Clara McClain, c. 1913

Here is another great Victorian era studio portrait. This is Clara McClain, taken when she was about 20.

This photo is printed on postcard stock. Other than a note in Mom’s hand identifying this as Clara, there is just “Mr and Mrs A McClain” written in the address area and “3-13” written sideways in the “Correspondence” area of the postcard. These last two appear to be in the same hand (not Mom’s)—likely Clara’s herself, if she was distributing these photos of herself to family.

At first glance, I would have guessed this was Clara’s high school graduation photo (assuming she graduated, which was not a given even in the early 1900s). But if 3-13 is a date (month and year) when the photo was taken, then she was closer to 20 when this photo was taken (Clara turned 20 in May 1913). But the date and the idea of high school graduation may not be that divergent. The move from Nebraska to Eastern Oregon to the Willamette Valley took close to a year from when the family departed Nebraska until they were settled in Tallman. This occurred when Clara was early elementary school age. I don’t know what was done about schooling during this time, but with all the upheaval, it may have been nothing. That would have put Clara a year or more behind in school. And given that, it isn’t out of the question that she was 20 when she completed high school. But this is completely speculation on my part, and I could be reading an entirely wrong meaning into the “3-13” notation on the back of the photo.

Regardless of exactly when the photo was taken, it is a great photo in general, and lovely of Clara in particular.