1930 Farmington, NM Outing


I don’t have photos of any film stars in my family collection, but I do have ladies with cars. So for this Sepia Saturday challenge, I’ll share my great-aunt Bertha McGhee’s pictures. It also serves for the 52 Ancestor’s Challenge: Adventure.

Sepia Saturday Header 494 (2 Nov 2019) Filmstar With Car

These are from her time in New Mexico when she was working at the Navajo Indian School. Apparently, the staff at the school had some time off and went on excursions together.  That’s Bertha standing by the car.

Bertha by car in NM

I’ve made contact with two people who also had great-aunts working at this school. They’ve been able to identify their relatives in a few photos that I have. Sure would be great to hear from others who might recognize some of these teachers and school employees. The year might be 1929 or 1930.

I don’t know whose car this was or who owned the dog. Some possible names of the people are ones I’ve collected from the 1930 census for the staff names at the Navajo Indian Mission of Farmington, NM. The people below could be Mabel Huffman, Bessie Ullery, Clara Lenz, Emily Guigon, Nellie Hawthorn, Mary A. Leckliter or Eli Forman. There were two sisters in their twenties living at the school (Lois and Edith Hadley).

Bertha & dog on car in sandTop-4

These photos seem like they are from the same adventurous excursion. They are exploring on unpaved roads, quite sandy in places, in areas with scrubby growth. They take some photos on a rocky hillside and in an arroyo. I’m glad they didn’t get stranded out there in the sand.


Top-3_edited-1young woman in New Mexico 1930Bertha on right?bertha and teachers on hillside (2)

The woman in the dark hat is identified by her great-nephew as Bessie Ullery. At first, I thought the other woman with the scarf might be Mabel Hoffman, but her great-nephew says it isn’t her.

The man may not necessarily be an employee at the school. Possibly the young women hired a local driver for the outing or he might be a friend. I keep hoping that someone will recognize the rock formations as a destination near Farmington, New Mexico.


Read more about the Navajo Mission School and the people. To see what other bloggers are writing about for Sepia Saturday, just click that link.

9 thoughts on “1930 Farmington, NM Outing

  1. Another great match and with women in jodhpurs too. Only a few years earlier it would have been unthinkable for a woman to be photographed in trousers like that. Probably a result of Hollywood’s influence on fashion trends.


  2. I love the one with them sitting on the car with the dog. They do look like they are having a grand time! Great that you are sharing these on-line to find out who everyone was. Hope you can identify them all. Yes, great boots!


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