William Terzian’s Silver Bay postcards are my favorites, and above are two new ones I found on eBay. You may already have read the piece I wrote about him, but I felt it worth repeating:
William Terzian dreamed of building bridges. Born in Armenia on December 12, 1912, he was brought to the United States by his parents in 1923, as they fled the Ottoman Empire’s Armenian genocide. William Terzian grew up in New York City and attended Brooklyn Tech, where he began his engineering studies. But his talent for photography was recognized, and what began as a hobby took his life in a new direction.
Terzian found one of his favorite photographic subjects when he traveled north to the Adirondack mountains and Lake George as a young man. In 1933, he first visited Silver Bay. The main body of his Silver Bay photography was taken in the summers of 1935 and 1936. In 1943, Terzian and his wife Violet moved to Manhasset, Long Island, and began a photography business together. ‘Terzian of Manhasset’ specialized in portraits of children, class pictures for public and private schools, and weddings. As his business thrived over four decades, he found himself taking pictures for second and third generations of his customers.
As you might gather from the neat lettering of his name on a Terzian postcard, he was a perfectionist, a photographer who went to great lengths to get the shot right. His postcards, all in black & white or sepia tone, are beautifully composed and photographed. Many were published by the Collotype Company of Elizabeth, New Jersey, and New York. Terzian also printed real photo postcards himself. Among my prize possessions are a published black & white image of Slim Point and a real photo postcard taken minutes later while the camera was in the same position. My Terzian postcards are postmarked 1941-1947.
But one postcard I own tells the story of why Terzian did not remain Silver Bay’s postcard photographer for the length of his career. On the back, a young woman named Anna writes, “Wished had it colors.” William did not shoot color, and in the late 1940’s, he found himself being replaced as Silver Bay’s postcard photographer by Richard K. Dean from Glens Falls, who shot color photography for glossy chrome postcards all over the U.S.
But this was not the end of William and Violet’s relationship with Lake George. Their children spent summers at Silver Bay, and their daughter, Jacqueline, even served as an Emp and an editor of “Baylights,” the Silver Bay Association’s yearbook. William and Violet had a summer home two miles south of Silver Bay, near Tongue Mountain, and they retired there in 1985. William Terzian died in 1987, after a lifetime of building bridges for memories.