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Garrison, J. Ritchie. Landscape and Material Life in Franklin County, Massachusetts, 1770-1860. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1991.
Artifacts, landscapes, and history come together in J. Ritchie Garrison's study of northwestern Massachusetts. In a systematic analysis of the local environment, Garrison illustrates the relationship between actions and objects and how these changes were brought to an agrarian society by market capitalism. The presence of new socio-economic forces transformed Franklin County's landscape in an idiosyncratic and multi-layered process shaped by individuals, families, and the community. In both upland and lowland townships, regional patterns and localized experiences formed the residents' responses to agricultural innovations and industrialization. Old strategies for living and producing were merged with new outlooks that required the reconfiguration of private and public spaces. Garrison establishes this link between the cognitive and physical landscape with detailed studies of artifacts infused with cultural and socio-economic values such as farmsteads, dwellings, agro-techniques, crops, implements, and boundaries. This process is visually represented by maps, measured diagrams, drawings, and photographs that demonstrate how material culture can be used to extract meaning from the ordinary effects of everyday life. Garrison's work on Franklin County is a good study in the use of three dimensional evidence for charting cultural transformations and creating an artifact based interpretive framework for social histories or landscape analysis. [L. Kennedy]