Old Valentine Photographs Create A Mystery

VALENTINE, TX (Ben Caxton) — A former Valentine home owner has rediscovered a century old mystery. Judy Sproule, who lives in Fort Davis recently rediscovered old glass photographic plates that date back perhaps as far as 1890. Sproul told Valentine Radio News Contributor Roxana Hill that they found the slides in a home they once owned in Valentine. “It’s been so long ago I don’t remember a whole lot of details about it all. It was sometime in the ’70’s. I don’t remember exactly the year that we bought that house. I don’t even remember exactly where the house was, except in Valentine.” The photos show a history of the people who lived in the area a century past. “I think there’s a couple of wedding pictures and there’s a couple of single girls. Then there’s I think four portraits of men and there’s one of a young child. It was pretty scratched and so it has lots of marks on it.” Sproul didn’t know quite what to do with her collection so she enlisted some expert help, from Alpine. “I took them up to the archives at Sul Ross and the director. We sat and looked at them, and talked about them, and I think we both came to the assumption that it was probably some photographers portfolio.” The pictures appear to be professionally lighted, with the subjects posed in studio settings. “Well, what we really think is that those pictures were a portfolio of a photographer, because none of the people really look like they’re related. You can’t see a thread that makes it look like they could all be the same family or something. To me, it looks like it just might be a portfolio of a certain photographer.” Sproul is keeping her memories, but the giving the precious history to future generations. “I donated the glass negatives. So they have the negatives and will keep them up there and they just printed me copies of the pictures. I was delighted that the archives at Sul Ross would want to keep them. They know how to store them properly so that they’ll last a long time.” As to who took the photos, and whose faces are seen smiling back at the camera, that may never be known. “Just very interesting and it would be great to find out who they were, or who had taken the pictures. Quite a bit of research I think to figure it all out. If it ever gets figured out, I don’t know.”

2 Comments on "Old Valentine Photographs Create A Mystery"

  1. Love all you do from a former Van Horn resident it feels good to see stories about home

  2. Love what you do and keeping former Eagles about the comings and goings of the surrounding news

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