FAMILY OF OLD

This photograph I copied (a 4x5 view camera assignment in photography school) from a postcard my paternal Grandpa Joe showed me marking the journey his parents and siblings made from Russia (the city of Chita we think) to Shanghai and then on to America in steerage arriving in San Francisco through Angel Island entry. The picture was made in Shanghai where the family lived for 3-4 years and was taken in 1891. It is really the only tangible remnant I have of this half of my heritage and I’ve always been curious to know more. Because my grandfather was born in San Francisco after his parents had immigrated, I didn’t really find out much more about the journey nor their life in Eastern Europe. Joe told me that his parents spoke Russian, were of Polish and Russian descent, and that Joe and his brothers contributed most of their earnings to benefit the entire family. Grandpa Joe did relay stories about life in San Francisco at the turn of the 20th century, including a description of chaos around the 1906 earthquake.

En route to America

En route to America