Gertrude Amelia Tate (1871–1962), was a kindergarten teacher and dancing instructor of Brooklyn, New York. She became and Alice Austen became lifelong companions.
Gertrude visited Alice regularly and they spent holidays together in Europe. She moved in with Alice at Clear Comfort(Alice Austen's home) in 1917, overriding her family's objection over her "wrong devotion" to Alice.
Upon returning home to Staten Island, they ran a tea room in Clear Comfort and Gertrude taught ballroom dancing lessons in an attempt to meet their financial obligations. The plan did not work, however, and Austen lost the house in 1945 when she was evicted at the age of 79. She signed her possessions over to Gertrude, who moved in with her own family members, and Austen spent the next few years in a small apartment.
Austen spent her remaining years in nursing homes, entering the Staten Island Farm Colony (a home for paupers) on June 24, 1950, when she was 84. The following year, however, Austen's fortunes changed.
The art historian Oliver Jensen discovered the negatives of her photographic plates and saw to their purchase by the Staten Island Historical society in 1951. Jensen secured publishing rights to the plates and arranged for an exhibition and sale of prints of Austen's work. Austen earned enough money to live in a comfortable residence for one more year. She died on June 9, 1952. Gertrude Tate lived another ten years with her family and then moved to a nursing home. Upon Gertrude's death the Tate family learned that Austen and Gertrude had wanted to be buried together. The Tate family, however, refused to honor the women's wishes.
~ source: Find A Grave contributor Elisa Rolle
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Alice Elizabeth Austen
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