One never knows when you might find something exciting in your own back yard! I have been very interesting in purchasing a copy of Colonel George Chinn’s book, The History of Harrodsburg and “The Great Settlement Area” of Kentucky, 1774-1900. I’ve checked on Ebay and Amazon with no luck. So I called one of our local shops, J. Sampson Antiques and Books – on Main Street in Harrodsburg. At that time there was not a copy available, but received a call this week that he had a pristine copy found over the weekend. Most anxious to see the book I told him I would be there after work. Not only did I purchase the Chinn book, but several others on Mercer County history. Then I asked about old photographs. Even though in number they were few, I found four photographs taken in Lexington, Kentucky; one in Georgetown; and one in Louisville. I was thrilled! So my blog to you today are these photographs, I believe from the 1870’s to 1880’s.
The above photo is of a young man very nicely dressed – I love his neckwear. He is holding a riding whip, which perhaps he has nervously twisted while waiting to take the photo. This is a carte-de-visite, the 2.5 x 4 inch photo taken from the 1860’s through the 1870’s. On back it reads “Go to Butler’s Gallery for Photographs, No. 19 1/2 West Main Street, Lexington, Kentucky” – which is almost exactly where my daughter used to live in the high rise on Main Street!
The rest of the photos are cabinet cards – 4.25 x 6.5 inches. This lovely woman has an interesting dress, but her brooch is most beautiful! She almost has a smile on her face! This photo was taken by Mullen Photography in Lexington.
I love this photo! The gentleman’s suit is a three-piece matching outfit. His striped tie a nice compliment! The fob attached to the man’s belt is not for a watch. It is hard to see in the photo, but I believe there is an emblem on the lower part – perhaps a Mason or Odd Fellow fob? This photo was taken by John’s Photography in Lexington.
There is much beauty in this photograph of an older woman. The sunken cheeks and tiny mouth remind me of my grandmother Hill! It is impossible to see, but perhaps she braided her hair and wore it wound around at the back of her head in a bun – also like my grandmother. Look at her hands – small and well-worn. Although it’s always hard to say for certain, if this photo were taken in 1875 – this woman could have been born around the turn of the century. On back is written, W. E. Johns, 55 E. Main Street, Lexington, Kentucky. The previous photo was also taken by a Mr. John’s in Lexington, but there is nothing written on the back. That would lead me to believe the previous photo was taken several years before this one.
The next photo is of a very debonair young man whose photo was taken by Phipps Photography in Georgetown, Kentucky, just sixteen miles north of Lexington. I like the elongated coat – and fastening just the top button, with a view of the vest and watch chain, is definitely an 1870’s style. I’m not sure what the star on his lapel might represent.
And I saved the best for last! This is the most adorable little girl! And we know her name – Anna Kilsal Wilde! Look at the plump arms and feet – and the one little foot resting on a pillow! The white lace dress is gorgeous! Her sweet little face and hair just complete the picture! This photo was taken by Veasy, The Doerr Gallery, at 12th and Market Streets, Louisville, Kentucky.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the gallery show of Kentuckians today! Please let me know if you recognize anyone in these photos – or know anything about Anna Kilsal Wilde!