Oral History Project
In 2004, volunteers from the town's History Committee have conducted interviews with long-time residents of the town. The purpose of these oral histories is to record life in the Town of Chevy Chase over the past several decades. Transcripts of these interviews are available here, in the Town Office, and in the Chevy Chase Historical Archives located in the basement of the Chevy Chase Library. These transcripts are interesting and useful in the future for anyone researching the history of inner suburbs, of Chevy Chase, and of the Washington, D.C. area.
These interviews, or, rather, recorded conversations, typically lasted about an hour and a half. Sitting in the home of the resident, the volunteer set up a cassette recorder and microphone. Then, he/she asked simple, straightforward questions about what living here had been like over the past many years, sat back, and listened. The recollections that came forth were remarkable.
From sliding down Woodbine Street on icy days to startling frogs in the creek bed on Meadow Lane, from acting in Edith Dinwoodey's annual production of A Christmas Carol to shoring up the communal swimming pool on Oak Lane, residents' recorded memories provide snapshots of specific moments here in our neighborhood. Taken together, these snapshots can provide us all with a sense of place.
"Well, we did all kinds of work. We did anything that we believed in, and that was a wide range of things as long as we were paid. But our main focus was on everybody working together. It was the most beautiful cooperative situation because we all had the same goal."
"Almost all the houses here had screen porches. In the summertime, windows were open and you could hear family activities going on, the radios playing and everything because you had to have every breath of cool air you could."
"And I always remember the very first plant I planted. They were little seeds of pale blue-green, and they were cuttings of the pink plant. And we planted them all in a row, and they all grew. And it was such a miracle, really."