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

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

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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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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. February 1, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    I watched the whole thing. It is interesting and informative. I hope to see others like it because oral histories from community citizens are lost forever if not preserved with projects like this. Keep up the good work!

    • February 1, 2013 at 7:35 pm

      Thanks for watching,Tom! I agree – it is both interesting and informative! We have more on the way and will keep you updated!

  2. Greg Means
    February 1, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    I certainly remember the smell from the tannery. I also remember the frequent trips the local fire department made to the tannery because its alarm system malfunctioned. However, one time firefighters were called there because a truck driver was overcome by fumes, and died.

  3. Ray Jensen
    February 2, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    An excellent vidio! As a neighbor and friend I can truly say Chuck is one of life’s good guys.

  4. February 2, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    I agree, Ray! I have not had the privilege of knowing Chuck, but can certainly tell from the video that he is “one of life’s good guys.” Thanks for weighing in!

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