A Forgotten 1912 Photo Brings Family Memories Flooding Back to Life

Pat’s mother is second from left, seated. Click for larger view.

Pat’s mother is second from left, seated. Click for larger view.

Imagine finding a nearly destroyed photo in the pages of a book and realizing it is your mother, her sisters, and her brother – taken circa 1912 on their farm in a tiny town in rural Georgia. When Pat Humphries was given the photo by a cousin, she knew she had to salvage it somehow – and that’s how she found ScanMyPhotos.
 

Here is her story, told during a lively phone interview from her home in Michigan:
 

Why did you choose ScanMyPhotos?

 

I looked it up on the Internet. My cousin found the picture in a book, and it was beat up beyond compare. My cousin and I knew they were our mothers, but we couldn’t tell who was who. We thought my uncle was one of my aunts because he was in a dress!
 

Once I got the picture I thought, ‘I know with today’s technology that something can be done,’ so that’s what prompted me to look up picture restoration. Luckily my mother’s youngest sister – she’s still alive and is 92 – my mother was 95 when she passed…
 

Wow!

 

Yes, I’m hoping I get a little bit of those genes!
 

Anyway my grandmother was pregnant with my aunt Bernice when this photo was taken, but she knew who everyone was.
 

The only bad thing about the photo – the anticipation killed me. They give you a 20 day turnaround, and by day 20 I was like, ‘Is it here yet?’ But it turned out just absolutely wonderful, so I had copies made and sent to all of the children of the people in the photograph.
 

So, all of your cousins?

 

Yes. And my one cousin said she hadn’t seen that picture since when she was in her teens, and she just turned 74 on Valentines Day. I don’t like to say that that picture was missing, but it found its way to us. It could have been thrown away or sold in that book at a garage sale.
 

What stories have you learned from your aunt?

 

The good news is that, with my aunt, her mind is so sharp, she has given so many details to us. The sisters were all so close – one would talk to another one every day for 90 years. She just brings these gems to us one by one by one.
 

This picture really brought out things they did. Aunt Bernice said that once they took my uncle out of a dress and put him in pants, he turned into a little hellion! It gave him a newfound sense of worth – and really my grandmother had to threaten him and say if you don’t act right I will have to put you back in a dress!
 

They grew up in this tiny town in the South – Milledgeville, GA. And my grandfather was a sharecropper and building a house. I believe it was the lady who owned the property had the picture taken, because she was having photos taken of her own family.
 

When you see your parents at that young of an age, I can pick out family members who resemble them. It’s really amazing.