In an effort to preserve its heritage, the German Village Society will interview residents who remember the founding of the historic district.

In an effort to preserve its heritage, the German Village Society will interview residents who remember the founding of the historic district.

The oral history project looks to spread personal stories and remembrances of keystone events that helped shape the Village.

Shiloh Todorov, director of the society, said 36 people have been identified to participate in the video interviews, which will be 30 to 45 minutes each.

Some of those conversations will be distilled into shorter segments driven by a topic, such as the Oktoberfest, Schmidt's Sausage Haus und Restaurant and the Haus und Garten Tour.

They will be uploaded to YouTube and germanvillage.com.

"We want to make it both a great research tool and we want to make it entertaining, too," Todorov said.

On a related note, the GVS has applied for a $7,000 grant from Ohio Humanities Council that would pay for the videographer, premiere parties and other related costs. Regardless of whether the grant is awarded, the venture likely will move forward, Todorov said.

"We're dedicated to doing it as a project," she said.

The project should take about a year to complete.

The interviews will be conducted by Bill Case, chairman of the German Village Society board of trustees; Jody Graichen, former director of the society's historic preservation programs; Jeff Jaynes, who recently attended an oral history workshop at Kenyon College; and John Clark, who has a background in writing and video and audio production.

Graichen said the Society should "capture the tales while we can and share them while we can."

"I think it is so important that we know these stories and have them documented so we can continue to move forward successfully," Graichen said.

"We will be given the gifts of primary sources and firsthand accounts and both will be critical to writing German Village's next chapter."

It could serve as a foundation for other communities looking to do the same thing, Graichen said.

"Locally, the oral history program will be interesting for anyone looking to lay the groundwork for their own historic neighborhood or district since our stories could help broaden their understanding of what was involved," Graichen said.

"And if nothing else, it will be interesting to see a snapshot of German Village in the 1960s, '70s and '80s because things were so different then in so many ways."