Historical researchers seek help in identifying 100s of Lebanon photos

Sweet Home Genealogy Society members are seeking help from the Lebanon community to identify people in their collection of photographs.

SHGS, headquartered in its library facility at 1223 Kalmia St., between the Sweet Home Public Library  and City Hall, provides a resource for people who want to research their family history, and its library includes family files, history books, microfilms and old photographs from the area.

Among the resources at SHGS are donated family photos that include images of people and places. They also acquired hundreds of photos from the John Eggen family after his death in 2010.

Eggen was a photographer who owned a studio in Lebanon, chronicling residents and the Lebanon, Sweet Home and surrounding areas for three decades.

SHGS volunteers in the past had indexed all the Eggen photos, but now Teresa Riper, president, wants to index it even more in-depth, she said.

“We’re finding there might be more pictures or negatives that we have no idea who they are,” Riper said.

To give an example, Thoma pulled a box off the shelf and removed a photo from the Holley school category. The photo showed a portrait of several students in formal attire.

They know the students are from Holley school, Riper said, but they don’t know who the students are.

When the names of unidentified people are determined, the SHGS will be able to cross-reference the photos to family files, which will make genealogy research easier, Riper said.

Terri Lanini, treasurer, added that doing this kind of work is important to the preservation of history.

Many of these photos include images of old buildings and old businesses that used to be in these towns, she said. By identifying them, there’s a sort of preservation of Linn County.

The SHGS will have a book full of photos available for the public to thumb through and label if identification can be made.

The library is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For more information, call (541) 367-5034  or email [email protected].