To find out how I picked up three 19th century guys in Albuquerque, New Mexico, read my first post in this series here.
Albuquerque was beautiful but so different than where I live on the east coast. This is the view we had as we had dinner at the home of the president of the board my husband serves on for his company.
The higher elevation and dry air affected me but the views were worth it.
The Carte De Visites I had in my luggage weren't from Albuquerque. The three 19th century men whose faces looked back at me originated in the eastern United States. I will never know the journey they took from someone's box of family photos to possibly an estate sale purchase, then onto an antique dealer or show before ending up in an antique shop in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
I think about that all the time - the journey antiques take before they are placed in the hands of someone who cares and knows their value.
Could I give not only names, but stories to the men in these pictures?
Meet, H. P. Perrine.
What I know about him is very limited. I was thrilled that I had not only his last name, but also the town he possibly lived in from the back of his photograph. (More on that soon.)
Next, meet J. Mycough or Wycough.
On the back was his name and date. There was no photographer's stamp or place, just an initial for a first name. The handwriting was hard to decipher for his last name.
Finally, meet Nathan Walker.
Though the back of his photograph didn't reveal a place, it gave his name and a year. His stern eyes had an ominous look. I didn't want to be haunted by 19th century ghosts until I discovered their secrets so, I jumped right in to reach them!
I will admit, my confidence and expectations dropped as I realized this would be harder than I thought. For Nathan Walker, I had his full name but no place. And the last name of Walker was common, so I found him hard to find.
J. Mycough looked like a nice young fellow, but the spelling of his last name was hard to decipher. Nothing turned up on my first search that convinced me I was on the trail of J.
H. P. Perrine ended up being the easiest to begin with. The handwriting was clear and I had a place from the photographer's stamp on the back. As I left Albuquerque for home, I started planning my journey across 19th century America and hoped that as I turned over some stones there, the identity and stories behind H.P. would turn up. And they did!
Find out what I discovered in my next post (tomorrow!)