Young Woman In Hanover, Pennsylvania

Photograph by John G. Feeser, Hanover, PA. Circa 1880s.

Size of photo:  About 4 x 6″       Size including cardboard frame:  About 5 x 7″

These are digital images, front and back, graciously donated by one of our readers. The family name that might belong to this beautiful young lady may be from among the following:

-Smith
-Myers
-Beitzel
-Underwood
-Wilt

Here’s to hoping someone will recognize this woman. But in any case, this is a lovely portrait showing wonderful details:  We wonder if this was taken for a special event, evidenced by the corsage of roses she wears on the left lapel of her coat, with its two large buttons perched on the other lapel. In peering at an enlargement, the writing on the top button, one feels, is almost readable. Beneath the coat, which is heavily gathered at the shoulders, is a bodice in velvet, gathered at the neck and likely waist, creating soft folds. The bodice is set off by a wide flowery ribbon at the neck, which is tied into a bow in back. Her wavy brown hair is parted down the middle, and is probably long but gathered up from behind. She gazes slightly up to her right, from clear blue or green eyes, underneath straight brows.

Log Cabin Home, 1934

Photo, white border. October 2, 1934.

Price:  $7.00       Size:  3 and 1/2 x 1 and 7/8″

A child in overalls, standing outside their log cabin home, location unknown. This is a beautiful photo, for content and composition:  There’s the path, right from our viewpoint, leading up to the doorway; the home nestling in the woods and off-center of the image; evidence of the wood-burning stove currently in use; and other details to notice, such as the wash basin hanging next to the door, and the somewhat concave appearance of the cabin’s side. And it’s almost like you could hit “play” and see video – the child walking towards us, smiling face appearing out of the shadow, or maybe turning to go into the house, the stovepipe smoke blowing easterly….

On the back is written,  “At least they have a roof. A well-to-do Indian half-breed.”  Well, maybe the individual that wrote the comment had just come from seeing some other cabins not as well put together. Also it was 1934, so better terminology was not yet common, evidently.

But for me, it looks like a small slice of heaven (as I sit typing this with the heavy traffic rolling by).

A Formal Occasion, Onboard Ship

Photo, white border. Circa 1910s – 1940s.

Price:  $6.00         Size:  About 2 x 2 and 7/8″

A snapshot found in a loose box of photos, location and ship name are unknown, and the date is unknown. If you enlarge the photo you’ll see three men in non-military type hats, that are walking with the officers. Maybe they are dignitaries of some sort.

Thunderbird Park, Vancouver Island, 1958

Photo, snapshot with white border, June 1958, Vancouver Island, BC

Price:  $5.00       Size:  About 3 and 1/2 x 3 and 1/2″

Tourists in June 1958 posing at the foot of a totem pole (not sure if this particular one is still there) and in front of the Mungo Martin House which was built in 1953.

Mungo Martin. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mungo_Martin. (accessed March 14, 2020).

Young Hockey Players

Vintage photo, white border, circa 1950s.

Price:  $4.00         Size: 4 and 7/8 x 3″

It’s hockey season again, yay!

These guys are happily posing with their sticks on a frozen stream, by the looks of it. There’s a rustic wooden bridge behind them. Easy to miss in the background is an Esso gas station sign. No writing on the back but this photo was found (at the paper fair in San Francisco) in a large box of loose photos next to other ephemera of French-Canadian origin, which we’ll be posting next…..But hey, where are the guys’ skates? And one more question:  Could the sticks have been handmade? Just wondering because of the lack of any company name appearing on them, especially on the goalie’s, the wider one, in the front center. And in googling Esso we discovered a major connection to the sport.

Cropped shot of the Esso sign appearing in the photo:

Some trivia….

First of all, did you know that the name Esso is just the pronunciation of the S and O for Standard Oil?

The first NHL game broadcast on the radio was in 1936 and was sponsored by the Esso brand.

The three stars awarded in NHL games originated as a way to advertise Imperial’s three star brand of gasoline.

