An Ogden Nash Poem

An Ogden Nash Poem pc1An Ogden Nash Poem pc2

I think that I shall never see

A billboard lovely as a tree.

Perhaps, unless the billboards fall,

I’ll never see a tree at all.

This postcard, with it’s wonderful poem by Ogden Nash (1902 – 1971) was copyrighted in 1933. And it’s really interesting to see the contrast between the mainstream then and now, on the subject of trees and the environment.

Here we are in 2015, thinking globally and avoiding buying products (just as one example) that contain palm oil derivatives, the manufacture of which is contributing to the destruction of our rainforest. You may be very surprised at some of the food and other items that often have these palm oil products in them. Check out this link to the World Wildlife Fund for more.

Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher unknown. Circa 1933.

Price:  $3.00

Sources:  Ogden Nash. n.d. (accessed August 30, 2015).

Which Everyday Products Contain Palm Oil? (World Wildlife Fund). Accessed August 30, 2015.

“The Raggedy Man”

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Poetry at Our House

I like to tie one post in with the next, and the tie-in on this one is maybe a stretch, but the Coney Island post reminds me of the Dog Days of summer, as does this postcard. The partial poem seen here is a childhood memory:  we had a book on the shelf at home, was it The Children’s Book of Poetry? No, maybe Poetry at Our House? But it had this poem, “The Raggedy Man”, as well as James Whitcomb Riley’s other very well-known poem, “Little Orphant Annie.” My sisters (and brothers?) used to read out loud from the poetry book, and the lines I remember best, are, “…The Raggedy Man! He works fer Pa….” and then from Little Orphant Annie, “…an the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you ef you Don’t Watch Out!”  Which at four years old scared me a little (I’d find myself later glancing up at the ceiling, pondering) but that I loved to hear. If these poems were a part of your childhood, too, no doubt all will come back in a rush, when you read them in their entirety. (There are a couple of typos in the poems; don’t mind them.) Notice the similarity between the illustration on this postcard and the one for “The Raggedy Man” (in the link) which was done by artist Will Vawter. It would not be a surprise if the postcard artist, Cob Shinn, had been inspired by Vawter’s image, as we’ve previously noticed evidence of this kind of thing within the world of old postcards.

Cob Shinn or Cobb X. Shinn?

According to an online compilation of the Jay Small Postcard Collection, Ca. 1907 – Ca. 1940s, Conrad “Cobb” Shinn (1887 – 1951) began doing art for postcards around 1907, which is the date the Scofield-Pierson Co. copyrighted the card, so it would seem that “Cob Shinn” was the earlier signature the artist used. The same shorter signature appears under another postcard by Shinn of an illustration of James Whitcomb Riley himself, with the same Scofield-Pierson copyright, which can be found for sale online at the moment. The Scofield-Pierson Co. shows up under the heading of “stationers” rather than publisher, though they could have been both. The publisher name on our postcard here appears on the back as Import Postcard Co. (And see our other Cobb Shinn postcard, This Tin Lizzy Makes Some Feed!)

To Mamie from Elsie

On to the particulars on the back…the addressee is:   “Miss Mamie Coulson, Newberg, Oregon.”  The sender wrote:

“Am at Norcatur attending a Teacher’s Association and have heard some very good talks. How are you and Eva now? Elsie Conklin.”

The 1910 Federal Census taken in Scotts Mills, Oregon, shows:  Jesse E. and Harriet B. Coulson, born Iowa, 1856 and 1855 respectively, Jesse’s occupation is Orchardist; daughters Mamie A. Coulson, born 1892, and Ethel A. Cox, born 1880, and their cousin, Eva B. Frazier, born 1890, the latter three all born in Kansas. A few quick searches for Elsie show too many possibilities, and would require a more detailed look.

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked January 9, 1909[?] from Norcatur, Kansas. Design copyrighted 1907 by the Scofield-Pierson Co. Publisher:  Import Post Card Co., Indianapolis, Indiana. From Riley’s “Rhymes of Childhood.”

Price:  $15.00

Sources:  James Whitcomb Riley. n.d. (accessed August 27, 2015).

