Project At Western Montana Fair Preserves Missoula's History - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Project At Western Montana Fair Preserves Missoula's History

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MISSOULA -

Things are in full swing at the Western Montana Fair in Missoula. This year, a group of volunteers is working to preserve Western Montana's history. The Oral History Project is trying to capture people's memories and stories before they are forgotten.

"I've been here a long time," said Fair-goer Bob Riggs.

Riggs has been to the Western Montana Fair more than a time or two, since moving to Missoula in 1953.

"It's just changing, it's just the way things are I guess," he said.

Riggs has seen all sorts of changes since he first visited the fair, but one thing that remains the same is his love for the food.

"It's good you know, I get things I can't get any day, like the Indian tacos, or Vikings and fry breads," Riggs said.

To capture memories like Riggs', the Missoula Historic Preservation commission is conducting a special project.

"The goal is to interact with the public, and record anecdotes and stories of early history in Western Montana," said Missoula's Historic Preservation Officer, Leslie Schwab.

Historic volunteers are recording each participant's stories to create both audio and video records to, what they say, provides a broader understanding of where we are now, by knowing how we got here.

"It's important to capture that information before it gets lost, because if it's not done in a formal study, there's no way to capture that information," said Schwab.

Schwab said research questions are designed to record the experiences, memories and impressions of our past and present Missoula community.

"This is general and personal, and represents everyday people and their histories here," she said.

This is the second year the project has been held at the fair. Volunteer historians will be stationed at the Fair History Building unit Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to record participants stories.

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