My first thought on this is to take a "Ken Burns" approach to this, similar to what he did in World War II. Ideas--record the elderly folks; take pictures of them; find pictures of the community at the time in history (digitize them)--find them in the library, maybe online, or scan pictures that the elderly have. Find music from that time period (preferably music not copy protected). Then use Photo Story 3 to put it all together. Photo Story 3 is a free program from Microsoft.
If I think of anything else,I'll pass it on.---Sheila