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HP students present survey of Kentucky community

January 3, 2013   |   School

By Nancy Royden
Georgetown News-Graphic

Students from The University of Kentucky’s Historic Preservation Department presented information Thursday from their comprehensive survey of the Boston community in Georgetown.
An audience gathered at the Georgetown and Scott County Museum on East Main Street to learn about the recommendations and findings of the second-year graduate students. 
“The community of Boston has an important history within Georgetown. With the community values and historic location of the Ed Davis school, Boston provides an opportunity to explore the story of a historically African American community transitioning to live in the 21st century,” the report states.
The history of the community lies with its current residents and the students suggested an oral history preservation project could not only keep that history from fading away, but also bring the community together.
Preservation of oral history of the community is also recommended by the students.
“Much of what makes Boston unique is bound up within the neighborhood’s culture. This report recommends that the culture be better recognized and documented through continued oral history efforts. As the older generations of the neighborhood age, the stories that they possess and cherish are in danger of being forgotten or never even told,” the report stresses.
The students recommend the community engage in an organized oral history project that will unite the generations. The idea of children drawing images while the elderly people tell their stories was suggested.
“The community should develop means of keeping these stories alive. The end goal to keep in mind is to assure that the stories never die, and that they be recorded for the future generations of the community to embrace as well,” according to the report.
The first recommendation the group made is that the conversation about historic preservation in the Boston neighborhood not be allowed to die.
“Potential topics of conversation might include whether the neighborhood wants to try to become a local historic district or be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, or both, or neither,” the report states.
Other recommendations came in the form of improvements to the community infrastructure. One is to explore establishing a Rail-to-Trails program for the abandoned rail line running through the community.
“In other communities, this program connects, builds, protects and promotes rail-trails and their far reaching benefits throughout the country…It could also provide an economic impact on the community thorough revitalization of these transportation corridors,” the report explains.
Another recommendation deals with public art and public history installations. 
It was suggested an information-based project could be located near the Ed Davis school site so visitors and residents can learn about the cultural history of the community. It could feature history of prominent people, groups, businesses and organizations.
The class was asked to help the city of Georgetown with the project by Kitty Dougoud, executive director of Historic Georgetown Inc.
Those who completed the report are Tim Condo, Katie DiBiase, Taylor Frost, Keaton Hall, Elisa Ludwig, Matthew McMahan, Melissa Mortimer, Julie Whalen and instructor Doug Appler. 
The report includes copies of photos and many historical facts about the community, and some of the history was compiled by Ann Bolton Bevins, Dr. Lindsey Apple, Frederick A. Johnston and William McIntyre.