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Classic St. Helena photos to be displayed at Soroptimists' crab feed

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Soroptimist International of St. Helena will present its 41st annual Crab Feed in early February.

The events will be held at 6 p.m. both Friday, Feb. 2, and Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Native Sons Hall, 1313 Spring St. The theme is “Vintage Saint Helena: Honoring Our Community in Soroptimist Style.”

What began as a request to use vintage photographs for event decor morphed into a collaboration between the Soroptimists and the St. Helena Historical Society to celebrate our shared history and sense of community.

A selection of classic vintage photographs of people and places in St. Helena during the ’50s and ’60s will be for sale both Friday and Saturday. Attendees will be able to purchase unframed prints that will be made to order and then available for pick-up at Alan’s St. Helena. All proceeds from the sale of the photos will be split equally between Soroptimist International of St. Helena and the Historical Society.

Some of the photos displayed and on sale will be from Lois Dorn, a former reporter and photographer for the St. Helena Star. In May 2014, Dorn came to town intent on donating a series of 40-year-old photos to the St. Helena Historical Society.

The photos are of the inside of the newspaper building as it was when she worked there, from the fall 1969 through the summer 1971. At that time, Starr Baldwin was editor and publisher. He was editor for 47 years, from 1936 to 1983, and publisher from 1963 when his mother died and he inherited the St. Helena Star. His mother, Lois, was married to Frank B. Mackinder, who owned the Star during the early part of the last century.

During interviews in May 2014, Dorn said she had always wanted to capture on film the mystique of the back shop — the cluttered engraving plant, the press wall, where printers wiped their hands and the women’s restroom door with its two signs. The back shop was where the newspaper press and linotype were located in the original building of the St. Helena Star, 1328 Main St., which was built in 1900.

The Star moved from that building more than a dozen years ago, and for the past decade it has been home to Caldwell Snyder, an art gallery.

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