Tanya Hanson: A Blast From the Past

midnight-bride.jpgIn a waiting room recently, I took my cell phone in my hand, not to annoy the other patrons but to re-live some fun moments. I checked through my saved pictures — my hubby and me at the Angels/Sox game at Fenway, Charlene Sands and me drooling at a Tim McGraw concert, a bazillion pix of our year old grandson — and I enjoyed everything all over again.

When I got my Kodak Instamatic for a graduation present sometime last century, I thought I was on the top of Everest. With its Magicubes, it was so state-of-the-art. In my wildest dream then, I never imagined a future where I could take pictures with a phone….and email them to a computer! Or use a digi-cam where I can delete all of my faux pas in a flash and where everything’s got a date for instant record keeping. Or scan a horde of old photos for publication on the Internet for you to see.

I wanted to share today some of the gorgeous antique photographs that inspire me. But beforehand, I’m going to make you suffer through a brief history of photography through 1900. After all, I am a retired schoolteacher and lecturing’s a hard habit to break.

earlycamera.jpgCameras existed long before J.N. Niepce produced the first permanent image, a heliograph, in 1826 – an exposure that took 8 hours with a camera obscrua! This was an image of an outside scene formed by a simple lens and sunlight shining through a small hole into a darkened room. (Camera obscura means “darkened room.”)

In 1837, his partner, Louis Daguerre, began to produce images on silver iodide-coated copper plates that took 30 minutes to develop with warmed mercury. Two years later, Fox Talbot introduced the negative from which many positive images could be produced. But paper negatives didn’t produce the detailed images of the daguerreotype. In 1841, he patented his “calotype” negative/positive process with its 5 minute exposure time.

henry_clay-camera.jpgLondon sculptor Frederick Scott Archer never patented his 1851 wet plate collodion process, where he spread a mixture of nitrated cotton dissolved in ether and alcohol on sheets of glass. The result: the 10-second exposure “tintype.” Much cheaper than the daguerreotype, the tintype brought photography to everyday people. The name probably comes from the tin shears or scissors needed to cut the small pictures (about 2″ x 3″), rather than the metal plates on which they were reproduced.

In 1861, Scottish physicist James Clerk-Maxwell came up with the color-separation method by using green, red, or blue filters when taking black and white photographs. And during the Civil War, Mathew Brady and his staff exposed 7,000 negatives while covering the war!

British physician Richard Leach Maddox developed the dry plate process in 1871, using an emulsion of gelatin, the protein in animal bones, and silver bromide on dry plates. (Gelatin is still used today.) Exposure time: 1/25th of a second!

When he was 24 in 1880, George Eastman set up his Eastman Dry Plate Company in Rochester, NY. By 1888, the general public had access to a simplified camera, thanks both to his “Kodak Number 1” model and his mass developing/processing service. A year later, Eastman produced the first transparent roll film. This was a vast improvement over the 20-foot roll of paper in the “Number 1” that produced 100 two-and-a-half inch circular pictures.

The next year, 1889, Thomas Edison improved the Kodak roll film to 35mm and put the perforations down each side. This became the international standard for motion picture film. Briton Eadweard Muybridge, who had changed his name from the unexciting Edward Muggridge, is credited as the “father of the motion picture” for his 1877 time-stop sequence photos of Leland Stanford’s galloping horse. He didn’t copyright his images, though, and lost a lawsuit against Stanford when he published them. Yes, that’s the same guy who named a university for his son. (Mr. Muybridge and his “flying horse” play a brief but adorable part in a work of mine that likely won’t ever emerge from my hard drive. But oh I had fun writing it!)

In 1880, the first half-tone photo appeared in a newspaper, and ten years later, Eastman introduced the Kodak Brownie box camera.

Okay, now the lesson is over. Last year, my mom moved to a beautiful retirement apartment, leaving my brother Paul and me to shovel out her old house. While the process that he and I have nicknamed The Upheaval has its ups and downs, one “Up” is the treasure trove of antique photos I’ve found. Going through them is like nirvana.

005_5.jpg006_6.jpgThis tintype of my great-grandfather shows him handsome enough to star in his own romance novel. Agreed? Even more interesting is the tintype in the same studio of an unidentified woman. It’s not his only sister. And it definitely isn’t great-grandma. An old girlfriend? No one knows. But Great-Grandpa was happily wed for almost 55 years to my darling great-grandma.

