I love antique photos. You can learn so much about how things have changed, and again how little has. We inherited 3 trunks of photos from the late 1800's to the 1940s and 50's. Most came from an enigmatic, extremely hard working but photo-loving woman named Lena, an ancestor of my husband, born in 1879. She had more contacts, more postcards (several hundreds) and more photos of herself taken than anyone who is not a well know celebrity. She seems to have collected antique photos from all around her. She unfortunately didn't identify many, only writing "Lena" on many given to her. I think she assumed she would remember, and of course after that it wouldn't matter!

We are still sorting through all the stuff trying to piece together Lena's fascinating and sometimes tragic life. Meanwhile, here are a variety of photos, including some of the highest (and lowest!) fashion.

I have also included the very old family photos I have from my mom's side of the family.

I hope you enjoy, and thank you for visiting my blog.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Baby Colon

Colon (John Colon Smith) was born May, 1904, about 6 months before his father Charles died.  We have found no recognizable communications between Lena and Charles either before or after their marriage, and no photos of Charles with Lena and Colon. They were married in Missouri, but by the time of Colon was born I believe they were living in Middletown, California.  Charles had purchased the homesteading acres there in 1900, and it may be that he built a home there for Lena.

Colon was about about 6 months to 3 years old in these pictures, the latter of  which were taken in Napa, where Lena was working .  He was so cute! In the picture with the stick, Lena wrote her dad, his grandpa (whom he called papa), that that was his "horsie." Lena's parents came out to live in Middletown for awhile around this time, then returned to Missouri.

But this leads into one of the biggest mysteries about Lena: what she did in Napa. Lots of interesting photos of Lena as a beautiful, elegant widow, and  lots of her working--but at what. Maybe one of you can help me figure it  out.( The work dresses of her and her coworkers are wonderful!) Coming in the next blog!

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