This collection contains interviews detailing the experiences of Montanans during the COVID-19 pandemic. The interviews were conducted by University of Montana students in the History Department as part of a special Oral History Internship summer certificate program launched in 2020. The interviewees offer diverse perspectives on how people, businesses, and organizations in Western Montana experienced the Coronavirus pandemic during the lockdown and phased reopening in the spring and summer of 2020. The original interviews are held as Oral History collection OH 475 at Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula.
For more information about this project and the UM students who conducted the interviews, see pages 32-34 in the UM July news releases.
This collection includes 18 interviews.
Amy Allison Thompson
Executive Director of the Poverello Center Amy Allison Thompson talks about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Missoula, Montana’s homeless community and the efforts of the Poverello Center to lessen it.
Anders Brooker discusses the challenges of operating his family-owned business, the Runner’s Edge in downtown Missoula, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Brooker briefly reflects on how much the support of his family and staff helped during the early phase of the pandemic. He explains how the ... Read More
Hype House business co-owner Bridgette Parsons discusses the challenges of operating a local studio cycling center in downtown Missoula during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Carolyn Thompson, Assistant Director of the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, talks about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on public history and museums, specifically visitors and volunteers.
Montana State University undergraduate Carter Moffitt briefly discusses his background growing up in Boulder, Colorado, and his decision to attend MSU to pursue a degree in environmental engineering. He talks about joining Greek life during his freshman year and why he chose MSU’s Kappa Sigma ... Read More
Director of Environmental Studies program at the University of Montana Daniel Spencer talks about the impact of COVID-19 on higher education, including students, faculty, staff, and administrators.
Executive Director of All Nations Health Center D’Shane Barnett discusses the impact of COVID-19 on Native Americans and indigenous peoples living in Western Montana. He talks about how Western Montana indigenous tribes and urban native health care have been affected by the pandemic. Barnett also ... Read More
Emy Scherrer, the Historic Preservation Officer for Missoula, Montana, discusses the impact of COVID-19 in on historic preservation in Western Montana. She describes how the pandemic has affected local preservation projects as well as worldwide projects, and funding for those projects.
Accounting major Ethan Hanley briefly describes growing up in Bozeman, Montana, and his decision to attend the University of Montana. He recalls how he joined the University’s Kappa Sigma fraternity chapter and eventually became its president. Despite drastic changes to the upcoming academic year, Hanley ... Read More
United States Coast Guard Academy student Kalea Tetsuka talks about the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on college students and those in higher education.
Kasha Kinyon, owner of MTgecko and Ball Python in Helena, Montana, briefly discusses living in Helena and her earlier experiences with geckos that inspired her to start an exotic pet business, as well as breed and sell a variety of exotic pets including geckos, ball ... Read More
Katie Condon and Jordan Lane
Musicians Katie Condon, Jordan Lane, Lhanna Writesel, Josh Hungate, Dillon Johns of the Missoula-based band Letter B discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their summer touring plans and their individual lives. This interview was the first time in nearly three months that these ... Read More
Matt Lautzenheiser, Executive Director of the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula [HMFM], discusses the impact of COVID-19 on museums, specifically HMFM, as well as his thoughts on the pandemic’s lasting effect on public history.
University of Montana student Meredith Webb describes the impact of COVID-19 on her studies, as well as her role as a mother caring for two young children.
Samuel Askin and Taylor Wilkerson
Twitch streamers Samuel Askin and Taylor Wilkerson briefly recount their experiences growing up prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wilkerson recalls moving from state-to-state while Askin discusses living in Helena, MT and then moving to Texas with Taylor before settling back in Helena. Askin and Wilkerson ... Read More
Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Missoula Paddleheads Taylor Rush discusses how Missoula’s minor league baseball organization reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to a gag order, Rush only mentions the ongoing Professional Baseball Agreement negotiations between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball, ... Read More
Executive Director of Arts Missoula Tom Bensen discusses how COVID-19 impacted Missoula's art community and industry. He notes that it has contributed to the uncertainty that the art industry faces in the future. Bensen emphasizes his optimism for the future and how the pandemic might ... Read More
Dram Shop owner Zachary Millar describes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on his business located in downtown. Millar notes his appreciation for the changes Montana Governor Steve Bullock made to the state liquor laws to help alcoholic beverage businesses deliver during the pandemic. He ... Read More