Pictures saved from barn floor shed light on Crounses


Do these three faces belong to Frederick Crounse? Alice Begley wonders.

When Doctor Frederick Crounse's old barn was still up, curious people stopped by to visit it a lot!

Old barns are filled with belongings of all sorts of things, especially things that the house owner or new house owner want to get rid of: cutlery, old papers, magazines, books, household furniture, old crock pitchers, old pictures, and more.

This historian has been recently given a plastic bag filled with old pictures presumably once owned by a past owner of the Crounse house. (The house, which is in disrepair, is currently owned jointly by the town of Guilderland and the village of Altamont.)

An Altamont resident told me she had visited the barn just before it was destroyed, and that a group of old pictures were scattered all over the barn floor.  She started picking them up and realized that they could be important to the history of the house.  She took them home, put them in a bag, and stored them in a closet.

A few years later, they were still in her closet! So the historian of the town was called, and I am hoping the pictures are who I think they might be.

Most of the shots were taken in downtown Albany photography studios. No one had cameras then as we do now.  Brown's Photography; Pearsall's Photography of 69 South Pearl Street; MacDonald’s Photography; and Robinau Photography and C.C. Schoonmaker Photograph,y both of North Pearl Street were all named on the pictures.

Five tintypes were included along with five postcards of the State Normal School, the Washington Park lakehouse, Thompson's Lake, West Point, and a "Glimpse of Western Avenue in Albany."   

A picture of a young man in what looked like a War of 1812 uniform, and a hard-covered 3-by-5-inch child's book titled  "Anna and the Kittens" by Mrs. L.M. Childs were included in the treasures.

The front inside page of the book is dated August 3, 1883. It says “Prize 4” and the following poem is written in pencil:

   "Among the green bushes and blooming on bushes

    Hi O! Hi O!  Hi O!

    I'll find me a treasure

    To give me much pleasure

    Hi O   Hi O   Hi O

All of these articles are in very good shape.

I  took  several of the tintypes to Jim Gardner at the Enterprise Print & Photo shop for development.  One of them is included with this story.  The beautiful dress worn by the woman identifies the financial status of the family.

None of the photos are identified.  Perhaps readers can do that. I plan to meet with Marijo Dougherty of the Altamont Museum & Archives  to deliver the wonderful findings there.