“Group of people bowling on a wooden lane erected in a yard,” July 4, 1861, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
I just found this photo. It was taken exactly one year before yesterday’s picture, probably by James Hunter,* who would host the 1862 picnic.
The Library’s online catalogue says that “Mrs. H. Bowling and Coleman Sellers, Jr.,” have been identified in this image, although it doesn’t say where they are — probably the woman bowling (Mrs. H., bowling†) and perhaps the boy in charge of setting up the pins.
“By the mid-1800s, the game of ninepins was so popular that wealthy families installed bowling lanes at their estates. . . , ” according toAmerican Profile. “When some states outlawed ninepins [in the 1830s and 40s] because it encouraged gambling, the modern game of tenpins evolved to skirt the laws.” I’m not sure if there are nine pins in this picture or ten. What looks like one middle pin may be two pins lined up.
I found these early color slides of a 1939 community Fourth of July picnic on St. Helena Island, South Carolina, by Marion Post Wolcott.*
They’re rather shadowy, but still lovely — like old oil paintings.
To scroll through larger pictures, click on ‘Continue reading’ below and then on any thumbnail in the gallery. I lightened the images here a little, but those in the gallery are the original versions.
St. Helena Island is one of the Sea Islands and a center of African-American Gullah culture and language.
Here in Rwanda, the American Embassy held its Independence Day reception last night. This is because the 4th is Rwandan Liberation Day — when Kigali was liberated in 1994, and the genocide was effectively ended. July 1 is Rwanda’s Independence Day, celebrating the end of Belgian colonialism in 1962.
*via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division