Our family car is famous! Did you know that the picture of a family in an old model car in the Boy Scouts of America Genealogy merit badge booklet is a picture of our family? The picture was taken in Bridgeton, Cumberland County, New Jersey in about 1912. I can date the picture because in 1912 my mother was 4 years old and she is the cute little blond girl in the car with a bobbed haircut sitting behing the driver who is Helen Shoemaker Elmer, her mother and my grandmother. Also, great grandmother Lucia Richmond Elmer is sitting on the front porch. Her husband, our great grandfather Newton Elmer, had died in February, 1912. The man standing in front of the car is S. Lewis Elmer, our grandfather who became a world renowned organist. The little boy sitting on the hood of the car is S. Lewis Elmer, Jr., my uncle. The oldest child in the Elmer family was Lucia who is sitting on her mother Helen's lap at the steering wheel of the car.
When I found this picture in family treasures, it was written on with a pen! Aletta Andersen, my niece, was able to clean up the picture in PhotoShop. That is the version that was chosen to go into the Genealogy merit badge booklet.
The Elmer family also had a horse named Bobbie and a carriage. Having a car was a very new and exciting event in their lives. However, they also loved Bobbie and kept him on the island of Martha's Vineyard where they had a summer home in Oak Bluffs. The home is in the background in the picture below. From left to right in the picture is Lucia, Lewis, Mary my mother, grandmother Helen holding baby Helen, S. Lewis Elmer with the reins in his hands, little Horace sitting at their feet on the front of the carriage and horse Bobbie ready to pull the family.
This is the Boy Scouts of America merit badge booklet with our Elmer family picture in it.
This is the page in the Boy Scouts of America merit badge booklet with our Elmer family picture.
A story like this tends to be read and re-read several times, thanks to the pictorial additions. And everyone in the photos have their own stories to tell. This is a juicy tale.