The State Historical Society of North Dakota has awarded the Tri-County Tourism Alliance a grant to collect interviews and create a traveling photo exhibit called “Women Behind the Plow.”
The award will be used over the next two years to collect interviews and photographs of German Russian women who assisted their spouses on farms in a tri-county area in south central North Dakota.
Photos and stories will be used to create a traveling exhibit honoring the unrecognized work of women who not only tended to household chores and children, but worked elbow to elbow with their husbands. Many of these women were not even identified on photographs, but rather referred to as “So-and-so’s wife” or “Mrs. So-and-so.” Their identities lost forever behind faded black and white photos.
The exhibit will be unveiled at the 2015 Wishek Sauerkraut Days and be available thereafter for exhibit in businesses and galleries around the state.
The Tri-County Tourism Alliance was formed as a nonprofit three years ago to support heritage tourism in an area largely settled by Germans from Russia in North Dakota three counties – Logan County, McIntosh County and Emmons County. Anyone interested in preserving the culture of this unique group of people is invited to attend the meetings. The next meeting will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 15, at the coffee shop in Hazelton. For more information contact President Carmen Rath-Wald at (701) 754-2504.
If you are interested in being interviewed for this project you must be willing to do a video taped interview and to be photographed for the exhibit. The alliance would also ask for old black and white photographs of farm life, home chores, wedding day and school portraits, etc. to supplement the interviews. Interviewees need not be currently living in the tri-county area to qualify for an interview but be born before 1950 and at one time lived and farmed in the tri-county area
Interviewing will begin in the early spring, please contact Sue Balcom at 701-527-5169 to set up your interview.