Learn about the fascinating history of early Kingston beginning Monday, September 18, when CFRC 101.9 launches a six part audio series about Kingston’s “Swamp Ward”. A new segment will air every Monday between 4pm and 5pm until October 23.
[Pictured above: aerial photo showing much of the Swamp Ward in 1925]
Each episode will feature that week’s documentary along with conversation and context about the project and community history. Podcasts will be downloadable once a week from swampwardhistory.com.
The Swamp Ward and Inner Harbour History Project (SWIHHP, pronounced as in broom), with its partners CFRC Radio 101.9 and the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour, announces the release of a series of six audio documentaries funded by the City of Kingston Heritage Fund.
The Swamp Ward is a name for the area of Kingston north of Queen Street and up along the river to Belle Park. For many, it is a term used with pride or fondness; for others, it is associated with stigma.
SWIHHP aims to learn more about the twentieth century history of a neighbourhood little researched or celebrated — but which is in fact the earliest area of human habitation in Kingston, starting with Indigenous, French and English people, and later becoming home to immigrants from many places including Eastern Europe, Italy, and Portugal.
The Inner Harbour was a key industrial area of Kingston until the 1970s, when it fell upon hard times. Nowadays, the neighbourhood is changing again, with real estate prices rising and a new wave of residents embracing its history and walkable community vibe.
SWIHHP is using oral history and archival research to capture many dimensions of the social and environmental past of this place and to diversify what people think of when they think of Kingston history.
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For three years, SWIHHP director Professor Laura Murray (English and Cultural Studies, Queen’s), along with researcher Scott Rutherford and Queen’s summer students, has been interviewing community members; we have so far a corpus of about 80 oral history interviews that will be deposited in the Queen’s Archives for others to listen to.
The grant from CKHF has allowed us to create a series of audio documentaries from this material. Phil Lichti, an audio editor with considerable experience in spoken word and soundscape work (his resume includes work for the Concordia Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling, Parks Canada, and the Musée des Beaux Arts of Montreal), has made gorgeous collages of voice and sound.
Each episode is a gem, not only of information, but of atmosphere.
[Pictured above: 3D image of the swamp ward now via Google Maps]
Release source: Swamp Ward and Inner Harbour History Project
Photo (1925): Cataraqui Archaeological Research Foundation