Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

Today’s photos are an amazing find! This is a single matte with five images on in. The photos themselves are about 2.5″ wide by 3.5″ high. The entire matte is about 16″ wide by 6″ high, like a cabinet card on steroids! This lovely lady is Ora Loriane Hopps Haynam Hemsworth, who in 1905 sat for Butler in Salinas, CA at the age of 28. How this ended up on ebay I have no idea, but I’m getting it framed and hanging it in my office because it is so interesting and lovely! In the first image, she is wearing a two piece outfit. The scan doesn’t show it well, but the skirt has some beading or sequined embroidery, and the blouse has very heavy lace cuffs. In all the images, she is wearing a pin watch that also has a long chain that goes around her neck. In the four “white dress” images, she is wearing a cuff bracelet, and in the second image to the left you can see a wide wedding band. The white dress has a sheer overskirt that looks light and flowing, overtop the pleated skirt. The bow in her hair originally led me to believe she was much younger in these photos.

Ora has been a little difficult to trace. Here’s what I could find. Ora was born as the first child to Frank J (b 1845) and Mary E (b 1851) Hopps in California, December 11, 1876. Frank was an upholsterer by trade. In 1900, the family was quite expanded and living in the little town of Alisal, which is now part of Salinas, CA. On the 1900 census, added to the family are Cleona J (b 1880), Harriet B (b 1883), Martine S (b 1886), Hazel M (b 1889) and Ellen H (b 1894). The census documents indicate that Ora was a music teacher.

From there, we lose Ora until 1926, which she is listed in the California Voter Registry (as a republican) under the name Ora Haynam and then again in 1930. In 1930, she is living with Miss Rachel M Haynam, and lists her occupation as “home executive.” I guess a sense of humor was necessary as no Mr. Haynam is listed in either record. Ora goes underground again until 1954, when Ora Hemsworth returns from a trip abroad, entering the port of New York on the Ile de France. She may also have visited England. She is 77 at the time.

Ora lived a very long life and passed away in Monterey at the age of 95, October 12, 1971. I have not found the name of either of her spouses. I hope you have enjoyed this lovely set of photographs as much as I have!

5 thoughts on “Simply beautiful!

  1. Nancy says:

    I am guessing these images are showing part of her trousseau. The photos are lovely and will look great in a frame.


  2. She has a very different name, Ora I have never heard that name before. These photos are charming..perhaps a beau was a budding photographer..I find it curious that her head is tilted the same way in all the photos..and only two outfits appear..what I would call a traveling or going out photo..and the others with the same dress..which is a fancy day dress? What a great idea to display them in your office! :)


  3. thetopaz says:

    This is my relative!! I was completing my family tree and randomly stumbled upon this! Thank you so much for sharing it online. Let me know if you ever want to get rid of it please TheTopaz@gmail.com


    1. Mrs Marvel says:

      I would be happy to share high quality digital scans of the images. I love this set of photos so much, I look at it almost daily. Please be assured that she is well loved. I treat her like my own family. :-)


  4. Patty Cullen says:

    This was my great aunt. She was a lovely woman why her pictures showed up on Ebay makes no sense to me. She was bright, funny, and charming.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: