Local TV station KREM this morning ran a piece about the ghost signs (those old painted advertisements you see on the sides of brick buildings) of Spokane, featuring none other than my brilliant grad students Anna Harbine and Frank Oesterheld. Frank is a former student actually, but I am still taking credit for him whenever possible. Here is the whole story, with a photo album as well as the video.
The ghost sign project began as a class assignment in my course HIST 407: Research Methods in Local History. The students fanned out across the city, built a map database of ghost signs, and then researched the stories behind the signs. A blog post here describes the project. Oesterheld was my teaching assistant and Harbine was a student in that class.
This project has proven to have surprising continued residence. Oesterheld and Harbine and two other grad students (Erin Pulley and Caitlin Shain) did a poster session about the project at the National Council for Public History conference in Monterey last year. The best stories became part of the ghost signs tour on Spokane Historical. Oesterheld and Harbine went on to develop a walking tour of the signs, which they led when the Northwest Archivists Conference came to town. And now this television piece.
Oesterheld and Harbine will be leading their walking tour of the ghost signs one more time, as part of a class they are teaching for the MAC--click here to sign up: Experiencing Local History: “Spokane’s Historic Ghost Signs Walking Tour”