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Preserving Pocahontas

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Pocahontas Times Editor Jane Price Sharp at the typewriter preparing the weekly newspaper for publication following the 1985 flood. The photograph was taken at the home of Bill and Denise McNeel on Jerico Road.

In 2004 Sharp’s grandson, Russell Jessee, talked with me about the significance of this photograph.

“You had 150 year old technology right up against modern day technology so the process was surreal but the ethos I guess, do what it takes to get the paper done and get it out, that went very well, I thought, with why we had the late 20th century technology, why we had the computers. We got the computers after the flood, and that was the quickest way to get the paper out the door.  And into people’s hands. 

“There’s a picture of Grandma the day after the flood trying to type out that issue of the newspaper by candle light, and that ethos that had her doing that, so there could be a newspaper for people who had just been wiped out by a flood in 1985, was the exact same ethos that brought the computers to the Times office.  I didn’t see that as incongruous at all.  It was just that we needed to get the paper out.”

On November 8th the newspaper was delivered and The Pocahontas Times preserved its record. It had never missed a coming out!  Photo Courtesy of William P. McNeel, ID: PHP002290
Access the “Preserving Pocahontas” Digital Library at or www.preserving If you have historical records or photographs to be scanned for the county Historical Archive contact Preservation Officer B. J. Gudmundsson at 304-799-3989 or email  Prints of photographs are available.

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