Photographic treasures sought for 'Around Connellsville'
Connellsville residents should dust off their oldest photo albums and peek inside. The local historical society needs assistance with a pictorial history book that will be printed by Arcadia Publishing for its “Images of America” series.
Nearby communities have already participated, including Dunbar, which compiled a book several years ago with the assistance of the borough's historical society.
“Around Scottdale and Everson is the most recent “Images of America” volume. It was written by Paul Eckman and Tom Zwierzelewski, aided by Scottdale Historical Society.
The books feature photos accompanied by informative captions containing “just enough information to entertain and enlighten readers,” said Karen Hechler, Connellsville Historical Society president.
Hechler and Eckman will collaborate on Connellsville's book. She is a founding member of the historical society and a retired history teacher with vast, enthusiastic knowledge of local — especially Connellsville — history.
Eckman is a graduate of the former Immaculate Conception High School on Prospect Street. He spent many happy days as a youth while visiting his grandparents who lived in South Connellsville.
The duo has already scanned dozens of old photos owned by Connellsville Historical Society. They will decide which pictures will be published in “Around Connellsville.”
“We are now turning to the public for additional images,” Hechler said. “We are looking for pictures dating back to the earliest days of photography up to the 1950s and 1960s.”
Knowing that the owners of such photographic treasures may be hesitant to part with them, Hechler and Eckman will scan the photos and return them on the spot.
Two days have been set aside: Oct. 11 and Oct. 13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Gibson House on West Patterson Avenue (near the high school football stadium).
Hechler will schedule appointments as well; call 724-628-5344.
“We really need your pictures to make this history (book) as comprehensive as possible,” she said. “You don't have to leave your precious memories with us ... you can take them home with you.”
The names of donors will be published with all selected photos.
Hechler added that the historical society gladly accepts the donation of old photos for safekeeping, “So that they can be shared with generations to come.”
Laura Szepesi is a freelance writer.