National Preservation Month is a unique opportunity for us to recognize those dedicated to preserving history. We’re recognizing National Preservation Month by highlighting members of our firm who are actively engaged in historic preservation throughout their communities.
Katherine’s passion for history and historic preservation began in childhood. As a child, she began volunteering as a junior historical interpreter at a local historical site. Since that time, she’s had the privilege to work or volunteer at many historic sites across several states.
Since moving to North Carolina in 2015, she’s serves as a docent, tour guide, and historical interpreter at two 18th-century historical sites: The Alston House (also known as the House in the Horseshoe), located near Sanford, North Carolina, and Prestwould Plantation, located just over the border in Clarksville, Virginia.
While giving tours and sharing stories about the people who lived and worked in these places, Katherine brings history to life for visitors, helping them better understand the people of the past. A crucial part of her role as a docent is emphasizing the importance of preserving these historic places.
“To truly understand and become engaged in history, people need to see and experience the tangible, physical evidence of the past—the actual structures where people lived and worked, the gardens and streetscapes that formed the foundation of their everyday lives, and the material culture that surrounded them. Unlike reading a book, watching a documentary, or listening to a podcast, visiting a historical site engages all of the senses—visitors can see, touch, smell, hear, (and sometimes even taste!) the past. This type of multi-sensory experience creates connections, strengthens understanding, builds cultural awareness, and brings the past vividly to life in an immersive way that words or pictures cannot convey.”
In addition to her work as a docent at historic sites, Katherine is an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), one of the world’s largest women’s service organizations. Historic preservation is a primary focus of the organization, and Katherine serves on her chapter’s Historic Preservation Committee.
She also serves on the board of the Alston House Association, an organization whose purpose is to support the mission and preservation of the Alston House Historic Site. Additionally, Katherine and her husband have been long-time supporters of Colonial Williamsburg, the country’s largest living history museum, which includes over 80 meticulously preserved 18th-century buildings and provides visitors the chance to watch archaeologists and preservationists in action.
Unfortunately, many of the world’s notable historic sites have disappeared forever due to a lack of preservation efforts. By helping visitors at landmark sites understand the importance of preserving these tangible connections to our shared history, Katherine hopes to encourage individuals to get involved in historic preservation. By making donations to support preservation efforts, volunteering to help with physical work or research, or becoming advocates for preservation, anyone can make a real difference.