Those from Sepia Saturday who have been around for several years might remember a post I did on November 19, 2010 entitled The Lovely Young Girl at Baker's Art Gallery. It was about two lovely photos of a young girl taken at a photography studio in Columbus, Ohio. You might even see a comment you left with the post.

Over the past years I've been contacted by several people hoping to find out more information about the gallery. Alas, I have to tell them I'm not an expert and that everything I found online was put in the post. Let's see what happens this time.

The photo below was also taken at the Baker's Art Gallery in the late 1880s to sometime within the 1890s. I found this in Betty Schnabel's father's album. I believe Betty's father, Donald G. Schnabel, was from Ohio, though I can't verify it. If you don't know about Betty just click on "Betty Schnabel" in the labels below to see a variety of photos all purchased at the estate sale of her belongings.

First I was excited to find another photo from the gallery, but even more excited by the subject. When you collect vintage photos once in a while you come across ones of people cross-dressing. The most common are photos of women dressing up as men. They are usually done as a lark with a few gals dressed in suits "acting masculine." Occasionally I've also found ones of men purposely dressed as women as a joke. But the more interesting photos are those of someone cross-dressing because it's who they were. Often you're not sure what you're looking at, as is the case with this image. Is this a young man with very feminine features? Or is this a young woman who chose to dress as a man and perhaps live as a man? It is the first photo I have of a woman possibly living as a man. I have several of men that have me curious. There's an interesting story here that we'll probably never know.

Click on either image to see them larger.

This is my contribution to this week's Sepia Saturday which is about long hair. Sepia Saturday is giving you the long of it, I'm giving you the short of it.



Memorial Day, a day of remembrance. At least once a year I remember the two teenagers from high school who died in Vietnam. I don't know if there were others, but I'm still haunted by the one boy who always sat in front of me alphabetically.

But for most people, Memorial Day is the unofficial day of summer…and sales. I hate the sales part. I hate that stores are open on holidays. It's just wrong. We can stop shopping once in awhile and spend time with family and friends and not our credit cards.

What better way to spend the day than with a picnic of homemade food?

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Oh sure, it was easier to get the store-bought bread. And there was something enticing about that puffy white stuff that came in a bag. I wonder if "Favorite Bread" is still made?

It looks like everything else was homemade. I wonder what percentage of food on a picnic table today is homemade?

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This photobooth shot is one from my book Tattered and Lost: Telling Stories. I know there's a story here about these two good ol' gals. Personally I can't get past the Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon vibe from Some Like it Hot, one of my favorite movies. The one on the right is about to break out the maracas and dream of her future with Joe E. Brown.

If you're a fan of photobooth shots visit Photobooth Journal where you'll find lots of wonderful images from a woman who has been collecting for years. She recently did a post about some of the images I've posted from my small photobooth collection.


The BIGELOW FAMILY lived here

912 Queen Anne Avenue in Seattle, Washington is where the Bigelow family lived. That's all the information I have about this lonely looking house with it's wintry trees. It appears that a trolley passed by on the tracks in the street.

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Does the house still exist? Sadly it doesn't. Type in the address in Google Maps and you'll see how boring the neighborhood looks. Nothing but large nondescript boring apartment buildings. The tracks in the street are also gone.

As to the Bigelow family? I have no idea. They were apparently friends of Betty Schnabel's mother since this image is from Betty's collection.

UPDATE:  Thanks to Mike Brubaker at TempoSenzaTempo we can now add a bit of life to the old house:
In 1901 it was listed for the first time as the residence of Mr. Isaac N. Bigelow, a builder and contractor, and later the president of Bigelow Investment Co. He lived there with his wife, Emmeline and daughter Clara. All born in Canada, Isaac in 1838, Emmeline in 1848, and Clara in 1870.
UPDATE: Thanks to reader Natalie K we have the following information:
According to the 1900 census, the family lived at 1509 Third Avenue. Isaac was listed as a banker and a dozen or so people roomed at the address. They had lived there for some time as they are listed there in the 1891 city directory and in the same general block in 1885, when Isaac is listed as a carpenter.
Also, he is profiled in a book of memoirs of pioneer of Seattle: "Isaac N. Bigelow, one of the builders of the city of Seattle, is a native of King county, Nova Scotia, born on the 15th of May, 1838... Came to Seattle in 1875.... He has erected many residences on his property and also built the Bigelow block on Pike Street and another large building on Second avenue and Union Streets. He married Emeline Davidson, of the same place and with whom he attended school. At the time it was written (not sure yet when), his son David was a mineral expert and assayer in Cedoras Isl. Mexico and E. Victor was a congregational ministor in Lowell, MA. Clara lived at home with her parents.
They had two other children, David Edward born about 1864 and Edwin Victor born about 1866. 
And click here to see a photo of the Counterbalance streetcar which appears to be going right by the Bigelow house. Great find Natalie! Thank you!

