Manchester Life 2021 | Page 65

Ten years after the Pullman car first arrived in Manchester , Hildene continues to shed light on the historical significance of the treasured railcar with their multifaceted and immersive “ Many Voices ” exhibit . According to Pullman Car Lead Docent , Jesse Keel , the aim of the exhibit is to prompt and encourage civil discourse by providing an honest and unbiased look at the history of the Pullman Company through a variety of different perspectives and voices . “ I think it ’ s incredibly fitting that the ‘ Many Voices ’ exhibit is on a platform , because it truly has become a platform for conversation .”
The Pullman Car is stationed at a beautiful railway platform in the woods with the “ Many Voices ” exhibit on its wall . There are four voices : The Pullman Company which includes George Pullman and Robert Todd Lincoln , the Black Pullman Porters , the High Society passengers who rode on the Pullman Cars in the early 20th century , and “ We ” the people . Keel notes , “ We want people to be able to engage in constructive discussions with one another regarding the complex history of this beautiful artifact . We have a large blackboard where people respond to each other with comments . We want to give people the opportunity to express themselves and learn from each other . When we come across historical information that is difficult to process and understand , the question is always , ‘ How do we approach this ?’ We conclude that the best way to do it is to let the facts speak for themselves . The Pullman Car is a beautiful , paradoxical , and complicated part of history . It ’ s part of Manchester ’ s history , Hildene ’ s history , and America ’ s history . We think it ’ s important to learn from the history and then to engage in civil discourse that can help us to collectively move forward towards a better future .”

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manchester life magazine 2021 63