They Were Neighbors / 06.03.2012

Every time I see an old photo like this on Shorpy, I want to know more about the person staring back at me. Where did they live? What was their occupation? Who were their family members? Who were their neighbors? I started this blog eight weeks ago (wow, feels a lot longer than that) with the intention of focusing on stories of regular Washingtonians. We've had the chance to meet some interesting characters like Minnie Wiseman the sad suicide girl, Don Glendening the tragic murder victim, Robert Muir the manager of the Cairo, Leopold Birkle the German brewer and of course, Washington's first true badass, Officer Sprinkle. This recent photo I came across has inspired me to start a new series called "They Were Neighbors." We're going to continue down the path of meeting former residents of our city, but instead of just focusing on one person, I'd really like to explore the dynamics or the person's day-to-day life. The woman below, Ann O'Connell, interacted with people on a daily basis, and we can piece these relationships together by digging through old newspapers and the U.S. Census. This will be a little bit investigative research with a side of imagination. One more thing before we dive in. Don't be shy to comment below and add your own interpretation. This is more art and opinion than true science. I'd like to think of this as participatory blogging, so if you have good ideas, or think I'm totally wrong, go ahead.