Amish bicentennial

A Moment from Yesterday

September 28, 2022 | Opinion | Volume 26 Issue 20
Laureen Harder-Gissing | Mennonite Archives of Ontario
(Photo: Christian and Annie Bender Collection / Mennonite Archives of Ontario)

You are looking at one of the oldest original photographs in the Mennonite Archives of Ontario, likely taken in 1867. The father and daughter are John (or Jean) and Anna (“Annie”) Kennel. John was an Amish immigrant from France, like many of the first Amish settlers in Canada, who began arriving here 200 years ago. This image is probably a daguerreotype, one of the earliest photographic processes. Elaborate cases not only made these photos look special, they helped protect the fragile metal material from light and scratches. Despite the long exposure time required to capture this image, John and Annie look relaxed and comfortable together.

—Corrected Oct. 6, 2022. The headline was originally, “Amish sesquicentennial.” It has been updated.

For more historical photos in the Mennonite Archival Image Database, see

More moments from yesterday:
Zollikon church
J.J. Thiessen
Ladies at MWC
Bergthal church
Evangelism congress

(Photo: Christian and Annie Bender Collection / Mennonite Archives of Ontario)

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