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.


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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:

Webpages

Commonwealth of Massachusetts. North Washington Street Bridge Replacement, mass.gov/north-washington-street-bridge-replacement. Accessed 11 July 2020.

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

Metropostcard. Publishers, metropostcard.com/publisherst.html. Accessed 11 July 2020.

Wikipedia. Charlestown Bridge, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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:

Centralmaine.com; article dated Nov 16, 2013; Accessed 30 May 2020.

En.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Hotel; Accessed 30 May 2020.

Episcopalri.org/about/the-cathedral-of-st-john; Accessed 30 May 2020.

Fairfieldme.com/town/pages/history; Accessed 30 May 2020.

Metropostcard.com; 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: npgallery.nps.gov; Accessed 02 May 2020.

Radio Star Bess Johnson: Fan Letter

For the first fifteen years of my life, until we moved, I was able to admire a certain 8″x10″ framed photograph on a daily basis.  This photo was of radio actress Bess Johnson and it always sat on my mother’s sewing machine, which resided in the corner nook of our dining space. The picture of Bess, shown below, is not the same one referred to above, which I still possess but could not locate it in time for this posting.

Radio Actress Bess Johnson

This blog piece will be the first part of a three-part series focused on Bess Johnson. I will begin the series with some background on the friendship that developed between Bess and my family. The second piece will provide more details about her own family history background and the final piece will focus on her career highlights. Unfortunately, I cannot pinpoint exactly when the other two pieces will be written, but I will try my best to complete them in the very near future.

Bess was born in Keyser, West Virginia, in 1901, and grew up in Elkins, West Virginia. She died in 1975, in New York City. She had attended drama school in New York. Her radio work began in 1930 and she became known as the “Queen of Daytime Radio” on serial soap opera’s such as the Hilltop House and Lady Esther. In my third part of this series, I will explore her career in greater detail.

Bess was married in 1923 to Dr. Solomon Perry. They had a daughter, Jane Orr Perry. They were divorced in 1936. Bess was granted custody of their daughter Jane and she waived alimony, stating she earned more than her husband.

Bess with daughter Jane

Though not blood related, in our home she was fondly known as Aunt Bess. Through the years, I had been told that she was my eldest brother’s Godmother. To the best of my determination, it was about 1932 when my grandmother “Gra Gra” had sent a fan letter and it began a warm friendship between she and Bess. The letter had been sent to Bess via the National Broadcasting Company in New York City. In the letter, Gra Gra had expressed concern of why Bess had not been making her daily appearances on the Hilltop House program–for which she was known at the time. Bess had been confined by illness in her apartment when the letter reached her.

To learn more background about Gra Gra, you might like to read my previous post: Intro to Gra Gra & Volunteering at Kent Hospital.

Bess Johnson and Bertha Watts

Around 1940, Bess invited Gra Gra to be her guest in New York, which she immediately accepted. My grandmother was not a traveler, only doing so on a couple of occasions–this weekend visit to New York being one of them. Many times, as we sat at the breakfast table during my weekend visits, I would hear Gra Gra tell the story about her visit to see Bess and the lasting friendship that developed.

Bess with daughter Jane, sitting is Pop Pop and Gra Gra standing behind him

On June 24, 1940, my grandparents (T. Wm. and Bertha Watts) celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. At the time, they were still living in the Carr-LeValley homestead on Fairview Avenue, in the Phenix section of West Warwick, RI. According to a later newspaper article, Bess had been among those who attended the celebration. The picture shown above I believe was from a different occasion at a later date. To read more about the Carr-LeValley homestead, please see my previous post: LeValley Homestead, Fairview Ave and Moore’s Motor Service Postcard.

The Carr-LeValley homestead in 1939, Fairview Avenue

My grandparents moved from Fairview Avenue shortly after they celebrated that anniversary and lived for a short time on Maple Avenue before purchasing their home on South Street.

In 1941, while residing on Maple Avenue, Pop Pop got a surprise phone call on his birthday which would have been February 20th. At the other end of the line he heard a birthday-greeting song that Bess had recorded for him via a special disc. At first, he thought someone was playing a joke on him.

