Sabotage, Fraud, or Mere Misfortune? The Mysterious Case of the Mammoth Cave Mushroom Company
Katie Algeo, Western Kentucky University
This paper explores the material culture and landscapes of culinary mushroom production in the U.S. during the latter half of the nineteenth century in order to shed light on a short-lived experiment at Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, using the cave as a site of mushroom production. It identifies European antecedents, particularly an extensive mushroom industry in the limestone catacombs of Paris, and attempts to trace the diffusion of culinary mushroom production to the U.S. This background is then used to explore the particular history of the Mammoth Cave Mushroom Company, which was formed in August 1881 during a particularly contentious period of family struggle for control of the cave, its resources, and tourism operations. The Mushroom Company came to an end shortly after December 1881, when coal oil was poured by an unknown person on the mushroom beds. Was this an act of sabotage by the jealous hotel manager? Was it an attempt by the manager of the mushroom company to save face when bad spawn failed to inoculate the mushroom beds? Or was it an attempt by the family member who started the company to defraud his co-investors? Ultimately, the historical record is insufficient to reach a conclusion, but repercussions of this incident continued to poison family relations for decades, compounding disagreements about cave management.
Transformational Processes in the Development of the Pennsylvania-German Material Culture Landscape in Central Ohio during the Federal Period, 1790-1850
Timothy G. Anderson, Ohio University
The regional cultural landscapes of Ohio reflect the legacy of the migration of three major population groups from the East Coast during the early, formative period of the state’s settlement between 1790 and 1850. Pennsylvania-Germans, numerically the most numerous of these groups, settled primarily in the central and east-central regions of the state. This presentation first delimits the geographical extent of this subculture area in Ohio and defines the characteristic material culture elements related to Pennsylvania-German settlement in the region. Next, divergence from original forms of these material culture elements within Ohio during the early nineteenth century is discussed and framed within the context of important national transformational processes taking place during the Federal and early National eras. Finally, the development of this cultural landscape is discussed within the context of various American historical “metanarratives,” especially as they relate to the development of cultural landscapes in interior, “secondary” regions of settlement during the Federal and early National periods.
The Search for “Cracker Architecture” in Southern Florida
Wayne Brew, Montgomery County Community College
Armed with Ronald Haase’s book ‘Classic Cracker; Florida’s Wood-Frame Vernacular Architecture’ and a sense of adventure, Scott Roper and I set out to plan the field trip for this year’s meeting in Stuart. There are several interpretations of origins of the term ‘cracker’ that will be discussed. Various vernacular house forms documented by Haase will be briefly explored including indigenous structures (Seminole Chickee), log structures (single pen, saddle bag and dogtrot), I-House, Four-Square ‘Georgian’, and pyramidal roofs. This presentation will summarize what we found, along with what we did not find in our quixotic search.
Picturing the Road: Historic Images of the Dixie Highway
Jeffrey L. Durbin, National Park Service
During the early twentieth century, numerous private associations formed to promote the improvement of all-weather automobile highways. These Good Roads organizations understood the commercial value of these highways to communities along their routes through increased tourism, but they also recognized the appeal that long-distance auto travel would have to the automobile tourists.
One of the most famous of these—though not well-represented in the scholarship on the subject of named highways—was the Dixie Highway, an important automobile route connecting northern Michigan with Miami, Florida. Unlike transcontinental routes such as the Lincoln Highway, the Dixie’s promoters envisioned the highway to be a north-south route to connect the Midwest with the Southeast. As a result, almost one fourth of the highway traversed Florida, where the route brought considerable automobile commerce to the Orange State, but also helped to secure the state’s role as a wintertime vacation destination.
This paper will describe the impact of the Dixie Highway on the Florida landscape and how the route is remembered. The presentation will also include historic and present-day views of the highway and associated extant roadside resources located along the route.
