photograph showcase

Photograph Showcase: Naomi & the Dedication of the Warren Church

SKEEN, Naomi, dedication of Warren Church
Naomi Skeen in front of the Warren Church at the time of its dedication.


What a cool photo!

Written on the front of this photo below the young girl to the left of the bass drum is her name, Naomi.  Naomi Skeen is my great-grandmother.  She was born 27 April 1905 in Warren, Weber, Utah.

The back of this photo indicates that the event was the “dedication of [the] Warren Church.”  Naomi’s father, Joseph Skeen, included this brief paragraph about the Warren Church in his autobiography:

“The frame church was built in 1905.  I was secretary of the building committee.  The school had been established a few years earlier.  William L. Stewart was the first bishop, William T. Wayment the second, and I was the third.”1

It seems likely that one of Naomi’s parents must have been close by when the photo was taken and I wondered if Joseph was one of the men in the band.  After inspecting the faces closely, I think Joseph might be the man on the back row, second from left holding a baritone horn.

This photo offers quite a bit to puzzle about.  No matter how many times I study the left side I can’t quite decide what is going on over there.  It reminds me of some of the double exposure prints I accidentally created when I was young.  And what is going on with the person just behind the back row of the band?  Something seems odd there too.

Joseph said that the church was built in 1905, but Naomi seems to be a little over a year old, so was it dedicated the following Spring?  I’ve called the Weber County Heritage Foundation hoping they might be able to help me identify the date of the dedication.

Warren was, and still is, a very small place.  According to Wikipedia, the population of Warren in 1900 was 276 and in 1910 was 433.2  In such a small town, I imagine the dedication of the new church was a big event to celebrate.  How fun to find this photo commemorating the occasion in my family collection!

I was excited to be able to use the new topic tags in FamilySearch memories.  I hope this will allow others to find their family members in the photo and tag them!  What do you think of the tags I chose?  Anything else I should add?  View the photo on FamilySearch here.

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The handwriting on the back of the photo is unknown to me:

SKEEN, Naomi, dedication of Warren Church, back




Happy Thursday, do you have any small-town events preserved in your family photo collection?  If so, have you identified a way to effectively share them with the right group of people?  I could use some ideas.  Have a great weekend!  xoxo