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Mystery Monday – Two Lines Crossing
Sep 26th, 2011 by Jessica

I found this portrait along with the Baptism of the girl I wrote about last week on Mystery Monday.  I believe this is a young couple from one of the Karpuk, Stroik or Dreffs families.  I don’t think it is Rose Karpuk and Ed Dreffs.  They were married February 9, 1946. However, Aunt Rose didn’t wear glasses.

My mother believes this is Marie D. Betlinski and her first husband Mr. Dabrowski.  Marie later remarried again and when she died her last name was Augustyniak.  She was born June 26, 1911 and died January 7, 2007 in Bay City, Michigan.  Marie was my grandmother Mary Rose Stroik’s best friend.

This photo seems to be earlier than the 1940′s.  If anyone out there is good at determining the age of a photo by the style or the clothing, please chime in below in the comments!  I need some help with this one.

Happy Couple, Chicago

Happy Couple, Chicago

What really struck me about this portrait is the inscription at the bottom of the beautifully embossed paper frame:

Z. Rozanski, 1073 Milwaukee Ave., Chicago

Z. Rozanski, 1073 Milwaukee Ave., Chicago

The inscription reads, “Z. Rozanski, 1073 Milwaukee Ave., Chicago.”  Now to most people, this is a clue that the couple was married in Chicago.  That got me thinking; I don’t know of anyone from these families who moved to or lived in Chicago during the first half of the 20th century.  Marie M. Betlinski was born in South Chicago, Illinois so it is likely this is her wedding portrait.

Milwaukee Avenue… I have seen Milwaukee Avenue before in my research.  Where did I see it?  EUREKA!  My husband’s family was from Chicago.  Andrew’s great-grandfather Andrew Jędrzej Dominik was a portrait photographer in Chicago starting around 1915 until he moved to Arizona in the early 1950′s.  In fact, the 1916 Chicago Polk City Directory lists his place of business at 923 Milwaukee Avenue, just a few blocks down from the studio of Z. Rozanski at 1073 Milwaukee Ave.

By the 1930′s, Andrew’s photography business had moved to a new address.  Scholl Studios was relocated to 1563 Milwaukee Avenue.  We have an original portrait envelope from the studio with the new address printed on the front.  It even says “between Damen and North Avenues” so you can be sure to find it:

Scholl Studio Photographs, 1563 Milwaukee Ave, Chicago

Scholl Studio Photographs, 1563 Milwaukee Ave, Chicago

Milwaukee Avenue must have been Chicago’s Photography Central in the early 1900′s.  It’s just neat to see the family lines crossing like this.  To think that my husband’s family who moved to Arizona in the 1950′s could easily have photographed someone so close to my mother’s family from Michigan in Chicago is just a little crazy to me!  I’m hoping someone out there can tell me who the happy young couple is above, or at least help me date the portrait a little better.

Good luck solving your genealogical mysteries!

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Mystery Monday – Portraits Inside Portraits
Sep 19th, 2011 by Jessica

Daniel Ray Dreffs, circa 1970

Daniel Ray Dreffs, circa 1970

This is a picture of my wonderful Uncle Danny (Daniel Ray Dreffs) while he was serving in the US Army in 1970 at the age of 18.  The picture was taken inside his mother’s house in the living room by the front door.

What drives me crazy about this picture – and don’t get me wrong, it’s wonderful – are the two portraits inside the portrait.

Did you notice the portrait of the graduate on the wall to the left?  Who IS that??  My grandmother had 12 children who lived to see 18 years old, and many of them did not graduate from high school so this portrait intrigues me.  It may have been one of my cousins.

Check out the portrait on the television.  Clearly it is a military portrait with a flag in the background.  It might have been Uncle Danny or it might have been Randall Dreffs, another family member who was in the Army.  I’ve never seen that portrait outside of this photo.

Did you see the portrait of the woman on the table?  I believe that is Uncle Danny’s mother, my grandmother Mary Rose Stroik.  I have never seen that portrait in person and cannot be sure.  It is a mystery, and it’s driving me mad!

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© 2013 Jessica M. Green