A workshop to train local residents to take oral histories is scheduled for Saturday, November 10, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the White Lake Community Library, 3900 White Lake Drive in Whitehall.
Presenting the workshop will be Geneva Wiskemann and Barbara Madison of the Michigan Oral History Association (MOHA). MOHA’s mission is to provide for effective cooperation and communication among persons, programs and institutions concerned with the techniques, uses and promotion of oral history in Michigan.
The workshop will provide information on the purpose of taking oral histories, developing interview questions, equipment needs, best practices for interviewing, legal and ethical concerns, and available resources. The cost of the workshop is $30. Lunch is not included in the fee, but can be ordered the day of the event.
The workshop is part of the White Lake Environmental History Project, coordinated by the White Lake Community Library and Tanya Cabala of Great Lakes Consulting. One task of the project is recording of a minimum of 30 oral histories of the individual and community impact of White Lake’s environmental history. The oral histories will be embedded on the project website, www.restoringwhitelake.com and select oral histories will be read at a public event. Oscar Osbo, of Double O Audio and Video, will be working with the project leaders to videotape the majority of the oral histories; a group of local volunteers is also assisting. Although the workshop is geared to train the volunteer group, it is also open to others who may be interested in the training.
White Lake was once called “White Lake the Beautiful” for its contribution to natural beauty, recreation, and a robust resort and tourism era. A subsequent era of chemical manufacturing catapulted the lake and its small community into the national spotlight as a poster child for industrial pollution. As a result, in 1985, White Lake was designated one of 43 “toxic hot spots,” or Great Lakes Areas of Concern by state and federal environmental authorities, qualifying it for a special cleanup effort. Significant progress has been made at restoring White Lake, which is due to be removed from the list of Great Lakes Areas of Concern in 2013.
The White Lake Environmental History Project is supported by the Michigan Humanities Council, Alcoa Howmet, the White Lake Area Historical Society, the Montague Museum and Historical Association, and the Friends of the White Lake Community Library.
Payment for the workshop is required by noon on Friday, November 9, and should be mailed or dropped off to the White Lake Community Library. For more information, contact Tanya Cabala at firstname.lastname@example.org or (231) 981-0016 or contact Shelley Williams at the Library at (231) 894-9531 ext. 21.