Indian Post Souvenirs, Algonac, Michigan

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. Circa late 1940s – early 1950s. EKC stamp box.

Price:  $25.00

What is revealed…

There’s a lot to take note of in this vintage RPPC of the Indian Post souvenir shop, Algonac, Michigan:  First and foremost, the two men posing for the photo, one in full headdress; then the address on the building of 717 – this may have been Michigan St. or St. Clair River Dr; the hand-painted artwork on wood of the Indian maiden (love it); the “Railway Express Agency – Packages Received Here” sign, the striped folding deck chairs on the lawn, and how about the very cool window silhouette of the guy on our right? Then there’s the small sign behind him that we can’t read – that looks like part of a wing there; the U.S. souvenir-type flag in the window, and little plastic “windmills” – maybe this was taken around Memorial Day or Fourth of July. And, we impart this fact to you, the readers – this postcard was made from a photo that had some folds in it. The card itself is in great condition, but note the three vertical creases at the top, in the image.

Probably in 2022…

If it’s of great import (for sure, why not?) the shop owner’s name will probably turn up on the 1950 Federal Census, but that won’t be out till April of 2022. City directories for the area were not found online; maybe they exist at a local library. But in moving over to search Newspapers.com we hit the jackpot with a full page spread on Algonac (Chris-Craft enthusiasts you already know the connection) in Port Huron’s, The Times-Herald, (the River Section) dated July 21, 1950, with the photo below.

Proprietor in “chief”

The Times-Herald photo showing the Post’s owner with two potential buyers, and displaying some of the baskets the store was known for. Our shop owner then, is the man on our left in the postcard image, up top. We also now know that the Indian Post was situated between two buildings. The Railway Express sign is still up, visible just next to the 5-story birdhouse…..and as for that particular item for sale, who bought it, is it still happily in use, and if so where?…Picturing the now grown-up kid contacting us with a great story to tell….the day he met the “chief” and his parents bought the bird condo. Stranger things have happened!

Two clippings from the article

Algonac, Michigan on the Saint Clair River

Sources:   “Color A-Plenty Awaits Visitors In Lovely Algonac.”  The Times-Herald (Port Huron, MI) Wednesday, July 21, 1950. p. 90. (Newspapers.com)

Algonac, MI 48001. Google.com map. (accessed May 25, 2017).

Further reading:  Walpole Island First Nation. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walpole_Island_First_Nation (accessed May 25, 2017).

Bkejwanong. Walpole Island. http://www-personal.umich.edu/~ksands/Warpole.html. (accessed May 28, 2017).

Picking Flower, Near Mississippi Headwaters, Minnesota

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. Circa 1950s.

Price:  $15.00

This Real Photo Postcard is one of (at least) four that we see that had been taken, circa 1950s, of an Indian woman named Picking Flower. The other three vintage cards are currently on ebay:  One shows a very similar view to the photo taken for this card, and the other two show Picking Flower standing at the Headwaters of the Mississippi River, Minnesota, with captions. My guess is that she’s Chippewa, a.k.a. Ojibwe or Ojibwa, and it’s possible she might have been a member of the Mississippi River Band Chippewas, but of course, that is mere speculation. The artwork of flowers and leaves that she’s working on (or more likely it was some finished work that was used for the photo shoot) and that which adorns her dress, is very distinctive to Chippewa beadwork design (not to mention stunningly beautiful). Here’s a quick screen shot of a Google search for examples (note the similarity in the top right design to that in the postcard.)

And, if you enlarge the postcard image, you’ll notice the little pair of moccasins that’s attached to the dress (on her left) and the shells interspersed in the shoulder areas. Always the case, we get to wondering about the circumstances surrounding a photo session, about the person themselves, how they felt at the time, what the rest of their life was like. I think Picking Flower is maybe in her 50s, from the graying hair we note, and she looks like she was squinting a little from the sun, when the photo was taken.

Sources:  Mississippi River Band of Chippewa Indians. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mississippi_River_Band_of_Chippewa_Indians (accessed May 21, 2017).

“Images of Chippewa beadwork”  Google.com search. (accessed May 21, 2017).

