Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 27: Scrapbooks, Albums, Gathered Notes


Maya Sudo Album: Maya standing and facing camera; in striped skirt. 009a

Maya Sudo Album: Maya standing and facing camera; in striped skirt. 009a

The Maya Sudo photograph album contains 102 pages. Created by Maya Sudo and her sister, Ren Norita Ogasawara, the album covers the brief time Maya spent at Pine Mountain as a nurse and teacher. The photographs depict Maya’s work at the new Infirmary and at Big Laurel in 1922. Many images capture the built environment and the surrounding landscape.

Maya left the School to work in Philadelphia at Jefferson Hospital, but never realized that career. At the age of xxx she had a gall bladder operation that resulted in complications and she died shortly after the surgery. This event brought the promising life of Maya to a halt, but it is clear that the years depicted in this album were happy and productive.

Her short life, a full and happy one, is clearly seen in the photographs of Maya on horseback, with her class of young children, with co-workers and her encounters with the surrounding mountains. Her lively smile and love of dance, friends, and adventure is evident throughout the album. Many of the photographs from Pine Mountain were taken by her sister Ren when she came to visit with Maya in 1923. She was most likely using an early Kodak camera and the photographs were carefully placed in a “Kodagraph” album. The images are often unique and are not replicated in the photographs that circulated among the workers and administration at the School.  Many photographs are found in duplicate in the PMSS collections and in many of the albums created by workers at Pine Mountain.

Pine Mountain Settlement School is grateful to Frances Ogasawara, the niece of Maya Sudo who located this family album and shared it so it might be scanned for researchers. The original album was returned to the family.

The School is indeed fortunate that so many workers and visitors to Pine Mountain had access to cameras and had interest in recording what they discovered. As Mary Rogers reminded us many years ago, so often we learn from what the photographer chose to capture and the view through the lens reflects back to us the photographer and his or her interests. Clearly the photographer in this case was interested in capturing the life of Maya Sudo and Pine Mountain Settlement School in all their many endeavors. This unique album, which opens a window on a narrow period of the School’s history, provides a tight and comprehensive look at activities within the community and on the growing campus.

PART I – Album Pages 1 – 44

GO TO PART II for Album Pages 44 – 102

Also see: Maya Sudo Biography