Help solve a mystery!

Mountain_Man_79

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Alright folks, with how engaged everyone can be solving for mystery items and locations, I think our combined curiosities can solve a real life mystery...one that quite literally fell in my lap tonight. Let me explain, and tell you what I’ve uncovered so far -

Tonight, while enjoying drink and music, I found myself paging through and examining some very old books I haven’t touched in years. A photo fell out of one of them, that I never knew previously that it was inside.

Can we find her or her descendants?
F82C112B-8817-4A88-A555-E0BBF482E2A4.jpeg
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So my initial thinking is this - what a lovely photo of a bride on her wedding day. Surely, a granddaughter or other family member would cherish having this photo much more than I?

So here are the facts at hand, and where the mystery comes into play -

The back of the photo is very helpfully stamped with information that’s usable-
4D965C42-8E51-4BC6-91F7-4AE13C7DA789.jpeg
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James took this picture. My guess is in 1952, per the scribble in the top right. Finding James’ obituary from 8 years ago was not difficult. He was a part time photographer from outside of Chicago-
https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/dailyherald/obituary.aspx?n=james-r-conley&pid=162702922

Here is where our mystery deepens: the book this fell out of was from 1891 (or at least gifted in May of 1891). Why would this wedding picture from 60 years later be found in this book? Lets talk about the book. I purchased this from a vintage/antique place somewhere in Pennsylvania...that’s all I can remember, about 8-10 years ago I’d guess. Although in terrible shape, I was enthralled to find a book illustrated by Gustave Dore. The fact that is was translated by some dude named Gary, well, that’s just bonus. D’uh...Gary translated all the best books back in the day. (Edit: apparently it’s Cary)

61A33D24-0FDE-4768-898F-C707604C07FC.jpeg
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D6F06F88-040B-4424-AE79-94864DAA1598.jpeg
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So, how do I know it was gifted in May of 1891? Well, mostly because it says as much -
CA690679-E658-4B63-8A7E-69060F9C8EAB.jpeg
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Near as I can tell, it says “The Seasons, Congratulations and best wishes, Rev(erand) B. L. Peck and wife, from A.Curry. Akron, O(hio). May 1891 (possibly O.A. Curry).

Unfortunately I’ve found nothing on Rev Peck, and searching for anything Curry related in Akron yields a lot of basketball stuff. My assumption is that the wedding photo from 60 years in the future belonged to a descendant of the original book owner, or picture taker? Why othewise would it be there?

So, what’s the goal? Let’s identify the young bride and/or location and get the photo back into the hands of her (maybe in her 90s if still alive) or her family!

Who‘s up for the mystery?
 
Last edited:

PhotoCal

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Messages
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Just mail it to the local historical society or newspaper and be done with it.

It may have been intentionally discarded, not lost.
 

comment23

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Simon
Alright folks, with how engaged everyone can be solving for mystery items and locations, I think our combined curiosities can solve a real life mystery...one that quite literally fell in my lap tonight. Let me explain, and tell you what I’ve uncovered so far -

Tonight, while enjoying drink and music, I found myself paging through and examining some very old books I haven’t touched in years. A photo fell out of one of them, that I never knew previously that it was inside.

Can we find her or her descendants?
View attachment 866413

So my initial thinking is this - what a lovely photo of a bride on her wedding day. Surely, a granddaughter or other family member would cherish having this photo much more than I?

So here are the facts at hand, and where the mystery comes into play -

The back of the photo is very helpfully stamped with information that’s usable-
View attachment 866414
James took this picture. My guess is in 1952, per the scribble in the top right. Finding James’ obituary from 8 years ago was not difficult. He was a part time photographer from outside of Chicago-
https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/dailyherald/obituary.aspx?n=james-r-conley&pid=162702922

Here is where our mystery deepens: the book this fell out of was from 1891 (or at least gifted in May of 1891). Why would this wedding picture from 60 years later be found in this book? Lets talk about the book. I purchased this from a vintage/antique place somewhere in Pennsylvania...that’s all I can remember, about 8-10 years ago I’d guess. Although in terrible shape, I was enthralled to find a book illustrated by Gustave Dore. The fact that is was translated by some dude named Gary, well, that’s just bonus. D’uh...Gary translated all the best books back in the day. (Edit: apparently it’s Carey)

View attachment 866415
View attachment 866416
So, how do I know it was gifted in May of 1891? Well, mostly because it says as much -
View attachment 866417
Near as I can tell, it says “Seasons, Congratulations and best wishes, Rev(erand) B. L. Peck and wife, from A.Curry. Akron, O(hio). May 1891 (possibly O.A. Curry).

