In a new projected called "People of the Pack," Dupaco Community Credit Union and TH Media are teaming up to preserve a history of the Dubuque Packing Company and honor the people who worked there.
Stories and pictures from Pack workers and their families will be gathered and shared through an ongoing social media presence, as well as a hardcover book that will be available for sale to the public.
As one of Dubuque's largest employers, many thousands of people worked at the Dubuque Packing Company from 1931 through the 1980s, said Brian Cooper, executive editor of the Telegraph Herald.
As the Pack and its payroll swelled in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, so did the fortunes of Dubuque, said Cooper. Although the pack eventually closed its doors for good in 2001, the impact it had on the Tri-State community can still be seen in the people and businesses that remain.
The project idea was hatched after Dupaco which was chartered in 1948 to serve employees of the Dubuque Packing Company remodeled its Sycamore branch, according to David Klavitter, Dupaco senior vice president of marketing.
The Sycamore branch is located one block south of the pack site on 16th Street in Dubuque, said Klavitter. The office is specially adorned to pay tribute to Dupaco’s heritage and honor the hard-working men and women who have made Dupaco Community Credit Union what it is today.
Upon experiencing the remodeled branch, long-time members immediately began sharing the stories and memorabilia with Dupaco staff, added Klavitter. We felt these stories should be collected and shared before they were lost.
The book is expected to be published and available for purchase in August, 2014. The website and social media sites will remain an ongoing virtual place to share, read and archive stories. People can check back regularly for interview clips and previews from the book. They also can "Like" the project on Facebook to get updates as the project progresses.
Stories, photos, and video will be collected through the website and live in-person interviews. Anyone interested in submitting their story or scheduling an interview can do so online at www.peopleofthepack.com. Those without computer access can call either Dupaco's Michelle Becwar (563-557-7600, ext. 2601) or TH Media’s Diane Mohr (563-588-3845) for assistance.
Story collection for the book will start September 5, 2013 and end January 31, 2014. Online story collection for the website will continue after this date, but these will not be included in the book. Interviews will be held at several different places (Dupaco’s Hillcrest/JFK and Sycamore branches, Telegraph Herald, and the Dubuque Carnegie-Stout Public Library).