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A personal reflection on historical photographs

07 Mar

Class discussion regarding Things That Talk (editor Lorraine Daston) was quite fascinating. One of those discussions was about old clippings and branched out into old photographs. I have always loved history and old photographs, so it was natural for me to gravitate to this discussion.

I am fascinated by old photographs, perhaps, because I have always loved history and love to imagine what life was like in the past. I am not alone in this fascination – there are many books out there that show us through photographs what life was like in the past. Here is one example of just such a book:

New York 400

There are also photograph books that cover civil war photos and regional photo books for different parts of the country. I have to admit that, if money were no object, I would want them all.

While making my appointment to speak with the Historical Society, I saw a flyer that asked for donations to help defray the cost of moving the old Franklinville train station along with the following photo:

Photograph of the Franklinville railroad station while still in operation

When I saw this photograph on the flyer at the Historical Society office, I was stunned. I could imagine what it was like to wait for the train to come whistling into that tiny station. I wonder what the town was like back then – I hope to learn more about it while talking with the Franklin Township Historical Society. The train station was no longer in use after passenger trains stopped coming through Franklinville. According to the flyer, the Albertson family of Franklinville, maintained the train station and welcomed visitors to see it. It was donated to the town by the family of the late Robert and Dora Albertson provided that the town was able to move the train station. Donations were sought to help pay for the move. It now occupies a space near the Coummity Center (which houses the library, the historical society, and many town activities).

I’ll update this post later with a photograph of the train station as it stands today.

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Posted by on March 7, 2010 in Old photographs, Reading response

 

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