Playing Games

Each Saturday, I try to find a vintage photo in our family album to match the one posted by the Sepia Saturday Challenge. This week, you see people playing a game with stately buildings in the background. I’m guessing that the game is badminton or tennis since it involves a net.

Tennis Players (1920s) Unknown Subjects and Location

Our family album yielded an old-time photo of young men playing croquet. The faces don’t seem to match any of our family members from that time, so all we know is the location which is Tyro, Kansas. You can read more about my efforts to identify this photo (on our family history blog – Then And Now)

Tyro friends playing croquet

Playing croquet in Tyro, Kansas, around 1910 or so.

You may be disappointed that there are no stately buildings in the background of my photo. Tyro boasted a multi-storied high school and a substantial church but neither of those were located near enough to the McGhee family backyard to show in the photo. Instead, you see what may be an elm tree and some open fields or garden area.

So now, I’ll gratuitously toss in a photo of the Kansas State Reform School. It is nowhere near Tyro, as it is located in Topeka, Kansas. It would have made a grand background for the croquet players though. The reason that I have this photo is I’m researching an ancestor who was sent to this school in 1889. He wasn’t a McGhee though and probably the boys sent to the reform school did not have much opportunity to play croquet.

Once I finish researching that story, I’ll post it on the Then And Now blog and put a link here. Then you’ll know the rest of the story.

KS State_Reform_School_1890_edward richards

Kansas State Reform School 1890

6 thoughts on “Playing Games

  1. I used to play croquet with my siblings when we were older and Mom & Dad had put in a nice lawn in the backyard. Fun game. I got pretty good at knocking the others’ balls out of contention at the wickets. I almost liked doing that better than trying to get my own ball through the wicket! That’s terrible, I suppose, but I was very competitive!


  2. So great that you have a backyard croquet photo in your family collection! This was a favorite lawn game in our family during my childhood — so much so that when my parents retired they joined an official croquet league at the local golf course. My siblings and I played with the for fun a few times — and it was heaven to play on manicured grass after the childhood experience of driving balls across a bumpy lawn!


  3. Like Pauleen, I too have a relative who went to a reform school. It was so long ago that it was on a boat in Sydney Harbour. Not much fun I’m thinking. Your ancestor’s reform school looks very imposing.


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