Peterborough woman tracks down Nashua family after finding old slides

  • Courtesy image—

  • Courtesy image—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 3/25/2021 11:33:02 AM

Several generations of photo-sharing technology and a timeless fascination with looking at old photographs helped Peterborough resident Carol Nelson reconnect a Nashua family with their long-lost memories.
Nelson recently discovered a cache of old photos in a slide carousel she picked up for free. Nelson picked up the Kodak slide trays two weeks ago after requesting them from the Buy Nothing Peterborough Facebook page, thinking she might restyle them into lamps or planters.

“I just love vintage stuff,” she said, but was surprised to discover slides inside. The former owner had no idea who the photos might belong to, Nelson said, so she set about solving the mystery herself, so she could return the slides to the original owner.

Nelson borrowed local photographer Steve Lipofsky’s projector and looked for clues. The photos appeared to be semi-local: a box truck in the background of one had “Nashua, NH” written on it, and another featured a Nashua church. The clothes and hairstyles helped to date the images. She uploaded photos of the projections on different community Facebook groups, hoping for a hit. 

Emily Jubert-Sand was scrolling Facebook when she happened upon Nelson’s post on “Nostalgic Nashua NH.”

“Man, that looks like my Aunt Clair,” Jubert-Sand remembered saying. Although she second-guessed herself at first because the photographed woman was so much younger than the one in her memory, it wasn’t the unlikeliest situation: Jubert-Sands’ family has lived in Nashua for generations, and she’d found old family photos on the site before. Jubert-Sand notified other family members, who were able to identify other faces in the collection as the family’s 50-year-old vacations and weddings played out on the slides. They even identified the likely photographer: a relative who moved to Peterborough. “It makes sense,” she said. 

The whole odyssey was like “a flash-forward in how we communicate,” Jubert-Sand said: At 40, she remembers sitting through the “dreaded slideshow” of yesteryear in a darkened living room, and is familiar with today’s proxy: the hundreds of vacation photos you might click through on a friend’s social media account.

“It was so fun and fast,” Nelson said of the process to reunite the family with part of their history. A relative closer to that branch of the family is making plans to pick up the slides from Nelson, Jubert-Sands said. “When you live in one place for years and years... it’s nice to have this connection to a place,” she said.


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