One Postcard Saturdays: Goffstown, NH

While I was reorganizing and sorting through some of my postcards, recently, I came upon this one of interest titled “Camp On Top of the Uncanvonuc Mountain, Goffstown, NH”. I thought that it would be nice to share it as a One Postcard Saturdays feature.

This postcard was published by Blaisdell & Co., Goffstown, NH and it was sent to Aunt Etta (Henrietta James Hooper) in North Attleboro, Mass., from “Sister Sue”. It was postmarked from Goffstown, on Sept. 13, 1928. I believe the sender to be Etta’s sister-in-law Susan (Henrich) James wife of Etta’s brother George L.P. James.

The handwritten message reads: “Hello Sis, Up here in N.H. since Sat. Lovely up here, expect to go up this mountain before we go home. We are right on the edge of the lake about four miles from main road. Hope you are well. Lovingly, Sis Sue”

According to the Goffstown website (accessed 16 Oct 2021), the town was incorporated in 1761 and is named for Colonel John Goffe. He was an early settler, a soldier and a civic leader. Goffstown began as a farming community and is located in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire.

The village of Grasmere, located on the north bank of the Piscataquog River was the first area settled and was the seat of town government for more than 100 years. Due to the availability of water power, local industry developed around the falls on the Piscataquog River forming the village of Goffstown. There is quite a bit of history to be found of this town online if you wish to learn more and there are easily searchable websites with some valuable genealogy information if your ancestors lived in this area.

There are actually two mountains located in Goffstown, North and South Uncanoonuc Mountains (corrected spelling from what appeared on the face of the postcard). These mountains are located in the far southwestern section of the town. The following elevations listed for each mountain are according to the trails NH website (accessed 16 Oct 2021). The North Uncanoonuc Mountain has an elevation of 1316′ and the South Uncanoonuc Mountain has a 1296′ elevation. There are hiking trails in the area that can be researched online, if interested.

The pictured image on the postcard brings admiration of days gone by–horse and wagon days. Those two well-dressed men pictured must have faced some challenges as they camped on that mountain.

Until next time…

Note: If you would like to learn more about a certain surname that I have written about in previous blogs, such as Henrich, James or Hooper, you may go to my Home Page and there you will see various surname tabs. If you click on a specific tab, you will find some of the postings connected with that surname.


One Postcard Saturdays: Charlestown Bridge in Boston

Timing is everything!

Much to my surprise today, when I randomly picked my featured postcard, I learned that in less than two weeks demolition will begin on the historic Charlestown Bridge. It is also known as the North Washington Street Bridge located in Boston, Massachusetts.

This very rare steel, swing drawbridge (center pier) structure was built between 1898-1900 by the Boston Transit Commission. Their Chief Engineer was William Jackson (1848-1910) and it was constructed by the Pennsylvania Steel Company, of Steelton, PA.

Several years ago, I developed a greater appreciation for the various types of bridges that are constructed. One of my children had an extensive segment in school learning about bridge history with all the different types and specific designs so they could learn to recognize such differences–the assignments included projects such as detailed drawings. Before that point, I really had little realization of such wide differences in bridges.

Bridge Details-

The Charlestown Bridge was 100-foot wide and about 1000-feet long. Being located on North Washington Street and going over the Charles River it connected the historic Boston neighborhoods of Charlestown and the North End.

This double-decked bridge was designed to carry the Charlestown Elevated Railway, as well as, vehicle traffic. There was an overhead structure built on the center lane of the bridge for the Elevated mainline tracks, with the lower deck for two 28-foot carriageways on either side of a 22-foot right-of-way for electric streetcars.

The draw span was about 240-foot in length and consisted of four pin-connected trusses. The turntable motors of this bridge were electrically operated and took about two minutes to open or close the span. The draw was last used in 1956 and was permanently closed in 1961.

The Elevated and surface tracks were eliminated on the bridge in 1975.

In August of 2018, construction began on a replacement bridge and is expected to continue until Spring of 2023.

A temporary bridge has been installed and will be used starting in less than a week, on July 17th, until the permanent one is ready. Sadly, demolition of the old historic bridge is set to begin on July 20th.

