Friday, August 14, 2009

Maine Burial

OK, this is not really a burial scene, it is a man in a sleeping bag in the woods in Maine. It does look like an old Indian burial scene. The picture was taken in 1888. This picture wraps up our trip through the backwoods of Maine. Tomorrow is Mystery Person contest, and I hope to make it a good one.


  1. A great picture to end the week
    with. I admire the man's ingenuity.
    The sleeping bag is remarkable.

  2. Either he is a heck of a good seamster or that sleeping bag is store bought. Get a good look and how straight and well made the seams are.
    I will give him points for the way he made a cot as a good way to stay off the ground.

  3. I'm wondering about the hunk of rope that is off to the right side of the photo. It looks stiff and almost looks like braided nylon rope.

  4. What a great photo - it almost does look like a burial scene.

    But I can't believe the guy was sleeping out in the woods like that without a tent.

    And . . . I think he looks a little like the guy with all the ladies - are these people all related?
    PJM - I am writing this post from NYC, where we took my 94-year-old dad to visit Ellis Island. We found (and were able to get copies) of his dad's immigration records, including a photo of the ship he arrived on from Italy in 1904.

    Whether or not you are a descendant of immigrants, a visit to Ellis is overwhelming, as it really brings you in touch with the experiences and emotions of the millions who passed through there during the latter 19th and early 20th centuries.

    How about postinng a series of photos on immigration in the latter 19th century?

  5. Uhm, SmartGirl, we are *all* descendants of immigrants! (Unless, like my DH, you are a member of the First Nations.)

  6. Anon, are you for real? ;-) Sewing machines existed in this time so it is possible that he made it himself at home. He also could have hand sewn it if it's hide. To me it looks like a hide with the fur turned inward. Yummy warm!

  7. The bag looks to be hair-on hide. I'm not familiar enough with the wildlife of Maine in centuries past, so wouldn't know if it were Buffalo, Elk or bear. My guess would be bear.

    As for the seams, you'd get straight seams if the hides were cut straight. I've seen some very nice and neat hand sewing on quilts and such and see no reason to think that the same couldn't be done on something as important as a sleeping bag.

    However, that's a pretty bulky sleeping bag and that "cot" looks awfully sturdy for a camper. I would suspect that this was taken at a work site, say a logging camp or something.

    I love the speculation that gets stirred up by these old photos. Who were they? What were they doing? Thank you PJM!

  8. As an European I will thank about these pictures, which have made the US familiar for us :)

    We have now seen people from Texas, New Mexico and Maine, and now we know how they are looking out and what they are doing. So, which state is the next one? New Hampshire?

    Thanks anyway!

  9. Along the lines of what SmartGirl mentioned -

    Ellis Island's web site allows you to search for and find your ancestors records (ships manifest/passenger list), if they within a certain date...I think up to the mid 1930's..

  10. SmartGirl,
    Although I have no knowledge of specific ancestors who came through Ellis Island, it was my absolute favorite part of a long ago trip to NY. When you stop and think about what people were leaving behind, hoping to find, and had to endure, it really is overwhelming.

    If you are taking requests, I second the motion to run an immigration week.

  11. My guess for tomorrow is Hannibal Hamlin.

  12. Mike;

    Hannibal was on my short list of possibles too. Vice President under Lincoln during the first term and his son was at Ford's Theater when Lincoln was assassinated...

  13. I think that photo is staged: to show the folks at home how they sleep while in camp.