Sepia Saturday – Mystery Couple on a Bike

Sepia Saturday provides an opportunity for genealogy bloggers to share their family history through photographs.

I wonder how far these couples succeeded in riding arm-in-arm and in heels and a rather tight skirt?

This prompt provides me the perfect opportunity to share a couple of mystery pictures that were among my grandmother’s photographs. My “couple” are a girl and a dog.

Mystery Girl and Dog

Mystery Dog


I have no clue as to the identity of this little girl or the dog. My suspicion is that these pictures were sent to my grandmother by her English relatives. My grandmother, Eveline Coates Hoskins, corresponded with several of her cousins and her aunts who lived in Durham, England in the early to mid 1900s. They often included photographs and postcards with their letters to her. The surnames of those she corresponded with are Coates, Elgey, Hall, and Dawson.

I don’t know enough about postcards to know if the back of the postcard provides a clue as to its origin. Help, anyone?

Another possibility is that it is some family member in the U.S., or a neighbor. In either case, the location would likely be Mystic, Iowa or somewhere nearby. Our family names in Mystic, Iowa are Coates and Hoskins.

In any case, the dog looks like he has done this before.

You can find more lovely photos by following the link to the Sepia Saturday Blog.






19 thoughts on “Sepia Saturday – Mystery Couple on a Bike

  1. The dog seems very comfortable on the bicycle. I’m happy to see the little mystery girl is wearing footwear appropriate for bike riding.

    • I’m beginning to wonder if there was a traveling photographer and dog who did portraits like this. My husband’s family has some pictures of kids on ponies and they were taken by a photographer who went door-to-door with his pony.

  2. I’ve done a little internet searching and can now date the photo somewhere between 1907-1918 based on the stamp square and the fact that there is a line to divide the message from the address. Can’t place it in a country yet…

  3. Those are fascinating photographs – I haven’t been able to find a similar vintage image of either the girl and do or the trike. It makes me wonder whether it was an early home photographic experiment rather than a mass produced postcard.

    • I’m wondering if it was taken by a photographer who went door-to-door with the trike and his dog. The background doesn’t look like a studio or professional background.

  4. These photos are so cute! I have several mystery photos that belonged to my great-grandmother – I’ve posted them to my Ancestry account but no luck so far. Impressed that you’ve determined a time frame for the photos from the stamp square. I still wonder if these were home photos made into postcards and sent out to friends. Several of my great-grandmother’s unknown postcard pics have no message either.

    • Yeah, I think they might have been sent to friends and family…. I found a picture of my grandmother’s youngest sister that looks like she could be a younger version of this girl, but the dating I found would be a little off for her, unless the photographer used old paper.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *