On July 4th 1914 My Great Grandma Summitted Mount Baker

For a historian, old photographs are a critical part life. Photos from the past offer unique insight into events and people of a bygone era, and can be incomparable resources when doing research. Historians don’t just look at photos though, they dissect every little detail to paint a larger picture. One photo can be the key to unlocking a generation of stories. Often times historians, and I myself am guilty of this, look past the people in the photos while scouring for clues, and forget that everyone single person in the image had a name, a family and a story. For me, this got complicated a few months ago when looking through some old family photos I had never seen. Not only was I looking for the clues in the pictures to piece together a story, I was looking at the faces of family members who I had never met. I’ve looked at thousands of old pictures, yet this experience was something entirely different. Through doing this I gained an intimate knowledge of my ancestors, and what they had to struggle with and overcome so that I could live the life I have today. With March being Women’s History Month I want to tell a story that was told to me through pictures, and through my Grandma, the story of a remarkable women that I’m proud to be a descendant of.

Josephine Schmidle
The summit of Mount Baker, taken by Josephine Schmidle
Applying a mud mixture to protect from the sun

I believe that history can build community. To that end, I write about local history. The places, events, and people that have been forgotten.