As much as we enjoy writing and printing the downtown stories presented to us by local historian Leonard Cash, we are even happier when one of our readers responds and adds a little bit of their own recollection to Leonard’s accounts, as Jack Howell did in the letter below, “Stories bring back memories of my younger days.”
When we began working with Leonard to share the wealth of history he has compiled over the years, we never intended for his accounts to provide a complete history of Newcastle’s early days.
Those stories are an effort to capture and reproduce as much of the history collected by Cash as we could, but more importantly they were intended as a starting point for other historians— both now and in the future— to build upon.
So we are excited when one of our readers add to Leonard’s stories, and we will be just as thrilled when one of you challenges something Leonard presents— maybe even more so.
While accuracy is obviously important when recording and reproducing history in such a format, we have to acknowledge that there is no such thing as a perfect historical account. Histories are almost always skewed by the bias of those who present them, and as we’ve learned from modern debates about “fake news,” two people who are sitting in the same room and seeing the same things can quite easily disagree about what they just witnessed based on their own preconceived notions. That really isn’t a new phenomena, and most of our readers can point to at least one ‘fact’ they learned in history class 20, 30 or 50 years ago that is no longer considered a fact today.
So keep sending your own tidbits in response to Leonard’s accounts. The history we create will be more complete, and more valuable, because of your contributions.