Alongside efforts to conserve the ecology and improve the local economies of the Clinch River Valley, the Clinch River Oral History Project illuminates and celebrates the cultural significance of the Clinch River in Southwest Virginia.
Over the fall and winter of 2014, Willie Dodson – a VISTA for the Clinch River Valley Initiative, along with students at Castlewood High School (CHS) in Russell County, Virginia – gathered over two dozen personal recollections of the role the river has played in the lives of folks from Tazewell, Wise, Russell and Scott Counties in Virginia.
In the spring of 2015, the CHS drama students that helped to conduct the oral history collection will be writing and performing an original outdoor drama based on the content of their interviews! This performance will take place on the banks of the Clinch River in the town of Saint Paul at the 17th annual Clinch River Days festival.
Other outputs of the project will include four radio segments to be aired on WMMT FM’s Mountain News and World Report, a presentation at the 2015 Appalachian Studies Association conference and a booklet of interview excerpts highlighting aspects of Clinch River culture from boating to baptizing will be printed and distributed throughout the region.
Funds raised through this gofundme campaign will support printing costs for the booklet, and registration fees for project participants to attend the ASA conference.
Audio and text versions of the histories are available below.
George Campbell: Audio | Transcript
Leroy Hilton: Audio | Transcript
Frank Kilgore: Audio | Transcript
Roy Mabry: Audio | Transcript
Margarette Ramsey: Audio | Transcript
Kathy Stewart: Audio | Transcript
Pam Vance: Audio | Transcript