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100th Anniversary of a Town / City

Every year there are countless celebrations and anniversaries of towns, cities, counties, and historical events across America. Between 2011 and 2015 the country has and will be holding many programs to recount the people and events surrounding the American Civil War and the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Such programs which include exhibits of photos, movies, documentaries, reenactments, etc. can be of great assistance to family history researchers. This is also true when communities and towns celebrate a major anniversary; such as 50th, 75th, 100th  or 150th.

These locations usually pull all available resources and their local historians to gather information on the people, businesses, organizations and buildings that made their hometown. With the convenience of web sites, Facebook, Twitter; generally all of this material will be made accessible on the Internet. A family history researcher can really find a treasure of information on an ancestral hometown which might not have been known previously. Facts and photos of local businesses and people are some of the key elements included in an anniversary celebration.

An example is what is termed “Project 100” a year-long celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the incorporation of the city of Stuart, Florida. In early 2013 city government, community leaders, the local newspaper and historians are pulling together the photos, timelines, events, families and people that helped shape Stuart over the decades since it incorporated on May 7, 1914.

Not only will there be parades, video programs, picnics, fireworks at different times over a year, but the local newspaper using all media forms (Internet, Facebook, Twitter and print) will provide all types of information and photos to show where the town began, how it progressed, who were its citizens and what affected its lifestyle over a hundred years.

Countless names and information on individuals and families in the community over the past hundred years will be written about and placed on all the forms of media. So it someone had a great granduncle from the Stuart area, there is a good chance he will be mention somehow. Even having the opportunity to view some of the vintage scenes of the Downtown section, the neighborhoods, the businesses and scenery will be a major source to any researcher.

This same approach has already been done and will be in the future for hundreds of other communities across the country. Some anniversaries are for certain occurrences such as the Great Frederick Fair 150th Anniversary in Maryland held in 2012. There was the 200th anniversary in 2007 of the steeple of Trinity Chapel on West Church Street in Frederick, the first of the city’s famed clustered spires.

By using a search engine, like Google, get creativity to see what is on the Internet about a family hometown and any anniversaries. If your relatives were in a couple different places, try each of them.

Photo: Stuart, Florida in 1915, the center of town. The two buildings, built in 1912 and 1913 with a bank, drug store and real estate office back then, are still in existence today.

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