The Clinton Museum is looking to record the anecdotes and unique stories of Clinton’s history on video next summer.
Museum secretary Lillian Fehr says that thanks to a grant from the BC Heritage Legacy Fund, the museum has bought a Canon EOS M50 camera, and they now plan to tap into the memories of the village’s older residents in order to preserve an oral history of Clinton’s early beginnings.
“Last year we started going through our photographs and the descriptions of our collection here and realized we really have no oral histories,” Fehr says. “Everything we have is either an artifact, paper, or pictures. We have very little by way of what real life was like at those times.”
The museum had hoped to have summer students involved in the project, but the camera arrived too late. Over the next few months, Fehr and other volunteers will begin organizing and filming some initial interviews so that students can complete the project next summer.
To edit the footage, Fehr has partnered with Jordan Johnston of Razzle Marketing, a business Johnston started during the pandemic. Razzle helps small businesses and organizations like the museum get online and navigate the use of technology.
“The objective of this project is to end up with at least three hours of edited oral history,” Fehr says. “We’re really looking forward to it, because in the summertime we did a little story-time on a summer afternoon and people just came for the little anecdotes about growing up here. It was not only entertaining but also very educational, so we’re really hoping to get more of those stories people will never write down.”
Johnston is looking forward to editing the oral histories, saying it will be a more “honest and real look” at the village’s back story compared with what might be read in a book.
“It’s been really cool learning about Clinton’s history,” Johnston says. “It’s quite long, colourful, and rich. There are so many people who live in town who have been here for decades.”
Both Fehr and Johnston say they’re still deciding if they’ll post the final video online. If they do they’ll likely use YouTube if they have permission from all their interviewees.
Fehr says they welcome any Clinton seniors or Elders living in the area, or away from it, to contact the museum if they wish to have their stories recorded. Those with stories about ranching, local First Nations history, settler life, and funny historical anecdotes are invited to call (250) 459-2442 or email email@example.com.