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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Roscoe Historical Museum Call for Photographs

Main Street, Roscoe, Texas, about 1905.
During Homecoming and other Roscoe events such as the Fourth of July celebration and the Wind Festival, the Roscoe Historical Museum is always open for those who want to revisit the earlier days of the city.  Unfortunately, a lot of the old treasures there were destroyed by a leaking roof a few years back, and many of the photographs that were once there are now gone never to return.

On behalf of the museum, I am now in the process of trying to build back up an archive of photographs that illuminate the history of Roscoe and surrounding area over the past century.  To that end, on Tuesday I visited Mava Cooper in Abilene in the hopes of getting some of the many photographs her husband, J. B. Cooper, Jr., took of Roscoe over the years.  She and I were able to locate several from the last few decades, mostly of RHS homecomings; however, she has unfortunately thrown the majority away, and they are now gone for good.

Before the same fate befalls others that capture something of the history of our community, I would like to issue a call for any photos that would be of general interest to Roscoans.  If you already have them in digital form, you can send copies as e-mail attachments or by other similar means.  (The higher the resolution of the photographs, the better.) 

If you have photos that exist only as prints, I would love to have the opportunity to borrow them temporarily so I can scan them into my computer and make them publically available in one of two ways--either as prints on display in the museum itself or as images on a Roscoe Historical Museum website now under construction.  I will of course return as soon as possible any prints lent for scanning.  The plan is to get enough to group them chronologically in categories so that visitors to the site can access them in an organized way.

Particularly needed are photographs of downtown Roscoe and ones that show stores, gins, and other establishments and public places that people will remember. Photos of events such as the 1957 Semi-Centennial or the 1976 Bicentennial celebrations, 4th of July parades, the 1980 flood, or other notable community events and activities are also wanted. 

Those of you on Facebook may know of the “Roscoe, Tx” Facebook account, which has many wonderful photos put there by a number of contributors like Glyniss McDaniel, Sharion McFaul Henley, Erik Duncan, and others.  Such photos are exactly the kind needed for the Roscoe Historical Museum. However, they aren't big enough to show a lot of detail on Facebook, which also reduces their size and resolution during the uploading process, so if you've put some of the good ones there, I'd appreciate it if you could please re-send the original images for the museum.

To whet your interest, I am posting a series of photos of early day Roscoe, which you can access by clicking here

Please help us make a better museum by sending copies of any scanned images you can contribute to  If you have questions, contact me at the same e-mail address. 

John Strother in front of Arant's Variety Store in downtown Roscoe, about 1945. 

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