Oral History

In 2003, the Society originated a project to record recollections and reminiscences of residents of Dana Point and others who have knowledge of the early days and events of this area. The procedure (1) records the spoken memories, (2) transcribes those memories into a written record, and (3) binds the transcription into a booklet containing, in addition, copies of photographs, documents and other relevant materials for preservation in the Museum along with the tape. These materials will be made available to readers, listeners and researches as requested.

The Oral History Project covers four areas of interest to our community:

1. Recollections and reminiscences of the early days of Dana Point by long-time residents.

2. A collection of all aspects of the incorporation of Dana Point as a city in 1989 by interviewing as many participants as possible who played a part in that event with the objective of binding together this raw data into a usable resource for future historians. See also, last paragraph, below.

3. Collect on tape from the many important early participants their memories of the sport of surfing and knowledge of the history of the local surfing movement and its attendant industry as it grew and evolved in Dana Point .

4. Participation in the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress to collect the memories, accounts and documents of local war veterans. These recordings will be submitted to the Library of Congress for preservation in their collection and copies will be kept in the Dana Point Historical Society Museum .

In addition to preservation of these memories of our past, a secondary goal of the Oral History Project is to engage members of the community in its history and to cause them to participate along with their fellow residents in this effort to leave their descendants interesting records of what went before.

The collected materials also will provide subjects for exhibitions and programs by the Historical Society. These materials already have resulted in the development of a play based thereon, produced and played by the Dana Point Theatre Company to a very responsive audience at the Ocean Institute.

The Society has, along with oral histories of many long-time residents, a project to record the recollections of the five original City Council Members of Dana Point. These include Judy Curreri (the first Mayor), Bill Bammatre, Mike Eggers, Eileen Krause and Ingrid McGuire. The long-term project is to put together these interviews in a narrative record of the beginning of our city, the persons and issues involved. This is a work in progress and a goal of the Society.