Cemetery 24 Johnson Sarah PHC&M 89.jpg


Sarah Ney (Ryder) Johnson (1860-1944).

The image of “Sadie” Johnson at the organ of the Universalist meeting house — head turned to face the camera, proud and confident and stylish under her wide-brimmed hat — is so wonderful that it was made into a postcard in the early 20th century. She was the organist from 1879 to 1936. A less-known but equally telling image, found in Irma Ruckstuhl’s Old Provincetown in Early Photographs, shows Johnson as the only woman in the Amphion Orchestra, a turn-of-the-century musical group composed of local musicians and professionals who would come over by steamer from Boston. Her husband, George F. Johnson (1853-1922), played bass in the orchestra. She taught piano up until about a year before her death. She and her husband are buried in a Ryder family lot, as she was the daughter of Ephraim Ryder (1818-1891) and Mehitable “Hittie” (Smith) Ryder (1829-1907).

¶ Last updated on 1 July 2017.

Provincetown’s Historic Cemeteries and Memorials, Key O-89, Page 26.


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