I have been blessed to have inherited my family's picture albums.
The thousands of photographs in my possession date back to before the 20th century. This one (above) has always fascinated me. It was taken sometime C 1895?
There sure are some characters in this picture! I have always wondered what this colorful and motley group of folks was involved in.
The only clues about this photo are written in my maternal grandmother's handwriting on the back:
This was a lodge drill team.
George Niggemyer (my great-grandfather) in middle.
Mother behind dad in the dark robeo hat.
Aunt Dora (Frank Niggemyer's wife) by mother in the white blouse.
Uncle Frank in front of dad in the white or light jacket.
Grandma Sigler in dark outfit at far left holding pole.
My mother's family originally immigrated to the United States from Germany C 1840. They settled in Ft Madison, Iowa. My grandmother was born in Ft Madison in 1898. I am guessing here, but I have to assume that this "lodge" drill team, which is composed of family members, was a German tradition which carried over to their life in the United States. If anyone has any other ideas, please let me hear from you!
It is fascinating to see a portal of American life from over a century ago---the closeness of family, the colorful dress and headgear, and the fact that families actually did things together.
And what is it with those spears? Ha.