City Directories and History: This unusual sepia toned photograph had long been stored in the collections of the Fairfield County Historical Society /Museum in Winnsboro. Someone, perhaps the donor of the old picture, had marked the identities of two local men. The name over the head of the man on the far right is local
merchant/livery stable owner William Roylston Doty. The X over the bearded man’s head marks him as the celebrated principal of Mt. Zion School, Professor J. M. Witherow. Museum workers in the past had thought that the photo showed the event of an outdoor science class with a long telescope seen on the left, but closer examination of the telescope shows some sort of cover or filter over the open end of the cylinder, obviously a smoked glass or blackened lens cover. Three wooden boxes in the foreground appear to offer small observing booths on the ground, two apparently “manned” by gentlemen wearing fashionable straw boater hats. A short barreled scope, or perhaps a camera, is seen on top of the middle box. Obviously, this group was not gathered for an everyday event, but an eclipse of some sort.
(Continue the article by clicking on the PDF link under the primary image.) Article written and contributed to R&R by Pelham Lyle – Fairfield Co. Museum partnership program w Roots and Recall – 7.27.17
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