This week is another installment of Jake Jacoby’s photo of a group in his collection. Two weeks ago in Photo Mysteries, A Clue at a Time, I discussed clothing clues. Last week in Shipboard Clues, I told you what I knew about the caption and the ship.
Photo mysteries take time to solve. I feel like I’m getting closer. After another conversation with Jake, we came to the conclusion that his grandfather might not be greeting a group of immigrants. It could be another occasion.
I’ve spent a lot of time calling folks knowledgeable about local history in both Mobile, Ala. and Pensacola, Fla., to learn more about the ship. I’m waiting for news.
Two readers of this column wrote to me:
Genealogist Drew Smith also used the search terms german ship baltimore and found a mention of a German ship named the Baltimore that sank at sea Jan. 24, 1897, en route from London to New York. Thank you, Drew! I followed this lead and discovered a couple of news stories about it. One was in the New York Times and the other is available through the Kentuckiana Digital Library’s database of the Daily Evening Bulletin (Maysville, Ky.).
That Baltimore was commanded by a Capt. Hillman, but as far as I know, it didn’t carry passengers. It sank with its cargo of chalk aboard. I’m excited to find a captain with that surname. Perhaps he also commanded a different ship at some time prior to the sinking. Hillman could be the name in the partially missing caption in Jake’s picture.
Rachel Peirce’s great-grandfather was a ship’s captain, and she still has his books. There was a ship Baltimore listed in List of the Merchant Vessels in the United States, 1896 (p. 217). It appears to have been in Mobile, Ala.
I’m also researching packet steam boats that might have operated between Mobile and Pensacola. Quite a few of these boats used Mobile as a port.
I’ll end this week with another picture of Jake’s grandfather:
This was a New Year’s Eve affair at the Progress Club in Pensacola. The image was taken in 1894. From left to right are Charles Levy (seated), Lep Hirshman (standing), Joe Jacoby (seated with cane), Nathan Forcheimer (standing) and Ike Hirshman (seated).
Share your family photo stories with future generations in the book Family Tree Legacies: Preserving Memories Throughout Time. Given with printed photos or a family photo CD, it’ll be a treasured holiday gift.