Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of History


Gabrielle Lanier

Philip Herrington

Kevin Hardwick


This thesis project attempts to identify and address outdated interpretation and education programs of the Daniel Harrison House, a historic house museum commonly known as Fort Harrison, in Dayton, Virginia. The project consists of two parts, a written component and an online digital exhibit. The written component of the project evaluates the Daniel Harrison House’s current educational programs and provides updated suggestions to reflect current trends within the heritage education and public history fields. The Interpretation Plan identifies the organization’s existing interpretation methods, historical content, artifact collection, education programs, staff and volunteers, accessibility of information to the public, and development resources. The Interpretation Plan recommends themes for the organization to implement, such as colonization, migration, gender, enslavement, and social class. These themes offer a more inclusive history of the Daniel Harrison House, the Harrison family, enslaved peoples, and the settlement of the eighteenth-century Virginian backcountry.

The second component of the thesis project is a digital exhibit,, which utilizes the suggested heritage education approach with updated interpretation themes and methods. The website includes a virtual house tour to supplement outreach lesson plans for students, grades four through eight, to promote heritage education for classrooms and on-site visits. The objective of this thesis project is for the Daniel Harrison House to ultimately reach a global audience and appeal to a local audience. This project provides as students and visitors with the opportunity to connect with the presented historical information and their own experiences to better understand past human experiences.



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