With the Tennessee State Archives near my office, I research there for the blog during my lunch break. It doesn’t allow much time but I can usually find some information and can always return the following day. This past week, I was searching for information on two communities near Happy Valley that I am planning to cover in future posts. While scanning a book about Blount County’s history, I discovered 2 photos of my grandparents when they were children. The last time I saw these photos in my grandmother’s photo album, I was a child. I couldn’t believe it and was so excited that I showed them to one of the archivists! They had to be taken before 1910 because my grandmother is still an infant and my grandfather is a young boy; the photos were cropped in the book because it didn’t show that they were sitting on a wooden log and their feet were bare, as in the originals. Still, an even bigger mystery is who took these photos because my grandmother or grandfather never could recall who did. They lived in remote mountain communities and were not wealthy, so it had to be someone that came from outside the valley, maybe from Maryville, the closest city. When I started this blog, my main goal was to emphasize the importance of historic preservation and to showcase old buildings but in the process, I have discovered something about my own history, the origins of my mother’s family. History isn’t remote or just in textbooks. It is a work in progress.