Chapel, Hope Cemetery - Mama Arrived Home

Chapel_Hope-Cemetery_LA_P_03-24-1906_FR.jpg

This little jewel box of a building, “Curtis Chapel” at Hope Cemetery, was designed by noted Worcester architect Stephen Earle, dedicated on January 1, 1891 and demolished by the City of Worcester in 1962. It was the gift of Albert W. Curtis, one of the original Commissioners of Hope Cemetery and an owner of Curtis & Marble, a local textile machine company.

  Hope Cemetery Gates: June 29, 2018

Hope Cemetery Gates: June 29, 2018

According to Bill Wallace, Executive Director of the Worcester Historical Museum, "The chapel stood just inside the currently unused entrance at the top of the rise as you approach from Webster Square. The 'new' gates [seen above] are early 20th century replacements, built by the Norcross Brothers in the style of the chapel."

  Postmark: 03/24/1906 - Millbury Mass.

Postmark: 03/24/1906 - Millbury Mass.

Sent to: Miss Lizzie Cullina
Address: Worcester, Massachusetts
Mama arrived home last night found everything all O.K.
Marion

 

 

 

 

THE MYSTERY
Punctuation on postcards from the early 20th century is often rather sparse. In this case, the lack of a dash, comma or period leads to some difficulty in understanding the true intent of the message. It might read, "Mama - Arrived home last night. Found everything all O.K." or "Mama arrived home last night (and) found everything all O.K." The correct interpretation is made clear by details provided below about the sender and recipient, neither of whom is "Mama."

THE SENDER
On June 19, 1900 the Federal census for that year records Marion Cullina living with her mother and five siblings in the town of Sutton, Massachusetts, roughly 10 miles from Worcester. Six years later, at the time this card was sent, she was 12 years old and, as the youngest member of a large family, was likely the one designated to communicate with her sister Lizzie.

THE RECIPIENT
Elizabeth ("Lizzie") Cullina was the sixth of ten children born to Michael and Ellen (Powers) Cullina. Her date of birth was August 11, 1874 and she died in May 1964. This card was almost certainly sent after a visit by her mother to Worcester where Lizzie (a "saleslady") lived at the time with her brother Edmund (a carpenter) and sister Nellie (a housekeeper).

REFERENCES

(1) Cullina Family History - Ancestry.com

THE CARD
Made in Germany
A. C. Bosselman & Co., New York.

Acknowledgements
Special thanks to Bill Wallace for his guidance on researching this topic, for essentially all of the basic information about Curtis Chapel (which is almost invisible on the Web), and for permission to use his words in the blog.
Also, thanks to Larry Abramoff for providing the postcard itself.

Worcester Memorial Auditorium (& Central Congregational Church)

Memorial-Auditorium_Congregational-Church_NP_FEB-2018_FR_Copyright-2018.jpg

Worcester Memorial Auditorium, officially dedicated in 1933, was built to honor the city's World War I veterans. It was designed by the architects Lucius W. Briggs of Worcester and Frederic C. Hirons of New York City. Although the columns on this building announce its Classical Revival style, the setting on a steep hill leading up Highland Street and the low extensions on the north and south sides detract somewhat from its "classic" proportions. Nonetheless, its presence on Lincoln Square is weighty and dignified.

On the upper element of the entablature are inscribed these words.
"To honor the service in war of her sons and daughters and to nourish in peace their spirit of sacrifice a grateful city erected this building." [ Chief Justice Arthur P. Rugg ]

Worcester-Memorial-Auditorium_DSC-0169_APR-2018_H-3601.jpg
Worcester-Auditorium_DSC-3562_APR-2018_4x6.jpg

Both the interior and exterior of the building are adorned with many Art Deco features, including the two examples shown above. It also houses the mighty Kimball Pipe Organ, a magnificent instrument equipped with 6,853 pipes over 107 ranks that, quite unlike so many other vintage organs around the world, has not been modified since it debuted here in 1933.

  The Central Mural, 57 x 30 Feet

The Central Mural, 57 x 30 Feet

This imposing building also holds within it a stunning set of three large murals painted by Leon Kroll. It is impossible to grasp the scale and impact of Kroll's work without visiting the site, but the detail images below may give a sense of his ambition for this project.

  Detail: Center Mural

Detail: Center Mural

  Detail: Left Mural [ 16 x 25.5 Feet ]

Detail: Left Mural [ 16 x 25.5 Feet ]

In a tragic irony, these murals were dedicated on May 28, 1941, barely six months prior to the bombing at Pearl Harbor which brought the United States into the Second World War.

