Celebrating 17 Years as Barrington’s Signature Magazine

- QUINTESSENTIAL Barrington -

A Forever Secret

Story by Barbara L. Benson

Was this a long-ago proposal? What is known is that the young man was George Froehlich, Jr., but the young lady was never identified when this photograph was transferred from glass plate negative to contemporary print. On this occasion, young George Froehlich had the camera turned on himself, because among the social observers of an earlier Barrington, it was he who left a visual legacy of the community through his ever-present tripod and camera.

Born in 1886 to Anna and George Froehlich, George Jr. was a contemporary of Arnett C. Lines who was born in 1882. Froehlich died in 1972, and Lines in 1970. Froehlich gave us a priceless visual archive, and Lines would write the bible of Barrington’s history, from its earliest settlers in their cabins, to the post World War Two neighborhoods that grew away from the original village center.

The Froehlich house was at 200 N. Ela Street, one of two similar houses, built side-by-side for the Froehlich and Sandman families. Anna Froehlich was Fred Sandman’s sister. George Jr. lived there until 1935, and from there he strolled into the wide, leafy streets of the neighborhoods, recording images of the days when Barrington was a market town surrounded by farmland. And Froehlich went into that countryside as well, capturing the changing scenes of nature, and experimenting with different light filters to enhance the artistry of his photographs.

Postcards once played an important part in documenting the visual history of a community, and were used as a means to write and mail messages to others. He formed his own postcard printing company, ensuring that in the future his images would scatter far and wide, to turn up in antique and collectible stores and shows, and most remarkable of all, in online marketplaces.

Barbara L. Benson grew up in Kent, England, and later moved to New York. She settled in Barrington and has walked with our history ever since she first arrived here in 1980.

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