See the Imperial/Esso/Mobil link for more.

Source:  Esso and Mobil:  Our History. https://www.esso.ca/en/our-history. Accessed October 27, 2019.

Photo Op By The Lake

Vintage photo, circa 1950s.

Price:  $4.00       Size:  About 3 and 3/8 x 2″

Maybe Michigan, probably 1950s

An African-American family possibly taken in Michigan, where the photo was found. Were they on their way out to breakfast or church? Was the location a vacation spot for them or taken near home or were they visiting relatives? We’ll probably never know unless by some amazing serendipitous event someone’s browsing and happens to recognize these people. Not unheard of. I’ve been reading Henry Z. “Hank” Jones, Jr.’s Psychic Roots, Serendipity & Intuition in Genealogy.”  If you do family research, for example, chances are excellent that you can recount multiple instances of that feeling of “being led” to a spectacular find. Or, on the opposite side, if you sell or post family photos or other items you may have a story of someone walking into your store and finding their relatives’ “lost” family album, or seeing someone happen upon a postcard that they themselves had written and mailed fifty years ago. In our talks with sellers we’ve heard a surprising number of such accounts. The kind that make your hair stand up on the back of your neck (in a good way!). Here’s one from my family:

Serendipity in Montréal

Maybe fifteen or twenty years ago, I’ve forgotten by now, I was with some family members vacationing in Montréal. Sitting on the beds in the motel we were trying to figure out what to do for the day, looking at brochures. I was drawn to the one on the Pointe-à-Callière Museum and felt we “had to” go there, that it was important to go. In one of the exhibits we saw an artist’s rendition of a mother holding a child. Standing in front of this drawing I had a strong urging to take a photo. Immediately the thought came into my head,  “Why? It’s not like you’re related to her or anything.”  Ahhh, but as you’ve guessed 🙂 she (beautiful Charlotte, specifically Marie Charlotte Gloria dit Roch or DesRoches) turned out to be, not just any relative necessarily, but mine and my siblings’ 6th-great grandmother. (See Collections archéologiques for a photo of the handle of a tool? with Charlotte’s name carved on it. This was one of many artifacts that had been uncovered at the site of what is called “the birthplace of Montréal” and what later became the museum.) Now, at that point I hadn’t yet researched that particular line, and had never even come across her name. It was not till a few years later, while searching my Dufour side online, and “climbing the tree” by finding my direct ancestor Pierre Dufour that there, lo and behold, was his wife, Charlotte Roch. Wait, what??? (Jaw-dropping, falling out of chair.) Not the end of the story, though. For about a week after that, what seemed like every time I got into the car, I heard Chuck Berry’s, “You Never Can Tell” either just playing or as the next offering by the d.j. You know the lyrics, ♪ “It was a teenage wedding and the old folks wished them well. You could see that Pierre did truly love the mademoiselle.” ♪ True, Pierre was not a teenager when they wed, and though Charlotte was, that was not unusual in the least at that time, but it was the true love part that seemed to be the point of what felt like a message bridging “time.” (What is time? 😉 ) Records show that Pierre and Charlotte had eleven kids and, of course, have many many descendants. Notable is the birthplace of their second child. Their first was born in Montréal, and the youngest nine in Detroit. But the baptismal record (all are in French) for their second child, Marie Charlotte Dufour, states she was born in the  “8yattenons.”  (French-Canadian priests sometimes wrote a number to denote a sound or abbreviate a word, for instance “7bre” for septembre, which by the way, can be confusing when reading the record, the digit 7 but the 9th month!) The appellation 8yattenons was used for Fort Ouiatenon. This has been verified in other unrelated records, and the fact that Pierre was a soldier when he and his young family left Montréal adds credibility to daughter Charlotte having been born at or near this fort. Well, this ended up to be a lengthy sidetrack off the subject of this post, that of the vintage photo from the 1950s, yikes! But definitely, if you’d like to share your own stories of the serendipity-amazing luck-small world type we’d love to hear them.

