The National Park Service in Our Region: Places to Experience Our Cultural History
A Road Scholar Program by Norman Moline
While the popular images of the National Park Service (NPS) often focus on the spectacular scenic sites in the American west or nationally significant historic sites in the eastern U.S., the NPS has a meaningful presence in Illinois and its surrounding states. It includes National Monuments, National Trails, National Heritage Areas and Corridors, National Historic Landmarks (88 in Illinois), and sites on the National Register of Historic Places (over 1,900 in Illinois).
Each of those places contributes to the understanding of our region’s cultural history in tangible, visible forms in the cultural landscape. As such, they provide an additional way to learn history that supplements other fields such as literature, music, art, theatrical presentations, and museum curation. Since visits to these sites involve many senses, they can make “history come alive.” As significant as these sites are, some remain less known and underappreciated.
The first part of the presentation will cover all the history-related National Monuments and some of the National Historic Landmarks which have statewide significance. The second part of this presentation changes according to location in order to focus on some key National Historic Landmarks and National Register of Historic Places near the site of the program. Dr. Moline hopes to highlight some of those sites that do not receive much attention in and near locales, even when they have gone through the nomination and selection process. Participants are encouraged to share their experiences with any of these historic places.