The new bridge being constructed is being called a “street over water” and it will include: two vehicle lanes in each direction; one inbound bus lane; cycle tracks in each direction; and sidewalks on both sides with an overlook and seating area.

Postmark Info-

My actual featured postcard, with message shown below, was postmarked from Franklin, Mass., and was sent to Mrs. Henrietta J. Hooper (1861-1943), in Plainville, Mass. If you would like to learn more about Aunt Etta, please see my previous blog post: Intro to Aunt Etta And Her Great Adventures.

Postcard Message-

As best that I can make out, the message reads as follows:

Dear Etta, Hope you area feeling well. Am sorry I got so behind with the papers (?) but since inspection was over I have been cleaning house and for the last two days have been in the attic. I get so tired by night I can’t write or do much of anything but go to bed. All you can do is to scold me when you see me. It seemed like old times to see Mrs. Stewart and Mrs. Wood at the Corps meeting. Don’t work any harder than you have to. Goodbye with love, Winnie

One of the organizations that Aunt Etta belonged to was the Women’s Relief Corps (WRC), which was the Auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). So, I am assuming that is the Corps meeting referred to by the postcard sender. There are other postcards in Aunt Etta’s collection signed by Mrs. Stewart so I recognize that name but I don’t recall seeing a Mrs. Wood at the moment.

Postcard Publisher-

This postcard was published by the Tichnor Brothers, Inc. (1908-1987), Cambridge, Mass. They published a wide variety of postcard types.

If you are new to my blog, my posting today is part of a series I call “One Postcard Saturdays” where I feature a postcard that usually has some type of landmark picture. In turn, I explore the landmark with a little research and try to give a few details about it.

Until next time…


Reference Sources:


Commonwealth of Massachusetts. North Washington Street Bridge Replacement, Accessed 11 July 2020.

Historic Bridges. North Washington Street Bridge; Charlestown Bridge, Accessed 11 July 2020.

Metropostcard. Publishers, Accessed 11 July 2020.

Wikipedia. Charlestown Bridge, Accessed 11 July 2020.


One Postcard Saturdays: Hotel Gerald

Hotel Gerald, Main Street, Fairfield, Maine

Businessman and longtime resident of Fairfield, Maine, Amos F. Gerald (1841-1913) was an investor in electric trolley systems, industrial mills and amusement parks. From 1899 to 1900 he built a Renaissance Revival-style hotel that was designed by architect William R. Miller.

Located at 151 Main Street, in Fairfield, Maine, the Gerald Hotel operated for 35 years with storefronts being on the ground level, including Lawrie Furniture that was in operation until 1963.

The Gerald building still exists but the original rooftop pavilion and dome pieces were removed in the mid-20th century. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013. There are no longer any buildings on either side of it and the three prominent buildings, across the street,  still exist with slight changes from the originals shown in the postcard.

Fairfield, Maine, Main Street showing Hotel Gerald

In 2013, the old Gerald Hotel building saw its first tenant in 76 years, providing affordable senior housing and is now known as Gerald Senior Residence. The building had undergone $6.5 million in renovations.

The town of Fairfield was incorporated in 1788 and currently covers nearly 55 square miles.

Miss Sarah Potter, St. John’s Church

My featured postcard was postmarked in 1905 from Stark, Maine and was sent to Miss Sarah Potter, 271 North Main Street, in Providence, Rhode Island. This address is the location of the Cathedral of St. John, Episcopal Church. It was known as St. John’s Church at the time of this postcard.

The parish was organized in 1722 as King’s Church and was renamed St. John’s Church in 1794. The original building was wooden. In 1810, work began on the Cathedral. In 1929, St. John’s Church became the Cathedral of St. John.

I believe the receiver of this postcard, Sarah Potter, was a friend of Aunt Etta’s, not a family member. In case you are new to my blog, Aunt Etta’s full name was Henrietta Jane (James) Hooper. I am uncertain about her personal history involving St. John’s Church; however, I have other postcards that were addressed to Sarah and also cards that were addressed to Aunt Etta at this location in care of the church. I don’t know if Etta had worked there for a while or if there was a residence there where she lived (and perhaps met Sarah in the process). It is still an unsolved mystery, at this time, and research for another day.

