I apologize to Portrait of War’s dedicated followers for this brief divergence from the military-related post norm. A recent flea market find has been screaming to me from my pile of “to research” photos and I can’t resist any longer; this photo has a lot going for it. Crisp details, a fully identified roster, and a historically significant moment in Kent, CT’s town history have been captured in this 1931 photograph of the seminal baseball team of Kent High School.
Being a CT prep school alumni myself, I instantly recalled battles on the pitch against Kent School, the private college prep school located in Kent, Litchfield County, CT. Although I don’t have access to the school records, I’m guessing their baseball team started significantly earlier than the 1931 date inscribed on the photo. With that in mind, I came to the conclusion that the image likely depicts the public Kent High School. This makes the research process much easier. Prep schools of the time were typically filled with students from around the country, often from larger American cities and/or England/Canada. In summary, my next avenue of research involves searching keying in every name inscribed on the reverse using on ancestry.com. Doing some quick math (not my strong suit) I searched in the 1910-1920 range based on average high school ages from the time period. It turns out that most of the boys in the photo were born between 1915 and 1918.
With all the information listed above, I took some time after work this week to research each and every one of the legible names in hopes of finding a living ’31 Kent player…. to no avail. Below are my results. This post was made in order to link future family researchers with crisp photos of their “starting nine” relations.
5 thoughts on “Kent, CT High School’s First Baseball Team – A Waterbury, VT Flea Market Find”
Like ghosts brought to life…
Brennan, This is amazing. I am the curator of the Kent Historical Society. I know who each of the boys are, and even knew one of them (George Page) who died in the late ’90s.Thank you so much for doing all the research that you did and compiling it all into this off-the-subject post. What a GIFT!!! The photo has a special meaning for me too. The kid at the left with the shock of thick hair (Charlie Taylor) grew up at South Kent School in the ancient little house that later was my first home. His father was the beloved chef at the school, and “Red” also worked on the maintenance crew for a time as a young adult. I’ve read and written about the Taylors, so am thrilled to have this special photo!!! I’m the school archivist, so will pass it along to the school. I’m glad the Ancestry bug has bitten you – keep up the stunning work!
Marge – wow! How exciting! I would be more than happy to donate the photo to your Historical Society. Do you have an address?
Hi Brennan, I’m writing about your photo for the KHS newsletter right now. I know my members will love it. If you’re still willing to donate the photo, our address is PO Box 651, Kent, CT 06757. Thank you! I;m still bowled over by all the work you put into this.
Marge, I found the photo again and will mail it out soon!