Monday, February 23, 2009

History through penny postcards

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and when it comes to historical photographs, we believe it really is true. We've long been intrigued by old photographs, and it was a real treat to sit in on the presentation given by Paul Horsted late last year to the Spearfish Area Historical Society. We shared a few photos and comments about his excellent program in an earlier posting in Black Hills Journal. Paul's skill at pairing contemporary photos with historical photos -- many more than 100 years old -- is truly remarkable.

There's another source for old photographs that you should know about.

U.S. GenWeb, a popular site among genealogists, offers a wide range of resources. One that we had seen some months ago -- but haven't used much -- came across our desk again recently, thanks to Dan Contonis of Spearfish.

It focuses upon old picture postcards that have historical value, and it's quite a treasure trove. Shown above is a postcard depicting a view of old Deadwood.

Of course, there are many more of these penny postcards from all across South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, and the entire country. It's a fun site and easy to get lost in it for hours. Shown here is a black and white depiction of the original Latchstring Inn up in Spearfish Canyon.

There are numerous other cards capturing scenes from throughout the Black Hills. You can check them out on this page of U.S. GenWeb penny postcards. Give it a try!