Postcard Publisher Leighton

This postcard was published by the Hugh C. Leighton Co., Manufacturers (1904-1909), Portland, Maine and was printed in Frankfort, Germany; No. 4523. They printed and published national view-cards, most were tinted halftones and numbered. Also, most were manufactured in Frankfort, Germany although some were printed in their US location. This publisher merged with Valentine & Sons in 1909.

Until next time…

Reference Sources

Websites:; article dated Nov 16, 2013; Accessed 30 May 2020.; Accessed 30 May 2020.; Accessed 30 May 2020.; Accessed 30 May 2020.; Accessed 30 May 2020.






One Postcard Saturdays: Worcester Market

My series, One Postcard Saturdays, ran for a few weeks last year when I focused on providing background highlights on the subject pictured on each postcard. Once again, while sorting through some of my family collection, I have set aside a few postcards to feature another round of this series.

Not to be forgotten, I will at some point in the near future complete my three-part series based on old-time Radio Actress Bess Johnson. If you would like to read the first part of that series, please see my previous posting: Radio Star Bess Johnson: Fan Letter.

My featured postcard this time around is of the Worcester Market, in Worcester, Massachusetts. It was published by Henry Freeman & Co., in Worcester, Mass.

The City of Worcester occupies an area of about eight-square miles and is located midway between Boston and Springfield.

In the early 1900’s, Worcester’s commerce was centered around Main Street, between Lincoln Square and the Common.

The last period of growth for Worcester happened during the time frame of 1891 to 1930 when corporate enterprise became a major influence on the commercial district. In early times, there were smaller row buildings and they were replaced by larger office buildings.

Thought to be the largest grocery supply building in the nation, the Worcester Market was built in 1914. It handled all aspects of food retailing–replacing many of the city’s small suppliers.

The Worcester Market Building still exists in the present time as leased office space. It is located at 627 Main Street. It was designed by architect Oreste Ziroli.

This building was part of approximately 1,200 buildings that were researched in great detail between March 1977 and March 1978 for the submission of the nomination form to the National Register. The area was listed on March 5, 1980 as the Worcester Multiple Resource Area, National Register of Historic Places Inventory; US Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service.

Originally, there was a building located next door to the Worcester Market that is shown on the top left portion of the postcard and this was the Worcester Royal Hotel which no longer exists.

This featured postcard was postmarked on October 30, 1916 from Worcester, Mass., and was sent to Aunt Etta’s husband William Thomas Hooper (born 1860). They were living in Franklin, Mass., at that time. William was a son of Ephraim (1813-1885) and Isabella (Giddings) Hooper who were the parents of eight children.

William Hooper married Henrietta Jane James (Aunt Etta) on July 10, 1878.

The postcard was sent by William’s sister Sarah. She was born about 1856 and died on August 15, 1927, in Worcester, Mass.

Sarah’s message: Dear Brother and Sister. Got home all right. Will write soon. With love, Sarah

Sarah was married to Stinson William Hodgdon (1853-1930). “Stin” was one of nine children born to: Mary P. (Hurmant) (1831-1888) and David Stinson Hodgdon (1831-1894). David and Mary were married in 1852 in Wiscasset, Maine.

Stin and Sarah resided in Worcester for many years. There are many other postcard correspondence from them in Aunt Etta’s collection, some of them being real photo postcards taken by Stin. Hopefully, I will be able share more of them in future postings.

There is still more research to be done on the Hooper branch; however, if you would like to learn a bit more you might check out my previous blog posting: Don’t Jump Too Fast To Conclusions.

To learn more about Aunt Etta, you might like to read my previous posting: Intro to Aunt Etta And Her Great Adventures.

Until next time…

Reference Source:

Website:; Accessed 02 May 2020.

One Postcard Saturdays – Revere Beach

Revere Beach, Massachusetts, was home to one of the largest roller coasters in the US, from 1925 to 1969, called The Cyclone. It was a wooden coaster, saw speeds of up to 50 miles per hour and had peaks of up to 100 feet high.

Known as “America’s First Public Beach”, Revere Beach is located about five miles north of Boston. This area was originally settled in 1630 as a farming village known as Rumney Marsh.

