The Hat

Unknown woman #1 and unknown woman #2 (who is leaning just a little too close to my grandfather.), my grandfather Albert, my grandmother Pearl. 1910.

My grandparents, Albert and Pearl (Reed) Cleage were married in October of 1910 in Indianapolis, Indiana. For their honeymoon they went to the Appalachian Exposition in Knoxville, Tennessee and from there to visit my grandfather’s people in Athens, Tennessee.  After returning home, they went to Decatur, Illinois to decide if that was where my grandfather wanted to practice medicine.  One of my aunts told me that this photo was taken at a medical convention they attended soon after their marriage.  Perhaps it was in Decatur.

Thanks to a comment below by Tattered and Lost I found that the location of the photograph was actually Mt. Vernon, VA at George Washington’s plantation. I will be posting more about this soon.

At any rate, the women are all wearing hats, although none are quite so fancy as the one in this weeks prompt.  To see other hat wearing women, men and babies plus several posts completely unrelated to hats, click on the picture below.

To see the 10 minute movie “The New York Hat” (1912) that the prompt came from, follow this link –  “The New York Hat.”

33 thoughts on “The Hat

  1. Your grandmother is the only one who seems comfortable. The other women have strange postures, and your grandfather seems to be stretched out awkwardly on the hill.

  2. A brave man to come between ladies and their hats.
    Whatever you do make sure you follow Kirstin’s link to that movie clip – it’s well worth 10 minutes of your time.

  3. Usually shots of Mt. Vernon are so boring, but this one is very memorable. They make the place come alive.

  4. What an enjoyable way to start my day. Thank you, Kristin. The film was delightful!! And, I agree, that lady in the middle looks like she’s a bit of a flirt.

  5. Tattered and Lost, thank you so much for identifying the spot! I had no idea. Wonder what they were doing lounging around on George Washington’s former lawn in 1910. Maybe this was an outing from the medical convention. Wonder if I could find some information about that in an old newspaper.

    1. Glad to be of help. I’ve been there several times. Most people do what the ones in the background are doing which is to sit on the porch staring out at the river contemplating what Washington’s world was like. Your relatives have made a much nicer photo.

  6. I agree that your gandmother sems entirely happy and relaxed, whilst the others are striking poses – only too aware of the camera. A nice variety of hats though.

  7. What a lovely photo on the lawn of the first President’s home. Your grandmother is not concerned about Miss Too Close, she knows she has his heart.

  8. I think the hat in the middle is my favorite. It seems to have polka dots, plus the wide collar of the dress frames her wonderfully.

  9. Oh, watch out for unknown woman #2. I hope she is a lot more innocent than she looks. She is lovely, but looks far too comfy with your grandpa. In any case, pearl seems unconcerned.

  10. They are lovely — not just the hats, but everyone in the photo. I love both the dresses and the hats. These days you don’t often see people sitting in the grass in such dressy clothes. After reading all the comments above I wish you had a story to go with this photo detailing the day, who the people were and their relationships to each other, what they did next, where they stayed, etc., etc., etc. Wonderful photo, Kristin! Thanks for sharing it.

  11. His head looks barren neglected against the ladies millinery…..I love these hats! I wonder if we should not return to wearing them–would not have to worry about our hair dos….or bad hair days…but then I myself, don’ do well with anything on my head for too long, even a straw hat in summer….Nice pose on the lawn

  12. Thanks for sharing the great link to The New York Hat. Sometimes things are serendipitous. I almost didn’t click on it–but after I read others’ comments I did and loved it. And, it is awesome to discover a 1912 film. I’d been trying to figure out what to write for tomorrow’s (Sun., Jan. 15) post of–and as soon as I saw this film I knew exactly what to write.

  13. Nancy, I wish I had the story behind this photograph too! I’ve been trying to find more info to no avail.
    Sheryl, I look forward to reading your post tomorrow and how you connect the movie with your grandmother’s journal entry.
    Angella, That is the same reason I like to look at your old photos!
    Pat, I never wear hats either. Unless it’s freezing outside and I’m trying not to freeze my ears.

  14. A great hat photo – but another wonderful example of the collaborative joy of enterprises such as Sepia Saturday. In this kind of hobby/passion/specific interest field within which we all roam, interactive collaboration is such a bonus.

  15. Kristin,
    OK — I’m all signed up to receive your new posts by email. Love this one! But it’s the kind of quality I always expect from your posts.

  16. Great photo of your grandparents and I recognized Washington’s home right away having been there myself. What a great family picture! Also interesting to me as they were from Decatur, IL – my family comes from Mt. Vernon, IL just a little south of there.

  17. Teresa, they went to see if that’s where they wanted to move and must have decided against it because when they left Indianapolis, IN, they moved first to Kalamazoo, MI and then to Detroit, MI, where they lived until their deaths.

  18. I have a sense of deja vu here…
    It is either a repost or you’ve shown us previously a picture of the same series.
    Wasn’t it when Alan’s prompt had to do with the american president traveling by train? The scene is nonetheless enchanting. I see the ladies, despite wearing pale dresses, weren’t too concerned with grass stains… Me, I can’t wear white!! I’m jinxed!! Just my labcoat, someone will spill coffee on me or I’ll lean on the wall outside while smoking, and dirty it up… No whites for me!!

    1. Ticklebear, now that you’ve stopped smoking you won’t have to worry about that. You have seen this before. It was part of a collage of my grandparents marriage here It might have appeared on a sepia saturday when there was a train prompt but it wasn’t related to the prompt.

  19. A wonderful photo of special charm. What do you think your grandparents and friends thought of Virginia though? In 1910 there was a big difference between Illinois and Virginia. I’ve just started a fascinating book – The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson which has taken the focus of many old photos to a different and deeper perspective.

  20. Wow, how cool is that to have a fellow blogger explain a photo of your very own! I can’t wait to see what more you add to this! This picture itself is just lovely they look so very posed like they were going to be featured in a film! very nice!!!!

  21. Karen, it’s not the first time it’s happened.
    Mike, I read that book and it got me thinking about my grandparents own migrations. I wrote up some of my mother’s parents story but I haven’t done my father’s parents side. They both had come from further south, my grandmother from Kentucky to Indianapolis with her family as a little girl and my grandfather as a medical student from Tennessee to join his brothers and attend medical school in Indianapolis. I was wondering how welcome they would have been on the porch of Washington’s house and if taking the photo on the lawn would have been their first choice.

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