Annie Stuart Adams and Cora May Lamping-Nolan: 1920s

I have to admit I had never heard of Mrs. C.M. Lamping-Nolan until a couple of days ago.

Yesterday, I shared all the new details I learned about my great grandfather Hartwell Coleman’s life through the news items found in the Bangor Daily News.

He was the only Calais family members mentioned in the Bangor Daily News. My Adams people also had multiple entries.

Calvin Segee Adams, my 2X great grandfather, was a Calais boat builder and his wife was Nellie Tarbox. Much to my surprise, there were tidbits about Calvin and wife living in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and other places, while Calvin built a boat during the winter months.

Massachusetts isn’t exactly known for its mild winter climate, but it was much milder compared to northern Maine, so Nellie was probably quite happy to exchange a Maine winter for one in Massachusetts.

After Calvin died in 1921, there are further social column items about Nellie wintering in “Boston” and, in 1925, by which time my great grandmother Annie Stuart Adams had also been widowed, Nellie and Annie are mentioned wintering in Boston.

For Annie, though, she was making good use of her time there by enrolling in a “beauty culture” program.

Annie was a lady ahead of her time, as she was the proud owner of a ladies’ store.

Annie, in the dark dress behind the counter

In fact, I was quite excited back in 1980, when we visited Calais and an elderly lady walking along the street told me she remembered shopping in “Mrs. Adams’ fine ladies’ store.”

Here is the blurb that I found:

I have no idea who Margaret Hanson or Miss Tarbox are, but Miss Tarbox was probably Nellie Tarbox Adams’ niece, Helen, daughter of her brother Charles. Also, the 1920 census shows 17 year old Margaret Hanson living with her family in Calais, just four doors from the Adams clan. In 1930, she was still at home, but working as a beauty specialist in a beauty parlor.

I love the course description – Annie was taking “specials” in facial massage, muscle strapping, neo plastic wrinkle treatment and electric treatments.

A facial massage I understand, but exactly what was involved in the other “specials,” I have no idea.

Therefore, I was quite curious to learn about the Lamping-Nolan School of Beauty Culture.

In spite of Mrs. C.M. Lamping-Nolan being an extremely uncommon name, it took two days of digging to fill in the bare bones details of her life and the beauty school.

Cora Marian (May) Lamping was born in New York in 1867. She married John Nolan in Massena, St. Lawrence, New York on 7 June 1900. The Nolans were Irish Catholic and John’s brother Father (Denis) Nolan married them.

I have not been able to find the Nolans in 1910 or 1920.

Cora’s 1931 obituary fills in a few more details – John predeceased her and they had one son, Robert.

Cora and Annie might have become friends as they had much in common. Cora was a few years older than Annie, but each married around the turn of the century, each had one son and both had been widowed at a young age.

They also had their occupations in common. Cora opened a millinery shop c1893, so she, too, engaged in sales of women’s accessories:

If any brochures have survived from the Lamping-Nolan School of Beauty Culture, I haven’t found them. However, Mrs. Lamping-Nolan appears yearly in the Boston directories, with several locations for her schools, and her son, Robert, also worked for her as a secretary.

She did advertise locally:

Marinello Beauty Schools, mentioned in a couple of her ads, are still in business today.

I wish I knew whether Annie completed her “specials” courses and if she did, in fact, become friends with Cora and kept in touch.

Cora’s obituary states that she died after a long illness, so must have been in declining health for some time.

Oh, the things we can learn from the old newspapers!




3 thoughts on “Annie Stuart Adams and Cora May Lamping-Nolan: 1920s”

  1. Hi Linda, I started this comment off without realizing what your site was all about and look forward to having a proper look when time permits (now nearly midnight here in NZ)
    I landed here when I googled Cora Lamping Nolan’s name. I am searching for info on the Nolan family, John her husband, being the elder brother of my GGrandfather William who went to Australia and then New Zealand) and have found the following info. Cora Lamping and John W. Nolan had a son Dennis Lamping Nolan born 9th April 1901 in New York City. After this I have found no records for Dennis Lamping Nolan (strange because an unusual name) and after 1902 when he appeared in the New York City Directory, I cannot find a 100% proven record of husband John Nolan’s death although by 1906 Cora is living in Boston and recorded as a widow in the Directory.
    I also found Robert working for Cora and wondered if Cora had changed Dennis’s name to Robert.???? Another possibility is that Dennis may have died (although I can find no death record for him) and she may have taken Robert on. In the probate of Johns brother , Rev Dennis Nolan, in 1912 an “infant” Robert Emmet Nolan is listed as a family member living in Boston as is a Mrs Cora Nolan although her location is not mentioned. (Dennis Lamping Nolan born in 1901 would no longer be an infant in 1912)
    I have found a Robert Emmet Nolan in Boston (born 1910) in the census belonging to a large family with many siblings. I haven’t been able to find a connection for this family to Rev Dennis Nolan but there no doubt will be (waiting to be discovered!)
    This is a mystery that I revisit every so often in the hope of more records becoming available and or finding another snippet of info by googling their names as I did tonight and found your story.
    I do not have the Obit for Cora that you mentioned, which mentions Robert as her son and wonder if you could send me the name of the newspaper that you found it in.
    In NZ we have a great site for sourcing old newspapers
    ……just in case you have a family member who ventured over here.
    Many thanks
    Chris in NZ

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