007_7.jpgLook at that face. How could he not? One can almost forgive her for weighing only 98 pounds the day she gave birth to her eighth child. (I did not inherit those genes, by the way.)

But, I do think Tintype Woman deserves a story of her own. Especially since I borrowed Great-Grandma’s name for a character in my first book.

003_3.jpgThe next photo touches me deeply. One of my great-grandparents’ seven sons passed away as an infant, little Paul. In the nineteenth century, it was common to photograph the dead children, but my ancestors fortunately passed on that tradition and only depicted his catafalque. I just can’t help being teary-eyed just looking at it; I think this could evoke a powerful scene in a future book.

008_8.jpgWell, their second son was my grandfather, a prim and proper minister. It seems his profession gets short shrift in romance novels because of, ahem, the love scenes. Truth to tell, the hero of my Eadweard Muybridge tale is just such a preacherman. But I think Grandpa’s a dashing hero anyway. I just imagine him on the way to woo his beloved (my grandma), as proud of that buggy and his horse Babe as any fictional hero with his Stetson and stallion.

011_11.jpgAfter seminary in St. Louis, he took a call to Union City, Oklahoma, which evokes every pioneer town I’ve ever dreamed up myself, or read about. How about you?

009_9.jpgBut now’s when things get interesting and I get to let my imagination run wild. A whole ton of the old photos aren’t labeled with any specific details. Grandpa and Grandma lived in a parsonage, so no one knows who belonged to this homestead. All that’s written on the back is: “A bird’s eye view of the place taken last spring. Oklahoma.” So without a who, exactly where, or when, I can people this homestead with whomever I want.

002_2.JPGHow about these twins? Boy or girl? Children of both genders in the late 1800’s dressed quite similarly until little boys turned six or so.

001_11.JPGVery poignant is the picture of “Raymond and children.” No relatives alive today remember them. No last name. No date. No hometown. Where is Mrs. “Raymond?” Did she die birthing one of the kids? Was he heartbroken? What futures, what loves, what adventures did those little kids have? Did they have a stepmother later on? Was she wicked? Since I don’t know for sure, I’ll just give them a good stepmom in some future tale. I might even let Raymond find love again.

mystery-woman.jpgNow, your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to help me develop a story about the woman in this photo. All I know about her is the photography studio’s label, “Sedalia, Missouri.” Look into her eyes and tell me the story you see there when you comment today. In three sentences or so, give her a name, a goal. Conflicts and motivations. A future worthy of a romance novel heroine including of course, a hot hero. My family members will pick the “story line” they like best and that writer will receive a copy of my latest release, Midnight Bride, and a pair of sterling-silver cowboy hat earrings.

So get creative. Who is the pretty lady? Where does she live? On what journey would you like her to go? And most important of all, who will be the love of her life?

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52 thoughts on “Tanya Hanson: A Blast From the Past”

  1. I am not very creative at all, but when I look at the picture I see Sarah who is entirely too smart, fiesty, and opinionated for the people in her town back east. She longs for freedom to be herself and responds to an ad requesting a wife for a sheriff in Wyoming. She makes the long journey, meets her true love Jared who is equally smart, bossy, and opionionated. They butt heads, but eventually become true partners and leaders in the community. She, of course, organizes a women’s group to the consternation of some!

  2. hmmm..let’s see here!!!

    Her name is Clara. She lives in a busy city in the east..perhaps Philadelphia! Her father owns a very successful store there and she is an only child, having been brought up in a fairly wealthy manor. She gets her teaching certificate at the age of 18 and decides to set out for the west for a teaching position. She arrives at her destination (a very small town ..somewhere in the west)………there lives a rancher who hardly speaks to anyone and mostly stays on his ranch….his name would be Luke. Luke is 27 years old and everyone thinks he’s a just a mean person because he doesnt talk much. One day after the students had left, Miss Clara is wiping down her black boards when she hears someone shuffling inside. She turns to see quiet Luke standing there looking very embarrassed. She says hello to him and asked him if needed something..and he blushed and says…yes ma’am…I need you to teach me to read…etc..etc..etc… they eventually fall in love after some hardships and finally he proposes by writing “Clara, will you be my wife?” on her chalkboard before a reading lesson! She shows up for the reading lesson and of course..says yes!!

    haha…sorry I could not keep it to three sentences!

