Gram Pix

My grandmother, Rachel Sumner, used to keep her cameras and boxes of pictures in a closet in her dining room. After she died I inherited the whole collection and I scanned the pictures, about 3000 of them, around 1995. I still have the originals in piles of boxes, in acid-free Ziploc baggies inside.

Where possible I prepended a year to my original filenames so these are sorted chronologically. Some photos were grouped by a processor's batch number or worse yet loose with no markings.

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1926_Heath_Center_1926_960h.jpg Heath Center in 1926
1934: My Uncle, Ted Burrington, was a bit of an inventor. This is the first of 2 documented models of a cranberry picker he built, the second was about 1942. I've never heard of cranberries being grown around here, maybe this was just an excuse to hang out on Cape Cod for testing. 1934_Teds_cranberry_picker-1_1934_960h.jpg
1934_Teds_cranberry_picker-2_1934_960h.jpg 1934: The early cranberry picker from the front. This was built around a bicycle, the later one around a motorcycle. I've heard neither actually worked all that well.
1939: Ruth, Dot, Dick, Ralph, Bob Sumner 1939_Ruth-Dot-Dick-Ralph-Bob_1939_960h.jpg
1940_Bob-Dick-Dot-Ruth-2_1940_960h.jpg 1940: Bob, Dick, Dot, Ruth Sumner. Notice the impish look on Dick's face.
1940: Dot, Bob, Grandma Sumner, Dick, Ruth Sumner 1940_Dot-Bob-Grandma_S-Dick-Ruth_1940_960h.jpg
1940_Looking_North_on_a_snowy_road-2_1940_960h.jpg 1940: A stuck snowplow by the looks. My grandfather, Ralph Sumner, drove snowplow for the town I've heard. This was 14 years before I was born. This looks like it's at the farm which my father later sold to Doug Stetson. Heath center would be just over the mountain in the center, that upper clearing on the hillside would be the Dickinson farm. That strange apparition at the left is a light leak in the camera.
1940: Stuck again, a little farther on. Notice that the barn on the right and trees across the road are still in the same places, only the plows moved. There's a second truck behind the first. 1940_Looking_North_on_a_snowy_road_1940_960h.jpg
1940_Looking_at_the_farm_from_the_North_1940_960h.jpg 1940: This seems to be looking at the farm from beyond where the plows were stuck after they'd gotten by.
1940: Part of the farm, the main barn's across the road behind the camera. The entrance to Schoolhouse Road is right about in the center of this picture, apparently they didn't plow it in the winter. 1940_Snow_across_Schoolhouse_Road_light_leak_1940_960h.jpg
1940_nice_car_in_the_snow_1940_960h.jpg 1940: Somewhere in the snow. I don't see any landmarks and I don't know whose car that is. Somebody wanna run that plate?
1940: I think this is a different day of plowing, and the next picture actually belongs before this one. 1940_plow_approaching_1940_960h.jpg
1940_plowing_1940_960h.jpg 1940: This may be a pass by the plow to clean out some drifting after the road was already open, or widening the road. There aren't people standing aroud with shovels in either of these.
1942: The second model of the cranberry picker. I don't know who these people are. 1942_Teds_Cranberry_Picker-2_1942_960h.jpg
1942_Teds_Cranberry_Picker_1942_960h.jpg 1942: Cranberry picker #2. I can barely remember Uncle Ted as an old man who died when I was at Branch Elementary School (1960-1963). I remember being impressed that the flag flew at half mast for someone in my family.
1945: This looks like a stuck or broken down plow again. Whoever that is leaning against the telephone pole seems to be wearing just a sweater so maybe it's spring or she's been shoveling and she's hot. The mountain in the background looks different than in the 1940 picture, I'm not sure where this is. Notice the insulators on the telephone pole: they don't put them on that way around here (no crossarms), this looks like near the end of the line. 1945_Could_be_stuck_960h.jpg
1945_Looking_in_the_snowbank_960h.jpg 1945: This looks to be south of the farm but I don't know what's going on. It looks like they're looking for something rather than just shoveling. There also seems to be a road at the left which is way out of line with the telephone poles and the truck parked in the road just right of center. It could go to the barnyard. That seems to be what was Galipo's on the right.
1945: Once again I can't reliably guess where this is but I think it's the same car as in 1940. War years, rationing, etc. A lean-to or chicken house on the right, a house built at right angles to the road on the left. Maybe in North Heath somewhere. 1945_Snowbanks_somewhere_1945_960h.jpg
1945_Snowbanks_to_the_telephone_wires_1945_960h.jpg 1945: This looks a little like the south of the farm one 2 pictures back. I've heard of being able to stand on the snowbanks and touch the telephone wires, and I've seen snowbanks that high in recent years, but only in North Heath, not around here.
