Saturday, March 13, 2010

Historic Photos Restored!

Before the exciting visual part, a bit of history. When we sold the Lodge, my dad allowed us to take only a few things; we had sold the place "as is," which included furniture, linens, etc. This was difficult for me, because I knew that many of the furnishings had come from family members' homes over the years. How to leave behind all that personal history (even if my dad, and probably others, considered it junk)?

I carefully selected and negotiated so that I could have the most significant things to forever remind me of my home. Remember the old hand-tinted photos that hung in the Lobby? They were at the top of my list. The one most people probably recall was hanging over the fireplace, with the antlers. It was of Serene Lake. In fact, here it is with us Robys (early 1980s). The other two were of Box Lake and Mono Pass.

For all these years they were stored at my parents' house, but a few months ago they started nagging at me and I had my mom unearth them. Boy, were they in worse shape than we remembered! Over forty years of fireplace smoke and neglect had really taken a toll. Chris and I debated what to do about it and ultimately decided that since they probably couldn't get any worse, we would ask the guy who cleans paintings for us see what he could do with them. Well... we could not believe our eyes. Here are the results! (Click on the images to view them full-size.)

Serene Lake, "before"

Serene Lake, "after"

Box Lake, "before"

Box Lake, "after"

Mono Pass, "after"
(we didn't take a "before" of this one because it was not as damaged)

All three of these photos were taken by the renowned Burton Frasher, which helped me identify what year this one of Mono Pass was taken. We collect Frasher postcards, so I knew the Pomona Public Library has a collection online. Sure enough, look what I found there...

"On Mono Pass Overlooking Rock Creek Basin "
Courtesy, Frasher Foto Postcard Collection, Pomona Public Library

That's Burton Frasher with his camera. By closely comparing the patches of snow, we quickly concluded that our photo was taken during this very photography session, in 1927! I haven't run across the other two yet, so their origin remains a mystery. I guess we can assume they were taken during a similar time period. My dad is pretty sure all of them were already at the Lodge when my grandparents bought it in 1947.

Isn't this fun?!

If you're interested in photography, I highly recommend visiting the online Frasher Foto Postcard Collection. There are over 5,000 images, including many fantastic Sierra scenes. You can narrow the results by choosing decades or using search terms (like Rock Creek). This page provides a biography and description of his amazing career.

Needless to say, I am thrilled to have this part of my history back in my life and I hope you have enjoyed this "before" and "after" tale.

1 comment:

  1. Taking a painting break and find you have really been busy posting. Great stuff. It is amazxing how those cleaned up. That is sure a good thing as something like that is irreplaceable. I am going to have to take a look at the postcards but better wait until I have some time as I know I won't be able to put them down.


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