White Rose Birthday Greetings


Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked August 7, 1915 from Alta Loma, California. Printed in Germany. Series 444/10.

Price:  $3.00

From the Alice Ellison Collection, this appears to be husband writing to wife; he writes:

“Aug 7, 1915. Dear Ma, wee got to Lena’s at nine oclock this morning and found them all well. But Lena she has Poisen yet. Wee dident have any troble. Wee only changed cars at Stockton. With Love from Dad.”

Addressed to:   ”   “Mrs. J. M. Ellison, Tutten[?] av. Box 382, East Sacramento, Calif.”

A few comments:

Yikes (!) on the “poison” if that’s what the sender meant, but maybe it was just that Lena was still sick.

The publisher logo on the back (the W inside the diamond) appears to belong to the F. W. Woolworth Co., New York, NY, the “Five & Dime” store or by my own era, just “dime store” (funny how these old terms creep up sometimes still, dime store, ice box…..) See Metropostcard’s website under W for more on Woolworth.

And lastly, the name of the avenue for the address is not showing up online, maybe Fifteenth? even though that’s quite a stretch when looking at the writing.

Source:  “W – Publishers, F. W. Woolworth Co. 1878 – 1997.”  Metropostcard.com. (Accessed October 16, 2016).

To Miss Echo Grimes


Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked November 2, 1907 from Tremont, Illinois. Publisher:  A & S [?], New York. Art Series No. 178. Printed in Germany.

Price: $12.00

As in the prior post, one of the subjects in this postcard has an unusual first name.

Addressed to:   “Miss Echo Grimes, Milford Ind. Kos. Co.”

That’s Kosciusko County in the abbreviation above. There’s also an “unincorporated community”  named Milford in Dekatur County.

The sender writes:  “address Mae Rassi, Tremont Ill. c/o D. Getz.   Dear Echo, How are you. I am still at Ill. Think I will stay till Christmas. How is your Grandma tell her Hello. You had asked me to send you a postal. So I thought I would. Let me hear from you.”

Echo (love the name!) shows up on the 1910 Federal Census living with her grandmother, Mary A. Gilkenson, mother Minnie W. Grimes, and her younger sister[?] Helen Grimes. On this census Echo is about age 18 and working for the telephone company. The Indiana Marriage records reveals she was Mary Echo Grimes, born December 10, 1891, Milford, Indiana, parents Clem Grimes and Minnie (stated “Winma Gilkison” on the indexed record.)  Echo married Charles N. Thomas on February 10, 1911, in Elkhart, Indiana.

Mae Rassi would require more research but from some quick searches it appears she might have been an in-law to the Getz family.

Heart-shaped A & S N.Y. publisher logo…

The publisher is a bit of a mystery. Nothing found yet for what appears to be “A & S” of New York.


Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Milford Ward 3, Kosciusko, Indiana; Roll: T624_358; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 0085; FHL microfilm: 1374371. (Ancestry.com)

Original data: Indiana, Marriages. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013. (Ancestry.com)

Temple And Arnold, Coweta OK, 1910


Divided back, used, Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked 1910.

Price:  $15.00

Adorable, can’t be any cuter, image of siblings (?) Temple and Arnold (surname unknown at this time) seated on a beautiful carved wooden bench. Love Arnold’s wide, striped tie! “Arnold” writes:

“Coweta Okla.  Hello Grandma what do you think of us. Temple weighs twenty four pounds. I am picking cotton to get me an overcoat wish you and Cecil were here to help me how is Johnnie hope you are better by this time. Grandma P is well she helps me pick cotton some time. good by from Arnold.”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Sarah Myers. Hardin, Mo. R. F. D. #2. Ray Co.”

The addressee, Mrs. Sarah Myers, was found in the 1910 Federal Census for Crooked River Township, Ray County. She is widowed, born in Missouri about 1847, living with her son John, his wife Anna, and their children, Curtis, Daniel and Cecil. Cecil is about six years old at this time so is about the same age as his cousin Arnold. Johnnie, mentioned on the card, must be Arnold’s uncle Johnnie.

Sarah Jane’s maiden name is Weldy per Findagrave, and spouse was Joseph Young Myers. Temple and Arnold, surprisingly, were not found in records, and it’s possible these were middle names for them, and possible that Sarah and Joseph could have had a daughter born and married between census records, who married someone with the last name starting with “P.” (per the “Grandma P” reference in the postcard.)

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Crooked River, Ray, Missouri; Roll: T624_806; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 0129; FHL microfilm: 1374819. (Ancestry.com).