Britain’s Ambitious Florida Venture: Turnbull’s Smyrnéa Settlement (1766-1777)
Arlene Fradkin, Florida Atlantic University; Roger T. Grange, Jr., University of South Florida; and Dorothy L. Moore, Independent Scholar, New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Established by Dr. Andrew Turnbull, a Scottish physician and entrepreneur, the Smyrnéa settlement was an agricultural enterprise that existed from 1766 to 1777 during the British occupation of Florida and whose primary purpose was to supply Britain with commercial crops, especially indigo. Turnbull recruited approximately 1,100 indentured servants from the Mediterranean island of Minorca along with an additional 300 from Greece, Italy, Corsica, and Turkey. Within the Smyrnéa settlement, the developing cohesion of these various Mediterranean groups over time eventually led to the emergence of a distinctive “Minorcan” cultural community on the Florida frontier. Although there is substantial historical documentation pertaining to this settlement, archaeologists have only recently begun to uncover its structural and material cultural remains and add to our knowledge of colonial life in 18th-century Smyrnéa. In this presentation, we give an historical overview of Turnbull’s Smyrnéa settlement and describe the archaeological findings uncovered to date.
From Oranges to Orange Juice: A Transformation in Florida Agriculture, 1945-1965
Robert M. Hutchings, Carnegie Mellon University
In 1945, a small handful of scientists created frozen concentrated orange juice (FCOJ), bringing to fruition what had been a veritable pipe dream for so many citrusmen in Florida’s orange industry. For decades, citrusmen fought with nature not merely over the basic agricultural problems of irrigation and fertilizing, but over the production of marketable fruit. Oranges had to have the right size, color, shape, and flavor to sell at good prices in Northeastern markets, but most often growers had to settle for just two or three of those characteristics, and received corresponding prices. Further complicating matters, growers had to get their oranges to those markets before they started to turn if they wanted to sell them at all. The development of FCOJ resolved all of these problems. As juice rather than fruit, the aesthetic concerns of size, color, and shape vanished, and the poor flavor of some individual oranges became less relevant as the juice of these oranges was blended with that of better oranges. Moreover, as long as FCOJ received constant cooling, it was essentially a non-perishable product. These characteristics combined to make FCOJ a product consumers loved, and they began drinking far more oranges than they had ever consumed fresh. This created an agricultural boom, which in turn resulted in both a major spike in land used for groves and an increased emphasis on intensive production methods. In short, the creation of FCOJ resulted in nothing less than an industry revolution.
Black Migration to Tampa in the Booming ’20s: Black Newspapers’ Decision Input
Jennifer Kopf, Independent Scholar, Tampa, Florida
Florida, where large portions of the population have historically immigrated from other states, grew by 51% in the 1920s, with black and white populations arriving at roughly similar rates. Even in a state with double digit population increases nearly every decade of its existence, this rate is exceptional. Past research on this boom focuses on economic reasons for expansion and on enticing images of Florida in national leisure periodicals with predominantly white readership. Black people moving to Florida from other states moved against the overall flow of the Great Migration to Northern industrial centers such as Chicago and Detroit.
In this paper, I enquire into reasons for black migration to the region. Tampa’s commercial districts, recreation facilities, housing, education, health care and employment opportunities for its black citizens are compared to those of other similarly sized US cities. The focus of the paper is an analysis of representations of Tampa and Florida in major black newspapers and in publications in sending regions, such as the Chicago Defender, the Atlanta Daily World, the Pittsburgh Courier and the New York Amsterdam News.
The image that emerges in the black press is more complex than the “beautiful gardens” or “winter playgrounds” represented in white publications of the day. Beside articles such as “Sunny Florida“ or “Beautiful Tampa” extolling the agricultural bounty available while it’s winter up North, there are others that elucidate the realities of daily life in the South in plain words. Violence in by mobs and individuals in rural areas, city and suburbs, attempts to prevent the development of black neighborhoods, legal injustices and discrimination in employment are all depicted, as are attempts at driving out Night Riders or solving racial tension. This breadth of coverage enabled black consumers and workers to make informed decisions about a possible move to Tampa.
Art and I: Fun in the American Cultural Landscape
Chris Mayda, Eastern Michigan University
Since 1999 Artimus Keiffer and I shared a special relationship about the cultural landscape. We sponsored sessions on Art and Geography at the AAG and did our own geographing tours where ever we met for conferences. This presentation will display the geography of Artimus as it was shared with me.
An Environmental History of Florida’s Indian River Lagoon
Nathaniel Osborn, Florida Atlantic University
Late nineteenth and early twentieth century settlers in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon (IRL) region adapted to life in a simultaneously fertile and hostile environment. Facing heat, mosquitoes, malaria, interaction with Native Americans, and most importantly, near-total isolation from the rest of the world, the Lagoon’s nineteenth-century settlers adapted by agricultural experimentation, altering the ecology of their environment, hunting non-traditional food sources and modifying traditional boats to meet their needs in this watery environment. The last decade of the nineteenth century saw the coming of Henry Flagler’s railroad and with it the outside world, ending the isolation which had forced the Lagoon’s settlers to be largely self-reliant. The sweeping changes ushered in at the turn of the century dramatically altered the industry and culture of the Lagoon.
