Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lost History Recovered!

Two exciting days in Fletcher, Vermont!

Yesterday I met with Charlie Tinker, our local genealogist, at the Town Clerk's Office to look at some of the 350 4 x 5 glass negatives that town residents have recently purchased. They will be and are the basis for the fledgling Fletcher Historical Society of Vermont. So far it's Charlie and me.

The negatives were stored in a Fletcher attic somewhere around 1910 or so, and then, some decades later were shoved out to a barn. Where they have remained until someone (unfortunately not a Fletcher resident) came across them when he was was asked to look at stuff in the barn for possible purchase.

Well, he got them, and now the residents of Fletcher have forked over $4,000 for them. They contain images of ancestors of many current Fletcher residents, images of buildings, farm animals (especially oxen), schools and school children, snowstorms, and heaven knows what else.

I've just finished pricing the necessary archival storage materials for them so that we can beg folks for more money. (Archiving them properly will cost about $300.)

They are currently wrapped in pulp paper, some of it actual newspaper--an archival nightmare. But, fortunately, they are almost all labeled with names AND dates. So, the old wrappings will have to be indexed as well. It is a large task, but thoroughly exciting.

Yesterday I photographed some of them in a makeshift manner, but scanning will be much better. Here's one of them from 1907.

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