Photo Friday – Peterson and Utterstrom

Ethel Wight Collection – Part 117

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.

This week, for Photo Friday, I identify the people in five more envelopes from the Ethel Wight Studio Collection[i]. The envelopes typically contain the name of the person who paid for the photos, not necessarily of the Individual portrayed in the image. As such, it is vital to analyze the pictures and information to identify the Individual therein.[ii] Ultimately, my goal is to reunite the photos with family members who may have never seen the image.

Elvie Gertrude Peterson (later Trouvalis).

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Elvia Peterson, 24 Berwick St #584.”

Why I believe this to be the Individual.

Photo of Elvie Gertrude Peterson,
Circa 1935.
Elvie Gertrude Peterson
Circa 1935
  • The 1935 Portland City Directory lists Elvie Peterson as a waitress living at 24 Berwick.
  • Elvia Peterson of Portland, Maine, married George Trouvalis on 10 September 1936.
  • Ancestry Family trees suggest this is Elvie Gertrude Peterson, born on 13 December 1915 in Portland, Maine, and married George Trouvalis.

I am sure this photograph is of Elvie Gertrude Peterson about 1935 when she was about 20 years old.

Ancestry has 19 public trees that refer to Elvie Gertrude Peterson (later Trouvalis). Family Search has profile LTQ3-ML2 for Elvia “Edna” Gertrude Peterson. I have uploaded two photos of Elvie to her Family Search Memories. I also have five additional images in my collection if family members are interested.

Helen Jane Peterson, circa 1935.

This negative envelope says, “Miss Jane Peterson, 41a Chestnut St #469.”

Photo of Jane Peterson, circa 1935.
Jane Peterson, circa 1935

Why I believe this to be the Individual.

  • The 1935 Portland City Directory lists Irving W and Helen B Peterson living at 41a Chestnut, Apt 4.
  • The 1930 US Census lists Irvine W Peterson, his wife Helen, and 13-year-old Connecticut-born, daughter H. Jane Peterson.
  • Ancestry Family Trees suggest this is Helen Jane Peterson, born on 5 April 1917 in Hartford, Connecticut.

I am sure this is Helen Jane Peterson, born on 5 April 1917 in Hartford, Connecticut.

Ancestry has 16 public trees that refer to Jane. Family Search has profile GZVB-CR3  for Helen Jane Peterson (1917-1990). I have uploaded two photos of Jane to her Family Search Memories.

June A Peterson, circa 1935 (age 3) of Individual

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. E. C. Peterson, 87 Montrose Ave #691.”

Why I believe this to be the Individual.

June Peterson, circa 1935
  • The 1935 Portland City Directory lists Elias C and M Abbie Peterson living at 87 Montrose Ave. Elias is a foreman at 40 W Commercial.
  • Maine Marriage Records indicates that Elias Christan and Mary Abbie Ericksen married on 21 August 1922 in Portland, Maine.
  • The 1940 US Census lists Elias and Mary Peterson living at 96 Chenery in Portland. They have a daughter, June, who is seven years old.
  • Ancestry family trees suggest this is June A Peterson, born on 5 June 1932.

I am sure this is June Peterson, about 1935 when she was three years old.

Ancestry has two public trees that refer to June A Peterson (1932-2018). Family Search does not appear to have a profile for June, so I uploaded a photo of her to Dead Fred.

Louise Peterson, circa 1934, Portland, Maine

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. Louise Peterson, 18 Smith St #122.”

What I learned while researching this Individual.

  • Search for Louise Peterson in the Portland City Directories yielded no one.
  • A review of the Portland City Directories for 1934, 1935, and 1936 suggest there was no one living at 18 Smith Street in Portland. However, the Portland Press Herald indicates several people lived at 18 Smith Street during the 1930s. One was John and Mary (Carroll) Collins. They had a daughter, Margaret Collins, born in Maine in 1905. The 1940 Census shows Margaret living with her mother, Mary Collins, and indicates both she and her mother were widows. In the 1930 US Census, Mary and Margaret Collins lived at 71 Newbury Street in Portland.
  • A review of the Ancestry family trees for Mary Carroll Collins failed to identify any Petersons or Petersens who were related.
  • Christen and Laura C Petersen lived at 7 Smith. There was also a Helen J. C. Petersen who lived at 7 Smith Street.
  • The 1930 US Census lists Christen and Lans (Laura) Peterson living at 136 Cumberland. Living with them was their 22-year-old, Maine-born daughter Laure A J Peterson.
Image from negative envelope.

Based entirely on the envelope information, I believe this is a photo of a Louise Peterson; however, I cannot identify her further.

I uploaded a photo of Louise Peterson to Dead Fred and another picture of her to my Flickr photostream.

Lucy Etta Utterstrom, circa 1934 (age 6)

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. Harold Westrom, 36 Olympia St. Portland, #366.”

Why I believe this to be the Individual.

  • The 1935 Portland City Directory lists Harold O Utterstrom as having a sheet metal business at 36 Olympia. He lives with his wife, Grace E.
  • The 1940 US Census lists Harold and Grace, still on Olympia, living with their daughter Etta L (age 11) and son Harold Jr. (age 8)
  • This photo was taken about 1934 when Etta was about six years old.

I believe this photo is of Lucy Etta Utterstrom in 1934. I also think the original envelope was misread, and when a new envelope was created for the negative, the writer changed Utterstrom to Westrom—Utter to We.

I have not found Etta Uterstrom in Ancestry trees. However, I have found her father, Harold O Utterstrom, appears in six public Ancestry trees. Family Search has profile GH5T-4L4 for Etta. I have uploaded this photo of Etta to her Family Search Memories.


  • I fully identified all five individuals. Three of them have Family Search profiles, so I uploaded their images to their Family Search Memories.
  • I identified two individuals that did not have Family Search profiles, so I posted their images to Dead Fred.

If any of these photos are of your family member, I would love to hear your reaction. Especially if this photo is of a loved one for whom you hadn’t seen this photograph before.

Due to software limitations, the images uploaded to Family Search, Dead Fred, and Flickr have a higher image quality than the images linked here.

For all postings of the Ethel Wight Collection, please see here.


[i] The Wight Studio was in Portland, Maine. Many thanks to Ethel Wight’s family for access to and permission to use the collection of their great aunt.

[ii] These images were converted to positives using a lightbox, a Nikon camera and computer software.

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