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The History of Greece in Photographs

By on July 3, 2019
Officer Bob Maslowski monitoring the speed of an adjacent vehicle while on a Greece Police Department Honda motorcycle, 1977.

Officer Bob Maslowski monitoring the speed of an adjacent vehicle while on a Greece Police Department Honda motorcycle, 1977.

Greece Town Historian Keith Suhr came to his passion for history because of childhood curiosity, and as a result of growing up in the Maplewood District of the City of Rochester, a neighborhood best known for tree lined boulevards and vintage architecture. “I grew up in the 10th Ward. I was greatly influenced by my neighborhood and by historical artifacts. I was curious about the history of the people living around me, what they use and what they leave behind. Growing up I did a lot of reading and observing and going to the library,” Suhr says.

Suhr has lived in Greece since 2006, and in February of 2017 he was appointed to his position as Greece Town Historian with an office based out of the Greece Public Library located on the Town of Greece Campus, 2 Vince Tofany Blvd., Greece.

Suhr believes the roll of Town Historian is to preserve historical records and to find a way to share history and make it available to the community. Making history available to the widest audience now requires a digital format, and with an eye toward the Greece Town Bicentennial in 2022, the timing was right to set up a website that documents the History of Greece through images. With support from Town Supervisor Bill Reilich and the community, Suhr set out to create an online historical data base. The result is www.greeceimages.org launched in late in 2018. 

The Historical Images Database was created with the help of Christine Ridarsky and her knowledge of the City of Rochester’s Historical Database website. “We had two meetings with Christine and she helped us plan it out based on how they did it for Rochester. A lot of what happens with information sharing comes about through insight from the people right around us who have already accomplished the same thing you want to do,” Suhr says. He also acknowledged receiving help and information sharing from the Greece Historical Society and their archives and from Lieutenant Chris Bittner of the Greece Police Department, a key contributor to the image database project who supplied an abundance of historical images of the Greece Police Department. “He is sort of an in-house, unofficial, Greece Police Department historian,” Suhr says.

Www.greeceimages.org has over 500 images dating from the 1800s to present time, and new images are added weekly. Many of the photos on the database were provided by community members and acquired from private collections. Suhr says, “People want their history documented to the public, and this enables me access to pictures I typically wouldn’t have.” Some of the 25 different categories of images include Business, Churches, Houses and Farms, People, Weather, Performing Arts, and Schools.

Suhr verifies every picture, many times he finds interesting back stories during his research that gives additional depth to what that picture is showing. “I really like the unpredictability, the surprise of the work. People are chasing a thread of interest, maybe a name of a street or a house or a place and some found information about that bit of information triggers a sentimental reaction in them. The human story is the gift that keeps on giving,” he said.

Suhr’s favorite picture in the data base is from 1977 and is of a Greece Police Officer looking at a child on a big wheel. Suhr also walks around the Town of Greece and takes pictures of contemporary subjects for the website. He says, “I do it because history is fluid, there is no start or stopping point to history.”

If you have images you would like to share on the website you can contact Keith Suhr at keith.suhr@libraryweb.org or by calling 585-723-2480.

Keith Suhr

Keith Suhr