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Palmer museum asks for help solving historic mysteries

By Shannon Ballard Photojournalist: Carolyn Hall - 7:45 PM September 16, 2016
PALMER –

A photograph can tell a story never put into words.

At the Palmer Museum of History and Art, collection manager Richard Estelle is in charge of moments captured in time.

“These were people who shaped the old colony days,” Estelle said.

Thousands of old pictures have been donated to the museum, but Estelle’s work is plagued with question marks and unknown faces. He wants to know who each subject in each picture is.

“It’s kind of like finding a gem, to be able to put a name on that means there is a family there,” Estelle said.

The Palmer Museum of History and Art has reached out to other historians to collect even more unidentified old photographs and find people with answers.

“Our city is so young and it’s so fun,” said Sheri Hamming, president of the Palmer Historical Society. “We are pretty fortunate to have people who really know a lot of things about a lot of photos already. It’s not that far gone. Our history is still living.”

Hundreds of historic photographs will be on display this Sunday at the Palmer Depot from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Estelle invites everyone to help uncover Palmer’s untold stories.

“The history of the community is made up of the people,” Estelle said. “Knowing the people, being able to identify them, figuring out what they did and how they fit in and how they contributed.”

Something as simple as a snapshot could be a clue to a historic mystery.

Estelle said in the end, people always look back on those who were there in the beginning.

KTVA 11’s Shannon Ballard can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter.

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