Wendy Harris


The process whereby local pasts are made meaningful varies through time and among different communities. While historians, philosophers, and anthropologists have long been intrigued by the problem of historical practice, their discussions remain speculative. This paper examines the specific social conditions of production of a single local past. During the late 19th-century, the members of the Minisink Valley Historical Society in Port Jervis, New York, engaged in the imaginative construction of a place they named "the Minisink"- an early frontier region encompassing portions of the Upper Delaware River Valley. The Society's account is examined and compared to accounts produced a century later by cultural resource management professionals engaged in the interpretation of the same past.