Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

This is the second in a series of square photos I found a while back. Unfortunately, the photographer was so far away from the group of people that it’s very difficult to figure out what exactly they are doing. At first, I thought it was a funeral procession, due to the appearance of the carriage in the right foreground. Later, I noticed that one woman on the left is holding and/or playing a bass drum, so I began to wonder if this was a Salvation Army or church display. Perhaps a funeral in New Orleans? The fellow by the horse and dog appears to be watching whatever is going on. I wish he’d turn around and tell us! Click to enlarge the image, let me know what you think.

UPDATE: Thanks to Intense Guy, I am fairly certain this is a Salvation Army gathering in Norwalk, CT. Iggy found several other images with similar long robes and bonnets supporting this theory. Of course, I don’t know if I will ever have concrete proof, but it’s a fairly good conclusion!

7 thoughts on “Was this the town square?

  1. IntenseGuy says:

    Cool (or cold!) picture!

    I believe the drum says “Salvation Army – Norwalk CT” on it.


  2. IntenseGuy says:

    It appears the the guy on the far right is carrying an american flag, the guy to his right is playing an instrument – perhaps brass – the women to his right has a book/hymnal in her face and appears to be wearing some sort of uniform. The woman across from her (back to us) has a book (hymnal? bible?) tucked under her arm. The woman standing with her back to us next to the drummer also has a flag in her hand.

    They look real “parade-y” to me. :)

    The building behind the “bandstand” is built from stone – it might be a church – the top of the picture is too washed out to see if it is topped with a steeple – but if was, it would likely be painted white and hence “lost in the exposure”. There is no snow in the picture – and the people look dressed warmly but not for “artic” cold.

    There is a Norwalk in California too – but from what I remember of this part of LA – this picture sure doesn’t look it.


  3. mrsmarvel says:

    I can guarantee it’s not Norwalk, CA. At the time this photo was taken, Norwalk, CA was all farm and cow land. I noticed the drum said Norwalk also, and immediately thought of CT. You have good eyes, Iggy, I couldn’t tell if the one fellow was holding a flag or a rake, lol!


  4. mrsmarvel says:

    There’s a Norwalk in Iowa, Ohio, CT and Cali. It’s a pretty good speculation that this photograph was taken in CT or Ohio, as both were fairly well settled in the 20s. I will next look at the Iowa Norwalk.


  5. mrsmarvel says:

    Norwalk IA was founded in 1901, so it’s possible, but I’m still thinking CT or OH.


  6. Auntie Kat says:

    The boys to the left are younger as they are wearing knee britches. It looks to me like they are standing in front of a gazebo of some sort. That little structure is rounded and has benches in it.


  7. Cool photo..too bad the photographer didn’t step forward a few more steps..the cobblestones are interesting but I wanted to see more of the people! Good job Iggy:)


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