1945: Stuck again, judging by the guy standing on the snowbank to the left. No crossarms on the telephone poles again. 1945_plowing_1945_960h.jpg
1950_Henry_Stetson_anniversary_720h.jpg 1950: Henry Stetson and his wife's 60th anniversary. Love how they never mention her first name at all.
1958: I've got 3 pictures here of what I think of as my grandparents' house although they didn't live there until I was about 6 (1960). It was known as the Maxwell place and was a mess when they bought it. 1958_maxwell_oldesth.jpg
1958_snow_960h.jpg 1958: Same place, the asbestos siding in place by winter.
1958: Actually a picture I just took 11/9/2013 to show the place now. It's not in the family any more, I don't know these people. My grandfather tore down the old shed and built a new workshop about 1971, in between digging down the driveway so it's more level. The solar panels were added by the new owner. I remember playing in those lilac bushes at the right, there was a place you could walk in and sit down on a horizontal branch and be hidden. 1958_snow_no_2013h.jpg
1969_Burrington_Homestead-1_960h.jpg 1969: The house that my father sold to Doug Stetson when he quit farming/logging and went back to college (UMass) with teaching in mind.
1969: Not far from where the 1940 stuck plow pictures were taken but looking the opposite direction back toward the house and barn. 1969_Burrington_Homestead-2_960h.jpg
1971_ed_Ronh.jpg 1971: An early Mohawk graduating class and the people from my class (1972) leading it. Donna March fiddling with her shoulder at left, behind her Marsha Stetson then Monica Sheridan. The near colum is Bonnie Stanley, then somebody from Colrain, then Debra Bergstrom. Carolyn Bobetsky is in pink. At the right is my father (Ron Corey) with his coat over his shoulder.
1971: After the ceremony, anonymous graduates walking away. My father in the background with his raincoat. 1971_ed_chaosh.jpg
1975_ed_Bill_Thane-Alan-Jennifer-Alan_Otico-Cindy_Riceh.jpg 1975: The reception for my wedding which was a Justice of the Peace wedding in Greenfield 12/24/1975 because we wanted to get married Christmas Eve. With his back to the camera is Bill Thane, me, Jennifer, Alan Otico, Cindy Rice.
1975: At my parents' house probably at Christmas. Dawn, me, Jennifer. 1975_ed_Dawn-Alan-Jenniferh.jpg
1976_ed_Jennifer-Alanh.jpg 1976: Family Christmas at my grandparents' (these were usually in January), Jennifer and me.
1976: My grandfather, Ralph Sumner in his recliner. 1976_ed_gramph.jpg
1977_ed_Jennifer-Alan-Ronh.jpg 1977: Jennifer, me, my father: Ron Corey
1979: Dawn, Jennifer, me at Christmas. 1979_ed_Dawn-Jennifer-Alanh.jpg
1981_ed_Alan-Amhersth.jpg 1981: Me at Amherst College in the electronics shop I had for 10 years.
Ralph's Model T Ford: There are a couple later pictures of this in it's old age as a stripped-down doodlebug used for pulling trailers of hay. I remember being allowed to play on it and one day I ran outside to jump up in the seat, which was unusually cold. When I looked down I discovered I'd run out in my underpants. This is natural fading of the print, no sepia toning. Ralphs_Model_T_Ford_960h.jpg
The_Sumner_farm_North_Heath_barn_bridge_960h.jpg This was a farm in North Heath where my mother grew up. This barn is long gone, but the stonework still stands. My cousin Eric Sumner owns it now. There's a painting of this done by Robert Woodward and it's sort of legend in the family. The barn actually spans the road for putting hay into the upstairs, because the ground on the other side slopes down too much.
That's my grandmother, the child at the left with glasses. That's probably Uncle Ted (Burrington), the boy at the right. The others I don't know, or when or where this is. With_a_group_960h.jpg
bearer640h.jpg That's me as a ringbearer at my aunt's wedding. The flower girl is someone named Cheryl something from near Fitchburg, I haven't seen her since.
Me on the beach with shovel, bucket, and sand. bucket_meh.jpg
car_960h.jpg I think this is Oscar and Ava Sumner in this car. They lived in NYC and I didn't see them often. Oscar was my grandfather's brother. Ava in later years was a chemist working for Pfizer, it seems like he was a chemist too.
A pair of coon hunters, I don't know who they were. coon_hunters_960h.jpg
doug_nada_960h.jpg Doug Stetson married my father's sister Nada, this was from a Christmas card they sent out.
Me in overalls, I think about 1955 or 6. overallsh.jpg
snuggleh.jpg A cousin of mine who was a Headmaster at Charlemont Academy.
A Sumner family portrait: Ralph, Dot, Bob, Dick, Rachel, Ruth. sumner_family_960h.jpg
with_group_by_porch_960h.jpg I'm not sure who these people are, or where, but that's my grandmother, Rachel Sumner as a girl in front.
Many years ago before I was born a neighbor, Wil Rainville, used to have a pet bear. I think this was in the 1940s. I'd heard about it but never saw it. Bear1
bear2 I don't want to think about what life was like for the bear, chained up like a dog with a doghouse.

