Michigan City Public Library
Dunes
100 E. 4th Street, Michigan City, IN 46360, phone 219 - 873 - 3044 fax 219 - 873 - 3067

               
      Oral History Tapes






 

General

The collection of oral history tapes listed in this catalog was produced in 1977 and 1978 as part of History: Live From La Porte County, a project funded by the La Porte County CETA and administrated by the Michigan City Public Library. This collection is housed in the Audio Visual Department of the library. The project staff were charged with compiling as complete as possible an audio and visual history of La Porte County. To this end oral historians and oral history collectors went to the people of La Porte County, tape recorders in hand. The narrators were asked to tell about their memories of life in the past. What resulted was a unique blend of remembrance on life in this area. The interviews offer a rich range of topics; from the remembrances of a lumber schooner wheelsman to those of farmers, merchants, morticians and homemakers. Details of many antiquated trades and occupations, as well as information regarding crafts and folkways which have all but disappeared are preserved in these tapes. The utilization of high technology in the form of portable cassette recorders with spoken language, Man's oldest means of communication, serve to present a unique perspective on life in the past. The oral history tapes chronicle the hopes, fears, joys and sorrows of the common people of our communities; those events which have shaped their lives, and in turn ours. A sense of immediacy and relevance runs through these tapes. This collection comprises a splendid source of the local folklore and customs that gave La Porte County a greater sense of self-identity and independence in the past than is true today.

In the past decade collecting of oral history interviews has grown tremendously. Academic and public libraries, as well as other information sources, such as folklore institutes and historical societies have accelerated their collecting. The number of tape collections has grown prodigiously each year. A resource that was once a mere trickle is now a rushing stream.

Despite this increase in popularity oral historians have yet to grapple with some fundamental questions about their work. Considerable debate still centers on the significance or oral history archives. What are their uses? How valid for these uses are they? Uncertainties such as these call the very practice of collecting oral interviews into question. Pressure from more traditionally oriented historians has been brought to bear on oral historians to show some justification for their work. The challenges most commonly directed toward the oral historians are that:

1. Oral history interviews do not detail "hard facts;' or if they do, do not carry the same weight as written documents. It is believed by many that the reminiscences of narrators more often tend to be how they would like to :remember things as opposed to how it "really" was. Some narrators purposely distort facts.

2. Oral history interviews are not systematic, narrators ramble. Topics of interest may be buried in endless digressions on parenthetical concerns. Yet a rigorous examination of narrators can be counter-productive to allowing an individual free rein to articulate his/her thoughts on a given matter.

3. Interviewers often have little or no formal training in the study of history; ask poor questions and do not follow up-with good questions, or are not "professional."

4. The topics often covered in oral interviews are ephemeral, "pop," folklore; not history. The supposition is that "real history" comes from documents, memos, "traditional" (read: in-print) sources.

Oral historians counter these charges by pointing out that:

1. Fewer belle lettres, diaries and letters exist in our electronic media age. The culture as a whole places less importance on printed materials. Oral history can serve as a substitute for the lack of intimate personal memoirs. Oral historians point out that many documents are oral in origin, and only gain authority and historical significance by being printed.

2. How people believed things were, their attitudes and subjective impressions are often as valuable as knowing how something "really was."

3. The optimistic view is that an oral interview allows a narrator to "let their hair down," and admit mistakes or misjudgments. The interview allows for free, wide ranging expression.

4. Oral history is an invaluable tool to research folklore and folkways. Additionally, linguists value tapes which preserve local and/or regional dialects and accents, slang terms or once common words no longer in common usage.

One might conclude that the challenges to oral historians may never be resolved; the fact that the resistance to oral history interviews has not yet been dispelled by oral historians indicates some validity for the challengers. The skeptics of oral history have no "case" to prove. As long as they remain active questioners there will always be some dissension, some feeling that oral history research is not as truly scientific or objective (and therefore less valuable to scientific historians) as traditional means of research. However a healthy skepticism can prevent oral historians from becoming complacent about their work, and blind to its limitations. Though it may be that oral history remains a somewhat ephemeral study, its value as a means of researching traditional folklore cannot be denied. On the level of the common person, there is no better way to research folklore than by examining the "folk". Even if the opinion on oral history relegates it to being a tool for folklorists and sociologists this is a significant justification to legitimize the efforts of oral historians. Folklore is an integral part of American culture. There is a sense of urgency among those who collect and study it to do so before mass communication/information/entertainments which act as leveling agents homogenize the nation's experiences and regional variations disappear. We are all becoming more alike. Oral history can give us a better sense of where we came from, what our past is. This leads to a more appreciative insight into our present.