Headline from a local newspaper article telling the story of Pop Pop getting a birthday greeting from Bess Johnson

Over the years, Bess and Gra Gra continued corresponding and I have found some of the postcards that Bess had sent while traveling. For each of the three pieces I write in this Bess Johnson series, I will feature a different postcard received.

In March of 1941, Bess sent this featured postcard to Gra Gra when she traveled to Indian River Ranch, in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. This linen postcard was published by Curteich, Chicago, it is a “C.T. Art Colortone” and was distributed by Doubleday & Co., Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The handwritten message reads: “Dear Bert, Will try to write a letter soon. Its lovely here. Jane and I are having a grand time. Its been so nice and warm. We came by train and were sore all the way. Give my best to the family. Bess.”

Later in 1941, my grandparents purchased their home on South Street, in West Warwick, where they would live out the rest of their years–pictured below, before there was a garage addition.

Bess would come to visit them at the South Street home at least twice that I have found documented, possibly more. When daughter Jane was gearing up to graduate from school in Norton, Mass., they spent several days. My mom, Marian, was noted to have accompanied them while attending a play presentation “Twelfth Night” at the school in which Jane appeared in the role of “Sir Toby”.

Headline from a local newspaper article outlining their visit from 1942

Here are some pictures taken during that visit, showing the large backyard garden and goldfish pool. Gra Gra and Jane are looking at the pool and Bess is relaxing in a chair for one photo while picking flowers in the other.

 

Below are pictures taken during a later visit, about 1952, showing my eldest brother, Mark, with the two poodles that belonged to Bess.

 

My mom, Marian and Jane (with the flower in her hair) are pictured below.

More pictures will be shared in the next two postings. Please be on the lookout for my second-part in this Bess Johnson series, when I explore a bit of her family history.

Until next time…

 

Turkey Day Memories

I am thankful for the memories!

I am grateful that at this stage of my life I still have the ability to actually recall the memories–something that I do not take for granted.

My intention for this Thanksgiving blog was simply to find a greeting postcard that would have some interesting background that I could highlight in a brief posting. My focus changed after finding my featured postcard. It had a picture I really liked but the background surrounding the card is lacking in substance.

I do not know the publisher of this embossed postcard, I only know that it was printed in Saxony.

This postcard was sent to Grandma Julia in 1909, in Plainville, Mass. The sender was “The Three Graces”, postmarked from Providence, RI. I have not yet been able to determine the exact identity of the three Graces. However, a while back I started trying to put the pieces together and if memory serves me correctly there is a connection somehow with her sisters. For more background on Grandma Julia, please see a previous posting such as: Intro to Grandma Julia and the Bitgood’s Pine Knoll Laboratory.

Since I had so little background to share about this postcard, my thoughts began to focus on some of my own Thanksgiving memories–those from younger years. And so it goes that the remainder of this writing will highlight a few of those memories and spotlight my grandfather’s sister, we called Auntie, and her son David. In addition, I will close with an honorable mention of my brother Mark, whose birthday would have hit on Thanksgiving this year, November 28th.

Auntie and David in the mid-1960’s

During my youngest childhood years, my mom was always the hostess for the family Thanksgiving Dinner, as well as, for Christmas. It was a tight squeeze in our apartment for the average of 14, or so, family members attending. Out would come the folding metal table, that I still possess to this day, being set up alongside our normal table. There was an archway between the living room and dining area and this extended seating area would encompass both spaces.

My mom would cook a huge turkey, always 20-something pounds. I can still remember going with her to the local turkey farm to get a fresh turkey. I seem to remember the entrance to that farm being on the south side of Route 117 past Quaker Lane heading into the West Warwick area–I could be wrong, of course, but it was in that general area.

As I grew a little older, my dad decided that all the work my mom had to put into the Thanksgiving Dinner was getting to be too much. He suggested we start a new tradition of going out to eat for the Thanksgiving dinner, still with a gathering of the same family members–and so a new tradition began and continued for several years. Of course, over those next few years we gained a member or two and we also suffered a few losses.

For a few years, we held our “new tradition” Turkey Day gathering at the Showboat, in Coventry, on Lake Tiogue. This local favorite landmark was shaped like a large boat. It began in the 1940’s, prior to World War II and was tragically destroyed by fire on January 16, 1976. Of the select few places we went for these Thanksgiving Day feasts, this one location remains my favorite memory.

According to my memory, the Showboat dinner began with great soup that was set out on the table in a large tureen–I can still picture that in my mind. Each family received their own whole turkey at the table and all the trimmings were served family style. Any leftovers were brought home and we had no clean up to worry about.

Holiday dinner at Meadowbrook Inn

Other than the Showboat, we went a few times to the Meadowbrook Inn, in Charlestown, where both my brothers had worked at one time. We went to the Carriage Inn, in North Kingstown, at least once, maybe twice. The last of this dining-out tradition that I can remember was probably the very early 1980’s, at a place in South Kingstown that is long-since gone–it has changed hands several times since then.

The holidays always bring fond memories of Auntie and her son “Uncle David”. I tend to think of them both during this time more so than any other time of the year. She had one of the kindest souls that I have ever known.

My mom and David, probably about 1932.

I always looked forward to Auntie coming over to attend those early dinners, held at our apartment. We lived in the Greenwood section of Warwick, right on busy Route 5, Greenwich Avenue. She lived across the street from us in a little rental cottage during my younger years. Later on, her landlord, Mr. Palumbo, tore that place down to build a large apartment building. He was able to move her down the road a piece, to another place he owned. Her new apartment had been a barn that was renovated into living space for two single-level apartments. So, she did have one neighbor, it may have been a couple or just one younger man–can’t quite remember for sure. However, I can remember the man volunteered for the Big Brother organization and sometimes he had his young sidekick with him.

As the holidays approached, I always felt great anticipation for the arrival of my mom’s Cousin David from New York City–where he resided for many years. Us kids used to call him “Uncle” David because there was a large gap in age and it was not seen as proper for us to call an adult by their first name–even a cousin, I guess.

Auntie was born Annie Irene Watts on June 15, 1897, in England. She died in 1971, on a day that I will never forget–even though the actual date is not fresh at hand. She was in the hospital at that time. I can remember we were at the cottage in Charlestown and our close family friend, Mrs. Michaels, came over to deliver the message to my mom from the hospital–we had no phone there. It was like the world stopped for me that day.

Annie Irene Watts

Auntie was the youngest daughter of Jonas (died 1923) and Mary Jane (Pepper) Watts (died 1921)–they were married in 1880. They lived in Nottingham, England. Auntie was half-sister to Emma (from a different father), and full sister to Alice, Thomas William (my grandfather), and George Watts. She moved to the USA sometime after 1910 but prior to 1923 and remained here the rest of her life.

Photo taken about 1923 so Auntie was living here in the US by that time. Siblings standing in the back, Auntie and Pop Pop (Annie Irene and Thomas William Watts) And Gra Gra holding my mom’s hand.

When I was very young I can remember when Auntie was blind, I don’t know when it first happened. I remember she had surgery that allowed her to see from one eye but she lost the other, which was replaced with a glass eye. She always lived close by to us and spoiled us very much–especially my middle brother Keith and myself. My oldest brother, Mark, seemed more favored by my grandmother since he was the first born so I think that had something to do with Auntie giving us younger two a little more attention. It was later on that I would have a closer relationship with my grandmother.

Picture taken in 1950, Auntie, Pop Pop and Gra Gra, sitting on the black rattan couch. I loved that piece of furniture!

Since Auntie did not drive, my mom usually took her shopping on Saturday mornings, then my brother Keith and I would visit her. We watched cartoons followed by the other Saturday shows on her little TV.

Auntie with my brothers, probably about 1956, at her cottage.

When we had time off from school, Auntie would often take us on a bus ride to downtown Providence, or East Greenwich–back in the days when it was a pleasant thing to do. At that time Westminster Mall was closed off to traffic. Our first stop, downtown, was always at the Woolworth’s store–I can still see their lunch counter in my mind. One day, I had forgotten my shoulder-strapped hand bag at one of the counter stools and felt my heart race when I realized it. Luckily, when I ran back it was still there.

