Sunday, November 14, 2010

Photo with a history and a mystery

Who are these people and what were they doing in Orlando? Click on the photo to enlarge it.
We came by this interesting item at a book fair in Chicago. It's a photograph apparently taken on January 16, 1908 in Orlando. That was a Thursday. Nothing else is known about it. Were they in town for some sort of ecclesiastical convention? Perhaps.

By then Florida was pretty well established as a winter getaway. The railroads and steamship lines of the two Henrys–Flagler and Plant–had been bringing tourists to the state for a couple of decades. The Congregational Assembly had been running Rollins College in nearby Winter Park for 24 years.

A convention of clergymen in Orlando? Why not?

There are at least 40 people in the picture, about half of them men. Several of the men wear clerical collars, and one in front appears to wear vestments of a clergyman. Right behind him is a woman who appears to be dressed as a nun.  Some of the men are in business suits.

Except for the nun, the women appear to be wearing dresses typical of the era and large hats with flowers or bows on them.

They are posed in front of an archway typical of a church but not much is visible of the shake-sided building.

Who these people are and what they were doing in Orlando remains a mystery for now. 

Any ideas? Let us know.

This is part of our collection of antique photographs.

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