Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday Mystery Spot

Last weeks Mystery Spotters alertly noticed that I had foolishly not renamed the jpg. It said "Gilbert.jpg," and this is indeed a painting of thechildren of John and Harriet Heartt Gilbert. The children gave the Gilbert Mansion to the city. For years this 1870 picture by J. K. Grego hung in the Gilbert living room. The home was later used by the Boys' Club of Ypsilanti.

After the last child pictured died, Miss Alice Gilbert in 1946 (she is at top right) the picture was stowed in a barn on the property.

It stayed there for seventeen years.

(story at left; click to enlarge).

Its re-discoverer thought the painting was just some old crating in the barn. It was salvaged, and restored by J. Charles Collins.

"One of the children," says the December 3, 1963 story about the painting (from which the aforementioned facts were gleaned), "at the upper left of the picture, John T., died before its completion, and the artist finished his likeness from a tintype. The boy had been born in 1863."

A search shows that John died on July 16, 1870, at 6 years and 6 months, of brain fever.

This week I have cleverly remembered to rename my jpg. It's a tricky one, though. A couple of objects give you a hint as to the era, and this place was briefly mentioned in one of my earlier pieces some time ago. Take your best guess and good luck!


Dusty D said...

I will reward guesses with hints for this one, 'cuz--dang!--it's obscure. But you people have forced me to cough up such obscure photos...otherwise you'd guess it every time. And have, so far! :)

Joe said...

Alright, I have no idea. Looks like the cars are from the 30's/40's. My wild guess is water works park.

Paul A. said...

I'm with Joe on this...Water Works Park looking west(?) towards Catherine Street

Dusty D said...

You gentlemen have some interesting ideas, given how truly obscure this pic is. Answer next Wednesday! Joe, I agree with you on the age of the cars.