A group of us have been meeting to discuss formation of a county-wide (St. Johns, Florida) oral history program. In the face of exploding development we have a great need to preserve as much of our history as possible before more of the important places in our community, as well as the people who can tell the stories of those places, are gone forever.

Deciding where to start is key. What places are most in danger of disappearing? Which people do we need to interview before their stories and memories are lost to us? I have a special interest in how people managed day-to-day; how they got around and conducted the business of living. The stories of our agricultural and maritime industries are fading fast, as well. Every old farmhouse or hardware store that falls to a wrecker’s ball has a story that needs to be passed on. Every time a battlefield or forest is cleared and developed another part of our history is lost.
What do we save first? Who are the people and what are the places and memories in most danger of being lost?
Where would you start?