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Journey Stories

Project Info

Project Description

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From June 2013 to April 2014, Journey Stories traveled to six cities in Arizona: Winslow, Springerville, Kingman, Florence, Patagonia, and Sierra Vista.  Each destination featured unique companion exhibitions and programming that celebrated and examined local journeys within larger historical events.

The Journey Stories exhibition displays tales of how we and our ancestors came to America – are a central element of our personal heritage. Our history is filled with stories of people leaving behind everything – families and possessions – to reach a new life in another state, across the continent, or even across an ocean. Many chose to move, searching for something better in a new land. Others had no choice, like enslaved Africans captured and relocated to a strange land and bravely asserting their own cultures, or like Native Americans already here, who were often pushed aside by newcomers.

Journey Stories Host Sites 2013-2014
  • La Posada Hotel – Hosted by Old Trails Museum & Winslow Historical Society – Winslow, AZ
  • Springerville Heritage Center – Hosted by Casa Malpais Archaeological Park & Museum – Springerville, AZ
  • Mohave Museum of History and Arts – Kingman, AZ
  • McFarland State Historic Park – Hosted by Florence Main Street Program – Florence, AZ
  • Cady Hall – Hosted by Patagonia Public Library – Patagonia, AZ
  • Henry F. Hauser Museum – Sierra Vista, AZ

Our transportation history is more than boats, buses, cars, wagons, and trucks. The development of transportation technology was largely inspired by the human drive for freedom. The Museum on Main Street exhibition Journey Stories will examine the intersection between modes of travel and Americans’ desire to feel free to move.

The story is diverse and focused on immigration, migration, innovation, and freedom. It is accounts of immigrants coming in search of promise in a new country; stories of individuals and families relocating in search of fortune, their own homestead, or employment; the harrowing journeys of Africans and Native Americans forced to move; and, of course, fun and frolic on the open road.

The story of the intersection between transportation and American society is complicated, but it tells us much about who we are – people who see our societal mobility as a means for asserting our individual freedom. Journey Stories will use engaging images, alongside audio and artifacts, to tell the stories that illustrate the critical roles travel and movement have played in building our diverse American society.

Journey Stories is part of Museums on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide. Support for Museums on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.