Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

This photo is directly after the adorable chubby baby photo in the Green Fan Album. Considering with the photo earlier of Ellen Joy we learned that she was married by a Methodist minister, it follows that she was also Methodist. I don’t think there are shrines like this in the Methodist church, although I could be be wrong. The question then follows, who took this photo and why? And of course, where? The snapshot is the type that would come in a booklet from the processor and the owner would then tear out the photos, hence the right edge shows the perforations and tearing.

4 thoughts on “Photo of a shrine

  1. Auntie Kat says:

    There are shrines in the Methodist church. The south and east seem to have quite a few. It would be a matter of going through all of them on the internet. I think the biggest help would be to know what the words are on the pedestal that Mary is sitting on. I don’t know if you noticed but she is spinning and has a basket at her feet with balls of yarn in it. There is also an open book face down on the yarn. I checked in Missouri because that is where Ellen seems to hail from.

    My other thought is that it is not a shrine in the usual sense but one of those giant statues you see in churches. Catholics have those a lot from my tours of the CA Mission System. They can stand about 2-3 feet tall sometimes. They have an actual name and are usually made out of composition or that really early version of “plastic” that I can’t remember the name of.


  2. IntenseGuy says:

    I think “bakelite” is the old plastic from which they made a lot of things. We know too, that Mr. Ellen Joy (Vincent S.)’s father Absalom was a Methodist minister too in Union, Morgan County, Ohio.

    His father’s saga: Absalom and Jane lived in Guernsey County, Ohio until about 1833, when they moved to Morgan County, Ohio. Absalom raised sheep on his farm in Ohio, and the whole family worked at making wool. In 1864 they moved to Andrew County, Missouri. In 1870 they moved once more, this time to their final settlement at Sweet Home, Nodaway County, Missouri. Most everywhere they lived they owned land. For while Absalom was best known as a preacher, he was also a farmer.



  3. The scene is more than likely meant to depict the Annunciation of Mary..she was spinning when the Angel visited her to tell her that she would be the Savior of the World’s Mother.

    I cannot see the writing real well..but I do see Mater..which is Latin for Mother.

    Artists often depict Mary Spinning…I found several photos just by searching for Virgin Mary Spinning. None of them are exactly this but similar. :)


  4. IntenseGuy says:

    I think I have a lead on this —

    The latin inscription on the base of the statue is “Mater Admirabilis” – if you google “Mater Admirabilis statue” you will see many similar ones with the Virgin Mary spinning while seated.


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