Lucille Wickson, Berkeley, California

Old photo, circa 1906 – 1916.

Price:  $12.00         Size:  3 and 1/8 x 2 and 1/16″

Availability status:  Original is sold. Digital copies only are available.

We have a last name this time:  Wickson. And I thought at first that Berkeley was the surname or it was a marriage situation, Wickson marrying Berkeley, but no such records appear online. However, we do find Lucille M. Wickson, student in 1909, boarding at 2662 College Ave., Berkeley, California (and the palm tree in the background fits). Other records show Mildred Lucille Wickson was born November 17, 1890, daughter of George Guest Wickson, II and Mary Ellen Winter. She married Walter Reeve Woolpert, July 27, 1916.

I’m estimating that Lucille was at least age 16 when this photo was taken. A fashion expert would no doubt be able to narrow down the time frame. Note that she wears both a large hair bow and a hat. But, easy to miss – she’s holding some daisies in her left hand. (It’s the little things that really bring the moment to life!)

Below, the announcement of Lucille’s upcoming nuptials from The San Francisco Examiner, July 22, 1916:

Sources:  Husted’s Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda Directory, 1909. p. 1214. (Ancestry.com).

“East Bay Society Notes.” The San Francisco Examiner, July 22, 1916. Saturday, p. 7. (Newspapers.com).

Ancestry.com. California, U.S., Death Index, 1940-1997.

A Photo of Miss Pansy

Old photo, circa 1900 – 1920s.

Price:  $6.00       Size:  2 and 3/8 x 3 and 5/16″

Even though there is no last name on the reverse for this young girl, her given name, Pansy, is unusual enough to maybe help anyone searching for any additional photos (she is someone’s grandma or great-grand or great-aunt). And we love out-of-the-ordinary names. Wondering then, how uncommon was this name in say, 1910? Just looking in the U. S. alone, on the 1910 Federal Census, the given name Pansy shows up 7,109 times. More popular than the name Poppy (only 28 Poppies in 1910) and more popular than the name Iris, which was surprising (6,219) and also surprising, much more popular than the name Dahlia (only 426). For perspective, the name Rose shows up 293,403 times. How about……Carnation? Yes, there were 14 Carnations on the 1910 census.

Source:  Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.

Old Spanish Bridge, Ocotlán, Jalisco, México

Old photo, circa early 1900s. Printer/publisher stamp on back not readable.

Price:  $15.00             Size:  4 and 1/2 x 2 and 3/4″

A commercial-type tourist photo, the printer or publisher stamp (upside-down) is blurred but we can see that the first word is Laboratorios. The caption on the back reads:

“Lake freighters at Ocotlán, Jalisco, stone bridge in the background built by the Spaniards.”

Yes, the term “lake freighters” definitely seems out of place today. And, that’s the Santiago River, according to multiple websites showing shots of the same bridge….How nice, we can make out the name of the boat on our left, she was called Adelita. (Don’t you love when the light bulb comes on…..you’re staring at something that suddenly comes into focus?!)

The church in the distance is Señor de la Misercordia (Our Lord of Mercy). Originally, the site of the chapel La Purísima Concepción. The church was rebuilt and dedicated in the new name, after a documented occurrence – the Miracle of Ocotlán, (also called The Prodigy of Ocotlán, translation below). An image of Jesus Christ on the cross appeared in the sky October 3, 1847, to over 2,000 people. This was one day after the earthquake that killed over forty people and left much of Ocotlán in ruins. (Many websites say forty, however the eyewitness account from the town’s mayor says forty-six.)

