Paris-Plage, La Chapelle Jeanne d’Arc

Divided back postcard. Postmarked July 3, 1917, Army Post Office. Stamped:  Passed Field Censor 2289. Publisher/printer:  Neurdein & Co., Paris.

Price:  $10.00

Plage is beach, so….beach in Paris or Paris Beach? Ahhh, so the full name of the town is actually Le Toquet Paris-Plage, which is located in northern France, on the shores of the English Channel. Le Toquet was, at one time, known as “Paris-by-the-Sea.”

Addressed to:   “Master J. Obery, Polkyth, Saint Austell, Cornwall.”

“Dear Frank. How are you. I saw a little boy who has had a bad throat – how is yours. Keep smiling. Best love   Daddy”

J. Obery was Francis John Patrick Obery, born East Ham, Essex, London in 1910, son of Edward Richard Hooper Obery, born about 1879 and Kate Hooper, born about 1876, who had married on August 5, 1905, in St. Austell, Cornwall. The parish marriage register shows the groom’s occupation as schoolmaster and that his father’s name was John Edward Oliver Obery. (Two middle names were seemingly a tradition.) Kate’s father was Francis Hooper. Edward’s address at the time of marriage was 141 Milton Ave., E. Ham, London and Kate had been living in Watering Hill, Cornwall.

It’s hard to write about some of these cards and photos sometimes. Maybe because there’s that familiar feeling of being able to walk over to the next block and find the Obery Family, or a sense somehow of a trillion points in a person’s life with connections back to ancestors, and forward to their descendants, an overwhelming fullness you can feel but that’s difficult to translate…..

That said, a quick look at the 1911 census shows Edward, Kate, Francis and Edward’s widowed mom, Phillipa Obery, all at 141 Milton Avenue. We later picture the Oberys, minus Edward, locating to Cornwall to stay with Kate’s family, for hopeful safekeeping, while holding Edward in their constant prayers. For context re the move to Cornwall, the month prior to this card being written, 162 civilians were killed in a German daylight air raid on London, June 13th. Another 57 civilian lives were lost in another raid July 7th, just four days after the postmarked date on the card.

Edward served in the Army Veterinary Corps and yes, thank God, he did make it back to his family.

A little about the postcard image:  So, this would have been produced from a photo, not necessarily true to the original, as sometimes the printer or publisher removed or added things (according to what they felt was needed). Anyway, there are some nice details to pick out within the full scene. (The whole is maybe reminding you of a bunch of miniatures set up in a reproduction.) We notice that the road’s edges must slope downward, since the car’s on an angle, driving “in the ditch” some would call it 😉 ; there’s one of those wooden pole fences held together by wire, leaning a little this way and that, as they are wont to do, the fence looking out-of-place with the very stately 4-story building behind it (Or vice-versa!) Moving to our right, we can partially read a sign for an Auto Garage; sweeping further, we pick out three buildings that have half-timbering on a portion of their facades (the vertical stripes with some diagonals) and then of course there’s the church, Saint Joan of Arc, which is not very old at all at this time, having first opened July 14, 1911. (Incidentally this church sustains damage in the Second World War, but is then, thankfully, able to be restored.)

Sources:  Le Toquet. n.d. (accessed November 11, 2020).

England, Cornwall Parish Registers, 1538-2010. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013. (

Class: RG14; Piece: 9565; Schedule Number: 88. 1911 England Census. (

“The First World War. Spotlights on History. Long Range Bombers.” (accessed November 14, 2020).

The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO). UK, British Army World War I Service Records, 1914-1920. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995.

Braunlage, Germany, January 1928

Old photo taken in Braunlage, Germany, January 1928.

Price:  $8.00         Size:  About 3 and 5/8 x 2″

The back of this photo is written in German. The first word is someone’s name but I’m unable to figure it out. Perhaps someone who speaks the language can let us know. It reads as:

….?…..und ich in Braunlage, Januar 1928….Hans.” [?]  So it’s “Me and so-and-so in Braunlage, January 1928.” I’m not sure if that says the man’s name “Hans” at the bottom right or not.

