7 Reasons I Started OurHistoryMuseum

Ken Lopez
Posted by Ken Lopez on Dec 18, 2020 11:08:25 AM

There are many reasons why people start companies. Some identify a need. Some invent a thing. Some do it out of a passion for something. My first company and my second company were both need-based.

This company/museum is pure passion.

 So, let me (passionately) tell you seven reasons why I started OurHistoryMuseum:

  1. A stroke. On March 5th of this year, I had a stroke. Though I’ve since mostly recovered, for several months, I could not walk or talk. I continue my work in physical therapy.

    I had founded and been CEO of A2L Consulting for 25 years, a thriving litigation consulting firm. I was at the top of my game, but everything had to change — doctors’ orders. The stress of constant bet-the-company litigation had contributed to my stroke. You can read more about this part here.

  2. A passion. I have collected Alexandria, Virginia history as a hobby for decades. I love it, and I find it incredibly relaxing. I have true a passion for saving history. I feel sick to my stomach when I know that an artifact is lost to fire, neglect, or bad circumstances — just as almost happened to me in March. Fortunately, I pulled through. If I hadn’t though, I’m certain that my collection would be scattered now. OurHistoryMuseum completely solves for this and other problems by digitizing history.

  3. A childhood gift. It was 1976, I was eight, and I distinctly recall my mom had just presented me with what you see here in the photos; a book of the genealogy of my family. Mind you this was before the days of word processing machines or computers. So the entire thing was written, drawn, and laid out by hand. I swear this was the nicest thing she ever did for me. She taught me to be curious about the past.ken-lopez-great-grandfather

  4. Growing up amid history. I grew up on what was formerly River Farm, one of George Washington’s five farms, collectively called Mount Vernon. My family would regularly visit Mount Vernon and my mom volunteered there. Just to the north of my home was the town of Alexandria, Virginia, a relatively small collection of streets originally surveyed and laid out by George Washington. There was so much history around me that it was impossible not to get wrapped up in it.

  5. Watching history disappear. My last three homes were all homes from the 1800s in Old Town Alexandria. Everywhere I go in my town, I bump into people that have one or two historic items from Alexandria. I am certain their heirs will not see value in these items, and they will be lost to history themselves. I find this reality untenable.

  6. An unfilled need. Whereas organizations like ancestry.com and geni.com have the genealogy thing pretty well covered, nothing exists for cities, towns, and the documents, stories, and memories originating from those places. OurHistoryMuseum will change that.

  7. ken-lopez-josephI love the details of history. I especially love reading an old letter. There’s something about reading such documents with details from a Civil War soldier from his hospital bed or an 18th-century visitor who finds your town disgusting or even learning about anachronistic and repulsive things like slave dealing.


So, that’s the “why” of it. I’d like you to subscribe to this blog by entering your email above. I also wish you would connect with us on social media. We are working on our app now and expect to release it in the summer. In the meantime, I am going to be posting various never-before-seen items from OurHistoryMuseum’s Alexandria collection on this blog.

Topics: Genealogy, Civil War, Ancestry, Alexandria, VA, George Washington, Mount Vernon, River Farm, People, Things

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About OHM

OurHistoryMuseum is a crowdsourced and virtual history museum that anyone can contribute to. We are prototyping with our hometown first — Alexandria, Virginia. The app will be available nationally in early 2022. In the meantime, sign up for our blog or follow OHM on social media (both at the bottom of this page) to keep updated.

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