Monday, November 23, 2009

Friends and Family at Poplar Grove

Hello readers,

You may have noticed the absence of a blog entry last Friday. This was due to the significant amount of work that Nathan and I were doing in preparation for the digitization of the Poplar Grove materials. The good news is that this made many new images available to share with you on the blog. The bad news is that this work has carried over into the new week, and I still have little time to provide one entry before we leave for the Thanksgiving holiday. In the interest of the gathering of families and friends over the coming week, I have decided to provide you with several photographs of people coming together in the past.

We have, first, several photos from a curiosity found in Series 18 of Poplar Grove. This is a photo album depicting friends of E. B. Emory from Virginia. The date is especially interesting, as the album seems to have been compiled in 1866. With the Civil War having concluded in the recent past, friendship was needed to begin healing a wounded nation. As with so many of these items, we don't yet have a strong sense of context in which to place this album, but I hope you will enjoy it simply for the photos from a semi-distant past in which friends, as today, kept in touch over significant distances. The images to the left and right are one such example, as a person who seems to have been a friend from University of Virginia wrote E. B. Emory some kind words about friendship. Regular readers will be reminded of the warm friendship between Emory and Mary Holladay, discussed in an earlier post.

I also have some other images, these of family life in the early twentieth century. Above, one finds a young couple in front of a house, and below is an elderly man watching over a young boy in a yard. These images of family life in America remain timeless, except perhaps for the old man's hat, which certainly speaks of an earlier era.Unfortunately, we cannot yet identify the people in these photographs. Even so, they stand out as distinct reminders of the real emotions and relationships enjoyed by those in the past. These photos provide a visual insight into some of the figures, admittedly unknown, that passed through the lives of those living at Poplar Grove. I hope you have enjoyed this brief entry, and I look forward to giving you many more posts after I return from the Thanksgiving holiday.



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demonahan said...

I just learned about this project. I visited Poplar Grove in May of 2003 where James Wood graciously showed us around. I have some old photos and writings about Poplar Grove that I will share with anyone who is interested.
David Emory Monahan