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Main Street from Harrington Corner - Isn't it time?

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Quite remarkably, most of the buildings seen in this view of Main Street from the early 1900's have survived relatively intact. Prominent among them is the building in the immediate foreground on the right, Harrington Corner, designed by famed architect Elbridge Boyden and completed in 1850. Boyden's work over the course of a 50-year career included dozens of elegant homes, churches and commercial buildings in Worcester and many, many more throughout the Northeast.

Harrington Corner: April 5, 2017

Harrington Corner: April 5, 2017

Postmark: 08/04/1906 - Worcester, MA

Postmark: 08/04/1906 - Worcester, MA

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Sent to: Mr. H. J. Soule
Address: Franklin, VT
What does your postal mean? Haven't you rec'd my letter yet? I am alone at the office. My pictures haven't come yet. Isn't it time?

THE MYSTERY

  • The mysteries here are many and rich, all contained in five short sentences on the face of the card. The sender has sent a previous letter (What does your postal mean?) but is quite confused by a recent missive from the recipient (Haven't you rec'd my letter?). The possibilities are endless. And, pictures of what? Finally, a plaintive note, "I am alone at the office." Alone and reaching out for some human connection via postcard.

THE SENDER

Unfortunately, there is no signature or other indication of who the sender might have been.

THE RECIPIENT

There are no easily located records for Mr. H. J. Soule in Franklin, Vermont. However, the card was sent "c/o Wm. Riley, R.D. No. 1." and a William J. Riley is listed on the 1910 U.S. census as a farmer in Franklin County. The obvious inference then would be that Mr. Soule was a laborer at the farm, not a permanent resident, which would explain the addressing of the card.

THE CARD

Published by The Metropolitan News Co., Boston

Old Ladies' Home - Many thanks for the card ...

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The "Old Ladies' Home" was built in 1896 with funds willed by Ichabod Washburn. According to his wishes, the home was to provide for “those who have not been the recipients of public charity, but have respectably sustained a struggle with disease or misfortune, till such a refuge at the Home will be appreciated and enjoyed by them.” This building survives today and is currently owned and occupied by Washburn House LLC, which runs an addiction recovery center for adults aged 18 and older.

REFERENCES
(1) Website of Washburn House.

Sent to: John A. Scherf
Address: Easton, PA
Many thanks for the card - call again.
From: M. C. Brace, 864 & 1/2 Main Street, [Worcester, MA]

Postmark: 02/24/1909 - Worcester, MA

Postmark: 02/24/1909 - Worcester, MA

THE MYSTERY

  • As with many postcards, the connection between the sender and recipient is unknown and indecipherable from the text alone. In this case, the only thread I can discover is that the recipient as well as the sender's mother had Germanic surnames. Cousins perhaps?

THE SENDER

Margaret(h) C. Brace, born in 1885, was the daughter of Charles W. & Margaret(h) J. Brace, née Gompf. On the 1910 census, she was recorded as living in Worcester with her parents and three siblings (George, Gertrude & Anna) and working as a Milliner in a department store. By the time of the 1940 census, she was widowed and living with her aged parents.  She died in 1970 and is buried at Locust Hill Cemetery in Evansville, Indiana.

THE RECIPIENT

John A. Scherf was born in May 1890 and would have been just 18 years old when this card was sent. About this time he is listed in the Easton city directory as a Silk Worker. He died in 1952 and is buried in the South Easton Cemetery.

THE CARD

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

Worcester Consolidated Car Barn - I went on weaving alone...

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The Worcester Consolidated Car Barn, located at 99-109 Main Street, was built in 1903 from plans prepared by the firm of Frost, Briggs, & Chamberlain.

A survey by the U.S. Department of the Interior in the 1980's reported that the building was "In good condition, to be demolished." Replaced originally by a hotel, which ultimately failed, the building on this site is now occupied by the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Services

REFERENCES
(1) Historic American Buildings Survey, Department of the Interior, Washington, DC

Sent to: Mrs. Fred Schraft
Address: Norwich, New York
WORCESTER, MA
I received your letter yesterday I wrote you a letter the other day didn't your get We haven't got any work today untill Tuesday because they are doing some repairing to the mill I wrote and told you I went to work Monday I went on weaving alone Wednesday it did not take me long to learn. I do not know just how long I will stay I will write later. ~Rosa

 

Postmark: 08/31/1912 - Worcester, MA

Postmark: 08/31/1912 - Worcester, MA

THE MYSTERY

  • In 1912, the city of Worcester had hundreds of operating mills of all types. Rosa's comment that ". . . it did not take me long to learn." suggests that she was recently arrived in Worcester. Where exactly did she work and what product was she weaving?

THE SENDER

Rosa Schraft was born March 10, 1890, to Fred Shraft and Christana (Dues) Schraft, in Norwich Chen, New York. At the time this postcard was sent, she would have been 22 years old. She was married the following year on November 1, 1913 and died in 1976. She is buried at  Mount Hope Cemetery, Norwich, Chenango County, New York, USA.