In any case, it’s a beautiful moment captured in time:  a smiling young man whose gaze has met the camera, in beret, plaid scarf and open overcoat and an equally stylish young woman, her smile and gaze caught looking downward, in cloche hat and fur trimmed coat, walking down a snow-lined street in the town of Braunlage. (The fur was much more lovely on its original owner, of course.)

Scheuneman’s Store, Gary, Indiana

The page below had likely been part of a publication on Lake County history or maybe German immigrants to Indiana. Per the writing on the back, it had been saved by a Scheunemann and Raasch descendant, until it later ended up at a paper fair, where we found it.

Size of full page:   About 9 x 5 and 1/2″        Size of image:  6 x 2 and 3/4″

Price:  $10.00

A page out of Gary, Indiana history….circa 1880s – 1890s


“Uncle Fred. Scheunemans store in Gary with Aunt Alice, Alma & Walt & their hired girl standing[?] also Uncle Fred…[?]… Granpa Raasch was the delivery man, Granpa Scheuneman & Aunt Minnie’s home next door to south & Uncle Fred &…[?]…lives up stairs above store.”


Cropped version below. The sign on the right in the photo is quite difficult to read, and we could be wrong, but the first two lines look like “Howe. U.S.”


Below, the 1880 Federal Census for Tolleston, Indiana (now part of Gary) shows Fred Schoeneman (Sheuneman) born 1830, his occupation listed as Extra Sand [?] something to do with the sand mining industry; his wife Wilhemina, born 1825; son Fritz, born 1855, working in general grocery store and bar; daughter Gusty, born 1860, clerk in store; son Richard, born 1863, works on railroad; and daughter Wilhelmine, born 1868, keeping house. All are stated to be from “Pommern” except for Wilhemine, born in Indiana.


Below, the 1900 Federal Census for Calumet, Indiana also may fit the Scheuneman family that owned the store. (The ages fit if Ludwig is Fred and for daughter Wilhelmina.) Appearing there are Ludwig Scheunemann, born May 1830, Germany, widowed; daughter Wilhelmina, born November 1868, Indiana, single. Living next door is William C. Bunde, born April 1871, Indiana; his wife Emma, born November 1875, Indiana; stepchildren (to William Bunde, if census is correct) Alma Scheunemann, born February 1883, Indiana and Walter Scheunemann, born December 1885, Indiana; and servant August Wagner, born October 1880, Germany. Note that August Wagner’s occupation is grocer-delivery man.


Sources:  Year: 1880; Census Place: Tolleston, Lake, Indiana; Roll: 291; Family History Film: 1254291; Page: 487B; Enumeration District: 066; Image: 0393. (

Year: 1900; Census Place: Calumet, Lake, Indiana; Roll: 383; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0022; FHL microfilm: 1240383. (

Tolleston. n.d. (accessed October 29, 2016).

Pomerania. n.d. (accessed October 30, 2016).

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. 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. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957.

SS Moro Castle (1930) n.d. (accessed September 18, 2016).

Cramp Shipbuilding, Philadelphia PA. September 3, 2014, updated. (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. ( Florida, Passenger Lists, 1898-1963.)

Writing Home From France

Writing Home From France pc1Writing Home From France pc2

I’d been looking for something to put up for Memorial Day and so this and the following post are a little late. It sounds like the author of this little note to his Mom would have made it back home just fine (and we pray he did) but just in remembrance of those men and women who’ve served and had not…’s a postcard showing Saint-Aignan (Loir et Cher) – Vue Générale et le Pont, written shortly before the end of WWI. The sender writes:

“Aug. 27, 1918.  E.E.F.  Dearest Mother, I’m fine and dandy, how are you? This is the town I am at. This is a beautiful river I go swimming there quite often. On the left hand corner is the church I spoke to you about last Sunday. You can’t see half of it. Had a lovely time Sunday the boys…”

It sounds like there may have been another page or two after the above, unless he meant “with the boys.” And that is the River Cher that our guy goes swimming in, and the Collegiate Church of St. Aignan that he’s mentioning, on the left.