These early settlers opened two inlets connecting the mostly fresh water Lagoon with the Atlantic Ocean, forever changing the composition and face of the region. Not merely a narrative of declension, this paper presents a nuanced discussion of a biophysical system that has always existed in a state of flux and shows how the settlers were changed by the IRL and how the Lagoon was changed by the settlers by focusing on the opening of the inlets and construction of canals.
“Oh, What a Rotten Name”: Toponymic Change in Northeast Ohio
Chris W. Post, Kent State University at Stark
In 1918, the Stark County, Ohio, Court of Common Pleas granted the village of New Berlin the legal authority to change its name to North Canton. Many such actions of anti-German sentiment occurred throughout the United States and Canada during this time, effectively minimizing the impact of German immigrants on the continent’s scriptorial landscape. This paper dissects the political and economic reasons for this particular name change in North Canton, as used in the rhetoric of, and letters received by, the W.H. Hoover Company and local newspapers. New Berlin’s change reflects two critical geographic points. First, the change symbolically annihilated the German heritage of Stark County, one of its key demographics and forces in successful agricultural and industrial development. Second, the rhetoric of the Hoover Company employed the geographic concept of scale to relate the change to 1) the war in Europe 2) the name’s impact on Hoover’s international economics, and 3) the village’s burgeoning relationship with the nearby metropolis of Canton. Despite this change, several villages and townships in the region still retained their Germanic names, an illustration of how big business can change the landscape of small town America.
Mule, Railroad and Automobile: Social Change in North Georgia, 1870-2011
Thomas Rasmussen, Gainesville State College
In 1870, Gainesville GA was a small population center serving a few largely self-sufficient subsistence farmers. Mule drawn wagons labored over rough roads, and buying goods and services at the general store in Gainesville or marketing farm surplus there was prohibitively expensive.
After 1870, the railroad reduced transportation costs dramatically. Farmers shifted from subsistence to cash crop farming and spent their cash on a wide variety of goods and services in Gainesville. Low cost transportation also stimulated resort tourism from Atlanta and points south to the healthful springs and cool air of the Appalachian foothills. Rail transportation was also essential to development of the textile industry around the turn of the century.
By the 1930s, the automobile dramatically reduced the cost of transportation again and displaced the railroad. New neighborhoods grew in Gainesville’s outskirts, and residents enjoyed the flexibility of driving between home, work, and shopping center in an increasingly suburbanized environment. They easily drove 50 miles to Atlanta, a commercially diverse, specialized regional city, and returned home the same day.
Gainesville’s South Main Street illustrates the social change that followed from the collapse of the railroad and the ascendancy of the automobile. South Main Street connected the Southern Midland railway terminal and the city square six blocks to the north. In 1911, South Main Street flourished, with more than 60 residential and commercial buildings lining the street. By the late 1930s, the railroad had shut down and South Main Street had fallen on hard times as the automobile opened up new suburban neighborhoods. Today, South Main Street is a barren landscape of vacant lots, abandoned buildings and low rent thrift shops.
Paula S. Reed, Paula S. Reed & Associates, Inc.
Irwinton, a ca. 1780 stone house, part of a flour mill complex, stands along the Conococheague Creek in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, about 10 miles northwest of Hagerstown, Maryland. Scotch-Irish Presbyterian settlers began populating what was to become Franklin County in the 1730s. James Irwin arrived as part of this group and accumulated land in the vicinity of present-day Mercersburg. His son, Archibald took up 217 acres along the Conococheague Creek and by 1766 was operating a flour and saw mill. Presumably he lived in a log house near the mill. By the time of the American Revolution, Archibald Irwin’s mill became an important provisioning station for the Continental Army serving in western Pennsylvania. Archibald Irwin worked for the Army’s quartermaster. His eldest son, James, served in the Revolution as commissary, and traveled and lodged in and around Philadelphia. Around 1780, toward the end of the war (or perhaps after the end of the war in October of 1781), Archibald built a large and grand house with extraordinarily exuberant woodwork reminiscent of Philadelphia’s finest houses of the 1750s and 1760s. Could Irwinton’s fancy, but slightly out-of-date interior woodwork have been inspired by Archibald’s son James’ time in Philadelphia? Did wealth accumulated through buying and selling of supplies for the Army pay for such an extravagant building in 1780, in an area where in 1798 over 90% of the population was living in small log dwellings?
