FARMINGTON – A collection of some of the county’s oldest memories are now available at local libraries and town offices.
“Remembering Franklin County” is a project currently underway at Mt. Blue Community Access TV. The series features some local citizens talking about growing up in the area at the beginning of the 20th century. The interviews are then shown on Channel 11, the community access channel, as well as packaged in DVD-format for distribution throughout the county.
Station Director J.P. Fortier says that the project has led to some fascinating results.
“We’ve been doing this series for quite a while now,” he said, “three or four years at least. It’s very cool how we can encapsulate these experiences in an hour-long show.”
Fifteen to 20 hours of footage have currently been filmed. The project got off the ground with the help of a $2,000 Maine Community Foundation grant, and a number of residents have already participated. The focus of the interviews varies, one gentleman discusses differences between today’s banking system with that of his youth, while another about his experiences in World War II.
In some cases, Fortier said, the videos feature residents who have since passed away.
“They do serve, in some ways, as obituaries for those who have passed,” he said. “Watching them is like preserving a little piece of their history.”
The late Farmington Selectman Chair Mary Wright, for instance, appears in an interview. She talks about getting involved with town government during a debate about the Walton Mill Pond.
“It got me into town politics,” she said. “I learned you have to speak up before it’s too late.”
Fortier is looking for more people to be interviewed and to conduct interviews. Those interested can call the station at 778-8146.
“Hopefully,” he said, “we can keep it going, because we do see the value in it.”
In addition to being run occasionally on Channel 11, DVD copies of “Remembering Franklin County” have been presented to the town of Wilton, Wilton Free Public Library, Historical Society of Farmington and Farmington Library.