In checking various websites regarding the miracle, I prefer one in Spanish (from Catholic.net), for content, but had trouble getting its English version, so here’s a quick copy and paste from Google translation:

Back to our photo:  Where is the rest of the church tower on our right? Had there been a problem with the film and it was edited out? No, it wasn’t that. (If anyone can fill us in on what was going on with this church tower for some years, please leave a comment!) Below, our photo, cropped and the 1932 one, in black and white, from a Google search and found appearing on Pinterest:

Last but not least, another crop, calling attention this time to the rather enormous wheels on the horse-drawn wagons:

Sources:  Señor de la Misericordia de Ocotlán.” https://es.catholic.net/op/articulos/63499/cat/1241/senor-de-la-misericordia-de-ocotlan.html#modal (accessed April 14, 2022).

“Eye-witness account of an earthquake in Jalisco in 1847.” (February 21, 2010.) https://geo-mexico.com/?p=301. (accessed April 10, 2022).

“images of the churches in ocotlan jalisco mexico.” Google.com search. Cropped from search result of images that included Pinterest.com. (accessed April 10, 2022).https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIlD3I2oKV4.

Masons and Tamales in San Jose, California

Old photo, circa 1907. San Jose, California

Price:  $12.00           Size:  About 2 and 1/2 x 4 and 1/4″

Striding purposefully, two gentlemen, Freemasons by their attire, maybe on the way to a meeting. That particular headgear was sometimes called a “fore-and-aft” hat, and these in the photo would have been adorned with ostrich or possibly egret feathers. The Masonic Hall address was 262-272 S. First St., San Jose, about a half mile away from the restaurant in the background, the Salinas Tamale Parlor, address 203 Post St., northwest corner of Market St., in San Jose.

So, there was a Salinas Tamale Parlor in the city of Salinas in 1926, but the locale and age of the photo doesn’t fit. Click on the History San José site, to see what appears to be the same steeple (on the right) as the one in our photo. The church was the Swedish Lutheran Emmanuel Church, located at the northwest corner of Market and Auzerais, in San Jose.

The advertisement below appeared in the San Jose city directory for 1907. The printer apparently got the name wrong. “Gabilan Angle” should have been Angel Gabilan. There were four other tamale parlors in San Jose in 1907, however Salinas Tamale was the only one to have run an ad, at least in that directory.

Voter registrations and city directories have the misspelled “Angle”, as well as Angel and Angelo and sometimes given with a middle name, spelled Teneselo or Tanislado. Angel Gabilan relocated to San Francisco at least by 1913, according to the city directory under “Angle T. Gablian” occupation restaurant owner, address 1615 1/2 O’Farrell St.

We found no indication of there being anyone else by the same name in San Jose and later San Francisco, so it would seem that the Angel Gabilan (born 1845 in either California or Mexico) that is connected with this photo, is likely the son of Pablo Gabilan (native of Chile) and Clara Montoya. The obituary for Angel’s father, from the San Jose Evening News, January 1902, is of historical interest, and tells how the Gabilan Mountain Range got its name:

Sources:  “fore-and-aft.” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fore-and-aft.

“Looking South on Market Street from City Hall, 1890.” https://historysanjose.pastperfectonline.com/photo/F753869E-035D-4D83-AC1C-204509509941 (accessed February 23, 2022).

California State Library; Sacramento, California; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4-2A; CSL Roll Number: 126; FHL Roll Number: 977290. (Ancestry.com).

Polk-Husted Directory Companies, 1907-8, San Jose City and Santa Clara County, California, pp. 595 and 809. Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995.

Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1913. p. 718. Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995.

California State Library; Sacramento, California; Great Register of Voters, 1900-1968. (Ancestry.com).

Find a Grave. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/132883494/angelo-t-gabilan.

“Aged Pioneer Buried.” San Jose Evening News. Tuesday, January 21, 1902. (Genealogybank.com).

In a Field of Cabbage

Vintage photo from film reel, circa 1940.

