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Historical society to present colorized photos from Keokuk’s past

The Miller House in Keokuk.
The Miller House in Keokuk.

Black and white photographs snapped generations ago at various places in Keokuk are getting a new look.

The Lee County Historical Society President Angela Gates said member David Marlin used special software to colorize them.

“It's pretty fascinating stuff,” Gates said. “I mean, seeing some of the earliest pictures of Keokuk and surrounding communities in color is absolutely fascinating.”

Marlin will share these newly colorized photos with the public during a presentation at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 21 at the Miller House Museum, 318 N. Fifth St. in Keokuk. Admission is free to the public, but visitors are welcome to donate to the historical society.

Gates said she does not know how many photos Marlin has colorized. She said this was an idea Marlin had discussed with the historical group.

“We were talking about it one day and I said, ‘Yeah, it'd be great if you could share these with folks, you know, I think it would really help to bring history to life,” Gates said.

She hopes Marlin’s presentation will help spark Keokuk residents’ interest in the community’s history.

“We're also kind of wanting to foster discussion about the photos and the content a little bit and kind of get people talking about history again,” she said.

Visitors are also invited to a guided tour of the Miller House at 1 p.m. that same day.

It was the home of Keokuk resident and former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Freeman Miller, who was appointed to the nation’s highest court by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862.

Miller served until his death in 1890.

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