The Romantic Road By Guy Rawlence

Divided back, artist-signed postcard. Postmarked August 8, 1910, England. Artist:  Wilmot Lunt. City of postmark unknown.

Price:  $30.00

The postcard artist

The beautiful artwork for this postcard is that of the frontispiece (the page adjacent to the title page of a book) and is signed Wilmot Lunt. He was Samuel Wilmot Lunt (1856 – 1939) painter and cartoonist, and was also the illustrator for R. D. Blackmore’s Lorna Doone. For more on Lunt see James Malone Farrell’s article,  “Keeping the Home Folks Laughing”  published in Cartoons Magazine, July 1918.

The reverse of the card shows:

“This book is by a cousin of mine and it would be so kind if you would ask for it in your Library. It is really quite readable and he is anxious[?] to [?] know[?] as it is his first book. Love, D. D.”

Addressed to:   “W.[?] Arthur Dolphin[?]  The College, Durham”

A great find

This postcard turns out to have been a pretty neat find:  It’s not in the best of shape but is seemingly rare, the only one found so far, plus the note to the addressee contains a little insight regarding the author’s feelings, according to his cousin, about the release of his first book. Some of the sender’s handwriting is difficult to read, but I think the word there is “anxious” rather than “curious” and who would not be anxious regarding the reception of their first major work?

Armchair research

It’s a little surprising (same for the postcard artist) that there is no Wikipedia or similar type entry yet on the author; we found mention of over twenty titles to his credit. Our web post here will not be in-depth, as that would require much more research, so we’ll just offer instead bits and pieces gleaned from the usual sources, including an article we found in which the author is quoted. But it’s fascinating how a little fact-finding can get the imagination going….while pulling up bits of information one pictures pieces of a puzzle starting to take shape. For instance, for me, I’m surmising Guy Lawrence liked dogs (therefor I like him) as he did at least four books about dogs, Doings In Dogland (1905), Biffin & Buffin (1934), Tob and His Dog (1938) and Bob et Bobby (1963) the latter being in french, and written with Julianna Ewing. But then after coming across an ad for sheepdog-training that stressed the necessity of correct instruction (the working dog would be vital to the livestock holder) next to a mention of James Rawlence, Esq., Guy’s grandfather, agriculturist and livestock breeder, it hit me that Guy probably grew up around dogs. Not that this is any great revelation, or not that one wouldn’t have assumed this anyway, but at this point this “dog” puzzle piece became something specific to the whole picture; it shimmered into view, and that seemed charming. But, I guess the bottom line is that our imagination about someone else’s life tells us, for sure, something about ourselves, and possibly, if we’ve intuited correctly, something about the person in question.

Guy Rawlence (1888 – 1971)

Edward Guy Rawlence was born March 10, 1888, baptized May 10, 1888 in Wilton, Wiltshire County, England, son of James Edward Rawlence, whose occupation at the time was given as auctioneer, and Constance (maiden name Vivian) Rawlence. That’s livestock auctioneer for J. E. Rawlence, as J. E.’s father (Guy’s grandfather) was James Rawlence, a very prominent land agent, agriculturist and livestock breeder in the area. Judging from a number of newspaper articles, Guy Rawlence’s stories received mostly positive reviews. The Romantic Road, published in 1910, was found mentioned in the following “snippet” view in the publication, Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, Vol. 34, and informs us that this book about a “girl highwayman” was well-reviewed and the story setting was largely in the author’s backyard. Rawlence would have been about twenty-two when it was published.

Prior to 1910, we found mention of a short story, The White Cavalier, circa 1905, and as previously stated, the children’s book Doings in Dogland (1905). The Highwayman, published in 1911, may have been, judging by the date, Rawlence’s second novel. Click the link to see the eBook.

Below, we were happy to come across this article, in which the author is quoted, from The Decatur Daily Review (Decatur, IL) July 1, 1927.

Gushing reviews for Three Score & Ten, appeared in London’s The Observer, October 16, 1924.

