ABSTRACT: The Fabyan Villa Museum in Geneva, Illinois is a 1907 Frank Lloyd Wright designed home built for George and Nelle Fabyan. The property, located in a 235 acre public park, is operated by Preservation Partners of the Fox Valley (PPFV), a small, local non-profit historic preservation advocacy organization which opens the museum for tours from May to September on Wednesdays and Sundays, 1-4pm. Since the Villa is located in a popular public park, of which the home is an attractive centerpiece, the public can explore the exterior of the building at any time. This fact provides an opportunity for PPFV to extend the educational opportunities the Villa offers by providing an engaging program year-round from dawn to dusk with an audio tour. Visitors access the tour through QR codes placed on seven signs posted at interest points around the Villa. Because one of the significant achievements that occurred on this property was breaking codes for the U.S. government during World War I, a codebreaking activity is included in the audio tour. This audio tour project provides access to some of the museum’s educational opportunities when the museum is closed, attracts new visitors when the museum is open, and obtains more accurate visitation counts in order to gather greater community support and funding.
ABSTRACT: "Scholars of soldiers," writes Aaron Charles Sheehan-Dean, "share a methodology that builds from the experience of common people to explain larger patterns of historical change."1 By illuminating the individual citizen soldier of the Union army, this public history project endeavors to provide insight into how they endured and won the Civil War. Historians often focus on the broad political and military actions and those who led those actions but individual experiences "could lead to a heightened appreciation of the country's collective experience."2 No political action could have succeeded without the their support. No military action could have been successful without them. Examining details of their experience can provide greater insight into the success or failure of battles and the war.
1 Aaron Sheehan-Dean, The View From the Ground: Experiences of Civil War Soldiers (Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky, 2006), 2, accessed April 19, 2021, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/apus/detail.action?docID=792188.
2 Robert E. Bonner, The Soldier's Pen: Firsthand Impressions of the Civil War, 1st ed. (New York: Hill and Wang, 2006), 6.
Special thanks to Anna, Miles, Ben, and Rachel Watts for their assistance in the creation of this video. The majority of the content was shot on location at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve in St. Charles, IL. All uniform and equipment shown are replicas, except where noted in footnotes.
A sample of a newsletter I contributed to and edited 2009-2012 for the Missouri Irish Brigade of Civil War Re-enactors, a 501c3 non-profit organization.
A sample of a newsletter I contributed to and edited 2009-2012 for the Missouri Irish Brigade of Civil War Re-enactors, a 501c3 non-profit organization. On page four of this issue is a brief account of the origins of baseball I wrote under the pen name "Collin A. Mulligan."
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