UPDATE: Mike and Natalie both spurred me on to do a little digging myself. Hoping to find a photo of Issac or family members, I was saddened to find no images, but did find the following information that I copied from the Lewis Publishing Company site. I haven't made corrections in the copy other than a few places where numerals had space around them in dates. I hope in the future someone finds a photo to contribute to this post.
Isaac N. Bigelow, one of the builders of the city of Seattle, is a native of King county, Nova Scotia, born on the 15th of May, 1838. He represents one of the oldest families of this country, tracing his ancestry back to John Bigelow, who emigrated from Essex county, England, to Massachusetts, in 1630. He was a freeholder and a select man of Watertown, a member of  the Congregational church and died on the 14th of July, 1703, at the age of eighty-six years. His son, Samuel Bigelow, born in Watertown, in 1653, was proprietor of an inn and one of the influential men of the community. He serv'ed as a sergeant in the militia and represented his town in the general court. His will bears date 1720. His son, Isaac Bigelow, born in Watertown in 1691, held a commission from the governor as sergeant of the colonial militia and his death occurred in 1744. His son, Isaac Bigelow, Jr., the next in line of succession, was born in Colchester, Connecticut, on the 4th of May, 171 3, and removed to Nova Scotia, where he received land grants from the government for settling there, but later he returned to Colchester, Connecticut, and reared his family there. He died in 1792. His son, Amasa Bigelow, the great-grandfather of our subject, was born in Colchester, Connecticut, in 1755, was a ship carpenter and lost his life by accident in 1799. He married Roxana Cone and their son, Ebenezer Bigelow, was born in Cornwall, Nova Scotia, about the year 1779. The latter married Nancy Rand in 1804 and died in 1860. He was also a ship builder and became a very prominent representative of that department of industrial activity. His son, David Bigelow, the father of our subject, was born in 1813, married Martha Jane Weaver, and died in 1847, the age of thirty-four years. He had learned the ship-builder's trade under the direction of his father, carried on a large and successful business and was highly esteemed by all who knew him. His wife departed this life in the fifty-ninth year of her age. She was the mother of seven children, of whom four are living, three being residents of the Pacific coast, namely: H. Allen of Oakland, California; Rebecca, who is living in Seattle; and the subject of this review. 
Isaac N. Bigelow obtained his education in the public schools of his native town and in early life learned the carpenter's trade. Lor a number of  years he was engaged with his brother Benjamin in ship-building and remained in the east until 1875, at which time he came to Seattle, where he became identified with the business interests of the city as a contractor and builder. His marked skill in that vocation and his honorable business methods soon secured him an extensive patronage, whereby his labors became very profitable. As his financial resources increased he made extensive investments in real estate and purchased and platted what is known as Bigelow's addition to the city. He also platted Bigelow's second addition and the Lake Union addition, all of which have become greatly improved, being transformed into residence districts of the city. Both before and since the great fire in Seattle in 1889 Mr. Bigelow has been extensively engaged in building in this city, his labor in this direction, however, being largely the improvement of his own property. He built and owned one of the largest sawmills north of San Francisco but later, selling his interest in the property for thirty thousand dollars, he invested that amount in the Seattle Dime Savings Bank, of which he was the president and principal stockholder for four years. At the expiration of that time he was obliged to suspend, but he has the gratification of having paid one hundred cents on the dollar. Honesty has ever been one of the salient features of his character and no one can say aught that is detrimental concerning his business life. He has erected many residences on his property and also built the Bigelow block on Pike street and another large building on Second avenue and Union streets. He is now living retired with a good competency and makes his home in a nice residence at No. 912 Queen Ann avenue. He is an active and valued member of the Congregational church, in which he is serving as a trustee and deacon and also as superintendent of the Sunday-school. He takes an active and acceptable part in all church work and his labors in that behalf have been very effective. He has also contributed in large measure to the improvement and progress of Seattle and obtained the first street railway franchise. He also secured the paving of Pike street with brick and in many ways has contributed to the substantial improvement of the city. He is a Master Mason, having been made a member of the craft in Nova Scotia in 1863.

