Apparently I have ethics on the brain. Yesterday I wrote about LiveParanormal.com’s Town Hall meeting on ethics that’s happening tomorrow. Today I’m going to talk about another side of the ethical coin: preservation.
It’s been a couple of weeks now, but two people I greatly admire in the paranormal realm, Steve Vaughn of Ghost Eyes and Washington’s Haunted Spots author Linda Moffitt, both recently posted links on their Facebook pages to stories that amount to this: respecting haunts people jaunt to. (Actually, they both did it on the same day even, April 30.)
The theme in both links was that history doesn’t preserve itself. It requires respect, work, money, and in some cases the judicial system, but above all awareness.
It may be a crazy way to absorb history, but Haunt Jaunting to historical sites is one way I do it. (I love history anyway. Finding out a place I’m visiting has a history of ghosts too just makes it all the more appealing.)
These kinds of stories interest me because historic sites are like species: every day they’re endangered of becoming extinct too. (Some more so than others, but still…any historic site lost is a tragedy.) It’s up to us to show them they respect they deserve.
THE BATTLE OVER BUILDING A WAL-MART NEAR A CIVIL WAR BATTLEFIELD
Steve posted a link to a L.A. Times article about a judge who ruled that residents and preservationists could go forward with a lawsuit to stop Wal-Mart from building a Supercenter near the Wilderness Battlefield in Locust Grove, Virginia.
According to a related article by Associated Press Writer Steve Szkotak, the Wilderness Battlefield was “where Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant first met on the field of battle.” 180,000 soldiers fought on the site during the war. 26,000 were killed or injured there.
More than 250 historians, Civil War preservationists and celebrities such as actor Robert Duvall and filmmaker Ken Burns have taken a stand against the store and its possible impact on the battlefield. The Supercenter planned by Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. would be outside the limits of the protected national park but within an area where troops prepared for battle, marched, and died of their injuries.
Come on, Wal-Mart. Use that little happy face mascot of yours to roll on back away from building near this site. There’s plenty of other land left for you to pop another Supercenter up on. Why disrespect American history like this?
PARTNERS IN PRESERVATION ROAD TRIP AND GRANT AWARD
Linda had a neat link on her site to a post on PreservationNation: Road Trip with Vintage Roadside #7: Partners in Preservation Seattle-Puget Sound.
From what I gathered in the post, Partners in Preservation had grant money up for grabs for one lucky historic location. I believe there were 25 in the running, but the four locations featured in the post were:
- Ferry House at Ebey’s Landing
- Port Townsend U.S. Customs House and Post Office
- Schooner Adventuress
- Point No Point Lighthouse
It was neat to see pictures of the sites, read about their history, and learn what they intended to do with the grant money if they won. (Schooner Adventuress won, by the way.)
I thought it was a really positive, fun way to focus on history, the importance of maintaining it, and how much it costs to do it.
SIDE NOTE: You can help the National Trust for Historic Preservation win $200,000. It’s one of nine non-profits trying to win it in American Express’s TakePart initiative. Click here for more info on how you can help by voting for them and spreading the word.
BUT ARE THEY HAUNTED?
Linda would be better able to tell you which of the four historical sites in the PreservationNation was haunted and what kind of activity they had. (From what I read of Ebey’s Landings history, I’m thinking some ghosts might lurk there.)
There have definitely been reports of apparitions and such as the Wilderness Battlefield.
Have you been to any of the places noted above?