Friday, August 30, 2013

Sepia Saturday: Beau Ties

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.




This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt pays tribute to ties and suspenders.  If my ancestors wore suspenders, they didn't put them on display.  But there were ties a-plenty in the photos passed down to me. 


Fred and Julia Walsh Slade Portsmouth, VA
My grandparents
Fred and Julia Slade
In the early 1950s, my dad was a bow tie 
kinda guy, much like his dad.

Fred Slade graduation picture 1950 University of Virginia

Christmas 1952, Fred and Mary E. Davis Slade and Wendy
Christmas 1952


In the 1920s, my great aunts’ beaus sported bows.  Bow ties, that is.

In Velma's scrapbook, this is
captioned "CM and Teddy."
"Teddy" was Violetta's nickname.
But I don't know who CM was.

Woody Woodring sometimes
wore a bow tie.
Velma liked it so much, Woody wore a bow tie
at their wedding in 1927.



Friend of Velma Davis at Harrisonburg Teachers College 1924
Friend of Velma's
at Harrisonburg Teachers College
Handsome gentleman callers weren’t the only ones sporting ties.  Ties were a common accessory among college girls too, if my great aunt’s scrapbook can be trusted.

Velma Davis 1924 Shenandoah, Virginia
Velma Davis 1924


Friend of Violetta Davis, Shenandoah, Virginia
Friend of Violetta Davis
Virginia Cole, friend of Velma Davis at Harrisonburg Teachers College 1924
Virginia Cole, Velma's friend
































Please visit my friends at Sepia Saturday, if you’re not already TIEd up.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Camo

Wordless Wednesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that asks family historians to create a post in which the main focus is a photograph or image.


Unidentified boys and car in collection of Velma Davis Woodring



What’s up with all the greenery on the hood of the car?  Everyone seems too jolly to have just plowed through a tree, so the make-shift camouflage must be intentional.  


Friday, August 23, 2013

Sepia Saturday: Before It Was Unlawful

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.




This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt features a threesome.   As if I can’t get enough of blogging about the Deep Creek locks and the Dismal Swamp Canal, I can’t resist posting one more picture from my great aunt Helen Killeen Parker’s photo album.  It’s a threesome, all right, three of Helen’s friends who were on the boat ride that I wrote about previously

They are pictured here waiting to board the canal boat.


Friends of Helen Killeen Parker at Deep Creek Locks


Even though those knickers are quite eye-catching and that plaid skirt positively jaw-dropping, my attention goes to the ground.  Litter.  Shame.  Shame.  Triple Shame. 

It would be another 30 years before the Keep America Beautiful campaign challenged us to “beautify America” by reminding us that “Every litter bit hurts.”



Please visit Sepia Saturday to see what threesomes others have to offer.  

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Boom Box

Wordless Wednesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that asks family historians to create a post in which the main focus is a photograph or image.


Helen Killeen Parker on a camping trip early 1900s

This photo of my great-aunt Helen Killeen Parker was taken probably between 1919 and 1921.  Notice the gramophone which must have provided some fun background music for a camping trip.  In my day, it would have been a transistor radio.  My daughters when in high school would have relied on their “boom box.”  Today, a simple iPod that fits in a pocket can hold 1000s of songs, more than anyone could listen to on a weekend camping trip. 


Friday, August 16, 2013

Sepia Saturday: Eat - Pray - Love

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.




This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt is a group of women in hats enjoying a picnic.  Dining in the great outdoors was a long-standing tradition among the Jolletts when they all gathered in Harriston, Virginia for the annual reunion.

I don’t know when the reunions began or exactly when they stopped, but photos of the event are dated as early as 1919.

Jollett Reunion 1919 in Harriston, Virginia
Standing: Decatur and Vic Breeden, Jack and Emma Coleman,
Sallie Clift, Laura Sullivan, James Franklin Jollett,
Mary Frances Davis, Leanna Knight, Walter Davis
Seated: Will Sullivan, Ulysses and Sadie Jollett


Besides catching up on the latest news, the Jollett family seemed to have adopted 3 traditions:

EAT – look at that spread!  Blue mason jars filled with peaches, applesauce, pickles.  Freshly baked cakes and pies and rolls.  I wonder what else.


 Jollett Reunion Harriston, Virginia

Jollett Reunion Harriston, Virginia

























Jollett Reunion Harriston, Virginia
Left: Arthur Maiden offers the prayer.
James Franklin Jollett and Emma Coleman


PRAY – Who was the heathen snapping photos during the prayer?


Jollett Reunion Harriston, Virginia
The bearded man is James Franklin Jollett,
my 2G-grandfather.  Next to him is my
great grandmother Mary Frances Davis
and then my grandmother Lucille Rucker Davis
























LOVE – The reunion was a time to get that 4-generation photo. 

