Posted in The Publications, The Trials of Doris

Is Duke Farms Avoiding History Discussion? Online Timeline Disappears from DFF Website

We at the Retro Revival admit that history is sometimes a gruesome thing. Seriously- take a look at Hernan Cortez and his obliteration of the Aztec culture, the history of slavery in the United States, or even the recent chapters surrounding violence at the Dakota Access Pipeline. There are hundreds of thousands of accounts of history that each have a given topic phrased uniquely; some go as far as using ‘alternative facts’ and opinions that drastically skew the truth. The worst of all tampering occurs when people deliberately or inadvertently omit factual information. Whether they believe it is unimportant or otherwise, removing tidbits of information can dramatically change the way we learn.

Read this for context:

Aprons are significant because they’re an amenity. Ladies should wear dresses that make them feel radiant with an apron over top because it is a protective look that is both stylish and convenient around the home. Pockets for all the things a woman needs often come included.

Let’s take a look at this paragraph from an old blog post:

What’s more important to the vintage consumer in 2015 is what the significance of an apron is. These garments are both an amenity and a convenience. Everything we purchase today requires a purpose. The apron is now stylish, and protects your equally stylish wardrobe, for one. Any stains that are otherwise cause a total wreck no longer warrant fear. So ladies, wear that dress that makes you feel radiant just because! Handsome gentlemen, indulge yourself in that classy sweater or those contouring cotton shirts with buttons intentionally missing! The apron will forever protect you. Aside from the culinary implications, aprons are also one of the very few garments I’ve found whose pockets are large enough for the smartphones not to fall out of. Girl jeans suck at this in comparison (I’ve heard boy pockets aren’t nearly as phone prejudiced). The authentic vintage ones are exceptionally roomy for whatever other treasures you need to hold close.

Pretty different right? Can you imagine what history books would look like without accurately explaining the significance of slavery or the Holocaust, or even forgetting to talk about Betsy Ross or Abraham Lincoln? Who has ever learned about the Industrial Revolution without hearing the name Carnegie or Rockefeller? Now we are getting somewhere…

So now we have the ongoing lack of transparency at the Duke Estate, (no that didn’t stop just because the mansion was razed in 2016). What threat are they posing by modifying or omitting an entire section of the property’s history? Just because a mission statement doesn’t explicitly include history does not make it ethical, moral, or excusable to eradicate the events and creation that occurred within the stone walls. Check out their new website here: DukeFarms.org/ With the assistance of my colleagues, we were able to dig into the information shared versus the information available; summarily we found a couple inconsistencies. So here’s what’s specifically missing that contributes to the land:

Let’s start with the obvious: There’s no tab here for history accessible from the homepage. If you recall a while ago we posted an updated and comprehensive Duke family and DFF timeline (found at https://retrorevivalblog.com/2016/05/18/the-comprehensive-honest-duke-family-estate-timeline/). Well fortunately for you all we have screencaps from when we made that article, and our history and will be keeping the history (the good, the bad, and the ugly) of the DFF and DDCF alive.

What is also rather stifling on this version of their website is their use of the term ‘maintain’ as it pertains to volunteers who could give their time to take care of ‘preserved’ areas. This leaves us all with some serious food for thought in the form of questions, much like any of our visits to the estate. First, what areas are restored? Next, why isn’t the whole property restored? Are you intending on working toward that? Or will there be more cherry-picking? Finally, why don’t you use that community engagement in the form of volunteers to restore other locations across the property to have a fuller effect of historic preservation among an environmental esplanade? We are definitely staying curious as things heat up once again at the Duke Estate! Stay tuned and raise awareness!

Author:

For over 4 amazing years, it has been an experience, a pleasure, and a journey to be a revivalist. I love all things retro and antique. Writing has been a passion of mine since middle school and throughout my professional career. For all those who are inspired to be vintage, challenge the norms in the name of tradition! We write for a better, more inspired tomorrow <3

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