Susan Anthony Portrait Discovered in Geneva NY Attic

Susan Anthony portrait has just been discovered by a man who was renovating his building in Geneva. When…
Susan B. Anthony

Susan Anthony portrait has just been discovered by a man who was renovating his building in Geneva. When David Whitcomb was renovating his newly-purchased building in Geneva, little did he know he was going to find a historical treasure in the attic. Whitcomb purchased a three-story building to expand his law practice in December.

While renovating the building, Whitcomb began to explore the thirdfloor of the building when he discovered an attic in the apartment. After he noticed water damage on the ceiling, then he realized someone must have sealed off the attic.

Whitcomb with his friend stood atop the teetering tower. With a flashlight, they spotted several old gold-framed photographs. The duo came across what seemed to be a storage site of a vintage photography studio.  Whitcomb’s friend, Boni, said he didn’t realize it was a portrait of Susan B. Anthony.

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However, when Whitcomb beckoned on him and told him who was in the frame, he was really surprised. 

What’s amazing is that this material sat in this building for over a century, forgotten. Someone just dry-walled over this attic and it was lost to history until we discovered it, and it’s telling a very interesting story.

Whitcomb

There were old letters and shipping packages stashed in the attic, this indicated that the contents belonged to James Ellery Hale. Ellery Hale was a photographer who worked in downtown Geneva between 1892 and 1920.

Hale was well-known for making portraits of leaders in the Suffragist Movement, this included the “official” photo of Susan B Anthony was taken in 1905, before she died.

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