When it comes to the history of a small community, the local newspaper is the essential source. While researchers can generally find a microfiche copy at a library, there's no substitute for the genuine article if you're a collector, especially if you or a loved one lived through the historic event covered in the local newspaper. There's something about holding the actual paper from that day that transports you back to that time and place like nothing else can.
I recently sold a newspaper celebrating the 150th anniversary of the founding of Orange, Mass., to someone whose Grandmother was there to celebrate the occasion when it happened back in the mid-1960s.
A town's paper celebrates the good and reports the bad. In this example, it was the devastating flood of 1936 that nearly wiped out the town of Athol, Mass. If you grew up in the town, then events like floods, fires, and celebrations, are the markers of your life, and the daily paper represents something tangible to remember them by.
It's this type of ephemera that people cherish the most, and I'm glad when I'm able to connect a person with their personal history.