Archive for Wednesday, August 2, 2000

Local historians should be ashamed

August 2, 2000

To the editor:

I just finished reading an article about the moving and restoration of the historic Murphy-Bromelsick home in Lawrence. The ambitious undertaking of moving this 1860s stone home to Hobbs Park is a commendable project to preserve and honor Lawrence's rich history, especially since the house almost literally rose from the ashes following Quantrill's raid.

Douglas County has a rich history, including its being in the forefront in the battle to rid this nation of slavery and preserving, restoring and keeping that history alive for future generations is an admirable goal. Once moved and restored, the Murphy-Bromelsick home will again stand as a fitting memorial to those who died in Quantrill's raid as well as to those who carried on their spirit and rebuilt Lawrence.

It is with regret that the southern part of our county has not had the same kind of leadership. Since the restoration of the Santa Fe Depot which was never finished in the mid-1980s, the Santa Fe Trail Historical Society of Southern Douglas County has done very little to protect, preserve or even document its history sites. The leadership has stood by as historic structure after historic structure has been allowed to deteriorate, fall into disrepair and even collapse without so much as a notice or any attempt to preserve even their memory. It is regretful that these sites, which have stood for nearly a century and a half, have now been allowed to silently disappear through the neglect of those supposedly sworn to protect them.

In years to come, Mark Kaplan, Valentin Romero, Dan Rockhill, David Sain and all the others involved in the project will leave Lawrence with a beautiful memorial to its rich heritage. Unfortunately, the most notable accomplishment of the current administration of the Santa Fe Trail Historical Society may just be the nearly $800 spent to remove pigeon droppings from the Vinland Grange Hall attic.

Loren K. Litteer

Baldwin City

Commenting has been disabled for this item.