A free upcoming event will spotlight Calhoun County history through the eyes of those who have lived 100 plus years.

There is something special about Calhoun County. The area is rich with centenarians and with those who appreciate the citizens who have been first-hand witnesses to history.

On Friday, July 23, Calhoun County Senior Services will be unveiling its new Centenarians of Calhoun County storytelling project at the Marshall United Methodist Church in Marshall. The special event is free and will be held as an open house. The public is invited to hear the stories of the area's oldest residents.

Over the last several months, staff and Senior Millage Allocation Committee members have worked to interview Calhoun County residents, age 99 or older. Of the 35 centenarians identified, 24 participated. The display consists of professional portraits and summaries of Centenarians' lives.

The project's goal is to preserve our local history and celebrate aging and all the contributions that our older adults have made to their communities. Preserving our history means talking to our older adults while they can still hear and remember.

Calhoun County Senior Services Manager Helen Guzzo had this to say of the special project

This project has touched us in so many ways. The history of Calhoun County is found in the stories of our older adults, and we need to make time to have important conversations about their history. We are so thankful to the 24 centenarians and their families who were willing to share their life stories with us. So many of them worked for historical employers in Calhoun County: the Sanitarium, Albion Malleable, and the Kellogg Company. Life can be especially fragile for people who have lived to 100 or over; unfortunately, two have passed already since we interviewed them. This open house-style occasion marks the first special event our office has hosted since the pandemic.

 

The open house will be held on July 23at the Marshall United Methodist Church, located at 721 US Hwy N, Marshall, MI 49068 (near Exit 110 off from I-94).

The display will also be featured at the Calhoun County Fair August 14-21, the Albion Festival of the Forks September 17-18, and Battle Creek’s Fall into the Arts October 15.

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