Preserving pictures and stories of the past is what the Meramec Valley Genealogical and Historical Society (MVGHS) has been doing for three decades.
The local family history group will celebrate a special milestone in November.
The MVGHS will show some examples of the “good old days” when it celebrates 30 years of collecting obituaries and local history Thursday, Nov. 30, at 6:30 p.m. at the Tri-County Senior Center, 800 W. Union St.
A MVGHS birthday cake also will be served with coffee and tea.
The public is invited to share its memories of the society and local history, and enjoy a piece of cake.
Sue Reed, former Pacific librarian, launched the genealogy effort 30 years ago after accumulating clipped news items from local newspapers starting in the 1960s.
Reed could see that there was a need for archival and historical preservation of history in the Meramec Valley region of the Boles and Calvey Townships in eastern Franklin County.
She called for a meeting to plan a formal organization and one month later her vision became a reality.
With 12 members present on Nov. 18, 1987, Neil Brennan was elected president of the newly formed Meramec Valley Genealogical and Historical Society. Orton Lynch was named secretary.
The MVGHS archive was housed in the Pacific branch of the Scenic Regional Library for decades. In recent years, the MVGHS became a city of Pacific committee and the archive was moved to city hall.
In 1999, the MVGHS was joined by another group of history preservationists. The Meramec Valley Historical Museum was organized to collect and display historic memorabilia.
The two organizations shared many members and a common goal to preserve local history. Members also collaborated to present history programs on city officials, the Civil War, floods and found penny postcards depicting earlier years in Pacific.
The museum recently merged into the MVGHS. The two groups will share space in the city-acquired Red Cedar Inn building, which will serve as a visitors bureau and history center.
Inspired by her love of history, Reed became a published history writer. She has published two books, “In Retrospect, a History of Pacific,” which is seen as the primary source of local history, and “Jeffries,” a history of a founding Franklin County family.
Reed will share her recollections during the birthday celebration. Chris Niemoeller, MVGHS board member who has been reading through old meeting minutes and newsletters, will assist Reed with the celebration program.