Our trips downtown always included shopping but I can remember Auntie having eye specialist appointments, as well. Before heading to the return bus stop, we commonly ate lunch at a nearby Chinese restaurant. We also bought popcorn to feed the pigeons while waiting for the bus.

The below pictures include Auntie’s brother Uncle George, with two of them taken in 1964 when he came over for a visit.

The pictures are not the best, a little blurry, the one that shows him sitting outside on the lounger chair was taken at Auntie’s little rental cottage, when she lived across the street from us. The photo with the boats was taken at Galilee, Narragansett, RI, during his visit in 1964.

It was probably within the next couple of years that Auntie moved from the little cottage to the place further down the road. Sometime after she moved, I can remember that she had an operation on her leg that replaced a vein with a plastic version.

Auntie worked at Leviton Mfg., in Warwick, for many years as an inspector–of some kind. I can remember helping her by stamping green slips that went into the items she inspected.

This picture was taken in June 1969. Auntie is in the light-colored coat, my brother Mark is almost 20 years old here, standing on the left end. Gra Gra is in the blue dress and my mom is on the right end. Photo was taken in the gardens outside Gra Gra’s house, in West Warwick, RI.

About 1969, or so, Auntie went to live in a newly-built senior housing place, West Shore Terrace, in Warwick–the same place as my paternal grandparents. So, she was a little further away from us over those last couple of years, too far for us to walk–for the first time.

Auntie had never married. She became a single parent with a son born in 1930, David Bruce Watts. He died in 2010, after suffering with dementia issues.

David attended and graduated from St. Andrew’s School, in Barrington. He served in the Navy for a while. I do have his service records but they are not handy for me as I write this piece. David settled in New York City and worked for a large advertising company. I can remember him bringing us “Leg’s Eggs” when he came home for the holidays.

Every time he was visiting here in RI, he would go out running every day. I can remember running along a time or two when we were down at the beach cottage. He used to tell us stories about his routine of running in Central Park, near where he lived in NYC. He also spoke about dreams of moving back to RI and opening a Judo school. He was a Judo instructor in NYC for many years, I do have some of his papers and awards for that, as well.

When I was young, David had a Japanese girl friend, she had come home with him to RI for Christmas several times. I remember she was a dancer in the Martha Graham dancers. She was just beautiful and I was quite fascinated with her. One time, she even wore her traditional Japanese Kimono for us and explained it all.

David never married, though, and had no children.

After Auntie died, we gave David the Concertina that had belonged to her and he found someone in NYC to give him lessons and he would play for us when he came to visit. I think he even purchased a new one at some point and played in a little band. Just for fun, I think.

He disconnected with the rest of us left in RI after my grandmother died, so sometime around 1983. It became a very difficult issue for me and something I still don’t understand what his reason was for doing so. I also wondered if I did something or said something. At some point, he talked with my middle brother to discuss his health issue which was not discussed with me. Personally, I never heard directly from him again.

It was much later that I learned of David’s dementia issues. When I learned of the facility where he was living, I sent him a letter but I don’t have any idea if he was able to comprehend it or not. I tried to find him when we visited NYC a short few years before he died but we were not successful. He had been moved from that facility to a different one and the staff would not release any information to me about his new location. The only question they would answer was when I asked if he was still alive, they said yes. For all the good that did me, because I was never able to find him. I do know now that he had been moved to a place New Jersey, which was the location of his death–sadly, something I learned about much after the fact. At least I know I tried, but it would have been nice to see him one more time.

On a side note, my oldest brother, Mark, was born on November 28, 1949. He died of cancer in 2000. His birthday often fell on Thanksgiving Day.

One of my favorites pictures of Mark as a baby was taken at Thanksgiving, in 1950, when he was one year old. They gave him a turkey leg to chomp on.

My brother Mark, Thanksgiving in 1950.

Another picture taken on Thanksgiving in 1950 is multi-generational. Mark is sitting with Grandma (Henrich) James, she is Gra Gra’s step-mom. Looking at the picture, sitting on the left end is our maternal grandmother, Gra Gra–Bertha L. (James) Watts. On the right end is paternal grandmother, Grammy–Alice (Holden) Lindall. Our mom, Marian, is sitting in the back.

To learn more about the Henrich family connection, please see post: What’s in a Name, Lena Henrich?

To learn more about Gra Gra, please see post: Intro to Gra Gra & Volunteering at Kent Hospital

I am, indeed, thankful for the memories!!

Until next time…

 

 

A 50th Anniversary Celebration: Hiram & Hannah Lindall

In the year 1846, on the date of November 9th, my paternal great great grandparents were married. In 1896, Hiram and Hannah (Jordan) Lindall celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with their children and grandchildren. The event was notated in more than one newspaper article, including the one shown below.

 

Hiram, pictured below left, was a farmer and house carpenter and was still quite active into his elderly years. He was a hard worker and known to take the early morning train from Coventry to Providence and return at night. Hannah, pictured below right, was admired for her beauty and it was said that her daughters inherited that same quality.

Hannah Jordan Lindall

Hiram Lindall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a poem printed in one of the newspaper articles in tribute to them:

 

“Now here’s a health to the jolly pair,
I avow, we all admire ’em;
We wish that all the boys had fare,
Of sand like uncle Hiram.

He says with 50 years gone by,
His wife should have the banner;
In love and toil and constancy,
There’s nothing the matter with Hannah.”

Over the years, I have spent a lot of research time on my paternal Lindall family branch but am really just starting to dig deeper into the Jordan connection. Below is a reunion photo of the Jordan Homestead in 1900.

About a week ago, I revisited the Hopkins Hollow Cemetery (CY012) which I had first visited several years ago. This historical cemetery is located in the Greene section of Coventry, RI, and it is where some my Jordan ancestors are buried.

Hannah’s father was John Jordan (1800c-1883) and her mother was Mercy (Weaver) Jordan (1800c-1893). According to John’s gravestone he died at Aged 83 years 8 months & 8 days and words carved say “Shall we meet beyond the river, I am safe within the harbor.” John was the son of Edmund Jordan.

The gravestone of Mercy (Weaver) Jordan, states she died Aged 93 years, 1 month, & 22 days with words carved that say “There is rest for the weary.” Mercy was the daughter of John Weaver (1769-1853) and Ruth (Wilbur) Weaver.

During my recent cemetery visit, I noticed gravestones next to John and Mercy for several daughters, as follows, with age at death:

Caroline, Aged 1 year
Sally, Aged 11 years
Sarah Jane, Aged 16 years
Mary, Aged 1 month
Ruth, Aged 3 years

Hiram Lindall and Hannah Jordan were married by Elder Thomas Tillinghast, at Maple Root Church, in Coventry, on a dark and rainy day.

Home located at 2 Wood St., in Washington Village, Coventry, RI. It is thought to be the home of Hiram and Hannah. She is the lady in the center.

Hannah was born on April 23, 1827 and was 8 months younger than Hiram.

Hiram Lindall

Born on August 4, 1826, Hiram was the son of Abel Lindall (1784-1828) and Mary (Potter) Lindall (1797-1875) of Coventry, RI.

Abel’s ancestors were among some of the earliest settlers of Salem, Mass., and I may focus on that line in future postings. Mary was the daughter of George Potter (1761-1837) and Phebe (Pitcher) Potter (1764-1834).

Phebe was the daughter of John Pitcher (1728-1822) and Mary (Carr) Pitcher (1736-1832).

Abel died when Hiram was 15 months old. Hiram had lived in Coventry most of his life and also in Warwick, moving to the Washington Village area of Coventry in 1875 to settle in a permanent home. Hiram died in 1918 and had out-lived his wife Hannah who died on January 11, 1904. They are buried in Knotty Oak Cemetery.

My great grandfather, William O. Lindall (1854-1939), was the fourth of nine children from the marriage of Hiram and Hannah. William was married to Elnora (Bennett) Lindall (1866-1916). She was the daughter of Jeremiah Bennett and Emily (Waterman) Bennett. In future blog writings, I plan to explore Jeremiah and Emily Bennett in further details.

Below is a tin photo of William, (under the arrow) and the other photo is of Elnora.