This presentation explores the possible motives for Archibald Irwin’s design and construction of such a house, a rarity in 1780 Franklin County (Cumberland County until 1786) and examines changes over time that brought the house to its current state as it came into my possession in May of 2011.
Vero Beach, Gifford, Brooklyn, and Los Angeles: Four Communities and the Development of Dodgertown
Scott C. Roper, Castleton State College
Dodgertown, the spring-training home of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers from 1948 to 2008, originally was created, in part, to help the Dodgers train and integrate their many minor-league teams. Yet the development and Dodgers’ eventual abandonment of the site reflects at least three important geospatial realities of the 20th and early 21st centuries: the segregation of Vero Beach; the Dodgers’ roots in Brooklyn through 1957; and the team’s relocation to Los Angeles in 1958. In this paper, I will discuss how those realities relate to Dodgertown’s location and eventual abandonment, and to material artifacts such as Holman Stadium, on-site housing, and the Dodgertown golf course. I will also suggest that the ways by which Dodgers players and management related to Vero Beach and the African American community of Gifford affected the overall development of Dodgertown.
A Work in Progress on the Basic Gasoline Station
Keith A. Sculle, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (Retired)
Several aspects of the basic gasoline station are proposed here for future study, not only in the presenter’s ongoing work but as a potentially new interest to the audience. The basic gasoline station is defined as a gasoline station with some, but not all the collateral services---food, beverages, personal supplies, and car wash---that define the convenience store. Copious attention has been paid to the basic gasoline station, yet leaves much to be desired. Two aspects of those inviting topics are discussed herein. Extensive field work is required for both.
What was the origin of gas stations with a canopied drive-in out front of the office building and occupying nearly identical space on the ground as in the office’s building’s floor with the volume of the drive-in nearly identical to the height of the building up to its hipped roof? Some have understood this building type’s derivation from the domestic bungalow. Preferring the term cube and canopy, instead, will invite examination of a type influenced by the Roadside as a unique landscape: a Roadside vernacular.
Adaptive re-use of the basic gasoline station is also needed, less to find out what satisfies architect’s thoughts; an incipient literature exists for that. Instead, what do the often more utilitarian thoughts of contractors, owners, and business occupants of the re-used gasoline station comprehend about adaptively reused gasoline stations?
Both the building type and the building treatment discussed in this paper should help shift perspective to Roadside enablement. The cube and canopy or bungalow and adaptive reuse are not only ends in themselves. They can join with other businesses of the Roadside to sustain its vitality as a unique landscape.
Between Booms: the Commercial Identity and Heritage Tourism of Mineral Point, Wisconsin
Andrea Truitt, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Mineral Point, Wisconsin has been known for its two mining cycles: the first, coal (1820s to 1848), and the second, zinc (late 1880s to mid-1920s). Mining has been the predominant identity of the town, for both its residents and the writers of local and regional histories. Outside of those two mining booms, the town has sustained itself through commercial activities. In this paper, I argue that the current identity of the town relies on the period between mining booms, referred to as “The Middle Years” (1849-1882), when the town functioned as a supply depot for the region and for miners moving west, and as a regional railroad transportation center, among other short-lived industries. I also discuss this history in reference to Mineral Point’s heritage tourism, its current sustaining industry. I will give a brief history of the two mining booms, and the Middle Years, as it pertains to Mineral Point’s commercial history, tying it to the town’s heritage tourism industry.
Since 1971, downtown Mineral Point has been designated a historic district by the National Register, the first in the state of Wisconsin. This designation has allowed the town to survive and flourish, becoming a center of heritage tourism in southwestern Wisconsin. The city’s early preservation efforts show the commitment to their history and identity; it is this commitment that has kept the town from alienating its own residents. The town avoids this alienation because of its successful adaptive reuse of buildings and services. Elements marketed to the tourists are the same as those marketed elsewhere: specialty shops, architecture, history, art and craft galleries, and service businesses, such as restaurants and bed and breakfasts. Yet residents also take part in these shops and events, making them a vital and meaningful part of the community. This effort is an integration of tourism, not a surrendering to it.
