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).

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).

C. H. B. And Marian Shaw, Daytona 1905

Undivided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. 1905. Sailboat stamp box.

Price:  $10.00

Here’s a beautiful young Springfield, Mass couple posing for the camera. They seemed to have been dressed up for some occasion, she in a long dark skirt and white blouse with bow at the neck (note the pocket watch pinned near the shoulder and that might be a pin of some sort at the bow) and he in a dark suit and tie with light-colored vest, breast pocket handkerchief and visible watch chain. From the writing on the front and from the feel of the photo itself, one presumes they are C. H. B. Shaw and wife Marian, but we can’t say for sure. Nothing definitive was found in census records, city directories or online historical newspapers in either Massachusetts or Florida. Very surprising, too.

Sweetwater Dam, Near San Diego, California

Undivided back, unused postcard. Circa 1906. Publisher:  E. P. Charlton & Co., San Diego, California. Number or series:  788.

Price:  $6.00

The Sweetwater Dam is located about twelve miles east of San Diego, and was first constructed in 1888, but raised and retrofitted several times over the next few decades. The construction process back in 1888 for the dam involved horses and mules carrying stone from the quarry to the site in carts.

This card is one from our Lena Davis Collection. Click below to see the beautiful flourish-y details of this portion of the reverse from the publisher:  a great design (as is the easier-to-see stamp box).

Heartfelt wishes and wistful thoughts, from the sender:

“Dear Friend Lena. Many thanks for the Kind greetings and in stead of an Easter card will enclose photos hoping you will read in it heartiest wishes for a true Easter as its name implies. So sorry Mrs. Hall is so poorly. Give her my best wishes. And dear girl how I wish for the sake of my boys and girls, I were better looking. When looking at it think how much I love you and desire for you the best in life and may our heavenly Father bless you abundantly. Love to all from your old friend Dee French. Mar. 1914.”

Source:  Sweetwater Dam. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweetwater_Dam (accessed June 12, 2017).

Old American Locks, Sault Ste. Marie

Undivided back, used postcard. Postmarked July 29, 1906 from Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan. Publisher:  S. W. Kirvan. No. 1820. Made in Germany.

Price:  $12.00

The addressee, “Miss Ada” of # 89 Second Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, was not found in census records or city directories. What’s her surname? Hmmm. Dempsey? And 89 could have been only an apartment number, and maybe Ada was a middle name. Still she wasn’t located. So, moving on to some other points of interest….It’s a beautiful card, nice colors, slightly heavier than many postcards, but about the description:  It must have been a misprint, and should read as:  Old American Locks, 1855 to 1881, Sault Ste. Marie.

S. W. was Samuel W. Kirvan, found as such in a Google book snippet for “Souvenir of the Soo: Scenes Around La Saut De. Ste. Marie, Michigan” described as four pages, for which Kirvan was author and publisher. More on the publisher in the next post.

Sources:  Soo Locks. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soo_Locks (accessed May 28, 2017).

Kirvan, S. W. “Souvenir of the Soo: Scenes Around La Saut De. Ste. Marie, Michigan.” (1893) Google.com snippet view. (accessed May 28, 2017).

Anna E. Lincoln, Hubbardton, VT, 1907

Undivided back, Real Photo postcard. Postmarked May 18, 1907 from East Hubbardton, Vermont.

Price:  $12.00

“Anna E. Lincoln. Born Oct. 17, 1906.   All usually well, Ella.”  Addressed to:

“Mrs. D. I. Paine, Saratoga, N. Y., 26 East Van Dam Street.”

Anna, the cute baby girl in this RPPC, was found on the 1910 Federal Census for Hubbardton, Rutland County, VT, with mom, Ella M. and dad, Dauley (Dawley) F. Lincoln, and Anna’s older sisters, Jennie M. and Violet I. Lincoln. They are living with Dawley’s parents, William F. and Susan A. Lincoln. Also in the household are Addie L. Lincoln, daughter-in-law to William and Susan, and Addie’s two children, Arthur E. and William H. Lincoln. All are Vermont natives. Though the photo’s a little blurry, there’s some nice detail in wood and fabric to be seen on the chairs. (Are you picturing them being hauled outside?) The one on our right looks like a rocker. And this “two seats, only one taken” scene makes you wonder if there were other photographs taken that day with someone posed in the other chair.

