Monday, March 28, 2022

Telling Our Stories: The Adirondack Story Project

We are blessed to have quality news outlets in the Adirondacks – local newspapers and magazines, social media, and including, of course, the Adirondack Almanack and Explorer. These resources are place-based and provide us with the current news and events. They also serve as archival records for future generations.

Since 2014, I’ve shared a number of my stories on the Adirondack Almanack. There are more avenues for telling one’s stories now, eight years later, primarily through the perfection of online resources because of the Covid-19 pandemic and our resultant isolation.

I want to introduce readers of the Almanack to a project for recording audio stories which began a few years ago through the Keene Valley Library. To date, this Adirondack Community Story Project has collected over 250 three-to-five-minute audio stories on the historical and social cultural history of the Town of Keene.

I’ve worked with Jery Huntley, the project coordinator, since she began the project in 2019 at the Keene Valley Library. I am impressed with her ingenuity, kindness, and dedication to bringing her vision to light. Most recently, she recorded the telling of my experiences during Tropical Storm Irene as published in the Almanack in August, 2021. https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2021/08/remembering-irene-10-years-later-the-flooding-of-styles-brook.html

The Keene Valley Library where the community story project began. Photo provided by Lorraine Duvall.

In commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the storm, she collected stories from other local residents. These stories and related podcasts are available at www.myadirondackstory.org -sorted into eight categories – see Catastrophes where the Tropical Storm Irene stories reside. The Adirondack Community Story Project now serves as a model for OurStoryBridge, which is “a free resource and tool kit for producing crowd-sourced, community, online story projects emphasizing audio history collecting and sharing,” said Ms. Huntley.

She is eager to help more communities tell their stories, as she’s done in Lake Placid, and across the country, such as Igiugig, Alaska and Tremonton City, Utah (stay tuned for others in the North Country and beyond to be announced later this year).

To learn more about starting your own project, visit www.ourstorybridge.org.

I’d like to acknowledge Beth Rowland, who maintains the Jay Community News, another great resource that serves our communities in the Ausable Valley. She compiled this document which contains the recollections and events that commemorated Tropical Storm Irene. https://jaynews.org/wp-content/uploads/irene-10-year-stories.pdf

Tropical Storm Irene. Photo courtesy of the Keene Valley Library.

Photo at top: The Old Beede House. Photo Courtesy of the Keene Valley Library.

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Lorraine Duvall

Award winning author Lorraine Duvall writes of her paddling adventures in the book, In Praise of Quiet Waters: Finding Solitude and Adventure in the Wild Adirondacks. Some experiences from her memoir, And I Know Too Much to Pretend, led her to research a woman’s commune north of Warrensburg, resulting in the 2019 book, Finding A Woman’s Place: The story of a 1970s feminist collective in the Adirondacks. Duvall lives in Keene and is on the board of Protect the Adirondacks.




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