The Legacy of Negro Professional Baseball at Hinchliffe Stadium, Paterson, New Jersey
Edie Wallace, Paula S. Reed & Associates, Inc.
Hinchliffe Stadium was constructed in 1931-32 in Paterson as a municipal stadium, designed to bring hope to the city’s population during the Great Depression. Paterson was an industrial city largely populated by European immigrant laborers. Like the larger northern industrial cities, Paterson also included a small, but growing population of African-Americans, the result of several waves of the “great migration” from the South. Hinchliffe Stadium served as the venue for high school sports, semi-pro baseball and football, boxing, motorcycle and midget car racing, as well as entertainments and rallies. More significantly, however, the stadium hosted Negro professional baseball. Hinchliffe Stadium was the weekend home field for the New York Black Yankees from 1933-1935, for the New York Cubans in 1936, and Newark Eagles in 1941. The Black Yankees and Newark Eagles shared the home field at Hinchliffe in 1937 and 1942. The home teams and their various opponents brought with them to the Hinchliffe field star players such as Josh Gibson, “Biz” Mackey, Oscar Charleston, Martin Dihigo, Buck Leonard, Willie Wells, “Mule” Suttles, and “Cool Papa” Bell, all of whom were later inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Local future Hall of Famers, Larry Doby and Monte Irvin, were said to have been scouted by the Newark Eagles at Hinchliffe Stadium.
Current research has identified 188 venues in the United States historically associated with Negro professional baseball during the era of racial segregation. Of those, only 31 venues are still standing. Of the 31 extant venues only 12 venues hosted Negro professional baseball for an extended period of time and maintain visual integrity to that period of use. Among these 12 remaining venues, Hinchliffe Stadium stands out as exceptional for its long association with Negro professional baseball, and in particular, for the high quality of play there associated with the Negro National League, considered the dominant league of the two Negro major leagues by some Negro baseball scholars.
Rebuilding Philadelphia’s Gold Mountain: Themed Space and Living Community in Transition
Kathryn E. Wilson, Georgia State University
Located in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia’s Chinatown has since the 1960s actively struggled against various downtown redevelopment plans to preserve the area as a living community for resident families, preserving important community spaces (such as a much-beloved church and school) and continually drawing on its legacy of activism to mobilize against various threats. Since the 1980s Chinatown has been “boxed in” by large-scale developments on all but its northern border. At the same time, community organizers have been working with the city to economically develop the neighborhood as a themed space, installing a traditional gateway, sidewalk medallions, a plaza guarded by “foo” dogs and other Chinese inflected imagery on the landscape. This paper will focus on competing needs of the urban landscape embodied in two recent developments in the community, the proposed development of “Chinatown North” abutting (and sometimes conflicting with) an emerging loft district and an attendant adaptive reuse initiative, and efforts of the local Chinatown CDC to draw on the preservation, commemoration, and interpretation of its own heritage and history to promote community-driven investment. While the former seeks to intervene in the traditional urban landscape, building single family homes and open green spaces, the latter seeks to celebrate a dense historical landscape that, although seemingly intact, is inadequately preserved. Chinatown is a rich example of the complicated relationship between ethnic landscape and urban renewal, and the role that alternative histories can play in negotiating spaces within and against larger processes of gentrification and redevelopment to express historic identity, address contemporary needs, and balance the area’s multiple existences as an intergenerational family community, immigrant entry point, ethnic touchstone, tourist destination, and prime real estate.
Mental Maps of a Shared Sports Landscape: Soccer and Baseball Participants’ Perceptions of the Same Site
Nicholas Wise, Kent State University
Maps provide copious information; nevertheless, perceptions of human experiences and meanings of ordinary landscapes often remain unnoticed in maps. Mental maps characterize pertinent discourse regarding individual experiences, perceptions, and imaginations, further allowing researchers to allocate subjective meaning(s) of particular vernacular landscapes interacted with frequently. In total, 11 mental maps produced by sports participants in Villa Ascension, a community located in the province of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, represent the analysis. What makes the sports space in Villa Ascension unique is that this one space is shared by both soccer and baseball participants. Through sketched perceptions of Villa Ascension’s sports landscape, drafted by participants who commonly recreate, differing meanings of this sports landscape emerge. This site is one of importance to soccer players, as the field is designated for the sport. Baseball players add another layer of identity meaning to this site; they perceive the field as too small for baseball participation, so they have modified the sport, conforming to the field’s physical limitations.