Sunday, August 07, 2011

Genealogy Photo Challenge for World Photography Day

Dear Photograph,
My great grandmother's world looks so different from mine. Her grave site was in the middle of nowhere then. It's on the edge of a major Detroit street now, a street in a neighborhood long past its prime. So much time has passed since my great grandmother Ludwika's death in 1912, but she is still remembered.
With Love From Her Great Granddaughter,
I believe the inset photo was taken on November 11, 1916, on the day Ludwika's husband was buried a short distance away. The seasons are obviously off in the two photos and I may try to retake this photo in the afternoon light one November day. The photo was difficult to line up because all I had to work with was the grave marker to the left of Ludwika's. I should have taken my laptop with me to download the images on the spot. There was just too much ambient light for me to be able to see if the photo was lined up and in focus in my camera preview screen. All in all, it's not bad but I could do better.

Submitted to The Past is Present: Genealogy Photo Challenge for World Photography Day at The Family Curator. World Photography Day is August 19, 2011 and submissions for the Genealogy Photo Challenge are being accepted until 6am PST 15 August 2011.


  1. I love this, especially the original. Time marches on. What a difference between then and now.

  2. Thanks, Cynthia! What amazed me the most when I got to the cemetery with a copy of the 95 yr old photograph in hand was comparing the headstone, then and now. Not only has the engraving worn away over the years but the photo shows that the grave was once edged/rimmed in stone. There is no stone edging there now. At first I thought the stone had just been removed but then I noticed that most of the lowest block of stone for the headstone was gone too. Then it occurred to me that it's all been buried over time!

    I know from previous conversations with the cemetery caretaker and restoration projects at the cemetery that virtually all of the flat-style stones in that old section of the cemetery are buried under several inches of dirt. It's just what comes with time, wind, & sediment (like excavations of dinosaur bones and other archaeological digs). It makes sense of course, I just didn't expect to see evidence of it.

    I'm really hoping to get a better photo in the fall.

  3. Amazing photo to have and make comparisons 95 yrs.later.

  4. Wow, that's pretty amazing, to see how much the stone has sunk. I've come across a couple stones that I thought had maybe been broken off by vandals and then replaced by embedding them into the ground some. Now I'm rethinking that whole idea.

    When I was in North Dakota for family reunion a couple months ago, I trimmed back the earth and grass that was growing over the flat markers of a couple family members who died in the early 1900s, but I had no way to lift the stones back to ground level. A project for the next reunion and a little crew of boy cousins, I think!

  5. Jasia, your images really showcase the scars of time. I am always surprised at how quickly some stones seem to deteriorate, and it's so sad to see them sinking away into the earth.

    Thanks for your encouragement with this project, and for joining in.

  6. It is rather disturbing to see the ravages of time on family graves. I had no idea the flat ones disappeared if they didn't get dug out.

  7. Very lovely results - quite striking how the landscape and area has changed in the near 100 years since the first photo.