Manchester photographer John Knoll (1887-1955) took thousands of photos during the early decades of the
twentieth century. Many examples of his work can be found throughout this website. More about John can be found
This particular portfolio contains a set of Highland Park photos circa 1917-1920, owned by Catherine
Filloramo Thrall, who explained how the images came to her family:
One day in the early 1980s, an unidentified man brought several envelopes of negatives to her husband, the late John "Randy" Thrall, 1950-2013, at the bus company owned by the family, located at the former Case mills property. The man, we have later come to identify at Norman Grimason, 1932-2008, was the grand-nephew of John Knoll. Norman had brought a plastic bag containing several envelopes with 3x5" negatives and a couple of postcard prints. He handed the bag to Randy, saying, "You will want to see these." Randy and his family enjoyed looking at the collection, which included photos of Case paper mills, stone walls, waterfalls, ponds. The Thralls expected the man to return to pick up the negatives, but they never saw him again, and they didn't know his name.In March 2017, Cathy Thrall and Susan Barlow were chatting at an Arts event; the topic turned to Case Mountain, and Cathy mentioned the negatives, which sounded like so many of John Knoll's photographs – Manchester scenes with his friends and family posed against a backdrop of houses, trees, or walls. Later that spring, at a kaffee klatch of history buffs, Frank Grimason, also a grand-nephew of John Knoll, identified John's handwriting on the envelopes. Anna Grimason, as a young girl, was in one of the pictures. More about Anna Grimason's family can be found in this album:
Both Bob Gauthier and Jim Hall volunteered to experiment with scanning the negatives to make digital photos. Bob eventually scanned 160 negatives. Cathy, Frank, and the Case family received copies of the digitized photos, and Cathy authorized use of the photos by the families, the Manchester Land Conservation Trust, and the Manchester Historical Society, where the negatives themselves will be archived.
Click the image at left to bring up a picture of Anna Grimason as a young girl. A larger version of this photo is in this portfolio, near the end of Group 7.
Click the image at right to bring up a larger view of the participants of the kaffee klatch.
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The following groups of photographs are in no particular order, nor are the captions. Simply enjoy them as they were presented to us!
Click any photo in a group to view those images.