Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Traveling Photographer

Graveyard Rabbits: September 2009 Carousel

A family surname, SCHOLFIELD, catches my eye as I dash by row after row of ancestors in the lovely River Bend Cemetery in Westerly, RI. snapping photo after photo.

Working with the many graves in this resting place, is a lot like being on a merry-go-round. I "ooh and ahhh" with delight in each section! This is a brass ring gravestone for sure because it has a great story.

This gravestone, typical of its period, marks the grave of Edwin and his second wife Celesteny. Edwin was a descendant of the SCHOLFIELD textile mill owners who came to America from England with the plans to make the first woolen mill in America, etched firmly in their minds. (They has to memorize them as the English did not allow them to take the industry from England) The families moved around a lot building mills and then selling them. Scholfields were a prominent family in the Montville, New London, Connecticut. They were smart, creative and inventive.

According to the biographical information from the White Library at Mystic Seaport, Everett was born in Lowell, MA but his parents moved to Westerly, RI in the early 1850s where he became a portrait photographer. He served with the Union Army during the Civil War. He married twice, was a Freemason, and had several partners in his photography business in Wakefield, RI, Norwich, CT and Putnam, CT besides Mystic.

What is most interesting is that the US Internal Revenue gave him a license to "carry on the occupation of Traveling Photographer" from Feb 1 to May 1, 1864 and May 1, 1864 to May 1965. He spent much time in the West Indies.

He and his brother Addison established the "Scholfield Brothers" studio in Westerly, RI and eventually his other brother Edwin joined them. [Read the biography to learn more...]

Many of my family photographs were taken in this studio. It is always great to find a story about your ancestors and to be able to know something about the photographers who took your family portraits. [This one is for you fM!]

1 comment:

JamaGenie said...

I had no idea one had to have a license to be a traveling photographer. How interesting!