Some more recent (1968 & 1971) pictures that I'm in. I was reluctant to put these on the web before but they are fuzzy, 40+ years old, and I'm only using first names. 1968 (B&W) are from Hermit Island Campground in Maine, 1971 are from Sandwich, MA on the cape.

I'm not sure what's going on here. The girls look downcast like they just got yelled at, Brian looks defiant, I look concerned. Marcia did get in trouble for wandering off to the public bathroom up the road by herself without even telling anyone sometime on this trip. She was the youngest of us, Kevin was born while we were up here. Marcia, Brian, Linda, me. I'm about 4 years older than Linda, I don't remember their exact ages but she's the oldest. Marcia, Brian, Linda, me
Putting up the tent Putting up the tent. This got to be old hat eventually but in 1968 we hadn't had it many years. Along the sides of it were grommeted holes at the top and loops at the bottom. The poles which Marcia's holding onto were dowels about 6 feet long with a nail sticking out at the top. You put the nail through the grommeted hole, pushed up, then the bottom of the pole through the loop. Then you looped a rope over the nail and hitched the other end to a tent stake and tightened it (Gramp's doing that). It worked best with a team on each side. Once the sides were up you put the ridge pole together and put it in, on taller poles, with more ropes and stakes. 4 adults and 4 kids slept in there this trip, we had some cots that stacked like bunk beds. Nobody slept on the ground. Gramp, Marcia, Dad.
All of us at the beach. Not all the tent sites were near the water, most of us had to walk a little ways. Mom, Brian, me, Gramp, Linda, Dad, Marcia. In those days you just didn't go into somebody else's campsite without being invited. You can't lock a tent but nobody ever stole anything, you could go off for a day and everything would be fine. Maybe you didn't leave something like a camera or radio sitting out in plain sight on the picnic table but buried away in the tent it would be fine. Marcia, Brian, Linda, me
Washing up Getting ready to eat. Dad's standing at the Coleman stove cooking, beyond that on the folding table is the "camp kitchen". That was a handy plywood box with compartments that held pots & pans, plates, silverware, cereal bowls, condiments, napkins. It had handles and weighed about 50 pounds fully loaded but everything you needed for cooking and eating were in there. I remember buying sets of stacking dishes and planning the compartments to fit them took months. There wasn't much extra space in there. That's probably Marcia at the end of the picnic table, Brian's washing his hands, I'm waiting. At most campgrounds you had to carry your own water so everybody washed their hands in that plastic bowl before that water got thrown out.
Almost every summer my grandparents would rent this cottage on the beach for a week or two. There was a normal driveway and road on the other side, this was the side facing the beach. The front 5 first floor windows were screened and on a porch, which is where I slept. Sleeping bag on a cot and I listened to the ocean all night. Lots of family members would come stay for a few days, I don't remember how many bedrooms there were, I always got the porch which suited me fine. I think that's Kevin at the end of the boardwalk in the plastic sunglasses. 1971, he'd have been about 3. cottage
sailing This is as close as I ever got to being on a sailboat at sea. My father (in back) understood what he was doing, my job was to duck every time that boom needed to go over me. My father sailed when he was a kid, this was my only time. 1971, I was a junior in high school.
My father's bent over doing something to the sailboat. I'm in the far inner tube watching, Linda and Brian are in the near one. Linda was always gorgeous. I don't remember if it was this trip or not but one time we had a bushel basket in one of the inner tubes and pulled it around while we waded and dug clams that we tossed into the basket. We made chowder out of them. tubing
Christmas 1970 Christmas 1970, all the grandkids. From the back, l-r: me, Linda, Brian, next row: Marcia, Eric, Todd, Kevin, and in front is Ree. I had braces and glasses then. I want to rescan these, maybe this winter.

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