Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Trapper Creek Alaska Oral History Project

Trapper Creek Oral History Project

In 2007 Trapper Creek Community Enrichment aired "Portrait of a Legend: Talkeetna’s Cliff Hudson" at the elementary school. Many were so moved by the viewing that Trapper Creek Community Services Association, Inc., a local non-profit corporation, proposed and sponsored The Trapper Creek Alaska Oral History Project to gather the oral history of our area. With so many of our beloved characters passing, the project members recognized the urgency to find out as much as possible about the diminishing history of the west side of the Susitna River while there are still indigenous residents and pioneers, who have historical memories to share.

The timeliness and importance of "Trapper Creek Alaska Oral History Project: Evolution through Statehood" was recently recognized by the Alaska Humanities Forum and the National Endowment for the Humanities, a federal agency. On November 25, 2008, G. W. Kimura, President of Alaska Humanities Forum , Anchorage, Alaska notified Trapper Creek Community Services Association, Inc of an oral history mini-grant. This grant is for the term beginning January 5, 2009 and ending on December 31, 2009. As a result of this award, the Oral History Project will be able to collect, collate and archive any oral histories, photographs, physical documents and other ephemera that pertains to the early history of the Upper Susitna Valley. The purpose of this project to preserve the history of the Trapper Creek, Alaska area.

Long-time Trapper Creek residents and assigned Humanities Scholars, Sondra Porter and Rocelyn Daniels are coordinating this project. Other members, who are also conducting inteviews during the initial phase, include: Duronda Twigg, Debbie Filter, Eric Poole, Michele Poole, Earl Theroux, Rick Ernst, John White, Rick Leo, Toni Bowley, Ted Stagg, and Lon McCullough. These members are currently scheduling interviews, recording oral histories and scanning photographs from those who have historical memories to share.

The Trapper Creek Oral History Project has benefitted by letters of grant support from: Trapper Creek Community Council, Roberta Sheldon of Talkeetna, Alaska, The Fireweed Arts Council, Talkeetna Historical Society, Trapper Creek Elementary PTA, and the Trapper Creek Library Association. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed will not necessarily represent those of the above or of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

If you have any information about our local history from the pre-statehood period through the mid-1970's, it would be greatly appreciated. Anyone who can help with this project in any way, please contact any member or email tccommunityservices@yahoo.com for comments or questions.