Album Rescue Project: Album Two, Photos 1-6

Finally delving into Album Two of the Album Rescue Project. The disappointing thing so far is that the first several pages are devoid of photos — someone removed them at some point. Footnote Maven warned me that antiques dealers often do this because they think they can make more money selling the photos individually than in the albums. I’m not sure if that was the case here, but it makes me wonder who and what were in those photos.

Here is the first photo in Album Two:

Album 2, Photo 1

This photo was glued onto the page, and so I scanned it by flipping my Flip-Pal scanner over onto it. I wasn’t happy with the scan though — there seems to be a lot of reflection off the paper. I’d had some luck removing glued images from pages in Album One and so I took a chance, but disaster happened. The photo was too stuck to the page in one area (the lady’s hat) and it tore. I’m despondent — it’s the first time that’s happened to me. In retrospect, I should have cut the photo, backing and all, out of the page instead. Lesson learned.

The next photo was attached to the page using photo corners and so came up a lot easier.

Album 2, Photo 2

Here we have our star from Album One, so my original hunch that these two albums belonged to the same person or family was correct.

Album 2, Photo 3

This photo was too big for the bed of my Flip-Pal scanner, so I scanned it in two sections and stitched it together using software. Isn’t it a great image? I love the expressions on their faces.

Album 2, Photo 4

Here we have our star and her friend that made many appearances in Album One. Not sure if the gentlemen pictured have appeared before though.

Album 2, Photo 5

Here’s our star again with a couple of gentlemen, one of whom also was in Photo 4. Hmmm… a new beau? It’s definitely not the same guy whom I assumed to be her boyfriend in Album One.

Album 2, Photo 6

And here’s the same gentleman with a helpful date written on the photo. Unfortunately, that’s the only notation written on any of the photos so far.

For those who followed along with Album One, I’ve been making a list of all the codes in Album One (no codes so far in Album Two). Hoping to see some patterns emerge when I study the list more closely.

Learning to Use My Flip-Pal

It’s been a while since I posted. April is always a very crazy month for me and that carried over into May this year. Things have settled down a bit now though and so I’m returning to the Album Rescue Project.

One of the reasons it was hard for me to get to this project lately is that all I had was a flatbed scanner that was inconvenient to use for such a long-term and large project. I decided it was finally time to buy a Flip-Pal scanner and I’m already falling in love with it.

I can work on this project practically anywhere now. I’m currently camped out on my couch, watching TV.

I was really impressed by the stitching software that comes with the scanner. I’ve got the same capability with my flatbed scanner, but never used it, so I didn’t know what to expect. One of the first photos in Album 2 was too big for the Flip-Pal. I scanned it in two pieces and then opened them with the EasyStitch software.

That’s all I had to do! When the software opened both images, it automatically stitched them together and they came out perfectly (see below). I’m sold.

My first stitched photo using my Flip-Pal scanner.

Album Rescue Project: The End of Album One

Some very cute babies are featured in the final photos of Album 1:

Photo 150

Photo 151

Photo 152

Photo 153

Photo 154

But the album’s star makes a final appearance before we close out the album:

Photo 155

Photo 156

Photo 157

Another mystery location is the final photo in the album:

Photo 158

Next steps:

I still need to try and figure out the codes used in the album. Whether or not this will help me figure out who the album’s owner was is unknown, but it’s something that’s been driving me crazy.

I need to check the 1940 census for the folks that have been identified so far in the album. This could help lead to their descendants.

I need to start scanning the photos in Album Two! This project is far from over!

The Hill: Amazing Tales and Discoveries

I had an amazing time today at the presentation about The Hill in Easton — I got to hear stories from current and former residents about the way African Americans developed this neighborhood from the late 18th-century to today. We took a walking tour and stopped into one of the churches that is at the neighborhood’s core. I also discovered that I had happened upon a real gem during a prior project that has value for the history of The Hill.

Below are some photos and tidbits from the day (click on the photos for larger versions):

Our tour started on Higgins Street, in front of these duplexes that pre-date indoor plumbing. A resident said that bathrooms eventually were built on to the back porches of houses.

Another view down Higgins Street, with the AME church steeple in the background.

The steeple of the church is topped with a pineapple, a Colonial symbol of welcome and hospitality.

The church dominates the view down South Lane.

The “Buffalo Soldier’s House.” Sgt. William Gardner never lived there, but his enlistment papers were found there. The house was owned by his brother.

View of the “Buffalo Soldier’s House” with one of The Hill’s AME church steeples in the background. Archaeologists from the University of Maryland will dig at this site this summer.

Barney Brooks, a descendant of one of the owners of the “Buffalo Solider’s House” is interviewed by a student from Morgan State University during today’s breakout session, where residents could tell their stories and have their documents scanned for posterity.

Habitat for Humanity will be renovating this house. Today, they were painting the boards over the windows and doors to make them look like real windows and doors in the interim, to keep the property from looking abandoned.

This is one of the oldest houses, especially brick structures, in The Hill neighborhood, dating to 1798.

The corner of Hanson and South Streets, with 3 c.-1870 brick homes. The neighborhood has traditionally been mixed-race. Columbia, Md., developer James Rouse (aka actor Edward Norton’s grandfather, for those outside of Maryland), grew up here. He got his ideas for creating a mixed-income, mixed-race community from his time spent in Easton.

Frederick Douglass once spoke at both AME churches in Easton. The rostrums at which he spoke survive to this day. Here is the rostrum at the Bethel AME Church on Hanson Street.

Now, for the coolest part of the day for me. In a talk about the “Buffalo Soldier’s House,” local historian Priscilla Morris mentioned two black women from The Hill, Ann Eliza Skinner Green Dodson and her sister, Temperance (whose son was the Buffalo Soldier, William Gardner). [4/2: Oops! I was a little confused during this presentation -- I was so excited when I realized I had the photo. Temperance's sister Ann was an early owner of the property known as the "Buffalo Soldier's House." The house passed to Temperance's son before it was sold to the Gardner family.] Morris mentioned that Temperance was a servant of the Hambleton family, who lived in the building that is now the Bartlett Pear Inn.

I realized I had a photo of Temperance.

When I did the history of the Bartlett Pear Inn, I came upon a stereograph image of the building (the top photo on the poster here) at the Historical Society of Talbot County. Pictured on the front porch are members of the Hambleton family. On the sidewalk, with two of the Hambleton children, is the Hambleton’s African American servant. Temperance.

No one at today’s meeting had seen the image before — I was able to show it to them on my phone. It was so exciting to share this rare piece of history with the group!

Album Rescue Project: Album 1, Photos 144-149

Back in the park with some fancy hats:

Photo 144

Okay, there’s something weird about how the light is reflecting off of their heads in this photo in relation to everything else. Or is it just me?

Photo 145

I’m sure there’s something special about the foliage in these next two photos. I just don’t see it:

Photo 146

Photo 147

Here’s a pretty house:

Photo 148

I like her sweater in this photo.

Photo 149

The Hill Project Presents: “A Stroll Down Memory Lane”

I hope those in the Easton area can attend this event on March 31 (click on the poster for a larger view):

I’m really looking forward to learning more about this area from the residents and to participate in the walking tour. I’ll post a follow-up blog post when the event is over!

Learn more about The Hill here and/or visit the Historic Easton web site.

Album Rescue Project: Album 1, Photos 137-143

Pretty dress and pretty hat in the next photos:

Photo 137

Photo 138

I think we’re back in the backyard for this next photo:

Photo 139

An afternoon in the park with her boyfriend?

Photo 140

Photo 141

Photo 142

And, back at home with her gal pal:

Photo 143