2010-14: Engaging the public (Creating an online presence and a sense of place for A-State’s heritage sites)
In 2014 the website for the Dyess Colony and Boyhood Home of Johnny Cash was launched in advance of the opening of the exhibits in the restored Administration building and the opening of the Boyhood Home of Johnny Cash to the public. In designing the site, we wanted to use the original logo from the Dyess Colony, and link the site visually to the other heritage sites. The background image that we chose to use for the site is the original plan of the Dyess colony.
The website includes timelines of the restoration of the Cash house as well as a timeline for the colony center restoration. The website also includes illustrations of key areas at Dyess, news items, and an abundance of additional information.
In January 2014 we launched the Hemingway-Pfeiffer website for the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center in Piggott, Arkansas. During his marriage to his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer, Ernest Hemingway spent a lot of time at her family’s home in Piggott–where he wrote sections of A Farewell to Arms. The website uses a letter from Pauline to Ernest as a backdrop, and includes a timeline for Pauline Pfeiffer and Ernest Hemingway, a virtual tour of the museum, and information about upcoming workshops and events at the site.
The Southern Tenant Farmers Museum website was launched in July 2014. The Southern Tenant Farmers Museum enhances knowledge and understanding of tenant farming and agricultural labor movements in the Mississippi River Delta, in an effort to preserve the history and promote the legacy of sharecropping, tenant farming and the farm labor movement. The museum is located in the historic Mitchell-East Building in Tyronza, Arkansas, with restoration of this building and development of the museum made possible through grants from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council and a “We the People” Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The website includes a timeline for the history of Southern Tenant farming in Arkansas, including the formation of the Southern Tenant Farmers Union.
The Lakeport Plantation website was launched in August 2014. The Lakeport Plantation house, built in 1859, is the only remaining Arkansas antebellum plantation home on the Mississippi River. The Greek Revival structure is one of Arkansas’s premiere historic structures. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, the home was gifted to Arkansas State University by the Sam Epstein Angel family in 2001. After five years of restoration work, the home opened to the public. The website includes a timeline of the Johnson family and the Lakeport Plantation, with additional information about other families who called the Lakeport home. The website also includes a virtual tour of the site.
The Rohwer Japanese American Internment Center website was launched in November 2013. This is the first website for the Rohwer camp, and we have linked it to the WWII Japanese-American Internment Museum in McGehee (which does not have a website). The site includes dedicatory remarks by one of the most well-known former Rohwer internees–Mr. George Takei, a virtual tour of the site, as well as archival materials associated with Rohwer. The day that the site was launched, Mr. Takei mentioned it on his Facebook page and within a few minutes, almost 100,000 visitors attempted to access the site, causing the server to crash! Since then, we have had almost a million visitors visit the website.