18 Apr Getting closer to sharing the Reconstruction story
As the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Park Service nears completion of an extensive resource study of Reconstruction sites throughout the country, recently retired NPS Chief Historian Bob Sutton and John A. Latschar of the Park Service edited a National Park Service Handbook that offers insight into complex history of Reconstruction.
Through conversations with Dr. Sutton and others during the past two years, I have a level of confidence that Beaufort County will stand out among other places because we have so many historic sites specific to Reconstruction. Dr. Page Miller, a public historian emeritus at the University of SC and a Fripp Island resident, has identified more than 100 sites in Beaufort County that are significant to the untold story of Reconstruction.
Last summer the National Endowment for the Humanities, in coordination with USCB, funded a teachers’ institute that put some of the most knowledgeable historians in front of teachers so that they could become better prepared to teach a more inclusive history of the United States.
Dr. Miller, other scholars, public and private agencies and individuals have been planning a reconstruction HUB (interpretative center) in Beaufort that will provide an overview of reconstruction and then direct interested individuals to these sites.
We are beginning to package our history and sense of place with the resurrection of the Beaufort History Museum, the forthcoming grand opening of the Santa Elena History Center, the very impressive Parris Island Museum, this summer’s SC Humanities Festival featuring Beaufort County, new programs at Penn Center and the ground work on the Reconstruction HUB. This is good for both those who live here and visit us.
We have a rich history in Beaufort County. Lets work together to celebrate it! And keep our hopes up that the National Park Service will give us a helping hand.
Lots more to come.