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“FIRST FARABAUGH REUNION AUG 15th, 1929, at Loretto Pa.”
This remarkable photograph was taken on August 15, 1929, in front of St. Michael’s Church, Loretto, Pa. A second image follows, edited with a number key for identification. It was taken by Michael J. Farabaugh (1878-1959), on a Thursday, the Feast of the Assumption for the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Reprinted with identification boxes by Anthony Bentivegna – 1991
Digitized and indexed by Edwin M. Farabaugh Jr. – 2009
Archived and presented for website by Mark J. Farabaugh – 2014
Front row on ground, left to right:  Florence Margaret Farabaugh,  (Mary) Rita Farabaugh,  Philip Augustine Farabaugh,  Paul William Farabaugh, [5-6] unidentified,  Frank Gilbert,* [8-12] unidentified,  Vera (Gilbert) Madigan,*  Walter Michael Farabaugh,  Coletta Mary (Farabaugh) Kuntzman, [16-20]next five seated unidentified,  Kathleen Agnes (Farabaugh) Smith,  Helen Marie (Farabaugh) Biller,  seated girl unidentified,  Janet Cecelia (Farabaugh) Buck,  next one seated unidentified,  Doris Mae (Farabaugh) Rieg,  Delphine Agnes (Farabaugh) Weiland,  next one seated unidentified,  Paul F. Kirsh,  Esther (Kirsh) Park (kneeling),  James A. Kirsch?, [32-38] next seven seated unidentified,  Mary Margaret (Farabaugh) Eckenrode,  Michael Norman Farabaugh,  Robert William Farabaugh,  Dennis Benedict Farabaugh,  Walter Anthony Farabaugh?,  Clarence Joseph Farabaugh?,  Russell Edward Farabaugh,  Melvin James Farabaugh,  Aaron Joseph Farabaugh,  seated girl unidentified,  Paul Charles Bender,  Hayden Edward Bender,  Harold William Bender, [52-53] next two seated boys unidentified, Clyde Oscar Farabaugh, [55- 58] next four seated unidentifed, [58A] unidentified girl with elbow on knee (not included in caption),  Ruth McNulty,  Edna McNulty,  next girl unidentified,  Helen McNulty.
Middle row, seated in chairs, left to right:
 Frances (Boxler) Gilbert,* [64-68] unidentified,  Mary Apollonia (Farabaugh) Rievel,  Virginia (Gyan) Dishong in lap,  Mary Catherine (Farabaugh) Boxler,*  Florence (Gilbert) Beeman,* [73-83] unidentified,  Maude C. (Trexler) Farabaugh,  Alma Elmira (Benden) Farabaugh,  (Anna) Floella Farabaugh in lap,  Agnes (Barraclough) Farabaugh,  Lois Marie (Farabaugh) Marshall in lap?,  Adaline (McConnell) Farabaugh,  Thomas Dennis McNulty?,  Faber Francis Farabaugh, [92-94] next three seated unidentified,  Jane Frances (Phalen) Farabaugh,  baby in lap unidentified, [97-98] next two seated females unidentified,  Fr. Modestus Wirtner, O.S.B.,  Hilda Mary Farabaugh in lap,  Bernard Alphonsus Farabaugh,***  Joseph Farabaugh,  Viola Farabaugh?,  Mary Farabaugh?,  Mary Farabaugh’s mother?,  boy in lap unidentified,  unidentified seated male,  unidentified seated female,  Henry Farabaugh,  Peter Paul Farabaugh,  George Sylvester Farabaugh in lap,  Edward William Farabaugh,  Mary Josephina (Rietscha) Farabaugh,  Mary Elizabeth (Himmel) Farabaugh,  Sebastian Farabaugh,  Catherine Frances (Farabaugh) Bender,  boy in lap unidentified,  Peter Farabaugh,  Elizabeth (Springer) Farabaugh,  child in lap unidentified,  William Edward Farabaugh,  Theresa Emma (Herschel) Farabaugh,  seated girl unidentified,  Adeline Margaret Farabaugh,  Mary Ann (Farabaugh) Springer,  Othella Mary (Bender) Farabaugh?,  Louella Margaret (Bender) Murphy-Gauntner?, [128-132] unidentified,  Leonard Celestine Farabaugh,****  Mildred Catherine (Farabaugh) Schaffer or Geraldine F. (Farabaugh) Weiland,**** or Helen Farabaugh Rennie,*****  Rupert Modestus Farabaugh*****,  Raymond Henry Farabaugh.*****
Back row, standing, left to right:
[137-140] unidentified,  Marian (Gilbert) Hess,* [142-143] unidentified,  Rose Mary (Rievel) Young in large hat, unidentified male standing,  Virginia, M. (Rievel) Guyan,  Joseph Guyan,  unidentified male in far background,  Mary Agnes (McMullen) Updegraff,  Robert McMullen,  Bede A. Bender, Sr.,  unidentified (partial face) in background (not listed in caption),  Naomi Mary (Farabaugh) Bender,  unidentified girl standing,  unidentified man in far background (not listed in caption),  Rosemarie Harriet (Farabaugh) Yahner,  unidentified male in far background,  infant in blanket, white cap in right arm of unidentified male holding hat,  unidentifed male holding infant and hat,  Zigmund Ambrose Veneskey,  Helen Mary (Farabaugh) Veneskey, [162-165] next four standing unidentified,  Frederick Michael Farabaugh,  Mary Frances (Farabaugh) Jones,  Rosanna (Farabaugh) McNulty?,  Delrose (Farabaugh) Shuss,  Charles H. or Augustine A. McNulty?,  Lucy Elizabeth (Farabaugh) McNulty?,  Agnes Mary (Huber) Shannon?,  Mary Grace (Farabaugh) Sherry?,  Margaret Marie (Farabaugh) Krug,  unidentified girl standing,  Adam Lieb Farabaugh,  Wayne Joseph Farabaugh,  Amandus William Farabaugh?,  Englebert Joseph Farabaugh,  Herman Daniel Farabaugh,  James Albert Farabaugh,  Mary Carol (Farabaugh) Ricci being held?,  Leo Erhard Farabaugh,  Anna McConnell Farabaugh,**  Marie Farabaugh Janello**, [186-187] next two standing unidentified,  Sylvester Amandus Farabaugh,**  William Alexius Farabaugh,  unidentified female standing,  Clement Augustine Farabaugh?,  Catherine Viola (Sr. Celeste) Farabaugh,  Mary Rosalia (Baker) Farabaugh,  Martha Anna (Farabaugh) Lawn,  Edward Giles Farabaugh,  Maurice Sylvester Farabaugh,  unidentified male standing,  William Thomas Farabaugh,  Mary Margaret (Farabaugh) Illig,  Anna Mary Grace Farabaugh,  Regina Rosalia Farabaugh,  Raymond Modestus George Farabaugh,  Clarence Henry Himmel,  Leona Ida (Farabaugh) Himmel,  Bernard Lawrence Farabaugh,  Viola Farabaugh,  Leo George Farabaugh,  Gilbert Francis Farabaugh,  George Rudolph Bender,  Clara Cecelia (Feighner) Bender,  Mary Helen Farabaugh,  Edward Peter Bender being held,  Dennis Sylvester Bender,  Marie Magadeline (Yeckley) Bender,  Hilda Catherine (Bender) Davis,  Catherine Theresa (Bender) Stock being held,  Viola Catherine (Farabaugh) Panaro,  Harold Ott,  Mary Elizabeth (Bender) Ott, [220-227] next eight standing unidentified,  Anna Catherine (Adams) McNulty, [229-231] Next three standing unidentified,  Matilda Parrish Farabaugh*****
* Identified by Vera (Gilbert) Madigan per letter of Oct 1995.
** Identified by Lois Farabaugh Mall per email of 20 Apr 2015.
*** Identified by Suzanne Bohrer Farabaugh per email of 14 Jun 2015.
**** Identified by Scott Martin Schaffer per email of 16 Nov 2015, relying upon memory of his brother Thomas.
***** Identified by Catherine Farabaugh (of Leo) per electronic communication of 23 Dec 2016.
DESCRIPTION OF THE CAMERA
I was present at a photo session at another location when I was about nine years old (1941). Here’s my recollection of the event:
I was always a curious kinda guy, and “Grandpap” always took the time to answer my questions. I don’t remember the location, but I watched him mount the camera on a very heavy tripod just next to the pitcher’s mound at a baseball field. I was happy when he said I could stay with him next to the camera while he was taking the picture. The camera was a large box made of wood and painted dull black. All 3 dimensions were about 13 inches. I remember him adjusting the legs on the tripod to get it level. In retrospect, I think the camera must have weighed 30 pounds or more, and was turned by a heavy spring-wound “clockwork” motor, controlled by an escapement, on a rigid mount supported by good set of ball bearings.
He spent two or three minutes arranging the subjects in a large circle (my guess: 30-35 feet from the camera). I can now say that he was not only an expert photographer, but also a pretty good “people shuffler.” It wasn’t a complete circle – perhaps only 200 degrees. They were about “2- or 3-deep” with the shorter ones in front. Next, he rotated a crank on the side of the camera several turns. He explained that he was winding it up “to make it turn into a merry-go-round.” He explained further that the camera would be turning slowly so it can “see” everyone in the circle. When I nodded my understanding, he really confused me by saying the camera turned, but the film inside didn’t move. I really don’t know why I pretended to understand.
Finally, he announced that he was ready to take the picture, and asked everyone to look right at the camera as it turned. He then pushed a button, and the camera rotated slowly. I’m guessing that it probably took about 30 seconds (twice as fast as the second hand on your old-fashioned analog wristwatch).
I always enjoyed visiting his studio, just across the street from the church. A week or so later he explained how the camera worked. He showed me how he would cut a section of unexposed film (covered on both sides with black paper) to the right length, so that it formed a circle (really a cylinder) to fit inside the camera. He said the motor that slowly turned the camera in one direction also turned the film at the same speed in the opposite direction – “the camera moves but the film doesn’t.” He explained further that the light goes through a narrow slit on the front of the camera to expose the film.
At that age, I didn’t totally understand his explanations, but I now know that the narrow slit functioned the same as a tiny hole in a pinhole camera (If you are too young to remember these, google “pinhole camera” in your browser). The only ways he might have been able to control exposure would either be by changing the width of the narrow slit, or by changing the rotation speed. I really don’t know if either was a feature of the camera. I didn’t witness the print-making process, but I assume it was a “contact print” rather than made by an enlarger.
Several hundred professional quality prints were made as the “centerfold” for the Farabaugh book I published in 1990. I interviewed a lot of relatives for the identification boxes. I remember taking it down to Phil Farabaugh who lived next to Chick Yahner’s garage in Loretto. I figured he was seated as the boy, third one in from the lower left. Old Phil looked at it slowly, carefully, looked up and told me he couldn’t tell if it was him or not. If he couldn’t recognize himself, who could? That’s when I knew I was never going to be able to solve the identity of all these Farabaughs. I have a mounted print in my law office, and it always gets comments. One office worker marveled that they could start their own town. Indeed.
And here is our photographer Michael, in later life. . .