My great-grandfather was a professional photographer. He took wedding pictures, pictures for the local rural paper, pictures of farm animals and equipment for insurance purposes, just about anything that might require a pictorial record. When he passed away, all of his inventory of pictures in his studio was packed into boxes, stacked in my grandmother’s attic and forgotten. When my grandmother died, we found them. Over an entire summer afternoon, my family and I went through these pictures, marveling at the stories they told of the times and the people. Funeral pictures of Civil War veterans, dressed hat to toe in their military gear - even buried with their sword or weapon. Family portraits where everyone looked angry, because getting your picture taken was serious business and it was considered disrespectful to smile. Young farm brides and their nervous-looking grooms in home-sewed dresses and ill-fitting borrowed suits. Pictures of cars when cars were new and a novelty. Pictures of people driving cars with crowds of children running behind them down the street. Just one marvelous gem after another.
We discussed what to do with them and finally offered them to the county museum which was thrilled to get them.