Sarah Jane Weldy Myers. Find A Grave Memorial# 19902230. Find A Grave.com. (accessed October 13, 2016).

Joseph Young Myers. Find A Grave Memorial# 19902165. Find A Grave.com. (accessed October 13, 2016).

Jenevieve, Bank Inspector



Mini-photo, circa 1900 – 1920s

Price:  $10.00            Size:  About 1 and 3/16 x 1 and 5/8″

A mini-photo of a beautiful dark-haired girl in winter-ish coat and spring hat. The writing on the back, in pencil, had been almost completely covered with black photo album paper (you know the type) but we discovered that applying water softens the paper so that it can be peeled and scraped off. (Oh, and then Googled the “how to” question and saw that yep, it works on the old photos – not sure about writing in ink but pencil, for sure – because they would have been dipped in water – the water bath – before being hung to dry. It would have eased my mind to have read this first, but still!) Anyway, she’s very photogenic, with that arresting look. And, oh what a hat! Straw and fabric or just fabric maybe, but the shape, along with the subtle pleats on the underside, reminds one of a flower. As to the writing:  What we can make out says,  “Jenevieve…with something underneath that that we can’t make out, and next, our best guess “Bank Inspector.” (Well, inspector misspelled. And plenty of entries were found under this given name cross-referenced with occupation.) And at the bottom right corner, maybe  ” H. C. MO.” Hmmm, one of the counties in Missouri that begins with “H” or maybe an abbreviated company name? And if she was not a bank inspector, well, we hope she’s laughing somewhere at this, but it does sound very dramatic, doesn’t it? Jenevieve, Bank Inspector!

The Fake Niagara Shot


Real Photo Postcard, circa 1915.

Traveling northeast from our last post, at least in theory, we find ourselves at Niagara Falls. But no, really, this has to be a photographer’s backdrop made to look like the Falls…..but in any case, showing a beautiful, smiling young woman, smartly dressed in skirt and double-breasted long jacket with velvet collar, and a nice wide-brimmed hat with wide ribbon. She poses standing, looking into the camera, with hands folded behind her back. The backdrop artist did a good job, going to the trouble of painting a house in the distant background….and are those silhouettes of tiny spectators at a viewing point at one side of the falls? Looking closely again, maybe not. And then there’s the “mist” we see rising up above the woman’s left shoulder, or was that just a problem with the photo? The reverse side of this card shows only the rest of that black photo album type-paper that it was glued to. We’re unable to see any clues at all, not even a partial stamp box. The card was sold to us in a plastic sleeve with “Niagara Falls, 1915” written on it. So, whoever sold or donated the card might have known the date it was taken, unless it was just a general estimate. One more thing to note:  if you look closely at the bottom right of the scene, that looks like the corner of a table.

M. E. Church, Webster Crossing, NY


Divided back, used, Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked from Webster Crossing, New York, November 24th. The year appears to be 1909.

Price:  $15.00

A Real Photo Postcard of a beautiful little church:  M.E. stands for Methodist Episcopal. The Methodist Episcopal Church (M.E.C.) was the first Methodist denomination founded in the U.S. and existed from 1784 to 1939. That’s the short version without getting into a detailed history, (as per the norm, everything is always more involved than one might initially think) what with mergers and differences of ideology, schisms and the like. But back to this particular church:  it’s a charming building, we love the contrast of the dark trim against the white, the steeple (almost like a large cupola), and the lancet-style front window, with it’s smaller similar version above the door. The reverse of the card shows a joke we are not privy to, but imagining the laugh shared between friends, we are smiling just the same.

“are you going to church sunday night ha, ha.”

Addressed to:   “Hazel Eggelson. Kanona N.Y.”

This is likely the Hazel Eggelston (no matches under Eggelson) who appears on the 1910 Federal Census with her parents, Martin and Louise, and uncle, Samuel Eggelston. All are native to New York and are living in Bath, Steuben County, at Wheeler and Kanona Roads. Hazel, born about 1896 would have been about thirteen or fourteen when she received the postcard.

Kanona is about 28 miles south of Webster’s Crossing, and Bath is about 3 miles south of Kanona, as the crow flies.

Sources:  Methodist Episcopal Church. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methodist_Episcopal_Church (accessed October 2, 2016).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Bath, Steuben, New York; Roll: T624_1079; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0100; FHL microfilm: 1375092. (Ancestry.com)

Cayey, Puerto Rico


Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked March 5 (year not showing) from Hammondsport, New York. Publisher unknown. Circa 1915.

