George Swallow Collection Digitized
At the beginning of September, volunteers from the West Windsor Historical Center began the process of digitizing the massive collection of photographs taken by George Swallow (1864-1951) of the village of Brownsville in the town of West Windsor.
The images, which total 482 in all, were taken at the beginning of the twentieth century and depict life in the rural Vermont town — farms, socializing, family life, buildings and every other aspect of this small community.
The plates were purchased by J. Brooks Buxton of Jerico, Vermont, at auction. When the collection was received at the Historical Society, all that was known about the collection was that the photographs were Brownsville scenes; no one could identify the photographer. A clue to the identity of the photographer was found in one of the names that were found on the plates: “Carolyn.” In searching the 1900 census, there was but one Carolyn found in Brownsville, and that was the daughter of George Swallow, a jeweler who ran a shop in town. From there the research turned to ancestry.com, where a photo of Swallow with a camera was located.
Swallow’s glass plate negatives are in the collection of the Vermont Historical Society in Barre and were added to a Flickr site kept by the Society September 1. They can been seen at www.flickr.com/georgeswallow.
A portion of these photo first appeared in the November 23rd print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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