MERIDIAN, Idaho -- As new developments go up in the Treasure Valley, older buildings are torn down.
Before a demolition takes place, buildings are typically cleared out, and any valuable items are removed and resold.
Loraine Fisher is a pre-demolition specialist who has cleared out hundreds of properties over the past five years. "We take everything from the light switches to the barn in the backyard," says Fisher.
Fisher also says she's found dozens of priceless belongings on the job. That because over the past couple of years, she's found hundreds of old family photos. "I can't see it going to the landfill, so I scooped it all up," said Fisher.
IMAGES OF THE PAST
Some of the photos date back to the late 1800s. "I hope to find the owners of all of this stuff, the families of all this stuff," said Fisher.
Most of the photos were collected from homes in Meridian, and Fisher believes the owners of the photos and their relatives all lived in the Treasure Valley within the past 10 years. She says tracking the families down hasn't been easy. Her only clues are the names and dates scribbled on the back of the photos.
SEARCHING FOR FAMILY MEMBERS
Fisher says she's currently working to find six families whose photos she's saved.
She has lots of old photos taken by and of Irene Croft. Looking at the photos, Fisher knows Croft worked for the military in 1952.
Photo of Irene Croft courtesy Loraine Fisher
Bill and Lucinda Cutshaw are also on Fisher's list. The Cutshaw's saved photos, old letters, and even receipts. One old document shows the Cutshaw's had a baby in 1945. It only cost them $22 at the hospital. Another receipt shows Bill Cutshaw bought a mink coat in 1960.
"They've got to have a grandchild, or a great grandchild who would love to see pictures of their family," said Fisher.
Dozens of pictures show the growing family of the Dunbars. In 1961, John Dunbar had a son named Michael.
Donald Cotte served in the Navy in 1946. Fisher found some photos and old documents from the time of his service.
In one of the homes, Fisher even found a collection of photos from the late 1800s. "They were also with this postcard that says 'Clark' on it," Fisher said. Several postcards and letters were addressed to Emmett Clark. A report card from the Boise School District seems to indicate Emmett had a daughter in the second grade in 1948, her name was Ruth Anne. Little is known about Arthur Chase. There are some photos and a document from the Department of Labor dated 1934.
For a photo gallery featuring more of Fisher's images, click here.
She hasn't found these families yet, but Fisher isn't giving up.
"If it was me, and somebody handed me my family's history, I would love it, Fisher said. "I would think it was fabulous."
To track all these families down, Fisher has been searching their names on the Internet hoping to find something that leads her to the rightful owners. Recently, she started posting ads on Craigslist and says she has a few leads.
If you think you may know any of the families, please call Fisher at 208-713-1677.