The Midewin Heritage Association began as an outgrowth of a US Forest Service Oral History Project. In 1998, Midewin staff had conducted a number of Oral History interviews with local residents and former arsenal workers. In early 2002, Midewin’s archeologist Mike Rizo looked to revitalize the program and sought individuals who would like to share their stories, as well as volunteers to record them.
The initial meeting was held on March 13, 2002 with but 5 individuals attending. In July of that year, current MHA Vice President Pam Hunte gave a lecture on “Conducting Oral Histories”. In 2003, those working on the project were self-titled “The History Group”. By the end of 2003 we started to look at other areas in which we could become involved such as helping with cemetery maintenance and historical interpretation of old farms and the remains of the arsenal on tours.
By the end of 2003 the “Group” was considering incorporation. In March of 2004 they adopted the name Midewin Heritage Association, developed bylaws and subsequently filed paperwork with the State, resulting in an incorporation date of November 9, 2004.