It’s easy to overlook the tab at the top of the Westport Historical Society website.
“Oral History,” it says. You probably figure it provides a bit of info about whatever oral histories the WHS has collected.
But clicking it reveals nearly a dozen videos — all on YouTube, all waiting to provide 10-minute-to-an-hour chunks of intriguing Westport history. (Another 300 oral histories are on audiotape only.)
On camera, Jo Fox Brosious remembers the (thankfully successful) 1960’s fight to save Cockenoe Island from becoming a nuclear power plant. Close-to-centenarians Lee Greenberg and Elwood Betts recall the Westport of even longer ago.
(Click here if Katie Chase’s interview with Elwood Betts does not load directly from YouTube.)
Former police chief Ron Malone and former fire chief Harry Audley share stories. Shirley Mellor sits in Max’s Art Supplies, describing the importance of the store to Westport’s artists’ colony.
Other oral histories explore our literary heritage, community garden, oystering and more.
Each year, the Historical Society runs a tour of Westport’s hidden gardens. Visitors to Wheeler House — the WHS’ historic home across from Town Hall — constantly revel in the surprises they find there.
These oral histories are one more treasure — hidden in plain sight, at the top of their site.
(Click here to go directly to the Westport Historical Society’s Oral History page. Videos are also available for puchase, at $10 each.)
(Click here if Allen Raymond’s interview of Ron Malone does not load directly from YouTube.)