  Worcester Memorial Auditorium - July 4, 2015

Worcester Memorial Auditorium - July 4, 2015

Over the course of the last 85 years, the Auditorium has hosted a wide range of events, from civic celebrations and high school graduations to Holy Cross basketball games and roller derby competitions. Among the almost uncountable number of concerts held here was Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Review in 1975 (at which Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell also appeared). Today the building sits empty, unused since 1999, with an uncertain future. However, a substantial city-funded study is now underway to determine what can and should be done to preserve it for future generations.

Memorial-Auditorium_Congregational-Church_NP_FEB-2018_BK.jpg

REFERENCES

(1) Architecture & Design - Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System
(2) Planning & Construction - Worcester Chapter, American Guild of Organists
(3) Justice Arthur P. Rugg - Memorial: Mass.Gov Website
(4) Rolling Thunder Review - Joni Mitchell Library
(5) 2017 - 2018 Feasibility Study - Worcester Telegram & Gazette [ Paywall ]

THE CARD

PUB. BY PERKINS & BUTLER, INC., WORCESTER, MASS
"TICHNOR QUALITY VIEWS" REG U.S. PAT. OFF.
MADE ONLY BY TICHNOR BROS., INC. BOSTON, MASS.
[ 63322 ]
 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Many thanks to Larry Haley for information on the proper architectural terminology.

Worcester Market - Having Splendid Time

Worcester-Market_P-09-09-1926_FR.jpg

The Worcester Market, an ornately adorned Classical Revival style building, was constructed by the J. W. Bishop Company from a design by its employee Oreste Ziroli, an Italian immigrant. It was completed in 1914 and opened for business in 1915. At that time, it was reported to be the largest food market in the United States, with 25,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor and storage space above and below connected to the each product counter by elevators.

  Worcester Market: August 7, 2015

Worcester Market: August 7, 2015

Initially built for a regional grocer, Fayette Asyril Amidon, the building subsequently served as a store location for the Brockleman Bros. and Stop & Shop chains, before closing as a market in the mid-1960's. Thereafter, it was used for about a decade by Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries as a store and then, after substantial renovation, was leased to the state for various departmental offices. The building was closed in 2014 and today has an uncertain future.

Main-Street_627_Worcester-Market_DSC-4843.jpg

Still, many people remember the Worcester Market in its heyday, including Mrs. Beverly (Marsden) Strom who said recently, "(I went) there every Friday night shopping with my mother and father after having a hamburger at White Tower nearby.  It was the only market in town at the time until United Fruit opened up across the street." That was a different world.

Sent to: Miss Maude Hupper
Address: Rockland, Maine
We are enjoying a week with Belle - having splendid time - B & W send love to you and your mother.
Sincerely, Louise C. Hewett

  Postmark: 09/09/1926 - Worcester Mass.

Postmark: 09/09/1926 - Worcester Mass.

THE MYSTERY

  • Who were the B(elle) & W mentioned in the message on this card? What relationship did they have to the Sender and Recipient? Were they family or just close friends? One or the other most certainly.

THE SENDER

Louise Benner Curling was born in 1872 and, at the time of the 1930 Federal census, lived in Thomaston, Maine, just a few miles down Route 1 from the Recipient of this card. She married John Hewett in 1906 and it appears that they had no children. Louise died in 1951 and is buried in the Thomaston Village Cemetery.

THE RECIPIENT

Maude Louise Hupper was born in 1880 to Sidney G. & Eloise T. Hupper. According to the 1920 Federal census, at age 37 she was single and living in Rockland, Maine with her parents. At the time this card was sent, six years later, she was still single and thereafter never married. Maude died in 1971 at the age of 90 and is buried in Achorn Cemetery in Rockland, Maine.

REFERENCES
(1) Builder, Designer & Style - Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System
(2) The New Worcester Market - The Worcester Magazine, Volume 18, Pages 53-56
(3) Recent History - Worcester Telegram & Gazette, February 24, 2018
(2) Birth, Death & Census Records - Ancestry.com

The Card

THE WORCESTER MARKET, the largest of its kind in the United States. The entire plant has an area of 90,000 sq. ft. and a storage capacity of 1500 tons. The actual floor space, all on one floor, for the convenience of patrons, is 25,000 sq. ft.

Pub. by J. I. Williams, Worcester, Mass., U. S. A. [86-19]

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to Bill Trutor for his research assistance on this topic.

