Birthday parties, weddings and vacation -- these are the events that many of us capture in photographs.  But how many of us could say that we have documented everyday life in our hometown for decades?

Ken Mars did just that.

You may remember Kenneth T. Mars, Jr.  He was a member of the Narragansett Indian Tribe, an inductee into the University of Rhode Island's Lifetime Service Society and an usher at the Peace Dale First Church of God, where his father was pastor.  Sadly, Ken passed away in 2011 at the age of 71.

For more than forty years, Ken walked the streets of South Kingstown, camera in hand, photographing everything he saw.  His images captured the everyday happenings and sights that often go unnoticed: friends passing in cars, bustling Main Street, students scurrying to class at URI and the changing of the seasons.

Over the years, Ken had tens of thousands of photographs developed and carefully compiled them into binders.  He spent countless hours at the Peace Dale Library diligently researching the histories of the places he knew so well from his walks.  A small selection of photographs can be seen below.

For his beloved hometown, Ken has left quite a legacy: more than 25,000 photographs that have been saved by family members and a local photographer.  The Center is pleased to announce that it is working to acquire the Kenneth T. Mars, Jr. Photograph Collection, which has been offered as a donation.

Digitizing, archiving and storing a collection of this size requires significant resources, and thus the Center is pleased to announce "History in Focus, " a capital campaign to support the preservation of the Mars Collection and thousands of other materials already contained within the Center's quickly-growing archival collection.  For more information, and to donate to the campaign, please click here.