The Clara Barton Community Center has a new exhibit of historical photos on display thanks to the generosity of CJ resident Paulo Lyra and the efforts of the Friends of the Clara Barton Community Center (FCBCC). The new photos featuring Cabin John history are on display in the center’s community room next to the kitchen.
Viewing the six images, one can see and feel, for at least a moment, what life was like in the early 20th century on the C&O canal, in Glen Echo Park, and at the Cabin John Bridge and the Bridge Hotel.
Hanging the pictures was the culmination of a project that began several years ago, when Mr. Lyra put a note on the community listserv alerting folks that the images were available. Mr. Lyra, with help from several local historians, had carefully selected the photos from various sources. Only a few historical photos have resolution fine enough for prints this size.
Noticing the listserv post, FCBCC board member Stace Kimmel saw that it was an opportunity to expand the community center’s display of historic CJ images. Under the leadership of Burr Gray, the Cabin John Citizens Association created seven historical panels tracing Cabin John’s history that have hung in the center’s main hallway since 2004.
Stacey contacted Mr. Lyra and alerted the other board members, who made individual contributions to fund the pictures’ restoration. Ritch Kepler laboriously lifted the photos from their old warped backings and supplied new ones that are rigid and smooth. The pandemic postponed further action, and the framed photos remained in storage until November, when Ritch, Barry, and Burr Gray (another FCBCC board member) teamed up to hang the images.
Many thanks go to Mr. Lyra for his gift of these impressive photographs.
By Burr Gray, Regular Contributor