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Introduction to Oral Histories
Stories about the past

Places, like people, have memories and histories. The counties along the Apalachicola River and neighboring Wakulla County are no exception. Through the collection of oral histories from those who know an area best, places become alive and their memories restored.

Many parts of this region are witnessing dramatic changes. The St. Joe Company is rapidly developing its extensive land holdings. Branding the region "Florida's Great Northwest," St. Joe writes in its promotional material that it "has embraced place-making - the art of creating true places - as a business strategy."

"True places" already exist here. The region is not a cultural blank slate any more than it's a biological blank slate. We have included oral histories in this ecological characterization of the Apalachicola River to show that the region's culture is as rich as its biology and that in fact the two are often inextricably linked. The land has been influencing people and people have been influencing the land for thousands of years.

"Place" may mean family and work and community as well as attachments to the land. For this website, we have extracted from our interviews segments relating to land and resource use.

Complete transcripts and tapes from the interviews are available at the Reichelt Oral History Program at Florida State University (444 Bellamy Building, 850-644-4966). Additional interviews have already been completed from other counties and, upon final review by the interviewees, should be available here at the end of August 2005.

The oral histories collected for the ARROW web site was funded by a Historic Preservation Grant from the Florida Department of State's Office of Cultural and Historical Programs in 2004-2005.

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This page was last modified on : 06/26/2006

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