Photo of the Week
October 4,, 2020

This week we start a new series of people during the Panama Canal Construction days.  Here we have two different families in these photos.  The photo above and immediately below are L-R Ethel Gowan and sister Marjorie Gowan.  The lady is Ethel Otis and no names were provided in the photo album for the two girls on the right.  Evidence in the photo album shows that the two girls on the right belong to Ethel Otis.  The bottom photo taken the same day has the same girls in a small boat as a staged photo.  This girls are not in the same order, but you can tell who is who.

These photos come from a photo album that I call The Williams Album and you will see why in the weeks to come.  This photo album has had a hard life through the years.  It was discovered in a yard shed in the Tampa / St. Petersburg area and has taken a beating with the weather.  Unfortunately some photos didn't survive time, but those that did will tell part of the story.  I had the opportunity to scan the album before it was donated to the Panama Canal Museum and is now in good hands at the University of Florida being preserved.

I don't know where the lady and girls are in the top two photos, but it is concrete.  I thought at first it was one of the spillways being constructed, but that doesn't make sense when you study the spillways.  The albums photos jump all over the future Canal area from Balboa, Empire, Gorgona the lake country before and after it was flooded, so there is no telling where these three photos were taken.  This was early around 1905 and through the completion of the Canal.  The girl second to the right grows up while more photos are taken.  

I love the girl on the far right in her bare feet.  Typical Zonian. 




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