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Dave Yerges examines a framed photo of Imbler Elementary’s old main building, one he recently donated to the Imbler School District. DICK MASON - The Observer
IMBLER — Dave Yerges of Summerville enjoys infusing life into the pulse of local history.
It is something he does skillfully.
The four books Yerges has authored or co-authored about local history and the four about this area’s past by other writers he has reprinted showcase his talent. Yerges tracks the past of Union County with uncommon vigor and understanding. This is why his latest works soon likely will be stopping people in their tracks.
Yerges has printed and framed six photos showing how Imbler Elementary has evolved since at least the 1930s. He donated the framed photos to Imbler Elementary Wednesday. The photos will soon be on display above the main office at the new $4 million elementary school.
“Oh my word, talk about history. This is phenomenal,’’ said Imbler School District Superintendent Doug Hislop.
The framed photos are most timely for they show the exteriors of the old main Imbler Elementary building and its old gym, named Wade Hall. Both were torn down in August. The structures were razed following the completion of Imbler Elementary’s new classroom building.
The photos Yerges donated include two taken from 1930s and 1940s Imbler High School yearbooks. These photos show:
• the main elementary building, built in 1912, which also housed Imbler High School through the late 1970s.
• the main elementary building and Wade Hall, which once served as the high school gym. The photo shows that Wade Hall, built in the late 1920s, once had a porch outside its main entrance.
Several of the six framed photos Yerges donated are ones he took of the old elementary building and Wade Hall over the past year. One photo shows these buildings alongside the new school building while it was being constructed.
Yerges was inspired to produce and frame his photos in part because of his passion for the past.
“I just want to help preserve history. If we lose our history, we have nothing,’’ said Yerges, who owns the Mitre’s Touch Gallery in La Grande with his wife, Trish.
Yerges said he was in good position to produce and frame the photos because he does this as part of his business.
“Most people (in the Imbler School District) want to help the school district and this was something I could do.’’