This post will be a double whammy, as I once again forgot to do a post last week. My participation grade must look great!
I am obviously no expert on the running of a historic site, yet I work at one, so I feel I can make a few notes without being completely out of line. First, as someone who knew very little about Thomas Wolfe, I can say that the tour did a good job at explaining why Wolfe was important to Asheville specifically. The guide also gave a good explanation as to why the site is still a memorial and furthermore, why the thing still exists when Wolfe was only a writer whose influence spread only as far as other literature and a few plays. Giving the tour from the perspective of Thomas Wolfe was certainly an interesting approach, however; I believe it may have detracted from an encompassing view of his family, especially his mother. While such a perspective can entertain visitors, I believe it is more important to give as unbiased an understanding of the past as possible. The only other real problem with the content of the tour itself was that for a site with such a wide range of original artifacts, there was very little focus placed upon them. I have always found that most visitors are intrigued and delighted by the stranger looking artifacts when they learn of their uses, especially when the use is easily relatable to the visitor’s everyday lives.
At Pack I have been finishing my work with the tourist brochures and booklets up. Most of them seem to have been published by the Southern Railway company rather than the Asheville Chamber of commerce, which is a little surprising as one would expect most all tourist materials related to Asheville to be from Asheville itself, rather than an overreaching company that looked upon Asheville as only one of many attractions on its railway. Reading through the material I also find it amusing that the tactics to get tourists to come to Asheville has not changed after a century, and the natural resources of the city and area are still a primary selling point. I have now begun to consolidate the collection and create a folder page for each one in the DBTextworks, which you can now see by looking up collection ID number MS268. I have one final week at Pack, in which I will finish the last few pages of this collection and compete one other small unknown project.