  3. oh…I decided to change her location….Missouri just didnt fit my story line!! LOL hope that is ok

  4. Okay here goes.. I see her as Martha, studies medicine to care for the sick and wounded Is a mother of 5 She lives in Wyoming. Her husband is a rancher named Clyde he is a strong willed man, very protective and works hard for his family to keep what they have with the spread of disease lurking.
    I love your post on the cameras and photography I am in awh when i look at old photos wondering who people are and what kind of life they led. I have been a professional photographer for 12 years and my uncle was a Proffessor at Old Deminion College in Virgina for photography he made on of his first cameras out of a box (not sure how he done that) he has a vast collection of old cameras. I really enjoyed all your information on this topic.

  5. ok Tanya..just wanted to say..I took a minute to read an excerpt from MIDNIGHT BRIDE..and WOW..it looks fantastic and I absolutely love the cover too!

  6. Thanks for the great story lines, Melissa, Lori and Cheryl…definite possibilities LOL. (And it’s okay if she moves from Missouri.) I love “mail-order” bride scenarios. And her teaching him to him to read, hmmmmmmmm. I like it, I love it.

    And I’m in awe of professional photographers! How did they even figure out to start with a box and a little hole. And chemicals and gelatin et al.? Wow.

    Glad you liked MB, Melissa. And I think Jake is waaaay hot.

  7. I’ve been studying the Santa Fe Trail a lot recently. So our mystery lady lives in New Mexico. Jasmine Otero handles the correspondence for her father’s business on the Santa Fe Trail. She dreams of visiting the farflung places where they conduct business, places like St. Louis, New York, Paris, Mexico City. Instead, her brothers go on trips while she stays safe and secluded at home. Until, that is, handsome trader George Evans arrives in town—ready to steal her family’s business—and Jasmine’s heart.

  8. And thanks for the brainstorming break from my own contemporary western/mystery which I’m writing! Much more fun and creative!
    Shameless self-promotion: A String of Murders, scheduled for release in December 2008 with heartsong Presents: Mysteries!

  9. Oh Darlene, thanks for stopping by today! I love your idea about Jasmine! Best of luck with your new books–I’m already looking forward to reading Gunfight at Grace Gulch! Hugs…:)

  10. Hi Tanya – Wonderful blog today. I always learn something from you. Now I know the difference between a tintype and a daguerreotype – who knew? How wonderful to have so many pics of your family’s history. Have a great day at Wildflower Junction.

    Her name is Sophia and she hates her name, it mocks her non-feminine personality. She feels less worthy as a woman, but superior in intelligence. She’s the editor of a newspaper and has been secretly in love with Cade, a handsome cattleman who cannot read, but oh, can still make her heart flutter.

  11. Ooh la la. I’m loving this hero-can’t-read thing! And of course Sophia means wisdom…The episode in Dr. Quinn when naughty Hank learns to read was soooo touching, gave him a bit of a heart.

    Thanks as always, Charlene for everything, and to all you fillies for inviting me to blog today at Wildflower Junction.

  12. Im thinking Hannah is a mail order bride,comes from back east going west to meet her new husband an new child,a prim an proper lady who is in for a big surprize!

  13. Great minds think alike, Vickie! Hannah sounds a bit like Minda, the MOB in my current project that just finaled in a contest with the San Antonio Romance Authors. Thanks for posting today!

  14. I have always loved looking at old pictures even there is a relation or not. We just went through some of my grandparents. Who knew how handsome they were?

    Okay, here it goes for the story line…. Maggie’s parents have sent her to visit her brother and his wife. Mr Hottie Cowboy neighbor who owns the land next to them is a widower with a misbehaving daughter that she helps bring together. Of course he falls for her and is able to love again.

  15. Hi Tanya, welcome to P&P! It’s great to have you. And what a fun, interesting blog!

    Okay, I’ve accepted the mission and the mystery woman in the photograph is Miss Amelia Hargrove. She’s a school teacher but not by choice. Her heart is in the newspaper business and she lusts after Clayton Farrow who is a card sharp. She dreams of making love to him and living an exciting life full of travel and adventure.

    Love the cover of your book! It really draws you in. The colors are beautiful. I wish you lots of luck with it. Have a wonderful day!

