The ProRanger Philadelphia program is an academic, technical skills training, and internship program that is cooperatively administered by the National Park Service and Temple University. The program was established to recruit, train and employ law enforcement park rangers for the National Park Service.
Students take coursework during the academic year at Temple University and participate in internships at National Park Service sites during the summer. Follow their experiences here.
Sunday, July 8, 2012
HAFE Internship Week #7
Painting of Lower Town right before it became a National Monument
Jelly Stone's Mascot Yoogie Bear
This week’s cross training was full of exciting and new
adventures. The first two days we were
working for Michelle Hammer who works for the Museum department. Day 1
consisted of Michelle showing us different areas of the park and how a normal
day is conducted in the life of a museum curator. We first went to an area that might become an
historical landmark. Although it is not
your everyday historical site, Jelly Stone Park might be deemed significant in
a cultural aspect. The location used to be booming with campers visiting the
area to enjoy taking a tour in the caverns.
It is now a run-down abandoned placed where the caverns are fenced off
and an un-operational swimming pool is filled with gravel for safety precautions. Michelle has hope that NPS will deem this
place of historical importance so she can start restoration projects.
After we visited Jelly Stone Park, we checked on the condition
of the cannons located on a battlefield.
We checked for any indications of prevalent rusting and if there was any
present graffiti. We recorded this
information and took pictures of the cannons for record keeping. It was interesting to see that there was only
one authentic cannon from the civil war era in that specific location. As you can see in the picture it is the black
one and the green ones are replicas.
Early the next morning,
we switched an exhibit in the information center from the War of 1812 to a John
Hancock Hall exhibit. If you do not know
already, John Hall was skilled craftsman who created the first gun with
interchangeable parts here in Harpers Ferry at the armory. Later on in the
afternoon, we had the opportunity to clean jewelry and stopwatches that dated
back to the 1800’s at Burton’s Jewelry Store.
There was even some 18k Tiffany & CO jewelry that we really enjoyed
cleaning. It was tedious cleaning these
artifacts but rewarding to know that it is significant to the preservation of
these valuable pieces. The process
included cleaning the items and then taking pictures to keep for
Later on in the afternoon, we went to a designated area that stored historic artifacts and cleaned some swords and guns (very exciting). We saw some antique paintings that we enjoyed
very much so. Working for the museum
division was a blast and we hope to have the opportunity to work with this division
again during our second internship. We
felt privileged to have the chance to work with such valuable pieces of our
Wednesday we worked for the Archaeology Division. We were given the opportunity to help with a
brand new project. This project was
important because no one has yet to survey the water retention wall by the
armory. This wall was also the place
where the original railroad beams were located.
We measured out the length and width of the top layer of the rocks and
work out some calculations while Justin drew a map of the wall. In the afternoon, Jackie cataloged some
interesting artifacts with Lori that was excavated from surrounding areas while
I (Renee) continued to help Justin with his project. Overall it was a great experience.
The last two days of the week we were with Living
History. The first day, Melinda Day showed
us how women used to dress in the 1800’s and prepared us for our program we will conduct the following day. The next
day we were ready to display our exhibit.
We were placed in the dry goods store and the theme was “Wonders of the
Modern World”; the new age technologies that were invented for that period in
time. Our specialty was the hoop skirt. We
explained to park visitors that the hoop skirts liberated women because instead
of putting on layer after layer of petticoats, with the use of a hoop skirt, there
was only a need for one layer of petticoat and women still achieved that hour
shaped glass look. So the use of a
hoop skirt was convenient and cooler in warmer weather. We also showed park visitors how to use an
apple peeler. Showing an original sewing
machine created by Wilcox & Gibbs Sewing Machine Company in 1857 was a big
hit. It felt like we were really living
in the 1800’s and it was neat to be able to dress and feel like we were back in
time. We also had the chance to make ice
cream. Yes, I said ice cream! It takes a lot of patience and hard work but
the end result is definitely rewarding.
A fun fact our local Philadelphia residence would enjoy is that Nancy
Johnson from Philadelphia invented the hand cranked planetary ice cream maker
and her design led to sixty-nine other inventor’s machines. The key ingredients to making ice cream were
ice and salt and it is the same salt we use to melt ice from our sidewalks.
This week was enjoyable and a great learning
experience. It made us really appreciate
the evolution of our American civilization.