Price:  $2.00         Size:  About 2 and 1/2 x 2 and 3/8″

I picked this photo up at the same time as the one in the previous post. Presumably, they came from the same person or family. This is an odd one, though. And I’m not sure if that’s really a cabbage field, just my best guess. This group sure seems pretty intent on looking down at….something. The soil, insects? No idea. I pictured maybe the guy in the foreground, in the white sweater, might be the younger guy from the prior post at Treasure Island. (Maybe.) Then pictured he and his uncles (not in this picture, and just my imagination from the Treasure Island one) are sightseeing and ended up in the Salinas Valley or the Central Valley or somewhere else in California, south of San Francisco. (It probably is California.) Was there a “U Pick” kind of thing going on back then, like apples or pumpkins? But nothing shows in old newspapers for advertisement. Or, maybe they were a college group. The one guy does have a college sweater on, hard to tell from where, though. So, maybe they’re all “ag” students and this is a field trip. One thing’s for sure (and I love it), they certainly are all well-dressed!

Treasure Island, California, 1939 or 1940

Vintage photo from film reel. Circa 1939 – 1940

Price:  $10.00          Size:  About 2 and 1/2 x 2 and 3/8″

See the next post for a possible related photo.

Treasure Island, San Francisco, California:  Three very smartly-dressed gentlemen, of Asian descent, pose next to a sign which points the way to the Parisian theater extravaganza, Folies Bergère, which was held at the California Auditorium. In the background is the California Building on the left and the San Francisco Building on the right. (The tips of the “pillars” for lack of a better word, that we’re looking at there, between the two buildings, are cut off in the photo.) And that is what was called the Lake of the Nations, or Pool of Nations, directly behind the flower bed.

Treasure Island is a man made island that was built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to host the Golden Gate International Exposition (GGIE), a world’s fair, that helped to celebrate the openings of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. The island had originally been scheduled to become an airport, after the fair was over but was instead turned over to the U.S. Navy, who used it for training grounds and education for a number of years. And, it’s very faint, but you can see one of the bridges in the background.

Check eBay for images of Folies program ephemera. For more on the history of Treasure Island and the GGIE, including videos, see the Treasure Island Museum.

Sources: Treasure Island, San Francisco. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treasure_Island,_San_Francisco (accessed January 23, 2022).

Folies Bergère. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folies_Berg%C3%A8re (accessed February 14, 2022).

Golden Gate International Exposition. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Gate_International_Exposition (accessed February 14, 2022).

Treasure Island Museum. https://www.treasureislandmuseum.org/media (accessed February 14, 2022).

Having Fun Yet?

Old photo, circa 1920s – 1930s.

Price:  $8.00          Size:  About 4 and 1/4″ x 2 and 1/4″

Continuing on with a mini-theme of families or groups of people. This one is a stumper. Where were they? The major clue, if we can call it that, appears on our left….something Ranch. Had the camera been pointing slightly more in that direction (or the photographer further back), we probably could have figured it out. Maybe “something-or-other Ranch” was a restaurant. Do we imagine we see a small outdoor dining table there covered in white cloth? The other clue (for some ingenious person) is the out-of-place looking geometric metal? phone booth-ish (space ship, time portal, 😉 ) thing at the far right, that we only see a portion of. What the heck was it? Then the people depicted here….Looking like, I hesitate to say it, a family of con-artists. Maybe it’s the younger girl – the stony-faced look and the cool octagonal sunglasses, note her grip on her grandma’s arm (yes, we remember that smiling into the camera was not mandatory, like it pretty much is today – refreshing, really – scowl if you want to) and her sister – with that trick of the eye – one eye closed, the other squinting slightly, not a wink though, but different….how did the camera catch that? Now, the dark-skinned gentleman on our right, is he the dad of the girls and the (nice-looking) older brother? Dad sun-bronzed from years of outside work…..or are they a wealthy bunch and this man is their driver (but part of the family) and native to (imagining) Central America. Well, idiotic questions like these are in abundance. Notice, too, how the whole gang is dressed in white except for the matron of the bunch. Makes you think this snapshot was taken in one of the southern states, Florida or southern Calfiornia, perhaps? Anyway, every picture tells a story, as they say, and what this one tells is……open to impression….flashes of insight appearing and disappearing…..in the end, I’d say they’re a nice, very stylish family with a million stories to tell. Oh, and this photo had been in the family album for some time, as evidenced by some of the black paper still stuck to the back.