Unfortunately I’ve found nothing on Rev Peck, and searching for anything Curry related in Akron yields a lot of basketball stuff. My assumption is that the wedding photo from 60 years in the future belonged to a descendant of the original book owner, or picture taker? Why othewise would it be there?

So, what’s the goal? Let’s identify the young bride and/or location and get the photo back into the hands of her (maybe in her 90s if still alive) or her family!

Who‘s up for the mystery?
Cool mystery. No idea how to help but following with interest.
I also had a Maryland state lottery ticket from 1850 fall out of another antique book, but one mystery at a time!
Critical question: was it a winning ticket? And if so is it too late to cash it in?
 

Mountain_Man_79

Do all the interns get Glocks?
Joined
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California High Desert
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Chris
I'll start researching, but let us know any other ways we can help. The photo should be digitized and preserved right away. Can you contact your local library for the archivist?
Outside of some combined internet sleuthing, I’m not exactly sure either. I’m sure there’s a bit of luck involved here too...like a forum member from outside Chicago that recognizes the church for instance.

Now as for my local library and an archivist...I don’t even know if my awful little town has a library! (I’ll have to look into that) But to what end would I require them though? If it’s simply to digitize the photo, I can certainly do that.
 

mauve

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Paris, France
I believe the book was probably already 2nd hand when the picture was put inside. 52 might be a year, I could also as well be a client number, so I wouldn't count much on it. On the other hand, the church is rather peculiar, and google maps could help locate it ; I've done a quick search on the vicinity of the photographer's address, couldn't locate a building with similar stones, windows and buttress, but there are many more churches to look for in the area. Once the parish is possibly located, maybe a call to elders could locate the bride ?

M.
(the closest I could find was the Church of the Holy Comforter).
 

Erich_H

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Mountain_Man_79

Do all the interns get Glocks?
Joined
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California High Desert
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Chris
Based on @Erich_H comment - I think this may be the church https://stmarytampico.com/st-mary-history/
although this 2hrs drive away
I’m not sure if this is it...the windows on the church in the picture although similar, are kind of partitioned in the bottom third. This church does not have that. Also, my impression is the church in the picture is mostly stone, not brick like this one. I also can’t find the low wall she is standing in front of anywhere on the property....
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mauve

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Based on @Erich_H comment - I think this may be the church https://stmarytampico.com/st-mary-history/
although this 2hrs drive away
The window shape matches, but that's a 2:30 hour drive from our photographer, and the outer shape of the windows is different ; there's a little curvy and pointy bit at the top of the shape on the original picture that's missing here. I think the building is too new to be a candidate. Just my opinion.

M.
 

Erich_H

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There's a couple of interior pictures from the church in @Brodhall's link which is dated from the early 20th century.

The low wall could be torn down. The other differences could be because of the time since the picture's taken. One thing, though: the St Mary's church is really going all in with the stained glass.
It's visible even in the oldest pictures.

And I can't tell if your old photo have stained glass windows.

Anyway, just mail the father and ask. Maybe they remember the low wall. Or have other photos than the ones posted, with the wall in them.

We might be able to cross one suspect off the list, at least!
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2020
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Sue
There's a couple of interior pictures from the church in @Brodhall's link which is dated from the early 20th century.

The low wall could be torn down. The other differences could be because of the time since the picture's taken. One thing, though: the St Mary's church is really going all in with the stained glass.
It's visible even in the oldest pictures.

And I can't tell if your old photo have stained glass windows.

Anyway, just mail the father and ask. Maybe they remember the low wall. Or have other photos than the ones posted, with the wall in them.

We might be able to cross one suspect off the list, at least!
Difficult to see stained glass from the outside. BUt maybe the original is stone in which case this is not the church
 

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