The children of William and Elnora Lindall are as follows:

* Claudia Lindall (1896-1995) married Gustaf Frederick Irons (1896-1958)

* James Burton Lindall (1898-1972) married Alice Holden (1901-1985)

*Jessie May Lindall died in infancy

* Hazel Lindall (1905-1990) married Vernon Magnuson (1900-1971)

My grandfather James and his sister Claudia

My grandfather’s sister Hazel in 1923

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My grandfather with his sisters during the 1960s, in Galilee, Narragansett, RI. Looking at the photo, Aunt Hazel is on the left and Aunt Claude is on the right.

Aunt Claude (Lindall) Irons, with my grandfather James and great grandfather William Lindall

My grandparents were James and Alice (Holden) Lindall. She was the daughter of John Holden (1866-1942) and Elizabeth (Wilde) Holden (1865-before 1942). They had two sons, Earl (my father) and Richard. See my blog about my dad’s WWII service, My Dad: A Soldier of World War II.

My grandparents, James and Alice (Holden) Lindall in 1929.

My dad, Earl F. Lindall, at age 8, in May 1929.

Below you will find a list, in birth order, of the children born to Hiram and Hannah Lindall and their spouses. Some of this information was taken from a genealogy of the Hiram Lindall family that was compiled by Ethel Lindell Band, in 1940. Ethel was a daughter of John Alonzo Lindell. You might notice that some family members use an “e” to spell it as Lindell rather than using an “a”; however, all members are related just the same.

  1. George Abel Lindall (1847-1932)
    married Louise Webster (1847-1932)
  2. Mary C. Lindall (1849-1932)
    married James B. Mathewson
    married Samuel Butler
  3. John Alonzo Lindell (1851-1937)
    married Julia E. Thompson (1855-1922)
  4. William Olney Lindall (1854-1939)
    married Elnora Maria Bennett (1866-1916)
  5. Phoebe Jane Lindall (1856-1932)
    married William B. Nichols (died 1933)
  6. Ellen Francis Lindall (1859-1911)
    married Bradford F. Harrington (1860-1935)
  7. Sarah Elizabeth Lindall (1861-1936)
    married Walter Thurston (1867-1921)
  8. Annie Margie Lindall (1863-1890)
    married Orville Harrington (1863-1890)
  9. Henry Irving Lindall (1867-1940)
    married Lina Marlow (died 1940)

This photo was taken between 1920-1932. My great grandfather William on the left in the derby hat, his brother George on the right and George’s wife Louise (or Louisa).

I have a huge photo from the Hiram Lindall Family Reunion that took place on August 7, 1937, as shown below. The photo is so long that I had to scan it in two pieces and then try to reconnect it into one. The two older gentlemen in the center wearing vests over white shirts, (sitting on each side of my splice line) are brothers William (my great grandfather) and Henry. My grandparents are in the photo, as well. On the back of the picture I do have many names listed but I am not going to list them all at this time, perhaps in a future posting.

Hiram Lindall Family Reunion, Aug. 7, 1937

My featured image is a postcard with a copyright of 1905 by J. Murray Jordan (1861-1909). He was a Philadelphia photographer who went on to publish and print postcards and he founded the World Post Card Co., in 1903.

In my search for an appropriate postcard to feature along with this story of Hiram and Hannah (Jordan) Lindall, I found it pretty ironic that I came across one published by a Mr. Jordan. I have no idea if there was any actual relation there, it would require further research to make that actual determination.

However, I did learn a few quick points of interest about J. Murray Jordan. He was born in 1861 in Sacramento, Calf., to John M. Jordan who had left rural Penn., years earlier. John had headed out to California in search of gold, he had died by the time J. Murray Jordan was 8 years old. After his father’s death, J. Murray was raised by a maternal Uncle John Duffield, in Princeton, NJ.

Until next time…

The Liberty Bell Meets Bunker Hill

On this Independence Day, the inspiration for this post has come via a booklet found within one of Grandma Julia’s postcard albums. This booklet was a souvenir of the journey from Philadelphia made by the Liberty Bell in 1903 to Bunker Hill, in Boston. If you would like to learn more about Grandma Julia, please read one of my previous postings, such as: Intro to Grandma Julia and the Bitgood’s Pine Knoll Laboratory.

