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Listen to the oral history interview of Charles “Chuck” Svensson and Eleanor Carlson

January 30, 2013 5 comments

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Finally, we have our first oral history interview posted at our website!  The interview is of Charles “Chuck” Svensson and his sister, Eleanor Carlson. Their family had the White Lake Villa and later on, a campground, adjacent to the Whitehall Leather Tannery.  It’s interesting to listen to the two remember with enthusiasm their childhood fun swimming in White Lake.  They did note, however, that they stayed out of the water when it was “red” from the tannery dyes.  The two also talk about their family’s lawsuit against the tannery – aimed at reducing the odor which they believed affected their business.  They also mentioned how visits to city of Whitehall council meetings ended up getting heated and discussed how it felt to be in the minority in their community over the issue.

The interview is less than 40 minutes long and very interesting.

  • Do you remember the odor from the tannery?
  • Did you ever see the lake turn red?
  • Did you swim in White Lake often as a child?
  • Were you a worker at the tannery and do you have a different viewpoint to share?

Please read more about the White Lake Environmental History project at Restoring White Lake and share your feedback with us!

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