The Leichtweißhöhle Cave

Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher or printer:  Carl v. d Boogaart, Wiesbaden, 1906.

Price:  $7.00

What magical place is this?…..In a German forest, around 1906, two “sentinel” trees guard (or maybe proudly display) a location marked off by a rustic wooden fence:  Three people, relaxed in demeanor, pose for the camera on a porch-like space, in front of a doorway. (To what?) The entrance way is covered by a small pointed roof, and seemingly attached, or partially surrounding, is a jungle-gym-like mass of wooden branches. We’re intrigued and charmed.

Of course, we know it’s a destination of some sort from the signs that are posted (and note the graffiti on the tree trunks, most prominently from someone with the initials, “A. A.” in 1869) but we like the mystery and anticipation leading into the discovery, and the stories that weave their way through our minds before that discovery –  that get enhanced and embellished, or sometimes change completely, upon enlargement of the photo. In this case, (click to enlarge), the tangle of branches have sorted themselves out from jungle-gym to a rustic railing for a walkway leading up and down a hill, and from a quick search we find that the doorway we see is the entrance to the Leichtweißhöhle Cave. This cave, the word is höhle in German, has a varied history.

Google translation to English from Wikipedia entry with photos:

“The Leichtweißhöhle is a cave in the Wiesbaden Nerotal . Its name can be traced back to the poacher Heinrich Anton Leichtweiß , who used the cave as a shelter from 1778 to 1791. Forest workers discovered the cave and light white due to rising smoke.

Access to the Leichtweißhöhle

Source at the Leichtweißhöhle

The Leichtweißhöhle is originally a small natural cave and not much more than a large rock overhang, a so-called abri . The local shale is not suitable for karstification . There are no other caves.

The cave was forgotten until Wiesbaden gained international renown as a spa and the cave developed into a popular excursion destination. It represented one of the new attractions that were to be offered to visitors to Wiesbaden. The Wiesbaden Beautification Association expanded the cave in 1856. A second entrance was created, a room on the side and a niche padded with moss, which was declared as a place to sleep. The cave was also decorated accordingly, including old weapons and pictures. A romanticization followed . The Schwarzbach coming from the Rabengrund and passing the cave received an artificial waterfall and a wooden bridge was built to cross the stream. A viewing pavilion was built above the cave, and the access paths to the cave were equipped with railings and the cave entrance with a wooden porch. These changes were so extensive that the original state can hardly be recognized today.

In 1905 Kaiser Wilhelm II visited the cave with his wife.

In 1934 the Gestapo used the Leichtweißhöhle as a torture cellar .

With the decline of the Wiesbaden cure, especially after the end of the Second World War , the cave lost its importance and was closed. The outdoor facilities were badly affected by vandalism and lack of maintenance. The cave was often used as a shelter. In 1983 the entrance was completely renewed. Since then, the cave has been regularly opened to visitors every six months.”

Sources:  Leichtweißhöhle. n.d.  https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leichtwei%C3%9Fh%C3%B6hle. (accessed August 30, 2020).

Google translate (accessed August 30, 2020).

G. W. Jenks, Boots and Shoes, Shelburne Falls, Mass

Trade card, circa 1870 – 1900. Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts.

Price:  $10.00        Size:  5 and 7/8 x 2 and 3/4″

Was looking thru boxes this morning for anything 4th of July related, and nothing. So, taking a break from the offerings from Germany, here’s at a trade card from the U. S., Shelburne Falls, Mass., to be precise. No American flags or anything in there (imagine some red-white-and blue bunting draped along the porch rail, if you like) but it’s a beauty with an old-timey feel, in rural America:  an artist’s scene of a mill or home with a waterwheel, a woman shepherding a little girl across the wooden footbridge and another lady on the porch (if you enlarge, you can see her). Stamped on the card is:

“G. W. Jenks, Boots and Shoes, Shelburne Falls, Mass”  and  “Buy the light running ‘domestic’ “

G. W. was George W. Jenks, boot and shoe dealer who, according to the card, also sold sewing machines. A Massachusetts native, he was born about 1840. He appears on the 1880 Federal Census along with his wife, Abbie L., and their two children, Charles E. and Mabel L. Jenks. Also in the household is Maggie Chandler, a domestic servant. George must have had a successful business as he appears under this occupation as early as 1870 and as late as 1910 on census records.