  16. Oh, Katie, I too get lost in old photos whether or not they’re related to me, e.g. the boxes of leftovers at flea markets. Who could get rid of those? And I love Maggie and Hottie’s potential!

    Linda, I am so happy to be invited to the junction today. I owe Sable Gray for the beautiful cover; she did just what I wanted, colors, expressions etc. And a card sharp. Hmmmmm.
    I like it! And I have a fondness in my heart for schoolteachers LOL…and girls who wear glasses.

  17. I love the old pictures–no matter whethere they ‘belong’ to me or not. LOL I’ve got a bunch that would be good story fodder too–if I can ever wrest them back from my geneological crazy aunt.

    Clare, who once dressed as a man to be a conductor on the underground railroad, has escaped to the wilds of Arizona. Why did she have to escape? A nasty ex-slave owner knows her ‘secret’ and will expose her to vigilantes unless she marries him.

  18. Maddie was raised in Boston by rich parents who happen to die and leave in the care of her lecherous uncle Claude who tries to rape her and she strikes him in the head with an iron. Maddie thinks she kills him so she boards a train heading west and meets a female saloon owner who teaches her to be a faro dealer. The sherriff in the town is intrigued by Maddie but she shys away from him because of her past and sparks fly as he tries to win her heart.

  19. Mmmmm, Lizzie. I love the intrigue, the disguise…and I’ve a fondness for the Underground Railroad and all the “rights” issues going on in the 19th century (used to teach American Lit.)

    And Crystal, a villain is always great! i can just imagine Maddie’s desperation.

    Thanks for posting today.

  20. Tanya, I love old photographs, too! I love any photos, and the whole concept fascinates me. I totally don’t get digital photography, because it’s impossible in my thinking. But I love it.

    Thanks for being our guest today, Tanya! Great blog.

  21. the whole “big sexy man who can’t read but admits and learns how” thing..is sooo sweet and sexy too

    I love it

  22. Tanya, I really enjoy looking at old pictures and imagining what their life was like. I can come up with some really good possibilities when I let my imagination run wild. And there’s nothing like a mystery photo that sparks my brain.

    Thanks for sharing some of your old photos today.

  23. Her name is Cordelia. She lost both of her parents in a robbery when she was 17. She has been taking care of her little sister ever since. It was a very hard time. Men tried to seduce her and she had little money. But she’s a strong woman. After doing lots of little jobs she gets an offer from Mr. Nice Guy. She has to help him by cooking for his saloon and in return he’ll help her to keep men away from her. Well, all men but himself of course… Will he be able to soften her heart and make her realise how much he needs her?

  24. You’re welcome, Linda and Cheryl and all the fillies. It’s an honor.

    And Stefanie, Cordelia (aka Cordula) is a family name. You’ve given her a great story. Thanks for posting.

  25. After reading the post, I sat down to write my 3 or so sentences but I think I misunderstood because I wrote them as if I was starting a story. But, since I’ve used up some of my ‘writing time’ today, I’m going to add it here even though it’s not like the rest:

    Laila Moore ignored the pang of guilt as she stared at the worn photograph of her proxy husband. He’d assumed she was a lady of fine breeding and that’s what he’d get because even four years of prison couldn’t erase her upbringing. Her past was hidden, covered under the guise of a former friend, now dead. And no one here would every suspect she’d murdered her first husband. Not even her new one, Carson City’s Sheriff Jed Ralston.

  26. When I look at the photo, I see a woman named Amelia. She married young to an older gentleman who had wealth. Ten years later, she is a weathly widow with no children. She is lonely, always wanted a family, but is leery of men wanting her money! One day she is held up at the bank with other townsfolk. Later arrives a handsome rugged looking lawman on the trail of the badguys! Are there sparks flying?… Does he give her a second thought or is his focus only on catching the badguys?… Will she allow herself to trust him?…

  27. As a family member who will judge these entries, I’m limited in my participation in identifying the mystery woman.=)
    I do think her immigrant parents named her America, however, and after her first great love was killed in a hold up at his bank, she thought she’d never find love again – and she accepted that. Until she met Zachariah… who has a shady past including a series of bank robberies. But he swears he’s never harmed a soul and has retired that part of his life.
    Great history lesson, Tanya, and I loved seeing the old pics of my relatives!!

