Saturday, January 20, 2007

Anybody Recognize This Crowd?

Here’s a picture that has been circulating among my relatives. Second from the right is my aunt, Louise Nordstrom Smith, born I believe in 1896. Fourth from the right is another aunt, Louise’s sister, Selma Nordstrom, born in 1904. Despite the uniform outfits, these two stand out because they are wearing some sort of photo-medallion—the medallions appear to be identical, the picture of a woman.

The picture must have been taken in Manchester, New Hampshire—the girls grew to womanhood there, and never strayed very far. There were eight in all—three boys and five girls, but one of the boys died in infancy, and two of the girls/women in young adulthood. Selma in the picture bears an eerie resemblance to a grandchild of mine, aged nine, a boy.

Beyond that, we know zip. The family was Swedish by background, and Manchester had a well-articulated Swedish community (if small). My first thought was—St. Lucia’s Day (look at the decorative headbands)—but St. Lucia’s Day is December 13, and those costumes do not look seasonal: New Hampshire is no Garden of Eden in December.

Another thought: one of the sisters—Evelyn Nordstrom—died on February 26, 1926. The medallions might be memorial pictures of her. But this would make Louise 30 and Selma 22—and they don’t look that old, do they?

And if this is a family picture, where is my mother, Esther Nordstrom, born in 1902?

All suggestions welcome.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

I agree it looks more May Festival than Lucia. Your original must be bigger or your eyes must be better - I wouldn't have recognised either Sal or Louise from this.

I have some confirmation pictures of those years, and with a good look might be able to see if there were other matches. If they are all from Gethsemane it might give a clue, or a lead.

I can't pick up a wedding ring on Louise's hand, but that might also give a clue to the year. Louise married in 1922, just prior to her 26th birthday. Sal was 8 years younger and clearly not a child in the picture.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

As to Evelyn's death being commemorated on the medallions, when did Elin die? I'll try and look that up. Dave was born in 1925, and I think Louise and Maurice were still in Buffalo in 1927.

Anonymous said...

Call West High School and have them put you in touch with Mr. Wayne Johnson. If anyone can help with the time of year, or the event, or the location, it would be him.

linda winer said...

The trail...I am researching someone who hung out with Ester Blenda Nordstrom in the 1920's. Google led me here. Are you related to her? I am:

Basically I am trying to find out the name of the book she wrote about her travels to America. I do have a number of letters she wrote to our subject.

Carla said...

Elin died on April 20, 1929 in New York City.