This early cabinet card was made by a photographer identified as L.D. Austin in South Haven, Michigan. The young women appear to be in their late teens, and are grouped around a swing, which could symbolize the carefree days of youth. The sitter at lower left is also holding a long stick … another relic of childhood, or maybe a graduation symbol of some kind?
The 1880 U.S. Census lists a photographer in South Haven named Loran D. Austin, 27 years old, married with two children.