Riley’s Children’s Poetry. James Whitcomb (accessed August 29, 2015).

Jay Small Postcard Collection, Ca. 1907 – Ca. 1940s. Indianapolis Historical Society. (accessed August 29, 2015).

The Youngest Stationer? The American Stationer, Vol. 74, July 1913. p. 21. Accessed August 29, 2015. (Google eBook.)

Year: 1910; Census Place: Scotts Mills, Marion, Oregon; Roll: T624_1284; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0228; FHL microfilm: 1375297. (

Walter Kellington, Coney Island, 1908

Walter Kellington Coney Island 1908 pc1Walter Kellington Coney Island 1908 pc2

Walter, casually reclining for the camera, wrote,  “This is my Picture – Walter Kellington. Taking on Sunday Aug. 30/08 at Coney Island. Clear Day.”

This is very possibly the Walter E. Kellington that appears on a number of U.S. census records, as born about 1871 in New York, married to Ada Stillwagon (in 1895) and with daughter Gladys, born in NY about 1902 (from the 1920 census the family is living on Linden St. in Brooklyn, and Walter’s occupation is Printer in the newspaper industry.)

There is a Walter Kellington who shows up in the 1908 and ’09 city directories in Newark, occupation Feeder, who may or may not be the same person. The third possibility, that of Walter R. Kellington, born about 1891, doesn’t seem to fit, since we’d assume his birth year to be too late to fit the person in the photo, the 1891 person having moved to Chicago by 1900 also, so we’re left with the strong impression that the Walter Kellington born 1871, is correct.

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused with writing. Souvenir Coney Island, Goldberg Studios, Bowery.

Price:  $15.00

Sources:  Year: 1920; Census Place: Brooklyn Assembly District 20, Kings, New York; Roll: T625_1176; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 1264; Image: 409. ( New York, New York, Marriage Index 1866-1937

Minnehaha Falls Lithograph

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This is possibly part of an old advertisement or trade card. It had been trimmed and glued to a piece of paper. The gold border is not part of the original, but was just for scanning purposes. We can see that it says “Minnehaha Falls and” so some other wording was cut off. But what a fanciful picture: (I swear I’m picking up the lingo of the Regency Era.) The plant life framing the scene being so much larger than the people viewing the falls, especially the sheaves of wheat-looking objects on the right. If this image looks familiar to anyone, the back might help, with the lower half (ish) of a line of print, and centered underneath that in parentheses, the word Appleby’s?.

Minnehaha Falls Litho tc2

Partial trade card or advertising. Circa 1890s.

Price:  $5.00

Horse Shoe Falls, Niagara, Canada

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“We will try and come up Sunday if it does not storm to hard. So won’t get there to Breakfast – good Bye. G[?] Hall.  will drive”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Vern Moyer, Baldwinsville, N.Y.”

Dating the postcard

The postmark on this card looks like it might be 1910, so it seems the sender used an old pre-divided back era card. In Canada, the divided back started in December of 1903. A similar card, with the same beautiful back header design, was found online postmarked 1904. So, perhaps the one we have here was made in the United States, and since it depicts the Canadian side of Niagara, the producer included one of the Canadian emblems with flags and beaver, or maybe it was made in Canada for U.S. use.


Phoenix, per the postmark, is six or seven miles northeast of Baldwinsville, New York. And about four miles northeast of Baldwinsville, is the town of Lysander. The 1910 Federal Census for Lysander, Onondaga County has Vernon Moyer and his wife Stella. Both are about age 32 (born about 1878) and both born in New York. They are farming. No other matches were found in the area, so Stella is likely the addressee for this postcard.

Undivided Back, used postcard. Postmarked January 1910 or ’11? from Phoenix, New York. Souvenir mailing card. Publisher unknown.

