February 16, 2009

Mystery photo

This photo was given to me by my cousin in a pile of Raeburn and Wheeler photos. It absolutely drives me crazy that I do not know who these folks are! I have tried to enlarge it to see what is on the mailbox, but can only see U.S. Mail. The rest of what is written I just can't make out. I don't know what year this is either.

I need someone with some great skill at 'pulling a rabbit out of their hat'. Could this be digitally enhanced to be able to view what is on the mailbox? Might be my ancestor and that would be a great find. Could be someone elses and it would be great for them.

Does anyone else have a mystery photo that drives them crazy...?


  1. Could it be Jesse Jewell? In the first name there are 2 Ss and the last name ends in well. I will email you a cropped portion. I use Picassa and it is great for cropping and enlarging.

    I hope someone else takes a look at and can make out what it says.

  2. Thanks for the great photograph, Holly, which evokes a great feel for the lifestyle of this family, whoever they are.

    I also came to the conclusion that the name on the post box was "Jesse Jewell," even before seeing Janet's response, although I'll admit that there are several other possibilities. There appears to be some more writing below the "U.S. Mail," but it's very difficult to make out. It could be a name, but perhaps it's more likely to be some sort of instruction to the postman similar to the "No Circulars" that I would love to have on our mailbox, if my wife would let me.

    As far as date is concerned, I always find photographs of this type, in an informal environment, much more difficult to date, but how about the early 1900s? Perhaps some other readers would care to offer their estimates?

    Regards, Brett

  3. Thanks Brett, there seems to a be consensus to the name Jewell or Newell. All indications lead me to believe this family was in the Sault Saint Marie Michigan area along with 3 generations of my family. I will have to do some investigating as to who this family may be. I will see if I can find them on the heritage quest census.

  4. Holly, the photo tells a wonderful story, doesn't it. I love what appears to be shaped wrought iron covering a small window in the 2nd floor of the house. Thanks for stopping by and "following" my blog Cemeteries of the Covered Bridges. Hope you visit often.

  5. Hi Holly
    I hope you solve this puzzle. Let us know. I am also interested in what the woman is doing and what kind of implement the horses are pulling.

    I am enjoying your blog postings. I have awarded you the Kreativ Blogger Award.
    See my posting at http://researchergal.blogspot.com