Previously, we took a look at some of America's most interesting, once-endangered historical places that had some compelling stories told through the years. Places that were once threatened and almost built over or demolished, are now full of life, rich in history, and are actually contributing to their communities in unique ways. If you missed Part 1 last week, take a moment and check it out here!
Let’s take a look at this second series as we dive into 4 more historical sites and the intriguing stories that helped keep them on the map.
Angel Island of Immigration Station | San Francisco Bay, California
Between 1910 and 1940, Angel Island Immigration Station, or sometimes referred to as, “Ellis Island of the West,” served as an immigration port for 80 countries across the Pacific. Eventually, Angel Island fell into despair after one of the buildings caught fire and was due to be torn down. However, in 1970, a park ranger noticed some inscriptions on many of the walls that we still standing. That discovery sparked the interest of researchers, who eventually tracked down two former detainees who had copied poems from the walls while they were housed on Angel Island, in the thirties. Over the years, more than two hundred poems were found! Today Angel Island operates as a state park full of beautiful views, hikes, and a museum.
Travelers’ Rest | Lolo, Montana
Travelers’ Rest is the only archaeologically verified Lewis and Clark campsite along with the Lewis and Clark Trail. Due to the controversy over the actual location of Travelers’ Rest in earlier years, possible development threatened the landmark during the mid-1900’s. Finally, in 1999 archeologist Dan Hall, along with the Mellon Foundation, The Conservation Fund, and the State of Montana, jumped into action and fought to keep the site as a natural area. Travelers’ Rest was officially protected as a state park in 2001 and today stands at whopping 65 acres!
President Lincoln’s Cottage | Washington, D.C.
This cottage was once a summer home for President Abraham Lincoln and other previous Presidents (including Buchanan, Hayes, and Arthur). Despite it being designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973, the cottage still eventually suffered the damaging effects of time and neglect. In 2000 President Clinton designated the home as a National Monument and was officially opened to the public in 2008. Today it stands fully restored as Soldiers' Home, which is known also known as an Armed Forces Retirement Home.
Nine Mile Canyon | Utah
This Utah Canyon is lined with thousands of ancient petroglyphs, pictographs, rock shelters, granaries, and other cultural resources that date back over 1,700 years. Unfortunately due to the popularity of the area, a chemical dust-suppressant caused by the daily traffic has proposed a serious threat to the Canyon and the ancient carvings. In 2004, Nine Mile Canyon Coalition was able to successfully raise enough awareness that increased visitor rates, allowing them to build a fully paved road that now winds through the entire canyon. Today, visitors can come and go without fear of harming the amazing artifacts that were created there.
Utah State FlagThese historic places listed might not have been saved without awareness of people who lived and worked in their surrounding communities. If you ever find yourself on a cross-country road trip, be sure to make some pitstops at these once-endangered places!