The Derby Grill

  This postcard is unused (never postmarked).

This postcard is unused (never postmarked).

Although the Web today is a vast reservoir of information, it is not (yet) infinite and many minor topics, along with people, organizations and other items of ephemeral or passing existence are completely missing or barely referenced. The latter characterizes what is currently available online regarding The Derby Grill at 19 Pearl Street. In fact, simply locating any trace of that specific address has proved difficult.

Richards-Standard-Atlas-of-the-City-of-Worcester_1922_Pearl-Street-Snip.JPG

The map above shows two buildings (boxed area) on Pearl Street in 1922 with addresses that range from 15 to 39. Those structures have since been demolished and the site is now occupied (if that's the word) by a parking lot. Based on the decor and clothing styles shown on the front of this card one would assume that some people with a living memory of The Derby Grill are still around. But, absent their testimony, the restaurant's original sales pitch will have to be the last word for now.

Derby-Grill_NP_NOV-2017_BK-2.jpg

The Downtown Restaurant You Like.
for excellent food . . .
courteous service . . .
reasonable prices . . .
and gay, friendly atmosphere!

Who could wish for anything more?


REFERENCES

(1) Period Map - Atlas of the City of Worcester Massachusetts, Richards Map Co., 1922, Plate 4

THE CARD

"TICHNOR QUALITY VIEWS" REG. U.S. PAT. OFF. MADE ONLY BY TICHNOR BROS., INC. BOSTON, MASS. [83039]
 

Franklin Square Theatre - F.L.C.

Franklin-Square-Theatre_P-08-20-1907_FR.jpg

The Franklin Square Theatre at 2 Southbridge Street was built by Ransom Clarke Taylor from a design by the local firm of Cutting, Carleton & Cutting and opened for business in 1904. The hall included orchestra seating for 658 people, a balcony and boxes for 459, and a gallery for 519. At that time, admission prices ranged from $1.50 for the best orchestra seats to $0.25 for the gallery.

In the first two decades of its existence, the theater hosted local and traveling performers as well as Broadway touring companies. However, in 1926 then-owner Sylvester Z. Poli developed a larger adjacent building (Poli's Palace) to cash in on the growing craze for moving pictures and this original structure was relegated to secondary uses.

  2 Southbridge Street: July 3, 2015

2 Southbridge Street: July 3, 2015

Today, thanks primarily to the imaginative efforts of Ed Madaus and Paul Demoga, along with substantial contributions from many players in Worcester, this building has been restored and is now being used as part of The Hanover Theatre complex. Unfortunately, the original stained glass windows that once graced the facade of this building were lost or stolen at some point. Perhaps someone knows where they are now?

  Sent to: Mr. Donald P. Lyford   Address:  Hudson, Mass.  Postmark:  08/20/1907 - South Berlin Mass.

Sent to: Mr. Donald P. Lyford
Address: Hudson, Mass.
Postmark: 08/20/1907 - South Berlin Mass.

THE MYSTERY

  • This card was postmarked in a town less than five miles from where the recipient lived and has, essentially, no content. Maybe it was sent, as so many postcards at the time were, simply as part of an exchange between people who collected the cards. Picture postcard collecting was a mania in the early 1900's and hundreds of millions of cards were mailed annually until the fad crashed at the beginning of the First World War.

THE SENDER

At best, given only the three initials on the front of the card, we may surmise that the sender was thoughtful . . . but he or she will probably remain forever unknown to us.

THE RECIPIENT

Donald Pierce Lyford was born on February 11, 1894 in Spencer, Massachusetts to Taylor C. Lyford and Nellie L. (Pierce) Lyford. He married in 1917 and had one son, but at the time of the 1930 census was divorced and living with his parents. Later in life it appears that he married Dorothy Avis Branigan. She died in 1969, he died in 1978, and they are both (Donald & Dorothy) buried at Prospect Hill Cemetery in Uxbridge, Massachusetts.

REFERENCES
(1) Franklin Square Theatre - The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts
(2) Seating - The The Engineering Record, Building Record and Sanitary Engineer, Volume 49, Number 13, Page 392 [ 1904 ]
(3) Admission Prices - Julius Cahn's Official Theatrical Guide, Volume 13, Page 492 [ 1908 ]
(4) Postcard History - New York State Library
(5) Local Birth, Marriage, Divorce & Death Records - Ancestry.com

The Card

Made in Germany.
A.C. Besselman & Co., New York.
[501]

Classical High School - Boys are planting the gardens ...

