Saving a Community's Recollections: Takoma Park Oral History Project, 2001

OH 9905.2Browse an inventory of the 4 oral histories in this collection

The Takoma Park Oral History Project was a product of Historic Takoma, Inc. a non-profit organization established with the goal of “preserving the heritage of Takoma Park-Md and Takoma-DC.” Financed in part by the Montgomery County Historical Society, the oral history project was one of Historic Takoma’s first efforts to “encourage collection and preservation of the community’s oral history before it is too late.”

Takoma Park, located in Montgomery County, was founded in 1883 by real estate developer Benjamin Franklin Gilbert as one of the first planned commuter suburbs. Gilbert, who also served as the city’s first mayor sought to create a "sylvan suburb of the National Capitol”, establishing the city along the Metropolitan Branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad on the MD – DC line.

The Takoma Park Oral History Project consists of three interviews with lifelong residents of Takoma Park, including Roland Dawes, one of the first African American businessmen in Takoma Park. Topics discussed include: Takoma Park during the years of the Great Depression and World War II; segregation; how Takoma Park has changed over the years; the Takoma Park Historical Society; the arrival of the metro in Takoma Park in 1978.

Materials available for this collection include transcripts for each of the interviews, audio recordings, biographical material, background information and documents on the project, maps, town statistics, and Historic Takoma, Inc. publications.

To make a request to view transcripts or other materials from the Takoma Park Oral History Project, please contact the Special Collections Department at specialcollections@mdhs.org, or speak to the Special Collections Librarian at the desk in the library.

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