“I urge you to pursue preserving your personal history to allow your children and grandchildren to know who you were as a child and what your hopes and dreams were.”– Oprah
Share your stories and memories!
The Redford Township Historical Commission firmly believes that history is not something just in the past, it happens all around us every day. That’s why we’ve decided to continue to record Redford’s history for future generations to come. We’re asking for submissions from the public i.e. anyone who has ever lived in Old Redford or Redford Township, current Redford residents, employees, et cetera.
There are a few different ways that you can help RTHC and be a part of our history record. Listed below are a few examples. If you need ideas or want to know what some of our sample questions and topics might be, please scroll to the bottom of the page.
1. Oral History
In simple terms, this can be an audio/video recording of you, your family, or friends. The requirements are simple in that we ask that any audio/video recordings be between 10-15 minutes long and focus specifically on your experiences and memories of Redford. You can do this using a computer, phone, tablet, laptop, camcorder, recording device, or any other kind of recording equipment. Please e-mail your submission to RTHC09@gmail.com with the subject line of “Oral History” or send it in a private Facebook message. If your file is too large, you can burn it to a CD/DVD disk and drop it off at the museum or send it through the mail using this address:
Redford Township Historical Commission (or RTHC)
Redford, Michigan 48239
**Note: With the current Stay-At-Home order relating to the COVID-19 outbreak, we may not have a chance to check our museum mailbox as often as we might like. A better option might be to hold onto your video, recording, or written document until it is safe for drop off at the museum or if you are worried about it being lost or damaged in the mail.
2. Written History
A written story about your life experiences, memories, and traditions while in Redford. Everyone has a story and we want to hear yours! RTHC has collected personal accounts and folk tales throughout our existence which have helped us to get an idea of the way Redford was in the past. A lot of these personal accounts have even ended up in our Redford book “Redford Township: Its Heritage and Its History” by Fred DesAutels. We would like to add to our collection and archive any current or past stories from former or present-day Redford residents to share with future generations in Redford, as well as fill in the blanks from a history perspective of how Redford has changed over time.
It’s also important for us to note that names of people, places, and events, as well as dates, should be accurately depicted in your written (or oral) accounts whenever possible. We want to have a clear history which we can only attain if the information you share is consistent, honest, and true to the best of your memory.
Please e-mail your submission to RTHC09@gmail.com with the subject line of “Written History” or send it in a private Facebook message. You can also write or type everything up in a word file using Microsoft Word, Notepad, Open Office or another form of ‘pages’ and e-mail it as an attachment. If your file is too large, you can print it out and drop it off at the museum or send it through the mail using the address listed above.
3. Visual History *NEW*
With the COVID-19 virus our museum visitors, patrons, and donors are currently quarantined at home. This makes it pretty difficult for you all to support the museum by physically donating items such as objects, books, and photos. So in the meantime, you can still help us collect Redford history from the safety of your home. We’re not asking for you to mail us or share any physical original copies of documents or pictures, instead we’re just asking that you scan your images, documents, et cetera to your computer, or even take a picture with your phone or camera, and share them with us that way. We love seeing photos of Redford events, houses, people, and businesses from any point in time throughout Redford’s history.
If you know the date (or approximate) that a photo or document was taken/created, PLEASE be sure to include that along with any names (first and last) of people that are in the photograph and/or the names of locations. As mentioned previously, it’s very important for all of us to preserve history as accurately as possible. And thank you so much for your interest in sharing YOUR Redford history with the Redford Township Historical Commission.
Sample Questions to Help You Get Started
- What part of Redford do you live/did you live in?
- When did you live in Redford?
- Did you grow up in Redford?
- Did you/do you go to school in Redford? If so, which school(s) or school district?
- What did you/do you do for fun in Redford?
- What is your favorite thing about Redford?
- What are some of your favorite businesses in Redford (past or present)?
- What are some of your Redford traditions (either with your family, friends, or neighbors)?
- What holidays or special events have you enjoyed celebrating in Redford?
- What made you decide to move to Redford or stay in Redford?
- What are some of your earliest memories of Redford?
- Were you here for the housing boom?
- Did you see the freeway develop?
- Was there still farmland and livestock?
- Did you take the Interurban to school?
- Did you or someone you know participate in Redford’s annexation to Detroit in the 1920’s?
- Talk about any serious events that happened while you were living in Redford and how they had an impact on your life personally or on the community as a whole:
- What do you remember about events such as 9/11, the moon landing, JFK’s assassination or other national news? How did this affect your life or experiences in Redford?
- What do you recall about the health crisis in America and how Redford responded to it over the years or was changed by it (Examples: Polio, Swine Flu, COVID-19, AIDS)?
- How have politics, pop culture, education, religion (or other topics) changed throughout your time in Redford?
- What do you want future generations to know or remember about Redford?
** For more ideas or questions, feel free to reach out to any of our Board Members or send us a message through Facebook, our website, or via e-mail. And remember, there are no wrong answers. Our goal is to learn and share the history of Redford and your personal stories, memories, and experiences is a great way of doing that. Thank you!
Privacy and Use policy:
For whichever way you choose to share your story, please be sure to tell us your first and last name, your preferred contact method (e-mail, phone, address, or otherwise) — in case we have any questions for you — and whether or not you would like your name mentioned if/when we add your story to our collection. If you would prefer to remain anonymous but still want to share your story as part of our history archives, PLEASE let us know. Any approved submissions would be available for access by history/genealogical researchers and students. IF by some chance RTHC would like to use your submission as part of a blog post, book, or any other type of publishing, we will reach out to you to ask for your permission. Thus, another reason why we would like to have your contact information along with your submission. Again, thank you so much for sharing!