Flagler County Public Library
Flagler County Memories Project
By the close of the Second Seminole War in 1842, Flagler County was virtually uninhabited. Almost all current residents of the County, or their forbearers, arrived here after that era. We represent a diverse cross section of ethnic and racial origins. We came from many places and for our own reasons; many were looking for the "good life" promised by land developers. What we brought to the experience, what we found here and how we adapted create our own personal life stories.
The staff of the Flagler County Public Library and members of the Friends of the Library including Judy Kent, Mary Ann Clark and Bill Ryan began an oral history project in 200l as an effort to preserve samples of these memories and relevant images for the future. This collection of oral life histories seeks to sample the common themes and unique stories of selected local residents. The compact disk/ digital format was selected as the best available method for recording the materials. There was no intent to create a history of the county or any of its cities, towns and settlements, though individual stories often reflect those of the area. The compact disks are now part of the Library. An extensive collection of these DVD discs prepared by Bill Ryan are now part of the Flagler County Historical Society collection. Sadly these early html based records do not have an unlimited life cycle and these recordings will deteriorate in time.
The following residents have been interviewed:
Mary Ann Clark
John A. Clegg
Patsy (Moody) and Tommy Durrance
Sandra Rose Friedman
Rev. and Mrs. Frank Gibbens
Audrey McKnight and Norma Turner
Catherine Wickline Wilson
This is a nation-wide project whose purpose is to record the memories of US veterans who served in all branches of the Armed Forces. Once recorded and transcribed, these interviews will be preserved for all time in the Library of Congress. For more information on the program see http://www.loc.gov/folklife/vets/
In 2002 the project staff successfully petitioned for Official Partner status in the Library of Congress~Veterans History Project. Local veteran’s groups were contacted and lists of potential interview candidates were compiled. The first interview was completed, featuring Violet Hill Gordon, a member of the first class of women selected for Officer’s Candidate School in what was to become the Women’s Army Corps. Mrs. Gordon is one of several of our veterans who are featured on the Library of Congress’ website: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cocoon/vhp/search?query=Flagler+County+Public+Library&field=affiliation
Our veterans are also featured in two books published by the Library of Congress and the National Geographic Society, Stories of War and Forever A Soldier. Both volumes present unforgettable stories of wartime service and are highly recommended reading. Our materials were used in these books.including Dr. Giles McCoy USS Indianapolis and Dr. Augustus Prince the pioneer navy radar specialist.
The Veteran's History project is no longer active in Flagler County. Interviews may be viewed on the Library of Congress Web site
Funding for the Oral History Project was provided by
The Library of Congress selected the Violet Hill Gordon interview and the Rhona Prescott interviews to use as samples of the Veteran's History Program on their website.
Years ago Terry Jones discovered a true American hero in our midst, George Dibbs. She invited him to do a Friends program and did a terrific display of memorabilia from his days as a combat photographer during WWII. That prompted Bill Ryan and I to interview Mr. Dibbs and forward digital copies of his treasures to the Library of Congress. There they were archived and subsequently discovered by Sean Kennedy and his team who were creating a web series on “lost” film from that era. You may have seen them in the library recently, shooting new footage. This is pay day for those of us who worked on the project, and it never would have happened without the generous support of the Friends. Thanks to you, Mr. Dibbs has been given the recognition that he so richly deserves.