Looking into Troy's past
Former police chief’s photos focus of historical society project
Published: March 23, 2014
TROY — From 1955 to 1960, Ted York, who was Troy’s Police Chief, took more than 1,200 photographs of the people and places in Troy Borough.
At the time, the police station was located in the center of town, next to the former Troy Hotel.
“When he would see someone he didn’t have a photo of, he would pop out and take their picture,” said Bill Brasington, a local history buff and member of the Troy Historical Society. “A lot of them are crossing the street or walking down the sidewalk.”
Most of the people in the photographs have passed away, but a few are still living, he said.
According to Brasington, the photographs taken by the former police chief provide a valuable historic record. York also took some of the photos later, in the 1970s, but the majority were taken in the 1950s, Brasington said.
“We’re not only interested in the people, but also many times the buildings and the businesses behind the people are more interesting. You can see when shops still in town were run by someone else. You can see the different signs that are up in the windows.”
He said the smokestack in Troy can actually be seen in some of the photographs with smoke coming out of it.
Last spring, Brasington and other members of the Troy Historical Society began a project to make digital copies of the photos and identify as many people in the photos as possible.
The photo project is part of the historical society’s continuing effort to preserve as much of the past in Troy as possible, Brasington said.
The long-term goal is have York’s photos available on a kiosk or a computer system in the Troy Sale Barn, once the building is renovated and open to the public.
In addition, York’s photos can be used for other historical projects by the society, according to Brasington.
Brasington suspects that York was trying to document the people and places of Troy in an effort to show changes that occurred in town since an earlier project in 1938 that documented the town.
The 1938 project was a film of Troy that was taken during the Depression and shown in the local movie theater. The Troy Fire Department later took possession of the film and used to show it for fundraising.
Brasington said York’s photographs are “just wonderful” and bring back memories.
“They’re clear, they show a good representation of what life was like in the Troy area in the 1950s.”
“We’re just very pleased to be able to take good care of them for the future.”
Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: firstname.lastname@example.org