Mystery Album: Photos from a Decade Gone By

by Jane Ahrens
1930-Photo-Mystery-105035-Hay-Harbor-660x330x received an inquiry from a lady from Oregon who came into possession of a box of photos and a photo album. It had been sent to her mother from her grandmother’s relatives. She shared the photos with us and is hoping to solve the mystery – who are the people in the pictures and what is their connection to Fishers Island?  Some of the photos are clearly marked as Fishers places, some you may recognize as landmark buildings, while others are just included in hopes that they might reveal a clue.

She wrote, “My grandmother’s cousin Almeda Snow sent the photos to my grandma, and my mom put them in storage. When my mom was moving she gave me a plastic container filled with pictures. I went through them and found these pictures and the old album.  They are pretty interesting and I have been trying to research them. I came across your site and I thought sharing them with the people of Fishers Island was the best thing to do. I am really curious if anyone could be identified.

So, we share them here. Please email if you can help solve the mystery! If not, just enjoy the ‘show’ and these wonderful old photos.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Feedback on the photos is included at the bottom of this post.

(Click any image to see a larger version or to view as a slideshow.)

 Mystery Album Updates

Having posted the photos from the Mystery Album in August 2014, several of our readers contacted with the following information:

Looks like the people in the pictures worked for the Samuel Agar Salvage family. I think there are a couple photos of the Salvage daughters. Sam Polk and Bob Anthony are the grandchildren and Charlie Ferguson might remember. ~ Tom Patterson, Sr.

I think that a staff member of Samuel and Katharine Salvage took the photos. The girl on horseback is my mother Magdelaine Salvage at age 12 or 13. The Salvages had a maid named Helen who worked for my parents for years. The family called her Nellie but her real name was Helen. The chauffeur’s license is registered in Corona, NY – the Salvages lived in Flushing in 1925. Poppy Salvage had several English Springers. The little blonde girl holding the chauffeur’s hand could be any of the three daughters.~ Bob Anthony

I believe this is the MacLeod Mansion, where part of ’82 movie World According to Garp was filmed. The house was originally constructed in 1899 for Robert P. Linderman (Architect: Bruce Price), founder of Bethlehem Steel. Given the number of photos taken in and around the house, I’m guessing that whoever took those photos must have been related to the owner of the mansion during the late 1920’s and early 1930’s when the photos appear to have been taken. ~ Kevin Cullen

Mr. Cullen who wrote in had it exactly right. The album was almost certainly comprised of photos taken by staff of the Salvages. The house structures in the full album were predominantly the main Salvage / Garp house and the Salvage’s Lodge, both built for the Robert Packer Linderman family. “Big chimney” was the Robert Linderman’s power plant, NOT part of Mononotto. Not sure how that error got going, but everyone calls that building, now owned by Harold Wilmerding, the Mononotto pump house, or Mononotto something! It was a private power plant. ~ Pierce Rafferty, Ferguson Museum Director

And, Charlie Ferguson’s notes (c/o Marnie Briggs)
Seems to be the album of someone who worked for the Salvages. Photos are from Fishers and also wherever they lived in the winter. Unfortunately Charlie could not identify people, but his comments may be helpful information for FI history:

  • Martha Pendleton had a greenhouse
  • Magdalaine Salvage was Lady Salvage’s daughter
  • Photo # 112637 – 1930 Dock looks familiar. Could be ferry dock in New London or Munnatawket dock on north shore of FI
  • 113146 – probably not FI – trees too tall
  • 104318 – Salvage’s house on FI
  • 104527 – Salvage property main entrance
  • 104848 – Hay Harbor from near Salvage’s house
  • 105813 – Big chimney may have been part of heating for Mononotto Hotel
  • 113120 – Hay Harbor with Gaillard’s house in center?
  • 112207 – skidoos/sailboats on dock near Salvage’s or Mononotto. The name “skidoo” came from the Gay 90’s.
The house c. late 1920s to early 1930s c/o Kevin Cullen
The house c. late 1920s to early 1930s c/o Kevin Cullen

Featured Photo

USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay . Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

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