This group picture, which I have posted before, was taken July 4, 1933, at a picnic attended by members of the Sanders / Dobson families. What brought them together was a visit from Al and Pearl (Dobson) Sanders who drove from their farm home at Foreman, Alberta, Canada, to visit Al’s sister, Nina Portfors, and Pearl’s parents, Julian and Ina Dobson. The picture is great, but the details of the day were lost until I found Grandma Ina’s letter. Here’s what she wrote to her son, Vance, on July 30, 1933:
“The following Sunday [July 2] we were to have a basket dinner and two sermons at the church and so were busy preparing for that . . . We had one day after that to prepare for Pearl and family and the Fourth, so “a Mondays” we washed and baked and Pearl called from town [Orofino] that afternoon. They had got in about noon, and we arranged to go over near Melrose where Al’s aunt [Naomi Stinson Long] lives, and picnic in their pasture, a lovely place. They [Pearl and Al] got here next a.m. [Tuesday, July 4] at about 11, and took Dad and me [as well as granddaughter Shirley Jean] with them. At Dryden’s [near the village of Peck] Earl and Bernice joined us in their car. Charles and Nina [Portfors] with Mrs. Sanders and daughter Muriel came the river road. Fairly and Dorothy came also so there was quite a gathering. Dorothy isn’t well and looks so thin. Fairly looks fat and fine and the baby is a prize. I don’t know what he’s doing but they live in town.”
Here’s the photo identification:
Front and center: Dorothy Portfors Walrath and her daughter, 3-year-old Harriet Lee Walrath.
Seated to the left are C.O. (Charlie) and Nina Portfors.
Seated to the right is Muriel Sanders German.
Little girls behind Dorothy – Helen Reed and Shirley Jean Robinson; also Lois Reed.
Next row, l. to r.: Ina Dobson, Naomi Stinson Reed Long, Bernice Dryden Dobson, Alice Mary Stinson Sanders (Saunders).
Back row: Stanley Sanders, Fairly Walrath, Julian Dobson, Bud Long, Al Sanders, Clifford Reed, and Earle Dobson.
The “who’s who” of the picture:
Alice Sanders is the mother of Nina Portfors, Albert Sanders, and Muriel German. I believe she lived near Portland at the time; perhaps she was visiting at Nina’s home to coincide with Al and Pearl’s visit.
Ina and Julian Dobson are the parents of Pearl Sanders and Earle Dobson. Stan and Shirley Jean are their grandchildren. Shirley Jean just happened to be spending some time at the farm.
Naomi Stinson Reed Long is the younger sister of Alice Sanders, hence the aunt of Nina, Muriel, and Al. Eventually the Longs moved to Missoula.
Dorothy Portfors Walrath, daughter of Nina and Charlie, is my central person. In 1945, her husband, Fairly, was killed in a woods accident, leaving Dorothy with a family of four. In 1947, she married Vance Dobson, Ina and Julian’s son, and in 1949, Vance and Dorothy became my parents.
So, this picture, taken in 1933, shows my mother, both sets of my grandparents, my maternal great-grandmother, my great-great Aunt Naomi, my great-aunt Muriel, and my maternal great aunt and uncle, Pearl and Al. Or – my paternal aunt and uncle, Pearl and Al – however, you want to look at it.
Except, of course, I think Pearl was the photographer and doesn’t appear in this photo. KW