Another book we’d like to read, in addition to the above, per the review that appeared in The Observer, November 17, 1935.

Sources:  Lunt, Wilmot 1856 – 1939. https://www.artbiogs.co.uk/1/artists/lunt-wilmot (accessed November 5, 2018).

Farrell, James Malone. “Keeping the Home Folks Laughing.”  Cartoons Magazine, Vol. 14. July 1918.

Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre; Chippenham, Wiltshire, England; Reference Number: 1873/1. (Ancestry.com).

Ancestry.com. England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007.

“Rawlence, Guy 1888 – ” http://www.worldcat.org/identities/lccn-n50-54036/ (accessed November 5, 2018).

James Rawlence obituary. Goddard, Edward. H. (ed.) The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, Vol. 27. June 1894. p. 70.

“The Romantic Road.” The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, 1910, Vol. 34. p. 641. Snippet view, Google.com.

Rawlence, Guy. “The White Cavalier.”  The Idler:  An Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Vol. 28. October 1905 – March 1906. (Google ebook.)

Rawlence, Guy. The Highwayman. New York:  W. J. Watt & Co., 1911. (Google ebook.)

“Guy Rawlence.” The Decatur Daily Review (Decatur, IL) July 1, 1927. Friday, p. 16. (Newspapers.com).

“Three Score & Ten.” The Observer (London, England). October 16, 1924. Thursday, p. 4. (Newspapers.com).

“Mother Christmas.” The Observer (London, England). November 17, 1935. Sunday, p. 9. (Newspapers.com).

A Thatched Roof Cottage

Divided back postcard. Postmarked May 10th, (year missing) from Santa Rosa, California. Printed in Germany. Publisher unknown. Number or series:  2781. Circa 1907 – 1914.

Price:  $5.00

Addressed to:   “Miss Lily Rea. Gilroy Calif. Box 23.”

With this postcard (see if the cottage doesn’t remind you of the house in the prior post) we’re getting back, momentarily, to the Lily Rea Collection (more to come later). This is a card from Lily’s good friend, Hazel, who writes:

“Dear Lil: – Card recieved today found me all in. I had too much carnival. Gee kid the fun I did have wish you could have been here. There was a swell dance in the eve. Lee was here Sat. but had to go back in the eve. Its a dead old town now though. I may go to F’risco soon for a few days. Ans. soon    Hazel    To bad my aunt is sick. Give Ella my love.”

Initials TM?

This could be an artist-signed card, per the marks in the lower left corner, as in the initials TM. (They don’t really look like they fit for markings in the grass.)

Only the postcard artist knows for sure?

It was over a hundred years ago that the artist rendered the charming scene for this card, and we suspect that if this painting had been done today, it would not include the sort of bulky topping on the roof with the jutting horn-like things….It makes one realize that over the years details can get lost and form become homogenized…..and then makes one appreciate when historical references come shimmering in, sometimes from the most unlikely places. And so, was it from memory that the artist worked, or a “present-day” cottage he painted from, or maybe it was his artistic expression of something like the carved animal heads in the illustration below (see Low German house). Here we’re at one of those points where one sees oneself writing a book (if one had the time, put everything on hold and take five years) on the subject of rooftop decorations, symbols, significance, etc. throughout the world from the earliest ones found to modern day. (No small task, but it would be beautiful!)

Lastly, while googling “thatched roofs decorations” we were happy to discover that thatching is still alive and well today. And check out these modern-day examples of thatch ornaments from some of the master thatchers in the UK, Brian and Tom Mizon.

Sources:  “Straw Finials / Straw Animals / Straw Ornaments.” http://brianmizonthatching.co.uk/ (accessed October 8, 2018).

Low German house. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_German_house (accessed October 20, 2018).

The 1891 House

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked October 1909. Location unknown.

Price:  $12.00

A proud date?

