Probably not the best advice for someone trying to move or declutter, but we have gotten some of the best stuff that some folks would have relegated to the trash bin.
Regular visitors to this online virtual museum that we call rivertonhistory.com know that much of it is comprised of photos and scans of items that we don’t actually have; folks often send us files or loan the item for copying. Sometimes a generous donor gives us printed material, an artifact, or a collectible related to Riverton’s history.
We have the space, if you have something to give or loan that will illuminate another bit of Riverton history.
This collaboration between the Society, its members, and visitors to the website has resulted in this ever-growing community resource. Here are some examples.
In 2008, J. Edward Gilmore, a former HSR Board Member and former Borough Councilman, showed me a cabinet card depicting a Riverton football team.
Well, pieces of a cabinet card, anyway.
To shorten the story, just know that spending several hours with PhotoShop resulted in a usable photo. Cloning a leg from one player and and applying it to another to make up for a missing piece was the tricky part.
Ed Gilmore has been a frequent contributor to this online repository of local history. He has loaned or donated several dozen items, including many old hometown newspapers, vintage postcards, and irreplaceable photos.
It’s not like we can go back and take them again.
Lorraine Gambone quite literally trash-picked these two cabinet cards from curbside collection in 2007.
For every one of these successes there are many, many times more discouraging stories of discarded items that, once lost, we can’t get back.
Like the person who told me that he threw out stacks of old New Era newspapers that were in the attic of the home when he moved in.
Or the too common story of a person’s belongings being disposed of by heirs who don’t understand their historic importance.
I often wonder how some of the items I see on eBay made their way across the miles to locations across the nation and even overseas.
In 2013, after I lost out on a winning bid for a 1920 Riverton July 4th Program, HSR member Gerald Blaney generously allowed us to scan his rare eBay find and display it here.
Such indispensable primary source material helps us flesh out the details of Riverton’s past. (Click on the thumbnail image at right to see a PDF file showing 4 pages.)
Here’s a puzzle – an eBay auction listing from a seller in Britain had a c1910 postcard of Main Street Riverton with a menu printed on the back for a restaurant in Amsterdam. I also had a Lawn House postcard with a Dutch distillery ad, but I neglected to scan the back before I sold it.
So… to summarize the lesson, kids, here is a list of the kinds of things that the Historical Society of Riverton collects (underlined terms link to examples of content; skip them if you do not want to see the images.) :
- vintage postcards and photos of Riverton. (Note that we display items for other South Jersey neighbors, Philly, and some shore points.)
- artifacts, collectibles, and ephemera, or paper items, such as business receipts, advertisements, letterheads, business cards
- printed items and artifacts related to a home such as old photos, blueprints, or an item connected to the history of that property
- work or employment records for old Riverton businesses such as Dreer’s
- photos of members of the armed forces whose names are on the Riverton War Memorial
- maps and aerial photos
- old phone books, business directories, real estate and classified ads
- old family photos, journals, writings, memoirs, etc. that offer insight to life in Riverton back in the day
- sports related items
- anything on the history and development of Riverton’s Glorious Fourth
- printed items, photos, and artifacts related to Riverton Public School, Riverton Yacht Club, the Porch Club, and any of the other service, social, civic, and religious organizations
- printed items and artifacts related to Riverton’s military members, fire fighters, and law enforcement
The primary purpose of the Historical Society of Riverton is to create an awareness of our heritage, to discover, restore, and preserve local objects and landmarks, and to continue to expand our knowledge of the history of the area.
Won’t you please help us keep it going.
– JMc, Editor