Mystery of the Month

special collections sleuth

We have many unidentified photographs in our collections. Each month we will post a different image in the hopes that someone will be able to provide us with clues to help us identify it. Will you be the one to solve this month's mystery?

If you have information about any of the photographs on this page, please email or call us.

Thanks for your help!

Yours sincerely,

Special Collections Sleuth

Can you help us identify this photograph?

September 2016 Mystery Photograph

Mystery of the Month for September 2016
Here's what we know:
This unconventional vehicle was part of a parade in Amherst, photographed by Lincoln Barnes. Other than that, your guess is as good as ours!
Update, 9/12/2016:
The vehicle has been identified as the Moxie Horsemobile, which would travel to various parades to advertise the soft drink. The horsemobile is parked outside the central fire station off of North Pleasant Street. Based on the location of the house in the background, the photograph was taken after 1930 and before 1951.

August 2016 Mystery Photograph

Mystery of the Month for August 2016
Here's what we know:

Lincoln Barnes took this photograph in April 1952 of the Girls Club in Amherst. The caption on the back of the photograph reads, "Girls Club members learn to cook." Do you see any familiar faces?

July 2016 Mystery Photograph

Man feeds baby porcupine
Here's what we know:
This image is from the Amherst Record Photograph Collection. Do you know who’s feeding this little critter?

June 2016 Mystery Photograph

June 2016 Mystery of the Month
Here's what we know:
This photograph is from the Amherst Record Collection. The students are from Wildwood School, but we don't know the exact location of the photograph. It was taken on June 16, 1974. Do you recognize anyone in the photograph?

May 2016 Mystery Photograph

Mystery of the Month - May 2016

Here's what we know:

This photograph is from the Amherst Record Collection and is undated. Do you know when this photograph was taken? Do you know where?

Update of 5/17/2016:

Jan Higgins writes that her husband, Brian, thinks "that the balloon might have been in the fields across from what is now the UMass Horse Farm on North Maple Street, with Mt. Warner in the background. From the people's clothing, it appears to be from the '60s or '70s."

April 2016 Mystery Photograph

April 2016 Mystery of the Month
Here's what we know:

This photograph, dated 1917, is in a folder of Amherst clubs and organizations. The man in the front row wearing a straw hat may be Daniel Shay.

Do you know who these people are? Do you know anything about this baseball team?

March 2016 Mystery Photograph

A man and boy watch as a building is demolished
Here's what we know:

This photograph is from the Amherst Record Photograph Collection and is dated January 26, 1974. It shows the demolition of a building in Amherst. Do you know which one? Do you recognize the part of town in which this photo was taken?

Update of 3/7/2016:

Patricia Mascis writes "It could be the building that used to house the bowling alley and Faces store located behind RENs gas station next to the post office."

Update of 4/11/2016:

Jan Higgins writes "My husband, Brian Higgins, grew up in Amherst. He thinks this may have been the demolition of the old Amherst Boys & Girls Club building on Boltwood Walk."

Update of 4/19/2016:

Phyllis Lehrer writes: "The photo is either the destruction of the boys club or the buildings behind Now Amherst Chinese. There was a garage back there that housed several businesses. I think a shoe shop but can't remember. It was not the building behind Ren's since that is still there. The brick building seen in background could be the old middle school, now Bangs Center."

Previous Mysteries

February 2016 Mystery Photograph

February 2016 Mystery of the Month
Here's what we know:

We know this photograph was taken by Clifton Johnson before 1940. We don’t know where or when the image was taken. Do you know what type of tree this is? Do you recognize the street (or the tree)?

Update: The large tree in the photograph has been identified as an American Elm.

January 2016 Mystery Photograph

Mystery of the Month for January 2016
Here's what we know:

This photograph by Lincoln Barnes was taken in May 1941 and shows children and their pets during the annual Lions Club pet parade. The girl wearing the number 32 tag is identified as Joan Poole, but who are the other children? Do you know more about the pet parade?

December 2015 Mystery Photograph

Photograph of an unidentified male musician performing with a guitar
Here's what we know:
December's mystery is from the Amherst Record Photograph Collection. It was likely taken in the 1970s or 1980s during a concert or musical performance.

November 2015 Mystery Photograph

November 2015 Mystery of the Month
Here's what we know:

November's mystery is from the Lincoln W. Barnes Photograph Collection. "James Fountaine" is written on the back of the photograph, but it is unclear who is being identified. The photograph was taken prior to 1966 and likely after 1950.

October 2015 Mystery Photograph

October 2015 Mystery of the Month

Here's what we know:

October's mystery is from the Clifton Johnson Collection. The house is likely in Western Hampshire or Hampden county. The photograph was taken prior to 1940.