Photo exchange to tell region's history in pictures

Sue Guinn Legg • May 21, 2014 at 8:56 PM

The Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia is inviting the community to join them in a “Throwback Thursday Then and Now Photo Exchange” to showcase people and places in Jonesborough and around the region 20 or more years ago and as they currently appear.

All photos submitted for the exchange will be displayed in an upcoming exhibit at The Chester Inn Museum. Select submissions will be posted on the alliance’s Facebook page every Thursday through the end of August.

Anne G’Fellers-Mason, special projects coordinator for the alliance, and Skye McFarland, docent for the museum, are heading up the project with a two-fold purpose.

“We were trying to think of a way to showcase the great photos we have in our archive that are meant to be shared and to use new technology and social media” to involve the community in telling the region’s history in photographs, G’Fellers-Mason said. “We really want the community to be involved in this. It’s a way to honor your family and your history” in pictures.

“We know there are a lot of great photographers in the area and this is their chance to show off their skill. And the weather is getting really pretty so why not get out there and take some pictures,” she said.

The photo exchange kicked off May 1 and will run through Aug. 28 with a new Throwback Thursday photo featured weekly at the alliance’s Facebook page.

The aim is to superimpose the old against the new by photographing old and historical photos from around the region against the backdrop of the locations where the old photos were taken as they appear now.

Featured “throwbacks” so far include a couple of photographs of a circa 1950 snapshot of downtown “Jonesboro” held against a backdrop of the same section of Main Street as it currently appears. For those photographs, G’Fellers-Mason said a copy of the 1950 photo was cut in half and the two opposing halves held up against today’s Main Street to create “then and now” contrasts of both sides of the street.

Last week’s Throwback Thursday Facebook photo featured an 1889 photograph of a man riding a horse past a saloon on an unpaved section of Cherokee Street that had been held beneath the top half of the same building that today operates as Crafty Peddler and is best known for its Mail Pouch mural.

“We’re in Jonesborough and we have a lot of old pictures of Jonesborough but this is open to photographs from all over the region,” G’Fellers-Mason said. “As word gets out we’re hoping we’ll get a lot more. All the photos will be displayed at The Chester Inn in September.”

Examples, how-to instructions and submission guidelines are available at www.heritageall.org. Photographs may be submitted by email to info@heritageall.org, posted to the alliance’s Facebook wall or shared on an Instagram account with the hashtag #heritagetbt.

For more information about the photo exchange, call the alliance at 753-9580 or email info@heritageall.org.

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