care about saving their history, just a way of life. But by the 1880's onward there was growing interest for various reasons. The first two groups started for largely the same reason one in the Nirth and one in the South. To preserve their own personal identities as the ruling elite. Theses two movements had two different outcomes however the northerners needed to show that they were still important and so the NPS was born of there work. While the southerners wanted to save homes and surroundings that they new so historic districts were created and protected somewhat. The third group were the Fords and Rockefellers of the the world who were preserving their ideal America in the quaint rebuilt villages their money paid for. What struck me most was the movement in the 60's and 70's a re-urbanization of the middle class who had left the cites in the 40's and 50's. They came in under a guise of preserving historic places of bettering neighborhoods, but were in actuality displacing the original inhabitants of these buildings whose families may have lived there for generations. I was reminded of Indian relocation, to a much less violent and depressing extant, forcing less desirable out. Also the African Americans revolt against having their land made historic, because it wasn't in their history but in the white history.