Genealogists tap into history for fund-raiser

If you’re an early holiday shopper, Sweet Home Genealogical Society has something for you.

A 2011 calendar featuring historical photos of Sweet Home.

The calendar is a fund-raiser for the society, which operates the Genealogical Library at 1223 Kalmia St. The library collections include local family records, a selection of books on Oregon and other states, Internet access to genealogical information, and newspaper archives. The society has approximately 50 members, who hail from other areas of the county as well as Sweet Home.

Corky Lowen, a society member, said the library is a draw for visitors.

“It’s actually a tourist attraction because people come there when they’re in the area, if their ancestors were around here, looking for information on them, cemeteries and those types of things,” she said.

Lowen, a society member and one of the seven members who produced the calendar, said its purpose is to not only raise money for operating expenses but to serve the community.

“We were talking about what we could do and this came up,” she said. “We are very fortunate to have a beautiful building and everything but we have to pay for utilities and general expenses to keep it open to the public.”

She said the calendar production committee had “great public input” for photos.

“People have been very generous, loaning us pictures to use,” she said.

Topics featured on various months in the calendar include shots of one-room schools in the area around Sweet Home, the local logging industry, service stations, the first graduating class of Sweet Home Union High School, pictures of veterans when they enlisted, fire lookouts in the area, old grocery stores and churches.

“It’s more of a history of Sweet Home,” Lowen said. “It’s been a learning experience for some people on the committee about Sweet Home.”

Committee members, in addition to Lowen, were Marti Hufford, Laura Mathers, Gladys Seifert, Laura Clemens, Terri Lanini, Helen Thukositiz and Jim Childers.

The calendar will be available this week at the library. Cost is $10 each.

Lowen said the society is pondering other projects.

“We have used this calendar as a learning experience,” she said. “We’re working on a project already to possibly put out a coffee table book of Sweet Home. This would be just photos €“ not a story book.”