Old-Fashioned Christmas Happiness

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked December 18, 1923 from Los Angeles, California. Made in the U.S.A. Series 1016 D. Publisher unknown.

Merry Christmas….

“Old-fashioned Christmas happiness

Is what I’m wishing you

And a host of good and loyal friends

To share the Day with you.”

A country scene of a home in winter, sunset colors painting the sky, all within the soft outline of a snow-laden evergreen tree…

The sender writes:   “Dear Grandma, I wish you all a happy Xmas. I am sending you a pkg. something for dossie and for Geo. Jr. But do not open untel Xmas, Love from all, Maebell.”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. J. M. Ellison, 604 N St., Sacramento, Calif.”

Fortune Bright, Friendship True

Divided back, artist-signed, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked December 22, 1916 from Sacramento, California. Artist:  Ellen H. Clapsaddle. Publisher:  International Art Publishing Co. Series 104-3.

Price:  $12.00

Best Christmas Wishes…

“Fortune bright and friendship true,

Bless this Christmas-time for you.”

A Clapsaddle Christmas postcard:  This one’s a bit of a departure from the artist’s more recognizable work of adorable children. It shows a hazy winter scene of evergreens, with one in white standing out in embossed relief, and three small biblical-looking figures (I think it’s the staff that gives that impression) appearing near the bottom of the stand of trees, and then a rustic wooden fence leading to the foreground.

Sent to:   “Miss Bessie Ellison, 1415 G St, Sacramento, Calif.”

The sender wrote:   “A Merry Xmas and a happy New Year. F. J. Reynolds.”

The postcard cancellation was advertising the  “Panama California International Exposition at San Diego – 1916.”

Sources:  Ellen Clapsaddle. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Clapsaddle. (accessed December 23, 2016).

Panama-California Exposition. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama%E2%80%93California_Exposition. (accessed December 23, 2016).

The Old Live Oak, Wilmington, NC

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“From Lucylle Cale. Camden, N. J.”

Lucy/Lucille/Lucylle Cale and Cole was researched, and though there are both Cales and Coles in Camden, only Lucy Cole shows up in a 1943 Camden city directory.

I’ve had this postcard for a couple of years, didn’t get to posting it last Christmas, and was so sad to find out that this tree had been cut down just last month. It stood next to the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant and for decades was known as the World’s Largest Living Christmas Tree. An August 2015 WWAYTV3.com online article reported that the Wilmington City Council voted in 2012 to end the tree lighting tradition, siting safety concerns, and the health of the tree, said to have been struggling for years.

StarNewsonline shows a photo from the first tree-lighting event, which was Christmas Eve 1928.

So, I have two of these postcards, and was looking for the other this morning, trying to remember if there was a date on the back of that one. Running short on time and wanted to get this one up, so will look later. But in looking up the publisher info – the photographer was the well-known Hugh Morton (1921 – 2006). Wow, this guy accomplished a lot during his lifetime – photographer, conservationist, etc….Surprisingly, no other postcards of this Live Oak are currently showing up on the internet, but I would say the card is probably from the 1950s or early 1960s. The description reads:

“World’s Largest Living Christmas Tree. Wilmington, North Carolina. This three hundred year old Live Oak is lighted with 4,000 multi-colored bulbs, and is viewed each December by a quarter of a million persons. Its limb spread is 110 feet and height 55 feet.”

300 years old per the postcard or quite a bit older – between 400 and 450 years (from the StarNews report) and earlier in it’s lifetime estimated to have been 70 to 75 feet in height, but ending up at about 55 feet due to the effects of years of ice storms.

On the subject of living Christmas trees, I’ll never forget the little Italian Stone Pine my mother-in-law gave us one year. The kind of tree you find at the drugstore, that often gets thrown out after Christmas (shudder). We had no place to plant it at that time, and there it was, about two feet tall, if that. Somehow it survived my non-diligent watering until we moved that summer to a place with a backyard. I planted it near a corner and named it Giovanni. We were only in that house for about seven years, but every time I’m in the area I drive by to see my old friend, which is huge and beautiful and thriving, and would now be about twenty-three years old. I thank God I didn’t toss out that scruffy little sapling, and most of all I bless the people in that house forever for taking such good care of my tree.

Divided back, unused with writing, postcard. Circa 1950s – early 1960s. Publisher information:  Published by Hugh Morton, Wilmington, NC; Plastichrome Colourpicture Publishers, Inc. Boston, Mass. Series or number:  P26400.

