In August, thirteen students began a project that brings back the unique vibrancy and life of a prosperous, multi-racial family and a community that most never knew existed 150 years ago. The Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry welcomed Dr. Mark Groover and thirteen eager Anthropology and Public History students into a semester-long immersive learning program. Course credits are received for the program along with life-long, first hand work experience. The students were given a budget and a few weeks to become familiar with the project. The rest of the semester was spent researching, digging, analyzing, researching some more, and finally putting everything together into a documentary and technical report as well as a few other smaller products.
They dug through the dirt, flipped through books, pillaged through maps, scrolled through newspapers, and conversed with all scores of people. They gathered information in many different ways in order to produce a technical report and documentary to share with the public. Thanks to the instructors, detective skills of the students, and many sources of information they are able to present the history of the Clemens Farmstead in Longtown.