Carl Ross, Are You Really Carl Ross?

I have a series of four photos of my grandfather, Vernon Tarbox Adams, taken when he was on a summer visit, likely close to Calais, Washington, Maine, with his parents, Charles Edwin Adams and Annie Maude (Stuart) Adams.

I inherited these pictures from my great grand aunt, Vera Pearl (Adams) Chadwick (1887-1973) through her son, Charles Adams Chadwick. The photos were originally in one of those horrible albums with the black paper pages and were labeled as Vernon Adams and Carl Ross.

My grandfather is the boy with the scarf around his neck and “Carl” Ross is the young man with the white cap on his head.

I have looked for Carl Ross through the years, but have never had any luck finding him. Until now. And now I question whether or not he was really Carl Ross.

Here’s the scenario. My grandfather, Vernon, was born on 3 May 1899 in Calais, where he grew up. He looks to be perhaps about ten years old in these pictures.

By 1910, the Adams clan had a pretty house on Calais Avenue, which was “the” place to live in town. Socially, you had made it if you lived on “The Avenue.”


Adams at Home, Early 1900s


From My Personal Postcard Collection

The 1910 census includes my Adams ancestors living at 29 Calais Avenue:


Source: Ancestry

A few doors away at 6 Calais Avenue, we find the family of Henry and Leila (Bridges) Ross:


Source: Ancestry

It looks like all the pieces fit, right? Well, take a look at the Ross family. ARTHUR Ross is the child who is close to Vernon’s age, not CARL Ross.

Let’s jump back ten years to the 1900 census:


Source: Ancestry

It turns out that Arthur was the baby of the family. However, he DID have an older brother, Carl, born in 1884, making him a contemporary of great grand aunt Pearl Adams Chadwick. Hmmm.

Now, take another look at the setting of those photos. It’s a very rocky beach area near water. That doesn’t tell us much because Calais sits right on the water and there are many lakes in the area.

I have one more photo taken in the same place and likely on the same day:

It’s the same rocky setting. My great grandparents, Charles and Annie, are on the left. Neither of the other ladies is my Aunt Pearl, so likely part of the Ross family.

While looking online for possible clues, I stumbled on this website:


Ross Cottage Pembroke Maine Setting

This cottage was the summer home of Henry and Leila (Bridges) Ross! It still exists and apparently is available for summer rentals. I clicked on the links to the history and look what came up:

The cottage itself is in the upper left. Here’s a better look:

Look at that rocky hillside! I think I’ve totally solved this mystery.

I believe that Charles, Annie and Vernon Adams were invited to spend some time at the Ross summer cottage in Pembroke. The boys were photographed playing outside.

Aunt Pearl may have labeled the pictures, but I have no idea WHEN they were labeled. I think she knew this was the Ross family, but likely knew CARL Ross from school and MISTAKENLY labeled Arthur as his older brother, Carl.

What do you think?

I’d love to share these pictures with a descendant of Arthur, but in researching him, I find that he moved to Washington, D.C., married a Southern belle named Mary Nance, and apparently they had no children.

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