I found something to add to my bucket list today. I stumbled across an organization which combines vacations with historical preservation.
The organization, called Adventures in Preservation, was founded in 2001 with the combined goals of saving historic buildings and providing people with new experiences during their vacations.
Their mission statement reads “Connecting people and preservation through enriching experiential programs that safeguard heritage and foster community sustainability.” Basically, participants pay a reduced rate to stay somewhere interesting, in return for helping with small projects as a part of restoring an old building. I’m in!
The organization sets up several projects each year, generally during the summer. To me, they all sound like a great experience. Here are the ones they listed for this summer:
Cracker House Project – restoring old windows and a herringbone walkway at the Italianate home of Frank L. Sommer. In 1873, he created the Premium Saltine Crackers which we probably all remember from our childhood, and which are still sold today.
Greenhouse Conservation – northern Scotland is calling me! Volunteers on this project will stay in the beautiful manor house on the Burgie estate (picture is to the right) while they help restore an old Edwardian greenhouse.
Archeology at Fairfield – a slightly different project, in that it combines both archeology and preservation. This site near Williamsburg, Virginia is the former Fairfield Plantation, which raised tobacco in the 18th and 19th century.
Building Documentation – another different project, which focuses on a historical district located in Gyumri, Armenia. Volunteers will help restore an old wooden balcony, and others will document other old buildings in the area.
Conservation Projects – France, anyone? This project is at the Chateau de Parthey, which has been owned by the same family since 1354. Two efforts here include restoring an old tapestry, and documenting an old chapel so it can be rebuilt.
All of these excursions provide a chance to learn something about an old building and maybe pick up a new skill. They also include a nice place to stay and an opportunity to see something of the surrounding area. What’s not to like?
If you are as interested as I am in participating in one of these excursions, check out Adventures in Preservation (http://adventuresinpreservation.org) for more information. Maybe I’ll see you in one of the groups!
I write historical fiction, and I invite you to share the journey to published author with me.