As Diakon’s unofficial historian for both the Tressler Lutheran Home for Children and the Topton Orphans Home, I am concerned about the ultimate preservation of the artifacts that remain from these orphanages, particularly when you consider one is now 150 years old.
For example, our “history closet” contains the painted portraits of Col. John Tressler and his son, Capt. David Loy Tressler—the founders of the classical academy and then soldiers’ orphans home purchased in 1868 by the Lutheran church, creating the Tressler Orphans Home. I assume the paintings date to the late 1800s.
When I brought out the portraits last year to photograph for our anniversary video, I found some of their paint was flecking, the image of Capt. David with a slight tear in it.
To my amazement, I found a nationally recognized art conservationist in nearby Carlisle, Pennsylvania, so one day soon, I will be loading the two large portraits into my vehicle and transporting them for repair.