I have written and contributed to a number of National Register nominations during my time at the Center for Historic Preservation. A few of them are listed below.
THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT IN SELMA, ALABAMA (1865-1972)
Multiple Property Submission
The Selma Civil Rights Movement MPS was listed on the National Register on June 26, 2013. The nomination can be found here.
Selma’s role in the voting rights campaign of 1965 is fairly well-known, especially in light of Ava DuVernay’s Selma. This document expands on that story, grounding the Selma campaign in the local landscape and the experiences of the local community members who made the Voting Rights Act of 1965 possible. I worked closely with my colleagues at the Center for Historic Preservation to research and write the MPS, which will be the basis for nominating sites across the city in the coming years.
AMERICAN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, Nashville, Tennessee
The ABTS district nomination was added to the National Register of Historic Places in June 2013. The nomination is available from the NPS website here.
ABTS (now American Baptist College) played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Nashville Student Movement that successfully desegregated downtown Nashville. John Lewis, Bernard LaFayette, and James Bevel met at ABTS and took classes with C.T. Vivian. There they had their first encounters with nonviolence through the teachings of Rev. Kelly Miller Smith and James Lawson. My contribution this nomination included historical research and the detailed architectural description of Griggs Hall.
OAK HILL FARM, Tipton County, Tennessee
Oak Hill Farm in Stanton, Tennessee was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 27, 2013. The nomination can be found here.
Oak Hill is a Tennessee Century Farm, owned and operated continuously by the same family since it began in 1837. The farm features a lovely 1834 Federal-style farm house that has only had one major renovation in the 1950s since its original construction. Family portraits of the first residents, the Taylors, still grace the parlor. Oak Hill’s landscape reflects the mid-century model farming movement, when it transitioned from row crops to dairy. The current residents, Ted and Ellie Maclin, raise heritage hogs, keep chickens, and maintain a vegetable garden. They also maintain a blog with information about their farm and produce.
Working on the Oak Hill nomination was a labor of love. I did a lot of down-and-dirty history work in the family archives, which include boxes of photos, newspaper clippings, file cabinets full of records and correspondence, and, most memorably, a box full of hair. I also spent a lot of time with the family and helped out around the farm, which has meant both coming to terms with my fear of pigs and partaking of some of the best pork I’ve ever eaten (though it’s probably what I should have expected, since my host wrote a book on barbecue culture). It was a great experience.