Li the same year Mr. Bigelow was married to Miss Emeline Davidson, also a native of King county, with wdiom in youth he attended the same school. Their union has been blessed with two sons and a claugliter : David E., a mineral expert and assayer now in Cedoras Island, Mexico; E. Victor, a Congregational minister, now serving as pastor of Elliott church, in Lowell, Massachusetts ; and Clara M., who is at home with her parents. Rev. Bigelow is a graduate of Washington University and also of Yale College and has taken a post-graduate course in Harvard College. Mrs. Bigelow, like her husband, is actively engaged in church work, and both are most highly respected by a host of friends in Seattle. His purpose has ever been commendable, his actions manly, his conduct sincere and above all his life has been influenced by a sense of conscientious obligation concerning his relations to his fellow men and his duties of citizenship. (Source: Lewis Publishing Company)
UPDATE: More wonderful information from Natalie!
I kept digging last night. I believe you said in an earlier post that Betty Schnabel's mother was Louise Bigelow Schnabel. Louise was the daughter of David E. Bigelow, who was the son of Isaac and Emeline Bigelow. So the house belonged to Betty's great grandparents and her great aunt Clara.
I couldn't fint any photos of Isaac and Emeline but did find one newspaper account that included a photo of Clara when she was older, in 1950. She never married and lived on that block the rest of her life.
(SOURCE: West Seattle Hearld. June 22, 1950)


The TREE, the house, and the family

People who lived comfortable lives often took staged photos of their homes with family members scattered about. Of course people who lived in shacks on the prairie also took photos, but the family members were generally grouped together since the houses were so small. But the wealthy spread themselves around the property.

This is a confusing photo because I'm not sure if they took it for the house or the tree? I'm thinking the tree. Why are the family members placed like something from connect the dots? The tree was probably pretty darn expensive and a special addition to their property, and most likely not native to wherever this was taken. Personally I'd rather see a closeup of that stained glass window on the far left.

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This vintage snapshot is on the same photobook page as the tea time with the captain in my previous post. In other words, this is also from the Betty Schnabel estate.


A MUD PIE tea party

I always enjoy when I find a photo of a tea party, especially a children's version. I'll leave it to you decide which party you'd have chosen to attend.

This first image was found at an antique store with no information on the back. It is featured in my book Tattered and Lost: Vernacular Photographs.

Click on image to see it larger.

This image is from Betty Schnabel's mother's photo album. Sadly there's no information given about any of the photos in the album so we have to create our own stories and hope Betty would approve.

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The inspiration for this post is the Sepia Saturday prompt this week. It was tempting to do wicker. I love showing the power of wicker. I felt a bit of mud and tea was more appropriate.



It's Saturday, laundry day. Sometimes Sunday is laundry day if Saturday looks as if there won't be enough sun or breeze to dry things on the line.

I love hanging laundry on the line. People these days think that's odd. Whole communities prevent people from hanging out their laundry. Children have grown up never knowing the fun of running amongst sheets hanging on the line. They are used to hearing the dryer running and not the sounds of a spring morning as you do a repetitive task without thinking.

I believe those of us who love the flapping of a white sheet in the sun can easily see the movement as dance. So, in honor of the Sepia Saturday prompt this week, I give you Laundry Dancing.

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Another house from long ago Minnesota. Was this style of house painting done by lots of people in Minnesota or just a particular neighborhood. I find it fascinating.

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I also finding it fascinating that none of these houses (I'm including the one from a previous post) have railings on their front steps. Now, I know it gets icy in Minnesota and those are cement steps. Wouldn't a railing make sense? What do I know, I live in California.

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Did someone say TURKEYS?

The most turkeys I've ever seen grouped together in the front yard was around eight-five. That only happens at certain times of the year, specifically the springtime. I think you can guess why. It's like a bad night at a sleazy bar when they all get together. You feel sorry for the young males because they're not even allowed to fan their tails and parade.

I have one turkey I call Norman who was most likely born last year. He's too young to fan dance so he comes and sits quietly on my front lawn in the shade by himself. A year ago I had two males I called Frank and Beans. Frank knew his name and would come running when I called him, Beans was younger and hadn't fully grasped that the old woman with the container of seed was his friend. I try to not get emotionally attached to my turkeys because there are things that go bump in the night. If you've never heard a flock of turkeys screaming in the middle of the night be glad.

As to the male turkeys in this slide…if they all started talking at once…a cacophony of birds…with the help of a little auto tuning and a repetitive beat…sure fire hit on iTunes.

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