This indeed is the strong suit of this catalog's collection of oral history interviews. No attempt was made to document "hard" history. Only a passing interest was shown in getting names and dates. Instead the focus was on the intangibles that make up human existence: What was it like for a farmer to toil behind a plow drawn by a sweating Belgian drafthorse? What was it like to feel the bite of cold endured by fishermen pulling nets on a gray and temperamental Lake Michigan? Women's work was as (or more) arduous. Cooking, cleaning and child-rearing were all much more difficult in a past devoid of labor saving appliances.

Hard, physical work was an accepted norm of life. The rewards were often few or fleeting; the task of nurturing children through infancy might be crowned by the child's death by flu or diphtheria. "The good old days" is in part a misnomer; they could be terrible. In many ways the world of La Porte County 60, 70 and 80 years ago was a vastly different one from that we know today. At the same time, a thread of continuity runs from then to now so that we in the present can share and appreciate. This is the strength of the collection, recreating a world similar yet strangely remote from ours.

Tape Catalog

How to read this catalog:

Narrator, Birthdate, Tape Number
Occupation(s), Birthplace

Description of topics and subjects on this tape, interviewer and interview date, other materials pertaining to this tape.

Agemy James b. October 11, 1937 #T-6-129
Grocer, Michigan City, IN

Reminiscences about his years as an independent grocery store owner in Michigan City, Indiana. Cecilia Jankowski, interviewer; November 8, 1978
Indexed and transcribed.

Allen, Russell W. b. December 13, 1900 #T-3-69
Mechanic, Cass County, MI

Reminiscences of a black man on his life in Michigan City since the 1920s; his thoughts and feelings on racial prejudice and discrimination and segregation. Laurie Radke, interviewer; January 19, 1978. Indexed.

Andrew, Florence b. November 17, 1895 #T-4-84
Piano Teacher, LaPorte, IN

Reminiscences and memories of the music culture and musical heritage of La Porte, Indiana. Jerrold Gustafson, interviewer; May 17, 1978. Indexed.

Bernacchi, Bart b. July 1, 1929 #T-2-40
Horticulturalist, LaPorte, IN

Reminiscences on Bernacchi family flower and truck farm businesses in La Porte, Indiana. Laurie Radke, interviewer; October 26, 1977. Indexed.

Boklund, Emma (Youngstrom) b. February 23, 1894 #T-3-64
Teacher, LaPorte, IN

Reminiscences on growing up in the "Swedish Hills" area of La Porte County, Indiana; early Swedish settlers, farming and garden customs; teaching in county schoolhouse. Laurie Radke, interviewer; January 11, 1978. Indexed.

Bracken, Earnest b. December 13, 1900 #T-5-107
Post Office Master, Mill Creek, IN

Reminiscences and recollections on home and family life in Mill Creek, Indiana, 1910's; background to history of Mill Creek. John Brennan, interviewer; August 23, 1978 Transcribed.

Bruhn, Leona b. June 7, 1906 #T-3-77
Homemaker, Michigan City, IN

Recollections of family and home life on west side Michigan City, Indiana 1910's and 1920's. Laurie Radke, interviewer; March 17, 1978. Indexed and transcribed.

Buchanan, Russell b. December 29, 1905 #T-2-38
Farmer, Coolspring Township, LaPorte

Reminiscences on growing up in Coolspring Township in La Porte County, Indiana since the early 1900's. Laurie Radke, interviewer; November 9, 1977. indexed.

Burch, Grace b. January 19, 1904 #T-4-93
Homemaker, Davis Station, IN

Reminiscences of Rivernook Farm; the Grand Kankakee Marsh; one room schoolhouse; family and home life since the early 1900's.
Jerrold Gustafson, interviewer July 13, 1978. Indexed.

Burkett, Hilda (Halter) b. December 7, 1901 #T-5-121
Reflexologist, Wills Township, LaPorte

Reminiscences on her interests in folklore medicine, Indian cures and Reflexology. Jerrold Gustafson, interviewer; October 26, 1978. Indexed.

Clemens, Ray b. January 2, 1927 #T-5-108
Sales Manager, Michigan City, IN

Discusses his research into the lives of French "coureurs de bois" and "voyageurs". Jerrold Gustafson, interviewer; August 28, 1978. Indexed and transcribed.

Cobb, Luther b. August 23, 1908 #T-5-105
Laborer, Covington, KY

Reminiscences on emigration: from Kentucky; family and home life in Kingsford Heights, Indiana; employment at Kingsbury Ordnance Plant; discrimination and segregation encountered by blacks.
John Brennan, interviewer; August 23, 1978. Transcribed.

