Q: Why do you decide to create this blog?
A: It all began when I became a member of the Wissahickon Valley Historical Society in 2017. As an Ambler native, I wanted to know more about the area's history and life during the old times after their establishments. Not only do I want to learn more about Ambler, I also want to learn more about Ambler's next-door neighbors: Whitpain and Lower Gwynedd Townships.
Not a lot of people are aware of their towns' histories, or didn't know there is a local historical society near them. This gave me an opportunity to really help out the people at WVHS. That's why this blog was created: to share my discoveries, findings, and research. I want to bring awareness about our local history to the communities!
I was inspired by another blog called "Bloomington Fading" by couple Derek and Jennifer Sommer-Richey. I commend them for creating an amazing blog that brings awareness to their town.
Q: What's your research process in making your posts?
A: It's a very free-flowing process. It's whatever I could find, I would put it up in my blog. If there's something I never expect to find, I would DEFINITELY put it up! It would be something that I would see all the time while driving around, and not knowing about it. That's when the curiosities kick in! I would have questions in my head when reading an article about a person, a place, or a thing:
"Is there anything out there that no one knew about?"
"What's their origin stories?"
"Are there any old buildings still standing today? And are they significant?"
"Why weren't they listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP)?"
"Were there any "famous" people in these areas?" By famous, I mean anyone who impacted America in a way, met/friends with historical figures, etc.
Q: Why does your blog look eerily like Instagram's?
A: I wanted to connect to the younger generation as well as the older generation looking at my blog. I want to make my blog simple:
If you want to "like" a post, click on the heart-shaped icon on the bottom right corner of the post
If you want to comment on a post, scroll all the way to the bottom to make a comment
If you want to share a post, click on the 3 vertical dots on the top right corner
If you want to search for a certain hashtag, go to the top right corner to find the search icon, and search for the hashtag (remember to include the hashtag in the search. For example, "#COVID19"
Q: How can people get notified about your posts?
A: 1. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page; 2. Type your email in the box; 3. Hit the "Subscribe" button to get notified about new posts
Q: Was history your main career choice?
A: No, actually. My career choices were out of place with what I wanted to. It ranges from astronomy to music. I never took my career seriously. I at first wanted to be an architect during high school all because of my love for LEGOs. Unfortunately, that career backfired for me because I never expect architecture to be more challenging. That's how I went into historic preservation. I simply loved what historic preservation does for the communities and nationwide. And also during that time, as a first-generation, Vietnamese American, I was very into my cultural heritage in terms of architecture.
After my undergraduate, I became interested in archives and how information was utilized in institutions like libraries and museums. So I went to grad school to pursue that degree. I'm a huge fan of historical documents!
Q: What do you want your readers get out of this?
A: There's always something people won't know about. Just because you live in the area, doesn't mean you have an excuse to not learn about the history of their towns. You have to understand how these towns came about. You would see new development of a new shopping center or new homes, but you would never think about what was there before development occurred. The reason, I think, is because those communities with new development used to be agrarian communities that didn't have much. I'm a fan of communities that are committed to their histories, but not all communities are like that, unfortunately. I can understand that there's not a lot of information about a place. Development would take advantage of that, in my opinion.
My goal in this is to understand the history of the communities before they fade away. No matter how little history a place has, it'd always be an adventure for me to make some discoveries!
Q: What does the future hold for you and this blog?
A: I want to continue making this blog as long as I can. It's unfortunate that not many people go to the Wissahickon Valley Historical Society to learn about their town's history. It's possible the society needed more recognition and appreciation, as well as possibly funding. I would be honored if I'd be their librarian archivist, helping them organize their collections, and using modern technology to make it more engaging.