Thousands of portraits, pictures still unclaimed
Since December, people have reclaimed pictures of old friends and family from the Curtis Estate Photo project.
When local photographer James Curtis died, the photos became available to his community. But there are still hundreds of thousands of photos without owners. Coordinators say they don’t know when they’ll stop the project.
Connie Rottgering is picking through pictures for the third time. she says as the stacks get smaller, it’s easier to find photos of family and friends. "It brings back so many memories," she says.
Though she’s not looking for any picture in particular, she says it makes the scavenger hunt even more emotional when she does find someone.
"It just brings back all of our memories growing up all the good times we all had together," Rottgering says.
Jan Hayes, the volunteer coordinator of the project says she’s heard so many stories like this before. "So many people are so appreciative to get these photos back," Hayes says.
It’s these stories, Hayes says, that makes it hard to call it quits on the memories people still need to claim.
Part of the problem is you just can’t go straight to your photo. Volunteers have tried to organize them alphabetically and by year, but they need you to help filter through them as well.
Hayes says she doesn’t know when they’ll stop, but until then she’ll keep posting photos.
Hayes says there is no cost to claim your photos, but they do accept donations. The donations go to help the children’s ministry at the Broadway United Methodist Church. When the church finally does end the project, they have plans to forward the pictures onto the West Kentucky Genealogy Project where they’ll do their best to catalog the pictures.
You can browse the pictures again from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at Broadway United Methodist Church in Paducah.