From 1900 until 1988, Revere Beach was well known for its Big Band music and dance pavilions. In addition, the area had several rides, movie theaters, hotels, restaurants and special attractions. Visitors would come from all over the world.

My featured postcard is of “The Shelter”, Revere Beach, Mass. I am unsure of the publisher but there is a number listed in the top left corner of the front side: S 54 and this postcard was printed in Germany.

This card was postmarked in 1909 from Revere, Mass., and was sent to Aunt Etta (Mrs. William Hooper) in Franklin, Mass. It was signed by “Maybel”, which I believe would be Mabel (Dollof) James, wife of William James (brother to Aunt Etta), they resided on Cleveland St., in the Hyde Park section of Boston.

The message on the postcard reads:

Dear Brother and Sister,
Alice and I are at the beach to day and having a fine time. With Love, Maybel

Since I know that William and Mabel had a daughter named Alice, I would think that the message is referring to said daughter. Once again, in future blogs I hope to explore this family further.

As for Revere Beach, it is still a public beach with restaurants, high-rise condo’s and single family homes. All the ride attractions have long since been removed.

Until next time…

Reference Material

Website:; Accessed 05 March 2019.

Halloween Greeting Postcard by The Fairman Co.

My featured postcard Hallowe’en Greeting was published by The Fairman Co. of Cincinnati and New York, Series No. 6908. This company was known by the trademark The Pink of Perfection.

Here is the verse that appears on the front of the card:

Better be careful what you’re about

The goblins are here without a doubt.


This postcard was sent to Aunt Etta (Henrietta James Hooper) in Plainville, Mass. by her friend Olive. There is further research that I need to do on Olive, but for today I will leave it at that. The postmark on the card is from Providence and it looks to be 1919 (?), it is hard to read the year for sure. If you would like to learn more about Aunt Etta, please see my previous blog posting Intro to Aunt Etta And Her Great Adventures.

The message written on the postcard by Olive reads as follows:

Just a line to let you know I am thinking of you. I expect to come and see you before the very cold weather.

Hoping to find you in the best of health. I still send my love.


Today, I am keeping to this short and simple posting. During the week, if time allows, I do have some other Halloween postcards that I may share between now and next Monday.

Until next time…

Don’t Jump Too Fast To Conclusions

As it turns out, Aunt Etta actually had two nieces by the first name of Edith. In choosing which Halloween postcard to run for this blog, at first glance I assumed this card was from Niece Edith, daughter of Aunt Etta’s brother William James, but upon closer look discovered that was not the case. Instead, I opened up for myself a whole can of worms–a new mystery to be solved. In future blogs, I will explore the children of William and Mabel James (including their daughter Edith) in greater detail, but for this blog will focus on the family ties of this postcard sender Edith and her husband. For greater background on Aunt Etta, please visit my previous blog Intro to Aunt Etta And Her Great Adventures.

The postcard in my featured image was sent to Aunt Etta, in Franklin, Mass. and was signed by Edith. It appears the postmark is from October 13, 1909 from Providence, RI. This particular Edith lists her marriage name and address on the card as Mrs. Percy Eames, 55 Wollaston Street, Auburn (a section in Cranston), RI. This street runs between Pontiac Avenue and Reservoir Road, in Cranston.

These clues were what I had to work with in order to correctly identify this Edith. So, after a fair amount of online records research and an in-person trip to the Rhode Island State Archives, in Providence, this blog will share the results of that research.

As it turns out, this niece Edith, is related on the side of Aunt Etta’s husband. According to birth records registered in the Town of Smithfield, RI, William Thomas Hooper was born on March 2, 1860, in Lonsdale. His parents were Ephraim and Isabella Hooper of Lonsdale. His father was listed as being a farmer, with his birthplace as Prince Edward Island. His mother’s birthplace was listed as England. William T. Hooper married Henrietta J. James (Aunt Etta) on July 10, 1878. The photo shown below, from 1913, is of William Hooper on the left and John Nickerson on the right who I believe to be the husband of another niece to Aunt Etta–we will look at his connection more in the future.

The Edith sending the postcard was the sixth child of William’s brother Washington Hooper and his wife Martha.