Classical-High-School_P-1943_FR.JPG

Classical High School was completed in 1871 from a design by the firm of Gambrill and Richardson of New York. This grand, soaring structure reflected the vision of H. H. (Henry Hobson) Richardson, whose signature style came to be called "Richardson Romanesque."

The Worcester firm of Norcross Brothers Contractors and Builders was engaged to construct the new school and subsequently worked with Richardson on many other projects throughout New England and beyond. In addition to classrooms, meeting spaces, and offices, it included a gymnasium in the basement and a large hall on the third floor, measuring 76' x 62'.

The building faced east on what is now called Maple Terrace (between Maple and Walnut Streets) but in 1966 was demolished to make way for the new headquarters of Paul Revere Life Insurance Company.

Sent to: Mrs. O. O. Wright
Address: Spencer, West Virginia
Postmark: ??/??/1943 - Dodge, MA
Dear Friend - Nice hearing from you. At last we are having some nice weather. Boys are planting the gardens at last and about time. Am feeling better but can't do much work. Cheerio
From: Mrs. H, Beauregard, Box 48, Dodge, Mass. Collector of miniature dogs & hankies

Classical-High-School_P-1943_BK.JPG

THE MYSTERY

  • In 1943, most able-bodied young men in their late teens would have been called up for service in a rapidly escalating war effort. And, at a time when the country was rationing every imaginable product, a source of locally grown food would have been very important. So what led these "boys" to put off their responsibilities? Perhaps, considering the circumstances, the discipline of a senior man in the house was absent. Whatever the reason, Mrs. Beauregard seems none too happy about the delay . . . and rightly so.

THE SENDER

Eudora Hazel Judson Button (Beebe) Beauregard was born on May 22, 1895 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Barely a week after turning 17, on May 31, 1912, she married Reginald Ambrose Judson in Worcester, Massachusetts. However, they were divorced on October 19, 1916 and soon thereafter she married Edwin/Edward H. Button, with whom she had three children, Edward, Lillian and Phyllis. Edward Sr. died on July 18, 1925 and she then married Harry Joseph Beauregard in Boston on May 8, 1926. Eudora died on February 12, 1993 (at age 97) and is buried beside her second and third husbands in Hope Cemetery, Worcester, Massachusetts.

THE RECIPIENT

Onnie O. Wright married Edna McKown in 1916 and at the time of the 1920 census they were recorded as having one son, Herbert. However, the West Virginia Marriages Index shows that on October 29, 1923 he married Anna A. Hawkins and at the time of the 1940 Federal census the two were living in Spencer, West Virginia with their son, 15-year old Olsten. It seems very unlikely that there were two Onnie O. Wrights of the same age at the same time in that area, so one must assume that Anna was the second wife to whom this card was addressed.

REFERENCES

(1) Classical & Worcester High School - WorcesterThen.com
(2) Worcester Illustrated: 1875 - James A. Ambler [ Page 26 - 27 ]
(3) Federal Census & Social Security Records - Ancestry.com
(4) Local Birth, Marriage, Divorce & Death Records - Ancestry.com

THE CARD

Published by A. P. Lundborg, Worcester, Mass.
Valentine & Sons Publishing Company Ltd. New York
Printed in Great Britain
[02,282]

Jonas Clark Hall - I like my work very much.

Clark-University_JC-Hall_P_12-11-xxxx_FR.jpg

The cornerstone of Jonas Clark Hall at Clark University was laid on October 22, 1887. The next day in The New York Times it was reported that "The building ... is 205 feet long by 65 feet deep. It is composed of a central structure five stories high, flanked on either side by four-story wings. The middle section is surmounted by a clock tower which rises to a height of 102 feet, while at the extreme end of the wings are corner towers 76 feet high."

Clark University was the brainchild of Jonas Gilman Clark, who organized a group of prominent local citizens to petition the state legislature and then personally donated $1,000,000 (roughly $25,000,000 in current dollars) to establish the school. This building was the first erected on campus and was designed by architect Stephen C. Earle in the Classical Revival style.

  Jonas Clark Hall, Clark University: August 24, 2016

Jonas Clark Hall, Clark University: August 24, 2016

Jonas Clark Hall has today been joined by many other buildings on the expanded campus but is still the centerpiece of the University. Seen from the front gates at 950 Main Street, it announces both the school itself and the year of its founding in bold granite lettering.

