NEWS

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August 2, 2018

A Servant’s Life – Exhibit Update

It has recently come to our attention that some of our local community members have raised concerns about the content of our upcoming exhibit, ‘A Servant’s Life,’ and we wanted to reach out to ensure that those concerns are addressed prior to the opening of the exhibit. In a recent teaser article for the exhibit, some details of the duties were listed to give readers an idea of the activities and displays they will encounter during a tour. As is often the case with the monthly column, we run into a word limit, and attempt to make the content of the article and its prose as approachable as possible, so that even those with a limited understanding of the topic find it engaging. It is for this reason that we chose to exclude in-depth detail on the specific servants that worked in the household during the 1800s and 1900s. We know from records that the families living in the Miller House from 1825 to 1966 used exclusively African American staff for service purposes, and that the Price family owned slaves, as well as employing free black people during the 20 years they lived in the home. The home’s history of […]
June 13, 2018

Washington County – a go-to vacation destination

Very few things have captured the hearts of modern Americans in the same way as the iconic vacation trip. We obsess over our vacation time and agonize over every detail of the trip. Where to go? Where to stay? What to do? The prospect of a literal escape from daily life offers a mental escape for many. As a result, the American travel industry is worth over a trillion dollars, and Washington County is just one of many American locations which benefits from the popularity of cultural tourism. But it may surprise many to learn that Washington County has been the vacation destination of choice of many for over 200 years. The idea of the modern vacation begins, like so many other trends, with the European aristocracy. As many larger cities developed, they unfortunately did so without an eye towards public health, sanitation, or even basic sewage containment. By England’s Elizabethan Era, the average London city street contained a several foot-thick morass of dirt, dust, mud, human and animal waste, garbage, butcher’s offal, and chemical runoff from any neighborhood businesses (including tanneries, which utilized sheep’s urine to process animal hides). The street muck only worsened as the Industrial Revolution led […]
March 28, 2018

Washington County’s Wonderful Women!

As we head into the tail end of an unseasonably cold and windy March, I am reminded of the old adage: In like a lion, out like a lamb. This March, however, seems to be lionesque in its coming and going. Which is somehow fitting for the month in which we most celebrate women. March serves not only as Women’s History Month, but also hosts International Women’s Day. And as we near the centennial anniversary of American women’s suffrage, it is wonderful to see that women’s rights and women’s issues are again having a big moment in the public spotlight. History is full of lionesses masquerading as lambs, and in the spirit of the month, I’d like to shine a little light on some of the local lions who roared. Mary Lemist Titcomb is a name which should be familiar to local book lovers. For those unfamiliar with Titcomb, she was the elemental force behind the Washington County Free Library, credited with bringing the bookmobile to the area and setting up a lasting legacy for the library’s success. But not many people know just how hard she had to work for her accomplishments. In contemporary times, the county library often […]
March 28, 2018

Missing a few leaves from your family tree? We can help!

Did you receive a DNA genealogy testing kit for the holidays? Now that you’ve spit into your tube, sent it away, and found out that you are a whole 4% Scandinavian, what next? Sure the results can help locate the places you came from, but they do not tell you a whole lot about those people responsible for getting you here. That’s where we come in! Our kinship Family Heritage Research Center provides a wide variety of services that can help connect you to your past, whether you’re an experienced researcher or just starting out. For those within visiting distance of the center, the library’s helpful staff can connect you to documents from published family histories to local city directories. From within the library, you can connect to services like Ancestry, Fold3, and digitized newspaper collections. Trained staff can also help you navigate local land record databases. For more information on our holdings, check out the kinship Page. If you can’t make it into kinship, consider using our Research Service! For a reasonable fee, one of our experienced genealogical researchers will work closely with you to uncover your family history! This option is perfect for those without the time or […]