Fisching for Jane Lanphier Stanton

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Is this the face of Jane Harriet Somers Lanphier Stanton, daughter of Methodist minister William Lanphier of Alexandria, Va., and wife of Tennessee congressman and Kansas territorial governor Frederick Perry Stanton (1814-1894)?

So I was told by the person who sold me this 1860s carte de visite by Fischer & Bro., 95 W. Baltimore Street.

I have not yet been able to confirm her identity, so I’ll talk instead about Arthur J. Fischer, peripatetic photographer.

Arthur was the son of Frederick, Maryland druggist George Fischer. In 1860, the family had moved to Baltimore, where Arthur was listed in the census as a photographer.

As with so many Americans, Arthur had an itchy foot. In 1870, he worked in St. Louis, Missouri. By 1880, he had settled down in Quincy, Adams Co., Illinois, with wife Alvina and two sons, Arlington Lee Fischer and Arthur J. Fischer, Jr.

After retiring, he lived with his son Arlington in Salem, Ohio, and probably died there.

The Stantons retired to Florida, and are buried in South Lake Weir Cemetery, Marion County, Florida.

A Jacob Byerly Carte de Visite

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According to published biographical sketches, the Byerlys came from Cumberland County, Pennsylvania to Frederick, Maryland, where in 1842 they opened a daguerreotype studio on Patrick Street, later moving to North Market Street.

From 1842 to 1915, three generations of Byerlys photographed the people and places of the town and its environs: Jacob Byerly (1807-1883), his son John Davis Byerly (1839-1914), and then John’s son Charles Byerly (1874-1944).

Charles took over the business at 29 North Market Street in 1899. In April 1915, the floor above the studio collapsed and destroyed the gallery. Although Charles rebuilt the Byerly Building (still in use at 27-29 North Market Street), he gave up the photography business. The building still bears the family name and the year 1915.

This carte de visite of an unknown young woman was probably taken before 1864, because there is no revenue stamp, and because according to Maryland photography historian Ross Kelbaugh, cartes from ca. 1863-1865 to about 1869, when Jacob retired, bore the name J. Byerly & Son.

Her dress exhibits the more tapered fullness of 1860s skirts, the full “bishop” sleeves, and the narrow, flat, white linen collar that replaced the wide lace collars of the 1850s.  She holds a book in her hands as if just interrupted while browsing, perhaps to indicate that she is educated beyond the norm for girls.

The Historical Society of Frederick County holds a substantial collection of photographs by and of the Byerlys and associated families.

Carte de Visite by a Somewhat Less Young–but Still Rather Young–John Holyland

In 1865, at the age of 24, Baltimore photographer John Holyland sold the Washington, DC studio that his father had purchased for him and returned to the Monument city.

Young Holyland bought the J. H. Young studio at 205 West Baltimore Street–the same studio where only a few years before he had first learned the photographic craft.

The back-mark on this carte de visite says “Holyland’s (Late Young’s) Gallery,” so it probably dates from within a short time after Holyland came back to Baltimore.

Since there is no revenue stamp, it must have been taken after the tax ceased being collected on 1 August 1866.

The young lady may be posed so as to feature the ring on her left hand–possibly an engagement ring. Her hands stand out against the dark stuff of her full-skirted dress.

Stereoview of Eutaw Place Gunther Fountain by W. M. Chase

This hand-tinted stereoview depicts the Gunther fountain that once stood in the median of  the 1400 block of Eutaw Place.

The gift of merchant L. A. Gunther (b. abt. 1821, Hannovr, Germany) , this 18-foot-high bronze fountain between Mosher and Townsend streets has always been outshone by the larger, more elaborate “centennial” or “children’s” fountain in the 1800 block of Eutaw. Yet the two are often confused.

The centennial fountain, donated by wealthy residents of the newly-fashionable Eutaw Place neighborhood, was purchased from Mott & Co. of New York after it was exhibited at the 1876 Exposition in Philadephia (Scharf, History of Baltimore, 281).

By 1877, Eutaw Place extended northwest from Dolphin Street to North Avenue.

By the 1880s,” according to Baltimore architecture historians Mary Ellen Hayward and Frank R. Shivers, Jr., “the newly developed upper portions of Eutaw Place were the residential place of choice for Baltimore’s wealthy German-Jewish community. Owners of the city’s primary department stores, dry-goods businesses and garment manufactories–the Hutzlers, Hochschilds, Bragers, Gutmans, Strouses, Sonneborns, and Hechts, to name a few–built town palaces on Eutaw Place . . .” (The Architecture of Baltimore: An Illustrated History, p. 216).

Its handsome residences and park-like median were one of the prides of the city, and the centennial fountain, turned on May 19, 1877, was its centerpiece:

The outer basin is forty-eight feet in diameter, and the main fountain, standing upon a granite base, is fifty feet high and has three distinct basins, the water flowing from the two upper ones to the lower, which is ten feet in diameter and richly ornamented. A graceful female figure, standing in a shell, surmounts the work. Smaller figures on the surface of the water, and vases of flowers surrounding the outer basin, complete one of the most beautiful fountains in the city” (Scharf, 281).

