Dot Dotson’s 1668 Willamette. 541-485-1771. DotDotsons.com.
A couple of years ago, I stumbled upon one of Eugene’s best kept secrets: Dot Dotson’s storage room, filled wall to wall with negatives of 50 years of baby photos. In the back of the nearly 100-year-old camera and film store, filing cabinets upon filing cabinets of old baby photos from PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center University District hospital fill the space, and upstairs even more rows of cabinets have taken over the attic. Annette Pfautz, longtime Dot Dotson’s employee, says she believes that the hospital donated roughly 44,000 negatives, and Dot Dotson’s has held onto them since 2000.
For the past couple of years, Pfautz has made getting these baby photos back to their rightful owners her mission.
“People from across the country have called in,” Dot Dotson’s employee Tevin Goddard says. “We had a lady come all the way from Alaska to pick up her baby photos.” Goddard, who started at Dot Dotson’s a little over two weeks ago, realized after talking to Pfautz that his photos along with his mother’s were among the thousands tucked away in a filing cabinet.
“It was really cool, especially seeing my mom’s photos because we just don’t have a lot of photos of her childhood,” Goddard says. “It’s impressive how lasting a photograph can be.”
If you were born at PeaceHealth’s University District hospital between the years of 1950 and 2000 Dot Dotsons may have the first photo ever taken of you.