History that helps keep small towns vibrant and alive

When people move to a small town or unincorpoated commnity, they often ask if there’s any historical information available. Usual sources often include the local opr regional historical sociey, microfilm copies of old newspapers stored at the library, local histories that we often compiled by a local club or church and printed for residents in a small numbe of copies. Some clubs, often women’s clubs, would make their histories ongoing projects which they tried to update from time to time.

I think this is good work because as older residents die off, a lot of local knowledge is lost as well as some of the source materials our parents and grandparents might have used to prepare their local history book or pamphlet.

The Montana Historical Society newsletter’s latest issue mentions two researchers who’ve received fellowships to delve into local and regional history. This support might also be available from the your state’s historical society.  One of them, Janice Farkell, already maintais a website about her unincorporated community of Brady Montana with a population of 140 residents according to the WikiPedia entry.

From Farkell’s site

Farkell is a retired school teacher and a 5th generation resident Brady. She said, “Recently, I have continued  to research and collect Brady history to share with my community through the new website Brady Montana History.” She said that the site provides a place where people can share their stories, memories, and photographs for future generations. I like the site, my only caution being whether or not a library or other oganization will step up an maintain it when she retires.

The Internet is a wonderful place for dissemnating and sharing this kind of information that, even in an electronic age can so easily be lost. Kudos to Farkell and others who are trying to preserve the old facts and the old stories.

–Malcolm