Archive for January, 2019

Interview Videos

January 22, 2019

publicdomainq-analog_film_movie_cameraBack in 2014 as part of the Gardner Digital Memory Bank project, Blair Williams of Cumberland County Historical Society interviewed me about the Craigheads. Because the video is lengthy, I’ve cut it into clips by topic. The first three clips have been loaded onto the Craighead House website at http://CraigheadHouse.org/History. That tab was chosen because the focus of the interview was about the history of the Craighead family.

Enjoy.

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Jean Craighead George’s 100th

January 7, 2019
flower gardens

Sketch of Agnes Craighead’s Flow Gardens Drawn by Jean Craighead George

2019 marks the 100th anniversary of Jean Craighead George’s birth. Throughout the year, I will be posting articles about her, primarily from my interviews of her. In the fall of 2009, Dr. David S. Masland, a lifelong friend of Jean’s, arranged for me to visit her at her home and accompanied us on the trip. Although she was already 90, she was still vibrant and could recall much about her youth, the part of her life I was most interested in learning about. You see, it is my belief that her and her brothers’ childhoods made them the extraordinary persons they became.

Since Jean allowed me to videotape the interviews, except for certain parts, I have a considerable amount of footage of her talking. Over the next twelve months, I will review these recording and extract excerpts I think people might be interested in seeing and hearing and will post them on my YouTube channel. I’m too cheap to upgrade my WordPress account to be able to store videos on my blog.

The first topic I’ve chosen is about her paternal grandmother’s flower gardens. The video I’ve put together starts with a sketch Jean drew from memory of how her mother described the gardens and from her memory of what still remained when she was a girl.

Jean mentions a man from the Indian School. Carlisle Indian School was located on the edge of Carlisle about five miles away from Craighead Station, where her father was born and where his adult family spent their summers. The South Mountain Railroad tracks joined the Cumberland Valley Railroad tracks on the eastern edge of Carlisle and passed through the Craigheads’ property on the way to Pine Grove Furnace. So, it was a simple matter for teachers and students at Carlisle Indian School to go back and forth to and from Craighead Station.

Central to the Carlisle Indian School program was immersing students in the majority culture some time each year. They called these “Outing Periods” in which students lived and worked with families in eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Besides being acculturated, the students earned a little money, something few had before coming to the school.

Here is a link to the short video: https://youtu.be/XVcKeCQceps