Crawford, Edwin b. January 20, 1896 #T-3-61
Streetcar Motorman, Furnessville, IN

Reminiscences on his experiences as a streetcar driver in Michigan City,*, descriptions of cars; changes in car design; accidents. Laurie Radke, interviewer; December 5, 1977. Indexed and transcribed.

Crumpacker, Harriet (Bray) b. October 9, 1891 #T-3-55
Homemaker, Michigan City, IN

Reminiscences on growing up in Michigan City, Indiana since the 1890's; children's games and clothing; school curriculum and activities.
Laurie Radke, interviewer; October 11, 1977. Indexed and transcribed.

Crumpacker, Harriet (Bray) b. October 9, 1891 #T-3-56
Homemaker, Michigan City, IN
Reminiscences on grandfather's grocery store in Michigan City, Indiana; Michigan City downtown; homelife and chores.
Laurie Radke, interviewer; October 24, 1977. Indexed and transcribed.

Crumpacker, Harriet (Bray) b. October 9, 1891 #T-3-57
Homemaker, Michigan City, IN

Reminiscences on clubs and social life in Michigan City, Indiana; school activities; rivalry between Michigan City and La Porte. Laurie Radke, interviewer; November 8, 1977 Indexed.

Crumpacker, Harriet (Bray) b. October 9, 1891 #T-3-58
Homemaker, Michigan City, IN

Reminiscences on early 20th century schools; women's clothing; women's careers; women's suffrage movement in Michigan City. Laurie Radke, interviewer; November 22, 1977. Indexed.

Dabagia, Phillip K. b. April 1, 1941 #T-4-85
Police Officer, Michigan City, IN

Information on people of Lebanese descent residing in Michigan City; family and home life; religious practices; holidays and ceremonies. George Schultz, interviewer; April 3, 1978. Indexed.

De Groote, Charles b. February 27, 1906 #T-5-120
Farmer, South Bend, IN

Reminiscences about farming; family and home life since the 1920's; tool collecting; agricultural machinery. Jerrold Gustafson and Cecilia Jankowski, interviewers; October 19, 1978. Indexed.

Flint, Kathleen b. January 25, 1903 #T-5-123
Teacher, Toledo, OH

Reminiscences on inventions and educating; home and family life since the early 1900's. Cecilia Jankowski, interviewer; October 25, 1978. Indexed.

Frey, Harry W. b. July 28, 1906 #T-2-32
Lumberman, Bedford, MI

Reminiscences on logging and family lumber business since 1925. Laurie Radke, interviewer; October 19, 1977. Indexed and transcribed.

Garwood, Eugene A. b. July 15, 1928 #T-3-74
Orchard Operator, LaPorte, IN

Reminiscences on the history of the Garwood family apple orchard in La Porte, Indiana from the mid 1840's to the present. (1978) Laurie Radke, interviewer; Marth 2, 1978. Indexed and transcribed.

Gielow, Al b. June 28, 1893 #T-5-115
Semi-professional Baseball, Chicago, IL

Reminiscences on his career as a semi-professional baseball player in Michigan City, Indiana in the early 1900's.
John Brennan, interviewer; September 29, 1978. Indexed and transcribed

Glafke, Elmer H. b. June 20, 1895 #T-4-80
Fireman, Electrician Michigan City, IN

Stories and reminiscences on working as a fireman in the 1920's, 30's and 40's; fire station construction; memorable fire calls. Jerrold Gustafson, interviewer; May 5, 1978. Indexed and transcribed.

Glafke, Elmer H. b. June 20, 1895 #T-4-100
Fireman, Electrician Michigan City, IN

Recollections on World War One service in Army Balloon Corps; anti-German sentiments in United States during WW1; recollections on life in La Porte and Michigan City after the war. Jerrold Gustafson, interviewer; August 14, 1978.

Glidden, Chester T. b. December 6, 1901 #T-3-65
Real Estate Salesman, Lakeside, MI

Reminiscences on development of lakefront and beach areas of Michigan City, Indiana. Laurie Radke, interviewer; February 10, 1978. Indexed.

Grieger, Hanna (Hunsley) b. August 14, 1890 #T-2-53
Homemaker, Hanna, IN

Reminiscences on childhood games and activities; hunting, trapping and fishing techniques in Kankakee River and Kankakee Marshlands; one room schoolhouse. Laurie Radke, interviewer; November 1, 1977. Indexed and transcribed.

Griewank, Otto C. b. September 29, 1886 #T-2-49
Building Construction, Washington Township, LaPorte

Reminiscences on his life as a building constructor in La Porte County, Indiana and changes in building and construction techniques since the 1910's. Laurie Radke, interviewer; November 9, 1977. indexed and transcribed.

Hatcher, Carlton b. December 20, 1892 #T-4-98
Laborer Lizella, Georgia

Reminiscences of the black experience of growing up in Michigan City, Indiana; emigration from Georgia; family and home life; discrimination and prejudice. John Brennan, interviewer; August 8, 1978. indexed and transcribed.

Herbert, Hugo H. b. May 19, 1888 #T-3-67
Sailor, Electrician Germany

Reminiscences on experiences as a wheelsman on a Lake Michigan lumber schooner; electrician at Haskell-Barker Railroad Car Shop, 1912-1964. Laurie Radke, interviewer; January 5, 1978. Indexed

Herbst, August A. b. August 22, 1917 #T-4-94
Farmer, Hamlet, IN

Breeds and characteristics of draft horses; breaking and training of draft horses; farming techniques using draft animals; m2les; care and conditioning of draft horses. Jerrold Gustafson, interviewer; July 27, 1978. Indexed and transcribed. Monograph.

Herbst, August A. b. August 22, 1917 #T-4-96
Farmer, Hamlet, IN

Reminiscences on growing up along the Kankakee Marshlands; hunting and trapping in marshlands; farming techniques and stories; bootlegging camps in marsh areas. Jerrold Gustafson, interviewer; August 1, 1978. indexed.

Herbst, August (Jr.) b. September 19, 1942 #T-5-106
Telephone Technician, Hamlet, IN

Experiences and recollections of working with drafthorses; breeds and characteristics of draft animals; breaking and training; care and management. Jerrold Gustafson, interviewer; August 22, 1978. Indexed and transcribed.

Hibbs, Edward b. 1908 #T-4-101
Teacher Otis, IN

Reminiscences on 40 year teaching career at Elston Senior High School in Michigan City, Indiana. John Brennan, interviewer; August 18, 1978. Indexed and transcribed.

Hill, Lela (Cathcart) b. September 15, 1889 #T-2-52
Homemaker, New Durham, IN

Reminiscences on home life and schools in Pinhook, Indiana; celebration of holidays and ceremonies. Laurie Radke, interviewer; December 8, 1977. Indexed.

Hooton, Fay N. b. April 22, 1906 #T-4-103
Farmer, Engineer Chicago, IL

Reminiscences on his experiences working in maple sugar camps since the early 1910's; details and techniques of making maple syrup. Jerrold Gustafson, interviewer; August 17, 1978. Indexed and transcribed.

Hooton, Fay N. b. April 22, 1906 #T-5-114
Farmer, Engineer Chicago, IL

Recollections and memories of family and farm life in New Carlisle, Indiana; children's games and activities; school memories. Jerrold Gustafson, interviewer; September 28, 1978. Indexed and transcribed.

Howes, Edward B. b. October 27, 1893 #T-4-83
Sawmill Owner, Williamsburg, IA

Reminiscences on hardwood sawmill operations in La Porte, Indiana, 1920-1962. Jerrold. Gustafson, interviewer; April 6, 1978. Indexed and transcribed.

Kepler, Robert W. b. January 18, 1915 #T-6-132
Physician, LaPorte, IN

Reminiscences on his career as a medical doctor in La Porte, Indiana; medical techniques and equipment and their changes through the years. Cecilia Jankowski, interviewer; January 18, 1979. Indexed.

Kinney, Madeline (Gwynne) b. May 17, 1897 #T-4-87
Museum Curator, Washington, PA

"The Haunted House at 918 'I' St." and other La Porte, Indiana stories; La Porte society early 1900's to 1970's. Jerrold Gustafson, interviewer; February 27, 1978. Indexed and transcribed.

Kinsey, Evelyn (Thompson) b. October 5, 1910 #T-2-30
Homemaker-Cook, Ponca City, OK

Reminiscences on family and farm life, in Kingsbury, Indiana during the 1920's and 1930's. Laurie Radke, interviewer; December 13, 1977. Indexed and transcribed.

Kinsey, Evelyn (Thompson) b. October 5, 1910 #T-2-36
Homemaker-Cook, Ponca City, OK

Reminiscences while taking car tour around Kingsbury, Indiana area, includes memories of change in land use of Kankakee Marsh areas. Laurie Radke, interviewer; October 14, 1977. Indexed.

