Here’s the Mysterious Flea Market Album Picture provided by P. J. Erbley

As alluded to in the latest News & Notes, a redux about a photo album, discovered at a flea market in 2014, has led to this presentation. This collection – 65 of more than 200 photographs – portrays a family on the cusp of the “Automobile Age.” Dating to the 19-teens and twenties, America had just left the horse-and-buggy era in a cloud of dust… if not oily exhaust.

While most of the photos are set on a farm somewhere around Lima, and at a freshly-minted suburban street in northwest Rochester, the desire to find out more about the family has been frustrating. Most of the noted identifications are either lacking or cryptic… leading to the mystery.

Olive P. (1883-1985) and William A. Wolter (1880-1946) are the protagonists in my “story.” Bill was a steamfitter, and Olive’s primary claim was to live to be 103… leaving no living relatives, but for one niece, who passed in 1997. So far, that ‘lead’ has not panned out with any relevant detail.

Depicted here are the photos presented as “Life in the Country” (Lima) and “Life in the Suburbs” (Rochester). Except for being chronologically placed, the locations were intermingled on the pages of the album. While the farm dropped away with the last photo, the Wolter history at the Rochester address continued with the long-lived Olive into the 1970s.

Learning of Olive P. Wolter’s maiden name and/or the location of the Lima farm is the proverbial key to the castle. This excellent piece of history should be in the right hands – one of two historical societies, or those living at one of two addresses – Lima or Rochester.



©2021 Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel


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