About Us

About the Author

Jackie Lorentz photo

This website is based on the research of Cynthia Culver Prescott.  I am a Professor of History at the University of North Dakota. I have written a book about the approximately 200 western pioneer monuments featured on this website. Pioneer Mother Monuments: Creating Cultural Memory was published by the University of Oklahoma Press in April 2019.  In it, I trace changing portrayals of race, gender and national identity in western pioneer monuments erected from their origins in the 1890s to the present.

I also am drawing on my ongoing research on pioneer monuments to develop a new Reacting to the Past role-playing game for classroom use centered on debates about whether to preserve, relocate, or remove San Francisco’s controversial Pioneer Monument, and how to reinterpret that monument. “Memory Reconsidered: San Francisco Pioneer Monument, 1991-96” is currently undergoing play-testing at UND and other universities across the country.

My research focuses on gender in the American West. I combine social history and material culture methods to study the intersections of gender, social class, and historical memory. My first book, Gender and Generation on the Far Western Frontier (University of Arizona, 2007), traced changing gender roles and ideology among early white settlers in Oregon between 1845 and 1900. I am also interested in quilting, particularly examining quilts as a reflection of women’s work roles and social class status. While my academic training is in social history, I have worked in several areas of public history: museum curatorship, collections management, archival and rare book cataloging, and historic preservation, and serve as an Affiliate Fellow with the University of Nebraska’s Center for Great Plains Studies and an Associate Fellow with the International Quilt Study Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.

About the Programmer

Timothy Prescott is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of North Dakota.  He is responsible for the various interactive aspects of this website.  His research focuses on probability and evolving sets.