During a recent visit to Montana, my aunt, my sister and I, continued the search through boxes for photos and memorabilia collected by my great grandmother Mary. Among the items we found was this incredible tintype photograph of Mary with her parents and two of her siblings, John and Will.
I actually became a little lightheaded when we pulled it out of the box. And it took me a few minutes to wrap my head around what we were seeing.
As was her custom, Mary wrote the following note on the back:
Mary Rumping Schenck’s parents – herself (Mary), John and Will.
Will was born in February of 1883, so I estimate the picture was taken in the spring of 1883. And it was most likely taken at a photo studio in either Marysville or Helena, Montana.
There are so many wonderful things about this photo:
- I think it’s the youngest photo we have of Mary;
- It’s the only photo of Mary with her parents;
- It’s the only photo of Mary’s parents together; and
- It’s the most complete photo I’ve seen of the entire family. I say most complete because the couple’s youngest child, Maude, is missing – due to the fact that she wasn’t born until the following December of 1884.
After scanning the photo, I noticed the white arm band tied around her father John’s right arm. Any thoughts on what the arm band might represent?
Also, note the hand-painted gold necklace around Mary’s neck. So charming!