Holiday Wishes For Verna Watkins

Divided back, embossed postcard. Postmarked December 22, 1909, Dayton, Indiana. Printed in Germany.

Price:  $12.00

“Dear Verna – I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Lizzie Goldsberry.”

Addressed to:   “Miss Verna Watkins, Lafayette Ind. R.F.D. No 4.”

Here’s our second angel-tree-deer postcard (see prior post). Our angel in this one is again barefoot in the snow, but this time with wings very visible, and it’s a beautiful scene with wonderful color variation for the snow…dolls in the deer’s “saddle” baskets…church and sunset in background.

There’s an Elizabeth A. Goldsberry showing up in 1909 in Lafayette, Indiana at R.F.D. 3 and she is probably the sender of this card, and a Peter with wife Lizzie at R.F.D. 24 in Dayton, Indiana from the same city directory record.

Verna Watkins, is probably the daughter of Ray and Sadie Watkins, who appears with her parents and older brother Ernest on the 1910 Federal Census for Perry Township, Tippecanoe County. According to this record Verna was born in Indiana, about 1899. Perry is located just north of Dayton, both being located in the Lafayette vicinity.

Sources:  R. L. Polk & Co.’s Lafayette Directory with Tippecanoe County, 1907. p. 538. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Perry, Tippecanoe, Indiana; Roll: T624_381; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0177; FHL microfilm: 1374394. (

A Merry Christmas From J. F. Dodd in 1906

Divided back, unused, embossed postcard, 1906. Publisher unknown. Series 108.

Price:  $7.00

A merry Christmas

This card, probably printed in Germany, shows an angel in a flowing pink gown carrying a small evergreen through the forest. Accompanying her is a deer bringing Christmas presents. True, we don’t see wings for the angel but then she is barefoot in the snow ( 🙂 this line strikes me funny for some reason) but anyway angel seems to be indicated. And many other cards can be found with this type of angel-tree-deer theme. (We have another one that we’ll put up next.) But underneath this beautiful scene is something that might be easily missed:  Two seated gnome-like characters (!) appear in the yellow area, like bookends only looking the wrong way.

As for the names on the back:  the card was from J. F. Dodd, Christmas 1906, for Stanley….Tisette/Tintle/Tintte…or ? His surname is pretty hard to read.

From Our House To Yours, The Sanders, 1960

Christmas card, deckled edge, 1960.

Price:  $5.00          Size:  About 4 and 1/4 x 5″

Jumping ahead a couple of centuries from the last post…..Mr. and Mrs. Sanders, a beautiful and happy couple at Christmastime. And they’re decked out, she in her pearls and lace and he in his dress shirt with totally awesome wide necktie.

This card was found in an antique shop in Morgan Hill, California.

Reward Of Merit For Arthur Berryman

Reward of Merit. Circa 1880s – 1890s.

Price:  $3.00         Size:  About 4 and 1/2 x 6 and 1/2″

Here’s another card from teacher to student, as a token of recognition for something well-done. No teacher’s name, but the student’s name is written on the back:  “Arthur Berryman.”  And it’s another winter scene, no action this time, well, other than the setting or rising sun, but lovely, of a large rambling home with snow laden roofs, icicles on trees, and a stream that’s not frozen, I guess, hmmm.

Devil’s Canyon From Saddle #2

Photo, white border, circa 1920s – 1930s. Photo developer:  Hirsch & Kaye, San Francisco, California. Velox photo paper.

Price:  $12.00

The location of this beautiful winter mountain scene is a bit of a mystery. There is, not surprisingly, more than one Devil’s Canyon, or Cañon as it was meant to be spelled in the description on the front. The Spanish spelling was common until more recent decades, just as the word “today” was formerly seen as “to-day” and “puerto” was formerly written as “porto.” But what a breathtaking scene….just imagine yourself in the picture, taking big gulps of the crisp, clean air!

Definitions for the geographic term “saddle” vary somewhat, for details see Wiki’s Saddle (landform).

For guesses for the location of the photo, our best is the San Gabriel Mountains in Angeles National Forest.

The back is stamped:   “PlaTone Print. Hirsch & Kaye. 239 Grant Avenue, San Francisco.”  A city directory ad for the firm of Hirsch & Kaye was found as early as 1922, at this address. Directories and newspaper ads show that they were in the optometry, photo supply and photo and film developing business.

