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Lunch/Learn: Short Films on Local History

April 29 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

This spring Keene State College students spent the semester learning how to use digital storytelling as a tool to present their research. In a special honors course, students conducted oral histories, organized, and conducted interviews, visited archives, and researched topics that were rooted in the local. The topics the students chose were diverse and range from personal projects about family lineages, real life Gatsby figures, razed neighborhoods, the history of local transit systems, the Keene Public Library and cultural history hidden in plain sight. The students will present their short video projects to the public on Monday, April 29, 2024 at 12:00pm at the Historical Society of Cheshire County. The public is invited to bring a lunch and listen to some great digital storytelling.

Rails, Roads, and Roundabouts
by Ryan Hueber, 14min

Keene is a town with a long history. In the 1800s, railroads helped to turn this rural community into the region’s industrial powerhouse. The role of trains in Keene’s development is well known. What most people don’t know, though, is that the town once had a tram network and a strong bus service. In this documentary, I detail the history of public transportation and transit infrastructure in Keene, from the Keene Electric Railway to the City Express.

The Neighborhood Before Us
By Hayley Townsend, 6min

Before Butler Ct was home to several upperclassmen dorms and the infamous Carle Hall, it was a neighborhood with rich Italian culture. But when the college needed to meet enrolment demands in the late 1960s, families in the neighborhood were forced to move due to Eminent Domain, the right of the government to take private property for public use subject to payment of just compensation effect by the filling of a Declaration with the Board. In this film, Victor Dintino and his family reminisce on the times spent in neighborhood gardens, attending places on the campus, and watching the college expand before their forced relocation.


The Eliot Building: A Journey Through Time
By Peter St. Germain, 6min

The beloved Eliot Center of Keene State College is known to have a rich history. While most students know some of the basic history, some may or may not know the full history. This film explores the unknown history of the Eliot Center at Keene State College.

Madame Sherri: New Hampshire’s Great Gatsby
By Eleanor Warinner, 7min

A New York City Parisian born costume designer moved to Chesterfield, New Hampshire in 1930, where she built a castle for the sole purpose of hosting lavish parties. Scandalizing residents, she drove around town in her Packard touring car, wearing a fur coat and chain smoking. However, like Gatsby, this socialite crashed and burned, dying a ward of the state with a castle in ruins.

Through Their Eyes: Three Generations of German Women
By Max Frisbee, 14min

These are the stories of three German women in the same lineage over three generations. They grew up during different periods of time in East Germany, and they tell stories of their childhoods and difficulties. Gisela, born in 1936, lived through the Second World War and experienced its aftermath. While the war did not directly impact her, she speaks of her childhood in Germany. Susanne, born in 1956, speaks of her early childhood and how the GDR influenced her life, and the difficulties she faced with the Stasi and her attempt to cross the border. Katrin, born in 1976, also speaks of her early childhood, her experiences, and her memories of East Germany. These stories are compiled to compare their experiences and deliver an insight into the lives and memories of these women.


The Battlefront on the Frontier
By Giovanni Vattuone, 5min

The interest in this project comes from the historical aspect of the town and the historic forts and battles that took place in Cheshire County. This project is a tour through the history of the major generals and people who were a part of the founding of the fort at #4.


Third Space: The Evolution of the Keene Public Library
By Cameron Rockwell, 12min

The history of the Keene Public library begins in the late 1700s, and throughout the decades has continued to grow and evolve. It has gone through many locations, renovations, librarians, trustees, and overall changes before it has reached the library on West Street that we know today. Despite the various renovations it has undergone and countless resources it has acquired, it’s not the building and books that make up the library, but the surrounding community that keeps the library alive.

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April 29
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


Historical Society of Cheshire County
246 Main Street
Keene, NH 03431 United States
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