It is hard to believe that the school year is over. Most of us are one step closer to our bachelor’s degrees; some are obtaining them in a week. It was a wonderful experience being a part of Messiah College’s first digital history course. Not only did we make discoveries about the city of Harrisburg just a few miles from us, we learned skills that will help us as we go into the professional world.
Our first big project of the class was the City Social Project. If you have read previous posts on the blog, you may recall that this project required a lot of our time and effort. While the project at times seemed arduous, the results were worth the effort. We were able to discover so much about the people of Harrisburg in 1900. I remember being in awe of the widowed women who raised their young children and supported their families by running boarding houses or having other jobs at this time. We also learned how to use Microsoft Excel. This will most likely benefit us in our professional futures. Using ancestry.com helped us to learn how we can find out about our own histories.
City Beautiful was the main project we worked on this semester. This was a great subject to learn about especially because I was born in Harrisburg and lived just outside the city before my family moved to New York when I was five. I can vaguely remember going to Kipona and walking around Harrisburg with my parents, but that is it. I enjoyed learning about the changes brought about by the City Beautiful Movement thanks to people like Mira Lloyd Dock, J. Horace McFarland and Vance McCormick. Learning about how the city banded together to clean up and make their home beautiful and new has made me so proud to originally be from this area.
Overall this class was a wonderful experience. I would definitely recommend it to future history majors or anyone who just loves history.