Price:  $15.00

Sources:  “World’s Largest Living Christmas Tree To Be Cut Down ‘Soon.’ ” WWAYTV3.com., August 31, 2015. Web accessed December 22, 2015.

Blevins, Ken. “#TBT – World’s Largest Living Christmas Tree.” StarNewsonline, December 17, 2015. Web accessed December 22, 2015.

Hugh Morton. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Morton. (accessed December 21, 2015).

The Tree Spirit

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This postcard is signed by artist E. Weaver. Biographical information was not found online but Sherry Arent Cawley, in Berrien County, author of one of the Postcard History Series put out by Arcadia Publishing, describes the artist as  “…a very prolific American postcard artist at the turn of the century through the 1930s. His designs, in sets of 8 to 32 are whimsical and humorous with many drawn in a simplified Art Nouveau style.”

Indeed, prolific is the word, as numerous cards can be found currently for sale, and in browsing through, it appears the artist used a different color scheme for each series; this above was one of a set in green and black, and shows the lovely poem,

“True Friendship

True friendship is a golden link

Which none should seek to sever

And mine will last, I truly think,

Forever and forever.”

The back is signed,  “From Your Most Humble Friend, O.S.”  and at the top,  “x x x”.  Another in the series was found currently on eBay dated by the sender in 1922.

Divided back, unused with writing. Publisher unknown, series or number 2328, 32 designs. “Art Birthday Message.” Circa 1922.

Price:  $5.00

Source:  Cawley, Sherry A. Berrien County (Postcard History Series). Charleston:  Arcadia. Author copyright year 2000. p. 30. (Google eBook).

Five Friends

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Addressed to:   “Ora W. Carrell. 514 W. 8th St., Muscatine, Iowa.”

“Dear Ora: – Isn’t this cute! Claude Lewis is the one you don’t know. Taken in the woods the 27th of Dec. I had such a jolly time. Your letter came after I had written mine so this is in answer. Such lovely Xmas gifts you recd. Our[?] revival mtgs. closed Sunday – the com. gave me a check for $25.00 for my work in the meeting – I am going to get commentaries..?..? 90 at the alter and some of these were both reclaimed & sanctified, 13 now have united with the church and there will be others. A big task[?] I have to keep these going. pray. God bless thee in thy work. Sincerely – N.[?] Blanche.”

This photo really is cute. Adorable! Enlarge to see the special “headgear” they are all wearing! The fellows look like they could be related – wonder which one is Claude Lewis? And the ladies – the two on the left look like they could be sisters, or like our title says, they could all simply be five friends.

As to further i.d. – There are several possibilities for Claude Lewis; and for the sender N[?] Blanche we’d really need more information; but Ora W. Carrell is likely the same person found on the 1910 Federal Census under O. W. Carrell, showing born in Iowa about 1886, single, rooming in the household of Webster A. and Tracy M. Allman, and who’s occupation is listed as Gospel Minister. The address in Muscatine is 308 5th St., just several blocks away from the address given on the card.

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked January 18, 1911 from Salem, Oregon.

Price:  $20.00

Source:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Muscatine Ward 2, Muscatine, Iowa; Roll: T624_415; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0109; FHL microfilm: 1374428. (Ancestry.com)

Yucca Wood

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“Yucca Wood (brevifolia) Wood of Moods and Legends, but especially one legend which tells us that whosoever contacts YUCCA will have good luck. May this inspiration of the Ancients be two-fold, bringing you Peace of Mind and Blessings of Divine Influence.”

The front of this postcard is made from actual Yucca wood. And what a beautiful thought; It goes out to all everywhere! The sender wrote:

“Hello Sweetheart:  Guess what? Henry got one yesterday. A four pointer while we were in Reno. Grand weather up here now. Only cold at night. Be seeing you soon. by now – Mother.”

Addressed to:   “Miss Jeanette Hume, 2208 Grove St., Berkeley 4, California.”

Divided back, Yucca wood, used postcard. Postmarked September 25, 1945 from Truckee, California.

Price:  $7.00

The Girl That Climb The Twee

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So, oftentimes we see that the sender’s spelling in their message and even in the address, is a little bit off, due to the fact that, in decades past, many people did not have the opportunity to continue a formal education, and also due to the fact that messages on postcards were often hurriedly scribbled. You know, they wrote things like, “This is just a quick note, I’m sending you a long letter soon…”  But this one looks like it says,  “The girl that climb the twee.”  And perhaps it was written that way on purpose, as a running joke from childhood. It’s addressed on the back to  “Mrs. Allie Day.”  And that looks like a large bow that decorates the young lady’s braided hair at the back. (Though that bow might remind you of a pair of small wings in the overall effect!)

