The Colusa Heritage Preservation Commission and the Pioneer Review are teaming up to see that some of the old photographs in the commission’s possession are returned to the families of the subjects, or to people who would just like to have them. 

Some of the photographs date back to the late 19th century and many are photos taken and later donated to the HPC by local newspapers that existed in the era before digital media.

“Most of the photos, we have no idea who the people are,” said HPC Secretary Cass Garcia. “A few of them are from the 1800s, but a lot of them are from the 1950s. Some have names on the back.” 

While some of the photos, such as wedding photos, are likely copies provided to the newspapers by families, others appear to be original photos. Some of the photographs, taken in the days of newspaper darkrooms, are likely the only copy in existence.  

Although the HPC maintains photographs of notable citizens for the preservation of local history, the commission agreed that keeping some of the everyday photographs boxed and stored denies the public access to see them, identify the people in them, or the opportunity to have them in their possession. 

The Commission, at its regular meeting on Nov. 13, approved the release of the photographs for publication in the Pioneer Review, after which they will be given to whoever claims them. 

Family members will be given first preference, Garcia said, otherwise it’s first come, first served.

If members of the public would like to identify people in the photographs and provide more particulars, such as date or occasion, then that information will be shared in the following publication when a new photo is published. 

The identify or claim photos, please contact the Pioneer Review at 458-4141 or email susan@colusacountynews.net. ■