Probably taken somewhere on the soft hills east of Port Hope, which are actually ancient sandhills on a sunny early autumn day in about 1903. All the men were Methodists in their boyhood, and the occasion might have been a church outing of some variety. The voices which could have told us are long stilled, another example of why it is so important to make notes on the back of your pictures for posterity. The original is not a snapshot but an albumen print laid down to card which suggests (but by no means confirms) a professional hand. The composition features hi-jinks with apples and is more interesting than the usual line-up. The photographer might be Mr. Byers, a frequent attendee at groups of the time, or it might be one of the Skitch clan. The Skitch family included photographers and they were members of the same church. -Or the author of the picture might be a gifted amateur.
Inscribed on the back [left to right]: Jack Elliott, Fred Douglas, Ewart Jewel [sic], Moss Hewson, Howard Reeve and Wes Pennington. Howard Reeve and Wes Pennington were in the same class at school and are seated next to each other. They were probably friends.
“Jack Elliott”, likely John A.R. Elliott, son of Henry Elliott of Port Hope and his wife, Charlotte Woodley. He was born February 8, 1879, and would be the oldest of the group. He had collegiate education and might have been a Sunday School Teacher. His father, Henry Elliott, was a regular attendee at the Methodist Church and in 1907 a donor to the building fund. Jack Elliott married Flora Pillsworth. Henry Elliott was County Registrar and Jack seems to have followed him into a clerical career.
“Fred Douglas” is Frederick Roland Douglas, born 12 January, 1885, son of John Wilson Douglas a contractor in Port Hope and his wife, Elizabeth Kennedy (Methodists). In 1901 at age 16, he was clerking in a grocery store but he later acquired a skilled trade as a file cutter. In 1907, Frederick Douglas married Minnie Elliott of Lindsay. Douglas had enjoyed military activities. He is recorded as a member of the 1st Company, 46th Regiment Militia in 1905. In 1915, he enlisted for service in the First War. Afterwards, he returned to Port Hope and appears on the voters rolls to at least 1945.
“Ewart Jewel” is John Ewart Jewell, born Port Hope 26th August, 1889, son of John Cornish Jewell (a carpenter) and his wife Mary Jane Pethick (Methodists). In 1911, Ewart Jewell was living in Hamilton, Ontario and working as a clerk in a bookstore. He served for one year in the 13th Regiment, Hamilton Militia. Ewart Jewell enlisted in January, 1916. He seems to have survived the War, but what happened next is unknown.
“Moss Hewson” was born in about 1890 in Port Hope, son of Robert Hewson, a carpenter (Methodist). He married Ruby Giblin of Cobourg on June 5th, 1912. Moss Hewson became an enameller and lived in Port Hope until at least 1949.
“Howard Reeve” is William Howard Leslie Reeve, son of William Reeve and his wife, Emma Thomas (Methodists). He was born on May 18, 1887 in Port Hope. By 1911, Howard Reeve was employed as a bricklayer. He married Gertrude Allison in Peterborough on June 12th, 1918. Howard Reeve later became a builder and was living in Port Hope as late as 1968.
“Wes Pennington” is John Wesley Penningon, born in Port Hope on the 19th November, 1887, son of Benjamin Pennington, a bricklayer, and his wife, Ann Salter. Henry Pennington was recorded as a Sunday School Teacher at the Methodist Church, Port Hope, in 1907. Wes Pennington married Ethel Georgina Gutteridge and became a bricklayer and contractor. He died in Port Hope in 1953.