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Preserving History

Rock Hill High School senior Shelby Dalton and Kay Radar, with the Lawrence County Historical Museum, displaying copies of Ironton Register and the original Ironton Register.

Rock Hill High School senior Shelby Dalton and Kay Radar, with the Lawrence County Historical Museum, displaying copies of Ironton Register and the original Ironton Register.

Rock Hill senior’s project gives back to historical museum

Rock Hill High School senior Shelby Dalton said she loves history, and learning about local history is one of her biggest interests.

Recently, Dalton completed a senior project in which she republished multiple copies of the Ironton Register from January of 1903.

“I first got the idea from sitting down with Kay (Rader), who showed me a book of the Ironton Register. It was so interesting and there was all kinds of stuff about Ironton. Some of it is still standing and being used,” Dalton said. “But the book was in really bad shape, and it’s important to keep this heritage.”

In order to preserve the copy of the Register, Dalton scanned it and got it published and printed, donating 50 copies to the Lawrence County Historical Museum.

“I went to local businesses and asked for donations so I could get it printed,” she said. “They really liked the idea and were excited about it, and I was excited about it.”

Dalton, who has also been a docent at the museum for about four years, said she raised $537, and donated the difference of $221.75 that was left over after publishing back to the museum.

“I encouraged them to use the money I donated to print more books if people want more, or print something else that’s in bad shape,” she said.

“I think it’s awesome that Ironton has so much history. It was a very important part of the Underground Railroad and home of the first lady ironmaster, Nannie Kelly Wright. I want to see this history preserved.”

Rader, a museum trustee, praised Dalton for her work the project.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Rader said. “She’s been a docent for us and has modeled for us several times during our teas. She came to us and asked if we had a project. She worked very hard on this.”

Rader said the books have been popular since being available, but more will be made if there is a demand.

The published copies are available at the museum for $20 each, with all proceeds going back to the museum. The Lawrence County Historical Museum is located at 506 S. Sixth St. in Ironton and open from 1-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.