A Narrative History of the Montana Heritage Project

Building Archives: Collecting Local Oral Histories and Historical Photographs

Annemarie Kanenwisher
Phil Leonardi

Corvallis High School


Students begin by interviewing family members to collect their stories and practice the art of oral interviewing. They then gathered oral histories from many local residents, often revisiting many of the interview subjects from past years. Pierina Leonardi shared her immigrant experience. Mr. and Mrs. Homer Bailey talked about their experience with German POWs during WWII. Ron Hasselfeldt shared recollections of his life as a young soldier during the Korean Conflict, and Mick DeZell relayed his experiences as an employee of the USFS. The student documented the stories that were shared and compared the tales of Corvallis past with the Corvallis of the present. Students also collected and copied local, historical, community photographs at their annual Photo Bazaar. Students used the photographs to make comparisons of how people in the past and present lived, worked, and interacted. Additionally, comparisons of the landscape of the past with the landscape of the present were also made.

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1999 Montana Heritage Project
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