HAMILTON, Ohio — Employees at a Butler County thrift store are trying to reunite dozens — if not more than 100 — family photos with their owners after finding pictures inside a donation last week.
"They're more or less family photos," said lead cashier Angela Baker. "Some of them are of family vacations or of pets."
Baker and her coworkers at One Way Farm Thrift Store on Dixie Highway in Hamilton found the photos last Thursday — a day Baker called "busy." She started posting some of them on her Facebook page and in neighborhood groups, trying to find the rightful owner.
"My family takes a lot of pictures and pictures are sentimental to me, so I just felt like somebody would like their pictures back," she said.
The photos range from black-and-white portraits from before the 1960s to color photos from the 1980s, but very few have names on them. Some, though, describe the scenery or have notes describing people by first names.
One family photo lists the names on the back. It appears to read "Donna, Brian, Susie, and Nelson Fogle - 1962" in script.
Other photos show vacations with locations like the Grand Canyon labeled. The staff thought they'd tracked down the owner shortly after the discovery, but when the woman returned to the store, she told them the photos aren't hers.
General manager Steve Davis has worked in thrift stores for years and said the clock is ticking to find the photos' owner.
"We have very few people that really (do) come back and ask for things, but it's periodically," he said. "We have people that come back and say 'I didn't mean to donate that, do you still have it?'"
Both Davis and Baker noted it is possible the donation wasn't an accident, but they still want to try to return the photos.
Right now, the store does. Davis said they'll hold onto the photos for a while, but there is also a market for vintage photographs so they will eventually be sold. There haven't been many leads from social media yet.
"I just want whoever to — if they see that they're theirs or recognize the people — to say this is my family and come and get them," Baker said.
For now, the photos live in a box near the register waiting to be returned.
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