Every so often I will receive an inquiry from somewhere in North America, from someone seeking information on their long-departed ancestors in Alberta.
In late March, I received one such email entitled “question”.
Tamara Harken, a resident of Seattle, Washington, had been looking through her grandparents’ box of memories when a particular photograph captured her attention.
Sepia-toned and a century old, it featured a gathering of stern-faced gentlemen, decked out in suits and saches, posing outdoors on a summer day.
Harken wondered if one of the men in the photo was Anthony Baker, a one-time resident of the town of Drumheller, Alberta.
“I believe my grandfather might be the man kneeling third from the right front row. He lived in Drumheller for sometime, where my father was born,” she explained.
“If it is him,” Tamara added intriguingly, “it would be the last picture taken of him before he lost his arm.”
Inscribed along the bottom of the photo was a curiously contemporary caption, printed in all-caps:
“JULY 12, 1915
FIRST ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF HAND HILL COUNTY
TOBERMORE L.O.L. NO. 2344 DRUMHELLER ALTA.”
“Is there any chance you might have some information on the event noted in this picture?” she inquired.