When long-time Muscatine residents Richard and Susan Jones retired to Florida in 2008, they expected new experiences and challenges. One particular challenge the couple experienced was rather unexpected.
Pictures of the couple’s wedding in 1971 went missing during the move. After suffering the expected disappointment, Susan gave up hope of having the memories to look through again. There were no known backups to the photographs.
The Jones’ daughter, Melissa (Jones) Everett, was not content to take that answer, though the prospect looked bleak. Bamford Studios in Muscatine was the company that photographed the wedding 45 years ago. At that time, the company was at the beginning of what would prove to be an impactful business for generations.
Bamford closed their doors in 2005 after more than 50 years in business. At the time of the closure, the owners donated decades of photographs and negatives to the Musser Public Library to be archived.
Everett called the library and was placed in touch with Sheila Chaudoin, who is a local history consultant. Chaudoin informed Everett that she would attempt to look for a remnant, though she warned that the process could take quite some time and results were not guaranteed.
Thirty minutes later, Everett was surprised to receive a phone call from Chaudoin, exclaiming that she not only found the negatives from the lost photographs, but many more.
Everett was able to arrange to purchase several prints, replacing the lost items. In addition to the photos, a replica photo album was purchased online.
The replacement gift was presented to the couple at their 45th anniversary party this past summer.
Everett says, “What was even more special was the photos of her mom and dad who have passed away. It was great for my mom to be able to see pictures from when they were at the wedding.”
Photos and negatives from the Bamford Studio archives can be viewed at the Musser Public Library.