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Group's calendar fund-raiser taps historic photos

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Sandy Kerr and Earlene Kilpatrick look over the pages in the new calendar.

The Blade/Herral Long
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BOWLING GREEN - Main Street Bowling Green, the nonprofit group dedicated to the revitalization, promotion, and beautification of downtown here, has come out with a 2008 calendar featuring photos from the city's past.

The calendar, a fund-raising tool, is printed on coated paper with a color cover and is spiral-bound. It sells for $15 and is expected to go fast, given that only 300 copies were produced. All proceeds will help fund Main Street B.G.'s downtown improvement efforts.

"Our volunteers combed the area's archival collections for photos we thought would be of interest," Earlene Kilpatrick, the group's director, said.

These included the archives of the Sentinel-Tribune, the Wood County District Public Library, the Wood County Historical Museum, and Bowling Green State University's Center for Archival Collections.

Each month has a separate photo. There are shots of downtown that are interesting, to be sure, with many buildings recognizable today. But the most eye-catching are the old photos of people.

April's photo, for instance, is of a group of a few dozen women circa 1890.

The behatted ladies, dressed in their finery, are on the platform of the Interurban stop in Bowling Green just before they leave for Toledo, probably on a visit to Walbridge Park and the zoo, according to the caption.

"Electric-powered rail cars, which could travel over speeds over 60 miles per hour, were a popular form of transportation in the late 1800s and early 1900s," the caption explains.

September's photo, undated but probably from the 1940s, features eight smiling young women at the Wood County Tomato Festival, surrounded by bushels of tomatoes.

"September was the height of the tomato harvest in Bowling Green," the caption reads. "A perfect theme for many fairs, festivals, and parades. 1938 marked the start of the first Wood County Tomato Festival, which included a Tomato Queen beauty contest and parade."

Thanks to the volunteer labor, the calendar cost less than $2,000openings, trash collections, City Council meetings, and special events in the parks, museums, and downtown businesses.

Calendars are on sale at the Bowling Green Convention and Visitors Bureau; Calico, Sage, and Thyme; the Flower Basket; For Keeps; Grounds for Thought; Mills Jewelry; the Wood County Historical Museum, and Main Street B.G.'s office.

Contact Carl Ryan at

carlryan@theblade.com

or 419-206-0356.

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