Photo Sunday, 10/15/17

This little history lesson started because Janet (Sommerville) Hardisty asked me to put her in contact with Sylvia Deen Trotter Anderson, and thus the exchanges began, and both ladies were gracious enough to keep me in the conversation so I could learn some local history and share in the photographs.

A couple of photos from the 50-60’s from Sylvia Deen (Trotter) Anderson’s collection:


The people in the photo below are Janet Sommerville’s parents, and Sylvia Trotter Anderson’s parents, Walter Trotter and wife Guelda [gwel-dah] (Fenton) Trotter.  Janet’s mother, Betty is the one on the right. The two on the left, I believe are Walter Trotter and the gal in the middle of Janet’s dad and Trotter is Janet McChesney. Please correct me if I  am wrong, ladies.😘

From Janet: “The lady sitting by your dad is Janet McChesney, they lived at the main house at the Forest Service Station, as Doug/Mac was head in Big Sur at that time, so this would of had to been anywhere from sometime in the 50’s to 1961 as the girls (Kathy, Nancy, & Maryjane) moved away before Capt. Cooper opened up on the hill in 1962. The other lady seems familiar, but I’m not really sure??”


A Couple more – this one of the classroom, Sylvia found from a collection at the University of Wisconsin, of all places:



“Up close with back to camera is Miss Morrisay. Then the girl on the right with hair band is cousin Susan/Susie Brazil, almost looks like back of head of Kip Hopkins. Tal Bradford is the fellow with fingers under his nose I think. Blonde in the middle almost looks like a Morganwrath, but don’t think it is. I have school photos with some of these kids in it, so they were a year ahead of me, maybe a Warren and almost looks like Billy Royer at the far right hand under chin.” (Description by Sylvia)

From Janet: “Lets see, I think those are David Lindley’s ears next to Susie (Kaye Short’s grandson), then we have Lincoln Curtis in front row by Miss Morrisay, Ron Warren, then we move over to Blonde, which is Jeanette Ramsdell,
next to her is I think Raymond Niemeyer, can’t remember the guys names on the right, but I remember them(Bruce?). And like you said, Tal, and then I think Lorna something and maybe Kate Healey’s head, and no idea on the other.”


The above is from the University of Wisconsin archives. It is the little red school house. It sat south of MAF approximately where the CT housing is now.

From Sylvia’s Collection:


“I did have this one however….. These two girls in detail…Their mother was Rowena (Davis) Kelly-Lee our school teacher. The elder/taller girl is Dorothy Kelly and the younger/smaller one is Rowena “Punky” Kelly. Punky, I’m sure you will recall drowned at Post’s area in Jul of 1964. I was 8 and you probably 10-11. Cousin Judy Trotter-Weidman was best friends with Punky and about aged 12. She had a hard time dealing with Punky’s passing.
This is the backside of the old Pfeiffer School if memory serves me as I was in the small room for the 1st and 2nd graders with Mrs. Kelly and you “older students”- ha-ha were with Miss Morrisey. We could go out that door right to the play area.”

Below,  “Sorry another bad photo, but this one I did remember a bit more about! L-R
Leigh Hartman Toldi, ME Sylvia, in back ?Char Piaz, Janie Curtis, then maybe Krista Mackowski, Collett Mason [french sounding]and Janet Sommerville. Found the program that went with this awhile back as well. Hard to believe we has such stuff in Big Sur with such a wonder teacher, Lillie/Lily Selvig. Still have the costume that her son Dirk wore for one of the ballet plays as a joker. What a hoot!! Sylvia”




34 thoughts on “Photo Sunday, 10/15/17

  1. Very nice. Keep at it ladies! VERY important.
    Might I suggest checking into the Monterey County Historical Society in Salinas at 333 Boronda. They have an impressive and very secure archival vault and an amazing amount of information… much closer than Wisconsin! 😉
    It is also a place to keep in mind if you have historical items that you are not sure what to do with… maybe things you find as you go through old boxes… old programs, menus, advertisements, newspapers, furniture, homesteading tools, etc. They also have some restored buildings open for tours.
    They may also have information to help you preserve your personal items.
    Question – where was the picture of your parents taken? I see a postcard rack.

  2. The best guess we narrowed it down to for the Sommerville/Trotter photo was possibly River Inn. Noted the old wood panel behind Walt Trotter, very close to what the old River Inn looked like.

  3. The blonde in the first peopled photo looks like Jeanette Ramsdell or the second photo so I’m thinking the first photo’s blonde is Mrs. Ramsdell.

    That tall ballerina behind Janie Curtis is Maya Hartman Rizzo. She was positioned behind me in that snowflake dance.

    Thank you so much for sharing the images, Sylvia, Janet, and Big Sur Kate. Brings back memories.

