Frisco’s Historic Park & Museum compiles oral history
September 21, 2012
Frisco Historic Park & Museum continues work on its oral history project that began during the spring. The process of collecting and archiving the data will continue for the next few years, said Simone Belz, museum manager.The goal of the project is to digitally collect oral histories, historical narratives or stories from former or current Frisco residents. Stories relating to local history include ranching, mining, school days, recreation or any other memories that interview subjects are willing to share. “It is our duty to tell Frisco’s story,” Belz said. “What better way to do that then to capture oral histories from the people that made up the history?”Tom Randolph, a longtime Frisco resident and volunteer for the park and museum, is taking the lead on gathering the oral histories from some of the town’s residents.”It’s been a pleasure to do this,” Randolph said. “Some of the people here have been around a long time and it’s a lot of fun to sit and talk to them.”The way that Randolph approaches his interviews is “just to sit and have a conversation and talk about their experiences,” he said.During his interviews, Randolph has conducted 25 now with many more names on his list, he has heard several enriching stories about Frisco’s past. “I spoke with this man whose ancestors go clear back to the Civil War,” Randolph said. “He had some very interesting tales about homesteading the ranch that he lives on now.”Another story, that Randolph says is “A little sneak preview” to his findings, is a tale from a woman who, in 1932 had to chase away a goat who was pestering the flowers in front of the hardware store her family owned.”She was talking about the Demming Family’s goat,” Randolph said. “The Demmings were a well known, old time family here and this woman had such a funny story to tell about their pesky goat.”Among his numerous interviews, Randolph said that he has encountered a mix of people from Frisco’s history including miners, ranchers, those who came on homesteads and some of the areas first ski patrolmen.”It’s been a mix of people and they all have an interesting story to tell – above all, they share a love for Frisco,” Randolph said.A compilation of Randolph’s oral data will eventually be available to the public through an interactive exhibit, which is forming “organically,” Belz said. “This process has been extremely open ended because some of the best stories come from deep in someone’s memory – it may take a while to get there,” Belz said. “We want the interviews to be spontaneous because they might go off on a tangent memory that is fabulous and we want to capture all of that information.”Several interview subjects have also shared their old diaries, scrap books and photographs with Frisco’s Historic Park & Museum for the project.”We’re so excited about this project because those who lived it and experienced it, love to share it with everyone,” Belz said.