Saturday, July 30, 2011

E.A. Bishop led a fine Christian Life

A big thank you to Carol of the Tehama County Genealogical and Historical Society for sending me news paper clippings. Below is the obituary of my Great Great grandfather Erastus Asbury Bishop.

Red Bluff Daily News and Time Sentinel, Red Bluff California 22, June 1922
E.A. Bishop led a fine Christian Life

E.A. Bishop, pioneer of the Los Molinos colony, passed away at the sisters hospital in Red Bluff Tuesday June 21st at 2:30 P.M. following a lingering illness. Erastus Asbury was born in Pottawattamie county, Iowa, March 20 1853, being at the time of death 79 years of age.
He crossed the plains in a covered wagon with his parents, being six months of age when they reached the state of Oregon. It was here he grew to manhood, wooed and won Miss Margaret Jane Compton, who he took as his bride on April 11 1874 at Scio, Oregon, and who has been his faithful companion of over 57 years. To this union were born seven sons and three daughters, two of whom have passed to their reward.
With the members of his family still under the same roof he came to California in 1911, becoming one of the early settlers of the Los Molinos colony.  Being one of those who suffered of influenza in the epidemic of 1918, he was left with a weekend heart from which he had continually been handicapped since and which at last was responsible for his death.
At the age of 21 he gave his heart onto the keeping of his Christ and during the past 14 years of suffering has found great comfort in his abiding faith. At the time his summons came he was a faithful member of the Bethel church of Red Bluff.  He was always ready to give his testimony for Christ to any and all whom he came in contact, and expressed to his loved one many times his readiness to go and be at rest, when his call should come.
In his passing there will be greatly missed  a true and faithful companion, a loving father and a staunch and loyal friend. Those left to mourn their loss are his faithful wife, Mrs. Mrgaret J. Bishop, and his sons, J. Arthur Bishop and Roy E. Bishop of Portland Oregon, H.H. Bishop of the Los Molinos colony; William O. Bishop of Rupert Idaho; O.R. Bishop of Redding and Floyd E. Bishop of Susanville; Daughters, Mrs. Rosa Powers of Wallowa Oregon; Mrs Florence Wilson of Redding; twenty two grandchildren, four great grandchildren, five brothers and two sisters, Oliver, Will and Marvel Bishop of Washington and Elmer Bishop and Mrs. Ella stokes of California, and Mrs. Ora McKinnis of Oregon, besides a host of friends.
The last sad rites will be held at the Bethel chapel in Red Bluff, Thursday at 2:00 P.M. Rev. L.A. Dodson pastor of the church officiating, followed by interment in the oak hill cemetery.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

US Patent No: 971,823

If anyone knows anything about Patent's please let me know. The below letter is addressed to President Woodrow Wilson, Dated sep 23 1914 and is from my Great Great Grandfather. I am assuming this is a copy he made for his records and have contacted the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library to see if they have any other documents related to the document. 

Los Molinos Calif., Sep 28 1914
Mr. Woodrow Wilson
Washington D.C.    
Dear Mr. President, 

Having secured a patient of a "Spark arrester" of the U.S. Patent office Oct 4 1910 and I still hold the same whose no is 971823, I am desirous of Selling my patient and wished to take the matter up with you direct, as you seem to manifest a great desire to assist the working class. I would like you to investigate this matter and see what you can do to help me. You will find my model in the office there. After investigations should you consider it practical would be glad to depose of it to the U.S. Government for a consideration of 13,000. My former address was Wallowa Or, but am now located at Los Molinos Calif.
Waiting a speedy reply. I <unknown> Respectfully, Erastus A Bishop

I have found the patent documents on the US Patent and trademark offices website, I am unsure if the patent was ever used, renewed, sold etc. If anyone knows how to look these things up it would be great to know! I have been looking trying to see if E.A. Bishop had any other Patents, I will let you know if I find any more out! 

Saturday, July 23, 2011


First let me apologize for not posting in a week.  Things have been a bit crazy.

So without further ado a post card.

Mt. Shasta no99 copyright 1907 by C.R. Miller

Florence Bishop, Oak Park Cal.

