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‘Village Life’ premieres as latest ‘Stories of Chelsea’ documentary

The opening scene from "Village Life" a documentary.

The Chelsea District Library premiered “Village Life” its latest film in the “Stories of Chelsea” series on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 21 with about 75 people (many of them featured in the documentary) in the Washington Street Education Center auditorium.

The project is an online collection of interviews and photos preserving the stories of life in Chelsea, which include One Room Schoolhouses, WWII Veterans, farmers and, the newest installment Village Life.

In this film, Rob Coelius of Video Farm Productions documents the history of village life including the village’s 125th anniversary. The film depicts a time when the village’s predominant mode of transportation had four legs and the surface of Main Street was dirt.

Donna Lane in the audience of Sunday's 'Village Life' premiere.

Sara Wedell, head of adult services for the library, has spent the last four years on this oral history initiative. She said the goal of the project was “to capture the stories of our town,” while Bill Harmer, library director, said the documentary was part of a collective history of Chelsea, made possible with help from a grant awarded by the Chelsea Community Foundation.

Among the interviews you’ll see are Howdy Holmes, Pete Flintoft, Bob Daniels, Bill Storey, Donna Lane, Ed Whitaker, John Mann, Bob Merkel, Vince Burg, Helen K. Leonard, Helen Lancaster, Betty Bust, Craig Common, Paul Bollinger, and Mike Jackson.

If you click here, you can find episodes of Around Town with Linda (Meloche), see historic photographs and watch the previous documentaries and longer interviews with residents, which were edited for the documentary.

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