Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Helping History Happen: Another Volunteer Interview

Post Submitted by Karreen Busch

If you ever want to learn more about southern Oregon’s wonderful history, Peter and Linda Kreisman can help you out! The married couple resides in Ashland and has volunteered together at the Southern Oregon Historical Society’s Research Library in Medford for two years. They’ve also served on the society’s Foundation Board.
Here, they explain a little about themselves, and why they love to work with history:

What is your favorite part of being a volunteer?
Learning the resources available at the Library. Also, being able to volunteer as a couple means we can share memories of our youth as we come to understand how the community around us evolved. It is a very enriching experience.

Do you have any advice to give to people wanting to learn more about their family or local history?
Become members, come to the Library and start asking us questions. Each answer leads to another question.

What is your favorite event put on by the Society?
We loved taking our grandsons to the threshing of the wheat at Hanley Farms and watching them get absorbed in lifting the sheaves up into the horse-drawn wagons, the threshing, watching the potter, making butter, bobbing for apples—all the things they’ll never see in their Chicago lives.

What is your favorite piece of history within the Research Library?
Peter’s is the history of the railroads in southern Oregon. Linda’s is the personal stories recorded in the words of the people of the past. We both enjoy reading about events that happened here when we were kids and weren’t paying attention (or just seeing them through adult eyes).

What are your favorite things to do when not volunteering?
We both love learning about the birds that come and go in the valley in the different seasons. It gives us an excuse to explore all the back roads and hiking trails!

Do you have another job or volunteer elsewhere? Or are you retired, and if so, what career did you have?
Peter moved to Ashland in 1946 and Linda in 1954. We left after high school but always kept connected through our families. Peter had a small woodworking company making childrens’ creative play things. Linda was a research food scientist for General Mills (Betty Crocker) for 25 years. We came back after we retired.

What are your interests and hobbies?
Peter loves English Country Dancing, woodworking, and just general fixing anything and everything. Linda likes to read, hike, and cook.

The Research Library is located at 106 N. Central Ave. in Medford, Oregon, and is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 12:00 to 4:00 P.M. For more information, visit www.sohs.org.

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