Historic Hood River
When Matt and I started organizing the museum photo collection in 2011 this was one of the first boxes we ran into. It contained 5×7 glass negatives which, as you can see by the note on top, were found in the basement of Keir Drug Store in 1975. Just a few of the negatives stacked in the copy paper box: this one, this one, and this one. The collection seems more associated with Herman Kresse, owner of Kresse Drug Store, than Keir Drug Store. But the story of how they got to the museum is very familiar. Someone stashed some photos or negatives in the basement or attic, and years later a new owner or builder hired to renovate comes across them and thinks “I wonder if the museum would be interested in these?” This is how we got the Earl Conser photos of the OR&N railroad construction, as well as the Ed Wonsyld photos of the Dee Mill.
To process this collection we lightly dusted each negative, scanned it, placed it in a labeled archival sleeve, and put the sleeve in a padded archival box. We also saved the box you see here, because it’s part of the history of this artifact (especially with that 1980s Snoopy stationery!)
Most of the negatives in this box haven’t been touched since that day, which should help them survive far into the future. Most research needs can be met with the high resolution (1600 dpi) scans which reduces the chance of breaking the negative or causing some of the delicate emulsion to flake off.
If you find a box of “Pretty Good stuff” in your basement, give us a call! The History Museum can make sure they are properly conserved and can share them with the wider community.