He and Abbie (Northup) married on September 12, 1865 in Cheshire, Mass. After Abbie died in 1886, he married Mary Ellen Blanchard October 18, 1888 in Shelburne Falls.

Sources:  Year: 1880; Census Place: Shelburne, Franklin, Massachusetts; Roll: 533; Page: 221D; Enumeration District: 259. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1870; Census Place: Shelburne, Franklin, Massachusetts; Roll: M593_615; Page: 382B; Family History Library Film: 552114. (Ancestry.com).

New England Historic Genealogical Society; Boston, Massachusetts; Massachusetts Vital Records, 1911–1915. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Shelburne, Franklin, Massachusetts; Roll: T624_589; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0517; FHL microfilm: 1374602. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1850; Census Place: Cheshire, Berkshire, Massachusetts; Roll: 305; Page: 101B. (Ancestry.com).

To Fräulein Hedel Mandel, Halle, Germany

Divided back postcard. Postmarked December 9, [1901-1909] from Striegau (Strzegom, Poland). Publisher unknown.  Number and/or series:  1117/18.

Price:  $10.00

Addressed to:   “Fräulein Hedel Mandel, Halle a/Saale, Leipziger St. 73 [?]”

A colored (hand-colored?) card of a beautiful young fräulein holding a bucket, and smiling, head tilted. We might automatically think “milkmaid” but note the potatoes? at her feet.

It’s a good guess that the publisher is German, but we didn’t find a match online for the logo below. I’m sure someone knows; I just did not want to spend too much time searching. We’ll update in future, hopefully, but here’s the view:

The postmark indicates Striegau which is the German spelling for Strzegom, Poland. And was addressed to Halle, a.k.a Saale, Germany. Here’s a map link for the postcard’s journey, as the crow flies, though it must not have been that straight-forward!

And if anyone can read the note that was sent to Hedel, please send us a comment.

Source:  Distance from Halle (Saale) to Strzegom. distancefromto.net.

Couple On Steps

Real Photo Postcard. Unused. VELOX stamp box. Circa 1907 – 1917.

Price:  $4.00

A moment in time, somewhere in rural America…..

According to the particular VELOX stamp box on the reverse, this would have been taken around 1907 to 1917. The building the steps lead up to is not a house, but maybe rather a grange hall, a train depot, a hotel. Note the metal screening on the windows, and the possibility of various small signs (enlarge the image twice – see the nails?) that had once been posted to our left of the doorway. But, I was drawn to this postcard from my impression of two people, caught in a great, candid moment of laughter – the woman seems to be, doubled over would be overstating it, but how do you describe, when someone says something unexpected, maybe ridiculous, and you have that reaction, turning off to the side in mirth, a little bent at the waist? The gentleman’s pose is in wonderful contrast, with arms folded, looking into the camera. We can’t really tell if he’s laughing, but we do take in the working clothes, the heavy gloves, the dried mud on his boots (he’s probably listed as a farmer on the 1900 and 1910 census), and of course, the metal bucket to his right.

Marchande de Poissons, Côte d’Argent, Bordeaux, France

Divided back, unused postcard. Phototypie by Marcel Delboy, Bordeaux, France. Series or number 46. Circa mid – late 1910s.

Price:  $15.00

It’s always exciting to find a card like this – filled, or nearly so, with words. You know it meant something to the person that wrote it – it was not a casual thing. (And for us, the reader – anticipation, often resulting in…..delight!)  This one is pretty special:

“A fish woman merchant. It is remarkable how there old women will balance and carry great heavy loads. They are always women – never have seen any men. One day I was walking on the road at a good pace one of these women with a basket like this on her head overtook and passed me. There was a tin can in the centre of the basket which looked like a milk can but whether full or empty I can’t say of course. On each side of the can was a live duck with their necks stretched out over the edge of the basket looking this way and that way evidently enjoying the scenery as much as any one would in a “rubber neck wagon.”

