By Owen Wise-Pierik
The history of the Eliot Neighborhood has been something that has brought culture and identity to it’s residents for a long time. It is something of controversy, life, and community. However, the neighborhood is changing. In order to keep the legacy of Eliot alive, Laurie Simpson and Arlie Sommer have teamed up with a group of Community Development undergraduate students from Portland State University to create an oral history project for the Eliot Neighborhood. Fusing together informational interviews of long term residents in Eliot and historical research, the students will create a historical walking tour of the neighborhood, bringing out oral narratives to show the changes and the history that exists here.
A set of Interviews of various residents, including O.B. Hill, have already been conducted by the Eliot Neighborhood Association, and crossing this over to historical stories and maps, the tour will feature recorded narratives of long-term residents and be available in multiple formats, including for download from the internet. Upon completion, it will be an artifact which residents can use to see and understand the changes first hand, drawing contrast from photos and stories to the current landscape of Eliot. The project is expected to be available for the public in June.
If any residents of the neighborhood wish to give suggestions, comments, concerns, or want contribute to the end result of this project, please email your ideas to the Allies of Eliot at Alliesofeliot@gmail.com.
Visit the Eliot Oral Histories website at http://eliotoralhistories.com.