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Photo exhibit recalls a time gone by

WINSTED — The past came alive at Whiting Mills as photographs by Frank H. DeMars were shown at an opening reception on Friday, May 13.According to his official biography at www.demarsimages.com, DeMars was born in 1872 in Colebrook and spent a good portion of his life in Winsted.Starting in 1904, he ran an art store on 700 Main St., which eventually moved and expanded to 711-715 Main St.He took photographs of the people and places in Winsted, Colebrook, Barkhamsted and 32 other towns throughout Connecticut and 16 towns in Massachusetts.In 1942, DeMars died at 69 years old in Winsted. In 2009, DeMars’ oldest daughter, Martha Ruth DeMars Richards, died.After her death, Richards’ daughter, Peg Giles, along with her husband, Bob, found approximately 5,000 negatives in the attic of the family home.The pictures are a reminder of days gone by, including people and places in the early 1900s.Peg Giles was present at the opening reception and said Friday’s opening was the first time the pictures had ever been shown in Winsted. She also runs the website where her grandfather’s pictures are displayed at www.demarsimages.com.“My grandfather loved Winsted. He lived here all of his life,” Giles said. “I think he would like people to be proud of their town.”Mayor Candy Perez said she was moved by the exhibit.“I always love looking at old pictures to see what has come before,” Perez said. “These pictures remind me of when I was a little girl and my father purchased a cottage on Highland Lake. It’s a good way to see what Winsted was in its prime.”The show continued throughout the weekend and included open art studios and showrooms throughout the Whiting Mills building.

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