August 20, 2009:
Owens Valley residents have been “making history” since humans first appeared here, says historian and author Jane Wehrey, who will explore how ordinary people have helped create extraordinary pasts in Lone Pine, Manzanar, and other Eastern Sierra communities. A slide show will accompany the presentations hosted by the Friends of the Lone Pine Library at the Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Film History on Tuesday, September 8 starting at 7:00 PM. Ms. Wehrey has written two books about the area and will be available to sign both. Voices From This Long Brown Land: Oral Recollections of Owens Valley Lives and Manzanar Pasts (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), showcases recollections of local residents who’s history-making dates to the late 1800s. Manzanar (Images of America Series, Arcadia Publishing, 2008) traces the long history of that site in photographs.
Wehrey is an Owens Valley native and current resident of Independence. She attended schools in Independence and graduated from Lone Pine High School. Her family’s history in the valley dates to 1918, when her maternal grandparents came to the Manzanar fruit-growing community to operate the general store. Her father’s family presence in the valley began about the same time and has long been associated with Los Angeles Aqueduct history. With a BA in English from Occidental College and MA in Public History from CalState Fullerton, Wehrey has worked extensively as an editor and interviewer in the oral history field at CSUF’s Center For Oral and Public History. She has been a consultant, exhibit writer, and part-time ranger for the National Park Service at Manzanar.