ALPINE, TX (KWES) - Sul Ross University’s Museum of the Big Bend will be presenting a special exhibit opening January 18.

“The Upshaws of County Line: An American Family” is a collection of black and white photographs taken by Richard Orton.

Orton spent 25 years documenting the lives of those in an East Texas African-American community in County Line. The “freedom colony” was founded by brothers Guss, Felix and Jim Upshaw in the late 1800s in hopes of creating their own community.

On January 18 there will be an opening night reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Orton will be present as well as Beatrice Upshaw and her daughter Elia Ali, both descendants of the County Line community.

There will also be a discussion at 10 a.m. on January 19 featuring Orton, Upshaw and Ali as well as Sul Ross Assistant Professor of History Dr. Savannah Williamson. There will be a discussion of post-Civil War freedom colonies, life in County Line and the photo-documentary process and Orton will have books available for purchase.

If you can’t make it out to the opening weekend, the exhibit will be available at the museum through March 24.