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Column: Preserving local history is everybody's job

4:03 PM, Apr. 29, 2013  |  Comments
Phil Brown
Phil Brown
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Since 1955, the South Wood County Historical Society has been accumulating, preserving and sharing our local history. Recently, we have received important gifts from the Daily Tribune, the Billmeyer family, the Farrish family and Domtar.

Recently, we were contacted by Keith McDowell, historian for American Legion Post 9. The post was running out of space to keep some of its historical documents that date back to World War I.

"For fear of having these items stolen or damaged in their garage, we thought the local historical museum would a safe place to put these items," McDowell said. "We also felt that by keeping these records local, they would be easily available for the public to view."

Keith spoke with a good understanding of our mission. It is with great appreciation that we find more and more families and local organizations are looking to the South Wood County Historical Museum to house their historical belongings.

Some people have chosen not to give us but to lend their photos or documents so that we may digitally acquire them, a fancy way of saying "copy." Once we have captured the digital image, we return the originals to the lender.

As we all probably know, lots of local history has been lost forever. Some of it has been burned in the back yard, some of it has been thrown away and some of it has been taken away from our community by family members who no longer live here.

There is a lot of local history yet to be discovered in file cabinets, storage rooms or on the shelves of some of our established businesses. Also, some of our local history can be found hiding in attics, basements or garages throughout our communities.

There seems to be a trend to rid ourselves of the clutter that we have accumulated during the years. With spring cleaning chores around the corner, please take the time to evaluate what you are about to throw away. We might be able to save some of our local history from heading out to the landfill.

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