A photo of a community meeting in Ox Creek, a Buncombe County community, in 1957. Photo courtesy of Carol Kinney Grimes.

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A community meeting held at a private home, in 1957, before the construction of the Ox Creek Community Center. Photo courtesy of Carol Kinney Grimes, who is helping the Buncombe County community preserve its scrapbooks documenting the area’s development.

Contributing reporter Katy Nelson reports today on how residents across Western North Carolina have, since the 1940s or before, documented their community’s history and development. Nelson writes:

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“Much rural history documenting the people and progress of communities across Western North Carolina would be lost if not for scrapbooks like these, some dating as far back as the 1940s. Today, dedicated members of rural community clubs across the mountains are working to preserve these scrapbooks—some stored in closets and left to mold and disintegrate—while also thinking seriously about how to document the present for future preservation.”

Read the story here. And below, view selected images of scrapbook photos and a slideshow of those dedicated to preserving them.

A man stands in a field of tobacco in a photo from the Ox Creek community’s 1960 scrapbook. Photo courtesy of Carol Kinney Grimes, who is helping lead the community’s efforts at preserving scrapbooks documenting the rural community’s development.

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Ox Creek men taking a break while doing construction on the Ox Creek Community Club building, in a photo that appeared in the community’s 1960 scrapbook. Photo courtesy of Carol Kinney Grimes, who is helping Ox Creek preserve decades of scrapbooks documenting the area’s development.

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Angie Newsome

Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at anewsome@carolinapublicpress.org.

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