Sep 24, 2020 - Sale 2546

Sale 2546 - Lot 102

Estimate: $ 400 - $ 600
(INDIANA.) Collection of family photographs and postcards, including some from the Spiritualist retreat Camp Chesterfield. 65 items in one small box, including: 3 small tintype portraits, 17 mounted photographs from the 19th or early 20th century, 28 unmounted photographs from the early to mid-20th century, 10 Real Photo postcards, 3 printed postcards, and 4 later copy prints; generally minor wear. Chesterfield, IN and elsewhere, circa 1860s-1957 and undated

Additional Details

Camp Chesterfield was founded in 1891 by the Indiana Association of Spiritualists, and remains in operation today. Located in Chesterfield, IN, its services have featured communications with the deceased through spirit mediums, as is typical in Spiritualist churches. 6 items in this lot can be positively tied to Camp Chesterfield. A 5 x 6 3/4-inch photograph shows the camp's main residence hall with many dozens of guests posed in front and on the balcony. It is inscribed on verso "The new rooming house, Mary." A Real Photo postcard circa 1910s depicted 27 men, women and children posed by a wagon in front of a large "Spiritualist's Camp" arch sign. Another Real Photo postcard of 5 female musicians (illustrated) certainly evokes an early 20th-century camp activity; on verso it is inscribed "The band that played at Chesterfield Camp. They are from Elwood, Ind." 3 offset postcards printed in green and black depict the Chesterfield Spiritualist Camp: "The Lyceum," "The Lyceum Grounds," and "The Auditorium." Other photographs (particularly some of the Real Photo Postcards) would seem to likely come from the camp as well.
Two of the postcards are addressed to Mrs. Callie Peek Pavy (1884-1973) of Burney, IN in 1910 and 1912, the latter being addressed to her from Camp Chesterfield by her parents. Few of the photographs are captioned, but those few do seem to tie directly to Carrie Pavy. The "Mary" who signed the camp building photograph may be Carrie's mother Mary Champ Peek (1862-1938); a 1957 photo shows Tommy Peek aged 11; another shows "Uncle Bill Champ's granddaughter Minnie." 3 unidentified cabinet card photographs were taken at Indiana studios.