Monday, October 31, 2011

Little Babies - Sweet Babies

The little baby is my grandmother Leatha Clarissa (Ashley) Harriman, born November 1906

The baby shoes belonged to my grandfather Gilbert Samuel Harriman, born November 1898

Both items were items were given to me by my Aunt Mary. 
Mary is the daughter of Gilbert and Leatha Harriman.

I stuffed bit of honey colored organza inside the shoes to fill out their shape.  Am I losing my mind, or can you see creases in the leather defining his little toes? 
Ah Mary, thank you so much for letting me display these wonderful treasures in my home.

My grandfather
detail of Gilbert Samuel Harriman, c1902
Lebanon, Missouri
Gilbert, age 4 - 1902
Family Reunion, Lebanon Missouri
Backrow standing: Walter Ray Harriman, Nettie Viola Harriman, Francis Marion Harriman, Benjamin Hollandsworth husband of Pearl Harriman, Pearl Harriman, John William Harriman, Harley Harriman
Seated adults: James "Howard" Harriman and his wife Edna Irene (Snow) Harriman and their son Gilbert Samuel Harriman--my grandfather. 
Center of the photograph is Mother, Mary Elizabeth (Stevens) Harriman, patriarch of the family. 
Father, Samuel Harriman (deceased, not shown in this photograph)
Next to Mother, is Anna Harriman Butts and her husband James with their infant son Ray.
Bottom right is the youngest sibling: Verna Mae Harriman Mills.  Verna had 13 children; she named her 11th children Finis (the end), but it wasn't.

detail, 1907 photo of my grandmother
Leatha Clarissa (Ashley) Harriman

1908 photo of my grandmother Leatha Clarissa (Ashley) Hariman
with her parents Annie Laurie (Miller) Ashley, and William Arthur Ashley

We are so blessed to have many remarkable images and personal family items that my Aunt Mary gave me to display in our old Victorian.
It makes me smile every time I walk by.  Sometimes I stop to touch them.

There is another trunk of family items to photograph and post (heirlooms from Aunt Mary)
And one more suitcase of old, old photographs to scan and post that Dad found and sent my way.
Oh my, I'll do my best to get the task done and load them up on

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Finding Gladys; 1902, 1903, 1906

I found Gladys . . . isn't she lovely?

Gladys 1906 - age 20

Under some unusual circumstances I acquired 12 original drawings made by Gladys.  The drawings were signed and dated from 1902-1903.  A friend of a friend sent them to me as a gift to decorate our old Victorian.

When the drawings arrived I immediately noticed the artist's signature and went right to to see if I could find Glady's ancestors.  In minutes I found two living granddaughters Rachel and Julia and sent them an email.  Next day I received a reply:

I am Julia, Gladys's granddaughter. I wonder if we have the same Gladys??!! My grandmother was born and lived all her life in Portland Maine. She was born in 1887 and died in l980 at the age of 93. She attended Wellesley at the age of 16, graduated, then married  . . .  around the age of 20 and had three children including my mother . . . who just died at the age of 100.

Gladys . . . was very well educated, traveled a good deal, and wrote poetry. She was also involved in the suffragette movement here in Portland. Our Gladys was in fact an amazing artist, and sketched all her life. I have a book she made of drawings of freshman student life when she was at Wellesley College, a copy of which is in the college art collection. I don't know if she ever actually studied drawing or drew from models.

. . . I wonder how her drawings would have made their way out to your area of the country! How do you think we could clarify if this is the same Gladys?

Let me know how you think we should proceed. This is so exciting! I will also try to telephone you.
Many thanks,
I scanned the drawings and signatures and emailed a few images to Julia.  Below is an image of one of Gladys' drawings
Miss Green Posing, 19 Nov 1902
I received the following response from Glady's granddaughter Julia:
  I am so excited to receive your email! The handwriting and the drawings are clearly those of my grandmother Gladys- I would recognize them anywhere. I have been going through all her letters and her sketchbooks this fall. She had a very characteristic drawing style when it came to facial features and clothing . . .
Thank you Julia.  Thank you for sharing memories of your grandmother Gladys and giving me permission to post about our "chance" meeting.  Finding Gladys was a wonderful journey.