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

Album Rescue Project: Album 1, Photos 131-136

Here’s one more graduation day photo before moving on:

Photo 131

We’ve graduated from the hammock to a swing in this next photo:

Photo 132

Here’s our star holding a doll who’s holding a doll:

Photo 133

She looks a bit chilly in this next one:

Photo 134

Sitting on the steps:

Photo 135

Having some fun in the snow:

Photo 136

I’m going to posit that the Y in the code in a couple of the photos above stands for York (as in York, Penn.).

Album Resuce Project: Album 1, Photos 126-130

Puppy!

Photo 126

More poses of the girls together:

Photo 127

That’s quite a house in the background…

Photo 128

On to a new series of photos. I think from our star’s graduation day!

Photo 129

Photo 130

She’s absolutely swimming in that gown, isn’t she. Now, the question is, is this a high school graduation or college?

Album Rescue Project: Album 1, Photos 116-119

Fancy hats and fur in the next few photos:

Photo 116

Check out the little dolls our album’s star and her friend are holding up in the next photo:

Photo 117

The caption on this next photo shows it was taken in Harrisburg (perhaps that is related to the photo’s code…):

Photo 118: Harrisburg

Quite a group pose in this next shot:

Photo 119

Album Rescue Project: Album 1, Photos 112-115

Anyone familiar with this type of uniform/weapon? From the web research, I did, I think this is a U.S. Army uniform from WWI:

Photo 112

The following date is written on the back:

Reverse of Photo 112: Nov 11, 1918

The photo below has the same code:

Photo 113

Reverse of Photo 113: April 10, 1919

Below is another fun shot of the album’s star with her friends:

Photo 114

Anyone recognize this bridge?

Photo 115

Album Rescue Project: Album 1, Photos 106-111

We have an identified subject in Photo 106:

Photo 106

Reverse of Photo 106: Fredinand G/T? Law about 14 years old

I double-checked the physical photo and it is cut off at the top as pictured in the scan above. I didn’t find records for a Ferdinand G. or T. Law. There is a Ferdinand Law from Ohio in the 1920 census. I suppose that could be this Ferdinand — perhaps he is a relative of our album’s star, who is based in Pennsylvania.

Below is the album’s star with an older woman, whom I don’t think we’ve seen before:

Photo 107

Below are photos with a baby who is 4 months old, if the captions are accurate (no notes on the back this time). Perhaps the same baby who appeared at the age of 7 weeks old earlier in the album?

Photo 108

Photo 109

Baby in a basket:

Photo 110

And…

Photo 111

Those who are watching the codes will note that the baby photos in this post have two different letters, E and H. The previous baby photos in the album also had E and H in the codes. The 6- to 7-week-old baby photos shown earlier had the letter H in the codes.

Also note that in the photo above, the age of the baby is written in pencil and the code is added in ink.