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

To search this page, press the “Ctrl” and “F” keys simultaneously (or “Command” and “F” on a Mac) on your keyboard to bring up a unique Search box.

Women’s History Project of Northwest Michigan

Oral Histories (to date – August, 2019)

  1. Alison, Mary Lee:  Benzie County, lifelong dairy farmer on a centennial farm in Platte Township.
  2. Alff, Ronnie: Librarian, Peace Corps, DODDS (Department of Defense Dependent School),Quilting, League of Women Voters, Women’s History Project of Northwest Michigan.
  3. Ambrose, Barbara:  Grand Traverse County, forensic anthropologist, handbell musician.
  4. Ardery, Kristen: Grand Traverse County, WW II, Physical Therapist, Childbirth Educator, Water Aerobics, Friendly Garden Club.
  5. Armstrong, Elizabeth:  Leelanau County, local historian, Presbyterian.
  6. Barrett, Marge:  Leelanau County, journalist, pilot, English/journalism teacher.
  7. Bates, Darlene:  Benzie County, magistrate, local historian.
  8. Baver, Pauline:  Benzie; local historian, one of first NMC faculty in 1951.
  9. Beauchamp, Becky:  Grand Traverse County, Women’s Rights Leader.
  10. Beeby, Betty:  Antrim County, artist, writer, Mackinaw Mural Children in Art.
  11. Bellinger, Marcia:  Grand Traverse County, Pathfinder and NMC teacher, art gallery owner.
  12. Bordine, Nancy: Registered Nurse, Educator, National Ski Patroller, Vintage Clothing,Exchange Students, Foster Parent, Activist.
  13. Bostwick, Joann (Joni): Registered Nurse – Grand Traverse Pavilions, National Cherry Festival.
  14. Brigham, Ester:  Grand Traverse County, musician, Duck Lake historian.
  15. Brinkman, Margaret:  Grand Traverse County, teacher at TC high school, antique expert and collector.
  16. Brown, Irene:  Grand Traverse County, Life long educator, Women’s Rights advocate.
  17. Chatfield, Amy:  Leelanau County, WWII air traffic controller, pre-school teacher, retail for 60 years.
  18. Couturier, Kathleen: Grand Traverse County Senior Center, Boardman School.
  19. Dennos, Barbara:   Grand Traverse County, Dennos Museum, art benefactor, Pres. Women’s Club, VP Women’s League, Munson.
  20. DeVol, Helen:  Grand Traverse County, Old Mission cherries.
  21. Dodd, Margaret:  Grand Traverse County, politician/mayor of TC, from  Scotland, teacher, Red Cross worker.
  22. Donaldson, Martha: Leelanau County, World War II, American Legion Auxiliary.
  23. Doughty, Nancy: Planned Parenthood, Dennos Museum, Basket Maker.
  24. Dunn, Margaret:  Grand Traverse County, community volunteer, Zonta, Professional Women’s Club, Grace Episcopal.
  25. Dutmers, Patricia:  Grand Traverse County, resort business, community volunteer, Opera House.
  26. Estes, Rhonda:  Grand Traverse County, Advocate for people with disabilities; Coordinator TBA ISD “Kids on the Block”; Founding member Traverse Bay Child Advocacy Center.
  27. Faist, Pearl:  Grand Traverse County, raised on a farm near Reed City, TCAPS librarian for 35 years.
  28. Farley, Kathleen: Emergency Dispatcher, Grand Traverse Area Genealogical Society.
  29. Ferrar, Nancy:  Grand Traverse County, joined Marines during WWII; physical therapist at many hospitals, worked with polio patients.
  30. Fitzgerald, Betty:  Grand Traverse County, native TC resident, dietary manager at TC Medical Care Facility.
  31. Fitzgerald, Carol: Genealogy, Catholic Daughters of America, Family Surnames – Courtad and Courtade.
  32. Fitzmaurice, JoAnn:  Long time Traverse City resident
  33. Fredrickson, Daphne:  Grand Traverse County, family cherry business, lived on Sixth St., civic involvement in DAR, AAUW.
  34. French, Dorothy (Dottie):  Grand Traverse County, second-generation TC resident, occupational therapist, special-ed teacher, source of local history.
  35. Garn, Phyllis:  Grand Traverse County, horses, community volunteer.
  36. Gerhard, Donna: Disabilities – Family Surname – LaFranier.
  37. Griffin, Catherine: Elementary Teacher – Traverse Area Historical Society.
  38. 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.”
  39. Hadley, Susan: Willow Hill Elementary School, National Cherry Festival, Jubilee House.
  40. Hale, Carol:  Grand Traverse County, League of Women Voters, Central Neighborhood, State Theater restoration, Maritime Heritage Association, Downtown.