The publisher logo appearing on the back, top left, shows the letters IPM. The words surrounding the letters are hard to make out, except for “Paris.”

Divided back postcard, unused with writing. Dated August 27, 1918. Publisher:  IPM, Paris, France.

Price:  $4.00

Bird’s Eye View, Utica, New York

Birds Eye View Utica NY pc1Birds Eye View Utica NY pc2Portuguese Writing2

This is the third of three in the small Cunha Family Collection (we may find more, you never know.) The sender has written in Portuguese to his friend, Mrs. John Cunha who is Mary (Azevedo) Cunha. The family name also appears as Da Cunha.

If anyone can translate the message, do please reply to this posting. The handwriting is a little difficult to read. It starts out,  “Utica NY. September 3, 1908. My good friend…”  and is addressed to:

“Mrs. J. Cunha, 115 Sumner St, Taunton, Mass.”

This postcard view is a pretty common one online, in black and white and the colorized version above. It shows up as early as 1906, and a later, somewhat different view, identifies the prominent street as Genesee. The sign on the building on the left  “Warnes, Pianos”  is advertising the establishment of William Warnes, who shows in city directories under the heading “Pianos and Organs” at the business address of 3 Gardner Block

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked September 4, 1908 from Utica, New York. Publisher:  Utica Paper Co., Utica, N. Y. Made in Germany. Series or number 41596.

Price:  $5.00

Source:  Utica Business Directory, 1907. p. 782. ( U.S. City Directories, 1822-1989.)

Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, Mass.

Johney Cake Hill New Bedford Mass pc1Johney Cake Hill New Bedford Mass pc2

“New Bedford, Mass. One of New Bedford Quaint Streets. Johney Cake Hill, Corner Union and Bethel Streets.”

This is the second of three cards in The Cunha Family Collection. The sender wrote:

“My Dear Friend, I drop this post card so to let you know that you might see a friend Sunday, that you havn’t seen for some time. Yours Truly. M.S.”

Sent to:   “Mrs. Mary Cunha, 115 Sumner St., Taunton, Mass.”

Behind the name

The definition of “bethel”  is a holy place or a chapel for seamen. The street name Bethel is present-day Johnny Cake Hill; the address of 15 Johnny Cake Hill being home to the Seaman’s Chapel whose facade bears a plaque with a quote from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. (See below for an interesting 1928 newspaper article from the Emporia, Kansas’ Emporia Gazette.) A Wiki article on New Bedford tells us that the city’s nickname is “The Whaling City” because it was one of the most important whaling ports during the 19th century; also that the area that includes New Bedford, Greater Providence and Fall River is home to the largest Portuguese-American community in the U.S.

The Bethelen Cafe

Always intrigued by the small shops and restaurants that appear in these town views, we looked for the Bethelen Cafe that shows on the corner there, but didn’t find any specific mention of it in city directories, Google books, or historical newspapers currently online. Perhaps it was replaced by The New Bedford Whaling Museum? No, the well-known museum is up the street a ways. But check out the following page from Roger Chartier’s  which shows a detailed history with several wonderful old photos of the corner of Union and Bethel, including one of the St. Helena restaurant. You’ll be able to take in the detail of the fountain in front of the restaurant – note that there is also a fountain in our postcard image but it’s a different one. Since our postcard was sent in 1909, an estimated time-frame for the card’s view would be that year or within several years prior. We might guess that the Bethelen was a brief successor to the St. Helena Restaurant, with the name Bethelen being a combination of Bethel and Helena.

1928 newspaper article re the Seaman’s Bethel (courtesy

Moby Dick Mast Article

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked October 3, 1909 from New Bedford, Mass. Publisher:  The Metropolitan News & Publishing Co., Boston, Mass. and Germany. No. G 15 121. Made in Germany.

Note:  At the time of this posting, surprisingly, no other postcards of the same view are showing up online.

Price:  $15.00

Sources:  New Bedford, Massachusetts. n.d.,_Massachusetts. (accessed October 25, 2015).