The recipient of this card was Ethel, wife of Delmar I. Paine. The couple appears on the 1900 Federal Census for Saratoga Springs, NY at the Van Dam St. address, with their children, Walter L. and Edwin Paine, ages seven and three.

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Hubbardton, Rutland, Vermont; Roll: T624_1616; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 0184; FHL microfilm: 1375629. (Ancestry.com)

Year: 1900; Census Place: Saratoga Springs Ward 2, Saratoga, New York; Roll: 1159; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 0129; FHL microfilm: 1241159. (Ancestry.com)

Ole Bull Monument, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Undivided back, used postcard. Postmarked March 31, 1906 from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Publisher:  V. O. Hammon Pub. Co., Minneapolis and Chicago. No. 52.

Price:  $6.00

Ole Bull Monument, Minneapolis, Minn.

This card was postmarked just over a month before Norway gained independence from Sweden which occurred on June 7, 1905, so it’s quite good timing for the subject matter: the statue of Norwegian violinist and composer, Ole Bull (1810 – 1880).

This is the fourth postcard in chronological date order, in our Olaf and Elise Thunstrom Collection, and is addressed to:   “Mrs. O. Thunström. 186 Purdy St., Astoria, L. I., N. Y.”  It’s also the second, so far, from Elise’s sister Augusta. (Maybe Augusta was having “a bad day” in some way, shape or form in her initial perception of the beautiful city of Minneapolis. I’ve been reading Make Your Mind an Ocean by Lama Yeshe. Highly recommended!)

“Minneapolis 31st Mars 1906. Tack för sist! Sitter nu på stationern i Minneapolis och väntar på mitt tåg. resan har gått väl och i dag är det så vackert väder att det är rigtigt härligt, Minneapolis är en ful stad, åtminstone hvad jåg ser däraf. Rära hälsningar till alla ifrån. syster Augusta.”

“Thanks for last! Now sitting at the station in Minneapolis waiting for my train. The trip has gone well and today it is such beautiful weather that it is really lovely. Minneapolis is an ugly city, at least what I see of it. Greetings to everyone from sister Augusta.”

Sources:  Dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissolution_of_the_union_between_Norway_and_Sweden (accessed May 12, 2017).

Ole Bull. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ole_Bull (accessed May 12, 2017).

“Minnesota fiddlers:  Ole Bull.”  Minnesota State Fiddlers Association.(http://www.fiddlemn.com/home.html) Accessed May 12, 2017.

Drottningholms Slott med Drottningholmsbron

Undivided back, used postcard. Postmarked March 10, 1905 from New York, N. Y.

Price:  $7.00

In the Stockholm area…Drottningholm’s Castle with Drottningholm’s bridge.

That’s Drottningholm Palace appearing from a distance on our left, private residence of the Swedish royal family. And this is the third postcard from our new Olaf and Elise Thunstrom Collection.

Addressed to:   “Mrs. O. Thunstrom, 288 Flushing Ave, Astoria, L. I.”  (Long Island). The sender writes…

“20 W. 56th St. Har ni hört något ifrån C. ännu, jag förstår ej hvarför jag ej får bref, har varit i kyrkan i kväll trots regnet var det mycket folk där, nu am lördag skall vi resa till Lakewood för 8 eller 10 dags ni duga hälsninaar till alla ifrån syster Augusta.”

As per usual, our translation could be slightly off; also we’re discovering that some of the spelling of Swedish words seems to have changed since the early 1900s.

“Have you heard anything from C. yet, I do not understand why I can not get a letter, have been to church tonight, despite the rain there were a lot of people there, now am Saturday we will travel to Lakewood for 8 or 10 days you will be happy, from sister Augusta.”

A clue to the family…This card is addressed to Mrs. O. Thunstrom, who is Elise (Bengtsson) Thunstrom. So Elise has a sister named Augusta, living at (or visiting) 20 W. 56th Street. (We’re hoping to find a way to trace the family back to Sweden.) Stay tuned.