Clark-University_JC-Hall_P_12-11-xxxx_BK.jpg

Sent to: Miss Marguerite Taggart
Address: Bartonsville, VT
Postmark: 12/11/1906 - Worcester Mass.
F: Marguerite Nothing else to do so I thought I would send you a picture (of my?) girl. I like my work very much. (Father?) (Fletcher?)

THE MYSTERY

Clark-University_JC-Hall_P_12-11-xxxx_FR_TEXT-ONLY.jpg
  • The paucity of letter-forms on any postcard often makes it difficult to tease out some parts of the written content. That is certainly the case here. Is the card signed, "Father" or "Fletcher?" We know from the census that Marguerite's father was living with his family in 1900 and 1920, but was not recorded there in 1910. However, since he was a railroad conductor, he might well have been missed during that particular census and no doubt traveled through Worcester on a regular basis.

THE SENDER

We may speculate that the sender was Marguerite's father, as above, but if that's not the case, then "Fletcher" will, no doubt, forever remain an unknown figure in this context.

THE RECIPIENT

Marguerite Esther Taggart, the daughter of Charles and Jennie Taggart, was born on March 23, 1891 in North Walpole, New Hampshire. She married Frank Snow on August 12, 1913 and at the time of the 1930 Federal census was living with him in Rockingham, Windham, Vermont. He owned a General Store, where she worked as a Sales Clerk, and they had one daughter, Marguerit Virginia Snow, born October 23, 1917.

REFERENCES
(1) (Jonas) Clark Hall - Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System
(2) Jonas Clark's Gift - The New York Times (October 23, 1887) [ Paywall ]
(3) Postcard History - Smithsonian Institute
(4) 1900, 1910, 1920 & 1930 Federal Census Records - Ancestry.com

The Card

The Metropolitan News Co., Boston Mass.
Manufacturers of Souvenir Postal Cards.
Made in Germany.
[5595.]

Boy's Club - I have no pets now . . .

Boys-Club_Lincoln-Square_P_08-11-1944_FR.jpg

The Worcester Boy's Club at Lincoln Square was opened in 1930 to serve the Club's rapidly expanding membership in the city. After a fundraising effort that collected almost $450,000 (roughly $6.5 million in current dollars) the building was constructed on property that had previously been the site of Salisbury Mansion, which was moved just up the hill and now sits at 40 Highland Street. The World War I memorial in front of the Club was also later relocated slightly and its left edge is now just visible in the far right side of the image below.

  Boy's Club Building (Voke School): October 7, 2014

Boy's Club Building (Voke School): October 7, 2014

The architectural firm for this simplified Neo-Georgian structure was Frost, Chamberlain and Edwards, a well-known local firm that also designed many other significant buildings in the city. After the Boy's Club abandoned the building, it was incorporated into the neighboring "Voke School" complex . . . which explains, but does not excuse, the ugly block lettering seen in the image above. In 2006, the city completed a new Worcester Technical High School and moved all of its vocational programs to that facility. Since that time, numerous attempts have been made to entice a developer for this building but it currently remains closed.

Sent to: Miss Marilyn Stevens
Address: Beckemeyer, Illinois
Dear Marilyn
Thanks for the lovely card. I was glad to hear from you again.
I have no pets now as my little dog died.
Marilyn C.

  Postmark: 08/11/1944 - Worcester Mass.

Postmark: 08/11/1944 - Worcester Mass.

THE MYSTERY

  • According to the City Assessor, this building was completed in 1915, but that's when the other Boy's Club on Ionic Avenue was opened. The Assessor also says that it's located at 16 Salisbury Street (which must be correct), although none of the property lines currently abut that street. The Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System provides a definitive opening date of 1930 and gives the location simply as Lincoln Square.

THE SENDER

Knowing that the recipient of this card was 15 years old at the time suggests that sender was roughly the same age. This is further affirmed by the direct, unemotional, and plainspoken report, "I have no pets now as my little dog died." For a young teen, that event was probably quite heartbreaking but, in the midst of a global war, the daily drumbeat of reported deaths must have changed perspectives for everyone who remained at home . . . waiting.

THE RECIPIENT

Marilyn Stevens appears in the 1940 Federal Census, residing with her father, mother and older brother in Beckemeyer, Illinois. She was born on December 31, 1927 and, based on all evidence, lived there for her entire life. Her brother John joined the U.S. Army in 1943 and was almost certainly serving overseas when this card was sent. Marilyn (Stevens) Bromley died in 2002, just shy of her 75th birthday and is buried in Saint Anthony's Cemetery, Beckemeyer, Illinois.

