I can recognize one face in this one, that of my husband’s grandfather Doede (Douglas) Jaarsma. He’s sitting inside the sluice, third of the boys from the left, just next to the older man standing on the left. There’s a small handwritten X just below him. I’m assuming this is either a group of employees or school boys, and I’m leaning towards the latter since there’s only one man in the group that looks older and is presumably a teacher. Doede went to a technical high school and became a blacksmith. These boys all look to be either in their late teens or early 20s, so since Doede was born in 1911, this was probably taken somewhere around 1930. A couple of the young men do have wedding rings, so it’s possible this was taken as late as 1941, before Doede himself was married. To me, the trough structure looks like some kind of mill sluice, meant to direct water to a water wheel or sawmill possibly – it’s a little odd since the Netherlands is SO flat, especially in Friesland where this was likely taken, I can’t imagine how/why water would be first carried up so high and then brought back down. It’s a pretty interesting photo!
In the ongoing publishing of these Maher Postcards, I think this should be the final card, and I saved it for this post, because, well, timing. There’s no date and it didn’t have a stamp or postmark so it was either hand delivered or put into a larger package delivered to Lee Maher whose name appears on the back. I’m guessing this falls in the same time frame as the others, so 1910 or so.
The back is really nice in comparison to other cards. It has a little leaf design and notes that it’s “Whitney Made, Worcester Mass.” The stamp square also says it’s once cent for domestic mail and two cents for foreign. It’s a shame that it’s a little beat up with part of the front design torn away over the years, but again, for over 100 years old, it could be worse!
Yet another in the set of Maher Postcards! This features, “To Darling Baby” on the front with a heart made out of roses and clover surrounding the heart. It’s pretty heavily embossed.
The postmark stamp on the back is 9 September 1909. The only other identifying mark is “Printed in Germany” on the left side. The card was sent to William Maher at 113 Aldrich Ave in Buffalo, NY, in care of BA Maher (his father, Bernard). William appears to have been born on 17 August 1909, so he would’ve been only one month old at the time this was sent. The message reads, “Hello baby, wish I could see you. I hope mama & Brothers are well. From Aunt Nell.” Aunt Nell is likely Bernard’s sister Ellen. I’m still not sure how my grandma came into possession of these cards, but they’re such a neat capsule of communication to the family who left home in PA and went to Buffalo, NY.
Tucked into an album of modern photos from roughly the 1960s-1970s was this photo that was clearly older than the rest. On the back is handwritten, “Douglas Jaarsma,” presumably by my husband’s grandmother since it looks like the same handwriting I’ve seen on other photos. Doede “Douglas” is the second in from the left with what I believe are his three older sisters. From left to right, all four are, *I think*, in this order – Gettje (Grace), Doede (Douglas), Klaaske, and Oepkjen (Audrey) being the oldest on the right. The photographer’s name is at top, A de Jong, Sneek, referencing the town of Sneek in Friesland, Netherlands. As far as a date, Doede was born in 1911, so if he’s maybe 4 or 5 here, it was probably taken around 1915-1917 or so which would make the oldest sister, Oepkjen, about 10. Klaaske was the only sibling of the four in this photo to remain in the Netherlands. Gettje came to the US and lived not too far from Doede, and Oepkjen went to Ontario, Canada.
I couldn’t find much about the photographer without doing A LOT more work, but he regularly had advertisements for his studios in Leeuwarden, Heerenveen, and Sneek (link to BIG ad in the Leeuwarder Courant from 1916).
I did a pretty decent job last year scheduling out blog posts for once a week, and while I missed a few weeks at the end of the year, here’s to a new start this year!
First up is this photo card for the Rusty Reuben Radio Gang, including a group photo at center of Ted, Ickey, Freddie, and Tex, and individual photos around it of Betty Lou, Rusty, Barbara, Jean, and Uncle Jim. Rusty Reuben was the stage name for Harry Edward Brest (1907-1994). His obituary is posted online here, and has a load of information about his life and family.
As far as the other people in the group, a magazine posted here mentions that the, “cast comprises Ozzie Gile, Elmer Peabody, Tex Richards, Tex Hart, Ickey Pepin, and Freddie Stone.” It seems like the lineup of other performers switched up fairly often though from other newspaper articles. In the photo, the girl at top center, Barbara, appears from census records to be the daughter of Rusty and, I’m assuming, Jean, since Edward’s wife’s name was Genevieve.
The majority of the newspaper results come from about 1932-1939, and if grandma saw them, I’d imagine it would be when they were doing larger tours later in their career, which may have been when she picked up this card. She would’ve been in her early 20s in the late 1930s, so that fits pretty well. Just a neat piece of ephemera that grandma loved enough to tuck into a scrapbook!
Another edition in the Maher Postcard set (click the tag above to see all the Maher Postcard posts). This one is a postcard featuring an image of the River Slaney at Killurin, Co. Wexford in Ireland. I did a quick image search and while I found views of this bridge from the same time period that are similar, I didn’t find this exact same card.
The back says, “Best Wishes from Mary McDonald,” and is addressed to Mrs. Bernard Maher. The postmark is from Lackawanna, NY, dated April 24, 1912, with a one cent Ben Franklin stamp. There’s a mark next to the stamp that says, “Printed in Germany” and printing on the other side of the card that says, “Lawrence, Publisher, Dublin.” I’m not sure who Mary McDonald was since I don’t see her in the family tree and the majority of Bernard and his wife’s family were in Pennsylvania. I’d guess Mary McDonald was a local friend who traveled and then sent the postcard locally instead of from abroad.
The front of this postcard shows the Windber High School in Windber, Pennsylvania. I wasn’t able to find a similar postcard online, so this is definitely worth posting here! I couldn’t find out much about this building, and it probably doesn’t exist anymore. A new high school was apparently built in 1924 and that has since been demolished as well, so, it’s probably safe to assume this isn’t standing.
The back has an errant “1909” from a possibly misplaced postmark, the stamp is missing, and it’s pretty hard to read. Identifying marks are that it’s published by Chas. George & Co., in Windber, PA, printed in Germany by “SL & CO,” and has “E 10664” as an identifying number. It’s addressed to Mr. Bernard Maher at an unreadable address in West Seneca, New York. Even after running some Photoshop filters, I still find the message VERY hard to read. Best guess on the message:
“Hello Bernard, How is all the family. I am in Windber two weeks today and will not get home before next Saturday. [illegible section] From Mother.”
When I say that was hard to read, it wasn’t the handwriting, but the thoroughly degraded pencil on paper. I mean, for over 100 years old, stuffed in a box in unknown conditions, it’s pretty impressive it’s even here. At least we know it’s from his mother, Catherine Garrity and I can tell from the 1905 NY census that they were living in West Seneca New York, and it looks like it’s 613 Second St per the census which is why the street line in the address might be crossed out.
Based on the numbering on the boat, this was the SP-354, commissioned as the USS Wandena during WWI. This photo was part of a set saved by Great Grandma Olga, presumably sent to her by her brother Earl who was in the Navy during WWI. I found evidence that this particular boat served as a patrol boat in the NY Harbor from 1917-1919, and given that there are a batch of photos that all appear to be taken around the same place/time, there must have been some kind of exercise or training during which he took these photos. I tried doing a quick google search to see if there were any other photos of this vessel to match it up by its features, but none appear to exist (at least on the internet), so I’m glad to be able to post this one, even if it’s a bit grainy and not terribly clear.