Florida in the 30′s and my parents

My grandmother, Lillian (Craig) Lamson, moved to south Florida sometime in the late 1930s.  My father moved down about 1938, met my mother, and married her there in 1940.   South Florida wasn’t quite  a howling wilderness by then, but it was a lot less developed than it is now.  I just scanned some of my father’s old photos, including a couple that are sort of historic.

Here are my parents in maybe 1940 — photo was undated:

Dad and Mom

And no, my mom was not 12 at the time, despite appearances.  She was 29, I think, and divorced.

And here are my mother, my grandmother, and some blonde babe sitting on a palm tree over the Loxahatchee River.

On a palm tree in the Loxahatchee River

It was taken on September 10, 1939 (Yes, mom and dad were just dating at the time).  So were two more pictures on the Loxahatchee — labeled in pencil on the back “Trapper Nelson’s”.

My parents and grandmother at Trapper Nelson's

Picnic at Trapper Nelson's, 1939

Trapper Nelson was a Russian-American from New Jersey who settled on the Loxahatchee River in the 1930s, where he eventually had a zoo and fishing camp, popular among socialites who wanted to rough it in the wilds of the Florida interior.  Apparently my folks were among his early fans.  I don’t see him in these photos; I think that the guy in front of the table in the lower picture is someone named “Willie” on other pics, and the guy behind it is my dad.  But who took the pictures?

6 Responses to “Florida in the 30′s and my parents”

  1. K says:

    Ah, those unanswered questions.

    I have had to prevent my grandmother from throwing out pictures taken by my grandfather in Egypt during WWII. She thinks they’re not worth keeping on the grounds that she does not know who all the other people in the photos are (and also, some of the people are girls) and anyway they’re no relations of ours…

    You Gathmans come of goodlooking stock.

    I’m mildly astounded, though I probably shouldn’t be, how different it all looks from my mental image of the 1940s, which is entirely wartime austerity.

  2. Reno says:

    Somehow I suspect things were a wee bit more austere on your side of the water…

    Nice pictures, Allen. I should post some of the early family photos I have, including the ones of my grandparents in Puerto Rico in the early 1970s.

  3. Travis says:

    Those are fantastic. Thanks for posting.

  4. Jade says:

    Thanks so much for uploading all the old pix onto Flickr! I’ve ordered some prints for my mother and I. Miss you guys. xo Jade

  5. Allen says:

    Thanks to everyone for your kind comments. I’ve still got more of Dad’s old stuff to scan, and I’m putting all of the scans in a set on Flickr –


  6. Makes me want to dig up all my old photos and sort them out.

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