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Meet the Rommels

In 1915, Lewis Wickes Hine came to Fort Collins for a day as part of  a project to document child labor in America. He photographed the Rommel house at 430 N. Loomis. It was boarded up in this October photo because the family was away harvesting beets. They would return to Fort Collins in the Winter to work at the sugar factory. This photo is now in the Library of Congress:


More recently, Joe Manning, of Massachusetts began looking for descendants of Hine’s subjects. He found and interviewed the grandchild of Jacob Rommel. From Massachusetts, he couldn’t get a good 2009 photo of the house. So I took these for him. It hasn’t changed much.



In this one, I'm trying for the same angle as Hine used in 1915.

But this is all just teaser. To meet the Rommels, go see Mr. Manning’s interview plus additional family and Hine photos: www.morningsonmaplestreet.com/jacobrommel1.html


Special thanks to Lesley Drayton at the Museum archives for passing this one to me.

By the way, you DO know about the museum’s blog, don’t you? It combines history and the Discovery Center. It’s here and will keep you up to date on Museum doings and other interesting stories: http://fcmdsc.wordpress.com/

2 comments to Meet the Rommels

  • I love the old shot verses the new. (I think the redo should be a little further to the right, though.)

    The house looks great!

    How cool is that to be able to look back and see what your house looked like almost 100 years ago. Awesome!

  • catfc

    Meg, You’re right about my angle. And I think Hine was standing on something…a car or a wagon? His shot is higher up than mine. I like looking for tiny differences in the house. Like, the old chimney is gone, I think. And the front porch rail is changed. Wish I knew what color the original was.