Norge, Lappekone (Med Barn)

Divided back, unused postcard. Date unknown. Publisher:  Mittet & Co., A/S, Oslo, Norway. All rights reserved. Number or series:  3000/54.

Price:  $15.00

Norway, Lapp Wife With Child

The translation for the publisher’s description is just “Norway. Lapp wife” so we added med barn (with child) to the title to be correct for the view. And this is the perfect postcard for being (1.) the third in a short Norwegian theme (see prior two posts) and (2.) the first for Mother’s Day, this year.

A little about the publisher

Mittet & Co., A/S was started in 1899 by Ingebrigt Mittet (1875 – 1950) and carried on and expanded by his sons Knut and Søren Mittet. It was a major Norwegian publishing firm and produced thousands of postcards as well as books and art literature. It appears to have been sold in 1987, but in the 1950s about 15,000 to 20,000 negatives and some albums were sent to the Riksantikvaren (Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage) some of which then went to the Norwegian Folk Museum and Norwegian Technical Museum. The National Library took over the Mittet archived material in 2007. A/S is the abbreviation for Aksjeselskap, the Norwegian term for a stock-based company.

Northern lights

The indigenous Lapp people, Laplanders and People of the Reindeer, as the terms Westerners have traditionally known them by, are today referred to as the Sami, also spelled Saami or Sámi. They live in the region called Sápmi:  northern Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. And, we’ll not try to summarize further but instead share this Google search result (a picture says a thousand words, as maybe a jump start to further reading, or visiting in person?) for images of Sami people…the colors (!) the patterns, the beautiful faces, the reindeer….beauty in the northern light.

Life is in the details….

As per usual, you can click on all of Laurel Cottage’s images to enlarge them, but we added the two crops below, as they seemed to warrant scrutiny:  Look under the white printing and you’ll see the very faint original wording. You can see the rectangular outlines of the newer info, as if it was taped on. So, it says “Norge Lappekone” in the top image, that’s pretty easy to read, but for the “Mittet” one we’re not so sure. Maybe it says the same publisher, or maybe not, or maybe it holds the photographer’s name. See what you think….Oh (well, duh!) after further searching, it’s likely that the first word there is “Enerett” which in English is “all rights reserved.” It says the same on the back. So, darn, no great mystery solved, or anything exciting but it does hint at the card maybe being a more modern production of the same image. (Indeed, there’s another one out there that must of been the earlier version.) And, you can see that someone had x’d over the “Co.” and scribbled after it, probably to make the original wording less noticeable when they were adding the new.

Sources:  “Fotoarkivet etter postkortforlaget Mittet & Co.” Preus Museum. (www.preusmuseum.no) Accessed May 14, 2017.

Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_Directorate_for_Cultural_Heritage (accessed May 14, 2017).

Aksjeselskap. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aksjeselskap (accessed May 14, 2017).

Sami history. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_history (accessed May 14, 2017).

“images of Sami people” Google search. (accessed May 14, 2017).

Le Grand Chef Deskaheh

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Divided back, unused. French postcard. Circa 1917 – 1925.

Price:  $15.00

This one definitely ties in to the previous post:  An old French postcard in black and white, of a painting by N. George of Chief Deskaheh, the president of the Iroquois Council of Six Nations from 1917 – 1925:

“Le grand Chef Deskaheh. Délégué et président du Conseil des Six Nations Iroquoises.”

See the Wiki entry on Deskaheh or Levi General (1873 – 1925) which includes the photo below taken 1922. The painting shown on our postcard greatly resembles the photo  (courtesy Wikipedia, originally from the British newspaper The Graphic) so may have been created around the same time.

Deskaheh photo

See The Last Speech of Deskaheh for more.

But since we like to solve mysteries here, who was the artist (peintre or painter) N. George?  Hmmm, for now, this question remains a mystery. Below, an article from the Pittsburg Daily Post dated December 17, 1922.

Deskaheh article1Deskaheh article2

Sources:  Deskaheh. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deskaheh (accessed June 4, 2016).

The Last Speech of Deskaheh. Two Row Times. (accessed June 4, 2016).