My assumption is that Grandma Julia must have made the trek to Boston to see the Liberty Bell when it came to town.

The train schedule of the bell traveling from Philadelphia to Boston

The return trip train schedule, from Boston to Philadelphia.

My featured postcard is an embossed card, made in the U.S.A.. The actual publisher is unknown but it has printed on the reverse side “Patriotic Series No. 252”. The front side has a verse: “O may its stars forever shine So bright that all may see, To walk in Justice, Love and Truth And Glorious Liberty”.

The following image is of a Bunker Hill postcard of the Bunker Hill Monument, Charlestown, Mass. It was Sent to Gra Gra, postmarked from Boston, 1913. White border card published by New England News, Boston, Mass. If you would like to learn more about Gra Gra, please read one of my previous postings, such as: Intro to Gra Gra & Volunteering at Kent Hospital.

The Liberty Bell is a symbol of American Independence, it took on the symbol of Liberty during the 1830’s. It bears the message: “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants Thereof”. (Lev. XXV, V, X)

The bell was once placed in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House, which is now known as Independence Hall, in Philadelphia. Originally constructed as the Pennsylvania State House, Independence Hall is the location where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were debated and signed.

In 1751, there was a bell ordered from London which cracked upon the first test ring. It was melted down and recast into a new bell in 1753, weighing 2,080 pounds.

There was a narrow split that developed in the bell in the 1840’s which was followed by a repair effort in 1846. This repair job actually created the well-known wider crack. There was a second crack which then silenced the bell.

During the late 1800’s the bell began to travel across the country to serve as a display at expositions, fairs and such.

On June 17th, 1903, the Liberty Bell was displayed in Boston, on the occasion of the 128th Anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill.

The Battle of Bunker Hill took place on June 17, 1775, during the siege of Boston in the early stages of the American Revolutionary War. It is named after Bunker Hill in Charlestown, Mass.

On June 13th, the leaders of the colonial forces learned that the British were planning to send troops into Charlestown. In response, 1200 Colonial troops under the command of Col. William Prescott quickly occupied Bunker Hill on the north end of the peninsula (across Boston Harbor to the north) and Breed’s Hill closer to Boston. By the morning of the 16th, they had constructed a strong redoubt on Breed’s Hill. The next day, the British army under General William Howe, supported by Royal Navy warships, attacked the colonial defenses. The British troops moved up Breed’s Hill in perfect battle formations. One of the commanders of the improvised garrison, William Prescott, allegedly encouraged his men “not fire until you see the whites of their eyes.”

The colonists retreated to Cambridge over Bunker Hill, leaving the British in control of Charlestown but still besieged in Boston. The battle was a tactical victory for the British, but it proved to be a sobering experience, involving more than twice the casualties than the Americans. The estimated total of forces were 2400 for the Americans and 3000 for the British. With estimated casualties of 450 (115 killed, 305 wounded and 30 missing or captured) for the Americans and 1054 (226 killed and 828 wounded) for the British.

In the present day, the original Liberty Bell is located at the Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, in the Liberty Bell Center. There was a Centennial Bell made for the nation’s 100th Birthday in 1876, weighing 13,000 pounds, which still rings every hour in the tower of Independence Hall–each thousand pounds represent an original state.

Until next time…

WORKS CITED

Webpages

The American Battlefield Trust Sites. Bunker Hill, Breed’s Hill, Revolutionary War, 2019, battlefields.org/learn/revolutionary- war/battles/bunker-hill. Accessed 1 July 2019.

The National Park Service Site. Independence, National Historical Park, Pennsylvania, 2019, nps.gov/inde/learn/historyculture/stories-libertybell. Accessed 3 July 2019.

Booklet

The Liberty Bell Independence Hall Philadelphia; Souvenir on the Bell’s Journey to Boston, June 17th, 1903; Compliments of the City of Philadelphia; Compiled for distribution in connection with the One Hundred and Twenty-
eighth Anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill. Within above booklet: “The Liberty Bell” by Charles S. Keyser, 1901; Dunlap Printing Co., Philadelphia.

One Postcard for Easter Sunday!

