The National Park Service announces the addition of four new sites to the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network. This national network connects sites across the country who provide education, interpretation and research related to the period of Reconstruction. The Reconstruction Era (1861-1900) is one of the most fascinating and misunderstood periods in American History and includes stories of freedom, education and self-determination.
With the park’s offices centered in Beaufort SC, these newest additions to the National Historic Network include:
- The Hutchinson House on Edisto Island, South Carolina, preserves and interprets the home and farm of Henry Hutchison and his descendants. Hutchinson was a prominent Black farmer, entrepreneur, and political leader on the island during Reconstruction, and today the site is managed by the Edisto Island Open Land Trust.
- The Historic Huntsville Museum in Huntsville, Alabama is housed in one of the buildings designed and constructed by the Brandon family during Reconstruction. The Brandons were some of the city’s most prominent Black businesses owners and political leaders during the time period, and the museum chronicles their transition from enslavement to entrepreneurship.
- The Peale is Baltimore, Maryland’s community museum. Beginning as early as 1864, the site was home to a series of public schools for formerly enslaved people, and the building was home to the first high school for Black citizens in Maryland.
- Chubb Chapel United Methodist Church, located near Cave Spring, Georgia was constructed around 1870, and is the last remaining structure from the original Chubbtown, a community of free Black Georgians established in 1864.
“We’re excited about the continued growth of the Reconstruction Era National Network,” said Acting Superintendent Steven Kidd. “These sites in Georgia, Alabama, Maryland, and South Carolina will help Americans from across the nation learn the Reconstruction stories in their communities.” With these recent inclusions, the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network now includes 101 sites around the country.
The John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, signed into law on March 12, 2019, outlined the creation of the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network. This network, managed by Reconstruction Era National Historical Park, includes sites and programs that are affiliated with the Reconstruction Era, but not necessarily managed by the National Park Service. This network is nationwide and works to provide opportunities for visitors to connect to the stories of Reconstruction. For more information about the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network, visit https://www.nps.gov/subjects/reconstruction/network.htm.