As the audio team, it was our task to sort through two years worth of archived oral history interviews, selecting a mix of clips to edit into stops for the audio tour. We listened to happy childhood memories of playing in the pond, of new immigrants fishing in its waters, of neighbors enjoying its beauty. Yet we also noticed that many contemporary stories revealed either ignorance of the pond’s existence or fear of its environmental dangers.
We struggled with how to organize these clips into coherent themes for the stops of the tour, to simultaneously preserve the rich diversity of voices surrounding the pond and weave these stories into a compelling narrative for the tour. Ultimately we hope the audio tour has preserved this complexity while celebrating the vibrant history of the pond and the diverse communities around it.
By participating in the audio tour, we want people to become aware of Mashapaug’s vibrant history and to see how this history continues to shape the community, and the city, today as it fights to restore the pond to its original beauty.