Monday, August 25, 2014

Mystery Album Update

Last Sunday, Gossips appealed for help in identifying the family whose picture album, dating from the 1910s through the 1920s, had found its way to an antique shop in South Burlington, Vermont. A week later, thanks to a terrific lead from a loyal Gossips reader, the mystery is as good as solved. 

Although the search continues for a picture that will provide proof positive, it seems pretty certain that the mystery house is 38 Chapel Street--a house and a street that are no more. At the time the photos in the album were taken, the house was owned by Ernest and Emma Olm. According to the 1920 census, Ezra and Emma Meicht also lived in the house (Emma was Ernest and Emma Olm's daughter) with their two sons, Clarence, then 5, and Herbert, 4. 

The young couple in the picture below is believed to be Emma and Ezra Meicht, and it may be Clarence, whose birth was announced in the Hudson Evening Register on May 19, 1914, who is in the baby carriage.

Ezra Meicht worked as a machinist at the Gifford-Wood Company, which would explain the pictures of the Gifford-Wood Company in the album. He was one of two assistant fire chiefs in Hudson, which would explain the firemanic outfits worn by the boys, believed to be Clarence and Herbert, in this picture.

Ezra and Emma Meicht also had a daughter named Mildred, and it is believed that this is baby Mildred in the picture below, with her two older brothers.

So far, this detail from a 1970 aerial photograph of the part of Hudson targeted for urban renewal is the only picture that has been located of 38 Chapel Street. 

If you have pictures of Chapel Street, please contact Gossips. If you are a descendant of this family and would like to claim the album, the contact information for the people who have it and are seeking to return it to you can be found on Flickr, along with more pictures from the album.

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