New Waco History Podcast Features Haunted Legends, Hometown Heroes and Other Rich Community Stories

Sloan
Stephen Sloan, Ph.D., associate professor of history and director of Baylor's Institute for Oral History, is co-host of the new Waco History Podcast. (Robert Rogers / Baylor Marketing & Communications)
Oct. 26, 2018

Media Contact: Eric M. Eckert, 254-710-1964
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WACO, Texas (Oct. 26, 2018) – Have you heard the story of the Cameron Park Witch? Or, better yet, have you seen her? You’d know it if you have, historians say. She’s the grief-stricken ghost wailing and wandering the wooded trails of Waco’s largest park.

The legend of the Cameron Park Witch is just one of the scary stories that hosts Randy Lane and Stephen Sloan, Ph.D., Baylor University history professor and director of Baylor’s Institute for Oral History, discuss on the latest episode of the new Waco History Podcast. The podcast is the latest enhancement of the Waco History website.

“Our podcast audience are those who are not familiar with the diverse and interesting history here locally,” Sloan said. “The podcast is for those who call Waco home, to learn more about the place where they live or those who have a connection to Waco, but are unfamiliar with its rich history.”

The newest episode, titled "Haunted Waco," features an interview with Brad Turner, author of “Lust, Violence, Religion: Life in Historic Waco,” who discusses a variety of local legends. The podcast has also featured stories about photographer Fred Gildersleeve, Waco during World War II and hometown hero Doris Miller.

The Waco History website and mobile application act as a depository of more than 160 written stories, interactive tours, historic images and oral histories exploring the people, places and moments that have shaped the community’s history. The effort is a joint venture by two Baylor programs: Institute for Oral History and The Texas Collection.

The majority of the stories on the site are researched and written by Baylor undergraduate and graduate students. The podcast, Sloan said, is an extension of the online resource, and the podcast programming and discussions are fueled by the website’s large catalog of stories.

“To launch the podcast, we have pulled some of the most interesting stories from the Waco History website that deserve more discussion or exploration,” Sloan said.

Sloan shares podcast hosting duties with Randy Lane, whose great-grandfather Roy E. Lane was a celebrated Waco architect who designed the ALICO Building, Hippodrome and other Waco landmarks. According to Lane, while he was searching through his own family history, he looked for a podcast about Waco’s history. When one didn’t exist, he sought out Sloan to help him start one.

Sloan said the experience has been enjoyable because it provides another avenue to share history with others.

“I am passionate about people discovering the history that exists around them. It is how we truly understand the place in which we live and, in turn, learn more about who we truly are as a people and community,” he said.

To learn more about the Waco History resources and the Waco History podcast, visit the Waco History website.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

ABOUT THE INSTITUTE FOR ORAL HISTORY

Through dynamic, recorded interviews, the Institute for Oral History at Baylor University preserves the stories of individuals who helped create the fabric of history and whose lives, in turn, were shaped by the people, places, events and ideas of their day. The Institute has recorded and preserved oral histories since 1970, earning along the way a strong reputation for multidisciplinary outreach to both academic scholars and community historians by providing professional leadership, educational tools and research opportunities. For more information, visit http://www.baylor.edu/oralhistory.

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