The term phototypie that appears before the photographer (or printer’s) name is, in English, collotype.

Source:  Collotype. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collotype (accessed May 3, 2020).

Thunderbird Park, Vancouver Island, 1958

Photo, snapshot with white border, June 1958, Vancouver Island, BC

Price:  $5.00       Size:  About 3 and 1/2 x 3 and 1/2″

Tourists in June 1958 posing at the foot of a totem pole (not sure if this particular one is still there) and in front of the Mungo Martin House which was built in 1953.

Mungo Martin. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mungo_Martin. (accessed March 14, 2020).

Holiday Ice Skater

Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher:  P. F. Volland & Co., Chicago and New York. Copyright 1917.

Price:  $7.00

“To extend

the greetings of the season

and to wish you

a happy and prosperous

New Year.”

An illustration of a very stylishly dressed young lady, ice skating amidst whirling snow. You wonder who the artist was and whether we have, unbeknownst to us, seen their work before. Because this is such a nice one, with a magical quality to it, and I hope the artist was happy with their work (and in general), because he or she has brought us happiness!

The publisher, P. F. Volland & Co. was founded by Paul Frederick Volland.

Source:  P. F. Volland. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P._F._Volland_Company (accessed January 5, 2020).

Carl Stockdale and Mary Dowds

Old photo, circa 1900 – 1920s.

Price:  $7.00      Size:  About 3 and 3/4 x 2 and 1/2″

Here’s a great one for New Year’s Eve, a couple of partiers…..even though probably this was not taken in winter. Is that an open window? In any case, it’s Carl Stockdale and Mary Dowds seated on the floor and having a great laugh. We’ll have to research for the possible year according to Mary’s style of dress, for starters. But for now, just to get this one posted…..and Happy New Year!

It’s fun to pick out the details in old photos. Notice the photo within a photo on this one, top right, and the nail pattern in the sole of Carl’s shoe. (Another possible clue for the age of the photo?) And that’s a nice wallpaper pattern and then there’s the beautiful lace on the curtains.

Borealis and Sleigh Ride

Antique circular print. Artist and publisher unknown. Circa 1880s – 1900.

Price for circular print without background:  $5.00        Size:  About 3 and 3/4″ across.

This was just a circular cutout from somewhere, that someone had saved, back in the day. It had made its way to one of the paper fairs or maybe an antique store, I don’t remember. The top and bottom had gotten a little scrunched but you can’t notice it in the image. And in looking for a background to scan it on (always a fun search!) I noticed our wall calendar for this year which was all photos of the Aurora Borealis. So, I got kind of enamored of the idea of this couple, and their team and sleigh, sort of floating in space in a sky of magical Borealis colors and lights (What would be the translation into music? Surely something so beautiful!)

And note in the closeup below, the carved figurehead with draping wings of what is probably a peacock. Searching online we find that there were many stunningly ornate sleighs crafted in prior centuries, including those with figureheads. Click here to see some examples that others have posted.

Source:   Google.com search result for “ornate antique open air sleighs with figureheads.” Accessed 12/29/19.

Lorraine Bossé

Photo, circa 1940s.

Price:  $10.00       Size:  About 2 and 3/8 x 3 and 1/2″

Another stunning beauty……Lorraine Bossé, in an unmistakably 1940s hairstyle, long, in waves and parted on the side, wearing embroidered blouse lapels and a cross pendant over a dark sweater. This may have been a high school graduation photo or taken not long afterward. A potential match in records shows a Marie Marguerite Lorraine Bossé baptized in 1928 in Québec City.

Possible source:  Institut Généalogique Drouin; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Drouin Collection; Author: Gabriel Drouin, comp. (Ancestry.com).