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.
Here, she poses for the camera in the Gap of Dunloe, Ireland
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, 188.8.131.52, 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
This is a great photo of a woman who decided to enter the next
phase of her life with a sense of adventure!