Price:  $10.00

Sources:  A Brief History of the Postcard. (accessed August 23, 2015).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Lysander, Onondaga, New York; Roll: T624_1054; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0063; FHL microfilm: 1375067. (

The Dam, Eaton Rapids, Michigan

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Wow, I’m a Michigander but didn’t know this until now:  Eaton Rapids is known as the Island City – it’s downtown is surrounded by water – the Grand River and the Grand’s Spring Brook tributary. The city has fourteen bridges and an island park, and holds an annual Dam Festival in June. Historically, it was known as “The Saratoga of the West.” See the Eaton Rapids Area Historical Society for lots more.

Some baseball trivia:  The Davidson Mill was established around 1921 in Eaton Rapids by Philadelphia-born John B. Davidson, Sr. This mill supplied 95% of the wool yarn for major league baseball, as well as high-grade yarns for other purposes. (per Wikipedia).

Related Eaton Rapids posts at Laurel Cottage:  G. Meachum Millinery and Dr. W. Derby’s Croup Mixture. There’s a millinery connection in this second link also. Hmmm, coincidence, or might it help to solve the Meachum mystery? (See EARHS’s Facebook page re G. Meachum.)

As to the age of this postcard on the dam, a semi-educated guess would be around 1910 – 1915 or so. The publisher E. C. Kropp went under the name of Kropp prior to 1907, but this fact doesn’t help us, as this is a Divided Back, so we already know this card was from at least 1907. The E.C. Kropp Co. sold it’s business to L.L. Cook in 1956.

Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher:  E.C. Kropp Co., Milwaukee. Circa 1910 – 1915.

Price:  $6.00

Sources:   Eaton Rapids Area Historical Society. (accessed August 23, 2015.)

Ogg, Aaron. (2012, July 16). Eaton Rapids is ‘Island City’ surrounded by Grand River and Spring Brook tributary. The Grand Rapids Press. (

Eaton Rapids, Michigan. n.d.,_Michigan. (accessed August 23, 2015).

E.C. Kropp Co. 1907 – 1956. Accessed August 23  2015.

Golda’s Old Watermill, Tahlequah, Oklahoma

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Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. Publisher:  The L.L. Cook Co., Milwaukee. Circa 1950s – 1960s.

Price:  $5.00

In keeping with a short “water theme” here’s a Real Photo Postcard showing a beautiful black and white shot of Golda’s Mill in Tahlequah, OK. This mill was placed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1972, and was still a working mill when it was unfortunately destroyed by fire in 1983.

According to a Wikipedia article it was build by Dr. Nicholas Bitting around 1882, at the site of a previous mill. Nicholas Bitting, M.D. shows up on the 1900 Federal Census in Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation County, Indian Territory, as head of household. The census gives his occupation as Druggist, and he appears there with his wife, Mary J. and sons Nicholas, William and John. He was born in North Carolina in March of 1845, which would have made him about 37 years old when he built the mill. It’s always nice to see confirmation in census or other records, but looking further…

Much more about the mill was found in the following fascinating newspaper clip, which takes us back to the 1830s when the original mill was built, up to 1974 when the article was written. Golda was Golda Unkefer…the metal wheel that replaced the wooden one was made in France…the first mill was built by Cherokees, Tom Taylor and his wife, and the slaves they brought with them from Texas. (Just click to enlarge.)

Old Mill article 1Old Mill article 2

Update:  Inspired by the recent comments from Jim (September 6, 2018) we went hunting for more info, under the title of Bitting Springs, this time. Turns out there are many more articles to be found, but here’s a good one under the title, “Water Wheel Created Memories Along With Bags of Cornmeal” by Jim Etter, for The Daily Oklahoman, dated June 20, 1993:

Sources:  Golda’s Mill. n.d.’s_Mill. (accessed August 15, 2015).

National Register of Historic Places. n.d. (accessed August 15, 2015)

Year: 1900; Census Place: Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory; Roll: 1845; Enumeration District: 0033; FHL microfilm: 1241845. (

“Old Corn Mill Still Grinding” The Eagle (Bryan,
TX), November 24, 1974, p. 36. (

Etter, Jim. “Water Wheel Created Memories Along With Bags of Cornmeal.” The Daily Oklahoman. June 20, 1993, Sunday, p. 6. (

Profile Rock, Apostle Islands, Lake Superior

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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. (