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FARMINGTON — A beautiful Native American girl, adorned in traditional dress and jewelry, smiles serenely in front of a southwestern sunset backdrop. The 18-by-15-inch professional photo, mounted in a gold-colored wooden frame, was taken years ago by a photographer from Howard's Photography, a now-closed Farmington studio.

The photo appears to be of a girl between the ages of 15 and 19, and, from the appearance of her hairstyle, was probably taken in the early 1980s.

Any other details concerning the girl's identity remain a mystery.

Howard's Studio was owned and operated by Howard Jones, who passed away in January 2011. Jones' wife, Jenel Jones, would like to learn the girl's identity so she can pass the photo on to her or to her family.

The Daily Times previously ran one of the studio's unclaimed photos of an elderly woman. The photo subsequently was identified and claimed by the woman's grandchildren, and Jones is hoping publication of the girl's photo will yield similar results.

"It's a really beautiful photo, but I don't know anything about the girl. I don't even know what tribe she might belong to," said Jones. "All I know is that the photo must have been taken in the '80s, before Howard closed the shop."

The photo was one of many used for display purposes at Howard's Photography between the time of its opening in 1957 and its closure in 1987. In addition to the girl, Jones is hoping to identify subjects of other photos, some of which may have been extra copies of photos instead of store displays.


Jones gave a box of the collected photos, most of which are 8-by-10 shots of proms, weddings and portraits, to her friend, Farmington realtor Treva Fox-Christy, hoping she would be able to help with the identifications. Fox-Christy has so far located only two of the individuals, but continues to search for clues about the identities of the others.

Long fascinated by Farmington's history, Fox-Christy has set up a Facebook site entitled "If You Are From Farmington, NM, Remember When...?"

The site, which has 2,400 members, offers people the opportunity to "take a trip down memory lane" by posting photos and remembrances of a Farmington from days gone by. Members comment on the photos, share their own recollections, and reconnect with fellow Farmingtonians.

Photos posted on the site include a 1960 era snapshot of swimmers frolicking in the "new" Brookside Pool; a photo from the 1950s depicting Farmington Police officers posing in front of the station, which then was located on Main Street; and a shot from the 1970s of the Big Boy statue that stood for years in front of the now long-gone restaurant.

"I'm pretty sure that my Grandpa is the gray-haired gentleman second from left on the back row. He was a mechanic for Ford for yearsÉ.wow, thanks to whoever posted this," was one of the comments underneath a late-1950s photo of a group of men from the Farmington Motor Company.

"It's a really "good-feeling' website and has become really popular," said Fox-Christy. "I had no idea how large it would get. It's amazing how many people of all ages really love Farmington."

Fox-Christy plans in the near future to scan the Howard's Photography photos into the Facebook site, hoping that people who visit the site will recognize faces and claim the photos.

Those wishing to peruse the old photos, upload their own photo, or make a comment on the Farmington of the past can request to join the site, or can contact Treva Fox-Christy at (505) 330-0584.

If you have information on the identity of the young Native American woman in the Howard's Photography photo, contact Jenel Jones at (505) 325-4190.