Our Wonderful Photos – What Sweet Memories!

by Laura Johnston Kohl

02-03-flickrAn ongoing photo project can now be accessed online.

As the manager of the Peoples Temple Gallery on Flickr, I have added over 1300 photographs of many members in a variety of venues of Peoples Temple, with thousands more to add to the collection from a number of different sources.

The Peoples Temple Gallery presents the photos en masse, but they have been also been organized into sets, which you can access through this link or though the “Sets” button at the top of the main gallery page. Clicking on the set title will display the photos inside the set. Some of the Set titles are “Indiana,” “Redwood Valley,” and also “Jonestown 1974-1976,” “Jonestown 1977,” and “Jonestown 1978.” I have also created separate sets for the Jonestown School, the Medical Office, the Cottage Industries, and the Day of November 18, 1978.

In addition, if you are looking for specific people who were involved in Peoples Temple, you can search by name by using the “Search” function in the upper right corner of the Gallery page. The identification process is an ongoing one, and we invite you to return in the future if you can’t find someone you’re looking for on your first visit here.

And because it is an ongoing effort, we urge you to join us. If you can identify someone who is unnamed – whether a member of your family, or someone else you know – please contact this website. Just as with our efforts to identify photos at the California Historical Society, the identification of these photos and making them available online fills a void.

It is amazing to me that there were so many photos taken in so many different locations, and more are coming to our attention all the time. We are grateful that the California Historical Society has begun to put its photo archive online, and we are hopeful that the FOIA lawsuit pursued by this website will result in even more than have been released to date. In addition, we know that relatives have held on to some of the photos, the media still has some unreleased photos, and former Peoples Temple members have more photos. As people look through old papers and files, these photos are surfacing, and people are making donations of their cherished collections for safekeeping.

I am delighted to be adding these photos to an online program. I love any corrections, and especially identification of the photos I can’t place, so please help me!

(Laura Johnston Kohl, who had lived in Jonestown but was working in Georgetown on 18 November, died on 19 November 2019 after a long battle with cancer. She was 72. Her writings for this website appear here.)

Originally posted on July 25th, 2013.

Last modified on February 27th, 2022.
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