The Twin Cities of Lewiston and Auburn have undergone massive change in the past few decades. Many of the shoe shops, mills, and brickyards of the past century and a half have shut down, and the cities are facing a new era. How then, can the past be remembered? How can those who lived the industrial experiences come together again to illuminate the future with the light of the past?
In 2004 with the "Millworkers' Reunion", Museum L-A staged the first of a series of reunions for industrial workers. These reunions – consisting of regional fare, entertainment, and socializing, as well as gathering history and collecting artifacts – have become a vital starting point for our workers' oral history projects, bringing many people with shared experiences into a common space to exchange stories, reminisce, and see old friends.
A database is made from these reunions out of which individual workers are selected to be interviewed, representing a variety of positions, ethnicities, and years experience. In staging reunions for our local industrial workers, Museum L-A truly lives the vision to "…serve as a community gathering place..."