Detour to the Harbor Islands

In lieu of my originally assigned project for the week, I have been helping Ericka (@eduym) with her project on the Boston Harbor Islands. I started off by updating the chronological history of both Deer and Nut Island for the updated version of the second volume of the Cultural Landscape Report (CLR). It was only fitting that I started off with these two islands as their histories are tied to wastewater treatment, and no one knows more about sewage than this girl! (I’m not entirely proud of that)

Anyways, I actually enjoyed learning more about the islands, especially Deer because I took a tour of the WWTP (wastewater treatment plant) for a class during undergrad. As I’ve come to learn, each island has a colorful story to tell. Deer went from a place of internment to quarantine to imprisonment to wastewater treatment, all intertwined and overlapping. It had a military fort and served as a command post for a short period. Better yet, it’s not even an island anymore!

Unfortunately for Nut, it doesn’t have as long a story as Deer but still played pivotal part in the development of the sewer system that is so well established in the greater Boston area today.

This week we also had two brown bag lunches, where individuals from across the Service get a chance to tell us about the work they do. We met both Erik Kreusch from Archaeology and Celena Illuzzi from the Charlestown Navy Yard office who works with the outreach and education programs of the Service. Celena did a wonderful job discussing with us some of the questions that come up when trying to educate and engage younger audiences about topics such as preservation and stewardship.

One thing I appreciated about Erik’s talk (other than the fact that he is also from San Antonio, TX!) is how passionate he was about working for the Service and the work he does in particular. Honestly, every person we have talked to outside our office has talked about their job with such vigor. It’s encouraging. I took the chance to speak with him again after the lunch and got some great insight.

Last but certainly not least, our fellow intern and friend Ashley (@ambraquet) leaves this week. It’s sad to see her go as we just started to become friends, but she’ll be off doing fabulous things while in her next home in Newport, RI. I wish her the best of luck and expect that she keeps in touch. The OCLP won’t be the same without you!

I apologize for the lack of photos this week. I didn’t want to bore you with ‘action’ shots of me reading and typing. Every week can’t be exciting…right? It just means I’ll have to have an extra exciting week next week. ‘Til then…

Happy Independence Day!

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