  41. Hamilton, Lorraine: Traverse City State Hospital School of Nursing, World War II Army Nurse Corps.
  42. Herkner, Lynda: Old Mission History, Real Estate, Creative Arts.
  43. Herrman, Elinor:  Antrim County, rural housewife, local historian.
  44. Herta, Grace:  Antrim County, musician, amateur scientist, local historian.
  45. Hicks, Michele M.: Old Mission Peninsula History, National Forest Service Volunteer, Traverse City Senior Center.
  46. Hyslop, Martie:  Grand Traverse County, homemaker, family resort on Old Mission.
  47. Hill, Gladys:   Grand Traverse County, rural housewife, local historian, honey bee keeper.
  48. Janis, June:  Grand Traverse County, environmentalist, politician, Torch Lake League of Women Voters.
  49. Jennings, Sharon: Elementary Teacher, Traverse Area Historical Society.
  50. Jerue, Blossom:  Grand Traverse County, grew up on Old Mission farm, raised dogs for over 35 years.
  51. Johnson, Mary:  Grand Traverse County, Old Mission, nurse, cherry farm owner, Peninsula historian, music teacher.
  52. Jones, Margaret: Grand Traverse County, Tutor, Friendship Force International, AAUW.
  53. Kane, Louise: Registered Nurse, Literacy Tutor, SAFE Harbor.
  54. Kauffman, Margaret (Peg):  Grand Traverse County, League of Women Voters, environmentalist.
  55. Keenan, Mary:  Grand Traverse County, TCAPS art teacher, artist.
  56. Kipley, Jeanne:  Grand Traverse County, hosted her own radio program at WTCM, Director of Downtown Development Authority 1975-85.
  57. Kladder, Ruthanne: Special Education Teacher, State Theater, Baby Pantry, Laundry Project.
  58. Kroupa, Leona:  Grand Traverse County, rural teacher, State Hospital historian, farm wife, Leelanau historian.
  59. Kyprie, Lou:  Grand Traverse County, native of Canada, local historian of nursing.
  60. 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.
  61. Landry, Mary Louise: Teacher, Property Manager.
  62. Lanham, Dorothy M. (Dottie):  Leelanau County, rural homemaker, Burdickville historian.
  63. Leach, Lucile: Grand Traverse County Native, Bookkeeper, Bonsai Club.
  64. Leinbach, Paula Simanski:  Grand Traverse County, Conservationist, Camp Innisfree.
  65. Levin, Molly:  Grand Traverse County, rural homemaker, local historian, and cherry farm wife.
  66. Lewallen, Pat: Teacher and Administrator – Traverse City Area Public Schools, AAUW, Zonta.
  67. Link, Mary A.: Travel, Benzie Historical Society, Frankfort Planning Commission, Genealogy.
  68. Long, Yvonne : Christmas Tree Farm, Customer Care.
  69. Lyon, Mary:  Old Mission Peninsula; Cherry Farmer on Centennial Farm; Catholic Faith; Volunteer extraordinaire.
  70. Magoun, Anne:  Leelanau County, co-founded Women’s History Project of Northwest Michigan, League of Women Voters.
  71. Maitland, Helen:  Grand Traverse County, cherry farming, active volunteer.
  72. Maule, Joan C.: Life Long Resident, Northwestern Michigan College BBQ, 4-H.
  73. McClay, Gloria: Grand Traverse County, WWII, Symphony Choir, Grand Traverse Musicale, Marksman, Grand Traverse Yacht Club, AAUW.
  74. McCleary, Ruby Barnes:  Antrim County, farming, raising draft horses.
  75. McDermott, Dorothy: Old Mission Peninsula History, Crocheting.
  76. 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.
  77. Meach, Maxine:  Grand Traverse County; Began local Parkinson’s Disease Chapter
  78. Mericle, Rebecca:  Grand Traverse County, NMC librarian, Inuit art.
  79. 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.
  80. 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.
  81. Moon, Clara:  Grand Traverse County, artist.
  82. Morgan, Cheryl Church: Cherryland Humane Society, Traverse City Canning Company, Traverse Area Intermediate School District, Family Surnames – Darrow and Lardie.
  83. Morrison, Rosella:  Grand Traverse County, cherry farm.
  84. Munoz, Gladys:  Leelanau County; Medical Translator; Migrant Community.
  85. Murray, Shirley Gibson: Grand Traverse County, Teacher, Writer, Interlochen Public Library, AAUW, Interlochen Women’s Club.
  86. Novak, Janet: Traverse Area Historical Society, Grand Traverse Area Genealogical Society, Family Surnames – Craker and Salter.
