From the HSR Archives, A Riverside Souvenir

Dear Readers: Most of the images that you have seen posted here are ones which I scanned from collections belonging to other collectors – serious collectors – of vintage real photos and postcards. It is through their generosity which has made this online exposition of digital images and information possible.

Riverside Souvenir Folder

However, the Historical Society is not without its own resources, so I descended into the HSR archives last week and picked out some items which haven’t seen the light of day since they were cataloged and placed into our file cabinets which are stored in a warehouse somewhere in Area 51.

Here is the first installment in a new web feature called “From the HSR Archives.”

The file folder marked 82.03.31 contained this item that I had not seen before – at least, not all in one piece. In order to give you a really good look at it, go the the Riverside Images Page and find five very large separate images in with the other Riverside pictures.

Here is the real story, however. The documentation which lists the manuscripts and artifacts in our modest archive shows the following notation, “November 29, 1982 – Received from Mrs. Grace Coles Collection of items of local history belonging to Mrs. Ruth Schmierer.” The accession list starts with 83.3.1 and ends three typewritten pages later with 83.3.36 which means that Mrs. Coles donated 36 separate items to the Society.

This Riverside Souvenir Folder may have been donated to the Society 29 years ago, but to me, it’s like I just opened it for the first time. I suspect that may be the case for at least some readers of this column. For my part, I must express a heartfelt “thank you” to the donor.

Just a cursory perusal of this HSR Accession List tells me that many incredibly generous and civic-minded people have contributed to our real Collection (as opposed to my virtual digital collection) over the years. It is my privilege to bring their legacy to an audience via the Internet, even as we hope for a permanent home in which to house and display our Collection. These materials serve as wonderful nostalgic reminders as well as being irreplaceable primary source references for scholars.

Please help us in our mission to discover, restore, and preserve local objects and landmarks, and to continue to expand our history of the area by joining the Historical Society of Riverton. And, if you are able to contribute one real item or a trunkful, just a scan or a real photograph piece of ephemera, a comment or a memoir, please know that you are adding more to our community’s understanding of Riverton history and enhancing our ability to tell it, just as so many other greathearted people who have preceded you.

Come back again to explore more treasures from the HSR archives with me. – John McCormick, Gaslight News Editor

PS. Our HSR Publicity Chairperson Mrs. Susan Dechnik  took a number of photos and wrote a short summary for the presentation given at our March 23, 2011 HSR meeting. You can find her synopsis of “Ladies’ &  Gentlemen’s Accessories of the Past Victorian, Edwardian, and Depression Eras” along with a dozen captioned photos and a video clip on the Programs and Events page.

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John McCormick

Teacher at Riverton School 1974-2019, author, amateur historian, Historical Society of Riverton Board Member 2007-2023, newsletter editor 2007-2023, website editor 2011-2023

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