  28. Anita Mae, keep going–it’s great! I love it. A lot of intrigue going on in those few wonderful sentences. I want to know what happened…And Colleen, I’m ever attracted to hot lawmen myself. Thanks for posting, ladies.

    Steeny, although I threatened you with no Christmas present if you didn’t post today–thanks. I mean it.

    Thanks to everybody.

  29. OK, Ladies, hang on to your petticoats [;-)], this is a male viewpoint, and a ‘foreign male’ viewpoint at that …. I’m in Northern Ireland.
    Now it seems to me, from what little I know, that you ladies love the late Victorian era, very roughly the 1870s, 80s and 90s, in the ‘old West’…… but you know, in so many ways, those bygone days are still with us.
    OK, we dress differently and behave differently [in some ways] but the core human values of then can still be found today.

    I know a lady of ‘inderterminate vintage’ who lives in California. Her hubby is a firefighter, how more heroic an occupation can you get? Not so long ago hubby was diagnosed with cancer and just as those ladies of the Old West showed their true worth, my friend did the same. She stepped up to the plate and went to bat for her hubby …. you could just as easily dress her in the petticoats of the 1880s and substitute cowboy for firefighter, and a land-grabber for cancer, and you have the same qualities of the human spirit at its best – grit and determination in the face of unfair adversity.
    The best, and the worst, human qualities don’t change with time – they endure for always.
    As I sit here, thinking on a keyboard, I can see a photograph of my father, his brother and three of his sisters, taken in the mid 1890s, a photograph of my maternal grandparents on their wedding day, in 1896, my own parents’ wedding photographs from 1940, and a photograph of my late mother on her 95th birthday [she would have been 100 on 4/4/2008].
    Old photographs illustrate a different era, but when we look a little closer, when we identify [or know] the subjects of those photographs, we realise more and more that clothing and customs may change – but human values endure.
    Just a randon thought or three!!! The soapbox is now vacant!!! 😉

  30. What a great post, Tanya! I love looking at the old pictures in my family and wondering what the people did back then. Gets my creative thoughts swirling.

    I remember my first camara–my mother gave me her old Brownie Box (her first camera!) and to take a picture I had to hold it at my waist and look into the “view-finder”–LOL– we’ve almost come full-circle today with those view finders rather than the peephole! Just digital now!

    Thanks for all the wonderful historical facts and fun stories.

  31. Okay, I’m going to give this a try-

    Clara Sue Beaumont moved to Sedalia, Missouri with her widowed father, a drunk and a gambler. She’s his only child, considered well-passed marrying age, but she is the only thing he has left since her mother passed away from pneumonia when Clara was just on the verge of adolescence.

    Her goal is to keep her father’s drinking and gambling debts paid off and keep him out of trouble. She wishes her mother hadn’t died, leaving the responsibility of her father on her shoulders and she’s grown to be logical and business-minded, but deep in her heart she wishes she could be more feminine and desirable- a woman a man would want to marry and have a family with. Not to mention she has a longing to escape her father’s drunken tirades and financial troubles.

    When her father loses everything they own to a rich stern cattleman in a game of poker, Clara think things couldn’t get worse, but when Jeremiah Abrams (out of his desire not to yank everything out from under her since she can’t help the troubles her father has brought upon them) offers to hire her on at his ranch as a housekeeper and cook to work off the debts her father owes him, she cringes at the thought of having to take orders from another overbearing male.

    In the process, she begins to let her hair down and Jeremiah discovers her femininity beneath her business-like exterior and he likes what he sees. Could he be Clara’s saving grace after all?

  32. Andy, thanks with all my heart for crossing the Pond to be with us today! It means so much. I’m teary-eyed right now. And you can stay on that soapbox as long as you want. We wouldn’t have romance novels without you heroes! <3

    Kathryn, my childhood camera I think was a later Brownie with a big silver dish reflector-thing you screwed the flash bulb in. I found undeveloped rolls from it in The Upheaval LOL.

    And Taryn Raye…great mini-synopsis! I love the idea of the heroine having to work off debts…that aren’t even her own! Bet she’s ticked!

  33. Hi Tanya! So great to have you here at Petticoats & Pistols!

    Wow–what a fabulous post! I just love all those pictures. Thank you for sharing that wondeful glimpse through history 🙂 Very inspiring!!!

