Saturday, September 19, 2015

Save Your Photos #19 of 30! Photo Challenge: Create Your Hometown History

Here's a photo challenge...and a chance to create history right where you are!

Having served on the board of my local historical society for a few years, I came to understand both the importance and the desire for photographic records of how our town looked throughout its history.

Our society amassed a large photo collection of our town of about 40,000.  During the time I served on the board I was amazed to learn how great the interest was in seeing how our town looked decades and even a century or more ago.  We constantly got requests from individuals looking to learn more about their homes but also from local businesses hoping to connect themselves to the history of their locations.  Many businesses were willing to pay hundreds of dollars for a single large print of their location to display on their walls or to decorate their eating establishments.

As I myself learned more about our local town history, I was surprised to find that a local shopping center had once been an airport, that the homes built across from my children's elementary school were built on what used to be a golf course and that the building at the top of my street used to be the local elementary school.  Had I grown up in my home, I would have gone to that school.  Where our new YMCA stands, a bubble gum factory once stood, some homes along busier streets are now businesses.  Streets, businesses and neighborhoods will change vastly over time.  

What were dirt streets with a trolly track down the middle of them are now two lane highways, what were farmsteads are now a couple blocks of homes, what once were pathways for horse carriages and sleighs, then early vehicles are now modern roads full of cars.  Even going back 40 years, most of the businesses a few blocks away have been replaced.

So - here's your challenge.  Be a photo journalist in your own home town.  Take photos of businesses along a stretch of road, of town buildings and restaurants.  Take photos of cars at intersections and of local roads during parades or other festivals, take pictures of the front of schools, of parks and recreation areas, etc.  Capture now what will surely in a few decades be treasured records of history - you might even capture a photo that someone would be willing to pay you for!

Create hometown history one photograph at a time.

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