You won’t notice the “1891” on this house unless you click on the image. And often the details of a photo are not found until it is scanned and enlarged (mentally rubbing palms together in anticipation – you never know what coolness might be revealed). In this case I was thinking we might see someone appearing in one of the windows, but did not expect to find what may be the year the house was built, appearing stylishly displayed in big numbers in the center of the second story. (Or could the 1891 be a house number? Doubtful.)

A town ending in….

No matches were found for this beautiful structure (hope it’s still standing) in online research, but we only looked in Connecticut, and didn’t look too extensively. The postmarked town, and thus potential house location, appears to have ended in “-ington” so if it was sent from CT it would have been Ellington, Farmington, Newington, Southington, Stonington or Torrington. Someone, maybe the previous vendor of this card, was guessing Stonington, per the writing at the top.

Cousin to cousin

After reviewing 1910 census records and an Ancestry tree online, we find that most likely this RPPC was sent from Helen Ashley who was the cousin of the recipient, Master Alfred Winsor of Plainfield, Connecticut. Helen, or maybe her mother, wrote:

“We are having a fine time, hope you are better, from Helen A.”

The cousins would have been about 9 years old at this time. Helen is the daughter of Alfred D. Ashley and Alice Lewis, and Alfred is Alfred Ashley Winsor, son of Edward N. Winsor and Susan F. Ashley.

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Plainfield, Windham, Connecticut; Roll: T624_144; Page: 20B; Enumeration District: 0578; FHL microfilm: 1374157. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Plainfield, Windham, Connecticut; Roll: T624_144; Page: 27B; Enumeration District: 0578; FHL microfilm: 1374157. (Ancestry.com).

Country Meets City

Undivided back, used postcard. Postmarked March 26, 1908 from Chesaning, Michigan. Publisher:  E. B. & E. Co.

Price:  $7.00

A slightly comical card of an illustrated older couple, maybe they live in the country or city outskirts, and have come to downtown Detroit. Within their outline is a photo (slightly distorted probably to fit in the frame, in a fun-house type of way 😉 check out the tower) of the old Federal Building and Post Office at the Northwestern corner of Shelby and W. Fort streets.

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Floyd Walworth, Fergus, Michigan”

Where is Fergus?

Fergus, Michigan is a “locale” located north of Chesaning, in St. Charles Township, Saginaw County, in the vicinity of Fergus and McKeighan roads (purple marker on map below). It was a station on the Michigan Central Railroad and had a post office that closed in 1933.

The sender writes:   “Josiah and Samantha are both recovering from their colds. Hope to be able to go sight seeing soon. This is not very warm weather but expect better some time. Are you well? Lovingly Aunt Minnie.”

Floyd and Myrtle

Without a doubt (we got thrown off track at first by another possibility) the recipient of this postcard was Myrtle G. Spencer, daughter of G. H. Spencer and Emma Burrows, who had married Floyd E. Walworth on August 1, 1907 in Corunna, Saginaw County, MI. Myrtle was about age 22 when she married Floyd, but was first married to John R. Wegert (June 18, 1902 in St. Charles, MI). Floyd was about age 29 at the time of marriage and both he and his bride were residents of Fergus, MI and native Michiganders. His parents were Matthew Walworth and Lucy Merrill. Floyd’s occupation was live stock shipper and Myrtle’s was music teacher.

Aunt Minnie, a mystery

The sender of this card, Aunt Minnie, was not yet found in records. She mentions family members Josiah and Samantha, names which we expected would jump out at us from old records, but no; a more time-consuming search would be needed as far as who’s who for Myrtle or Floyd’s possible aunts.

Publisher i.d.

Last but not least, according to Publishers’ Trademarks Identified by Walter E. Corson, the postcard publisher E. B. & E. Company was Ely, Boynton & Ely of Detroit.

Sources:  Austin, Dan. “Federal Building.” historicdetroit.org. (accessed September 15, 2018).

St. Charles Township, Michigan. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Charles_Township,_Michigan (accessed September 9, 2018).

