“Life in the Slow Lane, Still a Draw for Heritage Fans”

The article Life in the Slow Lane, Still a Draw for Heritage Fans appeared in the New York Times recently (and features a great image of the Frontier Culture Museum). ALHFAM President Tom Kelleher is quoted and our website it linked. It’s an interesting and short read. What do you think about the points raised?

–Deb Arenz

5 thoughts on ““Life in the Slow Lane, Still a Draw for Heritage Fans””

  1. The article points to the challenge of remaining relevant in a culture that may not value history for history’s sake. At Coggeshall Farm Museum, we find multiple meanings in our work. We depict the every day working people who fed this country as it grew, and by doing so, we celebrate the contribution of working people from every era who have been the foundation of our society. Our narrative is that of a tenant farm family working on a salt marsh farm which once would have been Native land in a town famous for its rum production and significant role in the triangle trade. When we challenge ourselves to tackle the complexity of our narrative, we invite people to investigate with us issues of sustainable agriculture, politics, race, gender roles, social justice, economics, citizenship and more. These issues resonate with the public and with educators who are looking for a way to ignite interest in history.

    1. I applaud your efforts. The issues we face today are often the same issues that were faced in the past. Enabling visitors to understand the influence of past events/circumstances on today’s reality is a worthy goal. Leave them thinking!

  2. The study of history is not a mere pleasure or luxury to be indulged in if you’ve got some spare time. It is essential for a sane society. A person with total amnesia can’t function, and a society without a memory of its past can’t function either, at least not in healthy ways.

    1. I agree. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks that way. Part of our jobs should be to convince them of the logic you espouse.

  3. Great comments! I just want to say that I was taken a bit out of context in the article. I do not recall saying that we don’t predict there will be any more historic farm museums. I DO recall talking with her about the challenges faced by our field, and I recall replying to a question about if any new living history museums were being developed that I was not aware of any new ones being planned but that we can’t predict the future. Oh well, at least it was a nice article about what we all do!

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