Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Gailliot and Austel Families tour Washington, DC (vintage photos)

Henry C. Gailliot (sitting, left) and his wife, Franceska, nee. Dumoulin, and their oldest son, Charles A. Gailliot, pose in front of the Bartholdi Fountain with the Nation's Capital dome in the far background. The date was about 1918. I understand the Fountain has been re-located, but it is still in sight of the Capital. In the next week or so I plan to be touring Washington, DC, and one of my destinations/ projects is to take a picture of myself sitting on the ledge of the fountain. The straw hat is optional of course. I believe there is a word for that style of hat. Help me out here.

I also plan to bicycle around the District of Columbia mall and along the C&O canal.

A few entries ago, I mentioned that the Franciscan Monastery, a few blocks away from the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, was also one of the favorite tourist destinations of the early Gailliot family. The following photo was taken at the replica of the Grotto at Lourdes (France), which is located in the garden of the Franciscan Monastery. Sitting on the bench is Henry C. Gailliot and his wife, Franceska, on the left, and his son's mother-in-law, Mrs. Rosa Austel, nee. Friedrick, on the right. I believe it was taken on the same trip on which they visited the Bartholdi fountain, about 1918. Mr. and Mrs. Austel were in town to attend the baptism of the families' first grandchild, Helen Rose Gailliot. The "modern-day" photo of the Grotto with me standing in front of the iron gate was taken about 1999. As you can see, not much has changed in 80 years. I plan to revise and make additions to this entry in my blog in a few days. I will be leaving in a few hours to drive up to the Washington, DC, area to visit Mom on Mother's Day, and I hope to find out more about the sites and visits of my ancestors to Nation's capital.

About 20 years after these photos were taken of my great grandparents, a book and a movie were pulished regarding the miracles which occurred at the actual grotto at Lourdes, in sourthern France. Entitled, The Song of Bernadette, the 1942 book became a popular best seller and the 1943 movie won four Academy Awards, including a Best Actress Award for Jennifer Jones.

Henry C. Gailliot sits on a bench between his wife, Franceska, on the left and Mrs. Rosa Austel, nee. Frederick, on the right. In 1918, the group visited the replica of the Grotto at Lourdes (France) on the property of the Franciscan Monastery, Washington, DC.

I visit the replica of the Lourdes Grotto to see what my ancestors enjoyed over 80 years ago on a similar visit.


Frederic Bartholdi in Wikipedia

Bartholdi Fountain and Park in A View on Cities

Public Photos of Bartholdi Fountain posted on Flickr

St. Bernadette of Lourdes defined in Wikipedia

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