The following are children of Washington and Martha Hooper: Joseph Albert Hooper, born on June 6, 1874; Florence Gertrude Hooper, born on August 1, 1876 and died as an infant on July 12, 1877, in RI; Marietta Hooper, born on June 10, 1878; Henry Leslie Hooper born on December 7, 1880; Sarah Elizabeth Hooper born October 3, 1883; Edith Harriet Hooper, born on November 16, 1887; Mabel, born 1891.

There may be other siblings of Aunt Etta’s husband William that I have not yet discovered but for the purposes of research for this blog the only one that I can verify is Isaac S. Hooper, who died at age 7 on March 2, 1858 in RI, who was also a son of Ephraim and Isabella Hooper.

According to the 1900 Census record, Washington and Martha Hooper are listed as living in Cranston, RI. It shows Washington as being born in Canada in January of 1848 and immigrating to the US in 1865. His parents were listed as born in England. Martha Hooper, in this 1900 Census record, was listed as born in June of 1847 in Rhode Island. The children living in the home listed in this Census were: Henry, Sarah E., Harriet E. (Edith), and Mabel.

A death record for Martha Augustus Hooper shows her death as July 27, 1900, in Cranston, RI and that she was the daughter of William and Elizabeth Smith. She is buried in Pawtucket.

According her birth record, Edith Harriet Hooper was born on November 16, 1887, at 831 (R) North Main Street, Providence, Rhode Island. The birth record lists her father Washington’s occupation as a Laborer and that he was born at Prince Edward Island and that her mother Martha was born in Pawtucket, RI. I found a possible death record for Edith in 1976 which would have made her 89 years old at the time.

According to Providence Marriage records, it lists Percy F. Eames married to Harriet E. (Edith) Hooper on May 20, 1906. Percy and Edith had a daughter Dorothy Edith Eames, born January 28, 1907 and died February 10, 1907.

Percy Franklin Eames was born in Philadelphia, Pa., on Halloween, October 31, 1886 and died on August 29, 1955. He was a son of Charles M. and Fannie L. Eames. According to an Application for Headstone record, he is buried in Grace Church Cemetery, in Providence, with a Christian flat granite marker. There is record of a Dorothy E. Eames buried in the same cemetery, which I would think is his daughter (listed above).

According to the 1910 Census, in Providence, Percy and Harriett (Edith) are listed as having Washington Hooper (Edith’s father) living with them and that Washington was born in Canada.

According to the World War I Draft Registration (shown above) for Percy, in 1916, his address was listed as 77 Greenwich Street, in Providence, RI. By trade, he was an Automatic Toolsetter at W.J. Feeley, located at 169 South Angell Street. He had blue eyes
and light hair. He had a valve leakage of the heart. At that time, he was supporting his wife and father in-law. The date of his service registration was June 5, 1917; however, the Enlistment date was October 2, 1917. He was attached to the 76th Division at Camp Devins, Mass., in the National Army–unassigned. He received an Honorable Discharge on October 11, 1917.

I found a record for Percy in the World War II Old Man’s Draft (shown above) which was meant for men born on or after April 28, 1877 up to February 16, 1897. According to this record the address at that time (1941) for Percy was listed as Phila and Oak Avenue, in the town of National Park, Gloucester County, New Jersey. His wife was listed as Harriet E. (Edith) Eames. His employer was listed as W. J. Strandwitz, Jefferson and Master Streets, in Camden, NJ.

According to the 1930 (and 1940) Census record they were already living in that same location in New Jersey and was listed as owning the home at a $3500 value. That Census record listed Percy’s father as being born in Mass. and his mother as being born in North Carolina. That Census record listed the father of Harriet E. (Edith) as being born
in Nova Scotia and her mother being born in Rhode Island.

My featured Halloween postcard was designed by artist Ellen H. Clapsaddle. It was copyrighted by S. Garretour and printed in Germany.

The following highlights about the artist were taken from the online source Wikipedia.

Ellen Hattie Clapsaddle was born on January 8, 1865 in South Columbia, New York. She died on January 7, 1934. Her parents were Dennis L. and Harriet (Beckwith) Clapsaddle. Ellen’s great grandfather, Major Dennis Clapsaddle fought in the American Revoluntary War.

