Saturday, April 12, 2014

Seeking Sylvie

My grandmother collected cards for the "nips" to look at when they were unwell.  This folding postcard was among my grandmothers possessions.

To Eva Pilgrim from Sylvie Lord
Photographic Souvenir of Albury
Dear Eva
With Love
Sylvie Lord Xmas 1929
Gulson

Albury, NSW, Australia on Google Maps 2014

Eighty Years later, I was working in Albury and decided to take photos of the images contained in the postcard.  Most of the scenes pictured in the postcard in 1929 still exist today.  The bridge over the river Murray is different as is the old hospital, but otherwise I was able to replicate the photos.

Albury  1929 vs 2009
Soldiers Monument
Avenue, Botanical Gardens
Albury 1929 vs 2009
High School
Regent Theatre
Source:  www.trove.nla.gov.au
The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 8th February 1928, page 10

The school cost £26,000 to build in 1928

Albury 1929 vs 2009
Dean Street from Monument Hill
Albury 1929 vs 2009
Post Office and Globe Hotel

Albury Botanical Gardens
1929 vs 2009
The statue above has been moved as it is facing the opposite direction..  In the top photo, Monument Hill is in the background but in 2009 the statue is facing Monument Hill.
I then started to wonder more about Sylvie Lord, who sent the card to my grandmother as I had seen the name elsewhere.  I soon located a photo of her that my grandmother had taken;
"Digging out a fox burrow at Roy's
Lorna Pilgrim, Uncle Bob Pilgrim, Sylv Lord, Uncle Bert Pilgrim
Aug 1931"
Then there are other photos of Sylv Rowett.  Is Sylv Lord the same person and Sylv Rowett? 
Do you think that these photos are also the same person?  
My grandmother (centre) is 12 years old.
Dorrie Westendorf, Eva Pilgrim, Sylv Rowett
1922 Winiam Sunday School Concert - Little Pansy Faces
Eva Pilgrim & Sylv Rowett
Almondale
1929
Sylv must have been proud of her new car as my grandmother also had a photo of it.
Sylvies new car - Tallangatta
1928
The first three photos were taken in the Nhill area, which today is about a 7 hour drive from the Albury area.  Tallangatta, where the above photo was taken, is near Albury so it seems that my grandmother's friend moved away to the Albury area or holidayed there?  Or was she originally from the Albury area but in the Nhill area temporarily?

I wondered if the word "Gulson" on the postcard was a clue?  Gulson is a car yard near Canberra but then I also found the following:
Source: www.ancestry.com
Could this be the same person who was friends with my grandmother in the 1920s?  
Sylvia Gulson (nee Lord) was born in Mitta Mitta (near Tallangatta) and lived in the Albury area until at least 1980, according to Electoral Rolls.  Francis was not listed in 1980.  Could Sylvia have remarried and taken on the surname Rowett later in life?
In researching, you should never jump to conclusions but it can be useful to follow up hypotheses,  assumptions and clues to confirm or discount information.  If Sylvia was a blood relative, I would continue to search and order the marriage certificate to find more information.

It would be good to share the photos with a family member of Sylvia.  Maybe one day someone shall read this and contact me for copies of photos.

Click for more Sepia Saturday Posts

35 comments:

  1. Wonderful idea to take pictures of places on old postcards or photos. I just love reading your posts!

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    1. Thank you Denise. I enjoy reading your posts too.

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  2. I like the then-now photos and found myself tallying which places look better now and which looked better then. As for Sylvia, I'd say yes, all the same person, based on the shape of her face. While she seemed to change the part in her hair, it creates the same general look from year to year.

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    1. Yes I think it could be the same person but would like proof!

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  3. Your photos are amazing, I totally enjoyed this.

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  4. How wonderful that mostly all the places were there, waiting for you to come take their photo. I think it could be the same woman.

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    1. I was surprised that they were still there too Kristin.

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  5. I find it amazing that so many buildings from 1929 are still in existence and are even more lovely! So many of our town's buildings from that period of time have been demolished.

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    1. Yes, I had never thought about Albury being an historic town prior to the photo taking project.

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  6. I'm a bit excited as I think you may have helped me identify a slide in my collection or rather my husband's family's collection. I wasn't sure where it was but now I think it might be Albury. I'll post it on my site. Let me know what you think?

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    1. Yes, definitely Albury. Glad I could help :)

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  7. Albury has done itself proud in the way it has kept up those buildings. Very attractive. Modernized in one way while retaining the older façade at the same time. And I would have been proud of such a neat sporty car, too! And since I've done it as well, I know what fun & satisfaction one can gain from taking 'now' pictures of places either talked about or in old photographs. Very enjoyable post!

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    1. It was more challenging that it looks to take them from about the same perspective.

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  8. What a clever post - a comparison of old and new is so fascinating. We don't see much of Albury these days as the by-pass whisks us past it. There are still members of the Gulson family living in Canberra. They own a car dealership in Fishwyck.

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    1. It is such an unusual surname that I would think that there is a link.

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  9. A whole series of now and then scenes, thank you. I so enjoy those.

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    1. Thank you Brett. I was happy to have a chance to showcase them :)

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  10. Great photos Sharon! Love the car and all of the photos really. Before and after photos are also really good. You will have to do another lot in another decade or two!

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    1. I was thinking the same thing. Maybe every decade from now on?

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  11. Great comparisons between old and new. I think there must have been two different Sylvias.

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  12. I really do like your adaptation of the theme - the comparisons of the new and the old. It would be fun to try and build this into a Sepia Saturday theme challenge at some point in the future.

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    1. You have got me thinking now. I would have a number of photos that deserve a "now" comparison.

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  13. This is a very clever idea and I thoroughly enjoyed your comparison photos.

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  14. Oh I am so slow...now I realise what I thought was a lighthouse is actually the soldier's memorial....dear oh dear...you can tell I haven't been there can't you?...thanks again Sharon...this is great. I can't believe we posted the same pictures within a week of each other...

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    1. I didn't know what you were talking about to start as I missed your post that week. I would have known exactly where it was! I didn't realise that you had also completed an Albury post so recently. Amazing that we coincidentally completed Albury posts.

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  15. correction....2 weeks of each other....

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  16. Delayed response, Sharon. I live this idea! it would be interesting to do a similar comparison in cities...I'm sure there'd be more changes. Large country towns have a durability that is evident in their built heritage.

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    1. I don't think many streets in big cities would be recognisable after 80 years as the streets cape can change so much. I keep saying that I am going to take photos of the street where I live and work for future comparison but I haven't got around to it yet!

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  17. Hi Sharon, Sylvi (Sylvia May) Rowett was my paternal grandfather's younger sister. Sylvi died on the 9th December 1933 at Cooke's Plains in South Australia. Her death notice states that she died after a long illness, which I believe was tuberculosis. My grandfather died in 1988, so I am unable to give you more information. It is a lovely photo of her. Bronte Barber

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  18. Sylvi (Sylvia May) Rowett was my paternal grandfather's younger sister, and she died on 9th December 1933 after a long illness, at Cooke's Plains in South Australia. She wasn't married, but engaged at the time to a chap from Netherby. It is a lovely photo of her at 17 years of age.

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    1. Great to hear from you Bronte! Thank you for letting me know. I have more photos in my grandmothers album. Thank you also for solving half the mystery :)

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