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Memories of our Past
An Anthology of Stories from the Long Beach Penninsula

“What a marvelous and astute idea—to have the young gather and present
the tales of the elders to whom they owe the character of their home place.
Both the stories in Memories of our Past and its painstaking and faithful
assembly by Kay speak to enormous labor in service of community.”
—Robert Michael Pyle, author


The Chinook Oral History Project led to the creation of this essential anthology of community stories.

I worked with thirteen Corps of Discovery students and two teachers from Watershed Learning Center in Chinook, Washington to record the stories of long-time residents of Chinook, Ilwaco, Ocean Park, Long Beach and Oysterville, Washington. The project was part of the Chinook Restoration Program, Sea Resources Hatchery, Ecotrust, and Ocean Beach School District.

Students interviewed fishermen, oyster farmers, cranberry growers, a dynamiter, museum founder and many others who knew where the bones were buried on the Peninsula. In addition to training the students and assisting them with the interviews, I wrote or edited the narratives based on the storytellers’ words.