Kingfield’s Inhabitants: 1898–1910


These photographs were taken by Chansonetta Stanley Emmons who, although “one of the finest women photographers of the opening decades of the twentieth century,” is today relatively unknown [1, p. 7]. She was born and raised in Kingfield, a small rural farming community on the banks of the Carrabassett River in Franklin County, Maine. As an adult she returned frequently to Kingfield and the nearby village of West New Portland. Her ties to the region and its inhabitants were strong and lifelong.

Although Mrs. Emmons took photographs for more than thirty years, I included below only ones taken during the years 1898–1910, when Major A. Sabean was active as a photographer in the Kemptville area of Yarmouth County. Chansonetta excelled at using interior spaces in natural light, and she gave great attention to the design and composition of her photographs.

References and Notes

    [1] Marius B. Péladeau, Chansonetta: The Life and Photographs of Chansonetta Stanley Emmons, 1858–1937. Maine Antique Digest, Waldoboro, Maine, 1977. 96 pp. Introduction by Berenice Abbott. The book, although out of print, is still available in the used book trade.

    [2] According to its web site, the Stanley Museum in Kingfield, Maine, owns the largest collection in the world of Chansonetta’s photographic prints and glass plate negatives.

William Day (1 November 2015)