The mystery photo I want to share with you today is one I purchased from someone who thought it was a Savannah “4-H” group band. I do not believe it has anything to do with that organization, but there is definitely a “4” on those uniforms, and there is at least one musical instrument evident, a horn.
This does appear to be a parade group, and could that be a “fire hand engine wagon” someone leans on, or a fire hose reel? My guess is this image dates c1895 – 1905, and the last hand engine was out of service in Savannah by 1871, according to the history of the Savannah Fire Department. Perhaps one was used for special occasions like the old annual fireman’s parade, or in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade?
Here’s a detail of the group (click to enlarge):
Perhaps the uniform on these gents, which has a clover leaf – a shamrock – and a number 4, and what could be the initials SHA, as in Savannah Hibernian Association, could really be the initials SFD as in Savannah Fire Department? But I think it looks more like the former, and those don’t look like firemen’s uniforms. The Savannah Hibernians organization was founded in 1812, and it still exists.
Here’s a smaller detail, showing their shirts, but maybe not quite clear enough to read (click to enlarge):
In David T. Gleason’s The Irish in the South, 1815-1877 (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2001) http://uncpress.unc.edu/browse/page/365 the Irish population of Georgia in 1850, is given as 3,202, and in 1860, as 6,586, which is an increase of 105.7%.
The 1850 population of Savannah Irish was at 1,555, and in 1860 Gleason gives it as 3,145, which is an increase of 102.3%. As you can see, much of Georgia’s Irish were living in Savannah before the Civil War, and many remained there and more arrived afterward.
The Hibernian Society of Savannah began the tradition of Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day parades, and the one held in 2013 was its 189th. Here is a link to the Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade Chrononlogy: http://tinyurl.com/lcbgfxl
I am always interested in Georgia’s photographers of various ethnicity and origin. The following are those photographers and their associates I have documented (thus far) as born in Ireland, and the majority worked in Savannah.
Of course, many more in this profession were second generation Irish-Americans. Contact me for additional information on any individuals listed here, the below is only a brief entry on each person.
An excellent source for research on immigrants in Savannah as of 1867 is Paul K. Graham’s “Foreign Born Voters in Savannah and Chatham County, 1867” in three issues of the Georgia Genealogical Society Quarterly (v. 44 #4, v. 45 #1 &2; winter 2008, spring and summer 2009).
Working in Savannah (dates active there are in parentheses):
Isaac Beckett, b. c1839 in County Mayo; d. Feb. 27, 1911 in Savannah (Dec. 1864 – 1865). I believe he is the same person who was connected with the postwar Savannah Custom House. http://tinyurl.com/mhp2aso And I also believe this carte-de-visite portrait by Samuel A. Cooley, with whom Beckett was first associated in SC and Savannah as Cooley & Beckett, is likely he. Beckett was naturalized through his three years service in the U.S. Army (NY Infantry Regt., 56th)
Isaac Beckett by S.A. Cooley, from Civil War Carte de Visite Collection, NY State Military Museum
Joseph Collins, b. c1817 in County Cork (sold stereo views, stereoscopes at least Sept – Nov. 1858)
R. J. [Richard Joseph] Nunn, b. Dec. 13, 1831 in County Wexford; d. June 29, 1910 in Savannah (1857-58; he worked in Athens July-Aug. 1858; as of 1859 was listed as a physician only)
J. A. Palmer, Savannah, c1869 portrait of pregnant woman; Author’s Collection
J. [James] A. Palmer, b. 1823 unidentified county Ireland; d. May 29, 1896 in Aiken South Carolina (c1866 – c1871; while located in Aiken South Carolina, he made stereo views of Augusta, Atlanta and north Georgia, c1873 -85)
D. [Daniel] J. Ryan, b. June 1836 in Dublin; d. March 26, 1908 in Denver, Colorado (1867-1885)
D. J. Ryan, c1880 Savannah, cabinet card backmark; Author’s Collection
Working in Athens: H. Bambrick, b. c1832 unidentified county Ireland (1860), and F. O’Farrell, b. unidentified county Ireland (1851 & 1860)
And lastly, artist Theresa Grant (m. name Hoffman), b. Dec. 1868 unidentified county Ireland; d. Sept. 1959 in Pinellas County, FL, worked in Columbus (1888-1889) as a crayon artist for her father, photographer A. G. Grant, who was born in Ohio!
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