Kinsey, Evelyn (Thompson) b. October 5, 1910 #T-3-73
Homemaker-Cook, Ponca City, OK

Reminiscences on impact of locating the Kingsbury Ordnance Plant in Kingsbury, Indiana, 1940's. Laurie Radke, interviewer; December 13, 1977. Indexed.

Lloyd, J. Cyrus b. December 9, 1919 #T-3-78
Farmer, Union Mills, IN

Recollections on dairy farming techniques in the 1920's in Union Mills, Indiana; barns and other farm buildings; wheat threshing. Laurie Radke, interviewer; April 21, 1978. Indexed and transcribed.

Lubke, Charles L. b. June 14, 1891 #T-4-92
Photographer, Engineer Michigan City, IN

Recollections of working at the Haskell-Barker Railroad Car Shop since 1907; antique photography. George Schultz, interviewer. Indexed.

McDonald, Martin b. December 31, 1884 #T-4-81
Farmer, Jasper County, IN

Memories and reminiscences of growing up along the Grand Kankakee marsh in LaPorte County, Indiana; draining and ditching of marshlands; farming operations; hunting, fishing and trapping in marshlands. Laurie Radke and Jerrold Gustafson, interviewers, February 10, 1978. Indexed.

McDonald, Martin b. December 31, 1884 #T-4-82
Farmer, Jasper County, IN

Reminiscences on farming activities in the Kankakee Marsh; home and family life in La Crosse, Indiana. Laurie Radke and Jerrold Gustafson, interviewers, February 16, 1978. Indexed.

Miller, George E. b. 1889 #T-4-89
Grocer, LaPorte, IN

Reminiscences and stories of ice harvesting on the La Porte, Indiana lakes, 1900-1920. Jerrold Gustafson, interviewer; March 8, 1978. Indexed and transcribed. Monograph.

Miller, George E. b. 1889 #T-4-102
Grocer, LaPorte, IN

Recollections on growing up in La Porte, Indiana 1890's-1920's; family and home life; school and game activities. Jerrold Gustafson, interviewer; August 16, 1978. Indexed.

Mills, Thomas E. b. June 19, 1919 #T-4-97
Farmer, Hanna, IN

Anecdotes about Lou Pratt and Bunk Seagrave,  oldtime storytellers in the Kankakee Marsh area; reminiscences on hunting, fishing and trapping in the Marsh; family and farm life. Jerrold Gustafson, interviewer; August 2, 1978. Indexed and transcribed. Monograph.

Mrozinski, Robert B. 1930 #T-4-90
State Highway Employee, La Porte, IN

Recollections on the use of horses in farming; care and feeding of work and show horses. George Schultz, interviewer; March 1, 1978. Indexed.

Munger, Elizabeth #T-2-45
Librarian, Teacher, Curator

General reminiscences and impressions of Michigan City, Indiana history and ethnic backgrounds and communities. Laurie Radke, interviewer; November 15, 1977. Indexed and transcribed.

Ott, Joseph A. b. March 7, 1909 #T-5-119
Funeral Director, Michigan City, IN

Reminiscences about his 50+ years as a funeral director; mortuary customs and techniques since the 1920's; details on changes in funereal furniture since the 1920's. Jerrold Gustafson and Cecilia Jankowski, interviewers; October 18, 1978. Indexed and transcribed.

Pierce, Florerce (McIntyre) b. 1886 #T-3-68
Nurse, Homemaker Michigan City, IN

Reminiscences on her childhood years in Michigan City, especially children's games and school activities. Laurie Radke, interviewer; January 6, 1978. Indexed and transcribed.

Pierce, Florence (McIntyre) b. 1886 #T-3-72
Nurse, Homemaker, Michigan City, IN

Reminiscences on life in Michigan City, Indiana in the early 1900's; family and home life. Laurie Radke, interviewer; January 15, 1978. Indexed and transcribed.

Pierce, Florence (McIntyre) b. 1886 #T-3-75
Nurse, Homemaker, Michigan City, IN

Reminiscences on women's clothing, shoe and hairstyles in the early 1900's; family life; holidays and ceremonies. Laurie Radke, interviewer; January 20, 1978. Indexed and transcribed.

Powell, Kenneth b. February 10, 1899 #T-5-109
Michigan City, IN

Recollections on living in a boarding house in Michigan City, Indiana in the early 1900's; social life in Michigan City. John Brennan, interviewer; August 29, 1978. Indexed.

Rice, Sydney b. August 11, 1909 #T-4-99
Service Station Owner, Philadelphia, PA

Recollections and memories on life in Michigan City, Indiana in the 1920's and 1930's; Depression life; Works Progress Administration employment; neighborhood gas station business. Paul St. Arnaud, interviewer; August 9,1978. Indexed.

