Judy Lynn has spent countless hours listening.
With more than 200 oral history interviews conducted on behalf of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve and the Island County Historical Society under her belt, this Coupeville resident knows a lot about local history.
Lynn’s efforts recently culminated in the book “Images of America: Coupeville” published by Arcadia Publishing. The book chronicles Coupeville’s history as recorded in photographs. Local resident Kay Foss also pitched in.
The Trust Board of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve recognized Lynn for her hard work in preserving local history. She is the recipient of the 2012 Volunteer of the Year award, which she received at the Ebey’s Forever Annual Community Potluck earlier this month.
“Every year — we have dozens and dozens of volunteers that contribute their time, expertise and passion on behalf of Ebey’s — protecting its rural heritage for generations to come,” said Mark Preiss, reserve manager. “Judy Lynn — she’s a shining example, and reflects the level of deep commitment we have here in our community for preserving the rural heritage and stories of Ebey’s Landing.”
“I think it’s important to save our history, to save those memories,” Lynn said. “I really enjoyed getting to know people and hearing all the stories.”
The wide-ranging stories and first-person perspective compiled from these interviews is essential to understanding the history and people of Central Whidbey, Coupeville and the Reserve, Preiss said.
The behind-the-scenes stories would simply be lost to us, had it not been for Lynn’s dedication and persistence, he said.
However, because of her work, the stories and personal histories are “available to all of us and to future generations,” he said.
In addition to conducting and transcribing the interviews, Lynn, a professional organizer, also assembled, sorted and scanned a large number of photographs.
Even after putting in countless hours on the project, Lynn said the award was unexpected.
“It was a total surprise to me. I had no idea it was coming,” she said. “It’s quite an honor.”
Preiss also recognized the assistance of the Coupeville Lions Club and other community volunteers who gave a combined 400 hours as preservation crew members to help stabilize the Engle Carriage House as part of the fifth Historic Preservation Field School.
In addition, the Central Whidbey Lions donated their time to maintain the Ebey’s Prairie wayside and assist the Island County Historical Society in preserving the Alexander Blockhouse, located on the museum grounds, he said.