Wayzata, Minnesota

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sepia Saturday - Truth or Fairy Tale?


Welcome to As the Album Turns, page by page.

This is where all things are sepia or old and where mysterious stories unfold.

Alan, offered a sharp photo of a brother and his two sisters from County Tipperary-
as our theme photo this week.

Truth or Fairy Tale?

Well not knowing that family at all, I have a different story to share today.
Involving men and women as friends, scenes by the water and a few folks wearing almost as charming hats as in Alan's photo.

My story begins in a secluded location in Surprise Valley, Newport, Rhode Island.  You know the area, rich in well- old money for one.  The same area where Arthur Curtiss James lives.

A much more exclusive neighborhood then say,
 Knots Landing or Wisteria Lane.

In fact, truth be told this photo was taken on the James Estate!

How about a little color to this garden photo taken in July of 1917?

He called this the Blue Garden.

The Arthur Curtiss James Estate in fact.
He was the owner of Beacon Hill House
and his estate in Newport, Rhode Island
was very much fact.

James was a railroad industrialist who was one of the wealthiest men in the country.
But he did not flaunt that fact.
He insisted his great gifts and millions of dollars he gave away for charity were to have no publicity or his gift would be cancelled. 

If you are interested in reading more about him and seeing a few photos go here

Who were those that frolicked about the days of their lives?

Of course the only place one could begin a story from Rhode Island would be

At the beach!

Oh yes, a day at the beach with friends.  Arriving by auto or bicycle, it was the place for relaxation.  Possibly, a delicious beverage or two as well.   I wonder what the story was with that one lonely man all by himself, yet near enough to overhear the trio below him?

Nothing but the finest of swimming wear fashion, and a luxury vehicle right on the beach as well.  What more could a young woman ask for in a day out at the beach? 

Oh I know Alan's photo featured festive hats, and you're surely wondering where a collection of the finest in latest hat fashions is right?

 You have to understand ladies wore hats to the city, and not so often at the beach (except for sun hats) and most certainly they wore them when they were courting or conducting business.

Yes seldom did you see a lady in town without a fine hat upon her head.

Careful little one.

At the end of the day, no matter what beach they were on friends would always drift towards the 
lodges to dine and enjoy more cocktails and fascinating conversations, (unwired in those days) just simply carefree.

It seemed in those days even if they didn't own a boat they were still drawn to the water.  Much like many folks today.

"A lake is the landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature."   Henry David Thoreau

I hope you enjoyed a bit of Sepia Saturday
more can be found here


Rob From Amersfoort said...

Apparently the men wore hats so they could take them of as a courtesy to the ladies they encountered.

Michael J. McCann said...

Hi Karen, new follower. What a great narrative, and an effective choice of photos to carry us along through it. Thanks for this!

The Overnight Bestseller

Bethe77 said...

Karen! As always I am so entertained and love the tail you weave. The photos are always my favorite. I think I love the gardens today the most. I enjoyed each one. Are these from your private collection?

Titania said...

Karen, a great post, liked the little twist you gave the blue garden. always enjoyable and interesting to follow your pen.

Little Nell said...

The beach photos are so funny Karen, and I do like the Thoreau quote too.

Jana Last said...

Great post! The color photo of the garden is just beautiful! And that photo of the two girls striking a pose with the young man between them is a hoot!

Peter said...

Those beach photo's are unique! And I notice that playing with trains can be very rewarding. I truly enjoyed this post!

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

As always, I was laughing throughout this wonderful post. Where do you find all of your photos? That was nice of Mr. James to donate millions with the only stipulation that people zipped their lips. The huge gardens are even more remarkable when we realize that there were only pushmowers available for maintenance.

I'm sure those ladies are thrilled to have their bottoms on your blog, lol! And, "Careful, little one." was priceless.

Thanks for all your hard work, Karen. I loved this post.

Kathy M.

Wendy said...

Seeing that lawn mower in the first photo makes me sorry I ever complained about ours! As always, you select the most interesting photos with so much detail. I especially like the beach photo with automobile and lady in dress shoes ON THE BEACH! I wonder if she ever made that mistake again.

Mike Brubaker said...

What was in Newport for these wealthy people to make homes there? And how long each season did they stay there? I don't think that was Mr. James at the mower either.

His house in NYC is so amazing, why would he feel the need to leave? The organ room is similar to the organ room at Glyndebourne Opera I saw this summer.

Queen Bee said...

Your posts are always so enjoyable with the twists and turns they take! Great photos - my favorite is the one of the mother taking her daughter off the street car. Such a candid shot, but interesting as they were caught in a simple moment. Fun post!

Tattered and Lost said...

Great shots. So much to look at. Love the lady attempting to board the trolley. I'm trying to imagine doing this in one of those dresses and hats, and do it with grace. Yeah, I'd never pull it off.


Ac James is my kind of philanthropist: discreet!!

As for that man on the beach, close to the trio, he's probably the husband of the lady on the left, but he's sulking, wanting to go to the mountains instead, but she packed his bathing suit, not his trekking boots...

Bob Scotney said...

We had a lawn mower like the one you show until I left home. I pushed it many a mile but our lawn was not that large.
Great photos - especailly thhe care on the beach.