Text of card:
Another scene of Mt. Shasta this lake is located some 20 miles north of the mountain. There are quite a number of summer flowers around here. Mrs. Hearst, mother of Mr. Hearst who has so many news papers in this country has a castle on the McCloud river 8 miles below town. I was down to see it last Monday. It stands 6 stories high and made of stone. It is claimed it cost 150 thousand dollars to build and finish it.

Friday, July 15, 2011

My first pictures

This picture was developed from a size 120 Film negative

 When my great grandmother passed away in the 80's one thing recovered was a cardboard box full of envelopes that we thought were pictures, however turned out to be only the negatives. When I stated going this project it was to clean develop (digitally) and archive these negatives. I started this aspect about three years ago but had to stop due to having my own daughter and not wanting her around the chemicals and fumes that were needed to physically clean the negatives before scanning.   

This picture was developed from a size 120 Film negative

I was about to start up with the negatives when all of the other pictures came into my possession, some being the same pictures I recovered from the negatives. What this means is even after I finish with the physical photos, I have HUNDREDS more pictures to go through. 

Large Format Film Negative 

One thing that will come of the negatives is as the picture above this paragraph, there will be photos of people whom we no longer have the original photos. Above is a picture of my great grandmother and her first husband Ollie E. Logan. They were married 10 July 1917 and divorced at some point before  7 July 1926 when she married William Henry Wilson. I have yet to find out any details of the divorce. My mom said she know of next to no pictures of Ollie, so when we find them its pretty exciting. 

Recovered from a size 127 film negative.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Panama Pacific International Exposition 1915

Today we are going to look at a souvenir that was in one of the boxes of photos.

The PPIE was the 1915 wolds fair, it was a pivotal moment for San Francisco a city that had been almost completely destroyed by earthquake less than 10 years before. The event was a huge success boosting the morale of the entire bay area and helping one of Americas great cities get back on her feet.

The city chose to instead of hosting the fair in golden gate park, to fill in the mud flats and create one of modern day San Francisco's priemer neighborhoods the Marina.  The grounds comprised of more than 600 acres between the Presido and Van Ness and fronted the bay itself, and took more than four years to complete. The fair ran from Feb 230th to dec 4th of 1915 and was considered a great success.

Here is an excellent site that goes over a little of the history, art and memorabilia of the expo.

In 1915 my Great Great grandparents took a trip to San Francisco

The inside cover of the sovenieer booklet mailed to my Great Grandmother Florence May Bishop

The Council of architects adopted a general plan that was as bold as it has proven successfull. The units are not individual buildings, but beautiful courts with intervening asiles and continuous facades, and around these are interwoven eight great exhibit palaces surmounted by the tower of jewels, 433 feet high. These are flanked on the east by the huge palace of machinert and on the west by the buitiful fine arts palace, while still further west the various buildings of the states of the union and the pavillions of foreign nations are cleverly and effectively grouped. At the eastern extremeity, screened by the machinery palace, is the most wonderfull and extensive amusement section ever planned at any exposition. The great south gardens extend for 3000 feet along the south front of the main groups of exhibit palaces, and at the western end is the magnificent palace of horticulture, while waters of San Francisco bay, facing the Marin hills on the opposit side, with mount Tamalpais a few miles beyond. Symmetry, balance and harmony are the keynotes to the exposition, and these have found expression not only in architectural construction, but in decroative form, in a woinderfull color scheme and i na marvelous lighting arrangement that has never previously been equalled. It is estimated that more than $50,000,000 had been ecpended on the exposition.

(Keep in mind $50,000,000 in 1915 would equal $1,085,044,554.46 today with an average inflation of 3.86%)

Look Closely, these are colorized photographs not paintings.

Sadly the buildings were made to be temporary structures many being made with a simple wood frame then covered with a material called "Staff" that could not survive much more than a single year, and was made of a combination of burlap and plaster - It was cheap and easy to mold. The only surving building that I am aware of is the Palace of Fine Arts, home to the Exploratorium one of the best hands on science museums in the world! 

Every where were gardens, 1500 sculptures and murals, 30,000 imported plants and over 70,000 rhododendrons. The gardens were designed by the same landscape architect as Golden Gate Park John McLaren

 Lighting also played a large role in how the Expo was viewed. GE designed the basic scheem susing thousands of colored spotlights, hidden well and made to make the buildings sparkle and glow. Also The entire area was illuminated by indirect lighting by General Electric. The "Scintillator," a battery of searchlights on a barge in the Bay, beamed 48 lights in seven colors across San Francisco's fog banks. If the fog wasn't in -- no problem: A steam locomotive was available to generate artificial fog.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A call for help!

