Welcome to Pastcasts

“History never repeats itself, but the kaleidoscopic combinations of the pictured present often seem to be constructed out of the broken fragments of antique legends.”

Mark Twain, The Gilded Age: A Tale of To-Day

Pastcasts is about the creative interpretation of local history. We believe that it begins with a good story, not a litany of facts and figures. History is so rich in human pathos and wonder that we don’t need to rely on dog-and-pony shows or gimmicks at historic sites. As James Baldwin wrote, “American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it.” This is great, important work that we do. It is our responsibility to tell those stories fairly, accurately, and creatively.

How do we accomplish that? People make their own history, beginning with their own lives, then adding the experiences of others. This grab bag of memories is shaped by visits to museums and historic sites and through books and movies. From this, we build historical narratives about ourselves, our families, and our communities.

So this is as much about the present as it is about the past. Our mission, then, is to open paths of inquiry and learning that allow us to re-inhabit history, and see history the way people did as they lived it. We use innovative methods that don’t just teach events and outcomes, but provide the context of the people who were there, so that we today can see what they saw, understand what they believed, know what they aspired to, and fear what they feared.

We invite you to visit our Pastcasts channel on YouTube.