Simply beautiful!

Today’s photos are an amazing find! This is a single matte with five images on in. The photos themselves are about 2.5″ wide by 3.5″ high. The entire matte is about 16″ wide by 6″ high, like a cabinet card on steroids! This lovely lady is Ora Loriane Hopps Haynam Hemsworth, who in 1905 sat for Butler in Salinas, CA at the age of 28. How this ended up on ebay I have no idea, but I’m getting it framed and hanging it in my office because it is so interesting and lovely! In the first image, she is wearing a two piece outfit. The scan doesn’t show it well, but the skirt has some beading or sequined embroidery, and the blouse has very heavy lace cuffs. In all the images, she is wearing a pin watch that also has a long chain that goes around her neck. In the four “white dress” images, she is wearing a cuff bracelet, and in the second image to the left you can see a wide wedding band. The white dress has a sheer overskirt that looks light and flowing, overtop the pleated skirt. The bow in her hair originally led me to believe she was much younger in these photos.

Ora has been a little difficult to trace. Here’s what I could find. Ora was born as the first child to Frank J (b 1845) and Mary E (b 1851) Hopps in California, December 11, 1876. Frank was an upholsterer by trade. In 1900, the family was quite expanded and living in the little town of Alisal, which is now part of Salinas, CA. On the 1900 census, added to the family are Cleona J (b 1880), Harriet B (b 1883), Martine S (b 1886), Hazel M (b 1889) and Ellen H (b 1894). The census documents indicate that Ora was a music teacher.

From there, we lose Ora until 1926, which she is listed in the California Voter Registry (as a republican) under the name Ora Haynam and then again in 1930. In 1930, she is living with Miss Rachel M Haynam, and lists her occupation as “home executive.” I guess a sense of humor was necessary as no Mr. Haynam is listed in either record. Ora goes underground again until 1954, when Ora Hemsworth returns from a trip abroad, entering the port of New York on the Ile de France. She may also have visited England. She is 77 at the time.

Ora lived a very long life and passed away in Monterey at the age of 95, October 12, 1971. I have not found the name of either of her spouses. I hope you have enjoyed this lovely set of photographs as much as I have!


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