I am looking for family member or people doing research that might be able to compare notes with me. I am on so can easily be found there. But a comment or direct message here could help as well.

Currently we are grouping our research around my Great Great Grandparents.

Erastus Asbury Bishop
Birth 20 Mar 1853 in Pottawattamie, Indiana
Death 21 Jun 1932 in California, United States 

Margaret Jane Compton
Birth 22 Aug 1856 in Scio, Linn, Oregon, United States
Death 10 Sep 1951 in Lassen, California, United States           


They were married on 11 April 1875 in Linn county Oregon. A large number of the pictures I have mentioned or posted are the extended family of these two. Any information would be a big help. Im finding lots of the tools on Ancestry to be a big help, as well as a small amount of email communication with some people I have found via Google. 

-- Complements of the season To Mr & Mrs E.A. Bishop Los Molinos, Tehama Co, Cal, USA --
 From Mr & Mrs W.L Compton - Wetaskiwin Alberta Canada

Linn 15, Eula 18, Arya 23, Frank 26, Louise 10, Oda 22, Mareda 12 

Thank you! 
I find it fascinating how much the formality of getting married has changed, these are two wedding photos from my collection, both from 1903. The wedding dress is much simpler then one would find at a typical modern american wedding. I will need to look into this more!

Mattie Golding and Henry Bishop, 22 Mar 1903

Loren Powers and Rosa Bishop, 21 Oct 1903

And then there is this picture, I find this bride to be breathtaking, hopefully someone in my family will say oh that aunt so-and-so or hey that me; I have been identifying a lot of people lately the photo album was a godsend.

Unknown bride

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Treasure of unspeakable value!

My parents had commented to me with one of the fist pictures I scanned, Oh we have that album.
Unidentified girl circa 1860-1870

I was doubtful that it was that same album but curious none the less. It turns out in the back of my grandparents closet burred under various random things was a think very old photo album. So I drove over to my parents house to give it a look, and was not surprised that it is not the same album (Square holes as opposed to round), but was shocked at what it contained. 

Judge this book by the condition of its cover and you will be wrong.

Sitting on my parents table is a old cloth bound book, about 6" thick, the rear cover is torn off and has been sitting on an October 4th 1987 news paper for so long It is now the rear cover. The condition of the book is bad, the bindings are torn, the pages coming loose, there are splotches on the cover and the latch that once held it closed is long gone. However the pictures themselves look almost new. 

I put on my cotton gloves and slowly and carefully opened the cover. 

Not only was it amazingly well preserved (Acid free paper at the beginning of the 20th century?) Every single picture is labeled with a name, and many with a relationship or event title (Cousin or Wedding). This book is the find of all finds for the work we are doing. Thirty Seven pictures, all but one with names! 

My Great Great Great Grandmother, born in 1836

I took possession of the book yesterday, and spent 3+ hours carefully removing each picture, cautiously dusting it off, scanning and then returning it to the book. Most of the pictures are Cabinet Cards and Carte De Visite, with a few Tin Types and other Albumen prints. About 1/2 of the cards are stamped with a photographers information which will help with dating. 

Carte De Visite and Cabinet Cards have been in this book for 100 years or so.

While I was doing this my wife was busily trying to find the people on, and find out who the relationships are to.

The back page: To Bill & Florence Wilson, Presented by Mother Bishop

So the basic work is done, next will be tagging all the pictures and using the data to identify some of the unknown pictures we are still going through. Hopefully this will help as family and friends slowly piece together  the story these 100+ years of photographs tell. 

Here are just a few of the pictures.

 Florence May Bishop (Thin Albumem print) 

Miss Emma Compton

 Roy Kinser (Aunt Emma's Boy)

Henry and Arthur Bishop <Tin Type>

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

buchtel and stole photographers

Joseph Buchtel (1830-1916) became one of northwestern Oregon's most influential and renowned early day photographers. He started hi artistic carrier in 1851 when  he purchased a "daguerreotype outfit" in Urbana Illinois, leaving in 1852 with a forty wagon party bound for Oregon Territory.