The stamp box, and the fact that it’s a divided back, places the estimated date of the postcard at around 1907 – 1920s. A quick check on Ancestry.com for Allie Day reveals that there were scads of women under this name, all over the United States, which is just what one would expect.

Divided back, unused with writing, Real Photo Postcard. Circa 1907 – 1920s. Cyko stamp box.

Price:  $4.00

Don’t Worry If You Work Hard…

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“Don’t worry if

you work hard

and your rewards are


the mighty OAK was

once a NUT like you.”


Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher:  Daco. “A Daco Card.” Box 6194, Waco, Texas 76706. Series D-132. Circa 1960s.

Price:  $6.00

Roadside Birches

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A vintage postcard in black and white of a photo of a small stand of birch trees by the side of a winding one-lane dirt road. On the front is printed  “Roadside Birches – L.G. – 403.”  LG are possibly the photographer’s initials. On the back is printed  “Greetings from Mc Millan, Michigan.”  The stamp box shows  “Place Stamp Here”  and  “9B16.”

Curiously, there are two McMillan Townships in Michigan; both in the Upper Peninsula: McMillan Township, Luce County, located in the Eastern part of the U.P., population about 3,947 at the time of the 2000 census; and McMillan Township, Ontonagon County, located in the Western U.P. population about 601 at the time of the 2000 census. They are about a four hour drive from one another.

Divided back, unused postcard, circa 1950s – 1960s. Genuine Curteich – Chicago. “C.T. Photo-Cote” Post Card. Distributed by the L.L. Cook Company, Milwaukee.

Price:  $10.00

Sources:  McMillan Township, Luce County, Michigan. n.d. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McMillan_Township,_Luce_County,_Michigan (accessed November 8, 2014).

McMillan Township, Ontonagon County, Michigan. n.d. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McMillan_Township,_Ontonagon_County,_Michigan (accessed November 8, 2014).

For Thee I Pine

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Here’s a great postcard with the lovely play-on-words:  “For thee I pine, For thee I bal-sam.”

On the front of the card the sender wrote:  “But more so for the old white horse, Em.”  (Awww!) The card is addressed to:  “Miss Harriet Hopkins, Salinas, California”  and postmarked from Watsonville, California, on October 28, 1908.

Harriet Hopkins is possibly the Harriet that shows up in Watsonville on the Federal Census, as born West Virginia, about 1895; with parents Harry B., born Iowa about 1865 and Jane Hopkins, born England about 1875; and siblings Catherine, twin of Harriet; John, born West Virginia about 1898; and Mary, born California, about 1900. Nothing is showing in Salinas for either the 1900 or 1910. There may be a voter registration or city directory out there for 1908 but neither are showing online at this time. According to this census Harry was a farmer, but the family seems to have moved around a little. The 1900 shows they were in King City; Harry does not show up on this census, and Mary the youngest is four months old. Jane and the children are living with Samuel Hopkins (Harry’s dad), born Pennsylvania July 1825.

The West Virginia birth index shows Harriet and Catherine’s date of birth as March 15, 1895, born Winona, Fayette County, WV, and parent’s names H. F. Hopkins and Jane Ann Allport. (The middle initial is incorrect for the dad on this record.) Find A Grave shows quite a bit more about Harriet (married three times, and children) and other family info, and we could get very detailed here, but won’t due to having so many other great images to research and post. Bu what I like most about this beautiful card is the note on the front regarding the white horse, and the image it conjures up, of two friends, one has moved away, they have shared memories of a neighbor’s (or perhaps even the Hopkin’s) horse. (Your web author is crazy about animals in general, definitely about horses, but there is just something magical about a white horse. Memories of the white horse in Morgan Hill re first trip to California…of several white horses in Ireland…) In keeping with the spirit of the sender’s note, here’s a photo from the author’s collection.

Beautiful horse – Ireland, summer of 1999:

White Horse In Ireland p1

Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked October 28, 1908 from Watsonville, California. Publisher:  Newman Post Card Co., Los Angeles, California. Made in Germany. Series 4182.

Price:  $10.00

Sources:  Year: 1900; Census Place: King, Monterey, California; Roll: 94; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 0007; FHL microfilm: 1240094. (Ancestry.com)

Year: 1910; Census Place: Watsonville, Santa Cruz, California; Roll: T624_107; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0133; FHL microfilm: 1374120. (Ancestry.com)

Ancestry.com. West Virginia, Births Index, 1853-1969 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

Find A Grave Memorial# 114666693. Web accessed November 7, 2014. (Findagrave.com)