National Treasures

 

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Author Jamie Ford at the Panama Hotel (left), actress Stephanie Kim as Keiko and actor Jose Abaoag as Henry in Book-It Theatre's stage adaptation of Ford's novel "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" (right).

“A silent character.” That’s how Jamie Ford, author of “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet,” describes the Panama Hotel, the titular National Treasure that grounds his bestselling novel. But the Panama is far from silent; it continues to bustle with tours and visitors, giving them a glimpse into Ford’s fictional world while also portraying the true and moving history of Japanese-American internment in the United States.

As both author and preservationist, Ford is in a unique position to comment on the significance of place in his well-known work. So we chatted with him to find out more – like why he chose to incorporate the hotel in his book in the first place, how it felt to introduce the hotel to an international audience, and why we should all aim to become part of a greater “story chain.”... 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.

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi is the director of digital content at the National Trust. By day she wrangles content; by night (and weekends), she shops local, travels to story-rich places, and walks around looking up at buildings.

 

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There are alternatives to Dominion's current plan to construct high-voltage transmission lines across the James River.

Despite the fact that it would destroy the public’s enjoyment of a beautiful stretch of river, ruin the historic context of irreplaceable historic assets like Jamestown and Colonial Parkway, and mar a landscape that’s been largely unchanged for thousands of years, Dominion Virginia Power still wants to construct high-voltage transmission lines across the James River.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are alternatives.... 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.

David Weible

David Weible

David Weible is a content specialist for the National Trust, previously with Preservation magazine. He came to D.C. from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.

 

African-Americans often fished the banks of the James for shad, a local fish that they consumed or sold for profit.
African-Americans often fished the banks of the James for shad, a local fish that they consumed or sold for profit.

Since the first Africans arrived at Jamestown in the 17th century, the African-American connection to the James River has been both cultural and economic. From the earliest days of the slave trade, through the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and well into the 20th century, the river has been used for transport, food, financial opportunity, and more.

In this installment of the "On the River" video series, public historian Russell B. Hopson talks about the African-American experience along the winding James, deepening our sense of the heritage that will suffer if Dominion Virginia Power goes through with its proposed power line plan.... 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.

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi is the director of digital content at the National Trust. By day she wrangles content; by night (and weekends), she shops local, travels to story-rich places, and walks around looking up at buildings.

 

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Colonial Parkway offers a variety of stunning vistas of the James, from marshy inland waterways to vast expanses of open river.

For local residents and international visitors alike, the Colonial Parkway is an important part of experiencing the beauty and the history of the James River.

The 23-mile scenic roadway, administered by the National Park Service, connects Yorktown, Williamsburg, and Jamestown, three of Virginia’s most important historic sites. The roadway was designed to fit into the landscape, unobtrusively snaking its way from site to site through forest, marshland, and along the scenic James River.

But of all the historic and cultural sites along the river, Colonial Parkway may be affected the most by Dominion’s plan to construct high-voltage transmission lines. Its grandest view of the river -- one that has gone largely unchanged since even before Captain John Smith first sailed its waters in 1607 -- would be ruined by the construction of Dominion’s transmission lines, effectively destroying the cultural heritage that generations have fought to create and protect.... 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.

David Weible

David Weible

David Weible is a content specialist for the National Trust, previously with Preservation magazine. He came to D.C. from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.

 

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Since the rediscovery of Jamestown 21 years ago, archeologist have found 2 million artifacts from excavation sites.

Of all the historic and environmentally significant sites along the James River, Jamestown is the true centerpiece.

It’s where Captain John Smith and his crew of roughly 100 men and boys landed in 1607 and established the first permanent English colony on American soil. It’s also where the first democratic form of government in the Americas was founded, and where Native Americans, Africans, and Europeans first interacted with one another for an extended period.... 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.

David Weible

David Weible

David Weible is a content specialist for the National Trust, previously with Preservation magazine. He came to D.C. from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.

On The River, Episode 2: The James River’s Environmental Wonders

Posted on: May 19th, 2015 by Julia Rocchi

 

Sunset over the James River in Virginia.
Sunset over the James River in Virginia.

The James River, in addition to being rich in history, is also a tremendous environmental resource. From the endangered sturgeon population to oyster reefs and untouched marshlands, our second "On the River" episode shows you just what would be put in jeopardy if Dominion Virginia Power goes through with its power line proposal.... 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.

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi is the director of digital content at the National Trust. By day she wrangles content; by night (and weekends), she shops local, travels to story-rich places, and walks around looking up at buildings.