Unknown photo from my family collection dated 1873-1879

Butchtel began to produce the new cabinet cards in January of 1867 in rented rooms at 89 first street in Portland Oregon. In April 1873 Buchtel and his new partner E.H. Stolte opened "First Premium Gallery" and put their new "Viewing Wagon" into the field, this mobile studio was for "the taking pictures of buildings etc." the firm issued a number of sterographics titled Oregon & W.T. Scenery  and advertised for sale the likenesses of Captain Jack and other Modoc warriors.

Unknown photo from my family collection dated 1873-1879

In late 1878 or early 1879 the partnership broke up, Butchtel continued to produce award winning photographs until his retirement from the art in 1880 with his election as County Sheriff. Buchtel served two four year terms as Sheriff as well as a two year term as the fourth fire chief for the city of Portland's professional fire department. He died at home on August 10th 1916.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Handwriting and other challenges.

One problem that we keep running into is reading the very old calligraphy on some of the pictures and deciphering who the picture is supposed to be. That can be troubling but it is not as trying to read the black/gray pencil markings on a piece of black/gray paper that is well over a hundred years old and very worn off.

I appreciate my ancestors not pushing the pencil too hard on the back of the photo, however that has made it very hard to read what is written on some of these cards. When we have a very clear picture as this one below:

It would be nice too know who is on the picture, reverse the card and you get this. I have tried everything I can think of, changing the image contrast, changing light - applying filters. There must be some sort of trick to reading this, hopefully its not something that requires a lab!

It would be greatly appreciated if you can give me some ideas on how to read this. If you are aware of a way (hopefully using PSE 9) to bring the writing to the foreground it would be greatly appreciated. I might take a few of these pictures down to my local historical society to see if they have any tips on what to do.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Nothing to go on...

This appears to be one of the oldest photos in the collection and has nothing to clue me into a name, date or location. 

This photo is called a Carte De Visite and was common from 1859 - 1870 They were commonly given as calling cards and left during a visit, the Carte De Visite was supplanted by the Cabinet card in about 1870. 

We have a few clues to help us at least roughly date this picture. We have the card itself, and we have the little girl. Cards prior to 1870 would not have the photographers name printed or watermarked onto the card itself, but would sometimes have a stamp or hand written signature on the back. 

So we have black card stock that appears to have rounded edges, but if you look closer the edges were square and have been trimmed, smashed and shaped purposely or with time. This alone should date the card to late early stage of its life 1860 - 1870. Then we look at the photographers mark or in this case lack of. 

I can not find any photographers mark, no stamp, imprint etc. However looking closely at the back of the card is some trace of lead or charcoal pencil marks, hopefully I will learn a way o reveal these. This again seems to confirm the age of this card. The newer the card the more ornate the photographers stock should be.   

Lastly lets look at the girl and the props she is posed with. She is standing and the picture shows her from foot to head, she is wearing a fair amount of decorative lace at sleeves and collar, there are no petticoats nor a true bustle. This again seems to hint at the time period between 1860-1870  

Please note that I dont have any formal training on how to do this properly, all I can do is read from various sources (Yes counting Wikipedia) and compare this picture to others that have been positively identified, In other words I might be completely wrong. As my understanding of the people and the periods these pictures contain I should get better at identifying and understanding them.  

Here is a minimally restored version

Finding History

With the passing of my Grandfather I volunteered myself to catalog and archive all of the family photos. Little did I know of old and interested some of them would be. I have become fascinated with uncovering the stories that are depicted in these pictures.

Little did I know how vast the collection would be, I have only scratched the surface of the boxes, and so far have spent more time looking at the pictures then editing and restoring them. The collection is not only my Grandparents pictures, but also consists of my Great Grandparents and Great Great Grandparents collections!

Unfortunately for me there is no organisation of how the photos were stored, most were just dumped into boxes and forgotten, and most have no names, dates or notes to go with them.

The photos are from the families of:

Crouse: Susanville CA and Pennsylvania
Squibb: Susanville CA and Keeport PA
Wilson: Susanville CA
Bishop: Tehama county CA, Wallowa OR  

And have dates from the 1880's to Up

Wish me luck!