Making of Images – 5/27/10

For the past couple months, Betty Lou Harmison and I have been engaged in the process of ferreting out historic photos of life in Berkeley Springs.  We visit folks, scan their photos and hear their stories. That’s been the best part even though this book is basically photos with captions rather than stories with photos.

It’s a rare and incredible opportunity to peek into life in this special place long before I ever know it existed. Part of the magic comes from working with Betty Lou.  She is an 84-year-old dynamo who has been collecting photos, postcards and the local history since she arrived here as a teenager.  She knows everyone and everything.  The photo is Betty Lou with her WV History Hero award in 2008.  Over the weeks to come, you’ll see more of Betty Lou with various ones of the folks who have so graciously allowed us to scan their family photos.

Betty receives her WV History Hero award

Today we visited with Tom Ambrose, Superintendent of Cacapon State Park.  His HQ building is the building in which he was born and grew up since his father worked for years at the park.  We scanned construction images of the dam being built that created the lake and of the CCC workers who built the cabins and trails.  There was a terrific photo of the kitchen staff in the late 1940s showing a young boy who later became president of the local bank.

In this world where many people hardly know what city or state they live in today, exploring the roots of a place where folks have lived for generations is a rich and satisfying experience.

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