Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Untold Remains the Unknown

This bit of interpretive signage is from the kiosks at Shoshone Falls, ID. The Old School Cultural/Natural History approach probably wouldn't have caught my eye quite so readily.

Many older interpretations might have had a very 19th century, it didn't exist or it wasn't fully understood "until we arrived", tone to it. Or it might have only the geological information, which is really cool, but doesn't always tell the whole story of a place.

Instead there was a section of the park that had a series of interpretive signs, some with texts more focused on people or geology or geography. Or the interaction among all three.

And there were graphics like this which gave a face to a community that thrived and then diminished. It undid assumptions of who had been a part of history and who had helped to build the state. Like many fine educational elements it gave me information and left me wanting to learn more .

Image - Shoshone Falls Interpretive kiosk - after


  1. Roberta, I've enjoyed reading about your travels. Your posts are truly informative!

  2. Roberta, love that photo. I remember going to the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. and asking to see the 1790 census (it was the first one ever taken). My wife, Karen, was tracing her lineage; she has relatives that came to Virginia well before the Revolutionary War. It was so cool. A guard took us to the stack inside the library. I expected to see a Xerox. Instead, he handed us the actual book, the Census, which included data about her family (they owned slaves, as in "property," there was an indentured servant from Ireland. Fascinating. You should check it out.

  3. Ann - Thanks. It's fun to share.
    Steve - I wish I could give real credit to the specific photographer, but I had no luck finding photographers name.
    Wow, that sounds like a truly awesome experience.
    If one were to look at some of the early Pasadena census, you'd find a good number of Europeans who were servants in Pasadena households.