Finding inspiration in the past, creating meaning for the present and planning for the future.

Consulting - Planning - Preservation - Research - Interpretation - School Programs - Exhibits - Interpretive Trails
For Cultural and Environmental History.

Making Sense of Place, Inc. draws on extensive knowledge and experience in cultural and natural history interpretation, to help make sense of the places in our lives, by integrating culture and nature in planning, research, and interpretive programming.
See more of Tom Woods Projects and their Recognition

Tom Woods
with Making Sense of Place
is an experienced historic
site interpreter and naturalist

Tom Woods with Making Sense of Place has experience as a living history interpreter farming with oxen and horses

Examples of outdoor interpretive trail signs.
Click to see larger images...

These exhibit panels displayed on a trail at Seed Savers Exchange, Decorah, IA

Website Design and Promotion by WebStuff

Making Sense of Place, Inc.

Historical Interpretive Planning for museums, historic sites, and historical societies.
Historic Planners or Interpretive Planners or Historical Sites Interpretive Planning Consultants or Living Museum Curators or Open Air - Living
Museum Interpretive Specialists. Nature and Environmental History
Our goal is to interpret cultural exhibits for modern sensibilities through interaction, hands-on environments, and early technologies and methods.

federal statutes on historic preservation
city requested an archaeological investigation
publicly owned lots in the historic city neighborhood.
Driving forces behind the city council’s decision
growing appreciation of public history. With a better understanding of the city’s
underground heritage
councilors hoped to plan for future development
more importantly the research might enhance public interpretation
and attract visitors. Region’s tourism from Richmond to Yorktown,
Madison to Milwaukee Wisconsin - widespread interest in some of the nation’s earliest historic sites plus a broad range of resources including prehistoric and possible early explorer and indian sites, prairie farm houses, and evidence of a military involvement during the Civil War, many historical points of

The council astutely perceived that the city’s public history was despite the potential resources and the presence of several interpreted sites, most excellent. The current archaeological investigations have already begun to enhance interest in the city’s heritage. However, key to any future public history success will be the development of an interpretive plan. To paraphrase a planner for Colonial Williamsburg, public historians must decide what history will be taught and say why it is important.

The following treatment outlines and justifies interpreting historic waysides and rest stops and nearby properties in Dane County as a microcosm for
the social history of the midwest in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. The plan draws from recent scholarship to advance engaging strategies
for interpreting this history at various exhibit sites in the city and nearby. Any plan depends to a large extent on the resources that will be available for
interpretation. Wisconsin currently possesses an impressive collection of historic properties and archaeological sites interpreted by several entities.
Most are clustered around Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River Valley.

National Park Service. Currently, interpretation at the manor dwells on the military installation and its role in the siege. The second most prominent players in the presentation of the city’s past are the enthusiastic members of the non-profit Foundation. During the warmer months, the foundation interprets two properties. Described by one architectural historian as “the very essence of the prairie farm culture" Tom Woods operates as a interpretive planners for many open air museums and living museums as well as typical house museums, with emphasis on the aesthetic value of the structure and its furnishings. Since its restoration in the early 1990s, the foundation has used the chapel to house two exhibits on archaeological sites excavated by the Center for Archaeological Research. Currently, the rather crowded selected panels from the earlier archaeology exhibits, a display of prehistoric artifacts, a Civil War soldier’s tent, Victorian clothing, and early twentieth-century photographs of the city.