Virginia Wildland Firefighters Oral Histories, 2006

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Summary Information

Repository:
Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University
Creator:
DeHart
Title:
Virginia Wildland Firefighters Oral Histories
Collection No.:
SdArch 32
Date:
2006
Extent:
10 audiocassettes, .05 Cubic Feet
Language of the Material:
English
Abstract:
The Virginia Wildland Firefighters Oral Histories, 2006, is comprised of three sound recordings of interviews with US Forest Service Fire Fighters on their experiences fighting fires in the mountain region of Virginia, from 1940-2005. The collection includes transcripts, photographs, and other supplemental documents.

Preferred Citation

[item description], [box #, folder #], Virginia Wildland Firefighters Oral Histories, 2006, SdArch 32, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University.

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Bio/Historical Note

Carol DeHart is a freelance writer and independent scholar from Fulks Run, Virginia. Carol DeHart wasa Fire Instructor and Emergency Medical Technician, and is a charter (1987) member of the Bergton Volunteer Fire Department, and former squad boss and fire line EMT with the US Forest Service. Between 2001-2006, she conducted three grants from James Madison University Library to record and transcribe nine oral history interviews, including the Fading Rural Lifeways in the Bergton/Criders area of Rockingham County Oral History Project (SdArch 26) and the John Stewart Oral History (SdArch 25). In 2010, she completed an interview with Broadway Firefighter (SdArch 39).

Gerald Fawley was the first USFS employee to staff the High Knob Fire Tower on Shenandoah Mountain. He currently resides in Parnassus, Virginia. Wade Rogers is a retired USFS Fire Manager Officer from Spring Creek, Virginia. John Coleman is a retired USFS District Ranger from Edinburg, Virginia. Kenny May is a retired USFS Timer Specialist and Fire Fighter from Bergton, Vriginia. Terry Slater, who assisted DeHart in the interview with Fawley, is a USFS Wildlife Biologist and Incident Commander from Bridgewater, Virginia.

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Scope and Content

The interviews focus on wildland fire fighting and the US Forest Service experiences from 1940 through 2005. Topics addressed in the interviews include memories of fire towers, early communications, tools, clothing, transportation, family life, fire-fighting techniques and stories.

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Arrangement

The interviews are arranged chronologically, by the date of the interview.

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Access to oral histories is governed by agreements with the interviewees. Collection open to research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions

Oral histories audio and transcripts are either in the public domain or the copyright interests have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).

Processing Information

In order to streamline the process of applying collection numbers, Special Collections staff completed a large-scale renumbering campaign in the spring of 2017. This collection was previously cataloged as SC 0029

Audiocassettes were converted to mp3 and wav files by Kirsten Mlodynia of Carrier Library Innovation Services, in July 2018.

Location

Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

880 Madison DriveMSC 1704Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807library-special@jmu.eduURL: https://www.lib.jmu.edu/special/

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Index Terms

Personal Name

  • DeHart

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Bibliography

Gingrich, Tyler and Caroline Whitlow. "High Knob Fire Tower." Friends of Shenandoah Mountain: Exploring Shenandoah Mountain's History. Accessed July 24, 2018. http://www.friendsofshenandoahmountain.org/history-of-high-knob-fire-tower.html

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Collection Inventory

Title/Description Instances
Wade Kermit Rogers, interviewed by Carol M. DeHart, February 7, 2006

This interview records the reflections of Wake Kermit Rogers, his life and work with the U.S. Forest Service as a Fire Tower Lookout man, Timber Technician and Fire Management Officer from 1962-1994. Transcription includes text of Psalm 121 with signature by interviewee.

Transcript and Supporting Documents, February 7, 2006 box 1 folder 1
Original audiocassette #1, February 7. 2006 Media Cabinet 1 Audiocassette SA032-CS-001
Original audiocassette #2, February 7, 2006 Media Cabinet 1 Audiocassette SA032-CS-002
Original audiocassette #3, February 7, 2006 Media Cabinet 1 Audiocassette SA032-CS-003
Gerald F. Fawley, interviewed by Carol M. DeHart, January 10, 2006

This interview records the reflections of Gerald E. Fawley, his life and work staffing the fire towers. Transcription includes appendix with the following contents: A lookout tower man reminisces; Sibley stove and tent notes; Osborne fire finder; Remembrances; 1930's photographs; High Knob Fire Tower notes; 2006 photographs.

Transcript and Supporting Documents , January 10, 2006 box 1 folder 2
Original audiocassette #1, January 10, 2006 Media Cabinet 1 Audiocassette SA032-CS-004
Original audiocassette #2, January 10, 2006 Media Cabinet 1 Audiocassette SA032-CS-005
Original audiocassette #3, January 10, 2006 Media Cabinet 1 Audiocassette SA032-CS-006
Kenny May and Wade Kermit Rogers, interviewed by Carol M. DeHart, undated

This interview records the reflections of Kenny May and John Coleman, talking about their U.S. Forest Service and fire fighting experiences. Within introduction of transcript, "John William Coleman, [retired District Ranger, Lee Ranger District, Type II Incident Commander, 1957-1998] and Kenneth Edward May [Timber Sale Administrator, 1965-2006]". Transcription includes appendix with the following contents: Kenny May, photos, article and notes, "Notice to Loggers," Fire Tower Log; John Coleman Award article, poster in Lee District work center, reprint newspaper photo, two poems and "Diary of a Fire"; Article: "The Fire Warden System on the Shenandoah" by Helen Gordon, 1929.

Transcript and Supporting Documents , undated box 1 folder 3
Original audiocassette #1, January 17, 2006 Media Cabinet 1 Audiocassette SA032-CS-007
Original audiocassette #2, January 17, 2006 Media Cabinet 1 Audiocassette SA032-CS-008
Original audiocassette #3, January 17, 2006 Media Cabinet 1 Audiocassette SA032-CS-009
Original audiocassette #4, January 17, 2006 Media Cabinet 1 Audiocassette SA032-CS-010