The Center for Regional History’s oral history collection contains nearly 500 interviews preserving the memories of the people of the Wood River Valley. Subject matter ranges from the industries that created our lives in the valley — from mining, ranching, timber, railroad, recreation, and tourism to pioneer life and local tragedies. A few theme-related projects have been recorded such as the Gibbonsville Project and the Miriam Breckenridge Sheep Farming Project.
An Interview with John Breckenridge
Listen to a complete interview with John Breckenridge conducted by Miriam Breckenridge in 1978. John was a sheep rancher in Twin Falls, ID. Every summer he brought his sheep up to graze in the Sawtooth Mountains. In this interview he talks about his ranching years from the 30s to the 70s.
Alta Horton Ellis Oral History
Alta was born in Carey, Idaho and grew up at Pole Creek Ranger Station (near Galena) where her father was one of the first employees for the Forest Service, circa 1910. This oral history is the first in a series maintained by the Regional History Department of the Community Library and was conducted by Marian Breckenridge, who interviewed Alta Horton Ellis in the fall of 1977.
Interview with Dennis Burks
This is a very detailed Oral History of the sheep business in the early 1900s when people were homesteading in Southern Idaho after water had been obtained because of the Jerome Water Project in 1909. It covers the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 and gives a very thorough picture of sheep life and all things associated with that life. This oral history interview was conducted by Miriam Breckenridge.
Sound clips from the Miriam Breckenridge Project are accessible via VoiceThread
Listen to Dennis Burks talk about early 20th C. sheep farming here.
Listen to Alta Horton Ellis discuss growing up at Pole Creek Ranger Station near Smiley Creek, Idaho, here.
More Oral Histories
Access the Wood River Valley Oral History digital collection here.