Connect With History

Online Resources to Ignite Your Own Exploration of History

Oral History Interviews

History is for everyone

Benzie Area Historical Society Online Resources

“The value of oral history lies largely in the way it helps to place people’s experiences within a larger social and historical context. The interview becomes a record useful for documenting past events, individual or collective experiences, and understanding of the ways that history is constructed. Because it relies on memory, oral history captures recollections about the past filtered through the lens of a changing personal and social context.”

-Oral History Association Principle

BAHS is the “keeper and teller” of “The Benzie County Story”, which contains fascinating people and information that is worth finding and preserving and sharing. Hearing these stories helps us to reflect on how the people and events that came before us have shaped us and our community. It is with that in mind that we have renewed our commitment to recording the oral histories of veterans and some of our more senior friends and neighbors.

Thanks to the financial support of Luedtke Engineering, BAHS has started an oral history video project focused on historical local events and reminiscences. To date, three local residents have been interviewed; namely, Althea Petritz, Ned Edwards, and Florence Bixby.

We’re currently collaborating with the Benzonia Public Library and Benzie Central Schools on Remembering Benzie: An Oral History Project. The Library received an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant to create a teen internship program focusing on oral histories relating to veterans, families, agriculture, and artisanship.

Remembering Benzie: An Oral History Project will magnify and preserve one of our region’s greatest assets: our people and their histories. Our researchers, archivists and genealogists provided primary source research training and the opportunity to explore the Benzie County Archives for information and imagery to support their individual oral history projects.

We have also provided primary source research training and other support to students at the Interlochen Academy of the Arts for their oral history interviews with Benzie County veterans.

Oral history interviews of local veterans conducted by both the Interlochen Arts Academy students and Benzie Central High School students through the Remembering Benzie: An Oral History Project have been submitted to the Library of Congress Veterans History Project.