Old, Old Photo Album. Part III.

The first photo in the album is of Senator James Garfield, an Ohio Republican elected President in 1881 and assassinated 200 days later. I pondered why this photo was placed so prominently in the album in a previous post.

As I turn the pages of this album, there are images of men, women, children, and babies. I recognize no one – except this lady.

eleanor

She is Eleanor Berry Phinney, the sister of my great great grandmother, Elsie Fuller Berry Means.

Only three photos have names written on the back. They may be relatives or friends of the family.

Artie? Elizabeth Sanders. Eight months old. May 1898. Norman Studio. 39 George St. Halifax, NS. The name is curious, if I spelled it correctly, but Artie was a name used for a girl in the late 1800s.

artie.sanderssanders.back

David Wentworth. Kimball & Ayer, Augusta Maine.

david.wentworthwentworth.back

J. Frank Robinson. October 31st, 1866. Richardson’s Ferrotype, Ambrotype, and Photograph Rooms. 120 Hanover Street, Boston. Another man, who resembles Robinson is beside him in the album, his photo taken at the same studio, no name noted on the back.

 

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There are many tintype photos that must date between 1855 and 1870s, such as J. Frank Robinson and the man beside him above. This woman and two children are other examples.

 

For a number of reasons, I believe all four photo albums belonged to generations of the Getchell/Means/Berry families, although I can’t be sure. One album belonged to Thirza Getchell, my great grandmother Nellie Getchell Mean’s eldest sister. More than one old, old album contains photos of my great grandfather William Means.

There are two soldiers in this third album. Placed in a photo slot beside one of the men, there is a woman who posed with the same chair, perhaps his wife. All three photos were taken at the studio of Keith & Ross Photographers, Machias, Maine. I can find no information on this studio and the dates it was located in Machias. I am currently seeking more information on soldiers uniforms, what regiment they served in, and their identities.

 

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There are many other photos from the studios in Machias, likely members of the Means, Getchell and Berry families located in Machias and surrounding towns.

The Machias photographer of these two girls was Ezekiel Vose, listed in the 1876 Briggs’ Maine Business Directory.

 

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One photo of a beautiful woman and child was taken at S. Wasgatt studio in Milbridge, ME. I can find no information on this studio as yet.

milbridge.photo

The man on the left below was photographed at the same Chicago studio as my great grandfather William Means at age 21 (R).  JM Goins was located on State Street in Chicago for two years, 1875 and 1876.

 

The man, woman and children below were photographed in Boston by W. Shaw Warren at 41 Winter Street. W. S. Warren worked as a photographer at that location from 1870 to 1874. (Source: A directory of Massachusetts photographers, 1839-1900; research by Chris Steele & Ronald Polito; edited by Ronald Polito, c1993, p. 133.)

 

The Genelli studio in Sioux City, Iowa photographed this woman.

thirza.album.7

There are photographs of men and women in this album, and others, taken by a studio in San Francisco, California. According to this online document on Berry/Getchell genealogy, my great grandmother Nellie’s eldest brother Osgood Getchell re-located from Marshfield, Maine where he was born, to California. Osgood was a farmer, owned 109 acres along the Pacific coast in redwood country, and built a large family home overlooking the coastline.  This document also shows that Getchell members had lived in California or decades, from the time of the gold rush.

I will focus on the California branch of the Getchell family in a future post. My head is spinning…

Among many questions and uncertainty, it is clear that my ancestors had relatives and friends spread across the US and the Canadian Maritimes in the latter part of the 1800s, from Downeast Maine to Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Boston, Chicago, Sioux City, San Francisco and the Pacific coast.

 

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2 thoughts on “Old, Old Photo Album. Part III.”

  1. Sherry, when my father’s mother moved to Machias from the St. Stephen area, she brought three albums, none of which contained any names or dates. In 1975, I visited her cousin, aged 95, who supplied names, although they meant nothing to me. In 1985, I was given a family history done by the cousin’s granddaughter in honor of New Brunswick’s bicentennial, and found that the albums showed my great-great grandmother’s family members. The granddaughter and one of her cousins and I got together finally in 2005, and shared our albums. Page after page, we had the same faces, and nearly identically styled albums. Since that time, she and the cousin have attended workshops on vintage photos, and learned that the designs on the backs of the photos also can be a clue to the dates. That might be an area you could pursue with your wonderful collection. Good luck! Pauline

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pauline, What a lovely family story of discovery! So much can be learned from elders in the family, such as your visit to NB in 1985. And it is wonderful that your cousin’s granddaughter compiled the family history, and the three of you got together in 2005 to compare albums! I believe three of the albums that I have belonged to great or GG grandmothers. I will check out any designs on the back of photos too, although I didn’t notice any except the photographers stamp – and not all had that. One problem is the photo windows are very delicate and it is not easy to pull photos out. I am hoping that Tides Institute and Museum of Art in Eastport will be interested in working with the albums and displaying them there. They have expertise in vintage photos and would know how to protect the albums and the photos. Thank you for sharing your story!

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