Interviews

The Women’s History Project welcomes your interest in our oral histories. The interviews, most of which have been transcribed, are available to the public on Monday and Thursday afternoons, 1 pm – 4 pm and by appointment.  Transcriptions are stored in the archives at the main branch of the Traverse Area District Library (TADL).  If you are interested in volunteering to be an interviewer for WHPNM, or if you have a suggestion of someone to interview, please contact admin@whpnm.org

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Women’s History Project of Northwest Michigan

Oral Histories (to date – August, 2018)

  1. Alison, Mary Lee:  Benzie County, lifelong dairy farmer on a centennial farm in Platte Township.
  2. Ambrose, Barbara:  Grand Traverse County, forensic anthropologist, handbell musician.
  3. Ardery, Kristen: Grand Traverse County, WW II, Physical Therapist, Childbirth Educator, Water Aerobics, Friendly Garden Club.
  4. Armstrong, Elizabeth:  Leelanau County, local historian, Presbyterian.
  5. Barrett, Marge:  Leelanau County, journalist, pilot, English/journalism teacher.
  6. Bates, Darlene:  Benzie County, magistrate, local historian.
  7. Baver, Pauline:  Benzie; local historian, one of first NMC faculty in 1951.
  8. Beauchamp, Becky:  Grand Traverse County, Women’s Rights Leader.
  9. Beeby, Betty:  Antrim County, artist, writer, Mackinaw Mural Children in Art.
  10. Bellinger, Marcia:  Grand Traverse County, Pathfinder and NMC teacher, art gallery owner.
  11. Brigham, Ester:  Grand Traverse County, musician, Duck Lake historian.
  12. Brinkman, Margaret:  Grand Traverse County, teacher at TC high school, antique expert and collector.
  13. Brown, Irene:  Grand Traverse County, Life long educator, Women’s Rights advocate.
  14. Chatfield, Amy:  Leelanau County, WWII air traffic controller, pre-school teacher, retail for 60 years.
  15. Dennos, Barbara:   Grand Traverse County, Dennos Museum, art benefactor, Pres. Women’s Club, VP Women’s League, Munson.
  16. DeVol, Helen:  Grand Traverse County, Old Mission cherries.
  17. Dodd, Margaret:  Grand Traverse County, politician/mayor of TC, from  Scotland, teacher, Red Cross worker.
  18. Dunn, Margaret:  Grand Traverse County, community volunteer, Zonta, Professional Women’s Club, Grace Episcopal.
  19. Dutmers, Patricia:  Grand Traverse County, resort business, community volunteer, Opera House.
  20. Estes, Rhonda:  Grand Traverse County, Advocate for people with disabilities; Coordinator TBA ISD “Kids on the Block”; Founding member Traverse Bay Child Advocacy Center.
  21. Faist, Pearl:  Grand Traverse County, raised on a farm near Reed City, TCAPS librarian for 35 years.
  22. Ferrar, Nancy:  Grand Traverse County, joined Marines during WWII; physical therapist at many hospitals, worked with polio patients.
  23. Fitzgerald, Betty:  Grand Traverse County, native TC resident, dietary manager at TC Medical Care Facility.
  24. Fitzmaurice, JoAnn:  Long time Traverse City resident
  25. Fredrickson, Daphne:  Grand Traverse County, family cherry business, lived on Sixth St., civic involvement in DAR, AAUW.
  26. French, Dorothy (Dottie):  Grand Traverse County, second-generation TC resident, occupational therapist, special-ed teacher, source of local history.
  27. Garn, Phyllis:  Grand Traverse County, horses, community volunteer.
  28. Gyr, Marian:  Leelanau County, joined Marines during WWII, worked on bombers, met husband in Switzerland (he was a POW); divorced, settled in Benzonia, a “minimalist.”
  29. Hale, Carol:  Grand Traverse County, League of Women Voters, Central Neighborhood, State Theater restoration, Maritime Heritage Association, Downtown.
  30. Herrman, Elinor:  Antrim County, rural housewife, local historian.
  31. Herta, Grace:  Antrim County, musician, amateur scientist, local historian.
  32. Hyslop, Martie:  Grand Traverse County, homemaker, family resort on Old Mission.
  33. Hill, Gladys:   Grand Traverse County, rural housewife, local historian, honey bee keeper.
  34. Janis, June:  Grand Traverse County, environmentalist, politician, Torch Lake League of Women Voters.
  35. Jerue, Blossom:  Grand Traverse County, grew up on Old Mission farm, raised dogs for over 35 years.
  36. Johnson, Mary:  Grand Traverse County, nurse, cherry farm owner, Peninsula historian, music teacher.
  37. Jones, Margaret: Grand Traverse County, Tutor, Friendship Force International, AAUW.
  38. Kauffman, Margaret (Peg):  Grand Traverse County, League of Women Voters, environmentalist.
  39. Keenan, Mary:  Grand Traverse County, TCAPS art teacher, artist.
  40. Kipley, Jeanne:  Grand Traverse County, hosted her own radio program at WTCM, Director of Downtown Development Authority 1975-85.
  41. Kroupa, Leona:  Grand Traverse County, rural teacher, State Hospital historian, farm wife, Leelanau historian.
  42. Kyprie, Lou:  Grand Traverse County, native of Canada, local historian of nursing.