Both fountains fell upon hard times as the area declined in the 1950s and 1960s. The centennial fountain broke apart under the weight of ice and snow in 1945.The Gunther fountain may have been melted down for its bronze during the second World War.

Eutaw Place’s fine residences began being bought and restored in the late 1990s. In 2005-2006, the Bolton Hill Garden Club was able to help Eutaw Place residents in their efforts to replace the Gunther fountain.

In 2009, the Club was able to bring a new fountain–now solar-powered–to the 1800 block, along with plantings. The 1800 block project won two awards from the Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland in 2010. The Bolton Hill Garden Club has posted a slide show of the fountain’s restoration on its website.

Other images of the Eutaw Place fountains:

-Black-and-white photograph of the centennial fountain at the Maryland Historical Society

Postcard, Centennial Fountain, private collection

Chase stereoview of Centennial Fountain, George Eastman House

“Barbara Fritchie’s Home,” J. Davis Byerly

This carte de visite sold by Frederick photographer  J. Davis Byerly depicts the home of the mythologized Civil War heroine Barbara Frietchie. Frietchie and her home became famous after John Greenleaf Whittier published his eponymous poem in the Atlantic Monthly in 1863.

According to the Maryland Online Encyclopedia, Frietchie’s home was destroyed in an 1868 flood of Carroll Creek, and not rebuilt until 1927. This photo had to have been taken prior to the flood.

The photo is identical to the one used on a similar souvenir carte sold by J. Davis Byerly’s father and founder of their Frederick studio, Jacob Byerly. Collector Gil Barrett allowed Maryland photography historian Ross Kelbaugh to reprint an image of the carte in Kelbaugh’s 2001 article on Byerly and Frietchie for the Daguerreian Annual in 2001.

There is a difference in the prints. This print appears to contain areas of damage in the upper lefthand corner. Since the damage is not to the print, it must be to the negative. Byerly, who took over his father’s business in 1868, must have continued to make prints from the same negative his father had used.

Whittier’s poem turnedphotographs of Frietchie’s Frederick home into lucrative tourist souvenirs after 1863.

Thanks to what we know about the destruction of the house and the Byerly business, we can safely date the photograph here to the period 1863 to 1868, but the carte itself could have been sold anytime between 1868 and 1899, when Charles Byerly, son of J. Davis, took over the business started by his grandfather in 1842.

Coss & Boteler Carte de Visite

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The scowling young woman in this carte de visite, identified as Emma Holmann, wears a plaid, off-the-shoulder party dress with the wide skirt typical of the 1860s.

The Coss & Boteler partnership may have been brief: Ross Kelbaugh dates their studio at 93 Baltimore Street to ca. 1862. Coss appears in  Maryland IRS tax assessment lists for  1862 as G. M. Coss, 93 Baltimore Street, photographer. In 1863 and 1864, the listing becomes Coss & Leach, now located at 159 West Baltimore.

Name That Church, Mr. Chase

Identifying the church depicted in this William M. Chase stereograph was a bit of a challenge.

Like many urban churches, Ascension Protestant Episcopal Church, aka the Protestant Episcopal Church of the Ascension, has gone through fires, rebuilding, and changes in name.

The Norman gothic revival building, located at Lafayette Avenue and Arlington Street in Baltimore, was designed by Hutton and Murdoch, and opened in 1869. It burned to the ground on 12 May 1873 and was rebuilt and reopened in January of 1874 (Scharf, History of Baltimore City and County, pg. 522.)

Here is a photograph, owned by the Maryland Historical Society, of Ascension as it appeared in 1910. Note the missing spire.

The church was sold to the African Protestant Episcopal Church and became St. James Episcopal Church Lafayette Square in 1932 (Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress) .

The difficulty in identifying this church involved more than a name change. On the back of the stereoview, Chase lists all the views available in the series. The view on the reverse was supposed to be underlined, but it is not.  Only two churches are listed: the famous Mount Vernon Place Episcopal Church and the First Presbyterian Church, both of which are much more ornately high Gothic Revival than the one depicted.

An additional difficulty: the spire of the tower was apparently removed at some point, possibly when the church was rebuilt in 1873-1874. Some buildings listed on the back of this stereoview, such as the Second Empire-style City Hall, were not finished until 1875, making it difficult to pinpoint the date this card was published.

An article from the January 5th, 1874 Baltimore Sun about the reopening of the rebuilt church mentions that “the spire . . . has not been rebuilt as yet.” This strongly suggests the photograph was taken between 1869 and May 1873.

Carte de Visite by a Very Young John Holyland

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Thanks to its cancelled revenue stamp, this carte de visite can be dated to January 1865.  John Holyland (1841-1931) would have been only 24 when he made it.

