A Family Picnic, 1918

Dear Readers,

My Dad was going through some old family photos recently, and ran across some fabulous 100-year-old snapshots of my great-grandfather, his parents & maternal grandfather, and some other relatives/family friends on a picnic in upstate New York!  

  July 4, 1918. Great-Grandpa George (front right, holding out his glass) wrote on the back of this shot, "On the Goodwin Road" and then carefully listed out the names of each and every person in the photo, in nice black ink. Photography was Great-Grandpa's (shown here during his college days) big hobby, and he documented everything nicely, thank heavens.

July 4, 1918. Great-Grandpa George (front right, holding out his glass) wrote on the back of this shot, "On the Goodwin Road" and then carefully listed out the names of each and every person in the photo, in nice black ink. Photography was Great-Grandpa's (shown here during his college days) big hobby, and he documented everything nicely, thank heavens.

Doesn't that look elegant?  It feels like they stepped right out of Downton Abbey, gentlemen in their starched white shirts and ties, ladies in frilly frocks (hats carefully hung on a fencepost in the background).  My Great-Great-Great-Grandpa P. (seated on the fence, rear) even brought a newspaper along!  They have little baskets and pails to carry the picnic spread, a glass decanter for the drinks and real glass cups, and just look like they're having a grand old time.  Doesn't that make you want to go on a picnic?

  A snapshot Great-Grandpa George took when they arrived at the picnic site, gentlemen in full three-piece suits and ladies showing off their magnificent summer hats...love those hats, ladies!

A snapshot Great-Grandpa George took when they arrived at the picnic site, gentlemen in full three-piece suits and ladies showing off their magnificent summer hats...love those hats, ladies!

When I think of 1918, I think of World War I still raging on in Europe ("In Flanders fields the poppies blow/Between the crosses, row on row"), and of the Spanish flu ravaging the world.  And yet, life went on as usual for at least some, although I'd imagine that most of my family members (shown here) experienced loss from one or the other of these two devastating events.  History books often leave out the good times, the laughter, focusing solely on the notable wars, battles, and plagues.  

There were good times, too!  That's life for you, an ongoing juxtaposition of pain and suffering and laughter and love (and even some goofing off):

  Great-Grandpa George (standing, wrapped in a blanket) wrote on the back of this snapshot, "Herbert  [far right, seated] -  wigwam keeper; George - Indian standing!" This shot provides a better view of the scrumptious picnic, which looks like it involved some fluffy homemade biscuits and fried chicken. Is that cider in the glass jug?

Great-Grandpa George (standing, wrapped in a blanket) wrote on the back of this snapshot, "Herbert [far right, seated] - wigwam keeper; George - Indian standing!" This shot provides a better view of the scrumptious picnic, which looks like it involved some fluffy homemade biscuits and fried chicken. Is that cider in the glass jug?

Are y'all ready to dig out your suits, best summer frocks, and biggest sun hats, and head out on a July 4th picnic now?  Let's go!

Yours Truly,

Sarah

P.S. A huge thanks to my Dad for sharing these fabulous photos!