Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Copeland Father and Son Travel to Maine in 1904 ~ 52 Ancestors #28

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and this week's writing prompt is Travel.

I've been enjoying scanning photographs from my aunt's collection. Both my aunt and my mother have photographs from their father's trip to visit his paternal grandparents in Calais, Maine, from Winnetka, Illinois, in 1904, a trip of over 1,200-miles!

This was a trip "back home" to see Henry Clay Copeland (1832-1912) and his wife Sarah (Lowell) Copeland (1833-1916). I can't tell from my collection of photos if my great-grandmother, Ethel, or grandfather's 18-month-old sister, Betty, went on this trip; there don't appear to be any family group photos.

What a trip this must have been for not-quite-four-year-old Lowell Townsend Copeland! At this age, my grandfather was known as Townsend, but his nickname of Towgie or Towg is noted on the back of some of the photos.

Lowell Copeland and his son L. Townsend Copeland in Calais, Maine
The back of another copy of this photograph reads: "Taken Oct 1904 in New Brunswick - beautiful drive - L.C. [Lowell Copeland] and Towgie [Lowell Townsend Copeland]."

From the back: St. Stephen / Towg - New Brunswick, Jul 1904
St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada, is across the St. Croix River from Calais. The date on the back of this photo suggests that they were in Calais by July of 1904.

Robbinston on way down river Jul? 1904

From the back: Oct 1904: Sardine canning factory + wharf Robinston Maine LC [Lowell Copeland]

Two copies of the same photo. Note that Robbinston, Maine, is about 12 miles south of Calais.

Oct 1904 - Calais   /   October 1904 - Calais -
On the back of another copy of the photo on the left is written: "L.C. + his son on the door step of the hospitable home on Main St. Calais / Sept. 1904." I believe that this was the house that great-grandfather Lowell Copeland grew up in. It is on Main Street in Calais and is still standing.

Following is a screen shot from Google Maps Street View of the house.

From Google Maps Street View

And a screen shot from Bing Maps Street View from a few years later shows new landscaping, replacement windows (and you can see the house better):

From Bing Maps Street View

The historic marker above the door is 1835, the likely year the house was built.

Home Trip - Crossing fr. Canada Nov. 1904

From the back: L. T. Copeland on ferry from Calais, Maine to Canada Oct 1904
I found I have another copy of this photo and on the back reads: "L.T.C. on car ferry from Windsor to Detroit. Oct. 1904." So this must be as they are returning to Winnetka from Maine. I don't know how they traveled other than this last ferry ride, but probably by train. (My grandfather loved trains and train travel for his entire life.)

Although some of the dates on the photos vary and conflict, it does appear that at some point in the latter half of 1904, grandfather Lowell Townsend Copeland traveled to Maine with his father Lowell Copeland.


  1. I love the comparison of the house at different times. So they traveled 1200 miles by horse and buggy?

    1. I'm guessing they traveled by waterway and train and the horse and buggy was just during their visit in Calais.

      Thanks for the comment.