Ritter, Fred b. 1913 #T-4-91
Fisherman, Michigan City, IN

Memories and recollections of Great Lakes fishing; boat construction details; weather; luck and superstition Laurie Radke and George Schultz, interviewers; January 17, 1978. Indexed.

Roth, Albert G. b. December 16, 1928 #T-5-1-18
Trainman, Philadelphia, PA

Reminiscences on various positions held since first becoming a trainman in the late 1940's; equipment details; memorable accidents. Jerrold Gustafson and Cecilia Jankowski, interviewers; October 16, 1978. Indexed.

Rotzien, Martha (Davidson) b. February 18, 1898 #T-3-76
Homemaker, Westville, IN

Recollections of family, home and school activities in Westville, Indiana in the 1910's and 1920's; changes in Westville since the 1920's. Laurie Radke and Jerrold Gustafson, interviewers; February 6, 1978. Indexed and transcribed.

Sallawasser, Norman H. b. June 7, 1896 #T-3-63
Attorney, Judge LaPorte, IN

Reminiscences on law and political career i i n La Porte County, Indiana; the Great Depression and its effects; changes in lifestyles and quality of life since early 1900's. Laurie Radke and Jerrold Gustafson, interviewers; February 8, 1978. Indexed.

Schlundt, Ray b. October 11, 1899 #T-4-104
Factory Foreman, Porter County, IN

Reminiscences on growing up on farm; family and home life; employment as joy company factory foreman; life in Michigan City since 1910's. John Brennan, interviewer; August 17, 1978. Indexed.

Schmuhl, (Mrs.) Louis #T-3-66
Homemaker
Reminiscences on growing up in Michigan City, Indiana; childhood games and school activities. Laurie Radke, interviewer. Indexed.

Schumaker, Harold b. December 30, 1899 #T-2-42
Farmer, LaPorte County, IN

Reminiscences on family and farm life in Springfield Township in La Porte County, Indiana since the turn of the century. Billie Moore, interviewer; September 16, 1977. Indexed and transcribed.

Simpson, Madeline b. 1906 #T-6-135
Girl Scout Leader, Chicago, IL

Reminiscences on her forty-three years activities in the Girl Scouts in Michigan City, Indiana. Cecilia Jankowski, interviewer; December 15, 1978. Indexed and transcribed.

Smith, Alban b. February 16, 1904 #T-5-116
Attorney, Albion, NY T-5-117

Reminiscences on political and judicial career in La Porte, Indiana since the 1920's; memorable trials; defense of D.C. Stephenson 1920's. John Brennan, interviewer; October 10, 1978. Indexed.

Snodgrass, Raymond b. July 5, 1907 #T-5-128
Factory Foreman, Michigan City, IN

Reminiscences on home and family life in Michigan City, Indiana since the early 1900's; employment at Pullman Standard Railroad Car factory. Paul St. Arnaud, interviewer; July 31, 1978. Indexed.

Spychalski, Clement b. October 2, 1901 #T-3-59
Retail Grocer, Michigan City, IN

Reminiscences on growing up in Michigan City since the early 1900's; Polish, German and Swedish ethnic groups and customs; operating retail grocery store. Laurie Radke, interviewer; October 17, 1977. Indexed and transcribed.

Stahlberg, Gertrude b. July 18, 1801 #T-5-111
Telephone Operator, La Porte County, IN

Reminiscences on her life in Wills Township and Rolling Prairie, Indiana; home and family life. John Brennan, interviewer; September 7, 1978. Indexed and transcribed.

Stellema, John W. b. July 20, 1910 #T-4-95
City Employee, The Netherlands

Recollections on emigration from the Netherlands to the United States; home and family life in Michigan City, Indiana; city and county political acquaintances. Paul St. Arnaud, interviewer; July 26, 1978. Indexed.

Stern, Frederick b. April 7, 1889 #T-2-33
Merchant, Rhein Provinz, Germany

Reminiscences on emigration from Rhein Provinz, Germany; life in Michigan City, Indiana since 1902. Laurie Radke, interviewer; October 5, 1977. Indexed.

Tennis, J. Wade b. 1892 #T-5-110
Laborer, Mill Creek, IN

Reminiscences on life in Mill Creek, Indiana since the 1890's. John Brennan, interviewer; August 31, 1978. Transcribed.