Ellen Clapsaddle was an American Illustrator who specialized in designing single-faced cards that could be kept as souvenirs or mailed as postcards. Over the course of her career she created over 3000 designs in this field.

There will probably be many more of her postcards featured here in future blogs.

My title is also the moral of this story, by taking the second look at the sender of this postcard to Aunt Etta and spending the little bit of extra time to match up Edith to the right parents I was able to come up with a lot of new information and correctly identify her–rather than jumping to my initial conclusions. As in many families, mine commonly used the same first names for several generations or among cousin generations and so forth; thus, it is important to make an effort to sort out who is who….sometimes easier said than done.

Until next time….

Intro to Aunt Etta And Her Great Adventures

My family has a long line of strong, independent-minded women and Henrietta Jane James was certainly one of them. By studying many of her postcard correspondence, I have learned she had a spark for adventure. Being the sister of my great-grandfather, Aunt Etta was actually my great great Aunt. She was born in Providence, Rhode Island on April 17, 1861 and lived to the age of 82, dying on April 24, 1943. She was one of ten children (siblings listed toward the end of this piece) born to Charles Henry James (1824-1892) and Julia Ann (Moore) James (1836-1914).

Learn more about Etta’s mother Julia (Grandma Julia) in blog post: Intro to Grandma Julia and the Bitgood’s Pine Knoll Laboratory

The earliest picture that I have found of Aunt Etta is shown here to the right, it is a tintype photo. Most likely, this picture dates to the mid-1870’s which would be her teen years.

At the age of 17, Henrietta was married to William T. Hooper on July 10, 1878. He was born about 1860 and died in 1932. According to the 1930 Census, William was living on Peck Street in Franklin, Mass., where he and Aunt Etta had lived for many years. He was still working as Deputy Sheriff for the District Court in Franklin. For some reason, on this 1930 Census, Aunt Etta was actually living on Spring Street, in Franklin, as a “lodger” in the home of Francis and Beatrice MacDonald. In the near future, I may find some clarity on this–were they separated, or perhaps she a caregiver of some kind? Over the years, Aunt Etta had lived in other places including at St. John’s Parish in Providence and for a time in Worcester, Mass.

This photo with bikes, to the left, was taken of Aunt Etta with her husband Bill around 1900 which would make her close to 40 years old at the time.

She and William had two children, both of whom tragically died early on: Ethel May was born on December 14, 1879 and sadly drowned on May 31, 1884; Irene was born on July 4, 1885 and died nine-months later on April 1, 1886.

There are two pair of shoes that belonged to Ethel May that have been passed down to me via my grandmother (Gra Gra). It seems that I remember my grandmother mentioning that someone in the family was a shoemaker that made them. These baby shoes were made in 1879 and 1881 and are pictured below.

The photo below was taken in 1913 with Aunt Etta wearing the print dress at age 52 and her husband Bill on the left in the picture. The other ladies I believe to be nieces, I am working on getting better able to specifically identify them. From the expression on her face, one can only wonder what she was thinking at the time.

In time, Aunt Etta became involved in organizations, one of those was the Women’s Relief Corps (WRC) which was the official Auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). The group of pictures shown below are from a very small luncheon brochure from 1926 that has been passed down that belonged to Aunt Etta, the last page of the brochure shows the symbol for the WRC.

The GAR, sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, was founded in Decatur, Ill. in 1866 by Benjamin F. Stephenson and disbanded in the late 1970’s. The membership was limited to honorably discharged veterans of the Union Army, Navy, Marine Corps or the Revenue Cutter Service who had served from 1861-1865. The GAR held Annual Encampments with the final one being held in 1949, in Indianapolis, Ind.

The 49th National Annual Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic was held September 27th thru October 2nd, 1915, in Washington, DC. There is a postcard pictured below that Aunt Etta had sent to my grandmother (Gra Gra) on Friday, September 24, 1915. She noted, “I leave Boston Sunday morning, (September 26th) at 9 o’clock for Washington, DC with the Grand Army”. At this time, Aunt Etta would have been 54 years old.

The Annual Encampment, in 1915, recognized the 50th Anniversary of the Grand Review when in 1865 the Union Civil War Armies marched down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. This event in 1915 was to be a reproduction of the original Grand Review and included a parade which passed by President Wilson and cabinet members. Many aging Veterans participated in this march for the last time. Some of this information was found from a historical newspaper article that appeared in the Herald Democrat dated July 6, 1915 that had been published in advance of the event.