  87. O’Dell-Fales, Margaret:  Antrim County farming, Township Clerk.
  88. Okerstrom, Shirley:  Grand Traverse County, social worker, Northwestern Michigan College fund raising and first woman to be trustee chair, local political campaign volunteer.
  89. Olson, Sharon:  Old Mission Peninsula; Nurse; Veteran.
  90. Packer, Kathleen: Registered Nurse, Nursing Administration, Grand Traverse Literacy Council.
  91. Parker, Elizabeth (Betty):  Grand Traverse County, teacher, politics.
  92. Parsons, Betty:  Grand Traverse County, community leader, League of Women Voters, Grand Traverse Musicale worker.
  93. Peterson, Ann:  Grand Traverse County, First woman “Elk,” piano player all over northern Michigan.
  94. Petritz, Althea:  Benzie County, started Pet-Ritz Pie business with husband George, Cherry Hut restaurant, Crystal Mountain Resort.
  95. Pitcher, Dorotha:  Leelanau County, resident of Leland, worked on uncle’s cherry farm as adolescent.
  96. Prindl, Vivian:  Leelanau County, Lifelong educator, World traveler.
  97. Quinn, Margaret (Maggie): Educator, Physical Fitness, Quilting.
  98. Rademacher, Glenda: SAFE Harbor, CRHP (Christ Renews His Parish) Retreat.
  99. Rivers, Mary Anne:  Grand Traverse County; Singer; Teacher
  100. Robinson, Anne:  Grand Traverse County, Traverse City native, Zonta.
  101. Rogers, Ann:  Grand Traverse County; Environmental Activist; City Commissioner
  102. Rose, Mary E.: Grand Traverse Genealogical Society, Genealogy Research, Daughters of the Revolution, Mayflower National Society, Daughter of the Union, Family Surname – Mead
  103. Rumbach, Kay: Grand Traverse County Senior Center, Boardman Elementary School.
  104. Schaub Theresa:  Grand Traverse County, librarian, children’s literature promoter, Interlochen volunteer, editor of local newsletter.
  105. Sicilano Peg: Archivist and Historian, Traverse Area Historical Society, Writer.
  106. Simmons, Margaret (Peg):  Grand Traverse County, local historian, Red Cross volunteer, Grand Traverse Pavilions contributor, Opera House historian.
  107. Smith, Marsha: Grand Traverse County, Women’s Resource Center, Grand Traverse Community Foundation, Rotary Charities.
  108. Smith, Patricia Lynn (Tricia) Klassen: First Congregational Church, National Cherry Festival,Hofbrau – Interlochen.
  109. Solomonson, Violet:  Grand Traverse County, telephone operator on Old Mission for 56 years.
  110. Southwell, Unis:  Leelanau County, rural homemaker, quilting professional.
  111. Steadman, Bernice:  Grand Traverse County, aviator, author, Zonta worker, politician.
  112. Strong, Margaret C.: Victory Garden, Child Study Club.
  113. Stulen, Dotty:  Grand Traverse County, local TC historian and homemaker,  worker in TC theater.
  114. Sullivan, Helen:  Grand Traverse County, politician, zoning regulator.
  115. Tompkins, Deana: Equine Therapy for Disabled.
  116. Tompkins, Ida:  Grand Traverse County, TCAPS administrator and school board member, local politician, campaign worker, contributor.
  117. Verburg, Nina:  Benzie County; Fairy Houses and Benches; Special Education Teacher
  118. Votruba, Gretchen:  Grand Traverse County, teacher, local historian, community worker, owner of Vortruba’s Leather Goods on Front Street, TC. 
  119. Vreeland, Martha: Grand Traverse County, Traverse Area District Library, Lone Tree School, Lone Tree Mothers.
  120. Warren, Janice (Jan):  Grand Traverse County, Northwest Michigan Council of Governments, Traverse City politics, Cherry Festival, Athena Award.
  121. Wikle, Louise:  Leelanau County, centennial farm owner, classic country music expert, rural historian.
  122. Williams, Dorothy (Dottie):  Grand Traverse County, teacher, counselor, Garden Club member, Jung Study Group.
  123. Wilson, Joy: Traverse Area Historical Society, Genealogy, Meals on Wheels.
  124. Wisner, Suzan: Knitting, Musician, Family Surnames – Canfield and Swaney.
  125. Woods, Linda: Native American Elder, Woman Warrior, Veteran, Social Worker.
  126. Wransky, Helen Deuster:  Leelenau County, second generation Suttons Bay resident,  Beautician.
  127. Wunsch, Anna:  Grand Traverse County, journalist, teacher, Peninsula cherry farming.