photograph showcase

Photograph Showcase: Leaving California and The Coffee Cup


DUVAL, Deane and Francis Duane, leaving California - edited
Deane & Frank Duval


My great-grandparents were adventurous at a time when being adventurous kept your family fed.  They traveled around with their little family of four, working where they could find a job, and leaving when the job ended or they needed more – more opportunity, income, etc.  Eventually, they settled in Spokane, Washington and started a photography studio in their home.  But before settling down was what seemed best, one of their stops was in Pacific Beach, California.

According to their daughter, my Grandma, as they were traveling through California, they stopped and her dad decided it was a great place for a restaurant.  So for a time, they owned and ran The Coffee Cup.  This photo taken in front of The Coffee Cup has a simple inscription on the back:DUVAL, Deane and Francis Duane, leaving California - back

Leaving California.

As I have studied the photos from this time period and gone over my notes I am a little bit puzzled.  Was the Coffee Cup in Pacific Beach or in a different part of California?  This photo doesn’t look very much like the San Diego I am familiar with.  Also, there are photos of my Grandma in Pacific Beach that seem to be taken well after this photo.  Did they make two California stops?  I really wish that simple inscription contained one very important detail – the date!  😉

Oh well, I imagine as I continue going through photos, the timeline will become more clear.  So for now, I am going to enjoy this awesome photograph of my Grandma and her younger brother sitting atop their trailer in front of their little restaurant as they leave it behind in search of the next adventure in their journey.

My great-grandparents were such excellent photographers!  They gave me no end of photos to stare at, wonder about, and puzzle over.

I am so grateful.


Happy Thursday, I hope you make a fantastic genealogy discovery today!  If not, maybe label a photo or two so your great-granddaughter won’t be left to wonder.  🙂



17 thoughts on “Photograph Showcase: Leaving California and The Coffee Cup”

    1. Thank you, Luanne! I do too!! I don’t know. I wish I did. Sigh. I shouldn’t complain though, there are thousands of photos in my collection and most of them are labeled or identified in some way. We genealogists are never satisfied are we? We always want more – more info, facts, photos, stories, answers. 😉

      1. There is that dissatisfaction that is always at the core of our search. It’s never enough because whatever we discover we see how much more we need to find out! It’s endless! You are so blessed to have the photos identified!

    1. Thank you, Amy! I love it. I tried zooming in with that it mind, but she and her brother aren’t crisp enough to get much detail. I compared her to some other photos but I didn’t feel confident that I was seeing this one well enough to know for sure. I did try an address search based on the number on the building, but without knowing for sure which city, I couldn’t find anything helpful. Thank you for the suggestion though! 🙂

      1. They look between the ages of five and seven or so to me, maybe eight. Do you need a specific year? How far apart in age were they?

        1. There are four years between them. A year would be great, but I’m just more puzzled by the whole collection not jiving with the things I have heard. I know you don’t have the benefit of seeing it all, but here is a sample image that says it was taken in Pacific Beach:

          The photo in front of the Coffee Cup definitely seems to be taken prior to the beach photo, but then why does the Coffee Cup photo say “Leaving California”?

          Ahhhh! 😉

            1. I don’t know. My grandma always talked about their time in California as if it were one continuos, but somewhat brief period of time. My great-grandfather did some work on the WPA road projects and they traveled around a lot. Despite the many, many questions I asked her over the years, I am realizing that there are some holes.

  1. It’s a wonderful photo even without the date. At least you have “leaving California” as a clue. My ancestors lived in California most of their lives and once there, none of them left. In fact, my siblings still live there. So I doubt I’ll ever find a photo with a clue like that. LOL!

    1. So true, the photo is a treasure as is! Haha. My family were very adventurous and mobile for a long time. They chose Spokane, Washington which suited them well. My great grandpa grew up wintering in Oakland and summering in Alaska so I imagine Spokane felt like a good compromise for him. 😉

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