Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

I have seen this kind of fancy mount one other time, on my pictures of Irene Monroe, but considering of the hundreds of cabinet cards I own this is only the second one I’ve seen, I suspect that this fancy mount is somewhat uncommon. The photo dates from the 1890s based on the clothing, which appears rich and expensive. A silk certainly and I picture a jade green with yellow wheat pattern and the trim in ruby red. It may sound garish to our modern sensibilities but it would have been lovely to see!

The photographer was Theo. Brinkmeier of Sistersville, W. VA. Sistersville was originally known as Wells Landing and has an interesting history for such a small place. It sits along the Ohio River at a wide spot that surely looks like it will flood the next time the river rises. The story goes that Richard Wells landed at this spot, and established a trading outpost in 1802 which later expanded into a small village. Upon his death, two of his 22 children laid out the town in plots. These two children happened to be sisters, and so the village was renamed Sistersville in their honor. The small town epitomized the “brother against brother” concept during the Civil War, as it lies only 12 miles south of the Mason-Dixon. Men went off to join their respective side and fought against one another for four bloody years. Later on in the 1890s, the town enjoyed an oil boom and swelled from a population of 300 to 15, 000. I now wonder if the lady pictured above is a descendant of the founder Richard Wells – who had twenty-two children after all, great potential for descendants – or a wife of one of the oil men who came to town to reap the benefits of black gold.

The information above was gleaned from this delightful history and I hope you will click through and visit for more detail.

5 thoughts on “Fancy mount

  1. IntenseGuy says:

    Goodness. With all those decendents, half the state of West Virginia (and Ohio) might well be related to Mr. Wells. That is a really fancy mounting – and her dress shines in the photograph – like it was silky. Is the fancy collar “do-hick-ey” part of the dress?

    She looks pretty young… no errings and no peircings and tattoos… (so nice if you ask me!)


  2. IntenseGuy says:

    You might enjoy this site:


    If the pictured beauty is a Wells – she’d be about 4th or 5th generation. :)


  3. Tattered and Lost says:

    That is a fascinating framing.


  4. Wonderful Cabinet Card, I have not seen one so fancy before. He dress is lovely..patterned..I have not seen many patterned dresses either. Your colorful descriptions are lovely:)


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