City of Frankfort announces “Intergenerational Oral History Project”

From our friends in the City of Frankfort…

logoThe City of Frankfort invites area youth to be part of a new summer program entitled “Stories of Town and Harbor: The History of the Frankfort Community.” This project will give students ages 11-17 the opportunity to conduct interviews, utilize transcription software, conduct research, write biographies, and create archives of the stories told by Frankfort elders and folk legends. The archive will be utilized as a foundation for the City’s self-­guided historic walking tour, along with official documents which will promote the history and culture of the Frankfort community. All Frankfort area and county wide youth are encouraged to participate in this project.
 Joshua J. Mills, City Superintendent for the City of Frankfort, said, “The history of the Frankfort community is an asset that is not currently presented effectively as we continue to strive toward an enhanced quality of life and establish our keen sense of place within the region. The work associated with ‘Stories of Town and Harbor: The History of the Frankfort Community’ will enable our community to become better aware of our tradition-­rich heritage and establishment of our place as a premier community along the Lake Michigan shoreline. There are numerous positive aspects associated with our ability to share and make people aware of our history that will certainly augment the social and economic well-­being of the community. Engaging the youth will have a lifetime impact to those involved and may lead to improved synergy as we move forward in the future. The positive impact of this project will provide enhanced education and awareness and will result in additional community amenities for our residents, guests and visitors.”

Created and facilitated by educator and historic preservationist, Gretchen Eichberger, the Project’s overall goal will be to provide students with a meaningful way to contribute to the development, planning, and preservation for the City of Frankfort. The Project will also help to build strong relationships among elders, youth, and community leaders. Sessions will begin in late June and conclude in early August for 2-­3 mornings per week running approximately 3 hours each. Interested individuals should visit, and click on Stories of Town and Harbor. The link will include the preliminary syllabus and registration form. Deadline for registration is June 27 with a maximum capacity of 15 participants.

Bruce C. Ogilvie, former Chairman of the Frankfort Planning Commission said, “Gretchen brought a unique opportunity to the Frankfort community, one that ties together the substantial history of the Betsie Bay and Harbor with our identification as part of the greater Pure Michigan campaign. The State travel program seeks to create destinations for visitors to the State. Local placemaking seeks to identify places that enhance and make memorable local sites, such as Point Betsie Lighthouse. These regional and local planning efforts identify and then engage visitors with the historic context of places and events that resonate and compliment the local advertising tag-­line, Northern Michigan Preserved. Combining the efforts of the Planning Commission, the Frankfort Downtown Development Authority, with new wayfinding signage and facilities and the direct engagement with youth in preserving and disseminating our history creates a synergy that will benefit the greater Frankfort area for years to come.”

Funded in part by the City of Frankfort, this program has received generous financial support from the Willoughby Rotary Foundation, Frankfort Rotary Good Works Fund, and public contributors. In kind support has been granted from the Friends of the Benzie Shores District Library. The Project has also received endorsement from the Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts, Friends of Point Betsie, Frankfort Elberta School District, and the Benzie Area Historical Society. Inquires for this project can be made by contacting (231) 871-­0215.

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