Online group working to preserve Hilltop memories
One Hilltop resident has found a way to preserve history through a social networking site.
Jennie Keplar created the Facebook page “Hilltop U.S.A Memories” as a way to preserve history and share memories of the Hilltop area with everyone.
Keplar created the page nine months ago, and both current and former Hilltop residents have been enthusiastic about joining, as well as sharing.
Visitors to “Hilltop U.S.A Memories” can view photos, both old black and whites and recent snapshots, of people, places and events familiar to Hilltopers. Photos are posted by page administrators, as well as guests.
The “Wall” of the page serves as a conversation board for members, with visitors commenting on pictures, asking questions and reminiscing about times passed.
Ever wonder what used to occupy that vacant lot next door? Someone on their page can tell you, and they probably have a story or two to tell about it.
At the end of August, the page boasted over 1,000 members and had 545 pictures posted, with the numbers continuing to grow as more people join to share their memories of the Hilltop area.
Keplar was born and raised in the Hilltop, and still lives in the area today. Her mother was one of the first members of the Hilltop Historical Society.
“I remember things from when I was little too, so it’s neat to see other people’s pictures of the Hilltop. It kind of refreshes my memory on what things used to look like.”
Keplar came up with the idea for the page when she was scanning pictures for her father’s tribute DVD and noticed a lot of the pictures have a connection to the Hilltop area.
“I thought it would be neat if I found a way to share with other people. They could identify their family or friends and it just kind of grew from there.” Keplar said.
Keplar has been a member on Facebook for a couple years now and said she chose this social networking site because it has such a wide scope of people with more people from the older generations beginning to use it.
“My 80-something-year-old grandma has one. So it seems to be a really easy way to reach people on Facebook than to create a Website. The ease of use was a big selling point to me,” Keplar said.
There are three other administrators who help manage the page, Richard Hoffman, Mark Daniels and Bob Mayhew.
“The ones who are the most respectful and appreciative of the site, that visited regularly. Those are the ones I have chosen to be administrators.”
Hoffman is a board member of the Hilltop Historical Society and adds different pictures from the archives to the page weekly.
The late Connie Heibel Amos, who passed away last month, was also an administrator.
“She had a lot of pictures and comments and we were really blessed to have her help with the group because she’s not around anymore and we were able to get her memories before she died, so that’s very cool,” Keplar said.
The Facebook page is open and available for anyone to view. Anyone is able to post their photos, tell their stories, or comment on anything on the page.
“I really think our true history of our neighborhood is with those who have lived and worked in the Hilltop. They are the one’s that really have the best pictures and the best stories to tell,” Keplar said.
Anyone who has memories, photos or documents pertaining to the Hilltop is invited to share them on the Facebook page. Those who would like to contribute but don’t have access to a scanner can contact Keplar through e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org, and she will make sure that it gets on there.
“We are always looking for new pictures and stories. It’s really important to keep the history alive and out there. To keep the different generations interested in our community,” Keplar said.