Fern Gildersleeve Interview, December 5, 1983


Fern Gildersleeve


Diane Khernberger



Download Audio Interview (69.0 MB)

Download Transcript of Fern Gildersleeve Interview (21.3 MB)


Fern Gildersleeve recalls growing up in Illinois with her sister and her father on her father’s farm, and helping him with outdoor work. She describes moving to Superior, Montana, and meeting her future husband, George Gildersleeve, who worked a placer mine on Cedar Creek. Gildersleeve recounts getting married in 1932, the subsequent births of her children, and her expanding family. She describes the placer mining community, the difficult winters there, and her work cooking for the camp, as well as working as a cook for 11 years at the school in Superior. Gildersleeve recalls her family’s financial struggles during the Great Depression, especially due to the low price of metals. She details the process of placer mining, and mentions the visitors the family receives who are interested in the process and history of placer mining in Montana.


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Document Type

Oral History


Women, Montana, Interviews; Gold mines and mining; Montana Cedar Creek; Winter; Montana Superior; Illinois Peak; Rebecca Lodge; Youth Conservation Corps; Cedar Creek; Trout Creek

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Unions and Labor Oral History Collection, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 / library.archives@umontana.edu

Oral History Number

OH 129-001

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound cassette (01:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (26 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

00:55:20 minutes

Local Filename

OH_129_001.mp3; OH_129_001.pdf

Fern Gildersleeve Interview, December 5, 1983