Happy Easter to all. Just a quick posting on this Easter Sunday morning.

My featured postcard today was found in one of Grandma Julia’s albums, her full name being Julia Ann (Moore) James. She was my grandmother’s (Bertha L. James Watts) paternal grandmother. You can learn a little more about Julia from a previous blog posting Intro to Grandma Julia and the Bitgood’s Pine Knoll Laboratory.

This postcard was postmarked April 5, 1912 from Hyde Park, Mass., and was sent to Julia by her son and daughter-in-law, signed “May and Will”. This would be William and Mabel (Dollof) James. They lived on Cleveland Street, in the Hyde Park section of Boston for many years. A previous blog posting focused on my grandmother’s brother, Lionel, points out that his WWI Draft Registration card, dated in 1917, listed him as living at the same Cleveland Street address. You may read the post to learn more Uncle Lionel, First World War Veteran and Fort Greble.

The card was addressed to Julia in Franklin, Mass., and the handwritten message reads:

Hoping that your Easter will be bright and happy. Will try and see you soon. With Love, May & Will.

I am uncertain of the publisher of this embossed postcard, the reverse side lists that it was printed in Saxony and was given a number, No. 694.

There are more stories and details to tell about this family branch–others, as well. As I am growing older, the realization that time cannot be taken for granted and the desire on my part to share what I know and what I have learned (and yet to learn) grows ever stronger. However, squeezing out that time to share and being in the right frame of mind to write it out is not always that easy–I am trying my best to put together a couple of in-depth postings in the near future.

Until next time….Happy Easter!

One Postcard Saturdays – Killarney

County Kerry, Ireland, is the setting for this “One Postcard Saturdays” feature card showing Serpent Lake, Gap of Dunloe, Killarney. This St. Patrick’s Day holiday greeting postcard was published by John O. Winsch, of Stapleton, N.Y., with design copyrighted 1911.

The sender of the card was Mary Elizabeth (Moore) Elliott, it was postmarked March 18, 1912 from Foxboro, Mass. She sent the card to her sister Julia Ann (Moore) James (1836-1914), also known within my blog postings as “Grandma Julia”. To learn more about Julia, you might want to see my posting: Intro to Grandma Julia and the Bitgood’s Pine Knoll Laboratory.

Mary Elizabeth was married to Joel A. Elliott, they had a daughter Ida Mae Elliott and she married Mr. Pretz, I am uncertain of his first name. Mary died on June 20, 1913, in Foxboro, Mass.

The parents of Mary and Julia were George Martin Royal Van Buren Moore and Harriett Otis Daniels Moore, they had eleven children. In previous and future postings, I have and will explore correspondence from some of the other siblings.

The message from Mary was challenging to figure out but I think it is pretty close; however, there is still one word that I am not sure of where I have used question marks, her message follows:

Dear Sister,
Glad you arrived home all right. I am quite sick with grip cold. What a dreadful storm this is. NW wind blows like ???  Hope this will find you much
better.

With love, Sister Mary

The card was addressed to Mrs. Julia A. James in Franklin, Mass., in care of William Hooper (Aunt Etta’s husband William). So it would appear that Grandma Julia was staying with Aunt Etta (Julia’s daughter) at that time and I know that Julia had some health issues during her last couple of years. To learn more about Aunt Etta, you might want to read my post: Intro to Aunt Etta And Her Great Adventures.

This may be my last “One Postcard Saturdays” series posting, since I have had an adjustment to my work schedule. It just means that my postings might appear on any day, not just on Saturdays, and not necessarily weekly. With the Saturday series I have tried to keep the posts relatively brief, but I do have the intention of getting some longer blog postings put together or maybe a few series of shorter blogs focused on a related topic or specific family branch and so forth.

The extensive amount of postcards that have been passed down to me have contained many research clues and have provided some interesting stories. However, I have had access to the postcard collections only during the past few years; whereas, I have been collecting my family research notes for several decades.

For me, the time is really now to put some focus on tying together my many years of note-taking from various town halls, historical societies, libraries and archive locations and sharing what I have learned along the way. This blog serves as a way for me to start making that effort–one small piece at a time.

Until next time…