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In popular culture, cemeteries have something of a bad reputation, considered by many to be sad or creepy on their best day, and downright haunted on their worst. But this is by no means a complete or accurate view; they also can be beautiful, peaceful, historic, and educational.

Overall, cemeteries need to be well-researched and preserved so they can tell us more about how people in the past viewed death and burial. This toolkit is designed to help you start researching cemeteries; you can find more information on how to save them in our publication Preservation of Historic Burial Grounds.

Please note: In this post we’ve focused on 17th - 19th century burial grounds -- essentially non-modern churchyards, cemeteries, and family plots. A future toolkit will take on prehistoric and Native American sacred and burial sites.

1. Be sensitive. If there is a golden rule to the preservation of cemeteries and burial grounds, it is to be aware that our diverse country is home to a wide variety of burial customs. Take into account cultural sensitivities when working above-ground, and employ only professional, trained archaeologists for below-ground research.

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The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

 

The Spud Drive-In. Photo courtesy jpc.raleigh, Flickr.
The Spud Drive-In

Anyone who owns -- or has tried to buy -- a camera any time in the past 10 years knows that digital photography has replaced film almost entirely. This transformation has not been limited to still pictures; digital is now king at the movies, too, which has created challenges at many older movie theaters.

The Spud Drive-In in Driggs, Idaho, is no exception. The theater, which opened in 1953 (and celebrates its 60th birthday this week) has long been a beloved part of the community, but has faced closure twice in recent years -- first from management changes, and then from the transition to digital projection.

Local fans rallied with Facebook outreach that reached thousands, and to date enough "Save the Spud" t-shirts have been sold to cover half the cost of a new digital projector. (They're still available -- get 'em while they're hot!)... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

Twitter Chat Recap: Travel, Bucket Lists, and Announcements

Posted on: June 26th, 2013 by Sarah Heffern

 

Historic marker for Hasbrouck House in New Paltz, NY. Photo courtesy Robert A, Flickr.
Historic marker for Hasbrouck House in New Paltz, NY.

Going into the summer months, there's no better topic to cover than travel, since most everyone is thinking about hitting the road at some point. For that reason, historic travel was the topic of our June #builtheritage Twitter chat.

We had a great conversation about our bucket lists, serendipitous preservation discoveries, festivals and reenactments, and our favorite ways of saving and sharing all our travel memories. (Surprise discovery: I'm not the only preservationist who loves using Foursquare to find places to go when I'm on vacation.)

A slideshow of highlights is below, and there's a more complete transcript is available as well.


Ordinarily, this is where I would announce our next topic, but in keeping with today's vacation theme, today's news is that we'll be taking the month of July off from the #builtheritage chat. With our regularly scheduled date/time being on the eve of the Fourth of July -- and, therefore, a long weekend for many of our U.S. participants -- we thought folks might be embarking on a little historic travel of their own, rather than sitting at their computers.

We'll be back in August at our usual time, 4:00 p.m. EDT on the first Wednesday of the month -- August 7. See you then!

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

 

Last week, in our ongoing series about renovating and rehabilitating historic homes, we looked at managing the construction process -- and today, we’re looking at the closely related topics of managing the budget and keeping costs down. Of course, everyone wants the best work they can afford, and by following a few easy steps, you can make your dollars go farther.

1. Know your budget. How much you have (and want) to spend on a project is a personal decision that needs to take into account your finances, home value, local real estate values, availability of loans, etc. Having this number in mind at the start of the project is key because it can help you make decisions from what contractor to select to the kinds of materials and finishes you can afford.
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The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

Frager's Hardware, Washington D.C. Icon, Devastated by Fire

Posted on: June 7th, 2013 by Sarah Heffern 3 Comments

 

Frager's Hardware, c. 2008. Photo courtesy GarberDC, Flickr.
Frager's Hardware, c. 2008

I still remember when I learned there was more to Frager’s Hardware than its three ground-level store fronts and garden center. I had arrived in search of adjustable window screens and after wandering aimlessly for less than a minute (it was impossible to go longer with a confused expression without being helped at Frager’s), a kind gentleman led me up the stairs to the left of the cash registers into a part of the store I hadn’t known existed, and quickly found me my screens. I can’t honestly say I know where he got them from, however, because I was too busy marveling at my surroundings.

Frager’s was like shopping in my grandmother’s attic.
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The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.