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Family Outing: 1921

Family Outing: 1921

New York or vicinity circa 1921. "Byron on boat." The actor Arthur Byron and family. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.


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The daughter in the middle

Is there something wrong with her hand? It looks like she has some kind of bandage on it. I wonder if her hand was injured or if it is just a half-hidden bracelet.

Could That Be?

Is that Danny Partridge on the left?

Arthur Byron

Fans of early 1930s Warner Brothers films may better recognize him in this photo. Frequently cast as respectable judges, doctors, politicians and other authority figures. Today his most remembered film is the Boris Karloff The Mummy, made in 1932 for Universal.

The Garfield Hut

Arthur Byron's most prized possession wasn't this boat.

President James Garfield had lingered for two months after being shot in 1881. His doctors - who had turned a survivable gunshot into a mortal injury thanks to their practice of probing the wound channel with their unsterile fingers - decided that he would benefit from being in a cool seaside location. They arranged for a rail spur of a half-mile in length to be built in just 24 hours, so Garfield could be taken by special train car from Washington to a beach house in Elberon, New Jersey. He survived only a couple more weeks.

A few years later, young Arthur Byron and his parents, who also were actors, retried the ties from the now-disused rail spur and used them to build a cottage that they painted red, white and blue, and called it the Garfield Hut. Its alternative name was the Garfield Tea Room, as the Anglophile Byrons used it for afternoon tea. It became a family heirloom and Arthur inherited it from his parents. Today the cottage stands on the grounds of the Church of the Presidents in Elberon.

One of those rare cases where I yearn for color...

All those freckles makes me immediately think of a family of redheads, but its hard to tell in black and white.

Great family photo, none the less!

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