  4. I can almost guarantee that what is online is a VERY small percentage of what they have. They had boxes of stuff to go through to catalogue. Not only can they help other people find “their history”, they appreciate information and help identifying old pictures, etc.
    And of course, they love volunteers! You can sit there with white gloves on and put photographs into acid-free photo sleeves… and share stories.

  5. Kate, thanks for posting the photos, my grandmother is Janet McChesney I don’t think I’ve seen a photo of her from when they lived in Big Sur. She passed away 4 years ago in October so seeing this made me really happy! Thanks again for sharing.

  6. York fire? Thought I could smell something… and the eyes! I just thought it was more Santa Rosa crap…but no wind. Eyes getting ultra sensitive. A touch paranoid? No – vigilant.

  7. Kate,

    Yeah, good news: rain expected for S. MoCo – to north & beyond the stateline by Friday next week & snow for mtn areas w/ chilly temps!! Relief for those fire lifesavers!

  8. Denise,

    #YorkFire cause still under investigation… I had my dopper down thinking it was another Ford Ord ammunitions brush burn off, but, I doubt it would do this w/ Laguna Seca car racing was in progress.

    Cal-Fire and Air support was on it quickly.

  9. A note from ballerina Maya about the Little Red School House class photo:
    “The Bruce that Janet/Sylvia is referring to in Ms. Morrisey’s classroom is Bruce “Croft” from the Navy Base, I think. She was probably reading LIttle House in the Big Woods or another L. I. Wilder book as she read several to us. I remember Lincoln Curtis loved hearing the stories and knew about them prior to her reading them to us. I am sure via his mom, Lavonne.”

  10. Sommerville/Trotter photo – Left to Right

    Far Left – Jane McChesney, Walter Trotter, Guelda Trotter, Jim Sommerville an behind him unknown, Betty Sommerville standing.

  11. Lincoln looks entranced in the story being read, unlike the boy behind him and to the right!

  12. Denise,

    Thanks for your input. Rain totals later in week expected in the 1/4 -1/2 range. Good night.

  13. I remember Mrs. Morissay was reading the little house on the prairie books by Laura Ingals Wilder. I enjoyed them so much that I read them to my children when they were young. Fond memories.

  14. Kate,

    Discarded cigarette butt reported as the cause of the York Fire via KIONTV.

  15. That is definitely my little brother Lincoln, us older kids were usually with mister Owen who liked to dress like his hero at the time Fidel Castro. Miss Morrisy used to teach punctuation thusly: hmm, let’s see, if there is a pause in the sentence that must be where the comma should go… she was incredible at teaching us to sing, the whole school was a coir and we traveled as far as San Juan Bautista to sing, we also had the most amazing Christmas program.

  16. I believe our family had some formal photos of the class all posed in front of the red schoolhouse, Melissa may have them. I have to credit Gene Perrine for all the time he volunterred to the music programs we had. Thanks for reminding me of all the Laura Ingles Wilder books we listened to and how much fun going to school was there.

  17. The young girl all the way in the back near the ladder was Lorena Nameyer or Nemeyer as taken from the Christmas Play -Journey to Bethlehem. This would be just about all the kids from the school.

    Journey to Bethlehem – Dec 1962
    Narrator – Alex Hartford
    Joel – Clem Kessler
    Mother – Rowena Kelly
    Father – Micha Curtis
    Elin – Jimmy Summerville
    3 Kings – Brock Bradford, Helmuth Morgenrath, Curtis Royer
    Leopold – Nicki Clarebut
    Mary – Jeanette Ramsdell
    Joseph – Ronnie Warren
    Angels – Sylvia Trotter, Leigh Anne Hartman, Cheryl Warren
    Servant – Celia Morgenrath
    Stage Manager – Mike Trotter
    Vickii Bledsoe, Jane Curtis, Gina D’Esopo, Don Moe, Alan Marshall, Tara Morgenrath, Raymond Nemeyer, Ricky Warren, Rodney Wigley
    Cyndra Bradford, Julie Brazil, Mickey Eugene, Elizabeth Everroad, Nancy Harnett, Paula Hougland, Doug Short, Marsha Wigley
    Pattie Jo Alger, Tal Bradford, David Brazil, Susie Brazil, Hilary Cadwell, Tony Clarabut, Suzanne Clarabut, Bruce Croft, Linc[oln] Curtis, Charles Eugene, Susan Everroad, Janet Harnett, Maya Hartman, Kate Healey, Wendy Houghland, David Lindsley, Krista Makowaski, Colette Mason, Catherine Moeller, Lorena Nameyer or Nemeyer, Billy Royer, Janet Summerville.

  18. Hey Billy … a year has almost come and gone since you posted! How are you, and where are you? I Just saw your brother at this past years Big Sur River Run (2018) in the State Park, both he and his wife ran for the second time. Talked about old times and the fun we had back in the days. I’m still here, or come full circle!

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