February 7, 2011 / News

Harris High historian keeps memories alive with old yearbooks

Written by Evan Blackwell, CJE

From 1926 to 1971, the halls of John Harris High School in Pennsylvania were open to thousands of students.

One of those students was John Derr, who told the The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pa., this week that he has taken on the project of becoming the school’s unofficial historian. Derr has created a website full of information on John Harris alumni and he has been using old yearbooks as a resource.

Derr’s website, johnharrishighschool.org, contains old photos, old school publications and information about reunion gatherings. For Derr, whose wife and several family members also attended John Harris High, seeking out the old yearbooks via eBay and other avenues has been extremely worthwhile.

“I feel when I’ve gone and everyone else is gone from the last class of John Harris, the information would be lost forever. I’m just trying to preserve history so it doesn’t go down the tube,” Derr told The Patriot-News.

Evan Blackwell, CJE

Evan Blackwell, CJE, is a Web Content Specialist for walsworthyearbooks.com and yearbookhelp.com, as well as a regular contributor to Idea File magazine. He's been a writer and editor for Walsworth Yearbooks for the past 13 years, and is the author of the Yearbook Suite's "The Art of the Interview" unit. Prior to joining Walsworth, Blackwell spent five years as an award-winning newspaper and magazine journalist. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.