Pastel portraits

All of us have them, these ancestors who appear to fade into the long-ago background of household historical past. Maybe they’re not even our kin, simply names heard ceaselessly however with out context, or in a marriage visitor ebook, a newspaper column, or in an obituary. The figures are distinguishable, however so unfamiliar that they’re blurred whether or not pastel in coloration or in sepia or grey.

A number of years in the past once I was muttering (complaining, whining, moaning) about all of the unidentified pictures I had inherited, I used to be pointedly, and fairly rightly, reminded that at the very least I have photos about which to mutter. A few of these piles have been culled, some recognized, leaving me with two stacks of studio portraits, considered one of which is clearly marked with every particular person’s identify and “CHS ’02” or “Cony ’02.” They’re graduates of Cony Excessive College, my paternal grandmother Winifred Sturgis (Lee) Church’s highschool class, however none of them are of her, and not one of the names have been acquainted to me.

So I created a spreadsheet of these names, checked census data, newspapers, household bushes, and any fundamental analysis concepts I may apply.

So I created a spreadsheet of these names, checked census data, newspapers, household bushes, and any fundamental analysis concepts I may apply. “Fundamental” is clearly the operative phrase right here! Apart from names, dates, and some locations and occupations, nothing in the best way of enlightenment on Winnie’s highschool mates got here to gentle. They’ve, for me, pale into an obscure background of my grandmother’s teen years, a collage of some pictures with out the accompanying tales.

I pulled out one household photograph of Winifred Lee and mates in “bathing costumes” (risqué they’re not!), properly labelled with names (proven above).

In that photograph, the girl second from proper is Eva Penney (1883?-1947), considered one of Winnie’s classmates. Additional investigation revealed that “Maude” was Maude Morris (1883-1963, who later married George Straffin), and Elsie Jones (1883-1950, who later married Edward Colburn, Jr.). Whether or not they have been classmates in addition to mates stays a query.

As a result of the “bathing beauties” photograph needed to have been taken on the Lee household camp, Camp Wichita on Lake Maranacook (Winthrop, Maine) someday after 1903, when it was bought, I checked the camp’s visitor ebook in addition to Winifred and Rex Church’s marriage ceremony visitor ebook: Eureka! The Straffins and the Colburns have been frequent friends on the camp, together with Blanche Fuller and Essie Fisher. Maude Straffin, Blanche Fuller, and Essie Fisher have been three of the few mates who attended my grandparents’ marriage ceremony (“solely the quick kin and mates”), and the three of them are extra Pastel Portraits. Of the unnamed commencement pictures, would possibly one be Blanche?

“Studying via the strains” of the camp visitor ebook and marriage ceremony paperwork, Winifred Lee Church (1884-1979) had many mates who married or not, moved or not, however who stayed in contact with Christmas playing cards or postcards, none of which crammed out their tales, and all of which led to the portraits of their lives in pale sepia or grey pictures, for me at the very least. Somebody, someplace, is aware of extra about these mates of hers, and I’m comfy considering that they won’t stay (indefinitely) Pastel.