Wednesday, November 13, 2013

1907 Photograph of Bertha May Loring, possibly the Bertha May Loring born at North Livermore, Maine

Photograph dated April 1907 of Bertha May Loring.  The photograph was taken by the Valeche studio of Brooklyn, New York.

I looked for possibilities of a Bertha May Loring in the New York area but didn't find one.  

Amazingly, I found myself back in Maine, with a Bertha May Loring born at North Livermore, Maine in 1883.  Perhaps she was visiting Brooklyn, New York, when her photograph was taken, perhaps with her classmates or alumnae from Mount Holyoke College at South Hadley, Massachusetts.

If you recognize Bertha May Loring from your family albums or research, especially if you feel that she is not the Bertha May Loring from Maine, please leave a comment.  

From online research, hopefully correct: [corrections and additions welcome!]

Bertha May Loring was born 31 October 1883 in North Livermore, Maine, daughter of Charles Sewall Loring and Jessie L. (Fuller) Loring, who were born in Guilford, Maine, and Livermore, Maine, respectively.

Bertha's paternal grandfather, Henry Sewall Loring, a graduate of Bowdoin College and Bangor Theological Seminary, was a minister who pastored or preached at churches in several Maine communities, including Lisbon, Monson, Amherst and Aurora, Winthrop, Durham, Monmouth, and Phippsburg.  

Rev. Loring's wife, Abbie Arey (Farrington) Loring had spent a year at Mount Holyoke Seminary.  She was likely the reason that her granddaughter Bertha May Loring attended Mount Holyoke.

By the time of the 1900 Census, Bertha is shown as the adopted daughter of Dr. Daniel and Helen Driscoll of Portland, Maine.  Her father, who had received a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Maine about 1879, had died in 1887.  

Why she wasn't living with her mother, I don't know; perhaps her mother was ill.  Jessie L. (Fuller) Loring became the third wife of Dr. Frank Warren Merritt of Jay, Maine, on 24 November 1906.

The 1910 Census listed Bertha with the Driscolls just before her marriage to Loy Lester Smith, on 22 June 1910.  Bertha was working in art design before her marriage.

Loy Lester Smith was born at Pomona, California, on 27 September 1885, son of Edwin Bowman Smith and Garphelia Amanda Maxson, New York natives who had moved to California.
By 1920 Loy and Bertha and their three children were living at Seattle, where Loy was working in industrial construction.  1930 found the family at Los Angeles, where Loy was working as an architect and Bertha was managing an apartment house.  By 1940, Loy and Bertha were still in Los Angeles; Loy was a building inspector for the county.

Once in Los Angeles, Loy Lester Smith designed the Lane Mortgage Building in 1922 and the Hotel Cecil in 1924.  He also designed the City Club at Los Angeles; a Club bulletin has more information, including, on page 26, an advertisement for his business, Loy L. Smith, Architect.

Bertha May (Loring) Smith died in 1953 in Kern County, California.  Loy died there in 1956.


  1. Hi Pam,
    My name is Jackie and this is a picture of my Great Grandmother!! My email is Please contact me at your earliest convenience. Thank you!

  2. Wow - now you know why I do this! Researching your great grandmother took many unexpected turns and brought pleasant surprises. Reminds me of what we Mainers say a lot, that Maine's greatest export historically hasn't been timber or lobsters, but rather people. Thanks for commenting!