“Protests Raid of Old Domain.” Pittsburg Daily Post. Sunday, December 17, 1922. p. 1 (newspapers.com)

Oneidas And Onondagas Parade Float

Oneidas Onondagas p1

Old photo, circa 1908 – 1912.

Price:  $15.00       Size:  About 4 and 1/8 x 3 and 1/8″

The occasion for this parade is unknown, possibly the 4th of July, or Memorial Day. The location is also unknown, though the most likely guess for a state would be New York , but we can date this old photo by the number of stars on the two U. S. flags that are draped, along with the bunting, from the building in the background. The flags show 46 stars:  Oklahoma was the 46th state and admitted to the Union on November 16, 1907 and New Mexico was the 47th, admitted on January 6, 1912. Officially, the United States did not adopt a new flag until the following 4th of July, however, flags were sometimes fashioned and flown or displayed ahead of the official date.

The central subject of the photo is a float by or to honor the Oneida and Onondaga Indians, members of the Iroquois Confederacy or Six Nations (Originally the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca with the Tuscarora having joined in the year 1722.) That appears to be a painting on canvas, perhaps of land or rocks, at the center of the circle of some of the clan figures:  the deer, wolf, bear, beaver, and is that a turtle in the front about to slip into the “water?” Members of the Oneida and Onondaga stand in traditional dress under the horseshoe shape banner, with the sun’s rays? shooting from the top and sides. Behind are a tepee, a figure of an Indian and a portion of a tree. It looks like a team of donkeys pull the float.

Other details:  Notice how almost everyone in the well-turned out crowd is wearing a hat (just true to the era.) Other things to pick out are the electric lights strung on both sides of the street, at least six old street lamps, and that many in the crowd are holding a piece of paper, maybe that’s an advertisement or handout for who was who in the parade.

Sources:  The 46 Star Flag. usflag.org. (accessed June 2, 2016).

47 Star Flag – unofficial – (U.S.) FOTW Flags of the World. (accessed June 2, 2016).

Iroquois Confederacy. October 19, 2015 (last updated). Encyclopaedia Britannica. (accessed June 2, 2016).

Additional reading:

Haudenosaunee Confederacy

Profile Rock, Apostle Islands, Lake Superior

Profile Rock Apostle Islands Lake Superior pc1Profile Rock Apostle Islands Lake Superior pc2

Divided back, used postcard. Outgoing postmark June 29, 1908 from Houghton, Michigan and receiving postmark July 5, 1908 at Eureka, California. Publisher:  E. C. Kropp Co., Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Number 1115.

Price:  $12.00

Another for Ida

This is the second in our small Ida L. Vance Collection, and shows what appears to be a colored image produced from a photo. Note the sailboat on the horizon:  This vessel looks like it was drawn in or maybe it was a faint image that was outlined. In any case, this 1908 postcard shows a view of Profile Rock, situated off the northern shore of Basswood Island in the Apostle Islands of Wisconsin. The profile appears on the right-hand side of the rock. You can see the prominent nose and ridge over the eye. (It looks like he is staring into the water.) Below is a map of the islands courtesy of Google.

Map of Apostle Islands

A sea stack

The name for this type of rock formation is “sea stack” which is formed by weathering and erosion. Imagine a rock wall that has a cave-like indentation; the waves knocking against the rock on both sides and water seeping in any fissures; the passage of time creating a hole in the rock, gradually getting bigger, creating an arch. At some point, the weight of the arch becomes too great, breaking and falling into the sea, or in this case Great Lake, and voila, you are left with a sea stack.

Old-school for a minute

Discovering ancestral ties to the Michigan and Ontario, Canada, Lake Superior region on Dad’s side some years ago, led to the purchase of a number of books on the Ojibwe people which grace the bookshelf not five feet away (so dramatic, chuckle) from where I sit typing this in our little cottage. Besides naturally wanting to learn about a fascinating culture and history, the books were bought in hopes of finding some mention of our direct ancestor, Chief Na-ges-sis, whose daughter Ikwe-wa-ni-gen-its married Louis Majeau, French-Canadian voyageur for the Northwest Company. Alas, there was no mention of Na-ges-sis found, but it strikes as such a refreshing novelty, for this post research, to be able to refer to a set of books in one’s own living room, just a glance away….Not to say that the internet is not extremely well-appreciated – essential nowadays for research. But the most interesting Apostle Island reference on the shelf was found in Kitchi-Gami, Life Among The Lake Superior Ojibway, an account by German geographer, ethnologist and travel writer, Johann Georg Kohl, when he stayed on Madeline Island (then called La Pointe) for four months in 1855:

From the rank of princes

“La Pointe belongs to a larger group of islands, which the French missionaries named Les Isles des Apôtres. They play a great part in the Indian traditions, and seem to have been from the earliest period the residence of hunting and fishing tribes, probably through their geographical position and the good fishing in the vicinity. The fables of the Indian creator, Menaboju, often allude to these islands, and the chiefs who resided here have always laid claim, even to the present day, to the rank of princes of the Ojibbeways…..The great fur companies, too, which, after them, ruled on Lake Superior, had one of their most important stations at La Pointe; more especially the once so powerful North-West Company, which carried on a lively trade from this spot as far as the Polar Seas.”

Many names for the Rock

From John Lindquist’s excellent webpage, Views of the Apostle Islands, Profile Rock  “…has also been called Lone Rock, Floating Rock, and Honeymoon Rock – the last name being the most commonly applied today.”  (We wonder too, what the native tribes called it.) Lindquist quotes J. M. Turner on the importance of Profile Rock to the Indians,

“It was thought…that when they were encamped on the island in front of the face that no harm could befall them. This belief had such a firm hold upon the Indians of this whole region that when a band of fugitives were hard pressed and likely to fall into the hands of their pursuers they would always fly to the protected camping grounds within the sight of the Great Stone Face well knowing that no enemy would dare to molest them once they were there. “

One last note

Just to clarify regarding the aforementioned Chief Na-ges-sis and daughter, they are thought to have been centered around the Straights of Mackinac area in Michigan (not the Apostles) though Louis Majeau, in his travels with the Northwest Company, must surely have made stops at La Pointe. There was a little confusion in the past about the birthplace of one of the daughters of Louis Majeau and Ikwe-wa-ni-gen-its:  Madeleine Majeau’s marriage record to Henry Campau looks like it may say Madeleine’s birthplace was,  “des Îles du lac Superieur”  from which it was thought that she was born on one of the islands near Mackinac, but if you really scrutinize the original handwriting, and look at the transcribed copy (also in French) you’ll see it actually says,  “des issus du lac Superieur”  meaning from the Lake Superior area. Just mentioning this for anyone researching this line, and in the hopes that some reference may at some point turn up for more on Chief Na-ges-sis. And, of course, this Madeleine was a different woman than the one the Apostle island was named for. Madeline (formerly La Pointe) Island was named after the wife of French-Canadian trader Michel Cadotte, she also being the daughter of Chief White Crane. (John Lindquist’s webpage link above has a photo of the historical plaque regarding the same.

Sources:  Apostle Islands. Google Maps.

Caves, arches, stacks and stumps. GCSE Bitesize. Web accessed August 1, 2015.

Kohl, Johann G., Kitchi-Gami. Life Among The Lake Superior Ojibway. 1860. Trans. Lascelles Wraxall. Saint Paul, MN: Borealis Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1985.

Lindquist, John. Views of the Apostle Islands. Web accessed August 2, 2015.

Turner, J.M. Lake Superior Region. Ashland, WI:  W.E. Prudhomme, 1892.

Moll, Harold W. and Norman G., Lewis and Batteese Mashue, Father and Son, Through Fur and Saginaw Valley Timber. Unpublished collection assembled and bound by Michigan State Library, 1954 – 1958.

Ste. Anne, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. (1801-1842) p. 1949-1950. U.S., French Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1695-1954. (Ancestry.com)

You…Why Don’t You Write

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Undivided back postcard, postmarked August 23, 1907 from Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania. Publisher unknown.

Price:  $15.00

Here’s another from 1907, and one of those ones that are just as great on the front as the back. The front shows a print in dark blue of an Indian wearing a blanket and a headdress with two feathers. His back is facing us, and he is walking toward several teepees. The background is tan, yellowed more now with age, and with the word “You”  to his left and then “Why Don’t You Write” on his right. Talk about straight and to the point, eh? Just like the last post.