Chesaning. Google Maps. google.com (accessed September 9, 2018).

“Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NQQ4-2ZB : 9 July 2018), John R. Wegert and Myrtle G. Spencer, 1902.

Michigan Department of Community Health, Division of Vital Records and Health Statistics; Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952; Film: 93; Film Description: 1907 Montcalm – 1907 Wayne.

Corson, Walter E. Publishers’ Trademarks Identified. Ed. James Lewis Lowe. Norwood, PA:  1993. (print).

Birthday Wishes For Felix Schneble

Divided back postcard. Postmarked August 17, 1917 [?] Perrysburg, New York. Publisher:  NAF Co. [?] Series 101G.

Price:  $10.00

Forget-me-nots and beautiful block lettering with the following sentiments from father to son…..

“A Birthday of happiness,

Radiant with hope’s rosy light.

And many another to follow.

As years take their flight.”

Addressed to:   “Felix Schneble, 157 Rauber St., Wellsville, N.Y.”

“Dear Son:  I didn’t forget your birthday. Meet me at the depot Sat. night. We will have a big time next week. Pa.”

A nice card from Elmer Schneble to his son Felix, the postmarked year looks like it might have been 1917 and from the sound of the note (hope they had a great time) that sounds about right. Felix, from his WWI Draft Registration Card was Felix Covill Schneble, born August 16, 1900. In September 1918, he was going to school and working at Kerr Turbine Company, and living at home at the Rauber St. address. Eight years earlier, the 1910 Federal Census for Perrysburg at 157 Rauber shows Elmer F. and Lena Schneble and children Felix, Edwin and Isabella. All are natives of New York.

And not to leave readers with a vague (or pronounced) question in mind since we mentioned WWI….and we don’t know if Felix was actually in the war, but thankfully, he appears on the 1925 New York State Census, with his family again, same address, and at this time his grandparents, Felix H. (native of Germany) and Hannah M. Schneble, are also in the household.

Last, but not least, the publisher is undetermined at this time. Cropped from the back of the card, their logo:

Sources:  Registration State: New York; Registration County: Allegany; Roll: 1711955; Draft Board: 1. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Wellsville, Allegany, New York; Roll: T624_924; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0039; FHL microfilm: 1374937. (Ancestry.com).

New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1925; Election District: 04; Assembly District: 01; City: Wellsville; County: Allegany; Page: 13. (Ancestry.com).

Down In The Holler

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, postmarked February 23, 1917, Dundee, New York.

Price:  $12.00

“Dear Brother, Wish you a happy Washing tub day also a happy birthday. I am down in the holler and am doomed to stay, by the looks at present. I suppose you have lots of snow there we have not. I am teaching today or rather am going to and as it is about time to go I will quit my scribling . Excuse pencil. Your little sister as shown on the other side. L.”

Addressed to:   “Mr. Stanley B. Todd, 127 Middlesex Roads, Rochester N. Y.”

Washing tub day, February 23rd (just kidding)

We could not find any reference to an official “washing tub day” therefor, just evidence of the sender’s sense of humor. She is Lucy J. Todd, the young woman on our right in the photo, and I’m thinking she’d be laughing if she saw me searching for this “official day” online. (Hope she is getting a chuckle out of it, wherever she is.)

Lucy J. Todd

Lucy was born in New York, about 1895. The 1920 Federal Census for Barrington, Yates County, NY, shows her occupation as teacher. She’s staying with her parents, Charles H. and Lucinda A. (Sheppard) Todd, along with Lucy’s brother, the recipient of the postcard, Stanley B. Todd. He’s about five years older than she; Stanley was born in New York, February 23, 1890.

Heirloom day

The girl in the photo, on our left, is unknown, maybe a student? The location the card was sent from, had been a mystery, until finding the following newspaper article, mentioning Lucy Todd, a teacher in Dundee (Yates County, NY). Ahhhh, it’s Dundee! Lucy is mentioned below as the owner of an old trunk that was covered in buffalo hide which was held on by over 500 brass tacks….

