A photo linked to an early Tauranga family has The Elms volunteers scratching their heads about where the photo was taken.

It was donated by former Elms guide Myra Millar only four weeks before her death last Sunday and now adorns the office in the grounds of the historic mission station.

Elms receptionist Audrey King has issued a public appeal to help identify where in Tauranga the photo was taken. The age of the house suggests it was taken in the 1920s. Miss Millar told her that the photo had sat above the fireplace of her grandparents' Tauranga home, but she had never asked them where it was taken.

The 76-year-old former secretary of the late Sir Bob Owens also donated photos of Henry and Maria Bickers who were picture framers in Tauranga's colonial era and lived in the historic fencible cottage that now sat in the grounds of The Elms.

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Miss Millar, whose funeral service takes place in The Elms Chapel at 1pm on Monday, shifted to Tauranga in 1957, working for Inland Revenue and NAC before joining Bob Owens in the early days of his business empire based at the Port of Tauranga.

However, she spent most of her working life with Tim Dalton helping to run Dalton Antiques.

She was a Soroptimist, a world-wide service organisation for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, and also spent 24 years as a member of the Tauranga Classics Leisure Marching Team.

Miss Millar's maternal grandmother was born in the fencible cottage and her surviving family suspect the photo may have sat above the cottage's fireplace.