Below, the obituary of Alphonse Hirsch, pioneer optometrist, that appeared in the Santa Cruz Evening News, September 1923. Per the obit, son, Alphonse, Jr., was associated with the firm, Hirsch & Kaye:

Below, a Hirsch & Kaye ad, from the San Francisco Chronicle, September 24, 1923:

A 1938 ad from Santa Clarita’s The Signal:

Sources:  Saddle (landform). n.d. (accessed December 15, 2017).

San Gabriel Mountains. n.d. (accessed December 15, 2017).

H. S. Crocker Co., Inc.’s Crocker – Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1922. p. 1956. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.   photo supplies

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Crocker – Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1941. p. 1687. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.  optometrists

“Death Claims Alphonse Hirsch.” Santa Cruz Evening News (Santa Cruz, CA) September 7, 1923. Friday, p. 8. (

“Better Vision.” San Francisco Chronicle, September 24, 1923. Monday, p. 2. (

“Cameras.” The Signal (Santa Clarita, CA) July 21, 1938. Thursday, p. 6. (

Old-Fashioned Christmas Happiness

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked December 18, 1923 from Los Angeles, California. Made in the U.S.A. Series 1016 D. Publisher unknown.

Merry Christmas….

“Old-fashioned Christmas happiness

Is what I’m wishing you

And a host of good and loyal friends

To share the Day with you.”

A country scene of a home in winter, sunset colors painting the sky, all within the soft outline of a snow-laden evergreen tree…

The sender writes:   “Dear Grandma, I wish you all a happy Xmas. I am sending you a pkg. something for dossie and for Geo. Jr. But do not open untel Xmas, Love from all, Maebell.”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. J. M. Ellison, 604 N St., Sacramento, Calif.”

Fortune Bright, Friendship True

Divided back, artist-signed, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked December 22, 1916 from Sacramento, California. Artist:  Ellen H. Clapsaddle. Publisher:  International Art Publishing Co. Series 104-3.

Price:  $12.00

Best Christmas Wishes…

“Fortune bright and friendship true,

Bless this Christmas-time for you.”

A Clapsaddle Christmas postcard:  This one’s a bit of a departure from the artist’s more recognizable work of adorable children. It shows a hazy winter scene of evergreens, with one in white standing out in embossed relief, and three small biblical-looking figures (I think it’s the staff that gives that impression) appearing near the bottom of the stand of trees, and then a rustic wooden fence leading to the foreground.

Sent to:   “Miss Bessie Ellison, 1415 G St, Sacramento, Calif.”

The sender wrote:   “A Merry Xmas and a happy New Year. F. J. Reynolds.”

The postcard cancellation was advertising the  “Panama California International Exposition at San Diego – 1916.”

Sources:  Ellen Clapsaddle. n.d. (accessed December 23, 2016).

Panama-California Exposition. n.d. (accessed December 23, 2016).

The Old Live Oak, Wilmington, NC

The Old Live Oak Wilmington NC pc1The Old Live Oak Wilmington NC pc2

“From Lucylle Cale. Camden, N. J.”

Lucy/Lucille/Lucylle Cale and Cole was researched, and though there are both Cales and Coles in Camden, only Lucy Cole shows up in a 1943 Camden city directory.

I’ve had this postcard for a couple of years, didn’t get to posting it last Christmas, and was so sad to find out that this tree had been cut down just last month. It stood next to the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant and for decades was known as the World’s Largest Living Christmas Tree. An August 2015 online article reported that the Wilmington City Council voted in 2012 to end the tree lighting tradition, siting safety concerns, and the health of the tree, said to have been struggling for years.

StarNewsonline shows a photo from the first tree-lighting event, which was Christmas Eve 1928.

So, I have two of these postcards, and was looking for the other this morning, trying to remember if there was a date on the back of that one. Running short on time and wanted to get this one up, so will look later. But in looking up the publisher info – the photographer was the well-known Hugh Morton (1921 – 2006). Wow, this guy accomplished a lot during his lifetime – photographer, conservationist, etc….Surprisingly, no other postcards of this Live Oak are currently showing up on the internet, but I would say the card is probably from the 1950s or early 1960s. The description reads:

“World’s Largest Living Christmas Tree. Wilmington, North Carolina. This three hundred year old Live Oak is lighted with 4,000 multi-colored bulbs, and is viewed each December by a quarter of a million persons. Its limb spread is 110 feet and height 55 feet.”