  43. Lanham, Dorothy E. (Dottie):  Leelanau County, commercial artist, Rand Mc Nally Encyclopedia author, Pottery Shop owner, expert on Petoskey stones, Old Settlers’ Association, Burdickville rural schools.
  44. Lanham, Dorothy M. (Dottie):  Leelanau County, rural homemaker, Burdickville historian.
  45. Leinbach, Paula Simanski:  Grand Traverse County, Conservationist.
  46. Levin, Molly:  Grand Traverse County, rural homemaker, local historian, and cherry farm wife.
  47. Lyon, Mary:  Old Mission Peninsula; Cherry Farmer on Centennial Farm; Catholic Faith; Volunteer extraordinaire.
  48. Magoun, Anne:  Leelanau County, co-founded Women’s History Project of Northwest Michigan, League of Women Voters.
  49. Maitland, Helen:  Grand Traverse County, cherry farming, active volunteer.
  50. McClay, Gloria: Grand Traverse County, WWII, Symphony Choir, Grand Traverse Musicale, Marksman, Grand Traverse Yacht Club, AAUW.
  51. McCleary, Ruby Barnes:  Antrim County, farming, raising draft horses.
  52. McManus, Clara:  Grand Traverse County, helped husband George operate cherry farm, raised nine children, involved with 4-H, set up fund to establish Grand Traverse Pavilions.
  53. Meach, Maxine:  Grand Traverse County; Began local Parkinson’s Disease Chapter
  54. Mericle, Rebecca:  Grand Traverse County, NMC librarian, Inuit art.
  55. Milliken, Elnora:   Grand Traverse County, radio/TV hostess, gardening show, musician, founder of TSO (Traverse Symphony Orchestra) worked in local theater, owner of Milliken House Inn.
  56. Milliken, Helen:  Grand Traverse County, First Lady of Michigan 1969-83, worked on passage of Equal Rights Amendment and other women’s issues, environmental issues, gardening.
  57. Moon, Clara:  Grand Traverse County, artist.
  58. Morrison, Rosella:  Grand Traverse County, cherry farm.
  59. Munoz, Gladys:  Leelanau County; Medical Translator; Migrant Community.
  60. Murray, Shirley Gibson: Grand Traverse County, Teacher, Writer, Interlochen Public Library, AAUW, Interlochen Women’s Club.
  61. O’Dell-Fales, Margaret:  Antrim County farming, Township Clerk.
  62. Okerstrom, Shirley:  Grand Traverse County, social worker, Northwestern Michigan College fund raising and first woman to be trustee chair, local political campaign volunteer.
  63. Olson, Sharon:  Old Mission Peninsula; Nurse; Veteran
  64. Parker, Elizabeth (Betty):  Grand Traverse County, teacher, politics.
  65. Parsons, Betty:  Grand Traverse County, community leader, League of Women Voters, Grand Traverse Musicale worker.
  66. Peterson, Ann:  Grand Traverse County, First woman “Elk,” piano player all over northern Michigan.
  67. Petritz, Althea:  Benzie County, started Pet-Ritz Pie business with husband George, Cherry Hut restaurant, Crystal Mountain Resort.
  68. Pitcher, Dorotha:  Leelanau County, resident of Leland, worked on uncle’s cherry farm as adolescent.
  69. Prindl, Vivian:  Leelanau County, Lifelong educator, World traveler.
  70. Rivers, Mary Anne:  Grand Traverse County; Singer; Teacher
  71. Robinson, Anne:  Grand Traverse County, Traverse City native, Zonta.
  72. Rogers, Ann:  Grand Traverse County; Environmental Activist; City Commissioner
  73. Schaub Theresa:  Grand Traverse County, librarian, children’s literature promoter, Interlochen volunteer, editor of local newsletter.
  74. Simmons, Margaret (Peg):  Grand Traverse County, local historian, Red Cross volunteer, Grand Traverse Pavilions contributor, Opera House historian.
  75. Smith, Marsha: Grand Traverse County, Women’s Resource Center, Grand Traverse Community Foundation, Rotary Charities.
  76. Solomonson, Violet:  Grand Traverse County, telephone operator on Old Mission for 56 years.
  77. Southwell, Unis:  Leelanau County, rural homemaker, quilting professional.
  78. Steadman, Bernice:  Grand Traverse County, aviator, author, Zonta worker, politician.
  79. Stulen, Dotty:  Grand Traverse County, local TC historian and homemaker,  worker in TC theater.
  80. Sullivan, Helen:  Grand Traverse County, politician, zoning regulator.
  81. Tompkins, Ida:  Grand Traverse County, TCAPS administrator and school board member, local politician, campaign worker, contributor.
  82. Verburg, Nina:  Benzie County; Fairy Houses and Benches; Special Education Teacher
  83. Votruba, Gretchen:  Grand Traverse County, teacher, local historian, community worker, owner of Vortruba’s Leather Goods on Front Street, TC. 
  84. Vreeland, Martha: Grand Traverse County, Traverse Area District Library, Lone Tree School, Lone Tree Mothers.
  85. Warren, Janice (Jan):  Grand Traverse County, Northwest Michigan Council of Governments, Traverse City politics, Cherry Festival, Athena Award.
  86. Wikle, Louise:  Leelanau County, centennial farm owner, classic country music expert, rural historian.
  87. Williams, Dorothy (Dottie):  Grand Traverse County, teacher, counselor, Garden Club member, Jung Study Group.
  88. Wransky, Helen Deuster:  Leelenau County, second generation Suttons Bay resident,  Beautician.
  89. Wunsch, Anna:  Grand Traverse County, journalist, teacher, Peninsula cherry farming.
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