ELDORADO -- Stepping into the community room at the Eldorado Memorial Library is like turning a page back in the town's history, thanks to a pictorial display by Eldorado resident Charles Hammond.
In the summer of 1971, Hammond took photos of Eldorado and its residents for a photography class he was taking at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Now, the 84 black-and-white prints hanging in the display give viewers the opportunity to see what has changed, and what hasn't, in Eldorado since that time.
"Some of the areas where the photos were taken are almost unrecognizable now," Hammond said. "At the same time, some of the buildings look almost exactly the same."
Images in the gallery contain long-gone local stores like Ben Franklin, Western Auto and Cousin Fred's along with other landmarks like St. Mary's Catholic Church and Eldorado High School.
A glance at the pictures quickly reveals one striking difference between today and yesteryear, though: the cars.
"I've gotten a lot of comments about all the 'old' cars in the photos," Hammond said. "That's one thing people tend to enjoy."
Hammond said the images hanging in the Eldorado library were scanned from his original film negatives and then printed. He said a collection of his original prints are contained in the rare books room in Morris Library on the campus of SIUC.
Eldorado librarian Felicia Murray said the photos are a showcase of bygone times in Eldorado's past.
"These photos are an important piece of local history and showcase the numerous changes that have taken place in the 46 years since the photos were taken," Murray said.
Hammond's display will be at the library through the month of November.
The library's hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.