Since the 1980s Steven Branting has been honored for the depth and variety of his research and field work by many of the nation’s premiere science, geography, history and preservation organizations, including NASA, the American Association for State and Local History, ESRI and the Society for American Archaeology. From 2001-2010, he was the lead investigator for the 5th Street Cemetery Necrogeographical Study, an internationally acclaimed project that modeled the best practices in historical field work and discovered scores of burials still remaining in Pioneer Park, the site of Lewiston's first and later abandoned graveyards. More than 25 of his outdoor historical displays can be found throughout the city. In 2011 the Idaho State Historical Society conferred upon him the Esto Perpetua Award, its highest honor, citing his leadership in "some of the most significant preservation and interpretation projects undertaken in Idaho," and he was awarded the year’s Outstanding Cultural Tourism Award for showcasing Idaho’s heritage. In 2013, The History Press (Charleston SC) published Historic Firsts of Lewiston, Idaho: Unintended Greatness, his signature study of events that have set Lewiston apart in Idaho, the Pacific Northwest, and the nation since the city's founding in 1861. Also in 2013, the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution awarded him its coveted Historical Preservation Medal, the first to an Idahoan. His popular series of Lewiston volumes has now reached five with the recent addition of Our Fruitful Dreams. The sixth and final volume --- Our Voices, Our Words --- is slated for release in September 2017.
"History," wrote Napoléon Bonaparte, "is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon." That viewpoint can get you into all kinds of trouble and perpetuate a lot of myths that have a ring of truth. American humorist Will Rogers quipped: “It’s not what you don’t know that hurts you; it’s what you do know that ain’t so.” This presentation explains how to preserve history without imagining it.
No community is too small not to have intriguing stories that need preservation and retelling. This presentation discusses and models several successful methods to reconstruct and commemorate the legacies of people, events and sites in communities of all sizes.
Cemeteries are rich local storehouses of important historical legacies that many communities sadly overlook. This presentation discusses and models successful methods that empower local investigators with the skills to fully utilize the heritage too often undiscovered in graveyards and often lost entirely.
Pioneer towns of the Old West were far from healthy places in the days before antibiotics and emergency rooms. In the days when medical care that was crude at best, young and old alike faced accidental injury and death, water-born disease and uncontrollable epidemics. You could quite literally die of a broken finger. This presentation tells the stories of what it was like to get sick, suffer and die on the Idaho frontier, and how families cared for the dead in the days when undertakers were better furniture makers than morticians.