Chartier, Roger. “St. Helena Restaurant – Cafe…” (Web accessed October 25, 2015.)

“Moby Dick” Mast In Tars’ Pulpit Must Be Torn Down. Emporia Gazette. 19 Jan 1928. Thur, p. 6. (

Main St. South From 12th St., KC MO

Main St South From 12th St KC MO pc1Main St South From 12th St KC MO pc2

To:   “Miss Nora Gillmore, Fernwood Okla. Beaver Co.”

“From your friend Hazel. Mrs. C. O. Shirley, 4145 Penn St. K.C. Mo.”

Fernwood, Oklahoma is one of those here today, gone tomorrow locations (of which there were a number of in the OK panhandle.) It shows up in the ghost town category on the Oklahoma GenWeb website, as being located in Texas County, though obviously the postcard sender stated Beaver County. Beaver County takes up the easternmost section of the Oklahoma panhandle and Texas County is the neighboring county to the west. Nora, the addressee of this card, is Nora Gillmore, daughter of Ephram Gillmore and Mary Hunt; born about 1870 in Missouri. She married William James Brooks, May 23, 1909. Their marriage license gave her residence at the time as Hooker, Texas County, OK, and his as Fort Bragg, Mendocino County, CA. Hooker is located about fifteen miles west of the dividing line between Texas and Beaver Counties. Per family trees Nora was a schoolteacher who formerly resided in Kansas City, MO, which makes sense – the sender of this card was her friend, Hazel, showing a K.C., MO address.

When was Fernwood?

Very few other references regarding Fernwood show up online (as of the date of this post) but it seems to have been recognized as a town or community from at least 1905 – 1908.

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked August 9, 1907 from Kansas City, Missouri and August 13, 1907 in Fernwood, Oklahoma. Publisher:  IPCN & Co. Series or number:  120-15.

Price:  $15.00

Sources:  “Oklahoma, County Marriages, 1890-1995,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 May 2015), William James Brooks and Nora Gillmore, 23 May 1909; citing Oklahoma, county courthouses, Oklahoma; FHL microfilm .

“Illinois Marriages, 1815-1935,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 May 2015), E. B. Gilmore and Mary E. Hunt, 24 Dec 1867; citing Pike,Illinois; FHL microfilm 1,315,801.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Kansas City Ward 4, Jackson, Missouri; Roll: 861; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 0039; FHL microfilm: 1240861. (

Lee & Gillmore Family Tree. “Nora Rachel Gilmore.” Web accessed May 31, 2015. (

Beaver County, Oklahoma. n.d.,_Oklahoma. (accessed May 31, 2015).

State of Oklahoma – Ghost Towns that Begin with the Letter “F”. USGenWeb. Web accessed May 31, 2015. []

Fernwood, Oklahoma mentioned in Appeal to Reason. October 28, 1905. p. 4. Web accessed May 31, 2015. (

Fernwood, Oklahoma mentioned in Cigarmakers Official Journal:  May 15, 1908, Vol. 32, p. 9. Web accessed May 31, 2015. (Google eBook)

Street Scene With Zacatecas Cathedral

Zacatecas Cathedral pc1Zacatecas Cathedral pc2

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. Publisher:  Kodak Mexicana, Ltd. Circa 1930s.

Price:  $15.00

In Spanish the cathedral is Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Zacatecas.

Street scene circa 1930s in Zacatecas, capital city of Zacatecas, Mexico. The Zacatecas Cathedral shows in the background. This cathedral is considered to be one of the greatest examples of the Churrigueresque (Spanish Baroque) style of architecture. The facade of the cathedral best shows the baroque style and obviously cannot be seen in this postcard but is absolutely incredible. The cathedral was built between around 1729 and 1753 (dates vary somewhat), and dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption.

The old automobile in the foreground is so cool, but to find the make, model and year requires more research. It looks like that might be the nomenclature appearing in the area between the headlights but it’s hard to read. Other cars seen in the background look like they might be somewhat newer…..

Mystery solved!

