Thursday, January 26, 2012

Then and now

I saw a photography by Helen Lukens Gaut at this site, and of course it provoked an immediate comparison to our own recently taken road trip, about 100 years later.

Helen Lukens Gaut, California coast ca. 1911

The road seemed a little narrower then, but the immense nature and  beauty of the Central California coastline have stayed the same.
 Not the exact spot, but...  the California coast 2011

It is wonderful to know, that there is such steadiness in nature and that there were people before me fascinated with this beautiful part of the land. Such loveliness. 

Helen Lukens Gaut (1872-1955) was born in Illinois, she moved with her parents to Pasadena when she was eight years old. Her father, Theodore Parker Lukens, a friend of John Muir, became known as the "Father of Forestry". He served twice as mayor of Pasadena in 1890  and 1894.

Helen Lukens Gaut ca. 1900

She married, had two children and later divorced. She remarried in 1905 and with her second husband James H. Gaut discovered California per automobile and taught herself photography. Her talent eventually led her to becoming a rather well-known  photojournalist. She rarely published after 1922 and turned her interests towards her love of music and song writing, in which she as well excelled.

It fascinates me, to discover a woman from so long ago I had not known at all. To find her not so far removed in interests and lifestyle and now to re-tell a sliver of her life...
These are magical moments of connection.

Image via site and my own.


  1. Victoria,
    How magically you connect to such inspiring women!
    What a splendid image old and new. Now you need to post a photo of you!
    Hope to connect with you soon for a visit.

  2. Interesting women for her time learning about her today thanks for such a lovely post. Have a wonderful day!

  3. Hello Victoria:
    We find these kinds of connections absolutely fascinating. Through them one's awareness of the passage of time becomes so much more acutely into focus. Clearly Helen Lukens Gaut was a formidable woman in her times and so immensely creative. We had not heard of her and so have found your account most intriguing.


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