Sources:  Year: 1920; Census Place: Barrington, Yates, New York; Roll: T625_1281; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 189. (Ancestry.com).

“Many Rare Heirlooms Brought To Notice.” Star-Gazette (Elmira, NY). March 24, 1917. Saturday, p. 14. (Newspapers.com).

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 14 July 2018), memorial page for Stanley Benajah Todd (23 Feb 1890–6 Mar 1972), Find A Grave Memorial no. 121615568, citing Lakeview Cemetery, Penn Yan, Yates County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Kathleen Oster (contributor 47973435).

Willie Moshier’s Postcard To Leone Olson

Divided Back, Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked July 12, 1912, Sauk Rapids, Minnesota.

Price:  $12.00

“Sauk Rapids. Dear Leon I have no Leon to play with we had a marry go round I had lots of rides wish Leon wood ben hear to ride with me by by Willie Moshier.”

Addressed to:   “Miss Leon Olson, Libby Mont.”

That must be Willie on the front steps of the cottage with his parents watching over him from inside the screened porch. From the 1920 Federal Census for Sauk Rapids, MN, Willie is William R. Moshier, born about 1907 in MN, son of George H., born in PA, and Minnie Moshier born in Germany. From the 1920 Federal Census for Libby, MT, Leone is Leone G. Olson, born in MN about 1909, the daughter of Len J., born in Sweden and Gertrude E. Olson, born in MN.

Sources:  Year: 1920; Census Place: Sauk Rapids, Benton, Minnesota; Roll: T625_824; Page: 17A; Enumeration District: 91. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1920; Census Place: Libby, Lincoln, Montana; Roll: T625_972; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 128. (Ancestry.com).

Chebeague Island, Maine, 1923

Divided back postcard. Postmarked 1923, Chebeague Island, Maine.

Price:  $15.00

“Dear Louise: – Received your letter. I printed this on this Post Card and I think it came out well. I sprained my wrist and put a couple of bones out of place. Now I have an absess on it and don’t know how it will turn out. Will write later. Lots of love to all. Beatrice.”

Addressed to:   “Miss Louise Gunaris, 101 Edgehill Road, East Milton, Mass.”

Louise was Marie Louise Gunaris, born June 16, 1903 in Melrose, Mass.; parents Andrew Gunaris, born in Greece and Frances (Ott) Gunaris, born in Boston. We don’t know Beatrice’s last name but we imagine she might have been vacationing here and now we’re conjuring up images of her old photo album that still exists somewhere, with this very photo in it, and others, that she took, summer of ’23, on Chebeague Island. And the house – how about that wrap-around porch and the beautiful stonework? What a beautiful spot, with the wildflowers blooming in the foreground! And in looking for other Real Photo Postcards taken on this island, there don’t seem to be too many, so this card may be of historical interest and/or maybe we’ll find someone who can tell us if this house still exists and who it belonged to back in the day.

Sources:  Chebeague Island, Maine. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chebeague_Island,_Maine (accessed April 15, 2018).

Original data: Massachusetts Vital Records, 1840–1911. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts. (Ancestry.com).

The Taylor Family At Home, Endicott WA

Divided Back, Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked July 20, 1908, Endicott, Washington. Photographer:  Hutchison, Endicott, Washington.

Price:  $15.00

“The old Lady is Mrs. Taylor. the Babe belongs to Fannie. I hope you are feeling better. Lovingly, Orpha.”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. A. H. Anderson. Coeur d’ Alene Idaho.”