Thanks to the expertise on the members’ Forum at the Antique Automobile Club of America, the car has been identified as a 1930 American Austin. There was some question as to whether specifically it might be an Austin Bantam, and in researching the Bantam I had found this informative article on the Austin in general (and Bantam):  The Austin Comes to America – Part 1 of the American Austin Bantam Story. However, I’ve been assured by a couple of Forum members that it is not a Bantam.

A Photo Shop

We can also see that the name on the sign in the photo is Foto Santibañez. I’m not sure if there is a word in the middle, but anyway, it seems like this was a photo shop owned by someone by the last name of Santibañez. On the 1930 Mexican National Census taken in Zacatecas, there is an entry transcribed as:   MA de Jesus Santibañez. I believe the “MA” is a common abbreviation for Maria. She is listed as married, age 40, and occupation appears to be Fotógrafa (photographer) so it’s a very good bet that Maria de Jesus Santibañez was the owner of the shop that appears in this photo. I like how the camera caught someone just as they were leaving.

Sources:  Zacatecas, Zacatecas. n.d.,_Zacatecas (accessed October 25, 2013).

Zacatecas Cathedral. n.d. (accessed January 14, 2018).

AACA General Discussion. January 2018. Antique Automobile Club of America.

Cunningham, Robert D. “The Austin Comes to America – Part 1 of the American Austin Bantam Story.” The Old Motor, May 23, 2013. (Web accessed January 14, 2018.)

Year: 1930; Census Place: Zacatecas, Zacatecas, Zacatecas; FHL Number: 1520555; Page: 1. FamilySearch, comp. 1930 Mexico National Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Index and images provided by FamilySearch. Original data: FamilySearch, compiler. Mexico Census 1930. Salt Lake City, UT: FamilySearch, 2009. México. Dirección General de Estadística. “Censo de población,1930.” FHL microfilm. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

London S. W. – The Houses of Parliament

Another Bentzen pc1Another Bentzen pc2

Wonderful London street scene showing the Houses of Parliament. The tower on the left is Elizabeth Tower, but commonly known as the tower of Big Ben. Big Ben is the nickname for the tower’s bell. The horse-drawn wagons here are so interesting, particularly the bigger one with the guy hanging out on the back, looking toward the camera. Too bad we can’t make out more details on the wagons. This is the second card posted on this site with the surname of Bentzen in San Francisco. It’s likely that Charles Bentzen on the “Japanese Ladies” postcard is the older brother of Eleanor, as the address on Shrader Street is the same (per the 1920 census.)

Addressed to:  Mrs. A. Bentzen, 1 Vicksburg St. San Francisco, Californian

As far as I can tell, the card was written in Danish, but I am having trouble translating it. It looks something like:

“Kære Gusta, Kuns disse kort for at forbere de dig at jeg vil sende dig et Brev jeg troer ikke sky[?] edin[?] er min du du sagve[?] i det sidste[?] Brev du fly[?] første[?]. Din Onkel, K..?..”

The second part of the message is harder to read but the first part I think would be translated as something like:

“Dear Gusta. Only sending these cards to let you know that I will send you a letter. I do not believe …?………Your Uncle [starts with a K?]”

Gusta Bentzen was Augusta Bentzen, wife of Hjalmar Bentzen, according to the 1920 Federal Census taken in San Francisco. This census shows Hjalmar Bentzen, born Denmark about 1873, manager of a bakery; his wife Augusta, born Denmark about 1879; their daughter Eleanor, born Denmark about 1904. The family emigrated to the U.S. in about 1905 or 1906. Their address in 1920 was 1445 Shrader St. Daughter Eleanor’s name, written in pencil under the address, is the key to finding the family on this census.

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked Oct. 5, 1907. Stamp box shows made in France. Front shows “4 London S. W. – The houses of Parliament, – L. L.”

Price:  $15.00

Sources:  Big Ben. n.d. (accessed October 14, 2013).

Year: 1920; Census Place: San Francisco Assembly District 27, San Francisco, California; Roll: T625_142; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 340; Image: 701. (