Great American Treasures was born out of an idea 129 years in the making. That idea was to preserve the history of America’s origins and to honor the forebears responsible for her founding. And, while we often think of Colonial history as happening just before the Revolutionary War and then after, our story really started when this continent was being discovered, explored, sometimes exploited, and eventually settled.
Great American Treasures is the brainchild of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America (NSCDA). This women’s organization, founded 129 years ago, made it their mission to preserve the places where history happened. Some of that history was big and famous, and some was the everyday history of everyday people— including the arrival of enslaved peoples and displacement of Native Americans—who would come to live in a newly minted America.
The history of this project (and our story) starts with the “parent organization,” the NSCDA. This national organization is made up individual state societies. Many of the societies own or help preserve historic places within their states. In 2014, the NSCDA decided to create a national Museum Alliance — a unified group with shared expertise, and, an amazing collection of places and artifacts.
From that Alliance, Great American Treasures was created and fully developed as its own unique brand. With its own vibe and a mission to bring history to a new generation of history lovers, the brand was designed for visitors. Why? Because there is power in numbers, and even more power in a bigger story to tell and a unique way to share it.
It’s not easy launching a “new” anything. Let alone a new way to look at history. But as the public gets to know Great American Treasures, they will find that like all endeavors that are meant to stand the test of time, this brand is no whim. It is the result of the hard (and passionate) work of the NSCDA, its staff, museum directors, and teams of brand thinkers, writers, creative designers, and web developers. It’s not just a project to attract visitors, it’s a gift for them.
It is our hope that as Great American Treasures comes to life, it connects with others and opens doors to enjoying historic places in ways that they’ve never experienced before. Wherever you find us, know that we’re glad you are here.