Sunday, March 27, 2016

Photo of the Week: Real-photo Postcards of Greene County, PA

"Store & P. O. of H. E. Spragg, Spraggs, Pa." (1)
(By Candice Buchanan, Greene Connections Archivist)

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: The most sought after images in the requests we receive and the searches on our Photo Archives page are related to Greene County, PA, places. Towns, streets, buildings, houses, landmarks, and similar sites are of interest to a large number of people because those spaces are relatable in many ways. Perhaps it is a place you walk by every day, or maybe it is somewhere that you work, live, go to church or school, or have just always been curious about. For researchers, it may be a location where an ancestor interacted or an important local history event played out. No matter what, there is no denying that location images appeal to a wide audience and spark lively conversations of shared memories.

"Ross Building, Carmichaels, Pa. Destroyed by fire Aug. 24th 1910." (2)
One of the best collections related to local places that has been scanned for the Greene Connections: Greene County, PA, Archives Project, is the Walter “Blackie” Markiewich Postcard Series, which was passed to and shared by Brice & Linda Rush. This collection includes artistic and whimsical cards, but the majority of the images are real-photo postcards, which were very popular in the early 1900s. Some of the photographs on the cards have been colorized or captioned to make them more marketable. A few postcards have multiple versions of the same scene in this respect.

To aid in navigation, the postcards in this collection have been laid out in series according to geography. Here are quick links to the full collection and each series:

Brice and Linda Rush Collection (featuring Walter “Blackie” Markiewich Postcards)
"High Street, Looking East, Waynesburg, PA." (3)
While this awesome collection focuses on places, many other gems pop up randomly in family photo collections. So, if you are in search of location photos, please remember to try these two tips:
  1. While on, go to the Photo Archives page and click Keywords. Look at the list of keywords volunteers and viewers have added. This list includes town names, street names, subjects, dates, and more. You can help to add keywords as you browse the archive photos to make this even stronger for future searches.
  2. Also on the Photo Archives page, use the custom search engine to look for subjects. In the Name field, try typing a town name, street name, church, or other subject. We are adding more to this index daily. If you have suggestions, send a note to
"Just a Line From Davistown Where Life Is Worth Living" (4)
Find an image you love? Share it or DOWNLOAD IT FOR FREE! This project is intended to preserve and make accessible local history photographs to all who are interested. We provide high resolution images through our archive on Flickr, which you may share or download FREE. If you need help to do this, there are Flickr tips posted on the Photo Archives page. If you need more help, just send a note to As a courtesy to the fantastic folks who have made these photos available to you in this way, we just ask that if you are using or sharing the photo in a forum for others to see, such as Facebook, blogs, published works, etc., you include a link-back or source note to give a shout out to the family or repository that shared the photo. Helpful hints for doing this are also on the Photo Archives page.

Finally, this popular topic has frequently brought to our attention a caution that we issue out of respect to the volunteers and contributors working on this project. Because location photos are such an attraction, an eBay seller named "afraidofglobalwarming" has harvested a large number of our free images from the archive site on Flickr and has posted them for sale on eBay. This eBay seller and others like them, have pulled images from other archive collections as well. Flickr hosts numerous public domain archival collections including the Library of Congress (see their Flickr page here). In using this model, we are working our hardest to follow archival protocol and are constantly attempting to upgrade and improve to keep up with current standards. Our mission is to make the images freely available and also to fully document them with complete caption and source details. We want the photos to be seen, used, understood, and enjoyed. Our concerns with the eBay seller are:
  1. that no credit is given to the original photo contributors;
  2. the detailed archival caption and provenance data provided with these photos is not maintained other than a single line subject title; and
  3. the eBay seller misrepresents themself as the scanner of the images, when in fact our volunteers and contributors spent hours to do this work.
It is your option to purchase the photos on eBay. We only want you to know that the pictures are FREE at If you find a photo you like on eBay and need help to determine if it is in our archive, please do not hesitate to send an email to Please know that we do love eBay! There are many treasures to be found on eBay and similar sites, including original photos, letters, yearbooks, and heirlooms. We merely urge you to let us help you find and download participating photos freely as a part of this project, if we are able to do so. We are anxious to encourage positive interactions for both those who find and those who share photos. Thank you! is a free local history archival project. Sponsored by LOLA Energy.

[1] Item # RUSH-AN001-0012-0007, Walter “Blackie” Markiewich Postcard Series, Brice & Linda Rush Collection, Greene County, Pennsylvania Archives Project (

[2] Item # RUSH-AN001-0002-0005, Walter “Blackie” Markiewich Postcard Series, Brice & Linda Rush Collection, Greene County, Pennsylvania Archives Project (

[3] Item # RUSH-AN001-0013-0006, Walter “Blackie” Markiewich Postcard Series, Brice & Linda Rush Collection, Greene County, Pennsylvania Archives Project (

[4] Item # RUSH-AN001-0003-0002, Walter “Blackie” Markiewich Postcard Series, Brice & Linda Rush Collection, Greene County, Pennsylvania Archives Project (

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