Preserving history through photographs
A portrait of James R. Stockton in front of a portrait of his father, Telfair Stockton, seated at his desk in the old Atlantic Bank Building Downtown. James Stockton acquired most of the property in Ponte Vedra from National Lead Co. in the 1940s. He later merged his business with Whatley & Davin Co. to become Stockton, Whatley, Davin & Co., which became one of the largest mortgage banking, insurance and real estate companies in the Southeast.
A self-portrait of photographer Loyd Sandgren taken in one of his studios, probably Downtown.
Miss Filter-Flo in one of Sandgren’s advertising photographs.
A chance meeting in 1997 led to a friendship and later to the preservation of a visual record of Jacksonville, much of it about Downtown.

Times-Union Staff Photographer Bob Self was packing up his cameras after an assignment Downtown when he was approached by an “elderly man with a bushy white beard and red suspenders,” he said.

The man was Loyd Sandgren, who identified himself as a photographer and started asking Self questions about his camera equipment. Sandgren then asked Self if he’d like to see some of his work.

Self said he wasn’t expecting much, most likely some amateur snapshots. When he opened the album Sandgren offered, however, Self said he was impressed with the black-and-white prints and knew immediately that Sandgren was indeed a photographer.

That meeting began a friendship that lasted until Sandgren died in 2001, a week before his 85th birthday.

During his career that spanned more than 50 years, Sandgren had amassed a collection of photographs that are now the only record of his work because the negatives were destroyed by water damage, said Self.

Self worked with Sandgren’s family to preserve the albums filled with images. He helped arrange for the photographs to be placed in the custody of the Jacksonville Public Library’s special collections department.

Self also started a website and blog to preserve Sandgren’s life’s work and share the images with the community. He offers copies of the images for sale to cover the cost of maintaining the website.

“Loyd was a friend and I always felt his work had a life beyond just him enjoying it. I felt there was a bigger audience for it,” said Self.

The subject matter of the images is often historic, especially the photographs of Downtown and surrounding neighborhoods, some from as far back as the 1940s.

Much of Sandgren’s work was done for advertising and promotion. There also are photographs of people from Jacksonville who became famous and people who were famous who came to Jacksonville. Much of the collection includes Sandgren’s notes about the images.

Self’s website includes 130 photographs, but the bulk of the collection is on the fourth floor at the Main Library Downtown, where the prints are being scanned and cataloged for the Digital Library Collection.

Library associate Catherine Currier is one of the people who work with Sandgren’s legacy of about 15,000 images.

“A lot of the photos were taken for advertising, but he obviously took a lot of them for pure pleasure,” she said.

To see some of Sandgren’s photographs and learn more about his work, visit www.vintagejacksonville.net.



Tuesday, Dec. 27
Pizza and the Pursuit of Resources
6:30-7:30 p.m.
Main Library Teen Lounge
Info: 630-2665

“Scream Tour”
7 p.m.
Times-Union Center
Info: www.ticketmaster.com

Wednesday, Dec. 28
“Victory Begins at Home”
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Museum of Science & History
Info: www.themosh.org

Tedeschi Trucks Band
8 p.m.
The Florida Theatre
Info: 355-2787

Thursday, Dec. 29
JJ Grey and MOFRO in Concert
8 p.m.
Mavericks Rock N’ Honky Tonk
Info: www.mavericksatthelanding.com

Chuck Nash Duo
8:30 p.m.
Fionn MacCool’s Irish Pub
Info: 374-1547

Friday, Dec. 30
Braxton Adamson
5-8 p.m.
Fionn MacCool’s Irish Pub
Info: 374-1547

Fellowship of Christian Athletes Breakfast
6:30 a.m.
First Baptist Church
Info: www.nefloridafca.org

Jacksonville Giants vs. Savannah Storm
7 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Arena
Info: 630-3900

Newsome Brothers in Concert
7 p.m.
The Landing
Info: www.jacksonvillelanding.com

Saturday, Dec. 31
VyStar 5K Run
10 a.m.
The Landing
Info: 731-1900

TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl CSX Coaches Luncheon and Hall of Fame Induction
Hyatt Hotel
Info: www.gatorbowl.com

Florida Blue Hometown Gator Bowl Parade
3 p.m.
East Bay Street and Coastline Drive
Info: www.gatorbowl.com

Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra “Toast to the New Year!”
8:30 p.m.
Times-Union Center
Info: www.jaxsymphony.org

Something Distant
9 p.m.-2 a.m.
Fionn MacCool’s Irish Pub
Info: 374-1547

333NYE: Masque Noir
10 p.m.-2 a.m.
Museum of Contemporary Art
Info: www.mocajacksonville.org

City of Jacksonville Fireworks Spectacular
Northbank and Southbank Riverwalks
Info: 630-1776

Sunday, Jan. 1
Jaguars Pregame Celebration
11 a.m.-1 p.m.
The Landing
Info: www.jacksonvillelanding.com
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