Thorne, Ola P. b. January 26, 1914 #T-6-134
Colonel, U.S.A.A.F. (Retired) Mitchell, IN

Reminiscences oh his career with the United States Army Air Force 1940-1-970; service in Alaska, China, the Pentagon; guided missile development, nuclear weapon development; NATO service; work with Hans Bethe and Edward Teller. Cecilia Jankowski, interviewer; December 6, 1978. Indexed and transcribed.

Tipton, Lois b. May 7, 1894 #T-2-43
Homemaker, Streator, IL

Reminiscences on clothing styles in the early 1900's. Laurie Radke, interviewer; November 14, 1977. Indexed.

Vail, John H. b. March 20, 1922 #T-4-88
Retailer, Michigan City, IN

Recollections about his father William Walter Vail; homelife in Michigan City in the 1920's and 130's. Jerrold Gustafson, interviewer; February 23, 1978. Indexed.

Welkie, Harold L. b. May 7, 1914 #T-2-44
Insurance Agent, Wanatah, IN

Reminiscences on farm life and father's livery barn in Wanatah, Indiana in the 1920's and 1930's. Laurie Radke, interviewer; January 13, 1978. Indexed.

Welkie, Harold L. b. May 7, 1914 #T-3-70
Insurance Agent, Wanatah, IN

Reminiscences on farming techniques in Wanatah, Indiana in the 1920's and 193019, especially hog butchering, making apple butter and pressing sorghum. Laurie Radke, interviewer; January 17, 1978 Indexed.

Wilson, Walter b. March 11, 1929 #T-5-122
Farmer, LaPorte, IN

Reminiscences about farm, family and home life in Mill Creek, Indiana; farm operations, chores, livestock, peppermint farming in mucklands. Jerrold Gustafson, interviewer; October 30, 1978. Indexed and transcribed.

Wilson, Walter b. March 11, 1929 #T-5-126
Farmer, LaPorte, IN

Experiences and recollections of raising dairy cattle in Mill Creek, Indiana; breeds and-characteristics of dairy cattle, their care and management. .Jerrold Gustafson, interviewer; November 6, 1978. Indexed and transcribed.

Wilson, Walter b. March 11, 1929 #T-5-127
Farmer, LaPorte, IN

Experiences and recollections of raising drafthorses in Mill Creek, Indiana; breeds and characteristics of draft horses, their care and management; horse furniture. Jerrold Gustafson, interviewer; November 6, 1978. Indexed and transcribed.

Zabel, William b. September 26, 1887 #T-4-79
Farmer, LaPorte, IN

Home life and farming operations in Hanna, Indiana in the 1890's and early 1900's. Laurie Radke, interviewer. January 17, 1978. Indexed and transcribed.

Tape Copies

Copies are available at a cost of $10 for each tape.

Note: Some oral histories are contained on more than one tape.
If transcripts of the tapes are available, they will also be sent.

Requests must be submitted in writing to:

Michigan City Public Library
Reference Department/Tapes
100 E. 4th Street
Michigan City, IN 46360

Please include:

history tape number
specify a CD or cassette copy
make checks or money orders payable to Michigan City Public Library

Please allow up to three weeks for return of request.

The audio quality of some tapes is very poor. However, the best efforts
have been made to restore the quality of the recordings.

Read Transcripts

In the late 1970's the Michigan City Public Library recorded oral histories, remembrance and observation of numerous La Porte County residents. Many of the remembrances date back to before the 1900's. These tapes proved a unique view of a 'simpler' way of life now long gone.

Prior written permission to use this material must be obtained from:

Director of the Michigan City Public Library
100 E 4th Street
Michigan City IN 46360

All material is covered by United States Copyright.

Thanks to a grant from the Michigan City Community Enrichment Corporation, the transcripts of the following Oral History Tapes are available online:

