Karen Vargas recalls a dream from 2007- the meaning of her dream was not revealed to her for several more years.
In her dream, she is standing amidst a pile of rubble. there is destruction all around her. Karen does not know where she is, or how she arrived there. She sees a doorway and makes her way towards it. She opens a large door leading to a stone staircase. The stairs descend into darkness, but she is compelled to find her way. She follows the stairs downward and slowly a glimmer of light appears. She follows the light towards the bottom and discovers an illuminated blue pool. There are images swirling in the water. Karen looks closer and sees what she thinks are portraitures. She cannot make out any faces...suddenly she wakes up.
In 2014, Karen's Aunt passed away. She went back to Virginia to spend time with her family. While helping to make funeral arrangements- all the details of who to notify, and what food to prepare- she reclined by the fireplace.
She noticed a large old photo album. She learned that these were family photographs-including old tintypes dating back to the late 1800's. The collection of photographs had been salvaged from a house fire, and many were damaged beyond repair. But Karen wondered if any could be salvaged.
She had a friend who worked for the Virginia Historical Society, so she took the portraits there for a consultation. A few months later they contacted Karen and said they were able to save over one hundred of the images.This started Karen on a personal journey to research and document her family's "Hidden History."