Belle Isle Conservatory 1925


My grandfather Mershell Graham holding little Mershell and my aunt Mary V.  They are sitting outside of the Conservatory on Detroit’s island park, Belle Isle. The photo is dated 1925.  Usually my mother and her sister had their hair cut short but in this and a few other pictures they have braids.

On Belle Isle. My grandmother Fannie, Mary V, my mother Doris, Mershell – who looks like he has his arm bandaged. This photo is dated 1926.
A photo of the Belle Isle Conservatory taken by Maya, Mershell Grahams 2X great granddaughter.
A photo of the Belle Isle Conservatory taken by Maya, Mershell Grahams 2X great granddaughter August 2014.

More about Belle Isle – 2 posts and some info.

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17 thoughts on “Belle Isle Conservatory 1925

  1. Your grandmother, in the second picture is smiling & looking happy; but the kids don’t seem quite so enthralled. Perhaps that’s simply because they were squinting into the sun. And Mershell does look like he might have had a mishap with that left arm. My daughter recently managed to be rid of a cast on one arm only to end up with the same thing on the other arm less than a week later & she’s not a kid any more! As my mother says, you never stop worrying about your children no matter how old they get to be!

  2. Your mother and her siblings sure don’t look too happy in either photo, maybe because they didn’t like having to sit still and pose.

  3. I really like photos that aren’t as formal as others.
    I googled Belle island and see that it’s now a state park. It looks like a real asset for Detroit. Just as well developers didn’t get hold of it.

  4. Stunning then as it is now! Great family photo, they sure look wonderful on their day out together.

  5. The kids do look tired but what a lovely photo and aren’t the old fashions wonderful. I particularly enjoyed the then and now of the two photos…great to see that the conservatory has survived.

  6. I do like then and now pictures and the first is so charming with your grandfather trying to hold on to a couple of wriggling children.

  7. The conservatory looks lovely both then and now. I love the photo your cousin took during the rain. The gray clouds and water, and the steel greenhouse beams all work well together to create a beautifully composed picture.

    1. I think her photo looks sort of gothic. And while putting her photo up, I realized that my grandfather is her 2X great grandfather, just like Dock Allen is to me. That has me thinking about time and relationships and how old I am!

  8. Those big glass conservatories are always so interesting and look so beautiful on their own, even before you get to see what exotic plants are inside.

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