REFERENCES
(1) 1940 Federal Census - Ancestry.com

The Card

PUB. BY PERKINS & BUTLER INC., WORCESTER MASS.
"TICHNOR QUALITY VIEWS" REG U.S. PAT. OFF.
MADE ONLY BY TICHNOR BROS. INC., BOSTON, MASS.
[63319]

Women's Club

  This postcard is unused (never postmarked).

This postcard is unused (never postmarked).

The Worcester Women's Club Building, completed in 1902 and now known as Tuckerman Hall, is one of the most unique and historically interesting buildings in Worcester. It's triangular shape was essentially dictated by the small parcel of land on which it is built, but the design solution for this limited footprint is both elegant and beautiful.

Worcester-Assessors-Map_Tuckerman-Hall.JPG

The architect, Josephine Wright Chapman, anchored this Neoclassical Revival building with circular towers on each of the three corners, which allowed a setback of the main facade and provided room for a drive-through portico. To accommodate a sharply sloped building site, the front of the building is four stories tall, while the back is only three stories.

The life story of Josephine Wright Chapman is worthy of an entire book and an overview of her history can be found in the references provided below. She was born in 1867 and, despite her family's intense disapproval, convinced a prominent Boston architect (Clarence Blackall) to accept her as an apprentice. Five years later Chapman established her own firm and in 1901 applied to join the American Institute of Architects and the Boston Architectural Club. They both turned her down. Chapman subsequently moved to New York City and in 1907 was accepted as a member by the New York Society of Architects.

  Tuckerman Hall - July 27, 2014

Tuckerman Hall - July 27, 2014

Tuckerman Hall today is the home of the Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra and hosts dozens of public and private events each year.

REFERENCES
(1) Josephine Wright Chapman and Tuckerman Hall - Tuckerman Hall
(2) The First Women Architects (Pages 60 - 62) - Google Books
(3) 10 Tuckerman Street - City of Worcester Property Records

Womens-Club-Building_NP_SEP-2016_BK.jpg

THE CARD

Souvenir Poatcard Co., New York and Berlin
 

Bancroft Tower - You are not forgotten.

Bancroft-Tower_P_07-15-1913_FR.jpg

Bancroft Tower is the only remaining example of three similar structures that once stood in the city of Worcester. It's construction was funded by Stephen Salisbury III to honor the memory of George Bancroft who, among a host of other accomplishments, created the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis during his tenure as the U.S. Secretary of Navy. Designed by the local firm of Earle & Fisher, the tower was completed in 1900 at a cost of $15,000 and is now the centerpiece of Salisbury Park.

  Bancroft Tower: October 8, 2014

Bancroft Tower: October 8, 2014

Sent to: Mrs. Jos. A. Peckham
Address: Newport, R.I.
You are not forgotten. I am very busy & too tired to write much. Picked 24 1/2 qts. blueberries to-day. Earned $2.94 to-day. Not much compared to your strawberry crop. We have to bring all our water. It is very dry, even berries which suffer the least will not last long if rain does not come soon. It probably will as God usually provides all. I don't feel very good to-night Give my love to both families. Ethel C.
I'm too tired to write as I ought.

  Postmark: 07/15/1913 - Montague, MA

Postmark: 07/15/1913 - Montague, MA

THE MYSTERY

  • The message on this card is not so much a mystery as it is a startling view into one rural laborer's life during the early 1900's. At the time, Ethel was working on a farm in Montague, Massachusetts earning 12 cents per quart of blueberries picked. Today, on an inflation adjusted basis, that would be about $3.02 per quart, or $74 for her day's work. She is clearly exhausted and not feeling well. And no wonder!! In the middle of a hot, dry July, she probably worked 10 - 12 hours per day for six days a week.

THE SENDER

The absence of the sender's surname on this card leaves her history relatively immune to research. However, she and the recipient clearly have a close relationship and the pain of her separation from "both families" is evident from the first sentence.

THE RECIPIENT

Ella Remembrance (Farnum) Peckham (Mrs. Jos. A. Peckham) was born in Peru, Vermont in 1879 and was married there in 1899. At the time of the 1910 federal census, she was living on a farm in Middletown, Newport, Rhode Island with her husband and three children. She died in 1969 and is buried beside her husband in the Middletown Cemetery.

REFERENCES
(1) 1910 Federal Census - Ancestry.com

THE CARD

Identity of printer/distributor not shown on the card.
[64314]