Source:  Drottningholm Palace. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drottningholm_Palace (accessed May 6, 2017).

Blomberg Property, Kinnekulle, Sweden

Undivided Back, used postcard. Postmarked February 13, 1905 from New York, NY. Publisher:  Axel Eliassons Konstforlag, Stockholm, Sweden. No. 3561.

Price:  $10.00

Addressed to:   “Mrs. O. Thunstrom, 288 Flushing Ave., Astoria, L. I.”

“N. Y., den 12 febr. 1905. 

 Jag kommer till om frelag, för att stanna 10 dagar har nu lofvat [lovat] att stanna här, och det är ej utan att jag är ledsen deröfver [däröver] i alla fall, men det får väl gå för en tid. Hoppas att ni alla mår godt, stora och små. Vidare när jag kommer!  Många hälsningar, August.” 

The adverb deröfver, according to Wiktionary, is an obsolete spelling of däröver. Below, a translation from online sources. We’ll try to get a better one, shortly:

“I’m coming to you on Friday, to stay 10 days now have now promised to stay here, and it’s not without I’m sorry for anyway, but it may be a while. Hope you are all good, big and small. More when I arrive! Many greetings, August.”

Blomberg Säteri

From the above link, Blomberg Manor is beautifully described as being located  “…on the flowering mountain Kinnekulle on Lake Vänern.”  (Google translation coming up very poetic – no doubt from the Swedish!) The first-known original proprietor was from the early Middle Ages, an Olof Skötkonung of Blomberg. As to be imagined, since then the estate has passed through a variety of hands (bishop, priest, statesmen, noblemen, captain) and uses (dairy, lime mortar, grinding mill, sawmill, distillery). Today it is proudly owned by the Jönsson Family, and is an  “ecologically driven farm in regards to agriculture and meat production”  per quick web translations.

Sources:  deröfver. n.d. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/der%C3%B6fver (accessed April 30, 2017).

Blomberg Säteri. (blombergsäteri.se.) Accessed April 30, 2017.

Nubble Light, York Beach, Maine

Undivided Back, used postcard. Postmarked September 3, 1904 from York, Maine. Publisher:  Chisholm Brothers, Portland, Maine. No. 40.

Price:  $5.00

A fifty-year span

This is the first postcard from our Olaf and Elise Thunstrom Collection which was a wonderful find this spring in San Juan Bautista, CA. They’ll be going up in chronological order, according to postmarks (a few we’ll have to guess at as they are unmarked) and are a collection of 29 cards, some sent from Sweden. They span a nice, neat, half-century, from 1904 to 1954.

A little background, so far….

Sweden natives Olof Thunström and Elise Bengtsson were married May 19, 1894 in Manhattan, New York. They had two sons, Olaf, born July 19, 1895 and Clarence (Wilhelm Clarence) born March 15, 1899. (Olof seems to be generally spelling Olaf here in the States). Per the 1900 Federal Census for Manhattan, Olaf was born January 1863 and Elise, March 1863. The family was living on E. 53rd St. (house number not given) and at this time Olaf was working as a plumber. From a few quick searches, son Olaf gains newspaper mention as a track star in high school and becomes a musician, by trade. Clarence was found working as a clerk with the stock exchange, but we’ll delve into details as we go on. This particular Nubble Light card from 1904 has a short message on the front:   “Kära lilla Lisa”  (Dear little Lisa) and it’s signed,  “Amanda.”  We’ll see if our friend, Lars, in Sweden, can help on the rest of the message, and on some of the upcoming cards, too. The card is addressed:

“Mrs. Olof Thunström, 14 West 49 Street, New York.”

Happily still in use

Cape Neddick Light or Nubble Light or just “the Nubble” has been in service since 1879.

Sources:  Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Marriage Index 1866-1937.

Registration State: New York; Registration County: Queens; Roll: 1787091; Draft Board: 173. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Roll: 1113; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0745; FHL microfilm: 1241114. (Ancestry.com)

Cape Neddick Light. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Neddick_Light (accessed April 24, 2017).