Price:  $10.00

“65.  Cayey, Porto Rico. – Cayey is an important inland town, 2,300 feet above the sea and about 37 miles from San Juan on the military road from there to Ponce. During the Spanish-American war the city was about to be attached, [attacked] when news was received of the signing of the protocol.”

Port by any other name…

Yes, that “Porto” spelling looks odd:  In browsing online newspapers it appears that both spellings were being used at least as early as the 1890s. At some point “Puerto” became the standard, but we found evidence of “Porto” as late as the mid-1950s.

The card is not in the best of shape but if this particular Charles W. Bennett family is part of yours, then it’s a very nice find! The 1910 Federal Census shows them at 1132 Oak Street but by the 1915 State Census either the house got re-numbered, or they had moved to 1113 Oak, the address on the postcard.

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Charles W. Bennett, 1113 Oak St, Elmira N.Y.”

An old-time-y occupation

Charles Bennett’s occupation on both records was street car conductor; he was born about 1875; married to Jennie, born about 1873; their son, Clifford, was born about 1907. All are New York natives. The 1910 shows the young family living with Charles’ mother, Harriet, and her husband (Charles’ step-father) E. B.[?] Whitmore. By 1915, the Bennett Family has Jennie’s mom, Clara Haight, with them. The card’s sender was either Jennie’s mother or mother-in-law. She wrote:

“Dear daughter Jennie, we are very sorry to hear of your sickness and hope you are better by now. we are better than a week ago. Papa feels quite a lot better but not very well yet, I am quite well now, have a lot of snow banks did not get any mail Monday nor Tuesday. It is blowing today. hope the rest are well wish I could be out to help you. Mama.”

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Elmira Ward 8, Chemung, New York; Roll: T624_931; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0029; FHL microfilm: 1374944. (Ancestry.com).

New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1915; Election District: 01; Assembly District: 01; City: Elmira Ward 08; County: Chemung; Page: 10. (Ancestry.com).

Havana Cuba, Street Scene 1920s


Photo circa 1920s. Street scene, Havana, Cuba.

Price:  $15.00            Size:  3 and 1/4 x 4 and 3/8″

The street name is unknown, but this is a wonderful glimpse back in time, circa 1920s Havana. Note the cobblestone street, streetcar, the rear-view of the smaller vehicle of the rubber-tired variety 😉  the beautiful wrought iron railings, the very tall double doors on the corner building on our left, and the people going about their day. Funny that everyone in the photo, except for those appearing in the extreme background, are facing us. Check out the guy partially in our view on the far right. He’s easy to miss!

Spanish-born hat maker, Evaristo Tanda

We’re not seeing Havana city directories for this time-period online at present, though maybe someone will post a comment which will help pinpoint the street, but in any case, the most prominent business sign in the photo shows:   “Evaristo Tanda – Fabricante de Gorras”  translating as “Evaristo Tanda – Manufacturer of Caps.”  Evaristo was born in Spain about 1885. He appears on several ship passenger lists; the 1915 and 1917 record that he was single, occupation Merchant, and reveal that he had cousins, Angel and Francisco Puentes, in Matanzas, Cuba (could be city or province) the city being located on the northern coast of Cuba (about an hour and a half east from Havana, in present-day drive time.)

Below, partial view of the 1915 ship passenger list for S.S. Saratoga, en route from Cuba to New York, showing Evaristo Tanda’s last permanent residence as Havana, and nearest relative, cousin Angel Puentes:


An earlier S.S. Morro Castle

The 1917 passenger list for Evaristo Tanda and others, records their arrival from Cuba to New York, on Morro Castle. Research shows this was likely the passenger steamer built October 1900, original owner NY & Cuba Mail, which was scrapped in 1926, definitely not to be confused with the ship whose name became well-known (at least at that time) after the terrible 1934  Morro Castle tragedy, in which that vessel was destroyed by fire under mysterious circumstances which resulted in the loss of 137 members (accounts vary) of passenger and crew.

Below, Evaristo Tanda’s 1917 arrival in New York from Cuba on the earlier steamer Morro Castle:



Above, believed to the ship named on the 1917 record, the 6,004 ton passenger steamer Morro Castle (1900 – 1926) original owner N.Y. & Cuba Mail. (Photo courtesy Library of Congress.)

Below, Evaristo’s arrival in Key West, Florida on steamer Cuba in 1925.


Sources:  Year: 1915; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 2423; Line: 10; Page Number: 109. Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957.

Year: 1917; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 2512; Line: 5; Page Number: 131. Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957.

