Former employees of Nashua Photo hold reunion

PARKERSBURG – Nashua Photo was a small family business that started in a basement and went on to employ hundreds of local workers before closing its doors.

Some of those former employees gathered Saturday as Nashua Photo held its sixth annual reunion for employees at the Vienna Community Building in Jackson Memorial Park.

Barb Wells, a former printer and technician for the photo company, said it was a great place to work and the employees were like family.

“I brought pictures to tell everybody to pick them up and take what they want,” Wells said of the reunion party on Saturday. “Remember the memories.”

Wells said her former boss and the owner/starter of the company, A.K. Summers, was always telling his employees the photos they were printing and packaging were “people you’re making memories for.”

The company switched names and ownership over the years, including Premier Photo, Best Photo, Nashua Photo and York Photo while two of those owners during the time it was Nashua Photo were A.K. Summers and his son, K.B. Summers. K.B. was the plant manager in Coolville until the time of his tragic death in a plane accident in New Hampshire.

“He was a fantastic boss,” Wells said of A.K. Summers. “I think we had excellent workers – we played pranks on each other but always got the job done.”

Wells now keeps track of former employees who have passed in the last several decades. She has a list of about four pages filled with former employees and said she is able to keep records of their passing through Facebook and the help of other employees.

The atmosphere at Nashua was a family-friendly work environment and Wells said employees would send a card around for others working in the office or in the plant when they were going through a hard time. She said the employees never understood the true meaning of the card until it would be for them. She received a card with her name on it when her daughter died after a tragic car accident in the 1960s.

“It was a fun, family place to work,” Wells said.