A Glimpse into the Past using old Photos

If you have not yet experienced Flickr – may we recommend a visit. Flickr (pronounced “flicker”) is an image hosting and video hosting website, and web services suite that was created by Ludicorp in 2004 and acquired by Yahoo in 2005.

One of our favorite photographers is Jason Powell, address unknown. Jason hosts an album of his photographs entitled “Looking into the Past” where he has created unique images by finding old photographs of places, printing them out, and then holding the print up in the modern day location that the original photograph was taken. Be sure and scroll down to see Jason’s great photo of Dunker Church at Antietam Battlefield and his shot of the Harper’s Ferry Gap. Jason acquires most of his historical images for free from the Library of Congress. For a look at this work visit:

Looking Into the Past: Market Street, Leesburg, VA


1805 Dam #4 Road, south of the square of Downsville, MD.

1805 Dam #4 Road, south of the square of Downsville, MD.

Just south of the town square of Downsville, a large brick structure stands precariously close to Dam #4 road. Today it houses several apartments and is very well maintained by the current owners. WCHT loves for old buildings to have a job.

The land for this church was acquired in 1868 by several local gentlemen for the purpose of building a “Christian Congregation of the Church of Christ” and the name of the meeting house would be called “Bethany Church, ” (WCLR LBN2/797). The community of Downsville and the surrounding area united money and efforts and built a lovely brick church. Services were held there until 1956 when a new church was built along the Downsville Pike. The building was subsequently sold to local storekeeper Myron L. Bloom.

Picture postcard of the Bethany Christian Church at Downsville.

Picture postcard of the Bethany Christian Church at Downsville.

This picture postcard of the church was taken by Clyde A. Laughlin, “Postcard King of Cumberland Valley”, hailed by many as the best photo viewcard producer of his time in the country. Laughlin  lived and worked in the Shippensburg, Pa area from the early 1900s until his death in 1969. He took very few photos in Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. Some of Laughlins work can be viewed at http://goose.ycp.edu/~ttaylor/laughlin/






Our first attempt, click on the photo for a larger view:

July 1938. Only the identity of the youth leaning on the Church marquee is known. We would be delighted if anyone can contribute to the identity of others.





About 1905, view from the west facade. Again, would love to know the identity of the ladies.



If you care to try this unique approach at photography, we would be pleased to share your efforts on the Washington County Historical Trust Facebook page! send an email and some information about the setting to  Sandy at [email protected].