SS Moro Castle (1930) n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Morro_Castle_(1930). (accessed September 18, 2016).

Cramp Shipbuilding, Philadelphia PA. September 3, 2014, updated. http://www.shipbuildinghistory.com/history/shipyards/2large/inactive/cramp.htm. shipbuildinghistory.com. (accessed September 18, 2016).

S.S. Morro Castle, Cramps Shipyards, Philadelphia. Detroit Publishing Company Photograph Collection. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. (accessed September 18, 2016).

The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Series Title: Alien Passenger List of Vessels Arriving at Key West, Florida; NAI Number: 2790468; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787 – 2004; Record Group Number: 85. (Ancestry.com. Florida, Passenger Lists, 1898-1963.)

Man With Cigar Tintype


Tintype of unknown gentleman with cigar. Circa 1880s.

Price:  $15.00                 Size:  2 and 1/2 x 3 and 5/8″

I think of Cuba when I look at this image – just an impression; the location and the man’s ancestry is certainly unknown. No name attached (as in most tintypes found.) The plants in the foreground look real, and it seems unusual (as in sort of messy) that there’s some type of fabric laying on the fake rock that his left hand rests on. If you look closely, you can see there’s a border, similar to the lapel trim on the below-the-knee coat he’s dressed in, but wider. And he wears his wide-brim, low-crown derby tilted back, a silk necktie, and vest with watch and fob. As for the date of the tintype, possibly mid-1880s:  there’s an almost identical-looking coat, except for the buttons, appearing on another gentleman, and showing a somewhat similar necktie, which is estimated have been taken around 1885.

Source:  Morein, Alyssa S., “Tintype Portraiture in Early Auburn,” April 2005. White River Journal, White River Valley Museum. (accessed September 10, 2016).

Mother Gunderson

Mother Gunderson Mother Of Leeve Elizabeth p1Mother Gunderson Mother Of Leeve Elizabeth p2

‘Mother’ Gunderson, mother of Leeve Elizabeth”

Old photo, circa early 1900s, taken from tintype.

Price:  $15.00 for original photo. Digital copy $7.00.       Size:  About 3 and 1/2 x 5″

From the dark splotches and the general look of the photo, the original image was probably a tintype. How wonderful to have some i.d. written on the back, and one of the best clues within that writing is the use of the parentheses:  “Mother” Gunderson is likely someone that the “writer” either knew personally or had heard plenty of references to, within the family. In other words, it’s a good bet that this beautiful lady had lived with or near her kids and grandkids in the (most likely) United States, rather than having stayed in the “old country.”

Possible related family surnames:  Working, Salisbury, and Lesher

After searching thru census, family tree and grave site records, we have a strong possibility that the lady was named Anna, born about 1798 – 1809 in Norway, married to John Gunderson, born about 1797 in Norway. The 1857 Minnesota State Census for Belle Plaine, shows them living next door to Daniel W. Working, born 1827 in Pennsylvania, “Levi” Working (Leeve listed incorrectly as male) born Norway about 1830, and their son, about one year old John Brown Working, born in the Minnesota Territory (M.T.)

Per family trees in Ancestry, Leeve Elizabeth Gunderson married Daniel Webster Working in 1855 in Minnesota and had six other children after John B. True, it’s possible the above is not the correct match for our photo, however, no other near matches were found. And this one fits quite well for dates. Find A Grave has Leeve’s headstone showing born September 14, 1825 and died April 18, 1878.

Other Ancestry tree info has sisters of Leeve (aka Libby or Olivia) as Adeline (Gunderson) Salisbury (1830 – 1900) and Anna (Gunderson) Lesher (1832 – about 1887). And a date of death for our possible Anna “Mother Gunderson” as 1906. If the 1870 and 1880 Federal Census records are correct for Anna’s year of birth (1798) then she would have been about 108 years old when she died.

Sources:  “Levi Working.” Ancestry.com. Minnesota, Territorial and State Censuses, 1849-1905 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.

“Leeve Elizabeth Working.” Find A Grave Memorial# 13454263. Findagrave.com. (accessed September 5, 2016).

“Annie Gunderson.” Year: 1870; Census Place: Belle Plaine, Scott, Minnesota; Roll: T132_10; Page: 403; Image: 22726; Family History Library Film: 830430. (Ancestry.com)

“Anne Gounderson.” Year: 1880; Census Place: Blakeley, Scott, Minnesota; Roll: 633; Family History Film: 1254633; Page: 94A; Enumeration District: 114; Image: 0191.