Title: Young soldier with bicycle at Chickamauga Park, 1898. Hardie Bros.

Catalog Number: 2018.004.0001

Date (Years): 1898


A young Spanish American War era Private identified on the verso as (Rbt) Robert (H) Hutchins Michel. He was born on July 7th, 1874 and died on January 20th, 1953.

Mr. Michel was the son of Joseph Michel and Josephine DeBonds from Belgium. He married Ms. Gertrude Stoll on October 23rd, 1901 and they had three children. The family lived most of their life in Ohio.

Pvt. Michel is posed beside a bicycle. He’s facing to his left while reading an unidentified softcovered booklet or magazine. He is wearing a military issued campaign hat, a wool tunic, matching pants, canvas gaiters, and leather boots. There’s a light colored bandana tied around his neck and around his waist is a wide leather belt with a brass belt buckle stamped with the U.S. logo in an oval.

The background appears to be painted canvas depicting a military camp with trees, horses, and tents. The ground is dirt and gravel, which might indicate that this photograph was taken outside and on location at Camp Thomas in front of a studio backdrop. The bicycle’s front tire is resting on a tree stump. Two books are resting on the top of the stump.

There are three thumbtack or pinholes through the top of the image and one thumbtack hole in the bottom margin area. The verso has portions of the paper backing torn away including remnants of glue on black paper where it was removed from an album. It’s marked in ballpoint ink, Rbt H Michel – Chickamauga Park 1889. In addition, there is a printed Hardie Bros. Photographers, Lookout Mountain, Tenn. back stamp.

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