Jim Agemy
T-6-129--Independent Grocery Store
Word PDF

Florence Andrew
T-4-84, T-4-85--Music Culture of LaPorte
Word PDF

Bart Bernacchi
T-2-40--Bernacchi Greenhouses
Word PDF

Enis Bernacchi
T-2-41--Bernacchi Family
Word PDF

Emma Boklund
T-3-64--Growing Up In Swedish Hills
Word PDF

Ernie Bracken
T-5-107--History of Mill Creek
Word PDF

Leona Bruhn
T-3-77--Growing Up On Michigan City's Westside
Word PDF

Hilda Burkett
T-5-121--Folklore Medicine
Word PDF

Ray Clemens
T-5-108 Voyageurs
Word PDF

Luther Cobb
T-5-105--Black View of Life at Kingsford Heights
Word PDF

Edwin Crawford
T-3-61--Streetcar Motorman 1918
Word PDF

Harriet Crumpacker
T-2-56--Home Furnishings
Word PDF

Harriet Crumpacker
T-2-57--Michigan City in the Early 1900s
Word PDF

Harriet Crumpacker
T-2-58--Early Michigan City Schools, Clothing
Word PDF

Phil Dabagia
T-4-85--Syrians
Word PDF

Kathleen Flint
T-5-123--Inventions, Education, Home and Family Life
Word PDF

Gene and Elmer Garwood
T-3-74--Garwood Orchards
Word PDF

Al Gielow
T-5-115--Remembering Michigan City
Word PDF

Elmer Glafke
T-4-80--Fighting Fires 1919-1946
Word PDF

Chet Glidden
T-3-65--Developement of Long Beach
Word PDF

Ina Grieger
T-2-53--Growing Up in Hanna, IN
Word PDF

Otto Griewank
T-2-49--Construction Industry 1910s to 1960s
Word PDF

Hugo Herbert
T-3-67--Working On a Lumber Schooner
Word PDF

August Herbst, Sr.
T-4-94--Farm Horses
Word PDF

Ed Hibbs
T-4-101--41 Years at Elston Sr. High
Word PDF

Lela Hill
T-2-52--Pinhook, IN
Word PDF

Fay Hooton
T-4-103--Maple Syrup Harvesting
Word PDF

Fay Hooton
T-5-114--The Good Life Farming
Word PDF

Ed Howes
T-4-83--Hardwood Sawmilling
Word PDF

Norman Kemp
T-6-131--Part 1 Indiana State Prison
Word PDF

Evelyn Kinsey
T-3-73--Impact of Kingsbury Ordinance Plant
Word PDF

Sylvester Kolozieski
T-5-124--50 Years in Sheridan Beach
Word PDF

Charles Lubke
T-4-92--50 Years at the Car Factory
Word PDF

Frank Mc Cullough
T-6-130--One Room Schoolhouse Teacher
Word PDF

Martin Mc Donald
T-4-81--Farming in LaCrosse
Word PDF

George Miller
T-4-89--Ice Harvesting in LaPorte
Word PDF

Tom Mills
T-4-97--Tall Tales from the Kankakee Marsh
Word PDF

Robert Mrozinski and Ed Layman
T-4-90--Horses
Word PDF

Elizabeth Munger
T-2-45--Michigan City History
Word PDF

Joseph Ott
T-5-119--Funeral Customs Over 50 Years
Word PDF

Flo Pierce
T-3-72--Recollections of Michigan City
Word PDF

Flo Pierce
T-3-75--Michigan City Family Life
Word PDF

Sid Rice
T-4-99--Living in Michigan City
Word PDF

Fred Ritter
T-4-91--Great Lakes Fishing
Word PDF

Armandt Rosembaum
T-6-133--Life in Wanatah
Word PDF

Martha Rotzien
T-3-76 Recollections of Westville
Word PDF

Norman Sallawasser
T-3-63--Politics
Word PDF

Ray Schlundt
T-4-104--Joy and Sullivan Mfg. Foreman
Word PDF

Wilhelmina Schmul
T-3-66--Growing Up in Michigan City
Word PDF

John Shawley
T-6-137--Politics
Word PDF

Madeline Simpson
T-6-135--Forty-three Years in Girl Scouting
Word PDF

Alban Smith
T-5-116--Mayor of LaPorte 1930s
Word PDF

Al Spiers
T-6-136--Politics and the Newsman
Word PDF

Clem Spychalski
T-2-59--Growing Up in Michigan City
Word PDF

Clem Spychalski and Dude Calvert
T-3-60--Growing Up and Living in Michigan City
Word PDF

Gertrude Stahlberg
T-5-111--Early LaPorte and Wills Township
Word PDF

John Stellema
T-4-95--LaPorte County Politics
Word PDF

J. Wade Tennis
T-5-110--Mill Creek History
Word PDF

Ola P. Thorne
T-6-134--U.S. Air Force Working on Atomic Bombs
Word PDF

John Vail
T-4-88--Recollections of His Father William Vail
Word PDF

Harold Welkie
T-2-44--Growing Up in Wanatah
Word PDF

Harold Welkie
T-3-70--Wanatah Farming
Word PDF

Walter Wilson
T-5-126--Dairy Cattle
Word PDF

Walter Wilson
T-5-127--Draft Horses
Word PDF

Walter Wilson
T-5-122--Farming in Mill Creek
Word PDF

Roy Wiseman
T-3-62--Streetcar Motorman 1920s and 1930s
Word PDF