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by Maureen A. Taylor

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# Monday, November 12, 2007
Ancestral Vacations
Posted by Maureen

Two things drew me to this picture. First, the owner sent me wonderful background information to tell the story. Second, it’s proof this blog has an international following: Kathryn Larcher submitted this photo from her home in France.


There's no mystery about the relative depicted. Kathryn knows the last woman in the middle row is her maternal great-grandmother, “Mom Battle” (Mary Clement Crawford Battle). When Mary’s husband died in September 1909, instead of staying home, she traveled in Europe.

mom_battle_gap_dunloe_detail_tag.jpg

Here, she poses for the camera in the Gap of Dunloe, Ireland. This photo comes from a family scrapbook—one probably created by Mom Battle herself. 






Kathryn would like to know when the picture was taken. The numbers on the lower right side of the picture, 51.2.8.10, elaborate that detail. I believe the first number is the photographer’s notation for his 51st picture, but the last three digits are clearly the date.

Using the European method of notation, Mom Battle had her picture taken on the second day of August, 1910. Her black attire, including hat and coat, supports this date. Victorian mourning standards required widows to wear black for the first year after a husband's death.

Centuries of visitors have marveled over the natural beauty of the Gap. You can read more about it in Black’s Guide to Ireland (1902), available through Google Books.

A documentary, Trip Through the Gap of Dunloe (1903), probably boosted tourism in the area. A key stop on the immortalized tour was Kate Kearney’s Cottage, with its legendary history of spells cast by Kate herself, followed by food and drink. Visitors could then hire a horse-drawn conveyance to take them through the Gap and back. Today the cottage still offers refreshments and tourists can still take a horse and buggy.

Kathryn also wondered who else is in this picture. I have a question for her, “Did Mom Battle travel alone or with a companion?” A traveling companion would've been along for this ride. The rest of the folks are just fellow travelers, such as the young honeymoon (perhaps) couple cuddled up in the second row.

This is a great photo of a woman who decided to enter the next phase of her life with a sense of adventure!


1910s photos | group photos
Monday, November 12, 2007 5:00:54 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [2]