Story Bridges: Oral Histories of Peoria premiered Sept. 13 to a crowd of 60 guests, all excited to enjoy the stories of three residents who have amazing stories to share of growing up in Peoria.
The evening, presented by WHAM Art Association as part of their literary arts endeavor, shared oral history videos of Bob and Betty Osborne, Ervin Cutright and Sammy Chagolla.
Former Peoria High School English teacher and city of Peoria Councilwoman Vicki Hunt is the originator of this project.
“Over nearly 40 years of living and working in Peoria, I have come to know a lot of amazing people — folks who in their own quiet way have made a mark on the city we now live in," Hunt said. "This project is my way of telling many stories of early Peoria from everyday people who lived it.”
Attendee and newcomer to Peoria Ray Madsen said he very much appreciated the oral history preservation and the program to support local history.
"I encourage making these interesting histories available to the public,” he said.
The next set of three oral histories will be presented Oct. 18, in the Calderwood Room of the Peoria Community Center. 7-9 p.m.
Presenters at this event will be Martha Varney Dennis, sharing her family’s homesteading adventure in the early 1900s on the Cactus and Greenwood properties that were later to be named Varney Tract.
Other speakers will include Manuel and Jan Delgado who grew up in Varney and have made their lives in Peoria.
The third story will be told by Omar Cobos, one of eight children with deep roots growing up in Peoria.