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Middle Schoolers Help Keep Hastings' History Alive

Over the last few weeks, middle schoolers in Larry Cerretani's first period class have been helping to sort, label, and input data for the Hastings Historical Society. The project, which will modernize the Society's oral history collection, involves listening to audio files and sorting them into different categories.

The categories include immigration stories, stories about the Waterfront Project, World War II, anecdotes of the Pinecrest Neighborhood, and the life experiences of those growing up, working, and living in the Village of Hastings.

There are over 100 audio files in the collection. These are oral histories that were recorded with Hastings residents from the years 1975 to 1995. There are even first-hand accounts from former students and staff of Hastings schools.

"Students particularly enjoyed hearing those," Cerretani said.

“One of my favorite oral histories was from 1990, where a 100-year-old resident, Delia Deegan, talks about her experiences living and working on Billie Burke’s Estate,” Cerretani added.

Thanks to the work of Cerretani's students, the rich history of Hastings will become more accessible through the Historical Society's website, and the stories of residents will be told for generations to come.