Figuring out who is who

Orpha, the postcard sender, is Mrs. Thomas F. Taylor, born in California, about 1866, to Edward Irwin and Leah Stark. She and Thomas (that’s likely him in the image above) married in Diamond, Washington (about 13 miles east of Endicott) on April 18, 1896 (it’s April 14th as I’m typing this…so almost 122 years ago.) Thomas, born in Illinois about 1872, was the son of William J. Taylor and Sarah Barnett. His occupation was farmer, at the time of his marriage to Orpha, and it’s possible that the farmhouse we see here is Tom (let’s just say Tom from here on out) and Orpha’s. They had a daughter, Frances, born January 1897, near Endicott, so her age would fit perfectly for the young girl standing on the porch. If she’s Frances, then the dark-haired woman in the photo is probably Orpha, since the girl resembles her so much, and because we see the photographer’s embossed stamp on the side of the card, so in other words, Orpha may have been in the photo, definitely not taking it. The older lady (let’s not say old!) on our left must be Tom’s mother, Sarah (Barnett) Taylor. Last, but not least, what was the babe’s name?

Orpheus C. Taylor on the 1910

An unusual female name, either way, Orpha or Orpheus, but the 1910 Federal Census shows Tom, Orpheus and Frances, living in Garfield, Washington, near the border of Idaho. Tom, at this time, is running his own blacksmith shop.

Who was Mrs. A. H. Anderson?

Possibly Jessie, maiden name Dobbins, that married Andrew H. Anderson. In 1910 the couple was living in Coeur d’ Alene with their daughter, Fern (or Sweet Fern, as she is officially named on one of her records. Love these names! And, we’ll add this post to our Unusual First Names category, on account of both Sweet Fern and Orpheus.)

Sources:  Washington State Archives; Olympia, Washington; Collection Title: Washington Marriage Records, 1854-2013; Reference Number: eawhmr350. (Ancestry.com).

Original data: Washington Births, 1891-1929. Various county birth registers. Microfilm. Washington State Archives, Olympia, Washington. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Precinct 42, Whitman, Washington; Roll: T624_1674; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0264; FHL microfilm: 1375687. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Sherman, Kootenai, Idaho; Roll: T624_225; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 0173; FHL microfilm: 1374238. (Ancestry.com).

“Sweet Fern Cruze.” California, Death Index, 1940-1997. (Ancestry.com).

Jack My Boy, We Are Here

Undivided Back, Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked September 17, 1905.

Price:  $12.00

“Jack – my boy – we are here – Gaff.”

Addressed to:   “Schuyler B. Jackson, Esq. Somerset Farm, Peapack, N. J.”

A great caption by the sender, and better than what I was thinking….but still, “A Grand Old House.” Jack seems to have been Schuyler Brinkerhoff Jackson, son of Philip and Margaret, born in New Jersey, August 18, 1900. The postmark year is almost impossible to read, that may be the hint of a “5” there, so 1905 maybe, but since this was an undivided back-type card, if sent timely, it was mailed before the postal regulations changed in December 1907. So, the recipient of this card might have been about five years old.

My old gaffer?

Who was Gaff? Could he have been the grandpa of young Schuyler? (Gaff or Gaffer has been used as a nickname for grandfather) or could there have been an older version (the 1.0 😉 ) of SBJ and Gaff was a friend or rellie of Jack’s own generation?

In the sun and shade

And what of the grand old house? A two-story Colonial(?) in brick (or stone) with dormers, wood shutters, and a wood-shingled roof. The possible location Peapack, NJ, is not ruled out, per the postmark, but she could just as well have been situated in any number of other places, though likely in the Northeast. Some other details:  If you click on the image to enlarge it, you’ll notice a chair or chairs to the left of the stairway (can’t you just picture yourself walking up the 7 or 8 steps) leading up to the front porch? On our right, the wood-sided sloped portion must have been an addition, with the semi-enclosed patio area added on, too. But back to the front porch – maybe the steps were added later and the original entrance had been (or still was) on the ground floor.

Sources: Year: 1910; Census Place: Bernards, Somerset, New Jersey; Roll: T624_907; Page: 23A; Enumeration District: 0109; FHL microfilm: 1374920. (Ancestry.com).

The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 1198. (Ancestry.com).