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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.

[10 on Tuesday] How to Save Your Older or Historic Barn

Posted on: July 2nd, 2013 by Julia Rocchi 5 Comments

 

Barns are as American as apple pie -- emblematic of our agricultural heritage and rural character. But around the United States, many older and historic barns are deteriorating and disappearing, threatened by changing farming practices, urban sprawl, and the complexities in maintaining these unique structures.

Whether you own a barn on your property, have them throughout your community, or simply enjoy seeing them appear on the landscape during road trips, consider how you can help preserve them. Here are 10 ways to save an older or historic barn in your area:... 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 associate director for 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.

[10 on Tuesday] 10 Ways to Fight for Your Local Post Office

Posted on: June 18th, 2013 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Written by Chris Morris, Project Manager, Historic Post Offices

You may have heard that the United States Postal Service (USPS) is suffering from some serious debt. They are projected to rack up a deficit of over $18 billion (yes, that’s billion with a “b”) next year alone. So, they are trying to cut costs any way they can: considering ending Saturday mail delivery, not replacing thousands of retiring postal workers, asking Congress to drop their mandate to pre-fund billions in retiree health benefits, terminating building leases, and selling their post office buildings or “relocating” their services to a new building.

And unfortunately for people in impacted communities, they’re not always forthcoming about their plans, so it’s critical for the public to get involved, know their rights, and be persistent. If the USPS decides to sell or relocate a historic post office in your town, here are ten steps you can take to protect it:... 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.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.

 

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.
... 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.

 

After you’ve researched your historic home’s history and determined whether you’re restoring or rehabilitating it, you can start planning your project. As we showed in the previous toolkit, you can take on as many or as few aspects of planning as your little home-owning heart desires. But no matter who helms the project, planning should include these integral steps.... 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 associate director for 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.