​​​​​​​Design Division, Inc.   91 Gray Street  Amherst   MA   01002   413 549 0510

Blue Heron 

Client: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Budget: $1,500,000 

Interpretation at Blue Heron, part of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, is about memory. We initiated an oral history project that collected interviews and photographs from the former miners and their families. These memories have been preserved in both voice and image in the “ghost frame” (skeletal metal frame with a roof but no walls that maintains the volume and shape of the original long-removed house) recreations of the former miners’ homes and community buildings. Visitors can view the images and artifacts associated with a specific topic covered in the structure as they listen to the voices of the former occupants of the town. The village operated as a “company town” from 1938 until 1962, and is located at the terminus of a scenic rail line. The project received a Presidential Design Award.

Click image to hear the voices of Blue Heron miners and their families.

Interpretive Planning • Exhibit Design   

"When I first saw my wife I was building a pig pen. I saw her coming over the hill and I thought she was the prettiest woman in the world."                                                                           - Hoyt Davis, former Blue Heron Miner