Photo Story: New in America

Left to Right: Antoni, Antonina, Ewa, Helena
(Original Image and Text, Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia Shenette) My grandmother was the daughter of Antoni Bulak (1868-1940) and Ewa (Kowalewska) Bulak (1873-1924).  Ewa and Antoni met while working at the Palac w Szczawinie in Szczawin, Poland.  Antoni immigrated to the United States first, and Ewa and their two daughters, Helena (1894-1985) and Antonina (1896-1990), followed in 1897.  The family first settled in Joliet, IL but moved to Worcester, MA in 1900.  This photo, taken in 1899, is the earliest photo I have of my grandmother Antonina, her sister, and her parents.

Other Posts You Might Like:

The Stories My Grandmother Told Me
Meditation: The Strength of Ordinary Women
Books of Interest - Landowners in Poland 1918-1939
Ewa (Kowalewska) Bulak - Wordless Wednesday


Barbara Poole said...

How fortunate you are to have this old photo. Love the girl's dresses w/sashes. I'm wondering if you plan on getting this restored, it'd be a perfect picture to frame.

Cynthia Shenette said...


I love this photo too. My great-grandmother was a seamstress and probably made at least all the women's clothes.

I'd love to get this photo restored or at least a better Photoshopped image. I do have an improved copy that was made years ago. It's better but not great. My guess is with all of the improvements in photo correction I could get a pretty nice restored copy. I need to add it to my list of things to do. Given that its the oldest photo I have of this family, I should probably move to the top of my priority list.

Kristin said...

It looks like it would be a good candidate for photoshop. I had to restrain myself from downloading it and seeing what I could do!

I am enjoying your series and just spent half an hour going from "you might also like this" to "You might also like this post. All interesting. Now I guess I have to come up with a post for today!

Cynthia Shenette said...

Thanks. Kristin! I do quick retouches on the photos I post on my blog, but I haven't done anything with Photoshop. It's good to know you think it can easily be repaired. Thanks also for checking out my other posts, and I hope you find the right inspiration for your own post today!

Kristin said...

I didn't mean it was easily repaired, just that I thought it was repairable. Those marks across the faces make it more difficult. It would take a lot of time. But it's a great photo and would be so beautiful repaired.

Cynthia Shenette said...

Kristin - Thanks for the clarification. Frankly, I'd be happy with any improvement. I figured the face would be an issue. I had one of my dad's photos copied and Photoshopped by my local camera shop, and they did a great job. It's not perfect, but it certainly is better than it was. Having this fixed might be a nice Christmas gift for myself this year.