History Gets Personal


Oral histories are a way to learn firsthand about the space we inhabit. Hearing stories about those events, places and people that we think we know, can transform our ideas about them.

The history of the Harts, the Little Red Store, the fire in the village--every Wauwatosa second-grader hears it. But there’s a lot more stories in Wauwatosa. The stories of everyday people who make up our community, like Joe Cieminski, who lived in the children’s home. And Ray Perry, who served during the Korean War. And Bill Yost, who saw the transformation of the Olde Hillcrest neighborhood.

The oral history project at the historical society has recorded over 40 oral histories about Wauwatosa. Volunteers interview the storytellers and write a summary of the interview. These recordings are unedited.

We will change the lineup from time to time, but if you have a history that you’d particularly like to hear, please contact us, and we’ll do our best to make it available. And if you have a really good story to share, please let us know--we’d like to keep adding to the collection.

And now for your listening pleasure. . .