Miss Mary H. Gaither

This cabinet card photograph of Mary H. Gaither (b. abt. 1856, Anne Arundel Co., Md.) was taken by Baltimore photographer Barnett McFee Clinedinst, Sr. The photo was found in an album owned by Elizabeth J. Gaither Summers, and may depict Mrs. Summers’ sister Mary.

Their parents were carpenter Vachel H. Gaither (b. 1824, Anne Arundel Co., Md.), descendant of a line of Gaithers going back to before the American Revolution, and Margaret E. Robinson (b. abt. 1830, Anne Arundel Co., Md.).

Dating this photograph is difficult. Mary Gaither looks to be no more than in her mid-20s, at most. Clinedinst opened a studio in Balitmore in 1880 and operated at various locations until the mid-1890s, when he moved to Washington, DC. However, none of the studio locations documented in newspaper ads or in city directories was 48 and 50 N. Charles Street. James Cummins operated at 48 N. Charles for a number of years. Cummins occupied both  48 and 50 N. Charles in 1884, about the right time for this photo.

The unraveling of this riddle will have to wait for additional evidence.

All photographs from the Elizabeth J. Gaither Summers album were acquired on ebay from jbatro (johnscollectibles@att.net).

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