The Mystery Of The Ghost Girl

WARNING postmortem photo below.

There are two possibilities now that I think about it more. I might have gotten this picture at Burke’s Antiques out in Eastlake, maybe on 1st Avenue. Or, Web and I might have gotten the picture at Scottsboro, Alabama’s First Monday, Trade Day. I am fairly sure I had the picture by about 1970ish.

So, is it a postmortem photograph that has been partially colorized? A print of… who?

I know I got her because I thought she needed her family and should not be given away. I remember we took her frame apart butthere were no names. Now I only get photos and memorabilia that is identifiable so there is some hope to return it to the family.

For goodness sake – even if you write across the face of a photo – name your photos! I was unable to reunite this one with her family and — as with dozens of others I have tried to get home through my life — she eventually became part of my family .

I felt, and still feel, this compunction to save picture,s and I have saved many. A few are still with me that have been identified, but need the last link to find the family and get them returned. But many have gone home and most of the time it is a very happy and joyful experience.

I found an SAR (Sons of the American Revolution) medal once and worked to locate the descendants. I found two relatives and they recounted how horribly that medal owner had treated them both. But they did want the medal so they could ceremonially throw it away. I was glad I had written to them as I wouldn’t want to keep a piece of someone’s hurtful family history.

Some of the finds are just sad. I could identify the people in the photographs, but after extensive searching it seemed that all the descendants had died, leaving no one.  Others showed adorable children who turned out not to have lived much past the time of the photographs. But this picture took on a life of its own, and stories sprang up about who she was.

One of the stories about the girl almost stuck. Daddy Paw once remarked while she was hanging on my wall that she looked like his mother. Mamma Pearl pooh-poohed that instantly.”Maybe when she was very young,” Pearl allowed, but it was more like “she looks nothing like your mother.” Of course Pearl had known her mother-in-law very well. After that, the story continued when Paw came to visit the photo’s later home, and one thing led to another. Paw’s mother was Mollie Rose Lewis Knight. I do not have any photos of her living, but I have seen them in the past and the girl looks nothing like Mollie Rose.

I do have a postmortem photo of Mollie Rose and photos of her two children and putting them together with the photograph of the mystery girl – we can all see there was never any reason for the story based on looks. There are no similarities.

mollie and children 23

Mollie Rose was said to be beautiful in life, but I don’t think she wants photos that are not her.

The back of the photo says $4.00 and that was about right for the budget I had in 1969 or 1970. I took it apart to paint the frame and checked the photo back and front carefully, but there were no readable marks to give me a clue who she was.

Now it is 2019 and we have social media, facial recognition and art experts who are all within a world’s proximity of each other. I wonder if I try again will I identify the lonely girl lost from her family? I related then.



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But Dai is right. I have to stop bringing home lost people – even if they are in pictures; we just cannot afford this any more. But I do hope I can get these last people back to their families.

See more from our Lost and Found section coming:

David Jones Bible

Found the Michael Kettering family and then lost them again

A story about Victoria Death Photography








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