  34. Okay, to continue on, here’s what I’m thinking for Sheriff Jed Ralston:

    He wasn’t used to deception. The word alone sent chills beneath his skin, ensuring the black hairs on his arms stood at attention. Deception was the coward’s way out. And right now, Sheriff Jed Ralston was a coward. Scared to the dickens that his new wife wasn’t who she was purported to be. Like his last one…a soiled dove hidden under layers of peacock feathers. But this time he’d been careful. Extensive research had turned up Matilda, an educated woman of fine breeding, trained to run a domestic household such as he would have one day…when he became governor of Nevada. Until then, she would keep his daughter safe while he wore the badge and upheld the law in this town named after the infamous Kit Carson.
    —————-
    I’d love to hang around but I have to chauffeur my kids to the city for lessons. It’ll be late by the time I get back but I’ll check in anyway. I love this blog!

  35. I love looking at old photographs!

    Um, I am not reading the ones above, but here is my idea.

    Her name is Rebecca (or Becca…maybe…that can be changed) and she is heading west after spending years caring for her ailing aunt and living a sheltered life back east. She longs for adventure and love like she reads in books (she’s a bookworm). Her aunt encourages to seek the adventure she craves and the reluctant young woman decides to head west by answering an ad for a governess/housekeeper that was supposedly placed by a doctor with 3 young children (but it was really placed by his sister who feels her little brother needs more help than she can provide).

    Along the way, the stagecoach she is riding in is robbed and her fellow passengers are killed. Wounded and left for dead, Becca wonders if life out west is really what she wants. But she is a woman of her word and not one to give up easily (plus her new boss is a doctor…he can patch her up ;o) ).

    Once she has made it to her new home, she learns that caring for children is not quite like caring for an elderly aunt…especially this troublesome trio. And it also seems that her new boss isn’t exactly the most welcoming despite his devilish good looks.

    But she is determined to bring joy to this family and find the adventure and love she has craved. But she faces many obstacles…the children, the doctor, and the outlaws who realize that they left a witness alive.

    Okay, so I probably said too much…LOL. But you have romance and adventure there…you can add the details. LOL

  36. Stacey, thank you for welcoming me. P and P is always my favorite place on the web! And wow, have I enjoyed Maverick Wild. I love my “jeweled” bookmark!

    Kathryn, I just visited your website and joined your mailing list. Congratulations on your recent two-book contract at HH! Yee haw!

    Anita Mae…I love the “soiled dove hidden under layers of peacock feathers.” Good stuff going on in that creative mind of yours!

    Jennifer, Becca being a bookworm suits me to a T. Outlaws, a trio of troublesome orphans and a hot new boss: good ingredients here.

  37. I would have the pretty lady be Elizabeth who is originally from Philadelphia but comes out west to visit her aunt and uncle in a small town in Kansas called Peace. Elizabeth’s father is a wealthy man and he had set up a marriage between Elizabeth and the son of one of his business associates. Elizabeth had overheard the son making some unkind remarks about her so she decides to get away from everyone and think about what she can do and while she is in Peace she meets a local farmer who is a widower with several children.

  38. This is a young lady who has come west to begin her teaching career in Missouri. Her name is Golsie Hayward and she is a soft-spoken, proper etiquette,
    gentle waif. As a teacher in a small rural area, she has to live with the parents of one of her students and of course, the town has her boarding with a widower that presents a challenge to Golsie. He is an embittered person with a disdain for soft women who have no business in that environment. He has 2 sons to raise, a cattle ranch to work, and a mortgage that is past due.
    One thing leads to another and of course, as the story unfolds, she teaches him as much as he teaches her.

  39. Hi Tanya
    The photograph format is a transitional cabinet which puts it about the year 1900. The photograph also has the photographer’s name on the mat. It looks like Sheree but I can’t quite make it out. The photographer’s name is important because it can sometimes be used to uncover the exact date it was taken. The photograph was taken in a studio and not by a traveling photographer. She is wearing glasses, which might indicate someone who does a lot of reading. She appears to be wearing a black dress, which sometimes signifies mourning. Sedalia, Missouri was founded in 1860 as a railroad town. It was a county seat. In 1870, Sedalia saw the first passenger train. In 1896, around the time the photograph was taken, construction of the train depot called the Missouri, Kansas & Texas depot or (MK&T or Katy) Depot was completed. 1899, Sedalia became home to the Missouri State Fair.
    Her name is Sarah Lee. She is a school teacher. Although she is still young, she has lost her husband and now must make a new life for herself. And there are suitors not far off. But will she pick the right one? And was her husband’s death not quite the accident it seemed to be!

