Who Killed Local History?

The Legion Ville Story

231 Years: What's the Future of Legion Ville?

Have we GIVen up?

In another issue of Milestones (Vol 21 No 2 Summer 1996 ), Regina Morrow Riley fumes:

“It has been an astonishing journey to preserve this place. Old attitudes prevail in this valley and nobody quite seems to know what to do with a historical resource. The Beaver County Corporation for Economic Development even wanted to build an industrial park at the site several years ago. During recent archaeological excavations conducted on the site from 1991-1994, significant features of Wayne’s camp have been found. These include firepits, chimney foundations, floor sills and even wagon tracks. Hundreds of historic and prehistoric artifacts have been uncovered. A trace of the Old Beaver Road is virtually intact. This road is at least 5,000 years old and was a well-known Indian trail in the distant past.
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Lessons Learned from the Past

During the 1970s and early 1980s, social, political, and economic organization peaked toward the goal of making Legion Ville a national historic park. It was active, robust, and strong. It had local, state, and national-level support. The movement had real and impactful clout.  A survey of these efforts demonstrates this clearly, challenging any notion that the LV preservation effort was bush league.  
And yet the movement failed in its effort toward National Park status.
We can benefit from asking why, but the real object lesson here–especially from our perspective now in 2023–is why the movement failed to reorganize. Drawing from social movement theory, these are obvious factors: fatigue, frustration, failure to refocus, flameout, and fraction.

Moving Forward