Coleman 4 generations Jollett Reunion Harriston, Virginia 1923
4 Generations 1923:
Emma Coleman, James Franklin Jollett, Virginia Maiden
Standing:  Minnie Coleman Maiden


Davis 4 generations Jollett Reunion Harriston, Virginia 1925
4 Generations 1925:
My grandfather Orvin Davis
Mary Frances Davis holding Orvin Jr,
James Franklin Jollett








Davis 4 generations Jollett Reunion Harriston, Virginia 1926
4 Generations 1926:
Mary Frances Davis, James Franklin Jollett,
Orvin Davis and Orvin Jr.


I remember seeing a picture of my mother as a baby sitting on her great-grandfather’s lap at the reunion of 1929.  Unfortunately that picture has gone missing, and I really hate that.



Grab your hat and join the picnic at Sepia Saturday

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Holy Communion

Wordless Wednesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that asks family historians to create a post in which the main focus is a photograph or image.



Holy Communion May 15, 1938, perhaps related to Killeen or Walsh of Portsmouth, Virginia



This photo was in a box of pictures that had belonged to my great grandmother Mary Theresa Sheehan Killeen Walsh.  Unlike most of the photos that I inherited from my dad’s family, this one bears a date on the back signaling that it was likely sent to Mary Theresa, maybe from one of her sisters in New York or some other relative.  (The row houses in the background actually look more Southern than New Yorkish.)


The occasion:  a First Holy Communion, May 15, 1938.  


Friday, August 9, 2013

Sepia Saturday: Whatchamacallit


Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.




This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt features amazing contraptions.  Last week when I prepared my Sepia Saturday post, I noticed the contraption in this photo:

Helen Killeen Parker boat trip about 1919-21
What is this contraption?  It has a gear, a crank, a hose?  maybe a gate??

In the same batch of photos, apparently taken the same day sometime between 1919 and 1921, is this one that appears to be either the same contraption from a different angle or a similar one perhaps at the opposite end of the ramp. 


Helen Killeen Parker boat trip about 1919-21


What function this contraption performs is a mystery to me, but an alert fellow-Sepian last week asked if it controls the locks on a canal.  If so, then my guess is this group of friends cruised through the Deep Creek Locks into the Dismal Swamp, which forms part of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.

Hoping to confirm this theory, I went in search of historic photos of the Deep Creek Locks.   While I found nothing with which to compare this contraption, I did find lots of photos of canal boats, also known as narrowboats, which look similar to the one my great aunt Helen Killeen Parker and her friends rode on.

Canal Boat in photo collection of Helen Killeen Parker 1919-1921
Notice the flat top common among
canal boats and narrowboats. 

Image from Wikimedia Commons

Image from Wikimedia Commons


































Plus, I found this YouTube video of a modern-day boater at the Deep Creek Locks.



Another YouTube video offers a good view of the gear and crank of a canal lock, albeit smaller than the one in Helen's photo, enough to convince me that's what the contraption was. It's a long video, but the opening minute or two will make it clear.  




Have we solved the mystery of this whatchamacallit?  Maybe.  Surely the boat is a canal boat.  Virginia does not boast many canals, and Helen didn’t venture far from home if her photos can be trusted.  Between 1913 and 1929, the Dismal Swamp had fallen out of favor as a route for commercial traffic leaving it safe and relatively empty for pleasure boaters such as Helen and her friends. 

Apparently canal boats are still common in many parts of Europe, so I shouldn’t be surprised that my fellow-Sepian recognized the working mechanism of a canal lock. 


For more whatchamacallits, do-hickeys, thingamabobs, and amazing contraptions, please visit Sepia Saturday.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Daddy's Birthday


Wordless Wednesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that asks family historians to create a post in which the main focus is a photograph or image.


Fred Slade about 1945

August 7, 1928 – January 31, 2009


Today would have been my dad’s 85th birthday.  


Friday, August 2, 2013

Sepia Saturday: Whatever Floats Your Boat

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.




This week’s Sepia Saturday image features tall ships, a lighthouse, a windmill, and people strolling along the harbor of Littlehampton.  Although my photos contain few of those images, I do have some of people waiting along the water.


Boat ride Helen Killeen Parker Portsmouth, Virginia about 1919-21




Boat ride Helen Killeen Parker Portsmouth, Virginia about 1919-21




My great aunt Helen Killeen Parker seems to have been a popular gal in the late 19-teens and early twenties in Portsmouth, Virginia, always on some sort of outing.  What this occasion was and when are unknown to me. 



It resembles a fishing boat, but Helen and her friends don’t appear to be doing any fishing.  











It’s interesting that they were sitting on top of the boat.  

Boat ride Helen Killeen Parker Portsmouth, Virginia about 1919-21
Boat ride Helen Killeen Parker Portsmouth, Virginia about 1919-21























The channel appears narrow, so I wonder if they were boating through the Dismal Swamp.




Since I have no answers, I will have to wonder what this funny little boat was and where it went.  











Cruise on over to Sepia Saturday for more tales of boats, lighthouses, and windmills.