Monday, November 10, 2014

Connecting J. White Sprong and Gustave Lorey

Today's amusing history thread started with this handsome photo of J. White Sprong.  Sprong you might remember from previous posts lived in a lovely Victorian home that still stands on Kenwood Avenue. He was an executive with the D&H Railroad. After noticing his watch fob and rimless eye glasses, my gaze went to the signature of the photographer: Gustave Lorey.

A little noodling around on Google led me to this charming photo from the Albany Institute. It is dated 1925 and is by Lorey.

Maybe, I thought, this is Bethlehem's Cedar Hill - wouldn't that be neat.

A little bit more noodling around on the newspaper websites turned up some facts about Lorey.  He was a well known photographer in Albany and Saratoga Springs. Born in 1868, Died in 1937. Married to Mira Ingalls.  No children.  His studio carried on well after his death.  I found a reference to the Gustave Lorey Studio as late as 1960.

And then I found this interesting tidbit after looking under Mira Ingalls Lorey.

It is from the Albany Evening News, Monday January 31, 1927.  Gustave and Mira are dining with the Hakes and Wheelers - prominent families at Van Wies Point in Glenmont and the Lyons - a very prominent family of, you guessed it, Cedar Hill.

So, maybe, just maybe, that charming Halloween photo is from our very own Bethlehem.


So, I published this on a Monday afternoon. The next day I am at my church, Delmar Reformed, and see this plaque over in a corner.  Notice a familiar last name?  I am being haunted by Sprongs!


  1. You have a fascinating blog. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. I like your blog,thank you for what you do. I was hoping you could help me, I have found a picture of a soldier with Gustave Lorry's name on the bottom left with an18 under it. I've been researching his work and have not seen one like this. Anything you could tell me or direction you could send me would be much appreciated. Thank you, S.J. IN S.C.

  3. This photo was indeed taken at the summer home of JB lyon. The home was destroyed by fire in the 60's. Lorey was a friend of my grandfathers and our family has many of his photographs.

  4. I believe the Albany Institute is in possession of the above photo

  5. I believe the Albany Institute is in possession of the above photo

  6. This photo is hanging at the Albany Institute right now in an exhibit of Albany area photography. There are also three or four other photos of the Lyon family in Cedar Hill and during their travels.

  7. I have a portrait of my grandfather, a prominent Albany attorney at the time, by the Lorey studio with the number "63" just below the Gustave Lorey "signature" at the bottom left hand corner of the photo. So they were still operating in 1963.

  8. My father owned Gustave Lorey studio until about 1970 and then the building was torn down. I remember that studio very well from my childhood