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1908_gwsearls | by dsearls
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George W. Searls, my grandfather. He was born in 1863 in Syracuse, New York and died in 1934 in Fort Lee, New Jersey, in the house at 2063 Hoyt Avenue that he had built in the first years of that century and which he and his wife Ethel F. (neé Englert) Searls raised their three children: Ethel M., Allen H. and Grace. Allen was my father. George was a a builder in a long line of other builders. So was my father. Other shots in this series show him working on the George Washington Bridge as a cable-rigger. Grandpa was in good shape and still working at age 70, when he contracted erisypilas, a skin infection. His older sister Eva Quackenbush, whom I remember well, lived almost to 100. This shot is a close-up of the next one in the series, of his crew of builders for D.W. Griffith, the great film director. Grandpa was the head carpenter for Griffith when Hollywood was still in Fort Lee.

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Taken on July 18, 2008