Janet Elizabeth Thomson, of East Lansing, Mich. and her daughter, Elizabeth Ann Marinez made a special trip to Portsmouth on Friday to the 1810 House to bring a portrait of the late Elizabeth Redhead Kinney, the companion portrait of Kinney’s husband, the late Colonel Peter Kinney, and two portraits of their children.
Thomson said the portraits were in possession of her parents, Dr. C. E. Lemen and Helen Lemen for many years.
“Beth is my only daughter, I have five sons, except for one, they all live in other states. My parents had the portraits for several years,” Thomson said. ” My father was born in Urbana, Ohio, which we did visit years ago, and my mother was born in Luddington, Michigan. They lived in Detroit where I was born and then they moved to Traverse City, Michigan where I grew up. We have enjoyed Michigan, and we came to Ohio, my husband’s family is from Sandusky, Ohio and around the Bucyrus area. The people in the portraits have been in our family for years, and years.”
The companion portrait features Thomson’s great-great grandmother, Elizabeth Redhead Kinney, the wife of Col. Peter Kinney. The other two portraits which Thomson Marinez brought from East Lansing, Mich. feature four of Elizabeth Redhead Kinney and Col. Peter Kinney’s 10 children. And have been passed down to the Elizabeths in their family.
“My parents had these portraits in their house for many years. I believe Don Potter, who was my dad’s cousin lived up the hill on 20th Street here in Portsmouth had it stored in his attic, and he gave it to my father because they didn’t have an Elizabeth,” Thomson said. “It has been coming down to the first girl in the family named Elizabeth, is the way it was supposed to be. My daughter Elizabeth Ann Marinez is the first and only girl, so she got the portrait, then her daughter’s name is Marina Elizabeth, and her granddaughter’s name is Lucia Elizabeth.”
Thomson said after downsizing to a condominium, they thought it would be best to bring the portraits home to Portsmouth so that they could be housed with the companion portrait.
“We live in a condominium now, and Beth is going to move into a condominium eventually, and we just thought the portraits should come home,” Thomson said. “We had been here 30 years ago, and we knew Peter’s portrait was hanging up here inside of the 1810 House, and so we thought that if it can’t stay in with us, it should come back home. I think it is the best place for it.”
Dorothy Justus, a volunteer of the 1810 House, said they are elated about receiving the companion portrait of Col. Peter Kinney, as well as the two portraits of the Kinney children.
“We are very happy to be getting this companion portrait to our Colonel Peter Kinney, who was a very prominent Portsmouth resident in the late 1800’s,” Justus said. “He was also the one that organized the regiment that went down South to fight in the Civil War, so he is more prominent than most of the Kinney brothers, although they all served well. Their father had a strong work ethic. And then to get these pictures of their children are something special too, because we don’t get many portraits of children. So, I think this is very nice too.”
Justus said the portraits would be cleaned, and then will be placed in the parlor of the 1810 House.
“We are planning to have the portraits cleaned, and then they will hang in the parlor. Peter is in the parlor, but he will have to be moved, so that we can get his wife Elizabeth beside him,” Justus said. “We will do all of this over the next few months.”
The 1810 House is open for visitation on Sundays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Arrangements for group visitations to the 1810 House may be done by contacting Dorothy Justus at 740-876-4050.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.