The Rebirth of Stringfellow Orchards

Posted on: May 27th, 2016 by Special Contributor 1 Comment

 

By Samuel Collins III

As I was driving on Highway 6 in Hitchcock, Texas, in May 2004, I noticed a Texas Historical Commission subject marker marking Stringfellow Orchards. I stopped to read it and was immediately drawn to the story. Henry Martyn Stringfellow was a world-renowned horticulturalist who started his business in Galveston after the Civil War and eventually moved it 12 miles inland to Hitchcock in the 1880s.

I drove down the overgrown driveway to take a closer look at the property. Sitting in the center of the almost 9.5-acre estate was a 1.5-story, wood-framed folk Victorian residence with Queen Anne form. The house was in terrible shape and had been hidden from the public by the overgrown vegetation. The house, barn, and other structures seemed to have been swallowed by dense foliage.

The interior of the Stringfellow home was used to display the Juneteenth Art Exhibit by artist Ted Ellis.| Credit: Ted Ellis

The interior of the Stringfellow home was used to display the Juneteenth Art Exhibit by artist Ted Ellis.| Credit: Ted Ellis

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By Carrie Villar and Anne Nelson

The powerful benefits of activating historic places with the arts have been outlined many times before. But once you’ve identified a potential artistic collaboration, what’s next? How do you convert the creative idea into a project that serves both the site and the artist? How do you get over your fears about potential risks to the buildings, landscapes, and collections that you are entrusted with protecting?

The answer may lie in evaluating risks and managing them by executing loan and artist agreements. While time-consuming and perhaps not as exciting as the creative phase, these legal agreements—and the analyses that go into their drafting—are a critical part of such projects, often only appreciated when something goes wrong.

During the recent installation of artist Yayoi Kusama’s Pumpkin, Glass House staff and a team of professional art handlers took care to protect the grounds, as well as the artwork, during the process. | Credit: Kate Lichota, National Trust for Historic Preservation

During the recent installation of artist Yayoi Kusama’s Pumpkin, Glass House staff and a team of professional art handlers took care to protect the grounds, as well as the artwork, during the process. | Credit: Kate Lichota, National Trust for Historic Preservation

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Bringing Research Home with Citizen History

Posted on: May 19th, 2016 by Special Contributor No Comments

 

By Elissa Frankle

History is messy. History is incomplete. History benefits from many eyes and perspectives. We know all of this, but as sites of public history, we can be slow to admit that our visitors have a lot to add, that we have so much more to learn, and that citizens all across the country can help us tell the story.

Enter citizen history! This burgeoning methodology allows a historic site to say “We think the answers we don’t yet have might be out there somewhere, and we’d like you to help us find them.” At the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, we’re a few months into a two-year citizen history project called History Unfolded. The project invites people from around the United States (anyone!) to search the archives of their local newspapers to find and share articles about 20 different events in Holocaust history.

History Unfolded event participants research archival newspapers using the mobile version of the site.| Credit: U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

History Unfolded event participants research archival newspapers using the mobile version of the site.| Credit: U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

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