Thursday, July 12, 2018
Time for Another Road Trip
Now that the last of the abandoned photographs has been sent back to family, it's time to look for more. The thought that my ancestors' pictures—or yours, for that matter—could still be out there, facing the fate of being tossed out or lost in an estate sale, is a compelling consideration. While what I'm doing here at A Family Tapestry may never give me the chance to find my own family's photographs, at least it will allow me to grant a fellow researcher a pleasant surprise. Consider this a "giving back" project.
So it's off to a few more antique shops to see what we can find. We—my indefatigable genealogy-rescuing travel partner Sheri Fenley and I—are hoping to schedule a trip up to California Gold Rush country again soon.
If you recall, last time we went, we headed northeast to the area around Sutter Creek and Jackson. This time, we plan to follow the Gold Country Highway—state highway 49, named on account of the "49ers" who arrived there in 1849, just after the start of the gold rush—to the south of our last visit. Our goal this time will be to visit the historic community of Sonora, and possibly also stop in Jamestown or Angels Camp.
The good news is that there is at least one antique shop in Sonora, our first stop, which has—at least, according to their response to my query—"hundreds" of photos. We'll see whether any of those pictures include the vital element: an inscription on the reverse which provides enough identification of the subjects to make it possible for me to return the item to family.
Though most of the photographs I've already found were taken long after gold fever died down in the foothills of northern California, I am still amazed at how many pictures—taken in the 1870s through the early 1900s—still made their way from family roots in other countries to those relatives who chose to settle where their "get rich quick" schemes faded, so long ago. It is always fun to explore those bins storing abandoned photographs from a century long gone, and apparently, we are in for more fun with our next trip to the foothills.
Meanwhile, before we ever get on the road again, I've got some other research to take care of. We'll take a look at the to-do list tomorrow.