The Gold Mine in the Closet: William Starr Basinger and Margaret Roane Garnett

Everybody knows about William Starr Basinger and Margaret Roane Garnett, right?  ‘Cause I’m single-handedly making them rock stars, 1800’s fashion.  You can read more about them here, and if you want, you can search the blog for Basinger or Garnett, and you’ll find boat-loads of stuff in general.

Sugar found in his closet gold mine two photos, one each of William Starr Basinger and Margaret Roane Garnett.  He believes that W. S. Basinger is in his 20’s, and that Margaret is perhaps somewhere between 16 and 20 years old, so I’m wondering if it was a tradition back in the day to have your photo made at about age 20.  Any thoughts?  I know you have them.

The curious thing to me about these photos, and you’ll see what I mean, is that they are on the same kind of paper, the same size, and the vintage looks the same.  They were stored together, and have the bottom left hand corner broken off, like the two photos were stacked together and the corner became bent and broken completely off.


His is darker with more contrast.  So I’m thinking that someone within the last hundred years took two existing photos and had them reproduced.

When we were in Richmond last year on our history mystery trip, we ate at Garnett’s Cafe (no there is not a family discount).  Our waitress looked EXACTLY like Margaret Roane Garnett.  I mean identical.  I wanted to take her picture, and Sugar said that I should not, and we had a conversation that consisted of hissing back and forth in an effort to be heard and also to be quiet, like older people do.  Of course, I did ask our waitress if she was related or if her name just happened to be Margaret.  Apparently, she’s heard the first part but not the second, and neither were true.

I swear she was Margaret Roane Garnett in jeans and T-shirt.  Same face and build, same dark hair.

A curious coincidence that I’m calling this series “The Gold Mine in the Closet”, and the Basinger family lived for a while in Dahlonega, Georgia, which was the site of the first major U.S. gold rush.

Will these photos ever end?  Apparently not.

I’m typing like crazy, and editing photos, and watching the movies in my head.

And it’s all for you, people.  ALL FOR YOU.  (Sorry, all caps means I might be a little deranged.)

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2 Responses to “The Gold Mine in the Closet: William Starr Basinger and Margaret Roane Garnett”

  1. Dawn Stanford Says:

    She is very pretty!


    • ruthrawls Says:

      Dawn, I *know*! She’s so beautiful. They built a house on Liberty Street where the Soho South is now.
      And on another crazy note, her brother’s grandson has gotten in touch with me. We could have gone to see him in Richmond when we were there last year, if only we’d known about him.


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