300 years old per the postcard or quite a bit older – between 400 and 450 years (from the StarNews report) and earlier in it’s lifetime estimated to have been 70 to 75 feet in height, but ending up at about 55 feet due to the effects of years of ice storms.

On the subject of living Christmas trees, I’ll never forget the little Italian Stone Pine my mother-in-law gave us one year. The kind of tree you find at the drugstore, that often gets thrown out after Christmas (shudder). We had no place to plant it at that time, and there it was, about two feet tall, if that. Somehow it survived my non-diligent watering until we moved that summer to a place with a backyard. I planted it near a corner and named it Giovanni. We were only in that house for about seven years, but every time I’m in the area I drive by to see my old friend, which is huge and beautiful and thriving, and would now be about twenty-three years old. I thank God I didn’t toss out that scruffy little sapling, and most of all I bless the people in that house forever for taking such good care of my tree.

Divided back, unused with writing, postcard. Circa 1950s – early 1960s. Publisher information:  Published by Hugh Morton, Wilmington, NC; Plastichrome Colourpicture Publishers, Inc. Boston, Mass. Series or number:  P26400.

Price:  $15.00

Sources:  “World’s Largest Living Christmas Tree To Be Cut Down ‘Soon.’ ”, August 31, 2015. Web accessed December 22, 2015.

Blevins, Ken. “#TBT – World’s Largest Living Christmas Tree.” StarNewsonline, December 17, 2015. Web accessed December 22, 2015.

Hugh Morton. n.d. (accessed December 21, 2015).

The Tree Spirit

The Tree Spirit pc1The Tree Spirit pc2

This postcard is signed by artist E. Weaver. Biographical information was not found online but Sherry Arent Cawley, in Berrien County, author of one of the Postcard History Series put out by Arcadia Publishing, describes the artist as  “…a very prolific American postcard artist at the turn of the century through the 1930s. His designs, in sets of 8 to 32 are whimsical and humorous with many drawn in a simplified Art Nouveau style.”

Indeed, prolific is the word, as numerous cards can be found currently for sale, and in browsing through, it appears the artist used a different color scheme for each series; this above was one of a set in green and black, and shows the lovely poem,

“True Friendship

True friendship is a golden link

Which none should seek to sever

And mine will last, I truly think,

Forever and forever.”

The back is signed,  “From Your Most Humble Friend, O.S.”  and at the top,  “x x x”.  Another in the series was found currently on eBay dated by the sender in 1922.

Divided back, unused with writing. Publisher unknown, series or number 2328, 32 designs. “Art Birthday Message.” Circa 1922.

Price:  $5.00

Source:  Cawley, Sherry A. Berrien County (Postcard History Series). Charleston:  Arcadia. Author copyright year 2000. p. 30. (Google eBook).

Five Friends

Five Friends pc1Five Friends pc2

Addressed to:   “Ora W. Carrell. 514 W. 8th St., Muscatine, Iowa.”

“Dear Ora: – Isn’t this cute! Claude Lewis is the one you don’t know. Taken in the woods the 27th of Dec. I had such a jolly time. Your letter came after I had written mine so this is in answer. Such lovely Xmas gifts you recd. Our[?] revival mtgs. closed Sunday – the com. gave me a check for $25.00 for my work in the meeting – I am going to get commentaries..?..? 90 at the alter and some of these were both reclaimed & sanctified, 13 now have united with the church and there will be others. A big task[?] I have to keep these going. pray. God bless thee in thy work. Sincerely – N.[?] Blanche.”

This photo really is cute. Adorable! Enlarge to see the special “headgear” they are all wearing! The fellows look like they could be related – wonder which one is Claude Lewis? And the ladies – the two on the left look like they could be sisters, or like our title says, they could all simply be five friends.

As to further i.d. – There are several possibilities for Claude Lewis; and for the sender N[?] Blanche we’d really need more information; but Ora W. Carrell is likely the same person found on the 1910 Federal Census under O. W. Carrell, showing born in Iowa about 1886, single, rooming in the household of Webster A. and Tracy M. Allman, and who’s occupation is listed as Gospel Minister. The address in Muscatine is 308 5th St., just several blocks away from the address given on the card.

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked January 18, 1911 from Salem, Oregon.

Price:  $20.00

Source:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Muscatine Ward 2, Muscatine, Iowa; Roll: T624_415; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0109; FHL microfilm: 1374428. (