The back shows the beautiful pen and ink type drawing of the mail carrier running to deliver the postcard. One of the best postcard backs ever!

Addressed to:  “Miss Lillie Dundor, Womelsdorf, Penna, Burks Co.”
and on the front of the card is written  “May G.”  who is the sender.

Lillie Dundor is likely the Lillie K. Dundor born November 2, 1881 in Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania, daughter of Darius W. Dundor and Amanda Kurr (from Lillie’s death certificate showing she died in West Reading, PA in 1955.) The 1900 Federal Census taken in Womelsdorf shows the parents, and Lillie Katie Dundor, and Lillie’s younger sister Beulah Annie. This 1900 census lists D.W. Dundor’s occupation as Physician. The 1940 census shows Lillie as single, head of household, owning the residence at 15 High Street, in Womelsdorf; living with her are her sister, brother-in-law, niece and a boarder:  Beulah D. Hackman, Charles K. Hackman, Betty V. Hackman, and Charles F. Schaeffer.

Sources:  Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1963 [database on-line].

Year: 1900; Census Place: Womelsdorf, Berks, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1377; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0025; FHL microfilm: 1241377 (Ancestry.com)

Year: 1940; Census Place: Womelsdorf, Berks, Pennsylvania; Roll: T627_3436; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 6-114 (Ancestry.com)

Vintage Alaska Tourist Photos

Gallery

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Here is a wonderful collection of vintage black and white photos, (in very good condition except for the top two which have some major creasing) estimated to have been produced in the 1940s for the tourist trade. However, the original … Continue reading

Indian War Dancer

Indian War Dancer pc1Indian War Dancer pc2

Divided back, unused postcard with writing. Publisher and distributor:  Bob Petley, Phoenix, Arizona. From a Kodachrome original by Ray Manley of Western Ways. Made in the U.S.A. Series or number K140. Photo circa early 1950s. Postcard circa 1963.

Price:  $5.00

The caption on the back states:  “Indian War Dancer. Bedecked in brilliant feathers, paint and beads, these tireless dancers carry on the same tribal rituals practiced by their forefathers who inhabited the southwest long before the coming of the white man.”

The website for the Arizona Historical Society has information on the company Western Ways, and mentions the photographer of this photo, Ray Manley. Western Ways was founded in Montana as a “loose association of photographers and writers” in the late 1930s by Charles W. Herbert, who ran the company, along with his wife Lucile, until the late 1970s. After WWII the company re-started in Tucson, Arizona and expanded to a photo-production agency and plant, portrait studio and a base for Herbert’s film and television projects. The company’s top photographers, Ray Manley and Naurice Koonce left Western Ways in 1954 when the company downsized, so the photo used for this postcard was taken maybe ten or so years earlier than the circa 1963 or maybe early ’60s postcard production date.

Source:  “The Western Ways Feature Files Collection” Arizona Historical Society. Web. 15 June 2014. [http://www.arizonahistoricalsociety.org/wp-content/upLoads/library_Western-Ways.pdf]

Chief Caping And Jaro

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Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher:  Sanborn Souvenir Co., Inc., Denver, Colorado. Color by Nesbitt. Printed by, West Nyack, New York. Series 9536-B, Number 3607. Circa 1963.

Price:  $8.00

There is a black and white 1947 postcard online at Princeton University which shows this couple:  Chief Caping and wife Jorro (different spelling) posing next to the sign for the Cliff Dwellings Museum. The sign indicates the museum was founded in 1904. The writing on the back of this one gives the date the postcard was purchased as 1963, and the postcard was stamped, probably by the souvenir shop, in the anticipation that it would be mailed. The stamp says:  “Mailed At Seven Falls, South Cheyenne Cañon. Colorado Springs, Colorado.”

The caption on the back states  “#3607 – Chief Caping and Jaro, Santa Clara Indian dancers at Seven Falls, Colorado Springs, Colorado.”

Source:  Princeton University Digital Library. Western Americana Collection. Chief Caping and Wife, Jorro, Pueblo Indians. Web. 15 June 2014 [http://pudl.princeton.edu]/sheetreader.php?obj=r207tp696