  40. Abigail Anderson has longed to make a new life for
    herself, long recording her experiences and thoughts in a journal which she keeps hidden in
    her East Tennessee home. She dreams of owning
    and managing a newspaper but without opportunities to further her life, she regretfully uproots herself in a move ending in Sedalia, Missouri. While surviving by teaching in the local school Abigail is introduced to James Ryan, who has settled in town to start a newspaper which he will call the Sedalia Sentinel. James, learning of Abigail’s interest in journalism and drawn to
    the lively woman herself, proposes that they
    consider marrying and running the newspaper
    together!

    Pat Cochran

  41. Hi Tanya: Creating a story from a photograph is really a lot of fun. I would name this woman, Adelaide. It is after the Civil War, she is a nurse coming home to Missouri on a train that has orphans bound for the west. There is also a mercenary on the train, named Jake. A group of bandits derail the train and rob and shoot several of the passengers, leaving them stranded out in the middle of the Ozarks. Jake is wounded. Adelaide takes care of him but it is up to both of them to protect the orphans, escape from the bandits and make it back home together where they would give the orphans a loving home.
    Thanks for the post today, Tanya. This has been really neat.

  42. Maureen, hopefully Elizabeth finds peace with the kids and love with the widower in Peace. What a great name for a town.

    Joye, Golsie is a very interesting name. And I love the theme–she teaches him as much as he teaches her.

    Jim–thanks for posting from Indiana, my long-time friend and former neighbor! With your scientific mind, I’m not surprised to read all these wonderful official details you found. I know that those photography studio labels will be a great thing to research when I have time to find my roots and identify these folks for real. Thanks for the headstart!

    And yay, intrigue–Sarah Lee’s husband’s death possibly not being an accident. I love it!

    Pat, I’m a dedicated journaler myself. I suspect Abigail keeps a ton of cool secrets in hers just waiting to be uncovered. My brother and I have found journals and love letters in The Upheaval–all written in German!

    Za, Adelaide is another family name! Now, a nurse from the War on an orphan train and a wounded hero all trying to outrun bandits really touches every heartstring.

    Beth–I loved your post and already have snooped the dime novel site. I enjoyed meeting you, too. Ain’t the internet grand?

  43. Yay! I’m thrilled you enjoyed MAVERICK WILD and the beaded bookmark, Tanya 🙂 My mother is an angel and beads them for me. I have a little bead box next to my computer and will string some when the brain is wandering…but it’s my mom who keeps me stocked up with the jeweled pretties 😉

    I really enjoyed your post and all the pictures!

  44. Thanks to all of you for blogging with me today. Your name goes in a drawing for a $10 Coffee Bean or Starbucks gift card. And the story line my fam picks as their favorite will earn that writer a copy of Midnight Bride and a darling pair of sterling silver cowboy hat stud earrings!

    And once again, I sooooo appreciate the fillies for inviting me to spend the day in Wildflower Junction.

  45. her Name is Eliza and she is in love with a major in The Britsh army. Hes on his way back from service in australia.
    This is the picture he carries with him everywhere.
    Eliza is back in England working as a governess for an Earl who has decided he also loves her.
    Not sure what will happen As Eliza still loves her Major but its been a year since shes heard from him.

  46. Hi Tanya, I am a little late with this but enjoyed the stories behind the pictures of your relatives. I too enjoy old photos and like to imagine who they are and where do they come from.

    I think the woman in the picture was a saloon dancer turned teacher. She gave up dancing to teach in a new city, to children of all ages, in the new west. Her stage name was Dolly and her given name was Margaret D. Sanderson. She moved out west to Reno Nevada with her gambler younger brother Wes and danced to keep them fed and housed. When her brother was killed in a saloon fight she sadly moved to the Carson City Nevada to satisfy her passion for teaching children. She met and married the sherrif of Carson City and they had 4 children and lived happily ever after.
    Ha Ha, not very exciting….

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