San Antonio, Texas, Circa 1929

Old photo. San Antonio, Texas, Circa 1929 or early 1930s. Printer:  The Fox Company. Copyright by Carl D. Newton.

Price:  $10.00         Size:  3 and 7/16 x 2 and 7/16″

There’s a good story in this moment, for sure. The phrase, “a pointed look” comes to mind – that which the young girl is directing toward her…..would you say, older sister? If siblings, that might explain the hostility 😉 (Paraphrasing the judge from My Cousin Vinny.) Or, do you imagine, that the one girl is just very engrossed in what the older one is saying (is she talking?) Personally, I love these old photos from the ’20s and ’30s, with the front yards (if this is one, sort of) that were not expected to be showpieces and often with old hand-built wooden fences that are leaning. (Actually, that’s a very nice gate, but the fence is falling in, and the gate off-kilter.) Or, maybe if not a front “yard” this is a commercial or semi-commercial street view. I’m now imagining some sort of auto servicing business. When you enlarge the image you’ll see that there is a second car in this photo and then also a third person, who’s standing behind it. We’ll check with the experts on the Antique Automobile Club of America forum, for the make, model and year of the car in the foreground.

Update:  The response from the super sleuths at AACA, is that the car in the foreground is actually a 1929 Nash, and the one in the background a Model A Ford Coupe. Which means that the printer’s stamp on the back of the photo was not an updated one, since it’s showing 1927. Interesting!

Willie Joseph Brennan, May 1898, Orlando, Florida

Cabinet Card. May 8, 1898, Orlando, Florida. Photographer:  E. W. Jackson. “Ivory Finish.”

Price:  $10.00           Size:  4 and 1/16″ x 6 and 1/2″

Seemingly, the last name for this handsome lad is Brennan. (It’s so easy to scribble names when we know them.) Other possibilities were tried. Nothing showing up for him online, like his possible sister, Gertrude Brennan, in our prior post. Unusual, since we have his full name and that he was born in June of 1884. Both cards were found together in an antique store in California. City directories for this time period in Orlando are not available (in a quick search). Nothing showing in census and newspaper records, death records, etc., at least without getting into hours and hours of searching.

Some info and a photo (!) was found on the photographer, E. W. Jackson. He’ll be upcoming in the next posting…(well, almost next).

Gertrude Brennan In 1894

Cabinet Card taken October 13, 1894. Photographer: Howard. “Enameled Ivoryette.” Orlando, Florida.

Price:  $10.00           Size:  About 4 and 1/4 x 6 and 1/2″

A beautiful, young lass of Irish descent:  Gertrude Brennan, taken in Orlando, Florida on October 13, 1894. We’ll do some research this weekend for her. The next post will be a possible relative, a portrait of a young lad, Willie Joseph Brennan. They are possibly siblings but we’ll find out. Just getting this one up quick-like for Saint Patrick’s Day.

Well, very surprisingly, nothing was found for Gertrude in the usual search places online (census, city directories, newspapers, etc.) It’s possible, too, that the date on the back is Gertrude’s birth date, rather than date the photo was taken, but a broad search under dates was tried. Also, tried with potential brother, Willie or William Joseph Brennan (see next post). The photographer, Howard, is possibly Clarence E. Howard, born PA, about 1858. City directories for this time period in Orlando, seem to be unavailable. (This is just in a general, quick search.) And maybe the Brennan head of household exists in directories that are not digitized, at Orlando libraries, perhaps.

Source:  Year: 1900; Census Place: Orlando, Orange, Florida; Page: 11; Enumeration District: 0116; FHL microfilm: 1240175.