Photos still needed to complete photo book on Carroll County

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With my final deadline now just a couple of weeks away, time is running out and I am now to a point where I’m looking only for specific photos to make this Carroll County book project complete.

I have already scanned hundreds of wonderful photos, and now I have to go through and determine which ones will “make the cut.” Thank you to everyone who has donated these images.

The first chapter, as I have it, focuses on Carrollton’s business district, from the early days to as late as the 1960s and ’70s. The next chapter will focus on the other cities in the county, but so far I’m having a difficult time with this. While I have tons of photos for Carrollton and Ghent, I have very few for Sanders, English, Worthville and Prestonville, as well as towns that no longer exist, such as Locust or Eagle Station.

So far, I only have very old school photos from those areas.

I know photos exist from the “bygone” days, and these are crucial; I want this book to represent the whole county. Online, I’ve seen copies of photos from the railroad that went through Worthville and Sanders, as well as photos of some of the hotels that flourished there in the late 1800s, when these were popular vacation destinations for city dwellers.

The problem is, most online resources either don’t have the original photos for me to scan or they want to charge me money for them. I have been relying on the kindness of area residents who have donated the use of their images to help me make this book complete. I have no budget to work with, so I am unable to purchase any.

Of course, everyone probably assumes that I have a ton of photos to choose from at The News-Democrat office. While I’ve been able to find some great photos there, unfortunately the photo archives are not well organized and few extend back much farther than the 1980s.

So, I’m making one final plea for help from anyone who has photos that should be included – or at least considered – for this book.

I need photos of Churchill’s Restaurant, Park Lanes Shopping Center and Blue Gables, to start with. Also, I am in need of images of several churches, in particular Carrollton’s United Methodist and First and Second Baptist churches, and churches from elsewhere in the county.

I also would love to have a photo of the old drive-in theater and photos from the early days when the industries were being built – Dow Corning, North American Stainless, M&T Chemicals (and it’s various other monikers), Dayton-Walther, Rich Ladder, etc.

I’m literally drowning in flood pictures, though those are mostly in Carrollton and Prestonville. Old flood photos from Locust or Worthville would be appreciated.

Also, in the next few weeks, I’ll need people with extensive knowledge of local history to help me when proofing the book, to help me make sure I have all my information correct. I’m getting it mostly from previously published sources and from the photograph donors, but I’m always open to more historic tidbits.

If you have any of these photos I’ve listed and would like to donate them to the project (I only need scans; I do not keep the originals), please call me at (502) 514-3715. Also call me or send me an email to pcmclaughlin@writeaway-online.com if you are interested in the proof-reading phase of this project.


Just a thought for the future

One of the things I’ve realized since embarking on this project is the lack of an historical archive for Carroll County. While there are some goodies to be found in the genealogy room at Carroll County Public Library, the Masterson House and the Butler-Turpin State Historic House, neither the library nor the Port William Historical Society has established an archive for old photographs and important papers.

To me it seems crucial that we all work together to find a way to preserve our history in such a way that it is available to anyone who wants to see it or use it for any kind of research they may be doing.

At this point, most of our history is being kept in private collections, which means anyone wanting to see them is at the mercy of the people who own them. In most cases, I’ve found people to be very willing to share their photos for this project. To them I am grateful.

I, too, am a collector, and I appreciate the passion that people have for finding rare items that have to do with the history of a specific area – particularly one’s hometown.

These collectors, though, would do our communities a huge service by allowing their images to be scanned and kept in a digital archive that could be managed either by the library or the historical society – or perhaps by both, through some kind of partnership.

Additionally, residents could choose to donate old photos they no longer want to the archive for preservation. Such collections could be bequeathed; what a wonderful legacy that would be to leave for your community documents from its history.

Having started my own collection of digital photos, which I’ve scanned at very high resolution, I would be open to discussing starting such an archive for the community. If anyone is interested in this idea, please send me an email at pcmclaughlin@writeaway-online.com.


Phyllis McLaughlin is special sections coordinator for The News-Democrat and resides in Milton, Ky.