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Family Tree: 1904

Family Tree: 1904

1904. "Under the great oak, Manhanset Manor, Shelter Island, N.Y." The same gent seen earlier perched on the railing, possibly William Henry Jackson with his grandchildren. 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.


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A Magnificent Tree That Calls Out To Me.

That tree is the dream of my inner eight year old kid.

I was a serial tree and billboard climber in my youth and this tree would have been an answer to a climbing fool youth.

I would have gone far left on Left Limb #1 and jumped up while pulling my legs up to hug the branch. With a little squirming I would have gotten upright and headed where Left Limb #2 swings down to intersect Left Limb #1. A short jaunt up and over would get me to the trunk.

From here a little tree hugging and a perfectly timed leap would get me on Right Limb #2 for a swift 45 degree climb to intersecting Right Limb #3 which would lead back to the trunk.

The foliage obscures my view from here but I'm sure I could get up to either a #5 or #6 limb which would impress all the young ladies and make me the envy of all the young men.

I would have been sent to bed early with no supper but the glory of that climb would have filled me as much as ten ice cream sundaes.

Out on a limb

How did that kid get on the tree branch. There's nothing that I can see for him to hold on in order to climb up!

I would take that bet

In proper decorum of the time and being that they were at a nice resort, I'd bet they were out there playing in those clothes! White clothing for children would generally have been made of cotton back then and could thus have been boiled clean, certainly easier to get stains out of than say silk or a printed white or colored fabric. It was also quite common back then for upper middle class folk to change their clothes several times a day. White was very popular for afternoon outings.

Notice too that Grandpa, being a smart sensible gent, isn't seated all the way on the ground; instead, he's holding himself up, likely so as to not get any grass stains on those white pants. I love this picture especially for the look on his face -- it's not too often you get to see a genuine smile (or any smile at all) in these old old photos, and he clearly can't contain his!

Poses with Grandpa

I like this picture; especially the children, wearing the clothing that was in style at that time. I think the children were dressed for posing and not for playing! I can't imagine someone putting in all the work it would take to get those white dresses and stockings clean, starched, and pressed, only to send the child out to roll around in the grass in them! A grandpa who was sitting on the ground with his grandchildren would have them climbing on him, too, and not arranged in various spots under that tree!

I'd almost be willing to bet that, as soon as the photographer was finished, the mother(s) of the children said "OK, children, Grandpa, everyone inside and into your play clothes!"

Where's Mom?

Is she giving birth again ?

Hey, you with the ladder

I wonder if they realized that the guy with the stepladder was going about his maintenance duties -- or whatever he was doing -- at the time the shutter clicked on this otherwise perfectly posed picture? Or is he the wayward grandson?!?

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