Back to the photo…..

Amazing how every photo transmits so much. An everyday moment maybe, but no less special, as when we look we see the smiles, and the grace and humor, maybe get a sense of the struggles, and yet the joy, in a backdrop, no, make that of a oneness with, a particular place and time, and somehow in total it all washes over us like a blessing…. No identifying info on the back, but maybe we’re looking at a photo of a husband and wife and mother or auntie or older sister of either? All three are very stylish. Love the striped tie on the gentleman. I think of him as Clarence (heehee, he’s likely laughing somewhere now). There’s the flashy belt the older woman wears that’s caught the lens light……there’s the very chic pose of the younger woman, and….her skirt. Check out the pattern on the fabric, a surprise and a delight:  Chickens!

Our Dear Deer Friend

Vintage photo, circa 1920s – 1940s.

Price:  $5.00           Size:  About 3 and 1/8 x 2 and 3/8″

Outside of a cedar-shingled, hotel, we presume, two women and a deer enjoy a visit while in the background a man and young boy appear to be in the middle of a handshake. I like the light reflecting off of those velvet-y antlers, and the surprise of that hefty tree trunk immediately in front of one of the windows. Good for viewing ants from that room, and which came first, the tree or the building?

Young Man And Wooden Fishing Boats

Old photo, circa late 1910s – 1920s.

Price:  $5.00         Size:  5 and 1/2 x 3 and 1/4″

No writing on the back of this one:  a young man posing for the camera perched on the bow (well, maybe stern) of a wooden fishing boat, one of several grouped together. He wears a suit and tie and a somewhat unusual striped hat. And, this could have been taken in so many possible places. The shot reminds me of Ireland though, because of the old wooden boats that Mom and I saw one time, having gotten out of the car to take a stroll by the sea. So, naturally, I had to look up coastal photos of Ireland….not with any hope of finding the location (because one would need psychic abilities on this one!) but just because I’m always compelled. Once you get that idea in your head you find yourself typing something in Google no matter what the odds are…..so this image of Skerries in County Dublin, with it’s similar look of sweeping coastline came up right away, by chance having a chance 🙂  to fit the criteria in our image. (If you click to enlarge ours you can see the background better where maybe some mistiness makes the land seem lower than in the “what-are-the-odds-Skerries-photo” or maybe it’s the angle at which it was taken.) Here’s Skerries, Fingal, County Dublin.

And wouldn’t that be hilariously something if it were indeed a match?…..On the other hand, maybe this is Massachusetts….

Source:  “The Top Ten Most Beautiful Seaside Towns in Ireland.” (www.irelandbeforeyoudie.com). Accessed September 7, 2019.

Lake Michigan Fun, 1938

Photo, white border. Dated July 28, 1938.

Price:  $4.00         Size:  3 and 9/16 x 2 and 1/2″

We’re still at Lake Michigan from the last post….This time at one of the beaches at South Haven, Michigan on July 28, 1938, where a young girl in an inner tube and an adult, pose for the snapshot. No names on the back but we just like this old reminder of summers at the beach in days past.

Woman In Sailor Dress

Old photo, white border, circa 1920s – 1930s.

Price:  $2.00           Size:   2 and 1/2 x 4 and 1/4″

Well, we were looking for military-related items for Memorial Day but have none at the moment. This will be the closest, a young woman in a sailor dress. Was this just fashion or could she have actually been in the navy? We suspect the former, but maybe someone out there can fill us in. Notice the water pump in the background. There is no writing on the back and no indication of where this might have been taken. Just one of millions of loose photos that were a part of someone’s family collection and ended up in a random box. Sad, but it’s nice to rescue these type, and bring them back to life. I like the woman’s gracefulness and her pose in profile. (And isn’t it funny how we tend to romanticize these moments, frozen in time. In reality, what would the woman say about this snapshot? Oh, that was me when……I was just…..)