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Collection Occupational Folklife Project

Ransomville Speedway: Dirt Track Workers in Western New York

This collection consists of 17 oral history interviews conducted by folklorist Edward Y. Millar, who received a 2020 Archie Green Fellowship to document the history, occupational culture, and folklore of dirt track workers at The Ransomville Speedway in western New York. Millar, staff folklorist at the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University, interviewed workers involved in a variety of track-related jobs – from drivers to race announcers, concession workers to mechanics, and flag operators to track photographers. The Ransomville Speedway is a legendary dirt track racecourse founded in 1958 in Ransomville, New York, by Ed Ortiz and a group of local racers who called themselves the Ransomville Slow-Pokes. The Speedway remains a family-run enterprise and is a source of regional pride and local identity in Niagara County and the wider Buffalo-Niagara region. In addition to oral histories, the collection includes digital copies of early meeting notes, racing rules, newspaper clippings, and ephemera.

Go to Ransomville Speedway: Dirt Track Workers in Western New York collection items