A Narrative History of the Montana Heritage Project

100-Year History of the School

Annemarie Kanenwisher

Corvallis High School


Sophomores at Corvallis High School wrote a history of the school, focusing on traditions and trends in student life. They began by tracing the history of ownership for the school property back to the original 1885 deed. They conducted a “fishbowl” interview–the whole class participating–with 1932 graduate (and former school board member) Madge Buck.

Using the archives at the Ravalli County Museum, they gathered historical photographs, newspaper articles, and personal accounts. They found that the collection of school year books themselves was an especially rich data source for identifying and tracking various aspects of student life. Students recorded oral interviews with five graduates from various time periods. In addition to the tapes and transcripts of these interviews, students created a permanent photo exhibit for the high school gymnasium lobby featuring ten framed photographs with interpretive labels giving an overview of 100 years of the school’s history.

The exhibit was unveiled at the spring Academic Project Fair, and the book the class produced, A History of Corvallis High School, including thirteen historical essays, was made available to the public. The book was heavily illustrated with historical photographs.

To print a final report for the year-end binder, click here.
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