Week 3 Favorite Photo

It’s hard to chose just one. In my kitchen hangs a black and white photo of my grandmother, Sadie, and her sister Jessie. They are on the front porch of my grandparents’ winter home in Florida – it had to be taken some time prior to 1963 when my grandmother died. The two sisters are looking lovingly at each other. It is just about the sweetest photo I own. There is so much in that picture.

Two sisters who were estranged for decades. Their mother died when Sadie was a baby and at the age of two, she was adopted and did not find out that fact until she was an adult. At some point her older sister, Jessie, searched for her lost sister and found her. Someone, either my mother or uncle, once told me that Jessie would visit Sadie and they’d spend hours together just talking and reveling in each other’s company. I imagined they were making up for those lost years.  (I’ll add a copy of this photo if I remember to.)

Then there are the wished for photos – ancestors with no photographic details. For years I wondered about my great grandparents, wishing so, that I had a photo of them, or at least one of them.  Since that time, I have found two great grandmothers: Mary Drumm Sammons and Irene Watson Laforce.  The latter I found posted on Ancestry.com in one of my second cousins’ online trees.  The photo of Mary Drumm – my father’s grandmother, was tucked into an album lent to me by a cousin.

Mary Drumm 1854-1927 photo probably taken in Syracuse New York
Mary Drumm Sammons 1854-1927

When I first saw the photo, I had no idea who she was. On the back was written, “Mary” in very light print. She was in with other photos of her son and his wife – my grandparents. The house she is standing in front of is also in other pictures with the family. The album belonged to my Aunt Jane Sammons Rotella, and I am quite certain the photograph is Mary Drumm Sammons. What a thrill to see her face, her smile, her strong stance. She’s wearing glasses and leaning against the porch rail.

Today people have hundreds, even thousands of photos of their kids, themselves, and they are in some ways so taken for granted that they seem to have little to no value. Compared to the truly rare photos we have our ancestors, like Mary Drumm who was born about 1854 and died in 1927, the photo I have might be the only one in existence of her. Such a treasure.

Now if I could find one of her mother, or her husband…