Resident promotes historic photo project

By Melanie Savage
Hebron - posted Mon., Feb. 7, 2011
Note the similarities and differences between this Main Street building, in photos taken during two different eras of Hebron's history. Above is Cafazzo's Texaco, circa late 1959. Photos contributed. - Contributed Photo

At the Feb. 3 Board of Selectmen’s meeting, resident Peter Billard presented an idea for a project that would help to preserve the history of Hebron. Billard said he believed that his project, dubbed the Hebron Heritage Photo Project, would serve as an “invaluable resource for Hebron residents now and into the future.”

The project would bring photographs, currently stored in basements, attics, and old photo albums, together onto a website. “My purpose is to bring these old photographs out of the woodwork,” said Billard. He envisioned a series of workshops held at different locations in town, where people could come to have their photographs scanned. The goal, he said, would be to capture not only the visual images, but also the memories of those who brought them in.

 Billard talked about his own mother, who never wrote on her photos. “But she could identify everyone in a photograph and tell you everything about a person or event,” he said. He felt it was important to preserve these memories before the information was lost to future generations.

Billard envisioned a website focused on photographs that are not duplicated elsewhere, but rather “things that are descriptive, things that are indicative of town life,” he said. A list of examples included photographs of town government, people at work, and construction projects.

Billard’s idea was unanimously embraced by Board members, who gave the project their official approval. Town Manager Bonnie Therrien said that Wethersfield took on a similar project in 2008. “People loved it,” she said. “They came out in droves.”

Gayle Mulligan, board liaison to the Hebron Historic Properties Commission, said that the group had already begun collecting photographs of Hebron historic homes. She suggested that Billard contact the Commission for a possible collaboration.

Billard, a professional photographer with an office in Glastonbury, is a Hebron resident. He is looking to hear from anyone who might be interested in becoming involved with the Hebron Heritage Photo Project. Contact Billard at 860-633-6300 or at

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