The history of the Secret City is truly amazing. Imagine a small farm community of less than 3,000 people being transformed into a fully functional community of 75,000 in just 3 years. Before my grandmother passed away, I had the good fortune of having my grandparents take my sister and I on a personal tour of Oak Ridge. They shared their stories of living here, showed us the various homes in which they lived, and gave us the most enthralling history lesson I’ve ever had. My favorite is of how people, including them, frequently got lost going home in the evenings. This was due to the fact that entire neighborhoods would have been built up since they’d left that morning. (Indeed, the estimated rate at peak production was one home being completed every 30 minutes!)
Even once it became home to over 75,000 people, Oak Ridge was non-existent. It was essentially a military community whose occupants, primarily civilians, had been brought in from all over the country. I’ve often heard of how external post offices were confounded by mail addressed to Oak Ridge as it was on no known map or postal listing.
If you can’t already tell, I love sharing the history of Oak Ridge. I frequently take my kids to our museums and take visitors on tours showing them the many buildings that remain from the original establishment of our little community. I would love to be transported back in time with the characters of Richard’s story and believe that his movie can accomplish that and much more.