Monday, August 22, 2016

Collective Memories Roadtrip to Humber Valley - People, Places and Traditions

Discussing people, places, and traditions.
On Wednesday Dale and I headed back to Reidville, the community where we interviewed Clifford Reid, in order to do a second People, Places, and Traditions workshop. We ended up with a smaller crowd due to the size of the town.  This meant that the sixteen of us were able to sit around one big table and have a discussion about some of the town’s history and stories.
Writing on their index cards.
After discussing the people, places, and traditions in the community we handed out index cards for everyone to fill out. Everyone took a couple of cards and wrote out someone, some place, or some tradition which is important to the community. We then mapped the cards on the large map of the community.
The story of Dead Man's Woods.
What was great about this workshop was that the size of the group and the close-knit community meant it turned into a story telling session with people taking turns telling stories from their childhood. Russ Reid told many stories about Mr. Oxford and himself growing up and the trouble they would get into.  The stories ranged from antagonizing the bull in his pen to sneaking up to the lumber camps, there were stories about a child who fell into a well and survived, a woman who gave birth in a canoe on her way to Deer Lake, and almost everyone had a story about stealing apples or fruit from their neighbours’ yards.
Adding stories and memories to the map.
Impromptu story telling around the Reidville map.
Reidville is located on a river and the islands of the river were named as well as the beaches which served as swimming holes or trouting spots. One of the islands, named Grandmother’s Island, was where Mr. Oxford would collect the long grass which would be used in their psalm Sunday services in the school which doubled as a church.
Discussing the future of heritage in the Humber Valley region.
After the session in Reidville Dale and I headed to Deer Lake where we had quick supper, and a poke around the community and two of the local cemeteries before heading to the Grand Lake Centre of Economic Development for a meeting with the Humber Valley Heritage society. We met with four members of the heritage society to talk about the future of heritage in Humber Valley. These women were the people who invited us out to lead the workshops and do some interviews and they are interested in how they can use the information collected at workshops like these. The heritage society is interested in holding similar events around the Humber Valley region in order to work together to promote the heritage of the region. The first thing they plan to do is take the information located on the physical maps and store it digitally. The committee is very interested in using Google My Maps to make this material accessible to and also editable by community members. They want to create a map of the region in order to showcase the agricultural heritage of the region and increase the tourism to all the communities.

~Terra Barrett

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