Brookville Historical Society seeking owners of photos lost in tornadoes

Local News

BROOKVILLE, Ohio (WDTN)- The Memorial Day tornadoes did damage that is still being repaired while families are still without some of their most precious possessions.

The Brookville Historical Society is doing their part to reconnect area residents with lost family photographs that were blown away by the high winds during the storms. 

Volunteers from around the area collected the photos from around fields, damaged homes, and other tornado wreckage.

The historical society has reunited several families with their photos, with officials saying they are finding that often large batches of photos belong to one or two single families. 

The remaining photos are now on display in a new section of the historical society that is dedicated to remembering the effects of the tornado on the area.

Officials are hoping the family photos can be identified and returned to their owners. 

If they are unable to locate the owners, the group is hoping to store the photos and preserve them for historical purposes. 

To see the collection of missing photographs, view the gallery below: 

The Brookville Historical Society reunited one West Chester family with photos found as far as Circleville.

Historical Society President Cindy Tietge said the community members that have been reconnected with their photographs have often been emotional and incredibly grateful. 

“These are old, historical photos that could not have been reprinted,” said Tietge. “These photos show their family and their own history, so it’s important to keep them safe and return them if possible.”

The historical society closes to the public during the winter season and is only open by appointment between December and March. The photos will continue to be taken in and put on display throughout those months.

Community members with information or wanting to claim photos are encouraged to call 937-833-0285 and leave a message or visit their website.

Officials said it may take one or two business days to return the call, due to the closed season, but they still check messages regularly and will reopen for individuals with requests to view the photos or to claim them.

Seven months since the Memorial Day tornadoes, officials said they know that the recovery is ongoing and that many families are still putting their lives back together. 

“Many have lost much and it’s been tough,” said Tietge. “We recognize people lost a great deal and we’re going to keep working as volunteers to help these people out.”

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