It is felt that there is a critical need to preserve the heritage and culture of Sharkey and Issaquena counties. Sharkey Heritage and Cultural Project is an organization designed to record the oral, written, and photographic history of Sharkey County, as well as to preserve the heritage and culture of the area. Because of the close relationship between Sharkey and Issaquena Counties, often referred to as “The Twin Counties,” both counties will be included in this endeavor.
The SHAC Project needs assistance in our endeavors.
To collect the oral histories from people who have lived in the community, we are looking for contact information on those individuals in their eighties and nineties who live in or have lived in the community for a significant period of time. We would like for them to share their stories. Appointments will be set up at a time and place most convenient for the Interviewee. These histories will be audio recordings with still photographs of the subject. Release forms will need to be signed to allow use of the recordings in the future.
- To gather information from cemeteries located in the two-county area in one repository, we need help in first locating those cemeteries where the information has already been gathered. Spreadsheets or links to websites would be most appreciated. Otherwise, we would need volunteers to help create a database and perform grave rubbings of existing headstones, if necessary.
- To collect and digitize school newspapers such as Cary Chatter, The Octopus, or similar publications from the area, we would need access to those original documents to be able to scan them, or we need existing pdfs or documents.
- To gather information on the influence of the African Americans, Chinese, Jews, Lebanese, Italians, Mexicans, and other ethnic groups to the history of the community, we need access to documents that have recorded such information. Special emphasis may be on the "Chinese Exclusion Act", Rosenwald schools, and/or schooling for Mexicans who lived in the area in the early to mid twentieth century.
- To collect and archive photographic, oral and written histories of the 1927 flood, Belgrade Lumber Company, the 1971 tornado, the Illinois Central Railroad, the Cary fire, and the farming industry as they reflect the changing landscape of the current community, we need access to documents that have recorded such information.
- To identify the succession of owners and history of homes, buildings, churches, etc. throughout the two-county area, we need public input of such information.
Please note that we are a 501(c)(3) organization and welcome any donations to help further our mission. Whereas, much time, effort, and services are donated. Transcription of oral histories can become costly. This is also true of recording equipment and technical services. Contact information is written below.