The tooled leather volume resembles a family bible, ornamented by the addition of a bronze latch. The heavy cardstock pages are cut out in the middle allowing for two cabinet cards to be displayed, back to back. A thick gold line frames each photograph. Buckled into the Minor Album are twenty-eight portraits taken between 1860-1900.
JUST WHAT DO I HAVE HERE?
THIS is the title page. Gorgeous!! Right?
MEH. I want story. Story comes from details.
Let’s start with the known. The album was recovered by my mother from the attic of the farmhouse in which she grew up. In which her father grew up. In which her grandfather and his father grew up. From the attic of the Minor Home Farm on Ceylon Lane, purchased by John Pearson Minor circa 1830. Just who, then, might have purchased the album and slipped the cabinet cards into place?
She did it.
My mother’s father’s grandmother, Mary Jane Gwynne Minor.
Women of the Victorian era were associated with the collection of family memorabilia and its display; photograph albums were part of this creative work. Mary Jane was the woman of Ceylon Lane, the mom of the Minor Home Farm, during the period that this album was filled.
This hypothesis has been strengthened by my work comparing other labeled photographs in my collection with those that I am finding inside the album. I have identified several images as members of the Mary Jane and Francis Marion Minor Family.
My sleuthing adventures begin with this hypothesis–the cabinet cards of the Minor Family Album belonged to Mary Jane and Marion Minor, and represent members of their immediate and extended family.
Next post– Mr. Chin Whiskers is revealed.