Last weekend, while enjoying time in Hopland, California with friends and family, I had an incredible find! Currently, our family is in the fifth generation of staying and playing on this land. My husband’s grandmother was the original family historian on that side of the family. Grandma Shirley left the most incredible treasure trove of documents and photos as part of her legacy. Most of these documents are now in my possession. I have been slowly digitizing them to share with family.
To my surprise, on a trip into the barn, my husband found another (previously unknown) 100+ year old photo. It is a photo of the members of the Star of Finland celebrating 15 years (1896-1911). There are approximately 140 individual photos included. Someone (maybe Agnes Mattson) left markings on the photo to identify her parents (Charles Mattson and Wendla Botmaster, and Uncle and his wife, Matts Mattson). The Star of Finland was a sick benefit society. The information I have found online includes many names from Malax and Solf where my husband’s ancestors immigrated from.
So why does the photo need some love? Unfortunately, being left out in the open in the barn means it was covered in dust and mouse poop. We carefully wrapped the the photo before coming home.
Luckily, my local genealogy society, Marin County Genealogical Society, had Gawain Weaver speak at one of our meetings years ago. Gawain is a photo conservation expert who owns his own conservation studio here in Marin, California.
Since I know very little about photo conservation and this photo is so old, I made the call to Gawain Weaver Art Conservation . After a consultation with Gawain, I contracted with him to clean the photo, make a small fix to a corner, and take high resolution scans.
I am so excited to add this photo to my family archive! After the photo gets some love, I will be sharing it!