Ida Crie Collection
Courtesy of Alice Knight
Crie travelled to Florida on several occasions to visit with family in Interlachen—a once-popular citrus growing center and winter tourist haven first settled in the 1870s when the railroad was built. In addition to taking photographs of the Florida landscape and her family members, she also, on several occasions, photographed African Americans. In this post-Reconstruction image, four women and two men are gathered in front of a store, where brooms, among other items, are being sold. The group is aware that Crie is taking their photograph, and each individual acts differently in front of the camera—some deliberately looking—others intentionally looking away. Crie used her camera as a tool to better understand her surroundings, and like other Maine women photographers of this era, particularly Chansonetta Stanley Emmons of Kingfield, also chose to document the lives, labor, and living conditions of African Americans in the South.