458 Meylert St Laporte PA 18626
The "Laurel Leaves" oral history project is an invaluable collection of remembrances of Sullivan County residents. It was started in 1980 by teacher Sally Coleman's ninth grade English class at Sullivan County High School.
Sally, high school librarian Stevie Shoemaker, and their colleagues obtained a grant from the National Humanities Faculty, another from the Sullivan County School Board for the purchase of tape recording equipment, and donations from community organizations to support the project.
After a summer of instruction for the teachers in the techniques of conducting oral histories, the ninth graders fanned out across the county that fall to interview a wide range of the older population who had historical, work-related, childhood, mythical and often humorous stories to tell. Follow up interviews were conducted during the summer and spring. The students then transcribed their tapes, and with Sally's help, chose interesting excerpts for publication.
The first collection of excerpts was published in 1981. The project continued the next school year and produced a second booklet. More oral histories were taken later in the 1980s, and a few were added in more recent years. While the Laurel Leaves booklets are no longer for sale, copies are available for review at the Museum.
In recent years the original recordings have been digitized and individual interviews are available upon request in CD form for $5 each. The complete listing of interview subjects can be found here. Please contact the Museum to request individual recordings.
Copyright 2012 Sullivan County PA Historical Society and Museum. All rights reserved.
The Sullivan County PA Historical Society and Museum is a registered 501(c)(3).