Cleaning the Congregational Church

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Spring 1911, the Congregationalists took a break from cleaning the church to have their photograph taken.

Digitally scanned from print photograph reproduced in 150th Anniversary Handbook, Caroline Valley Community Church. The photograph in the Handbook was scanned from a photo in the possession of the Lounsbery family, according to the authors, personal correspondence. View largest available size.

An alternate version of the photograph also exists:

Gertrude Conant Collection. View largest available size.

Interestingly, each photo is not only a different size, but shows at least one edge that the other does not, suggesting that neither photograph is a first generation print.

View largest available size.

I haven’t yet been able to examine the physical artifact in the Gertrude Conant Collection, but after consulting with the authors of the 150th Anniversary Handbook, I learned that the photo was scanned from an 11x14 print photograph in the possession of the Lounsbery family and that the photograph was large enough that it could not be scanned whole in a single pass, thus the Handbook photo shows a cropped version of the source photograph. A patient member of the Lounsbery family did provide me with digital photographs of the source photograph that show all edges.

Digital photograph, provided by Lounsbery family, of print photograph “Cleaning the Congregational Church” in possession of the Lounsbery family. Shows top, left, and bottom edges of print photograph. View largest available size.

Digital photograph, provided by Lounsbery family, of print photograph “Cleaning the Congregational Church” in possession of the Lounsbery family. Shows top, right, and bottom edges of print photograph. View largest available size.

The Lounsbery print still lacks the content on the left edge of the Conant version, cutting Sarah Wall in half, but it otherwise shows more content on every other edge than the Conant version, and reveals that Alonzo Gorsline is holding his hat in his left hand. It also appears to show the top edge of the entryway at the top of the stairs.

Each photo has accompanying identifying information.

Circa 1920

“Cleaning the Congregational Church”

On Ladder: ?, Standing: Jessie Shurter Brewer, (?boy) Laura Baker, ?, Lide Vorhis, Cassie Landon, Anna Mulks, George Peck, Alonzo Gosline, Middle: Mittie Lockwood, Margaret Nuttall, ^Mame Nuttall, Florence Mason, ?, Tillie McWhorter, Fannie Miller, ? boy, Front: ?, ?, Tom Nuttall, Deforest McWhorter

Digitally scanned from 150th Anniversary Handbook, Caroline Valley Community Church. View largest available size.

Group Cleaning the Congregational Church

Back row: Paul Landon on ladder, Elihu Personeus, Jessie Shurter, Laura Baker, Mrs. Spaulding, Lida Vorhis, Cassie Landon, Anna Mulks, George Peck, Mr. Gorsline

Next row: Mrs. Lockwood, Mrs. Kiser, Mary Nuttal, Mrs. Mason, Mrs. Dan White, Tillie MWhorter, Fannie Miller, Blind Man No ID

Front row: Sarah Wall, Mr. Robinson, Preacher, Mrs. Dr. Lockwood

Gertrude Conant Collection. View largest available size.

Each set of identities corroborates and expands upon the other, while there are also interesting conflicts. Most obvious is the fact that “Mrs. Dr. Lockwood” is Mittie Lockwood. And of course, even the corroborated identities are not guaranteed to be correct. So, though the probability of Emily Mills being in this photo is very small, it is still non-zero.

The Lounsbery photograph that was scanned for the Church Handbook had the identifications written on the reverse side.

Digital photograph, provided by the Lounsbery family, of reverse side of print photograph “Cleaning the Congregational Church” in possession of the Lounsbery family. View largest available size.

What immediately follows shows my initial attempts to confirm the identities of the people in the photograph.

View largest available size.
NumberConant IDLounsbery IDStatus
1Paul Landon on ladderOn Ladder: ?CONFLICT
2Jessie ShurterJessie Shurter BrewerVERIFIED
3Elihu Personeus(?boy)CONFLICT
4Laura BakerLaura Baker
5Mrs. Spaulding?CONFLICT
6Lide VorhisLide Vorhis
7Cassie LandonCassie Landon
8Anna MulksAnna Mulks
9George PeckGeorge Peck
10Mr. GorslineAlonzo Gosline
11Mrs. LockwoodMittie LockwoodAMBIGUOUS
12Mrs. KiserMargaret NuttallCONFLICT
13Mary NuttallMame NuttallAMBIGUOUS
14Mrs MasonFlorence Mason
15Mrs Dan White?CONFLICT
16Tillie McWhorterTillie McWhorter
17Fannie MillerFannie Miller
18Blind Man No ID? boyNO ID
19Sarah Wall(missing from photo)CONFLICT
20Mr. Robinson, Preacher?VERIFIED
21Mrs. Dr. Lockwood?CONFLICT
22(unidentified)Tom NuttallCONFLICT
23(unidentified)Deforest McWhorterCONFLICT

Click column headers to change sort order. Download source data.