My featured postcard at the top of the blog is of the Tea Room at the Sweet Heart Inn, Shelburne Falls, Mass. This 1920’s postcard was from The Albertype Co., of Brooklyn, NY.

According to “The History and Tradition of Shelburne, Mass.” the Sweet Heart Inn was built in 1914. Later, more seating and foods were added and it became the Sweet Heart Tea House. Alice Brown made heart-shaped molded candy from maple sugar called “Maple Sweethearts”.

Living in New England, the fall season becomes a brilliance of color with the changing foliage. Even in the present day, we enjoy a beautiful fall ride along the Mohawk Trail, also known as Route 2, in the northwest section of Massachusetts. And so it was the opportunity for such an adventure, perhaps, that in 1922 on October 14th and 15th, Aunt Etta took a fall automobile ride which would include the Mohawk Trail. According to Aunt Etta’s budget list, one of their stops was for dinner at the Sweet Heart Inn. One of the other images shows the list of towns they visited: “going through” and “Returning through Mohawk Trail”. Their journey began in Worcester and went as far as North Adams, having gone through the Berkshires. Aunt Etta, age 61 at the time of the trip and is standing in front of the auto wearing the dark-colored hat and lighter colored dress in the front row along with her traveling companions.




One of the pictures above (with the little roof) is of the “well at Jacob’s Ladder” which would have been on the first part of their journey, the “going through” section of her travel list. The picture would have been from the Jacob’s Ladder Trail Scenic Byway, part of what is also known as Route 20, as they went through the towns of Chester and Lee. This trail opened in 1910 for the new “horseless carriages” and there was a 100-year celebration held in 2010.

As I will explore some of the family interactions via postcard correspondence in future blogs, it will be helpful for me to provide some genealogical information here and make additions to it along the way. The following list will show the siblings of Aunt Etta and their spouses, I will save listing any offspring for future writings:

  • Harriett Ann James was born in Dighton, Mass., on November 12, 1854. She married William J. Young (born 1858) on July 4, 1878 and in the 1880 Census they were living in Providence and William was listed as a Jeweler. Harriett died of childbirth on December 8, 1893.
  • William Henry James was born in Dighton, Mass., on November 4, 1856. He married Mabel A. Dollof on December 25, 1877, in Providence.
  • Charles Edward James was born in Providence, RI on February 10, 1859 and died July 13, 1861.
  • Martin Royal VanBuren James was born in Walpole, Mass., on May 22, 1864. He married Mary (Mollie) J. Pease on November 20, 1895 in Boston, Mass. 
  • Ethan Allan James was born in Providence on November 25, 1866. He married Jennie Taylor in Conn. He died on November 6, 1928 at Backus Hospital, in Norwich, Conn. They are both buried at River Bend Cemetery, in Westerly, RI.
  • George Lang Parkhurst James (my great-grandfather) was born in Providence on February 25, 1869 and died March 15, 1926. He married first to Martha Ella Carr in 1890 and second to Susan Mary Henrich, from Plainville, Mass., on October 12, 1899.
  • Charles Frederick James was born in Providence on December 27, 1870 and died on September 7, 1871.
  • Byron Madison James was born in Providence on September 23, 1874. He married (unknown name at this time) and divorced. He was said to have disappeared for twenty years and died about 1935 near Schenectady, New York.
  • Frank Daniel James was born in Providence on November 29, 1876 and died on June 5, 1883.

The picture, just above, with Aunt Etta standing on the right with the man sitting who I think is her brother Ethan Allan, not her husband. I may be able to make a better determination in the near future.

We will learn more about Aunt Etta together in future blogs.

The picture you see here to the left is probably one of the last ones taken of her, so it is most likely from the 1940’s.

My mother used to mention Aunt Etta from time-to-time since she was fortunate enough to know her in person. By reading her extensive collection of postcards, in part at least at this point, I have grown to know her better and find her fascinating.

For myself, and for those that may choose to read my blog, I look forward to learning and sharing more about her life, as well as, her extended family.

Until next time…