Oral History Project

This project was organized in 1981 by Sara Wardell, then Director of Scoville Memorial Library with Holly Palmer Daboll. Holly became the Chairman with a group of leading citizens who wished to preserve the memories of older Salisbury residents.

Marion Haeberle became part of the committee and then in 1982 became the Chairman, which position she held until 2006. While she was head of the project, members working on the project met regularly to discuss potential interviewees and share other types of information. Several different members did the interviewing at the beginning and Libby Sisson did much of the transcribing. As fewer people were left to interview due to death or leaving the area, Marion maintained the work of the project alone. There were 117 interviews recorded. This was a multi-step process: taping the interview, copying the tapes, cataloging & storing them, and finally transcribing them. Original copies of the tapes and transcriptions are stored in the library vault and duplicate copies of the transcriptions are in the History Room at the library.

In September of 2010 the project was revived by Jean McMillen. The original concept was to collect memories of older citizens of Salisbury, but Jean first had to have help transcribing the 55 tapes left from the original 117 interviews. She elected to broaden the interview base to include those who work and contribute to the town in some way. She began interviewing in 2012. She created an Index as a reference to 12 topics such as: Art, Buildings, Businesses, Churches, Education, Families (Fires, Geology, the Grove, Health, Inns) Farms, Iron Industry, Music, Names, Politics, (Railroads, Recreation, Sharon Hospital & Clinic, Sports, Town Organizations, War), Towns and Discussion Groups. This Oral History Index is currently available in the computers at the Salisbury Association, the Town Hall, the Scoville Memorial Library, and the Edsel Ford Library at Hotchkiss.

Currently there are 354 fully transcribed interviews. Dick Paddock has converted the taped interviews into MP3 format accessible by computer. There are 3 volumes of selected stories taken from the transcriptions called “Sarum Samplings,” available for purchase at the Academy Building.  A fourth volume is to be compiled in the fall of 2018.

New transcriptions will be added to this site as they are prepared.