The two cartes-de-visite above were made by Henry Cushing in Windsor, Vermont, in February 1865. Windsor is on the Connecticut River, which forms the boundary between Vermont and New Hampshire. The town is connected to Cornish, NH, by the Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge, which is the longest wooden bridge in the United States and the longest two-span covered bridge in the world. Coincidentally, the portraits were taken a year before the bridge was built. You can see some good photos of the bridge here.
The two CDVs were for sale together, but it isn’t possible to know for sure what the relationship between the sitters was. She appears to be wearing both an engagement ring and a wedding band. He isn’t wearing any rings, so it’s possible they were siblings. I don’t see much of a resemblance, do you?
Both CDVs have a two-cent tax stamp on the back. Revenue stamps were required by the U.S. Government on commercial photographs from August 1, 1864 until August 1, 1866, initially to raise funds to fight the Civil War, and then to pay off debts after the war ended in May 1865. Photographers were required to cancel a stamp after affixing it to the back of a photo. On the stamps below, the letters H.C. are visible, for Henry Cushing, along with the abbreviation Feb. On the back of the first portrait (the woman’s), the year isn’t readable, but on the back of the man’s, I can just barely make out 186-. Only the top parts of the numbers are visible, but the last number looks different from the 6, so it must be a 5.
I hope you found this young couple appealing and intriguing as I did. I’d love to know more about them, but for the time being, their identities remain a mystery.