In the first few days of January 1974 a young man from Kansas decided to spend 4 months in a place he had never been.  A place he had only read about, Jacksonville Florida.

Sam A. Gill, fresh from college, had been reading the Jacksonville newspapers with interest.  He knew little about 1974 Jacksonville, all the papers he had read were from 1908 to 1918, a span of 10 years when Jacksonville hosted most of the motion picture industry.  What he did know was that some of the cast and crew, from the productions 60 years before, were still alive and many still lived in Jacksonville.

He knew no one in town, Travelers Aid suggested a room to rent, he called Dena Snodgrass and explained his research, surprised that local historians were not interested in the story.  Dena laughed and explained that for many historians, history was something at least 100 years old.  Dena was very interested and helped Sam get appointments all over town.  By Spring he had gathered and reproduced the family pictures from Jacksonville’s earliest cast and crew and collected their stories.

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