Photo by Jason A. Smith
Business owners Keith Sweat (left) and Scott Evans are collaborating on a photo-restoration project to honor the history of McDonough.
McDONOUGH — Scott Evans said restoring old photographs is one way to make the past more meaningful to younger generations.
“Kids nowadays are just lost,” said Evans, owner of Image Doctor Photograph Restoration at 10 Macon St. “They have no idea who they are, where they came from, what their parents, their grandparents and their great-grandparents had to go through just to get them here.”
Evans’ store is hosting McDonough Historic Photo Week. Patrons can bring pictures of officials, places and events from McDonough’s history to have them preserved.
“You bring in any historic photo of McDonough or a prominent person in McDonough history and we’ll make a copy of that for you — a digital copy — and e-mail that for you so that you can share it with your family and friends, plus make you a free 5x7,” said Evans. “In return, we get to use that, possibly, in a big display we’re doing in all of the restaurants on the Square.”
Evans has collected vintage photographs since 1980. He opened his first retail storefront in 1989 in Rex, then later operated a similar business in Fayetteville.
However, he said when he moved his store to the McDonough Square in 1999, old photos of the city “weren’t as easy to come by.”
“I just wanted to put together, in one place, all the photographs that we could find of historic McDonough,” said Evans. “Folks in old town Fayetteville seemed to be real proud of all their stuff, and folks in McDonough just seemed to be apathetic. Two towns, 25 miles apart, but the historical preservation sense in the two towns is just totally different. So it’s been like pulling teeth to get good photographs of historic McDonough.”
Evans said he wants to put together a pictoral McDonough history with digitized photos and put them on archival materials so they could be reprinted at any time in the future. He and his staff will choose 50 of the best photos, enlarge them to 11x14 size and have them framed through G Gallery Custom Framing.
The photos will be auctioned off in November at a gala benefiting A Friend’s House, a home for abused, neglected and abandoned children.
Keith Sweat is the owner of the framing business that operates inside Evans’ store. Sweat, who is donating the labor for the restoration endeavor, agreed with Evans about the need for the project.
“You don’t want to lose the historical references and ramifications of any actions that we do,” said Sweat. “In the 70s we saw the rape of the country when they started plowing down the old buildings and putting up malls and putting up new subdivisions. We’ve lost so much of that, and Scott is just so keen to capturing everything that once was.”
Restoration week officially ends Saturday but Evans said people can submit historic photos of McDonough until Sept. 28. For more information about the photo restoration project, call 770-892-0042 or visit www.facebook.com/mcdonoughhistoricphotoweek.