Knowing that Sam Bean’s twin brother, Bill, was in the military during World War I causes me some confusion when I considered a series of photographs kept together in Bill Bean’s photo collection. While not one of them is marked with any identifiers, they clearly meant enough to him to store together for all these years.
Since Bill had relatives whose primary business was farming, I had always thought this series of photographs somehow catalogued someone’s agricultural operation. The setting for these pictures is a mostly flat, rural area—yet with several sizable outbuildings seemingly out of place in my mind’s image of the family farm of the 1920s. Someone had once told me that rather than a farming outlay, they could possibly represent some military compound.
The interesting thing about this series of shots is that half of the dozen appear to have been taken by someone walking around the property and snapping different ground-level views. The other half, however, appear to have been taken from a plane as it is just beginning to take off. Observing the hill and structures directly across the street from the main buildings—and taking into consideration the fact that there is no airstrip visible in any of these dozen pictures—I wonder if the second set of photographs were produced by climbing one of the rigs perched atop that hill.
Bill Bean was always a shutterbug. Could it have been he that climbed that rig to snap the aerial views? See what you think—and whether you can identify the location of this place Bill must have considered special.