Holyland was born in Burlington County, New Jersey, and  spent most of his career in Baltimore.  But according to a biographical sketch reprinted by Baltimore photography historian Ross Kelbaugh,  Holyland’s father Charles, an English-born engraver, bought a gallery in Washington for John when the youth had only been learning the photography trade for a few years, in the gallery of J. H. Young.

Holyland had not yet adopted the distinctive back-mark seen on most of his work: a sun-like disk or medallion radiating rays of light, surmounted by a snake-twined Christian cross.

In July of 1865, John Holyland married his cousin, Rebecca Hart, and returned to Baltimore, where he bought Young’s gallery and studio on 231 West Baltimore Street.

The image above reflects all of the conventions of 1860s studio photography: drapery, a diamond-motif tile floor,  and a chair on which the subject could steady himself.

William M. Chase, View of Baltimore Harbor from Federal Hill

According to the Maryland Historical Society, this stereograph by William Moody Chase (1817-1901) was taken ca. 1875. Chase included it in several series of stereographs, including American Views and United States Views. The reverse lists 30 or so available cards in this subset, Metropolitan and Suburban Scenery, Baltimore, Md.

Ross Kelbaugh’s biographical sketch relates that Chase learned photography after the Civil War in the studio of R. D. Ridgeley. Chase’s  stereograph publishing company  was located at the corner of Lexington Avenue and Eutaw Place from 1872 to 1888.

During his long career, Chase photographed and/or published hundreds of stereoviews, including views of Washington, D.C., views along the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad and the Philadelphia and Baltimore Central Railroad, and the series Art and Scenery of Central Park, New York and The Wide Wide World, and Picturesque Views of All Countries, which included images of notable scenes abroad. Among those who worked with him was a young David Bachrach.

Born 1 Dec 1817 in Shirley, Mass., to March Chase and Hepzibah Gleason Chase, William is believed to have enlisted in a Massachusetts regiment at the outbreak of the Civil War, but quickly became disabled and instead was appointed sutler (supplier) of the regiment. In 1894, Chase retired to his home state of Massachusetts. He died at his home in the Dorchester Heights, Boston, in November 1901. He is buried at Worcester Rural Cemetery, Worcester, Mass.

William traced some of his family’s history in a pamphlet entitled Reminiscences of the family of Moody Chase, of Shirley, Massachusetts. William’s father, March Chase, and Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Salmon Portland Chase (1808-1873), may have been related.

Barnett McFee Clinedinst, Jr. (1862-1953)

This cabinet card photograph of young Peirce Hill Brereton (1894-1963) was taken by the Washington, D.C. studio of Barnett M. Clinedinst (b. abt. 1838, Woodstock, Va.; d. 1904, Washington, DC) and Barnett M. Clinedinst, Jr. The Clinedinsts also had a studio in Baltimore, from 1880 to 1883 at various locations on Lexington Street, and then from 1885 to at least 1891 at various addresses on N. Charles Street.

Born approximately 1838 in Woodstock, Virginia to prosperous carriage-builder John Clinedinst, Barnett Clinedinst Sr.  began his married life as an artist. He turned to photography, and after the Civil War, built up a prosperous studio in Staunton, Virginia. In 1880, he had settled with his wife, Caroline McFee, and their children, in Baltimore, and opened a studio there. In 1883, he purchased David A. Woodward’s Monumental Art Studio.

His son, Barnett M.  Clinedinst, Jr., followed him into the business.  They opened a studio in Washington, D.C. that brought even greater success. Clinedinst Jr.  photographed innumerable notables in government, the military, and society, including Theodore Roosevelt, President Taft, and President Wilson.  He became the official White House photographer for three administrations. Newspapers called him Washington’s “court photographer.” An early advocate for the use of electric lighting in the studio, his photos were published in newspapers throughout the country. He died in St. Petersburg, Florida on 14 March 1953.

Unlike most card photographs, this one is not only identified, but has a traceable sitter. Peirce Hill Brereton was the son of Paterson, New Jersey-born Lt. Percy Hutchinson Brereton of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service (precursor to the U.S. Coast Guard) and Mary Averic Heineken Peirce. The Breretons had three children, of whom only Peirce survived to adulthood.

Peirce, born in 1894, was probably about 10 years old when this photograph was taken. The Breretons lived for a period in Washington, D.C., but Peirce probably also spent a good chunk of his childhood in Providence, Rhode Island. Peirce received a law degree from Yale University, and settled in Providence and Kent, Rhode Island to practice law. He married Julia Marion Stockard, and they had two chidren, Marion and Peirce Jr.

Brereton was elected mayor of Kent, Rhode Island on the Republican ticket in 1933, but the stock market crash and ensuing Depression swept Roosevelt Democrats into office all over the country, including Kent. He served only a year in office.

It’s nice to have an approximate date for this photo. As Brereton was born in 1894, the photograph was probably taken around 1904. The card mount, a subdued fawn gray with an restrained studio mark, is congruent with an early 1900s date, as is the more casual pose of the subject, seated on a faux stone wall.