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Folk Heritage Trust

Special Topics

Quick Introductions to Specific Subjects

Here is a selection of quickly discussed topics that likely will
be expounded upon further in subsequent information.

Let us rant a little bit about Olde Townes, Lost Grace, and Fiddling Around

 

Some themes will keep repeating themselves inside of other topics, whether in the text or the images used. Many of the images used on this web site were taken by our resident photographer, who already had a penchant for traditional heritage subjects. While the equipment used was not the best, some of the pictures are still useful. Of course, a major effort of the Folk Heritage Trust is to develop a new field survey system that will be able to take unprecedented quality of images. These images (and associated data) will be made available for radical new curriculum materials or multi-media projects (for enrichment purposes, vice graded instruction). Still, lets take a break from the mechanics of the projects, and just look some topics by themselves.

 

SELECTED SPECIAL TOPICS

OLDE TOWNES

Some of the "Olde Timey" aspects of life have a certain enduring charm to them. Acoustic instruments like banjo and fiddle played on the porch, a stroll through the narrow cobblestone streets of an old waterfront village, picking through old book store stacks, or just watching the boats sail by. These are some of the simple diversions you can find in those historic towns that dot the East Coast, where the old Colonial towns first prospered, both large and small: New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, Newport, Alexandria, Georgetown, Annapolis, Charleston, and Savannah, to name a few.

SPECIAL TOPIC
Gate Many of the images of historic buildings found here are from the old town sections of the Colonial villages of Pennsylvania and Virginia. Fine Georgian Era brick and stone architecture is well represented. Quaint cottages can still be found, too.
Olde Townes

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LOST GRACE

As wonderful as those old harbor towns are along the Colonial coasts, and no matter how much care is given to the preservation of the historic homes and their original contents, more and more of the material expression of our traditional culture is vanishing from view. Even that which still exists tends to become more and more obscured over time. Vegetation begins to cover the old buildings, as well as all of the manmade items that block the view. Many of the historic furnishings, even if well cared for in professional collections, are not available for viewing by the public. On average only 15% of collections are displayed at smaller and medium sized museums and historical societies. The bigger, and more prosperous the institution, the lower the percentage that can be put on display (less than 1% in some prominent cases).

SPECIAL TOPIC
Obstruction Can you find the historic house in this picture? The 'Olde Towne' sections of historic villages are being overtaken by modern features, overgrown vegetation, and vehicles parked in every possible spot.
Lost Grace

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FIDDLING AROUND

Instead of accepting that the access to the historic structures, furnishings, and other artifacts will disappear from sight over time. The Folk Heritage Trust is working on innovative methods to collect high-fidelity images and scans of these historic treasures. Then, they can be studied in great detail without the actual item even being present. Then, taking this out of the academic realm, the information can be used for the benefit of a wider group.

Have you considered how complex the skills were of the Colonial furniture makers. They needed to understand the mechanics of the materials, how to prepare them so that the final product was stable during many decades of use, as well as the artistic and esthetics of the piece. An apprentice would work under the watchful eye of a master, for a long period of time before he could open his own shop. Other traditional trades and crafts had their own skills to master, with specialized tools that no longer are made today.

Does this mean that these trades are antiquated, and no longer of any use? Hardly. Imagine the wonder in the eyes of a group of kids as a mentor guides through the crafting of their first piece of small furniture made with traditional hand tools. How about preparing the next generation of restorers who will care for those valuable collections?

SPECIAL TOPIC
Fiddle Passing the heritage on to the next generation—that is what its all about. Agile minds of the youth will be filled with something, so why not give them additional options for culture based activities?
Fiddling Around

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The above are just quick discussions of topics, but they mention some key points worth exploring further. Maybe the next time you return there will be more information posted here on these additional subjects...

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