The Georgia State University Heritage Preservation program and Historic Oakland Foundation have long held a symbiotic relationship through a graduate internship program. Last semester’s intern, Lauren Reeves, worked alongside our preservation team, YLHT students, and volunteers to perform a variety of hands-on, preservation-related tasks. When asked to talk about her time at Oakland, Lauren had this to say:
“My internship last fall was pretty much a whirlwind. I did more things for the first time than I can count including laying bricks, operating a grinder, and so much more. When asked to write a few words about my semester and what we’d been working on, I decided to focus on the projects we completed with the help of some of our amazing volunteers.
Working with the preservation volunteers was the highlight of my internship last semester. They showed up and dedicated their energy multiple times a month to contribute to the projects we were working on.
We were able to complete a couple of interesting projects during my last few days with the volunteers, including some much needed headstone cleaning. Some folks would be surprised to know that headstone cleaning isn’t always something we were able to prioritize in our daily work, so the moments we allocated to this task were genuinely enriching.
We also worked on teaching volunteers the basics of resetting small markers. Having the chance to teach volunteers the methods that I only recently learned myself was a wonderful test of my own knowledge and ability. We even made an unexpected and exciting discovery while resetting some markers a couple months ago when we uncovered the missing piece of a headstone that had been damaged. Finding this lost piece of history not only added an element of mystery to our work but underscored the significance of our preservation efforts. Currently the damaged marker and its newly discovered missing piece are in the process of being repaired.
Ashley and her preservation volunteers exemplify the power of collaboration, dedication, and community engagement in preserving our shared history, and I am grateful to have been a part of their team.”
Interested in volunteering with our preservation team? Click here.
Interested in learning more about the Georgia State Heritage Preservation Program? Click here.